Electronic Manufacturing, electronics podcast, MacroFab, macrofab engineering podcast

MEP EP#258: Chainsaws, Wasps, Doom, and Gloom

Podcast Notes


  • PCBA Lead Times in Q1 2021
    • Supply chain disruption in 2020 started with the Lunar New Year and quickly extended into the COVID-19
    • 2021 LNY falls between February 9 to February 16
    • COVID-19 Vaccines
      • Logistic capacity being reserved for the vaccine distribution
    • 10 Day service at MF will be the biggest hit. Guaranteed 10 day service will be disabled on January 13th and will resume on February 16th.
  • On Dec. 31, 2020, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) allowed the exclusion for 2-layer and 4-layer printed circuit boards HS code to expire.
    • Any orders for 2- and 4-layer products going forward or that have not yet been received into the U.S. will have a tariff surcharge if built in Mainland China.
  • Other interesting PCB related things
    • Copper – the price of copper has increased 68% YOY
    • Gold – the price of gold has increased 22% YOY
    • Resin – cost of epoxy resin has risen 40% since the recent fires at Epoxy Resins factories in China and Korea
  • UL aims to put a security rating on every connected device
    • Categorizes products according to an ascending five-level scale: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.
    • For consumer level devices this could take hold if customers pay attention to markings.
    • Do customers look for UL markings? If not who does? The seller/store?


  • Covid-19 5G Chip Diagram NOW THIS IS NEWS!
    • Is everyone getting more metal?
    • Conspiracy theorists in Italy are warning the public about a ‘5G Chip’ they claim has been planted in COVID-19 vaccines
      • However, the widely circulated image of the chip in question has been outed as a reworked schematic for the Boss Metal Zone pedal
      • Best response to this : “Excellent. Reassured to know that 5G relies on op-amps and some 1n4148 diodes. Proper old school. None of that digital and microprocessor nonsense. I’ll take one in each arm.”
    • Boss metal zone uses a very interesting gyrator circuit within a non inverting opamp configuration
    • Dual gyrator to simulate two inductors to ground. Must be for filtering to get “the right shitty sound”
    • A very interesting frequency response with multiple peaks
    • One before clipping and two after – Interesting choice

Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!