Everything for Electronics

Bryan Bergeron

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Bryan's Articles

Vintage Instruments for Vintage Repairs?
February 2022
I often use a particular piece of vintage test gear because it’s the best or only option.

Virtual Collaboration – Pre-Internet
January 2022
Whatever the topic, there’s always someone to collaborate with.

The EleKit TU-8900 300B/2A3 SE Power Amp Kit
June 2020
Are you an audiophile with a yearning to build kits reminiscent of the old HeathKits?

Why the Complexity?
June 2020
What is the benefit of the exponential increase in hardware/firmware complexity?

Component Specifications: Trust or Verify?
March 2013
Always verify component specifications!

Restoration of a Vintage Zenith G725 AM/FM Receiver
May 2020
Explore the world of tube-type electronics by restoring this domestic 1950’s AM/FM broadcast receiver: the Zenith G725.

Book Review: Ham Radio for Dummies
May 2020
I can’t say enough good things about this book.

All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go
May 2020
So, what’s a ham dedicated to public service to do?

eTracer Digital Tube Tester and Curve Tracer Kit
April 2020
This time in our restoration series, we take on a digital tube tester and curve tracer kit.

Increasing Complexity: Unavoidable?
April 2020
Why do experimenters always feel the need to make things better?

Restoration of an Abused 1965 McIntosh C22 All-Tube Preamp
March 2020
Next in our restoration series, we’ll help out an abused 1965 McIntosh C22 all-tube preamp.

Electronics: What’s Important from the Outside Looking In?
March 2020
Here’s how to do good by your favorite electronics hobby.

Restoration of a Vintage Telefunken Jubilate 5161W AM/SW/FM Receiver
February 2020
We continue our restoration series with a vintage Telefunken Jubilate receiver.

When It Comes to Vintage Restoration, Beware of NOS
February 2020
Think twice before you dive into the often frenzied, hyperinflated world of NOS.

Restoring a Vintage Zenith Table Top AM/FM Receiver from the ‘60s
January 2020
Explore the world of tube-type electronics by restoring a classic AM/FM receiver.

The Joys of Retooling — Again
January 2020
Is retooling your shop and your mind to the world of vacuum tubes worth it?

UV Sanitizer 2: More Powerful Anti-Viral Chamber
Build a powerful anti-viral chamber based on narrow spectrum UV lamps.

Respiratory Masks
June 2019
Respiratory masks should always be part of your safety tool arsenal.

A Shot in the Arm for Online VR and AR
With the current viral scare, shopping from home makes more sense.

UV Sanitizer: How to Build One and Measure Its Efficacy
June 2019
Build a UV sanitizer from a UV LED panel and a small reflective enclosure.

Death, Taxes, and Exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation
May 2019
Use common sense when it comes to EMR exposure.

DIY Biotech: Genetic Engineering with the DNA Playground
April 2019
Modify E. coli bacteria to produce proteins of your choice.

The Challenging Life of Urban Hams
April 2019
Being an amateur radio operator within city limits can be a hassle.

DIY Biotech: Gel Electrophoresis
March 2019
Solve your own DNA mysteries with gel electrophoresis.

RIP: Terrestrial AM Radio
March 2019
Routines and methods are changing in how folks get their news and music delivered.

How to Learn CW
February 2019
There is merit in learning and using CW, and it’s more convenient than ever.

DIY Biotech: Open Source PCR Thermocycler
January 2019
#2 in a series of DIY Biotech articles.

The Ergonomics of Learning
January 2019
Having the right tools for different people.

DIY Biotech: Harnessing Bacteria for Fermentation
November 2018
The first installment in a series of DIY Biotech articles.

Go Ahead — Play with Your Food
November 2018
Mixing electronics and food.

DIY Biotech: The Ultimate STEM Track?
September 2018
The oldest maker activity on the planet — DIY Biotech, including genetic engineering and cell-based manufacturing — is poised to change everything.

Electronics as a Portal to Other Hobbies
July 2018
The electronics portal leads to many potential adventures.

The Boiling Frog
May 2018
The parable of the boiling frog is a metaphor that aptly describes many commodity electronics products.

Degrees of Automation
March 2018
What’s your preference when it comes to electronic projects: handmade or produced by a machine?

Know Your Basics
March 2014
To master the art of electronics, it's important to learn the basics. I'm talking Ohms Law, serial and parallel discrete components, and simple signal sources.

Electronics Padawans
February 2018
Whether you’re a Padawan or helping one along on their journey toward the mastery of electronics, may the EMF be with you.

Infrastructure Dependence
January 2018
Are virtual instruments making us too dependent on network providers?

What Your Preferred MPU/MCU Says About You
December 2017
People may judge you based on your hair style or clothing or even music choices ... but what does your choice in microprocessor say about you?

Basic Biological Signal Monitoring with a Translational Reality Twist
December 2017
Use an inexpensive ear-clip heart rate sensor and an everyday Arduino to create a simple biological monitoring system.

What’s on Your Workbench?
November 2017
Workbench customization for specific projects.

Amateur Radio – Not Just For the Nostalgic
April 2015
It’s no secret that amateur radio has been in decline for a while, hastened by the popularity of the Internet. Today, all that’s required for world-wide video and audio communications is a cell phone — not a room packed with powerful gear.

Electronics: A Multipurpose Modeling Tool
October 2017
Modeling Systems using Electronics.

To Solder or Not
December 2008
Don't let soldering crimp your style.

Conspiracy Theory
September 2017
Does someone have a grand conspiracy to wipe out the retail electronic component industry in the US?

Easing Into Tube
August 2017
Want a break from microcontrollers and MEMS devices? Give tubes a try!

Just in Time Parts vs. the Junkbox
January 2015
Cleaning out my workshop reminded me of when I first started my journey in electronics — I had a junkbox with a few dozen tubes, a pound or two of discrete resistors and capacitors, and some miscellaneous hardware.

What’s in Your Grab-and-Go?
July 2017
What’s in your “grab-and-go” bag when you get phone calls for help on a friend’s electronic equipment?

Real Electronics
June 2017
I’m no Luddite, but my “real” electronics gadgets and instruments look more appealing.

Leaded Components: Reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated
February 2016
Leaded components are easy to work with, so don't discount them just yet.

Biology + Electronics
May 2017
Consider the vast world of electronics as it is applied to biology and biological systems.

My First Time Machine — Well, at Least My First Flux Capacitor
April 2017
With a circuit simulator and a basic knowledge of components and circuit theory, it’s possible to simulate just about any electronic device that can be built.

Translational Reality Part 2: Control the World by Playing Pong
April 2017
See how a classic video game can be adopted for use as a translational reality interface to enable the player to monitor and operate a remote device by simply playing the game.

Keeping It Simple
March 2017
Don’t overcomplicate your purchases.

Translational Reality Interfaces
March 2017
Explore one new way of interacting with embedded systems, smart devices, and the Internet of Things by using a translational reality interface.

The Zombie Apocalypse — Are You Ready?
January 2017
How prepared are you for a disaster — man-made or otherwise?

How do they do that?
February 2012
Reverse engineering is one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors in electronics. I’m talking about replicating the functionality of a device that you’ve seen or read about but that’s too expensive or otherwise unavailable.

Spy Gear
December 2016
Spy technology is a fun vehicle for learning basic electronics

Superfluous Technology: Avoiding the Binge
November 2016
Do you “binge” when it comes to buying electronics for your hobbies?

For Learning, Old School Can be the Best School
December 2015
Maximize your learning experience in electronics using the old-fashioned way.

Hand-Wired Electronics
November 2012
There's been an odd movement in the music electronics industry toward hand-wired and point-to-point circuitry. We're talking terminal strips, solder tabs, and discrete components — no circuit boards or chip carriers.

Self-Monitoring Made Easy
October 2016
It’s never been easier or more affordable to self-monitor everything from your heart rate to your body fat composition.

So, Exactly What is Electronics?
September 2016
Given the rapid evolution of the electronics field over the past few years, exactly how do you define electronics today?

Speaker Break-In
November 2009
Is it necessary to break-in speakers for them to reach "full fidelity," or is it just a manufacturers ploy to get customers used to their speakers so they won’t return them?

Make History: Keep a Logbook
August 2016
Take note of what you build!

The Internet of Things
November 2014
Since the birth of the Internet, there has been talk of total connectivity — between people, people and their possessions, and things to things. Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a practical reality in many settings.

The Art of Electronics: What Constitutes the Atomic Level?
July 2016
When teaching electronics to others, how do you determine the atomic level?

Wall Light Switches: Relics of the Tungsten Age?
June 2016
Given the increased popularity of multi-function light bulbs, it’s clear that the traditional light-only bulb and the associated 110V circuitry are on their way out.

When Less is More: Designing for Minimum Mass
July 2012
If you’re a typical N&V reader, then sizing a component means defining its value, precision, power handling capacity, operating voltage, physical size, and precision.

Vinyl Flashback
May 2016
There’s a resurgence of interest in vintage vinyl, turntables, and old-school tube amps.

Can’t Get There From Here
June 2014
Children and younger adults often have an easier time picking up microcontrollers, relative to someone with years of experience with analog circuits. This is — in part — because they have no legacy knowledge to get in the way

A MAKER’S DOZEN: Designing Around Failure
April 2014
When it comes to DIY, it's not really a "failure rate" but a learning opportunity.

Change the World
July 2015
Take your knowledge of electronics — whatever your level of expertise — and focus it towards solving a meaningful problem. Go ahead, change the world. I dare you!

Indestructibles: The Lure of Tube Audio Equipment
April 2016
My Sony integrated amp with copper chassis and huge toroidal transformers was a tour de force in my audio setup before the power mains took an indirect lightning hit. Because the microcontroller was fried, I couldn’t even get the unit to power up.

How Old is Old Enough?
January 2012
One of the most often asked questions in my inbox is ‘how old is old enough to begin working with electronics?

Designing For Others
April 2011
If you’ve ever designed and built an electronic gizmo for someone else, you know that once the device leaves your sight, anything goes.

Developing Perspectives — When All You Have is a Hammer
March 2016
Sometimes expertise in one area unnecessarily narrows the range of options to be considered when assessing a problem.

January 2008
A fundamental application of electronics is transformation — from power supplies that transform AC to DC to microprocessors that transform binary code to text, graphics, and sound.

Designing with Efficiency in Mind
October 2009
It’s difficult to ignore the ‘go green’ mantra that’s sweeping through the media and permeating virtually every industry.

Easing Into STEM
January 2016
I’m often asked what the best way is to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education with electronics.

Truth in Specifications?
January 2010
A recent book project of mine revealed manufacturers were either intentionally or unintentionally misleading consumers with product specifications that were confusing, incomplete, or simply false.

Thoughtful Repurposing
November 2011
Teardowns of electronics devices can be an excellent means of learning how to design circuits for the real world, as well as an inexpensive source of parts for your construction projects.

Good Things Come With Small Packages
February 2010
A good friend drops by your place and, knowing that you’re an electronics enthusiast, asks for help with a new handheld gadget that suddenly stopped working.

Modular Designs
February 2008
Instead of working with individual ICs and passive components, cost- and time-conscious engineers design and construct prototypes by working at the system level using function-specific modules.

The Circuit Development Process
March 2008
There’s a deep sense of satisfaction that results from developing, building, testing, and ultimately using a circuit of your own design.

The Art of Diagnosis
April 2009
Don't get frustrated by non-working circuits. Embrace them!

Are You An Innovator?
June 2007
There is no one correct path to becoming an innovator. By mastering experimental fundamentals, you’ll be in a better position to innovate.

How Do You Measure Competency?
July 2007
Do you consider yourself a competent electronics enthusiast?

The Golden Age Of Electronics
August 2009
From Developing Perspectives

The End Of The Wristwatch
July 2009
From Developing Perspectives

The microMedic Kit
February 2013
This is a review of the microMedic Contest Kit, designed to support the 2013 microMedic National Contest sponsored by the US Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center and Parallax, Inc.

The SparkFun ProtoSnap Pro Mini
December 2011
Editor's review of the SparkFun ProtoSnap Pro Mini

The Digilent Electronics Explorer - Review
November 2011
See if this all-in-one analog circuit design station is for you.

Developing Perspectives
September 2010
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
August 2010
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
July 2010
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.

Developing Perspectives
May 2010
Please visit our Developing Perspectives blog to read the full article and comment.