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Surface-Mount Components Help Shrink Circuit Dimensions


Surface-mount components have earned their places in today's electronic circuits, saving a great deal of printed-circuit-board (PCB) space without sacrificing the performance of much larger components. Components now available in SMT housings include basic "building-block:" components ...

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The Benefits of Using Aluminum as a Conductor


Choosing conductive metals for different industries and applications is often a challenge. Copper is often used in cables and wires for its excellent conductivity and malleability. But it is relatively heavy and expensive compared to aluminum. Switching to aluminum, which is lighter ...

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Unwired Switches Are Wireless Without Batteries


Switches that operate without wired connections or batteries are now available from Cherry, a brand of ZF Electronic Systems Pleasant Prairie, LLC. The switches use the physical actuation of the switch as the source of power, harvesting energy through an innovative penny-size micro ...

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Vibration Testing: Exposing the Weak Link


Weak links exist in all electronic designs. Over time, and in the right conditions, they will manifest themselves. Vibration testing attempts to uncover those weak links in advance by imposing realistic operating conditions. By developing a circuit card assembly (CCA) for testing, it is ...

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When to Use Litz Wire


Throughout the electronic design process, involving anything from inductors and transformers through systems, optimizing efficiency and minimizing heat rise are major concerns. A decision on the type of wire to use can impact the thermal performance of a design, with choices including ...

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"Made in USA" — Building the American Dream


The American Dream has long been an elusive goal for many Americans. According to James Truslow Adams, who coined the term "American Dream" in 1931, "Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement." Of course, ...

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Advanced Housings Protect Latest High-Quality Devices


Electronic housings at one time might have been considered simply packages. But now, they themselves are often sophisticated electronic components, and today's housing systems must be adaptable to meet many requirements. When the housing manufacturer becomes a project partner, the result ...

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Efficiency Means Tuning Your Power Supply


Energy efficiency, with good reason, is at the forefront of concerns for many system designers. Many voluntary and mandatory standards have emerged over the past few years aimed at reducing energy waste in electronic systems. Initiatives such as Energy Star 80 Plus Bronze, Silver, Gold ...

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Growth in America: US Firms Partner for Success


A strong relationship between two companies ultimately helps their customers. One of the companies, SisTech Manufacturing headquartered in Bend, OR, is a woman-owned, minority-owned business that provides contract electronic manufacturing and mechanical assembly services to high-technology ...

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Issues in Solvent Testing for Counterfeits


Fighting against counterfeit electronic components requires many tools, including multiple test methods to identify the counterfeits. Use of improper or incorrect testing procedures can lead to incorrect or misleading results, at times identifying authentic parts as being counterfeit ...

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Materials Minimize Effects Of EMI/RFI


Electromagnetic (EM) energy surrounds almost every electronic device, whether generated from within or outside of the device, and EM interference (EMI) produced by one or more electronic devices can degrade the performance of various other electronics; EMI from countless electronic ...

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Crimp Force Monitoring Improves Crimp Quality


Crimp connection technology is widely used in the electrical and electronics industry. Compared to alternative means of making interconnections, advantages include excellent electrical performance and high mechanical reliability, assuming that the crimping operation is carried out correctly ...

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Higher Performance Connectors Meet Stressful Applications


Rapidly changing demands and designs in product performance and electrical integrity are having effects on electronic connector systems. Connector requirements and designs are changing with smaller and more portable electronics designs in aerospace, defense, and other stress-filled ...

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OLED Switches Dominate in Electronic Device Design: Why and When to Use them


Display technology has become a battleground for top-of-the-line devices. From flat-screen televisions to handheld gaming systems, major manufacturers have debated the merits of

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Phosphors Expand the Addressable Market for LEDs


Phosphors are critical to the future of light-emitting-diode (LED) applications since they can impact LED lighting quality in very fundamental ways. Phosphors can support wide ranges of color lighting. In addition to combining blue LEDs with yellow phosphors to create green shades ...

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Shrinking MEMS Devices Continue to Find New Markets


Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technology at times is a solution in search of a problem. But this unique design approach has shown benefits as part of components serving applications as far and wide as audio to optical components and MEMS components and modules continue to establish ...

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Thick-Film and Thin-Film Resistors — Which Is Better?


Georg Simon Ohm, began experimenting with the new electrochemical cell (battery) invented by Alessandro Volta in the 1820s. Ohm discovered direct proportionality between the voltage applied across a conductor and the resulting electric current, in a relationship (voltage = current ...

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Crimp Force Monitoring — The Recipe For Success


Reliable wiring harnesses require proven assembly techniques, including proper crimping force. One of the tools that can help ensure effective wire crimps is the crimp force monitor (CFM), although many engineers and operators may have access to CFMs and may not be using them properly ...

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Efficient Fans Drive Cost-Effective Thermal Management in Enclosures and Cabinets


Electronic enclosures and cabinet systems continue to pack more power into smaller volumes, resulting in higher thermal loads per cubic foot. Thermal management for such systems can be challenging, requiring smaller and more efficient air-moving devices to disperse heat. AC or DC fans ...

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Germanium Not Phosphorus for Nickel-Doped, Lead-Free Solders


Removing lead from solder has raised the importance of micro-alloying elements and other chemical agents and compounds in modern electronic circuits. The large-scale changeover of the electronics industry to producing printed-circuit boards (PCBs) with lead-free solder has placed a ...

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