Bit rot from space, Custom Bench, DS90C365A, MacroFab, macrofab engineering podcast, Meetup, MEP, Mouser, PCB Surface Finish, Podcast, RGB666, RPI3

MEP EP#59: Grass Fed PCBs

Download: MP3
RSS Feed: Link
Twitter: @MacroFab

Runtime: (54:53)

Parker Dillmann
Stephen Kraig


Podcast Notes

  • MacroFab and Mouser Electronics have teamed up to create a free monthly meetup in Houston for anyone involved with hardware & electronics engineering or manufacturing. Hosted on the last Wednesday of every month, these meetups are designed to build a community of professionals who want to learn from one another, gain new insights on emerging electronics technologies, and expand their network.
    • Sign up here!
    • What to expect
      • ¬†Networking
      • Fireside chats with Q&A
      • Individual project sharing and discussion
      • Door prizes
      • Refreshments
      • Free parking
  • Christian Aurich writes: “Could you talk about differences in surface finishes on PCBs? I am especially wondering what difference ENIG makes to other ‘flat’ finishes… so everything else than HAL.”
    • HASL (Leadfree and Leaded)
    • ENIG
    • Immersion Tin
    • Immersion Silver
    • OSP (Organic Solderability Preservative)
    • Gold – Hard Gold
    • PDF on pros and cons
  • Parker
    • Working on a LVDS output board for the RPI 3
    • Parallel Display Interface on the RPI3
    • Config.txt parameters and by enabling the correct Linux Device Tree
    • Using the Ti DS90C365A. It converts a RGB666 signal to a LVDS signal for LCD panels. You give it 6 bits for ever color, pixel clock, H clock and V clock and poof LVDS.
  • Stephen
    • Bench Stats:
      • 80/20 construction
      • 1 5/8″ plastic laminate table top
      • 60″x30″ with adjustable height between 30.625″ to 32.625″
      • Total Length of 80/20 per bench: 40.33 feet
      • 42 angle brackets
      • 84 nuts/bolts
      • ~68.5 lbs
  • Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics
    • Click bait? In many instances, however, these operational failures may be caused by the impact of electrically charged particles generated by cosmic rays that originate outside the solar system.
    • This is called a single-event upset or SEU
    • SEU failure rates for consumer electronic devices performed by Ritesh Mastipuram and Edwin Wee at Cypress Semiconductor on a previous generation of technology shows how prevalent the problem may be. Their results were published in 2004 in Electronic Design News and provided the following estimates:
      • A simple cell phone with 500 kilobytes of memory should only have one potential error every 28 years.
      • A router farm like those used by Internet providers with only 25 gigabytes of memory may experience one potential networking error that interrupts their operation every 17 hours.
      • A person flying in an airplane at 35,000 feet (where radiation levels are considerably higher than they are at sea level) who is working on a laptop with 500 kilobytes of memory may experience one potential error every five hours.
    • The engineer’s bottom line: “This is a major problem for industry and engineers, but it isn’t something that members of the general public need to worry much about.”

PCB Surface Finishes. Left to Right: HASL, OSP, ENIG.
Figure 1: PCB Surface Finishes. Left to Right: HASL, OSP, ENIG.
Engineering Bench Design Stephen is working on.
Figure 2: Bench Design Stephen is working on.

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