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Science & Medicine
Technology
Natural Sciences
Software How-To

The Amp Hour Electronics Podcast

Updated 8 days ago

Science & Medicine
Technology
Natural Sciences
Software How-To
Read more

A weekly podcast about the electronics industry. Occasional guests. Lots of laughs.

Read more

A weekly podcast about the electronics industry. Occasional guests. Lots of laughs.

iTunes Ratings

144 Ratings
Average Ratings
139
3
1
0
1

Pretty good. Dave is not too annoying.

By gs550 - Dec 04 2017
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Chris makes up for Dave’s aggressive interruptions.

Love it Aztlan

By Aztlanpz - Aug 24 2015
Read more
Great pod cast love it Aztlan

iTunes Ratings

144 Ratings
Average Ratings
139
3
1
0
1

Pretty good. Dave is not too annoying.

By gs550 - Dec 04 2017
Read more
Chris makes up for Dave’s aggressive interruptions.

Love it Aztlan

By Aztlanpz - Aug 24 2015
Read more
Great pod cast love it Aztlan
Cover image of The Amp Hour Electronics Podcast

The Amp Hour Electronics Podcast

Updated 8 days ago

Read more

A weekly podcast about the electronics industry. Occasional guests. Lots of laughs.

Rank #1: #453 – Vertically Integrated Design Engineering

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Thanks to Suzanne Nilsson for the image of the ladder

Aug 05 2019
1 hour 11 mins
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Rank #2: #454 – An Interview with MG (Mike Grover)

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Aug 12 2019
52 mins
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Rank #3: #408 – Tronnort Software Rises Again!

Sep 24 2018
1 hour 20 mins
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Rank #4: #452 – An Interview with Kieran O’Leary

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Welcome Kieran O’Leary, principal of Mixed Signal Systems!

  • Chris knows Kieran via the consulting forum. You can apply to join here.
  • Went to school in Cork, Ireland
  • Hard IP inside of FPGAs started on the Virtex2 pro
  • Now they’re doing FPGA next to RF sections (which from a noise perspective is crazy)
  • FAEs vs AEs
  • “Applications engineers are responsible for shepherding the design from development into the customers hands”
  • AEs understand the need for trust with a customer
  • Kieran has worked at Xilinx, ADI and Wolfson
  • “If your client is pushing through a million units a week, it’s a statistical certainty that any problem in the silicon is going to surface”
  • Sometimes you don’t want the cutting edge silicon
  • “You want to be on the leading edge but not on the bleeding edge”
  • Making eval and dev kits at chip companies
  • Was it more about making a breakout board? Or something interesting?
  • Walking through silicon coming from the fab
  • Hand carrying the silicon back from the packaging facility
  • Pinouts move sometimes!
  • Custom sockets are expensive to make.
  • THD measurements might look poor if the connection between the socket and the device look bad
  • Boards for the general public need better supporting collateral
  • In 2012, Kieran decided to move into consulting
  • He often helps clean up technical debt on the hardware side of things
  • Things to watch out for in Signal Integrity
  • “Current flows in loops, either you or Maxwell will determine the return path”
  • Dr Howard Johnson on The Amp Hour
  • Split ground planes
  • “There’s nothing foolproof to a sufficiently proficient fool”
  • Troubleshooting EMC problems
    1. Check the values on the schematic
    2. Take a nearfield probe and see what you see
    3. Look for common culprits
      1. See where signals are jumping over a split plane
      2. Termination resistors in the wrong place
  •  Helps to add placeholders for future filters and termination
  • Maxwell was Scotish, so there is a statue commemorating him. There is a Maxwell museum, as well!
  • Follow Kieran on Twitter!
  • His company Mixed Signal Systems is also on there.
  • Kieran helped run the EMC Compo 2015 – The 10th International Workshop on the EMC of Integrated Circuits
  • 12th int’l is coming up in China
Jul 29 2019
1 hour 27 mins
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Rank #6: #421 – The Legend of Kezyermas

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Welcome back, Jeff Keyzer AKA Mightyohm!

Thanks to Mrs Mightyohm for the picture of Jeff and my sister’s instagram account for the picture of the elf on the shelf

Dec 23 2018
1 hour 32 mins
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Rank #7: #430 – Shahriar Discusses 5G

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Welcome back, Shahriar Shahramian from The Signal Path!

  • Shahriar has been a guest on the show twice before
  • Bell Labs bought by Nokia
  • Shahriar works at the Murray Hill campus
  • He is the head of the mmwave ASIC research group
  • Research group only has 8 people
  • Have multiple designs happening at once
  • Task switching between optical and RF chips
  • Software stuff at Bell Labs research is wide ranging
  • Moore’s law for RF
  • Going beyond the Marconi era: Doing phased array transmissions
  • Cramming more bits per hertz
  • Going from 4G to 5G requires going to higher frequencies
  • Transmitting GHz frequencies in all directions would blow the link budget
  • Would require Phased Arrays in order to transmit only power to reach individual devices
  • 256 transmitter and 128 receiver antennas in order to beamform
  • Beamforming in 5G will require line of sight
  • At 90 GHz (5G frequencies), the signal would not be able to pass through modern windows (because of the coating on the glass)
  • 5G will solve the latency issues that plagues 4G LTE
  • Link margin is how much above the absolute noise of the system are you
  • Types of modulation
  • Encoding based on the momentum of the polarization of the signal
  • Common mode modulation creating phantom channels
  • “The Fact That It Works Is Absolute Magic”
  • Bose Einstein Condensate Experiment
  • The dynamic range of peoples’ perspectives
  • “If you don’t teach people how to sort through information during the information age, then you have no idea how the world is going to turn out”
  • How to initiate a phased array connection
  • Why do you need so many antenna elements in receive mode?
  • Active denial system tested by the military
  • Shahriar bought a SiBEAM (now “Silicon Image”) 60 GHz phased array system that creates a wireless HDMI link off of eBay
Feb 18 2019
1 hour 16 mins
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Rank #8: #409 – Electronics Consultant Impedance Matching

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Welcome (counterclockwise) Piotr, Eric and Dave!

  • Dave is 30% local to 70% remote, 75% fixed, 25% hourly
    • 0h 16m 20s
  • Eric is 80-90 local, 10% remote. 50-50 split on hourly vs fixed.
    • 0h 17m 55s
  • Piotr was 100% remote and , but his remaining job is local and hourly
    • 0h 19m 21s
  • Client archetypes
    • 0h 20m 34s
  • Stability
    • 0h 22m 34s
  • Past guest Philip Freidin wrote about being a consultant
    • 0h 24m 04s
  • “So you want to be a consultant?”
    • 0h 25m 43s
  • Do you bill for software?
    • 0h 27m 17s
  • Time tracking
    • 0h 28m 51s
  • Consulting specialty
    • 0h 29m 31s
  • Dave: likes diversity and depth of work
    • 0h 29m 47s
  • Eric: smaller projects beginning to end
    • 0h 30m 36s
  • Piotr: Vertically integrated
    • 0h 31m 4s
  • 0 hour billable weeks
    • 0h 36m 51s
  • Let’s figure out what’s best for that
    • 0h 37m 59s
  • Learning the personality of a client
    • 0h 40m 58s
  • Playing the timeline all the way forward
    • 0h 41m 37s
  • Client communication
    • 0h 43m 16s
  • Setting expectations
    • 0h 43m 22s
  • Firing a client
    • 0h 43m 52s
  • 3 strikes
    • 0h 43m 56s
  • Growing empathy for customers
    • 0h 45m 24s
  • Language barriers with clients
    • 0h 47m 37s
  • “This SHOULD be done by…”
    • 0h 48m 2s
  • Dealing with impostor syndrome
    • 0h 51m 58s
  • Known risks
    • 0h 53m 18s
  • Communicating to the client about lack of knowledge
    • 0h 53m 39s
  • When your startup client who suddenly gets funding, is woo’d and ultimately stolen by a bigger design firm promising the world….how does one manage ones anger?
    • 0h 55m 22s
  • Working through some of the design houses
    • 0h 56m 57s
  • Focal points – distributor FAEs, design houses, contract manufacturers
    • 0h 58m 32s
  • Getting recommendations from past clients
    • 0h 59m 38s
  • How to get started
    • 1h 0m 36s
  • Judging potential hires by their pull requests
    • 1h 2m 56s
  • Insurance
    • 1h 8m 51s
  • Usually on a product basis and not the design basis
    • 1h 9m 35s
  • LLCs all around
    • 1h 10m 53s
  • Good resources from IEEE
    • 1h 11m 31s
  • Consultant survey
    • 1h 12m 28s
  • What I really want to know is: why engineers feel they must *undercharge* for time as a consultant? No one should be blanching at $100+/hr.
    • 1h 14m 4s
  • Hourly rate goe down for billing more hours
    • 1h 14m 18s
  • Dave changes billing for if there’s more risk
    • 1h 14m 35s
  • Lowering hourly rate for things you like. Piotr does this for open source hardware.
    • 1h 16m 25s
  • Should you work for equity?
    • 1h 17m 18s
  • Working with startups
    • 1h 18m 12s
  • Changes the nature of the relationship
    • 1h 18m 38s
  • Rainy days cash
    • 1h 20m 17s
  • Getting personal finance stuff in order
    • 1h 21m 42s
  • Check out our guests’ sites to learn more:
Oct 01 2018
1 hour 24 mins
Play

Rank #9: #429 – An Interview with Charles Alexanian

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Welcome Charles Alexanian of Alexttronics!

  • Headquartered in Fresno
    • 0h 0m 36s
  • History
    • 0h 1m 7s
  • Family business
    • 0h 1m 20s
  • Father was a QC engineer
    • 0h 1m 25s
  • Night scope
    • 0h 1m 44stel
  • Irrigation work in Fresno
    • 0h 2m 21s
  • Assembling clock dials as a 4 year old
    • 0h 4m 26s
  • OEM mfg of timer and controls
    • 0h 5m 0s
  • Load sharing of pumps
    • 0h 5m 51s
  • Family business – everyone helped
    • 0h 8m 22s
  • Reading schematics from an early age
    • 0h 12m 35s
  • Helped out on product in 92
    • 0h 15m 34s
  • Telrite in Fremont for MFG
    • 0h 16m 45s
  • Fear and doubt are a factor in any business
    • 0h 17m 36s
  • Started looking outside the business in case it wasn’t viable
    • 0h 18m 24s
  • Pedals and amps
    • 0h 18m 59s
  • Opened a repair business for amps and pedals
    • 0h 19m 34s
  • Manufacturing replacement parts for amps
    • 0h 19m 50s
  • Tube amps
    • 0h 21m 23s
  • Screen resistor
    • 0h 26m 0s
  • Got in contact with studios in town
    • 0h 26m 49s
  • uBid
    • 0h 27m 31s
  • Thomas register
    • 0h 28m 4s
  • War era catalog
    • 0h 28m 44s
  • Getting parts was always an issue
    • 0h 30m 10s
  • Led in two directions
    • 0h 30m 15s
  • Speaker manufacturing was bad
    • 0h 30m 25s
  • Don Schmidt sourcing parts
    • 0h 30m 53s
  • Sourcing 10″ speakers
    • 0h 31m 32s
  • Got burned on sourcing into the market
    • 0h 32m 25s
  • Closed up the repair shop
    • 0h 32m 46s
  • Kept a couple customers at studios
    • 0h 32m 58s
  • Went to school for electrical contracting
    • 0h 33m 42s
  • Getting into tubes
    • 0h 35m 6s
  • Bought mostly from New Sensor
    • 0h 36m 6s
  • Ronnie Elsbury – MU incorporated
    • 0h 37m 0s
  • What is a vacuum tube
    • 0h 38m 22s
  • Edison effect
    • 0h 39m 32s
  • de Forest father of the vacuum tube
    • 0h 39m 57s
  • Added the grid
    • 0h 40m 19s
  • Certain applications still need tubes
    • 0h 42m 5s
  • Radar and microwave requires tubes because of power levels
    • 0h 43m 5s
  • Traveling wave tubes
    • 0h 43m 33s
  • Varian brothers
    • 0h 43m 57s
  • Klystron
    • 0h 44m 7s
  • Ion implantation uses tubes
    • 0h 44m 40s
  • Ronnie visits Charles
    • 0h 45m 40s
  • Ronnie factory does last time buy
    • 0h 48m 56s
  • Starting making tubes
    • 0h 50m 11s
  • Glasswork is very difficult
    • 0h 50m 55s
  • Charles’ talk at Supercon
    • 0h 51m 4s
  • Charles’ original article on Hackday about tube mfg
    • 0h 52m 39s
  • BA ionization gauge
    • 0h 52m 53s
  • Most basic form of tube used for measurement of vacuum
    • 0h 53m 0s
  • Philips glassworks videos from the 30s
    • 0h 55m 15s
  • Mullard glass video from the 50s-60s
    • 0h 55m 22s
  • Videos from bell labs
    • 0h 55m 37s
  • Glass slinger on youtubes
    • 0h 55m 53s
  • Adam Carolla podcasts
    • 0h 58m 8s
  • Fitting out a studio
    • 0h 58m 26s
  • Started working in exchange for hanging around racing
    • 0h 59m 23s
  • Carolla digital
    • 0h 59m 45s
  • Sourcing parts as a small manufacturer
    • 1h 2m 9s
  • Spall – the surface falls off
    • 1h 4m 4s
  • Ceramic caps
    • 1h 5m 49s
  • “Farmers are not a trusting group”
    • 1h 8m 16s
  • Small growers are pushing for monitoring in agtech
    • 1h 11m 48s
  • MQTT
    • 1h 14m 10s
  • Highwire
    • 1h 21m 47s
  • brokenspeaker9@gmail.com
    • 1h 25m 52s
  • NeoDen4
    • 1h 27m 36s
Feb 11 2019
1 hour 27 mins
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Rank #10: #432 – Check The Dummy Box

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Mar 04 2019
1 hour 2 mins
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Rank #11: #439 – Grow A Superbrain

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Thanks to lady traveler for the brain mechanics picture

Apr 22 2019
1 hour 11 mins
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Rank #12: #436 – Downward Sloping Trace

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Mar 31 2019
1 hour 7 mins
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Rank #13: #433 – An Interview with Sam Stranks

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Welcome Dr Sam Stranks, entrepreneur and professor at Cambridge University!

  • Perovskites
    • 0h 0m 49s
  • The family is based on the crystal structure
    • 0h 1m 15s
  • Have been worked on for 2 to 3 decades
    • 0h 1m 44s
  • Only since 2009 have they been used as a solar cell
    • 0h 2m 36s
  • Sam’s background is physicist
    • 0h 4m 46s
  • Raised in Australia
    • 0h 6m 23s
  • Broad undergrad background
    • 0h 7m 0s
  • Bridged chemistry and physics in Master’s program
    • 0h 7m 22s
  • Worked on removing white wine proteins
    • 0h 7m 32s
  • The mechanism is similar to how alzheimers blobs together
    • 0h 8m 50s
  • 2007
    • 0h 10m 24s
  • He got a Rhodes scholarship which meant he ended up going to Cambridge University.
    • 0h 10m 29s
  • Research included carbon nanotubes
    • 0h 11m 7s
  • Wrapping polymes around then
    • 0h 11m 21s
  • Popularity has been dropping
    • 0h 11m 47s
  • Fullerenes, Graphene both won Nobel prize.
    • 0h 12m 2s
  • Producing nanotubes is difficult
    • 0h 12m 21s
  • Dave made a video about a bunkum Kickstarter doing Graphene heaters
    • 0h 12m 34s
  • Specifically separating out metallic and semiconductor types
    • 0h 12m 47s
  • Finished PhD 2012
    • 0h 15m 5s
  • Joined Henry Snaith‘s group doing dye sensitized solar cells
    • 0h 15m 21s
  • Reemergence of perovskites
    • 0h 16m 21s
  • The initial focus was on a dye sensitive cell made out of perovskite
    • 0h 18m 25s
  • Early efficiency was 3%
    • 0h 18m 56s
  • The research is done in a place that looks more like a chemistry lab than a semi lab
    • 0h 22m 23s
  • Solar simulator to replicate the sun
    • 0h 23m 40s
  • How are perovskites different from solar cells?
    • 0h 25m 34s
  • Silicon has an indirect bandgap
    • 0h 26m 49s
  • Multijunctions cells (the kind on satellites) have different absorbers (different colors)
    • 0h 27m 52s
  • Record silicon efficiency is 27%
    • 0h 28m 21s
  • Full panel is about 20%
    • 0h 28m 39s
  • Perovskite is at 23%
    • 0h 29m 5s
  • Triple junction is 39%
    • 0h 29m 27s
  • Videos from past guests Sam Zeloof and Jeri Ellsworth
    • 0h 30m 53s
  • Printed solar cells
    • 0h 32m 4s
  • ABX3
    • 0h 34m 4s
  • Thickness only needs to be half a micron
    • 0h 34m 41s
  • The name ‘perovskite solar cell’ is derived from the ABX3 crystal structure of the absorber materials, which is referred to as perovskite structure. The most commonly studied perovskite absorber is methylammonium lead trihalide (CH3NH3PbX3, where X is a halogen atom such as iodine, bromine or chlorine), with an optical bandgap between 1.5 and 2.3 eV depending on halide content. Formamidinum lead trihalide (H2NCHNH2PbX3)
    • 0h 35m 56s
  • Currently using Indium for the contact, but it’s hard to get, running out
    • 0h 36m 13s
  • Talking through the stack
    • 0h 37m 12s
  • Bottom electrode is Indium Tin oxide
    • 0h 37m 37s
  • Then a layer of perovskite
    • 0h 37m 53s
  • Top layer is organic
    • 0h 38m 37s
  • Illumnate through the glass,
    • 0h 39m 33s
  • InSnOx is transparent up to UV
    • 0h 41m 14s
  • Perovskite absorbs 200-800
    • 0h 41m 28s
  • Using lasers to test with pulses
    • 0h 44m 57s
  • Pulses for a 1 ps
    • 0h 45m 7s
  • Monitor how they recombine and lose energy
    • 0h 45m 38s
  • What causes a defect?
    • 0h 46m 23s
  • What actually makes electrons mobile in the ABX3 structure?
    • 0h 49m 15s
  • Structure is mostly from the B and the X (lead and iodide)
    • 0h 49m 35s
  • Covalently bonding vs ionic bonding
    • 0h 52m 35s
  • Other applications being targeted
    • 0h 56m 47s
  • Light emission (LEDs)
    • 0h 56m 57s
  • Also using for lasing materials (LASERs)
    • 0h 59m 41s
  • Want to make an electrically pumped laser
    • 0h 59m 55s
  • Have been some changes in the A site that stabilize ion migration
    • 1h 1m 55s
  • Sam is a founder of Swift Solar
    • 1h 2m 29s
  • The 6 founders had spent time together in Henry Snaith’s group
    • 1h 2m 43s
  • Focusing on making tandem cells
    • 1h 3m 20s
  • Making a solar sheet
    • 1h 4m 13s
  • More solar cells in a smaller area
    • 1h 4m 59s
  • Payback periods
    • 1h 5m 25s
  • Why hasn’t this started on the production side yet?
    • 1h 6m 18s
  • Solar is coming down to 20 cent per watt
    • 1h 6m 43s
  • Install costs are still $1 per watt
    • 1h 6m 56s
  • The lightweight aspects lowers the cost of installation
    • 1h 7m 20s
  • Sam did a TED talk
    • 1h 8m 13s
  • Integrated photovoltaics
    • 1h 8m 25s
  • Group web page
    • 1h 9m 27s
  • Want to learn more about bandgaps? Check out pveducation.org
    • 1h 9m 33s
  • Scientific American wrote an article about The Perovskite Boom last year
    • 1h 9m 54s
  • Sam’s lab is taking new students! Reach him via his web page or reach out to him on Twitter (@SamStranks)
    • 1h 11m 59s

Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

Mar 10 2019
1 hour 10 mins
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Rank #14: #422 – Stick ‘Em On Whales

Dec 28 2018
1 hour 27 mins
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