A decade after graduating college, Stephen finally did a differential equation for his job! That is some real engineering I tell you what.
Right to Repair is going global and Stephen might have solved his injection molded component's void by tweaking the mold design.
The PinoTaur has reached production status but not without supply chain issues..OF COURSE! Bonus discussion about thermal management for PCBA.
Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.
In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.
In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.
Parker also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
Welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. We are your hosts, Parker, Dolman.
And Steven Craig.
This is episode 198. Whoo. Whoo hoo, getting close to 200.
So it's been a while since it's just been you and I. Yeah, we
had a whole flurry of of guests come in through our doors. And
hopefully we'll have more. Yes,
hopefully not. Hopefully
we already have more. It's not like we've exhausted the backlog now. So because of that you've accomplished so many things. And so have I right in that amount of time that I can't even finish the sentence. I can't.
So yeah, I don't think we've really work too much on our electronic projects. I think it's,
Hey, speak for yourself. I've thought about mine. II thought.
I wish I did get some work done over the last couple of weeks on on penetrator. So I'm still working on Rev. Two, I think last time I said I was about to order it. order to buy did hold off on that, because I'm waiting for kind of like some more testing for rev one.
Because you actually have correct me if I'm wrong, but you actually have one in a machine somewhere,
right? Yes, it's actually been, it's in a machine right now being tested and like doing pinball things nice. So I kind of want to wait till a little bit more on that gets gets flushed out, like we start using more of the peripherals on it, make sure everything's working. And then yeah, I'm gonna pull the trigger on ref to if there's any changes, it should be pretty good. I'm probably going to move the two ounce copper, for the PCBs, two ounce, four layers, mainly for just extra current cabinet capacity on the lines, even though everything is SPECT correctly, for one ounce, it's just one of those just in case. In case, you know, it's an environment that gets too hot, you know, it's an enclosure with that, that doesn't have any ventilation in it.
You know, I've got a quick side tangent, actually, because that kind of reminds me. So, if when, when ordering a PCB, you know, the standard that you that most people like when you could just get a generic quote, it's for one ounce copper on the outer layers, and then half ounce on the internal layers, correct, or half pound for one ounce on the internal layers, it depends on the manufacturer. But yeah, one thing that we actually ran into, gosh, a handful of months ago, if you do go with a different, or a thicker outside copper layer, you really should pay attention to your solder paste apertures. It's a little bit different with macro fab, because microfiber has a pace jetter and you can adjust things on the fly. But the your solder paste deposit actually matters a lot more because the thicker copper on the outside, when it's actually etched can have like trapezoidal, slightly Episodul shapes, and it doesn't heat the same as one ounce copper. So your apertures do actually have to adjust for that. So just keep that in mind. If you're if you're thinking about going, Oh, lady, I'm just gonna double my copper. Like there's impacts to that even though like it doesn't necessarily like your, your PCB software, a lot of times it doesn't really think about that it just, oh, I'm gonna do what a 20%, aperture reduction, or whatever like, but it doesn't ask you, you know, what's your copper thickness? I'll make adjustments for you, or at least the
software I haven't. So what would be if you're doing a stencil, what is your recommendation. So if you go to ounce copper, what do you need to do to your paste,
we've actually done slight reductions because of that, just because we found that with with the heating profile in our oven is a slightly smaller aperture. So even a little less paste actually worked out really well for us, mainly because if we had extra paste, then that's more of a thermal load that you're already putting an extra thermal load by having more copper in place. So we do a pretty standard amount of paste for one ounce copper. So a reduction in paste, we still have some play room on that. So if your copper thickness gets larger, it's been our experience that you reduce the pace a little bit. And and actually so there is out here in Colorado, there's a large stencil manufacturer. In fact, I think the last time I talked to them, they said they are quickly becoming the largest stencil provider in the States. They have an engineering team that is great. Like if I ever have any questions or if I'm not sure on aperture stuff, I send it to them and they'll do reviews Uh, on aperture stuff, and they've kind of agreed with that where it's like, okay, well, they're gonna do a slight reduction if the copper thickness is larger. That makes sense. Yep. So just something to keep in mind. That's not like a knob that you can just turn and not have any impacts. Yeah. I mean, I mean
more current screws, six ounce copper poor.
You know, that's the one thing that sucks about this kind of, like about electronics design is like, you change one thing. Like, yeah, might not have any impact on your circuit, or it might have a ton of impact on your circuit. Um, or it might not have any impact on manufacturing, or it might have a ton, like, you just gotta know, you know, this sucks.
Yeah, hopefully read too. I really want to pull the trigger on that by end of November. We'll see what happens mainly because I want to get into the machine that it's supposed to be in by spring next year. That'd be pretty exciting. So
you know, another quick thing I found were my buddy at work actually found a pinball part that I didn't know existed. And now I totally want to buy them. So the will so get this he recently built a and a guitar amp, but fender Princeton. And a lot of the older guitar ends use little incandescent bulbs as the power indicator, okay, and they're just these little bulbs that you typically just connect directly to the 6.3 volt AC tap. And they pull a ton of juice or like 250 milliamps or something for the chest that little, just that little light. And they're the old school style that have kind of like a bayonet with a with a little locking lugs on the side. Yeah, two prongs on him. Well, he was he was perusing the internet looking for alternatives to that. And apparently, in the pinball world, there's those exact same things, but they're led. And so they come in the exact same size with the same bayonet, and they run on 6.3 volt AC. I never knew this, I would totally have used that a long time ago, because I've been buying those incandescent bulbs for a long time just for replacing old amps and stuff.
Yeah, that's actually the big thing. And Pinball is to swap out your old incandescent, for those LEDs, because they're, they're brighter, and you can actually get them in certain colors. So you can like really rich and up the color spectrum on your pinball playfield. like I did on my Congo machine is all led up.
Yeah. And they're not. I mean, the last forever, you know, yeah, not
that expensive either.
And it's funny, because like, instead of changing the, to an LED in the in the amp world, you just replace the jewel that goes on, on top of it with whatever color you want. Like, it's like a like a plastic. I don't know, a little well, it's a dome, but it has a bunch of facets on it. So it glows in a unique way. Gotcha. Gotcha, gotcha.
So then I was talking to with some of our DEF CON buddies about kind of like other projects, not just bad stuff that we want to do for next year's DEF CON. And I had the idea of using my ABC, which is the automotive but cooler.
Which we have talked about probably a good five or six times on the bug.
Yeah. And so I was, you know, I was able to reverse engineer how these teec coolers basically work in high end cars. Specifically, these are like these go into like the high end ford f 150s pickup trucks. And they're basically a A, A T C module that's got heat sinks built in and a fan built in. And then depending on the polarity, you can either you know, put out hot air or put out cold air.
So there's a little heater inside of it.
Yeah, a little too easy. Right in there. Yeah. And so I was able to reverse engineer those, get those the work, I'm thinking is because you know, it's def cons in Vegas, Las Vegas, in the worst of it is like the beginning of August.
Yeah, it's spicy out there.
It was when we landed, it was 114. And that was the day that that was that was the hottest day there but it didn't drop below 100 Until like, two o'clock in the morning. That's amazing, but it is dry. It is dry. But you still it was it was pretty miserable. And so I'm like, sure for DEF CON you don't spend a lot of time outside but you do have to go outside sometimes. So I'm thinking about making like a like part like make a backpack mount or something. And then a lithium battery and just had this like blowing on the back of your neck. Kinda like that. Sony was it Sony? I can't remember cuz we were under that shirt that you could buy and you could put you can slip a basically a T seat basically almost just like this is that was designed to go into a pocket on your shirt. On your back, right? Yeah, we talked about that a long time ago. Yeah. So I'm thinking about basically making one of those with an ABC.
Yeah. See, I was thinking you were going to have something that was reminiscent of a dryer vent that goes into the back of your pants and cools you, but
just having a nice cold air on your on your neck would be probably pretty good.
Yeah. You should set up a little booth and sell those people buy them. And then they'd have
Oh, I wonder, I got to see how much how much cooling capacities can actually handle how much wattage but they make motorcycle jackets that have have water built in. So you'd like plug into your your motorcycle and cools or heats the water in circulation. I wonder if you can do that with like a portable version of that. Can you imagine just like walking around with a briefcase and you set the briefcase down and you just got hoses going up your pant leg? In Vegas. That's your life support.
My father, my father has a BMW motorcycle that has that it's a little port that it is not for the whole jacket. But it is for gloves, you can get gloves, okay, that connection on it. Which if you've ever ridden a motorcycle in like freezing temperatures like it, it's really useful to have feelings in your fingers to shift even.
So, it's like, you know, when when the the Apollo astronauts were coming out of like NASA central control, and the like, all suited up, and they had that little briefcase with them that's got all their life support. Yes, they got to pump you know, air and stuff into their suits until they get hooked into the spaceship, right? That's like this except for Las Vegas, because it's so such an alien world live in. Because humans are not. We're not designed to live in that kind of environment. Whilst they Vegas is like our Babylon tower.
So what you put your briefcase, your briefcase could could cool beer also. So it's two things. Yeah, it's dual purpose.
Yeah. It's just a big block his briefcase is just a big block of lithium. And then the four or five of these ABCs just blows cold air out of it. Well, one end blows hot air and one blow
cold air out. You'd have you'd have a lot of people hanging out with you, you know, being your friend the entire time.
Okay. Nothing I've been working on is. Of course, once you fix one thing for someone, you that you're like the person that you always fix stuff now. Right? So I fixed my mom's you know, the tiger shark pool cleaner. Right? Right. And now I got like eight Brazilian projects from my mom that's like, oh, you can fix this right now. Right? And so she has a electric bicycle. That's basically I can electric assist on her bicycle. And the 50 volt battery on it failed. And it was within warranty. So the company just shipped a new one. And they're like, oh, yeah, just like recycle the old one. And it's a 50 volt pack with all 18 650s in it. So I was able to actually crack it open. Oh,
wow. Okay, that's actually bigger than I thought. Yeah. It's like, it's like the size of your thigh.
Yeah, yeah. And so I opened it up, and it's actually it's built, okay, like, it's definitely like, there's some like wires that are flopping around and stuff in there. But is it all tab welded and stuff like that? Yeah. And, and I was able to measure the pack, the pack itself is at 50 volts. So the cells are still good, but I'm not getting any output. So something's wrong with the charging circuit. And it's got a fuse on that charging PCB. And so I wonder if that's blown. And I haven't actually gotten that far. Because basically, it opened it up and started poking around, and I can't figure out how to safely disassemble it without blowing it up. Yeah, without like, blowing it up and get to the protection circuit because the production circuits like buried under like, a mass of wires. And I'm like, I'm like, okay, they had to assemble this some way somewhat safely.
Chopsticks men, say next time you get Chinese takeout, keep the chopsticks or get an extra pair and that's what you use to like scoot things around in.
Yeah. I've been using like I got some like wooden dolls I use for that. But
now I'd say it has to be chopsticks did wouldn't. Wouldn't that was don't work.
It's mainly like I don't know like what do I because totally like been put together and soldered. It's not designed to be user serviceable at all. Even though it wasn't actually glued together it came apart with like only like six screws. So I was actually really surprised it came apart that easily. But when you get it apart, everything's just kind of goop in, like, soldered together into this big Oh, is there like a lot of scholastic all over the place and hot snow? Yeah. So I get to that, basically, I need to be able to pull that board off. And then check that board all its components, make sure everything's working right on it. I'm gonna bet you it's that fuse. And it's like, it's weird. It's like an ATC style automotive fuse, and they just like routed slots on the board, and then just put it in there and soldered it. Really, so it's not even a holder for it. It's actually soldered into the board. What
is the board all through hole? Or is there any as an argument?
It's all s&t minus like this one, etc. Blade fuse.
Why wouldn't they? Why wouldn't they just buy a surface mount fuse? I don't know that. That's weird, I guess. I guess, you know, it's probably cheaper to do the ADC feeds into slot holes, you know? Yeah, I guess so. It's, that's, that's penny pinching.
Yeah. So I'm, I just need to be I'll figure out how to get to I can't even look at it directly see if it's blown or not. And I don't really, it's really hard to put multimeter probes in there to see if it's short, open. But um, hopefully, by next week, I'm going to work on that this weekend, kind of, I'm probably going to do it out in the garage instead in my office. So if something does bad happen, I can like kick it into the driveway. Keep
keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
I don't you don't know I got fire extinguisher. I'm just trying to think of an fire extinguisher that could put on lithium fire.
Well, here's here's a question for you. Do you have an A A B or a C fire extinguisher?
I do have an ABC out there. Oh, you got the whole the whole kit and caboodle? Yeah, it's like it's the halo on. It's not a halo on one. But it's like the halo on equivalence because you can't buy a lawn extinguishers anymore.
Well, but but an ABC is rated for electrical fires, right?
Yes, but I don't think might be ready for lithium fires. Could be I don't know had the check. I probably should check before I start poking around in the morning. Right? Yeah.
Might be might be worthwhile, mainly because what you're jacking with is like serious, you know?
Yeah. It was actually kind of high voltage. And it's a bunch of energy just stored right there. Yeah, it's enough to hurt. Yeah, a little bit. Yeah, I think
it's now your kind of job to service things that are according to the manual unserviceable? Yes, exactly. Well, actually, no, it's your mother's responsibility to give you things that are unserviceable.
The other way around right right. And then I was kind of doing some more more mechanical work we've got a My dad's got a four wheeler that I've been kind of maintaining for him for a long time and this time last year it's hunting season here in Texas right now. And so I rebuilt the whole four wheeler for him like rebuilt the carburetor, change all the oil all the fluids, put new tires on it all this stuff and my dad doesn't even use it. He just parks it out glass behind the garage and throws a tarp over it for like the entire year and then so this year, he's like so I think I want to sell that that four wheeler I'm like Okay, great. You know, I get it out. And of course my dad hasn't touched it at all so the battery's dead. Charge the battery up. Battery won't hold charge. So like well that's a $35 battery had to go by pump that new battery back in old one off to the recycle plant. At cranks cranes cranks won't fire. You know put new fuel in it crank crank crank, no fire. Pull the carburetor out the carburetors rusted. rusted. Yeah. Oh, the ethanol just messed up that carburetor. Wait, it wasn't just like it wasn't resonance. It was actual rust. Yeah, actually started rusting the inside of it. Yeah,
well that means you got water in the carburetor. Well, that's
ethanol likes ethanol likes water.
Right but so uh, but I mean like, that's not normal. So no, but I guess I guess you know in Houston even under a tarp it's just gonna drink out of the air.
Yep. Well, that's the thing is that's the that's what ethanol does. Ethanol will. It was a hydro is hydroscopic. Right? Yeah. Yeah, it likes resorb water so it absorbs water, the gasoline vapors off leaving ethanol and water behind and starts rusting and stuff and grouping stuff up. So I took it took the carburetor part cleaned it out, took the bowl, which is like where that's where all the fuel collects in the carburetor, kind of like a miniature fuel tank with a carburetor. I just took like a bristle brush on the drill and the whole goal. Got it all cleaned out. And it's a real technical technical term there. Yeah.
What? Yep. It's a verb. It's a bunch of letter V's,
T at the end, right? Of course, a D. And so I got that all cleaned out, put it all back together, cleaned everything and still wouldn't run. And so I'm like, Okay, what's, uh, I'm like, Man, do I have to really buy a rebuild kit for this carburetor. And so I pull it all apart again, and most like basically the cleaner wasn't getting all the junk off of stuff. Hmm. And, and so buying a rebuild kit. Yeah, you can you basically get new jets and all that stuff. And but I found those a trick is use the use like stranded copper wire, strip the insulation off and so you get these little thin strands of copper and use the copper as like a brush into the Jets because the Jets are usually brass, which is harder than the copper. So you can kind of just like, put the copper in and kind of rotate the jet and kind of get all the crust out of there and then clean it again. Put it all back together and it fired right up immediately. Oh, yeah, it's I'm like okay, so that little trick right? Or the copper wire. And I actually did the same trick because my dad has a Honda generator. Same thing happens. My dad like fired up like two years ago completely forgot about in the garage. doesn't run, took it all apart, and then took the Jetsons same thing happened to the bowl was rusted up a bit. Everything's crusty inside, clean it all up. Do little wire trick. Generator fired right up now. I think we're at the point where I think my dad isn't very kind to carbureted engines.
Well, it sounds like it just lets him sit. That's the problem. Yeah, yeah. So you have a carbureted engine and you should either dump all the fuel or start it once every, I don't know. X weeks.
Yeah, so I set up a I set up a schedule on my phone for every month to fire up the formula in the generator. So hopefully it never happens again, because it's a pain in the butt. Oh, it sucks. Yeah, yeah. You just smell like gasoline for you know, next couple hours. And if you scrub it all off, just soaks in.
Oh, yeah. And then all the all those like resinous boogers that get inside of the carburetor. They're such a pain to clean off. Although, frankly, like all my experience have just been using carb dip where you just pull the car get rid of all the all the gaskets. Yeah, and then you just dip it and come back three days later, and it looks great.
Yeah, that's that's where I tried it still wouldn't get that crust off. Inside those jets.
Well, there's a difference between the like, crust and rust. Like, those are different things. You know, one of my best memories is my my, at my bachelor party. We held it out at my buddy's land. And it was we spent three days out there just, you know, drinking beer, shooting guns and having fun kind of stuff. And one of the things was like we were gonna do some chores around the land and there was a bunch of fallen trees. So we decided to get out the old log splitter and chop things up. But of course we pull it out in the morning and it doesn't fire up and we're all standing there like six guys with beards on her hand saying like, Oh, I think it's this and I think it's this and then we eventually pull the carburetor apart and it was just gunked up like crazy. Yeah, so clean that up and have fires up great. And we chop logs all day long.
Yeah, I think is. carburetors aren't as scary as people make them out to be. When I bought the wagon. I hadn't had too much experience the carburetors besides like, basically like spray carpet cleaner and it and hope it cleaned it
or the good old fashioned spray carved clean in it and close it up and start it up as fast as you can. Yes. On there.
So, you know, I haven't rebuilt a couple. I think I've built rebuilt, like four carburetors this year alone. I still have one to go my dad's chainsaw. Same thing. It's been sitting for like three years. And my dad like pulls it out to chop some some cut up some wood in the backyard for the fire. And of course doesn't start like
man, I'm actually having I'm having carb troubles right now. My damn weed eater. It was it was originally a Texas weed eater. So you know, it was used to drink in lots have oxygen. And then you know we bring it 5000 feet up in the air up here in Colorado and the carburetor is not happy. And it's no i Gosh, every time I cut my grass this summer I had to readjust my carb. Like I still haven't gotten it right and most of the time like adjusting carbs is not that hard. You can do it by feel and get pretty close to okay operation at least something that'll idle you know that, but this thing is just, gosh, it gives me fits every damn time. I'm wondering if I need to change my fuel mix? Because of the atmosphere up here?
Well, yeah, you would be running really rich.
Yeah, exactly. And it's like choking trying to get some oxygen in there. So I might that might like every little bit of thing I've done to the carburetor has really, it's enough to to weed my lawn, but I have to adjust it every damn time.
So that's actually I've noticed with it being actually it's like, super cold here in Houston. It's like actually, like,
right now it's actually 36 degrees outside. Wow. Surprisingly, because he usually doesn't get cold until Thanksgiving week, or like, the day of Thanksgiving.
Yeah. So actually, the past couple of Thanksgivings. It's been like 78. So it's gonna be really cold winter, I think here in Houston. But regardless, the wagon needs to be returned now. It is running super rich. And I'm like, Man, I don't want to get gas all over me again. Modern fuel injection is amazing technology. We take it for granted. And we take it for granted. Now, the fact that your car starts right up right all the time it doesn't. It runs more or less perfectly, no matter what's going on out in the outside world.
And the brain box inside is doing all the decision making for you.
Yes. Yeah. So that's what I've been up to. Oh, and one more thing. I am almost done printing all the parts for my epic noisemaker
Oh, nice. Yeah, I actually the other day, I watched some YouTube videos of those air raid sirens, the 3d printed ones. They're obnoxious. I'm pretty sure everyone at the office is going to hate you.
I got I got all the big pieces. So I just got printed the small pieces now.
You know, there was an interesting Hackaday article the other day that is kind of cool. Somebody 3d printed a gosh, I effectively it was a Hammond organ. But they made a tone wheel where they actually printed like a cog, and then put it in front of a pickup. And then they were able to play tones by just spinning the wheel. And depending on the number of teeth on the wheel, you could adjust the frequency. Well, the number of teeth and how fast you you rotated it, which is which is the concept of an old Hammond organ where basically each key had its own cog and its own pickup. That's why you could hammer Hammond organ and it would play all the notes that you played because each single note had its own pickup and its own wheel. But it's pretty cool that like someone was able to get something pretty functional actually out of out of what they were doing, which was basically just a shaft and a cog, you know. So go check that out. Pretty cool. So I've been, I've been working a little bit more on my beer monitoring device. In fact, I got a bunch of parts in a good chunk of stuff for Parker's version of it. I have got a little bit more progress on the screen, although I did put that aside because I was pissed off about it. For those who, for those who kind of remember
a few weeks ago, like I was having troubles with displaying things on this stupid screen. And I've got I've got it where I can display pixels, but it's not perfect yet. And I actually got a second screen in which I frankly haven't taken out of the box yet, because I haven't had a need for it. But I should actually plug that second one in and just make sure everything is kosher with it. One of the things I have been working on falls under warranty. Right? Right. Yeah, from by display.com. They look like a website that has a great warranty. I kid they because we've actually bought stuff from them before and had a lot of good success. In fact, one of the things that's nice about that website is they kind of curate their displays pretty well, in terms of if you buy a display and there's peripherals that go with it like a connector, or even a cable that is for like a touchscreen or something like that. They'll provide the cable or they'll suggest this connector or things which is super nice because a lot of times you get a display and then it's up to you to figure that crap out. But by display, you can buy them together, which is super nice. But one of the things I've been working on is the stack up and the like where all the components are going to end up on the on the faceplate. Because I want to get that faceplate on the middle soon and actually like chop stuff up.
A good chunk of the schematic is done. Which for this kind of project, it's this is one of those ones, it's fun, where like, you can do the schematic, a large portion of it before actually making decisions on things. Like I know it has a processor, I know it has these peripherals, I know it has this power kind of thing. And I can just like, plop down things without like having to think very deeply about them, which is kind of nice. So a good chunk of the schematic is done. And I'm moving to doing solid state relays for connecting, or for switching all the power or turning the frigerators on and stuff.
Are they going to be board mounted or like mounted in the case on a heat sink? Or how are you going to do that?
So that's one of the things I haven't figured out yet. And in fact, you know, if anyone has any suggestions on that, or if you do, you know, I did look at the power consumption that these things would have. So you know, when they're off, there's no current flowing. So I'm not worried about them dissipating too much heat, when they're on they're on resistance is low enough that I think maximum, they'll dissipate something like two and a half watts, which is not, you know, that's not a small amount of heat. But it's also not that much, especially given the size and how beefy these solid state relays are. So the thing is, I was thinking I could just make a large PCB, and then bolt, the solid state relays to the PCB.
Yeah. And then you have a big copper plane that dissipate the heat.
Yeah, yeah, that was that was my thought. And that could be fairly similar to the just mounting them directly to the chassis. What's nice about that, too, is then the, like, all the mounting hardware can be internal to the enclosure. Like if I mount them to the enclosure, then I would have to figure out like, Oh, I've got a bolt sticking through the chassis, like, do I do? How do I deal with that? Or do I even deal with that? Do I even give like, who you know, do that? Like, I typically on the stuff that I design, I tend to avoid like a visible nut and bolt hanging out just because it's unsightly. And on top of that, it adds to, well, like if you wanted to flush mount this thing to your wall or something, I wouldn't want a nut sticking off the back of it, because that's a pain in the ass to deal with. So I'm leaning towards the PCB side. You know, that sort of brings up an interesting thing. What if you've ever dealt with these solid state relays before, these are the ones I'm getting the like the generic ones that you can find on like Amazon and stuff like that they they work pretty well for these applications. I've used them a handful of times in, in beer brewing and some other stuff. And they're great for switching on AC signals and mains, controlling mains and stuff. The the one thing that sucks is that big chunk of metal on the back of them that's clearly for dissipating heat.
They don't necessarily say if that's connected to something or not. I've noticed at least I've looked at a handful of data sheets, and there wasn't anything saying like, watch out. There's mains on this because like, sometimes when you when you deal with packages, like you know, to 220 MOSFETs and things like that, that'd be like, watch out, the collector or the drain is connected to the tabs, so don't just go bolting it to something randomly,
or you're gonna have a whole bunch of them together. Right, right. Right,
exactly. So with these relays, so the question is, if the datasheet doesn't say, What do you assume? Like, are you gonna have a bad day? If you make a bad assumption?
You know, I would think that not think I've looked up on forums and things like that, and people like, yeah, it's just, it's just a dissipation pad. So it's not actually connected anything like that. But it's like, man, shouldn't the datasheet include that with how critical this could be? Because like, what if that was connected to mains? And they didn't say it? or what have you connected mains to the relay, and then you bolted this to some big steel thing like, Man, that's a fire hazard waiting to happen, like they should at least like just put a note on the datasheet.
Well, they have we found a solid state or we found a device that had a critically connected thermal pad that they didn't say what it was connected to, or is it one of those? It's only matters when it matters. So if it doesn't have it, then you can assume it's safe, right?
I don't know like it He, I would fit. So that would make sense. But that still rolling the dice in my mind. Like, if you don't know, you don't know until you know. And so like, Never assume that you know
if that makes sense. Like, if it's not explicit, then figure it out, like buy one and test it. You know, don't just you say, Yeah, this will be fine, and then build it into your product and then find out that, yeah, it's not fine. So regardless, yeah, I know, I did a bunch of research and found people saying like, yeah, it's like, they're just thermal pads. Yeah, it's just thermal pads. Also, like I, you could follow the rabbit hole on this. And a lot of times these things are sold with aluminum heatsinks that they bolt to. And they're not anodized. And they're not painted. And they're not electrically isolated. So there's some, you know, follow the follow the path. Yeah.
And then they get connected to DIN rail. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And then all the minerals are connected. Yeah. But still, I
think that the data sheets should should say, one way or the other. In fact, some some data sheets are really good, where they're like, this is a thermal pad, but it's connected to stuff. And we're not going to tell you what it's connected to just make sure it's ground. You know, like, sometimes they say that, and I really appreciate that. It's like great, you told me what to do. And I can be confident and
well, you couldn't go down the rabbit hole, then it's like, then should it say everything that it's not? This real solid state relay is not a nuclear weapon.
Oh, well, but it's a connection point, there's only five connection points on a solid state relay four of which you're really confident about and one you're not. And like, you should be confident about the fifth one. So but I don't know that one's that one's pretty obvious if he asked me. So yeah, I think I'm probably going to go with the PCB route, and then just mill
air vent air vents in the slots the case, because I don't care, like, it's not really going to be in a wet environment or anything where we're really matters. And the way that these will all be oriented. If I put holes in the bottom and the top, then it'll naturally have vertical airflow. So it'll sort of have a little bit of airflow across that but you know, with with a two watt dissipation maximum, I'm not super worried about anything like a big copper plate is more than enough. Should be fine. Yep. And and then I'll get the cases on the on the mill soon. Hopefully, fingers crossed. Yep. Cool.
On the RFO onto the RFO. The rapid fire opinions, yes, rapid fire opinions. So we haven't done a podcast that's just even I and longtime, so we haven't had our frozen a while. So it kind of kind of a little little bit of backlog. And some of these might be a little expired in terms of timeliness, I guess but we're gonna do it anyways. So one of my favorite articles that came out last month was check your Halloween candy for malicious payloads from Hackaday. And so, we've always heard the story our parents would always tell us watch out that candy that you get on Halloween because they'll have reasonable aides in it or something like that. You know,
the one that really gets me is the one where it's like, people are sneaking drugs into your candy. Like, okay, as soon as you get away drunk who gets away? Yes, exactly. Like that's so expensive. Like no people do not put drugs in candy. Sorry. Like, oh my gosh, I remember. I remember like the the hospitals used to have like, Free X rays for Halloween night where you could like take your bag of candy and they would x ray it for you to find things like that. Yeah, yeah, exactly. It was ridiculous. I don't know. I think I think there was some fear mongering from from the media. And it worked really well. Yeah.
I would say this is more possible in the in real life. So basically, the, the idea would be you would give away a whole bunch of thumb drives that gave free game codes to like fortnight and whatever. And kids would just plug it into their computer and then been infected, right? Basically what they did
digital razor blades did
that's gonna be the podcast style.
I'm writing it right now.
You know, that would be digital razorblades could be like a synth band. That is like Judas Priest.
Oh, jeez, that's a that's a that's an interesting combo. i Yeah, I kind of want to go and like make something great breaking the law but with all sins Yes.
I think the only reason why that comes to mind is the Judas Priest has a album cover that's got a razor blade on it.
But British Steel, British Steel Yeah. Is that is that priest? I should know that.
That should be I shouldn't be right. Am I not?
For some reason I was thinking that's maiden but that no, it's pretty Yeah, that's pretty British Steel. Yeah, of course. Okay. Cool.
An album that came out before I was born.
What year was it? 1980 April 14 1980 Go.
For both of us being great. It's
a great album, I should have known that right off the top my head.
Um, so I think this is more possible because mainly because you can get thumb drives for like, really cheap, so they're not expensive, like drugs. And it's totally an easy way to infect computers. So, yeah, but the thing is, have you ever found a thumb drive just lying around outside?
I don't think I've ever found one. So it's not like people were actively trying to use this method to spread malicious software.
But I could totally see it being like wrapped up in like a candy wrapper, you know, where you have to like undo it and then there's like, USB like a USB tootsie roll inside
people eating these thumb drives you
know, I'm saying the rapper. Like actually, like do it up and like make it look really Ah, gotcha. Gotcha. Not just like randomly throw USB sticks and in some kids, but
Yeah, that like, I don't know, like, there was the whole like that person in the neighborhood who gave away apples and crap like they're just like really? Like, really? You're gonna impose your, your apple belief system upon my Halloween. It's I kind of feel like that's the digital version of that. Like, really? You're gonna put your USB stick in my bag. Come on in. All right out of the next one. Next one.
Yagi yo is buying Kemet.
Yay. Yay. I guess Yeah.
For one, this is the most interesting is $1.8 billion dollar ruse. So that's a lot of money.
You know, Parker and I were talking about this earlier. Is it Iago Jaeger? Do ya que yo, like Addy. I don't know how to pronounce it.
Maybe it's YuGiOh but Yagyu. Huge.
So I actually really like Yagyu. Because they have, we use their passives a lot at work. And I quote them all the time. And what's nice is like the entire Oh 603 line of resistors that we have of them. Like we probably have basically every II 96 value of Yagyu resistors. So when it comes to quoting, if a customer doesn't like if a customer is fine with substitutes, I'm like, Yes, this is awesome. Because it makes my my quoting go so much faster. Because I can just be like Yagyu everything. Here's a default price for all your resistors and I've you know, half of the work is done already. Yeah, half York's done. And I like if they bike him it awesome. do that same thing that capacitors please. No, and I'll buy every value I have.
So I'm thinking this is spurred by our podcast. Oh, yeah. You Kevin. Kevin heard our podcast was like, man, we gotta sell
we gotta get out of the business. No, no, this is it. Like that was the end like? Yeah, Kevin's whole business is dependent upon how well this podcast
Two episodes ago? Yeah. Ah, well, hopefully, the merger goes well, and, you know, we all get cheaper prices. And that always happens in mergers?
Well, not only I honestly, I don't care about cheaper prices I care about like, do they do what you did with your resistors Yagyu. Like make like a really nice line that's just really easy to use, and just like has the same part numbers for everything and be nice for me. Cool. So how could they had an article earlier this week about the USI mt 7697 H, which is a thrilling part number. But basically it's a development kit for the Alexa the Amazon Alexa stuff. So about a year ago, they announced that there would be some kind of actual hardware development kits available. And they kind of hinted at it and there wasn't anything to show. Well, now there is And if you will post a link on if you want to go check it out on our show notes, you can actually purchase the hardware now for developing your circuitry for for the Amazon Alexa. What's cool is it's Arduino zero compatible. So you can program Alexa stuff directly from the IDE from Arduino RT.
So onboard and as 192 megahertz cortex, M MCU, and Wi Fi Bluetooth module all in one. So you kind of get like, everything all together, and it works as a shield for the Arduino. The only downside to all of it is it's $196 or $197. So you have to be a little bit more serious about doing your hardware development. It's not just something that you just pick up to just try out, you know, unless you got 200 bucks to throw around.
My favorite thing is the customers who viewed this also viewed a Christmas tree and a coffee maker.
Hmm, what okay, what is Alexa, Christmas tree and coffee maker? Like how do those kids? Also how many? How many people have to view those items to be the recommended items
from now? No.
Okay, so if you weren't if you were to create something that was voice controlled with Alexa, that had to involve a Christmas tree and a coffee maker, what would it be?
All three at once.
Yeah, it has to it has to somehow be all three at once.
I would have got it. So you had the Christmas tree set up? Right? And then your kids always want to get you up early on Christmas, right? So you just have the you can have your smart coffeemaker right? Is in a box underneath the tree, right? Yeah. But you have it all smart controlled. So as you wake up, going down the stairs, you can have it the box is already like you have it all set up inside. So it's already brewing the coffee. And so when they unwrap it, you get a present of having already fresh brewed coffee already there.
Damn, that's smooth. That's really good. I like that every every gift your kid opens you get a coffee. Oh my god. That's great. You know? What comes to mind? Get this. Here's a good one. You modify a coffee pot where it holds cookie dough, but it holds like cookie dough. That's really no no, no, a park has given me a weird face and I'll get this. It has cookie dough. But it's like a really like watery cookie dough. Sounds like it's like a pancake. It's like pancakes. Exactly. And then what you can do is you say Alexa, make me a Christmas tree cookie and it would squirt it out onto the hot plate of the of the coffeemaker and automatically cook you Christmas tree cookies Welcome to the Mac FEHB engineering podcast.
I just view this as as Jeff Bezos getting one more data point about your life.
Yeah, I like that. Yeah. So yeah, if you want to if you want to develop hardware to sell people's data, like follow the link and buy the thing that the thing that's really cool about it though is is the fact that it has like a pretty beefy MCU on it with Wi Fi and Bluetooth. So you know, I suppose well and on top of that, it's an Arduino shield. And and you can program it with the Arduino IDE. So you know, if 200 bucks isn't a problem you might be able to actually use it for something else.
I also the pictures that shows because it has like the shield and then the next shows like the kit and stuff and then just shows an LED you can we include a T three LED
Yeah, for chip. Yeah, no lie. It's it's it's not even a picture of an LED with the thing. It's just a picture of an LED LED. Yeah, well, they're just proving to you that it's electronic in some way.
Yes. You can make that LED blink. I bet you that's the first project is to make that LED blink. Alexa turn on LED.
Yeah, but somebody buys this thing and expects the LED and the LEDs just sitting on their bench and they're like, Why doesn't it light up? I'm telling Alexa to make it light. You know, I do wonder like I'm looking at the board now. And they chose matte black for the solder mask on. I wonder why they did that. Like, what's the purpose of going matte black on something like that?
Does it look cool? Yeah,
I don't know. Like I think we've I really like green for development boards because there's so easy to see the traces and sometimes it's nice to actually like look at it and see where something goes. And matte black is like the worst for that.
Maybe on that blog,
yeah, they don't want you to reverse engineer. That's right. They don't want you to reverse engineer but they just want you to. They want your data. So they sell you data, but they sell you the hardware kit to get your date. Jeez, sorry, Jeff Bezos, if you're listening right now. Okay, what's the next RFO?
Okay, the next RFO is plea deal for man who sold fake chips to US military. And I think the most interesting thing about this is just like, the sentence that this guy is going to
have. Oh, yeah. Okay, well, okay. So before we get to the sentence, like, what is it like?
So this person had a company that he called prb logics, that He basically took ICS that we're all used or discarded, or whatever, and then basically counterfeited chips with them by scrubbing off the laser markings and stuff, and then putting their his own markings on them. Most of them were like higher end ICs, like FPGAs and stuff, which is kind of like, wouldn't that get caught on really quickly? This guy was doing it for like, 15 years, almost.
They call it sanitized versions of ICs.
Yeah, oh, no, no, that was the data sheets that he would get. He would get full data sheets. And then he would get hidden, he would make sanitized that sheets that he would give to his customers, which are basically all the bad data scrubbed out of him. But yeah, he was gonna sell them since July 29 2009. So actually 10 years, you think like, after like the first batch of parts you get from this dude, they're bad. And you would figure out, Hey, these are probably counterfeit, and we should go bust this guy. But now 10 years later, finally get around to it. 60 years in prison, that's me include what the monetary value he's gonna have to pay.
I mean, what monetary value? Like he's lost everything right? Like, yeah,
I mean, he was in prison. You pretty much lost everything. He
lost everything. Yeah.
And the best is when you go to P R. B logics.com. It's got a really great image from our amazing US government's.
Oh, yeah, you would you would think with how much we pay in taxes. They could make a better image than this. But apparently, it looks like they his website has been seized by Homeland Security Investigations. And they just posted like a really crappy image up there just but like this, and it's, that's it.
So there's like a TextBlock. That looks okay, whatever. But like, the images of like the emblems from whatever, you know, three letter agencies have seized this website. They're all squash in different ways.
It looks at No, it really looks like this was made in paint.
Yeah, it was probably
no, seriously, like, everything. Looks like a paint image. It's so great. So Well, yeah. What does it say down here? Let's see here, intentionally and knowingly, trafficking in counterfeit goods is a federal crime that carries penalties for first time offenders of up to 10 years in federal prison. Well, I guess he's not a first time offender. And a $2 million. Fine. Wow. Okay. So yeah, don't do that. But, but it does bring up you know, that is, so his chips must have worked somewhat, you know, you get away with it for 10 years. Well, yeah. It's not like you're gonna get it's not like they set them on the shelf for 10 years, and then decided to use them and be like, Hey, I think these are counterfeit.
I mean, we are talking about the US government.
Yeah, maybe you never know, right? They're just they're just planning for the future. Or maybe they do projects like you and I do so. Oh. To finish on, yeah. All right. Bit of everything
there. Yeah. So
don't sell fake chips to the government don't sell fake chips to anyone. But no, but if you sell them to the government, you might get 60 years and printers and a $2 million. Fine. Yeah. So that's, that's That's the moral of that story. Yes. So the last one is just a quick kind of update, because I think it's worth saying in general, but the Raspberry Pi four has had a bunch of its issues fixed, which, you know, like Barker mentioned, we're kind of late to the game on this. This happened to a good bit ago, July 17. But Hackaday had an article about this just a few days ago.
But the a lot of the issues that plagued the Raspberry Pi on its launch date, have now been fixed. And what's kind of cool is they're they We're fixed with just an update package, as opposed to a hardware spin, which I expect that there's probably will be like a raspberry four plus. And that fixes a lot of the hardware issues. But some of the things that were plaguing it were, like overheating, and some reset issues. But what's kind of cool is is in this update package, not only did they fix a lot of those issues, they actually added some new features that make it kind of nice. You can now actually overclock your Raspberry Pi four, which is strange. It's like, okay, wait, you were having troubles with it overheating before? Why are you adding overclocking now? Well, a lot of the heat issues that were coming through were actually due to USB power consumption, the heating issues were more the USB than the processor running itself. So they now have an option where you can go into a USB low power mode, which for for most users, that's probably actually what you would want to run in half the time. So that significantly reduced the overheating issues with the with the PI. And it actually runs so cool now that Overclocking is an option. So hey, that's cool. Give that to people. The other the other thing is they fixed a lot of the reset issues. So there's some third party hats that you can put on the Raspberry Pi that toggled the 3.3 volt line, which would just cause a reset when you plugged it in or when you powered the hat. And so it's a bit more immune to that now, so I don't know exactly how they fix that. But something in software made it such that they could ignore those things. And then the last thing that's kind of just disabled to brown out, reset, probably more or put some kind of a delay in it of some sort. The last thing that's kind of cool. And this is a bit more intriguing to me, booting over network is now a possibility. So you don't have to have an SD card, necessarily in the PI to actually boot from. So you could boot over a network or you could boot off a USB stick now. So like true Linux, you know, do the USB Boot thing. But the booting of our network is super cool. Because if you ever needed to make updates, then you can just push them locally on whatever server you have. And that's kind of cool. So for like, permanent installations, that becomes a lot more feasible and a lot cooler, because then you don't have to just rely on the SD card sitting around somewhere.
Yeah, so like, if you have like a smart fixture, like in a wall somewhere, as long as it has an Ethernet cable, or I guess maybe even Wi Fi if it worked over that. Yeah, boot over
Wi Fi, I would think that would take forever, but I don't know, maybe that would be kind of cool. Honestly, like, what what I think that that really opens up for is if you do Power over Ethernet, and you have the PI's connected to like a local hub, or something. Now you just need the PAI and an Ethernet cable effectively. That's kind of cool. If he asked me, like really opens up the capability for permanent installation stuff. And, and remote maintenance, which we've done a little bit of that actually back in the day at macro fab. And it was a pain in the butt. Yes, it kind of sucked. So, you know, this would make it a lot nicer.
Yeah. Yeah, power or Ethernet. Bam. Good. Go.
Yeah, that's basically all you need. So actually, if you wanted to make like, I don't know, even even something as simple as like a well, maybe it's not simple, but like a weather station or a sensor sensor gathering thing, a Power over Ethernet to apply to the sensor. What I mean, done effectively, right, that's cool. I like that.
Cool. Actually, that's brings up an interesting topic is I'm working on that I've worked on in the past couple weeks, but that compressor IoT project after that, I'm going to be building a weather station for down in Galveston mainly for like tracking environmental stuff so that can find when's the best to go fishing.
That's the go down there. Yeah. It'll send you push notifications. Go Fish now
go fish now. Yeah. Because that's, that's the thing is like, you know, my dad's been trying to figure out like, When are ideal conditions to go fishing and stuff. And he's never collected, like all the data at once to see if, oh, we caught fish this night or we didn't catch fish. I know in the end, it's like whether or not the fish are there or not is what really matters, right? So you're gonna have all the ideal settings and the thing says Go Fish and there's no fish. Right, right. But having a Raspberry Pi running the brain and then just having to run On a POA e over two, it would make installation a lot easier. Yeah, yeah. And the fact that you don't have to worry about one cable because you'd have to, you have to run conduit basically out there because it's going to be exposed to the elements and be able to run only like you only have to run like a you can run a half inch PVC for the conduit instead of having to run you know, a one inch tube right to get you know, power and a Ethernet or an Ethernet cable down it.
Right. And if you can boot over Ethernet, then you just you could do everything from your house in in Houston. Exactly. Do your development there. Yep, that's the way to do it. Pretty neat. Pretty neat.
So we're running a little long on time today. So I think we will end this episode.
I think this is a pretty good spot.
Yeah. Cool. Can't believe we're almost at 200 200 Oh, we should say. So episode 200. And then after that, we're gonna have our on I'm pulling up our schedule. Star Wars is coming up. And Star Wars is coming up. So we can talk about that real quick. What we're gonna do, because it's gonna be a little bit different this year. Yeah, we're throwing a little bit of a monkey Star Wars is going to be episode 204. Okay. Because that's after episode
nine. The episode nine the Star Wars Episode Nine. Yeah.
Star Wars after Star Wars Episode Nine, the movie comes out. Yeah, we'll have Star Wars Episode, which will be episode two, a four for the map. Because we want to talk about that. That movie, mainly because you only want to talk about the tacking out that kind of stuff. But I think we're going to open up to other sci fi tropes of technology as well, just to kind of expand what we can talk about. And I think we're going to have raus on Yep. And we're going to have Hi, Ron have an exon. Yeah.
And you're to, or does, like the rise of Josh Walker. Right? Anyone?
It's gonna be a lot of fun. And then Episode 206, actually 205. So episode 205 is recorded on the 31st. So we should do that one on new like at midnight. So should we start it? No, we should start it at. We should do an extra long episode for that. So it's like at the beginning. It's New Year's for me. And then an hour later, it's New Year's for you.
Well, how does it work?
Yeah. How's work? So we can straddle two time zones with episode 205.
All right. That's our new year. That's not time zones, but that's cool. Yeah, we can.
Yeah. We'll start it right when I have new year's and then and then we end it when you have New Year's
the 1920 podcast.
Yeah. Wait 1920
You're in you're in 2020 and I'll be in 2019
That's not how that works.
Alright, let's finish this thing.
That's Mitch said. i That was the Mac fab engineering podcast.
We're your host Parker Dolman and Steven Craig. Later everyone take it easy.
Thank you. Yes, you our listener for downloading our show. If you have a cool idea, project or topic, let Steven know. Tweet us at Mac Feb or at Longhorn engineer or at analog EMG or email us at podcast at macro live.com. Also check out our Slack channel. If you don't know what slack is. It's a chat program. You get the invite by going to Mack fat.com/slack Or just go to macro.com. And then there's links all over the website about Slack. Click one of those you'll get invite. Come join our amazing community. We have over 400 people in there now that are engineers just like you. If you're not subscribed to this podcast yet, click that subscribe button. That way you get the latest episode right when it releases and please review us on iTunes as it helps the show stay visible and helps new listeners find us
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