On a recent business trip to the Middle East, I had the pleasure of spending a few nights in the desert with a camel herder. Base camp consisted of a makeshift trailer with an old generator a few dozen yards away for power and lights. In the quiet of the desert, the generator was piercing. We voted to go without the floodlights to enjoy the silence.
It’s difficult to ignore the ‘go green’ mantra that’s sweeping through the media and permeating virtually every industry. The way I see it, most of the activity is focused on marketing and printing consumer-friendly green stickers that proclaim enhanced efficiency of sorts for the same old products. Even so, it is time for us to take responsibility for our carbon footprint by using what we have more intelligently, by buying more efficient products in the first place, and — for electronics enthusiasts — by designing with efficiency in mind.
In the current economic downturn, it may be difficult for you to rationalize spending what’s left of your dwindling disposable income on electronic components, test equipment, and other non-essentials. However, your electronics avocation needn’t be an all-or-nothing proposition. There are numerous ways of cutting costs without diminishing your enjoyment. In fact, if your focus is circuit design, then you’ll probably find the engineering challenge of getting the most from affordable components more rewarding than simply ordering and using the latest generation chips. And there are also options for construction enthusiasts.
There’s a deep sense of satisfaction that results from developing, building, testing, and ultimately using a circuit of your own design. It’s the creative process, after all, that attracts most electronics enthusiasts. Given the expense of components and tools relative to the price of finished electronics products, it’s difficult to rationalize the investment in time and energy simply to have a working device. However, whereas anyone can afford an electronic gadget, few can address the myriad challenges associated with the circuit development process.
IR sensors, batteries, electric fence indicators, datasheet errors, dial lamp modifications, garage door lights, intercom systems, DC-to-DC regulators, and high voltage regulators are discussed. Read More...