Parker talks with Brandon Satrom of Particle about the future of IoT and then design and prototype an IoT device.
Agustin Pelaez and Cameron Klotz of Ubidots talk about what is IoT and how to start an IoT Project.
John Adams joins Parker and Stephen to discuss IoT Security, Crappy IoT Devices, and WS2812B LEDs.
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. I'm your guest, Trey German.
And we are your hosts, Parker, Dolman and Steven Craig.
Good job, Trey. Thanks, guys. I've done a few things on camera before. So this isn't my first rodeo.
Yeah. So this is Trey German, who's an engineer here in Houston like us. And he is working on a new IoT widget thingie that we actually manufactured for Matt macro fab. Yeah,
actually, I've, I've got two revisions of it now that I've manufactured at macro fab. So I guess to tell you a little bit about it. It's a little Bluetooth motion tracker. That's about the size of a quarter. So I have a Bluetooth Low Energy MCU on there, along with a basically a 10 axis Sensor Solution for you know, my muse and things like that. So, so far, everything seems to work. And I say it's got blinking LEDs, it, you know, everything you make. It's kind of like a marketing requirement these days. I mean, you know, if you're at a trade show or anywhere like that, I mean, the more LEDs you have, the more people are gonna come to your booth.
Yeah. And I saw on your Twitter that you had some really cool enclosures made?
I did. So you know, my degrees in computer engineering, right. So traditionally, you know, my skill set has kind of revolved around, you know, firmware, and, you know, designing circuit boards and things like that. But I've, I've kind of recently been branching out a little bit more into the mechanical side of things, trying to learn kind of some of the 3d cad tools and stuff like that. So yeah, I actually designed a little case for it with free CAD, which is an open source, CAD package, and then got them printed out at Shapeways. And so the first one that I did actually worked, there were actually multiple pieces that had to snap together. And, you know, all the dimensions had to be exactly perfect. And sure enough, somehow, it worked in the board fit in there. So yeah, it's, it's been a fun project so far. Cool. Cool.
So I guess what, what's the application for this? Gizmo?
Well, that's, I'm glad you asked that question. You know, when I started making this, I really tried to kind of look across the industry, and kind of see what was going on out there. You know, if you look at a trade show, like ces or something like that, right? There's just so many devices out there. And you know, a lot of them are kind of, of questionable usefulness, right? You see a lot of these me to products or products that, you know, just don't make a lot of sense, like a tweeting toilet or something like that refrigerator with a TV. And yeah, I mean, you don't really need these things. So So I saw that. I also saw that a lot of the hardware that's out there today, if you look at, you know, the actual electronics inside of a product or in a genre of products, all the underlying electronics are really the same. Really, it's only maybe the enclosure, the packaging, and the software that you're running with it, running on it, that really differentiates it and gives it a different function. And so that's kind of what I set out to do was to build some hardware that didn't have a fixed function. So if you think about, you know, all these different motion tracking apps, like your Fitbit, or like a smart golf club, or something like that, it's, you know, probably Bluetooth, the microcontroller and some accelerometers. And so I want to build a product, potentially, that basically can do whatever you tell it to. Right. So yeah, so I want people to you know, develop apps for this that they can then put it on their golf club and turn it into a Smart golf club or use it as a Fitbit. Or, you know, for me, I actually I fly these things called powered paragliders. And so I want to put these on my equipment, like the wing. So I can see like the pressure on the wing as I'm flying and measure my control inputs, and basically get some data on when I'm doing all these crazy acrobatic maneuvers. So I can, you know, tell how many G's I'm pulling, you know, how upside down did I get stuff like that? So it's been a fun project so far. And, you know, everything seems to be going smoothly. I think there's, there's still some work that needs to be done on the software side, as well as documentation. Right? We all know that's important if we want other people
to execute. It's open source. Yeah, right.
I do want to open source it, you know, If, you know, we look out there, you know, designs get copied, whether it's open source or not. And if it's open source, someone else can build off of it. And really, you know, it could help them potentially. And I've seen that with a lot of the work that I did with Texas Instruments with the TI Launchpad boards, right.
I think one of the cool things I saw on your, on your assembly at least, I think it's got side mounted LEDs, right?
It does actually RGB it is uh, I found this really cool package. Yeah, I, you know, I love digging around in Digi key.
What does that led confuse the bejesus out of our sample? I'm sure did everything that thing?
Yeah. You know, when I looked at the data sheet, yeah, the the pads on the back of it are really unique. Yeah, yeah. Because it can be mounted, both just like a normal face up LED, or on its side. And so the idea was that if if someone was wearing this little thing on their wrist or something, that side mounted LED would be a lot easier to see than like a top mount, you know, if their arm is down by their side, but I also have a top mount, RGB LED. So, you know, it puts out some lights. It's got the blinking LED set the required Blinky? Absolutely, absolutely, yes.
Well, so. So effectively, it's a board with a brain. And you just tell it, you give it inputs and run from there.
they can go, I guess the example you use on paragliding. And then they take it off that and then, you know, glue it to their golf club. Yeah, exactly one day, and they just push the new firmware over to it, and use the different app on their phone.
Mm hmm. That that's exactly the idea. Yeah. And so it's not really a new concept in and of itself. It's kind of a combination of a lot of other ideas, right? To kind of make something new.
Yeah. So um, I actually have one of these devices in my hand right now. And when you said, it's, it's the size of a quarter, it's pretty much exactly a quarter in a way,
it's literally the size of a quarter. Yeah.
I'm curious, what made you choose a circular board.
Um, you know, it, I guess I wanted or initially thought of this kind of as like a, a watch form factor. And so I made it round. And then also it uses coin cell batteries. So the coin cells kind of also kind of made me go with a round shape, because that was, that was kind of the the minimum size I could make. It was the size of the coin cell holder. And so I tried to kind of squeeze it in and make it as small as possible.
Yeah. Cool. So you, you mentioned you were working at TI but you're not anymore, right? No, actually. Yeah. So what'd you do over at TI?
Well, last Friday was my last day at TI and my title, there was Launchpad Applications Manager. So I worked with all of the different Launchpad boards that Texas Instruments produces. And I worked with people that were developing collateral for that ecosystem. So people that were actually developing the boards within TI, you know, external third parties and hobbyists that were, you know, using the boards. I also did a lot of like trainings and workshops at universities. That that's probably going to be the biggest thing that I'll miss is you know, getting to go out there and teach people how to use electronics when you always
do the do Do a class over at TX RX.
I could go over there, I'm actually a member over there. So I think that some point I probably will, I'm actually developing some training material right now for how to build an app using the hardware that I've built here with, with macro fab. And I'm going to do my first workshop on that at Texas a&m in a week or two. So it'll be good to kind of get some feedback from from some students on the work that I'm doing and kind of see what people think.
Awesome. Yeah. Um, so you mentioned you paraglide, right? I do. So I was looking on your Twitter. And this is kind of not electrical engineering or anything like that. But, uh, it looked like you had a motor failure.
I did fine. Yeah, was that it was a little exciting. So
just a little, I mean, just didn't work. I'm just
like, hanging out, you know, a couple 100 feet in the air. And then all of a sudden, I hear what sounds like a barf bag of marbles sloshing around behind me. And then it goes silent. And, you know, I'm like, crap, you know, my motor just cut out, I better land this thing. Well, thankfully, I'm on the beach. And I was in a spot where it wasn't a big deal for me to just come down and land. So I just kind of coasted down. And if you watch the video, if you don't have the sound turned up or turned on, it actually looks like it's completely purposeful. But it wasn't very much an emergency landing. So I landed, you know, got everything home and started taking the motor apart. Turns out what had happened is part of the piston had actually broken off and got ground up inside of the motor itself. So I'm actually rebuilding the motor. I just actually got the parts yesterday morning. And so I hope to be back in the air soon. Cool. Mm hmm.
That's probably a sinking feeling in your gut when, when something like that happens
a little bit. You know, it's more the the downtime. That's, that's tough. You're more worried about not being back up? Yeah, yeah. It's the same for all my buddies that I fly with, you know, we've had a number of motor issues over the past, you know, several months and not sure what's causing it. Maybe it's, you know, the ethanol and the gas, I think these these motors are, you know, the real high compression, high power output motors for their size. I think they really need good normal gas without the ethanol. So maybe that, you know, cause it to heat up a little more something I it's really hard to say, but
nexam look like there's a lot of buildup on the cylinder head.
Yeah, there was there was definitely some gunk in there. But we'll I'll get the car all tuned up. And, you know, we'll be back at it to cycle. Yeah, it's a two stroke. Yeah.
So do you have any questions for us, then? We've been asking all the questions.
Oh, not really. I mean, you know, I've known Parker for quite a while now. And, you know, I think we met at Maker Faire. Yeah. The Bay Area maker fairs. Yeah. But no, I love the work you guys do. And, you know, it's always good. You know, working local here, you know, I like being able to go over and, you know, see my boards being built and, you know, talk to the people in person that are doing it. And I think it's it's important to have that relationship with your, your suppliers, especially when you're doing something as complex as electronics manufacturing mean,
actually even as complex as your borders. Yeah, it is two sides assembly, and there is no room to even grab the board when you're assembling these things.
Yeah, it's, it's real tight. I tried to like I said, keep it as small as possible. That was
it was you achieve that? For two,
right? Yeah. Oh, 402 and 1021.
I've heard I actually had originally designed the first version with a few Oh, two ones, but I wasn't sure if you had upgraded your capabilities to that yet. So I went and redesigned it with Oh, four Oh, twos. And somehow I was able to get it all fit. So I decided to stick with that since it's a little bit cheaper to manufacture than
Oh, four twos. resistors are about half the prices. Oh, two a ones. Wow. Yeah.
You would think smaller is cheaper, but not at that scale? Yeah, not scale.
Actually is interesting is oh, 603 is actually the cheapest size really? Oh, 805 is more expensive. That's what I think. Oh, 603 is like the break point. We're getting smaller is harder to nearly a
factor of manufacture. That makes sense. You would expect some type of inflection point there.
Yeah. So Steven, you've been working more on the super simple power supply. Yeah, yeah. Have we talking about a kind of kind of off Off mic to, you know, prepping to hear about this project we've been working on? So
we've heard a little bit about it just a little bit. op amps and giant capacitor banks and water cooling. And
yeah, water cooled power supply all this ridiculousness for just a power supply.
That's what makes it awesome. You're gonna go big. Absolutely.
So Steven has been working on the, basically the analog power bank. So when you tell us a little about what we've been working on this week, then
yeah, and in the last podcast, we were talking about laying down traces. And we did lay down traces, but not on a PC board, we actually laid down big giant bus bars for all of our Yeah, so I found I found actually some, some copper bus bars that are 5/16 of an inch by 5/16 of an inch. So just a massive copper rectangle. And actually, the capacitors we have are all screw in type. So we're gonna, we're gonna hook these these giant busbars to all of our capacitor banks. And Parker had actually finished up the, the drawing for the case, and basically aligning and aligning in general, where we want all of our parts to go. And for the main power section, where we have all of our control electronics, and the op amps and the caps and things, we actually dubbed the name, the energy on, energy on keep the energy on cue. So we tried to shove everything into basically one brick volume, that's about six and a half inches by six and a half inches by about six inches tall. Yep. And we were able to put in, Gosh, 80,000 microfarads of capacitance, and 700 Watts worth of power handling all into this one small brick, wow. Because we chose to build everything vertically. And it actually works out really nicely. Where we have, we have the capacitors, they all have their bus bars. Above that we have our our actual PC board that has all the analog and the output op amps. And then above that, we have the water cooling. So it's just this nice block that includes everything,
you build everything when you when you put this thing together, everything stacks vertically, so you don't The idea is so you don't have to put a screwdriver in sideways and then have to remove something to get through something else. That's the idea. Hmm. So it will probably only build one of these would be very easy to actually make this thing. Well,
I think I have an idea. Did you guys see the hydraulic press ception video today? Yeah, I actually saw that video. So what you should do, you should build two of these cat banks. Use one for the actual power supply. And then since these are Electrolux, they blow up pretty fun to use the power supply to blow up like a passerby
just put them in backwards just for fun. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Next week. We can dump 20 amps into it with this power.
Yeah, that'll probably do it. Yeah. Actually, these capacitors we bought, we bought the ones that have a stud mount on the bottom. So they actually bolt into the chest. Oh, wow. And they have a rubber pressure relief. On top. So I don't know if they would explode. They just volcano out. Probably a huge mist of whatever the crap that put inside.
Yeah, well, you got to find the right caps. That's that's the key part. So maybe these aren't the right ones to blow up. I know, in college, I worked in the stockroom, the W stock crew. And I had access to this giant power supply. And so I would go in there and I would actually test which caps blew up the best. I found these ones that were just like firecrackers when you reverse bias them. And so in lab, you know, I would actually blow these up in the middle of lab and like freak people out. It was really fun.
So yeah, we'll be posting some, some images of our energy on cube on the neck fab blog, so you can take a look at it.
I look forward to seeing it. Yeah, it should be
a I think we will actually be laying physical traces on PCB boards tomorrow. Tomorrow. Yeah. on that board.
Now now that we have we know where all of our mounting studs are. We know where our power is getting in. It's pretty much going to be a breeze from here on out laying down actual trays. Yeah,
because the big thing was making sure where where does power come on and off the board. And where does the op amps have to go in relationship to the waterblock
Yeah, and when you're dealing with 700 Watts worth of capability on a on a single board, you gotta have to, you have to have all your ducks in a row. You know, you
want to be a little bit careful, a little bit careful.
And we calculated out it's almost four watts per cubic inch.
It's not bad. It's not bad. That's just
like, yeah. So when you expand it to the entire Chassis Enclosure,
it's probably a 10th of a watt.
Really low. Okay, I guess we'll, we'll move on to the RFO section, the rapid fire opinion.
Now with more opinions, yeah. Now,
more opinions. This is really cool video online. Well, I'll link it into the blog. And actually, Trey has not seen this, I don't think. But it's assembly transistor radios. And it's a video from 1955. And basically, it's about the first transistor radio that was ever commercially made. And it was actually designed by Ti in 54. On the TR one by Regency, very cool. And it was built in Indiana. And the crazy thing about it is the video goes through basically the entire manufacturing process of this thing. And they go over like it's American made like because this is your back and cold started. Yeah.
Yeah, they say that in pretty much every scene. Yeah.
Whereas every single part including PCB board, the components, the enclosure, everything was made in some factory in the United States and in communist the all manufacturing everything every industry went into building this.
It took all of America to make a transistor radio. Yes. In 1955.
It was cutting edge technology. It really was. Yeah, yeah.
But um, it's not really I don't really want to talk too much about the radio, though. But the thing about it is the video is they show all the manufacturing they do. And so they have a quote wave solder machine, which is actually just a vat of lead solder that sounds safe on and so they put the boards in this little holder, and it goes on a Ferris wheel that that dips it in in rosin flux, and then it moves it and drags it into the vat of leaded solder. And then someone just plucks it off. And dumps it into probably what's paint thinner. Brush was it. No protection equipment at all persons not wearing gloves. apron, just wearing standard street clothes. No safety glasses. No nothing.
Yeah, there is there is a vast liquid metal on the table right next to this woman. And this board goes in there and explodes with all the smoke. And she just reaches her hand into there and pulls it out.
Oh, it's hilarious. Yeah. And then another scene. There's a person soldering the the speaker. And the iron is like, an inch in diameter is what the tip looks like.
Well, they're soldering right to the basket of the Yeah, of the actual speaker. So I it's gonna be a couple of 100 Yeah, it's a monster. I
smaller like a 300 400 watt iron. Oh, yeah. Just got cuz it's just like dunk. And that's it. Yeah. Wow. She
doesn't put take any time on that. No, huh. And all the boards hand stuffed. They show them? Yeah.
And the boards are at that point, that would just be their single layer boards. And so they don't have silkscreen. So they had to memorize everything where all those parts go. And they're they're actually very populated and compact. This board is not that a sparsely populated. Mm hmm.
It's a really cool video, especially if you have any experience in manufacturing to see what we still do the same. And what is like, oh my gosh, what are you doing?
Still? Yeah, exactly.
Yeah. And actually, at the very end of the video, they showed someone actually using it. And it's got the it's a lady at getting their hair done with those giant things that come over their hair dryer. Yeah, that's one of those. So I'm really dates the video.
That was the 50s Right. Yeah.
That's pretty cool. So yeah, the video shows lots of unsafe manufacturing processes.
It's it's a fun one to watch. Was OSHA
round back then? No, no. Yeah. So there you go.
They were probably created because of
Yeah. I don't really think that ferris wheel idea would work with leaded solder either. We should make a replica of it replica.
Yeah, make it work with Ledin make it work with with Nonlin
Oh, yeah. Do it non leaded. Yeah, I guess we can make it work,
though. No, you've already got your selective solder thing, which is pretty cool.
Yeah. Well, actually, it's one things I want to build as a vapor vapor reflow oven. Oh, yeah.
In a cardboard box, right?
No. Basically yes like sui V for for PCB boards. Okay.
I've done the the classic toaster oven reflow. But that's as far as I've gone at home. Yeah.
So we have a regular convection oven at macro fab. But I always want to try basically vapor phase. So your liquid basically boils at the melting temperature of your solder. And you just do that for six minutes. Hmm, yeah, the really good thing about it is nothing on your PCB or board gets above
that they bad furniture. Yeah.
Yeah. Cuz with with a conventional convection style of in, you know, it all depends on how fast your your line goes. It depends on how many zones the ramp up. It's, it's a lot harder to control. thermal mass. Yeah.
But this doesn't care about thermal mass. No. Put the board in there. So six minutes, Dean done? Yeah,
it's a it's a blanket of hot vapor. Basically, what
do you use is the vapor?
It's some kind of it's some kind of fluid. I don't know the the technical aspects of what kind of chemical it is. But basically, it's like a 235 Celsius. it vaporizes. Hmm. And then in the entire chamber is supposed to be sealed. So when you call it back down, it condenses back to your liquid, and then you recover all your liquid.
Gotcha, gotcha. That's interesting. Yeah, I've never heard of that. Actually.
The only downsides to that fluid is if you heat it too hot. It actually breaks down to hydrochloric acid, which can eat what VAT it's in. Yeah. Eat the stainless problem.
There's always gonna be a downside like that.
But you have to get it pretty hot. Like, I think it needs to get like 280 Celsius. Before that happens. And at that point, your board is, you know, toast toast.
Yeah, and you've got some type of PID on there to, you know, keep it in check. So, oh, I'm
sure it has plenty of shutdown. Oh, yeah. Then
prevent that from happening. And then I guess we'll go talk about connectors. And this is actually gonna be interesting topic, because I have never talked to Trey here about connectors. What kind of connectors Do you like? What do you don't like? What's your go to style connector? That kind of stuff? Will
you know, I'm probably going to be kind of boring here. I think you know, a lot of the time, my go to is going to be your standard point one inch, you know, 100 mil pitch male header pins, you know, the class headers? Yeah. They're just so easy to work with. And, you know, you buy a strip of it, and you cut them to size and can stack them up and whatever kind of array you need. Anywhere. Yeah, yeah, they're pretty ubiquitous, they're easy to hook scopes on to or, or other equipment. And, you know, the crimps are not too expensive, or the crimping tools for the the female side of things as well. And then also, you've got this, this whole ecosystem of, you know, jumper wires. And if we look across the kind of DEV board industry, you know, if there's one connector for DIY hobbyists kind of stuff. That's it. Yeah. But that said, you can mess those up. You can do that wrong. Arduino did that wrong? Exactly. Yeah, you know, if you've got one of these connectors, with 100 mil spacing, why the hell do you you know, space that extra, you know, 50 mils, or whatever it is on the, the Arduino you know,
doesn't tell you more proto boards.
I guess that's it. You've got to buy you know, one of their things to do it. It's hard to Cluj something together with header space like that.
There's a reason it's point one spacing stick to it.
Yeah. And, you know, and then when you're designing a board, you know, with those things,
right, this goes back to the Arduino thing, right? Even if you've got stuff spaced all over the board, and these connectors are not meant to, you know, you've got two sets of connectors that aren't meant to kind of interface with each other. You should still keep everything on 100 mil grid, there's no reason to, you know, shift anything. Because then it's easier to plug, you know, proto board into our breadboard or, or bill or whatever. Yeah, any anything, right? There's no reason to do anything but but space those 100 mil. Yep.
So Stephen, what do you like?
If I have the capability at my hands, I love molex connectors. You can't go wrong with a goto Molex. But I've been in the past I've had the ability to have an automatic crimper so making molex connectors was really easy. If you don't have that crimper i It's a little more involved. It's a lot more involved. So I'd have to go with Molex. You really can't go wrong with them and They're cheap and readily available. And you can get them in all different shapes and sizes and colors. And I, I go with them.
Because I'd go with the anti connector. The tech connects the pogo pin header things. Basically, whenever a customer goes, Oh, yeah, I need to put a program we had it. I'm like, do this, it will work.
And it's cheap. And it's cheap. It's in production. Yeah. I actually will probably use a programming solution like that for the final version of these boards that I'm working on. I think I could probably pretty easily build a jig and pull right now I've got like a little 50 mil. Spaced male header.
Like Jason Yeah. J tag.
Yeah. And a two by five. Yeah,
it's a two by five. But I feel like I could pull this off and use just normal pogo pins to touch down on those pads. And with a jig, it'll position it correctly. And
yeah, I've actually got a port number for pogo pins that will work with a two by 550 mil Gtech header. Oh,
it took a while. But I've done this before. Yeah, actually have
finished it on Tuesday. For for customer that's made a little 3d printed bracket that goes on top of the PCB board and the pogo pins poke through it. Oops, go quick. And then you hit Program.
Yeah, that's basically exactly what I'm going to going to try to do for production programming solution.
Yeah, I'll send you the part numbers. Right. I guess I'll put the part numbers in the blog post to
good deal. Thanks, man. Yeah.
So you say what connectors you like, what connectors? Do y'all load? Hmm,
I got one for you real quick. The J tag connectors?
On the manufacturing side, I guess I will know
the thing is, it doesn't seem like they there's a lot of options around them. And you get that too for them for the the What is it 50,000 spacing, there's not a lot out there for it. And so finding things like those pogo pins that Parker was talking about, it took a long time to find something that would work on that beat just because of your clearance between each pin is so small, you have to use something tiny for it. And so those data connectors are just a pain if you're trying to work with them on the manufacturer. And
so I'm just finding that poker pin that fits in the pitch with it's finding the pogo pin that also has a big enough head on the top to not go through your through hole. Connector.
Yeah, that's right.
Well, you said that these are small, but it's just funny, you mentioned that I'll bring up a TI thing, right. So when they actually manufacture these chips, that when, you know, they do test and things like that, they actually come down on like a wafer with these needles, and they will actually touch down on the little bond pads of the chip to do the test. And so that was always fascinating to me, you know, the precision required to manufacture something like that, that, you know, can keep the tolerances of, you know, a few, you know, I don't even know the scale mill. Yeah, exactly. Another couple micron, yeah, a couple of micron. You know, and then to be able to do that repeatedly, over the lifespan of this, you know, test thing that kind of touches down. It's It's amazing.
Those jigs are incredibly expensive. They are very
cheap. Yeah. Yeah. But that's what you need, right to test a chip when you're manufacturing, you know, actual silicon devices. Yeah. Yep. So not really a connector but certainly a way of connecting to something. So maybe it is a connector.
Yeah, and I hate the kind of it actually molex connectors. They are the kind that you you press the wire, and it slices the wire and connects to the core. Oh, yeah. I can't I think it's called IPC.
Or something like that. Something like that. Yeah, they're really JVC
I think sexually
Yeah. Anyway, they people use those in ribbon style a lot for board to board connection. Yeah,
ribbon style a lot. Um, automotive uses it a lot. Yeah. All machines use it a lot. Yes.
audio amplifiers. Use them a lot. Basically,
telecom guys, like the linemen out there. Right. And they're dealing with the twisted pairs. They'll use those. Yeah.
Yeah, I do not like those connectors at all.
They're really fast and really easy.
That's the only thing. Right, the integration. They're done.
Different connectors for different apps, right? Yep.
And so this kind of goes into kind of what you're sorting to do IoT stuff. There's a company or used to be a company called revolve, who got bought up on nest and they got bought by Google, but they did home automation. and they are turning off the IoT servers and will basically make people's houses stop working.
Well, I'm not sure their house will actually stop working. But
yeah, it will turn off and just rain comes in
your house just collapses when your IoT device goes off.
Yeah, I, I saw this story, I thought it was really interesting. You know, I think that this is one of the the kind of new issues that we're going to start to see more of As the world continues to change. And this IoT, you know, continues to grow. You know, a lot of these devices are dependent on some type of wait for it, here's another buzzword cloud service. That's what we do. Am I doing all right? No, they're dependent on some type of cloud service. And that's all well and good, right? We need some type of, you know, server that that our devices can connect to, but when these devices are, you know, closed, and, you know, you can only get support through, you know, the company that manufactured it, you're out of luck, if, you know, they do something like this. And, you know, I'm sure there were valid business reasons behind doing this. But, you know, to the consumer, they don't really realize that they just see that the $300 device that they've paid for that, you know, should give them whatever functionality, it doesn't work anymore. And that's, that's really frustrating to a consumer. So, you know, how do we fix that?
I guess the only thing is either use have open source. But the thing about open source, though, it doesn't really solve completely that problem to the end consumer. Because most end consumers are going to care that it's open source. Because what are they going to do with the all the source stuff? They can't even compile it right? Or even know how to make the server run? Right. 99%
of users wouldn't even know what that is. Yeah.
So I guess the most important thing is set it up to be either your it's your your servers are more fractured, I guess. And so anyone can spin up a like an AWS server? Yeah, that kind of stuff.
Yeah, I certainly think that's, that's one way to approach it. But I think there's others, I think the open source is an important part of it. I think that's something that, like you said, consumers don't really care about. But I think that, you know, potentially, you could, you know, market this in a way to consumers to actually make them care about it, you probably don't want to call it open source. But, you know, if you were to have some fancy buzzword, you could throw at this to label community supported. Yeah, you know, something like that. And we've seen, you know, time and time again, you know, the web and just, you know, all the people that are out there, they can do some amazing things, if they're motivated. And so, I think a company's, you know, kind of put this stuff out there. And, you know, open source parts, maybe not all of it, but, you know, some of the key things that people would need to make these devices useful again, after a company is gone. I think that, you know, it'd be it'd be interesting to see see a company that does that.
Yeah. Because you, you'd have to imagine that at least one user that has one of these evolved products could actually get a server running. And then he could, you know, say, hey, you know, pay me $10 a month, and I can make this work still. Yeah,
exactly. I mean, there's, there's potential business there for that person. Right? Well, okay.
So as the customer, is it reasonable for me to assume that if I purchase one of these things, I will have access for the next? I don't know, foreseeable? 30 years? I don't I don't know if I, if that's reasonable to assume that.
Sure. But that brings up a good point is, do you if you're dependent on the parent company of basically staying alive and keeping the servers running? Do you still own that device? Or are you just renting it? Yeah. Since you are dependent on the that service, staying alive, it's kind of like Google, when Google Reader went away, or their RSS feed thing. There was actually a lot of a lot of people that were using that up that, uh, their API for it. Yep. And that went down and like, half the readers stopped working.
Yeah, I remember there being a little bit of outrage at that. But, you know, it's, it's the same thing and so until I think that we see more openness in the consumer electronics market. We're gonna have more stories like this. So, you know, I it'll be Interesting to see what happens and see how companies approached this in the future because it's certainly going to be an ongoing problem. Now, it's
a little surprising that Google would make this decision
of of all the companies. Yeah, I wouldn't expect it coming from from although
I'm sure they analyzed it. And the number of people who do this versus whatever value that is they made an educated decision. It's probably not one guy just like, turn it off. No, absolutely. I
betcha. Most of those people that have this product are iPhone users. So don't don't care too much about it.
Maybe that's it, you may be onto something there Parker
Well, I think that's gonna do it for our podcast this week. So we were host Parker, Dolman. And Steven
Craig, and I'm your guest trade German.
Catch on next time. Take it easy. Thanks, guys.
Parker talks with Brandon Satrom of Particle about the future of IoT and then design and prototype an IoT device.
Agustin Pelaez and Cameron Klotz of Ubidots talk about what is IoT and how to start an IoT Project.
John Adams joins Parker and Stephen to discuss IoT Security, Crappy IoT Devices, and WS2812B LEDs.