Techies & Technology

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Category archives for Techies & Technology

How a Setback Thermostat Saves Energy

There is some confusion as to precisely how a setback thermostat saves energy. In fact, because of misunderstandings I have heard a number of people proclaim that a setback doesn’t save energy. There are two common arguments: 1. Although you save energy as the house is initially cooling during the setback period, the furnace has…

Electronic Design has released their 2008 salary survey for electrical and electronic engineers. Average salary for design and development engineers is now $94k (base salary). Engineering management is up to $116k. The highest paying regions are Pacific and Mountain at $114k and $103k, respectively. The lowest regions are East North Central and West North Central…

TechnOlympics

It has been said that the Olympics is rather like a genetic freak-show: All of the extreme outliers from the population show up and do their thing. While specific “genetic gifts” are pretty much required to reach the top of most any sport these days, a little technology can certainly assist in the process. This…

Fun with Resistive Position Sensors

As part of my continuing adventures in drumming symmetry, I have been working on a dual electronic hi-hat pedal. The idea is to have a single hi-hat pad respond equally well to either a left or a right foot pedal. It is similar to having both left and right kick drum pedals. For the hi-hat,…

World’s Largest LED Chandelier

How does a 7000 pound, 35 foot diameter chandelier using high-brightness LEDs sound to you? Well that’s what was installed the other day at the Stanley Theatre in Utica, NY. The manufacturer, Meyda Tiffany based in nearby Yorkville, claims that it is the world’s largest LED chandelier. Here are details from the local newspaper and…

Combining C With Assembly

The latest issue of Embedded Systems Design has an interesting article on combining C code with assembly code for DSP applications. In some cases, they show an ten fold speed up for an assembly plus C implementation versus straight C code. Now before anyone starts hollering, please remember that embedded programming is not at all…

In previous installments in the DIY NME series, I’ve looked at the application of symmetrical motor patterns using the drum kit. For this entry, the approach is a little different and says something about “handedness” as well. A few months ago I rearranged my semi-symmetrical drum kit into what I call the super symmetrical kit.…

DIY Lab Gear: Vibrating String Apparatus

Sometimes I can’t seem to find just the right lab equipment I want for a particular experiment so I design it myself. Such was the case recently for a course I developed and teach entitled Science of Sound. This course is a natural science elective and deals with the physics of audio and acoustics. We…

Esoteric Audio Cables

A previous post featured a short film about members of the Audiophile Club of Athens and the rather extreme sound systems their members have created. Some members spent in excess of $300,000 to build their systems. You may be wondering just what manner of gear that sort of money would buy, and would it really…

USB 3.0

This week’s Electronic Engineering Times features a short article on the upcoming USB 3.0 spec. The main highlight is a target transfer rate of 4 Gigabits/second (10 times the current rate) providing usable data at 300 Megabytes/second. This rate would challenge IEEE 1394 (AKA FireWire). USB 3.0 is being referred to as “Super Speed USB”…