A unique perspective on feature creeping

Circuit Break Podcast #148

A Unique Perspective on Feature Creeping

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November 28, 2018, Episode #148

Parker talks about his Embedded System Design process and Stephen explains his 20 band EQ design!

The podcast got mentioned in an article! 12 Great Podcasts for Engineers from the Mind Tribe blog. Mind Tribe is a design driven engineering firm based in San Francisco. The list spawns from a survey from the engineering team at Mind Tribe. Thanks Mind Tribe for mentioning our podcast!

“This is a technical podcast by a Texas-based PCB fab and assembly house where the two hosts (Parker and Stephen) have conversations about electrical engineering. Parker and Stephen provide a unique perspective on hardware and the show is both entertaining and educational.”

  • Parker
  • Stephen
    • “Feature creeped” my way into designing a 20 band graphic eq and a fancy solid state effects loop
      • 20 band eq with +/- 12ish (simulation shows 13.8) db of gain per band
      • Each band has a Q of 2.87 so they end up being ½ octave
      • Using the 1kHz standard
      • Designed with “constant Q” in mind
      • W taper pots and ways to convert that
      • Both the FX loop and the EQ interface with 200v input signals
      • Applied a 1:50 reduction to get within a reasonable range.
  • R.F.O.
    • STM releases STM32 Cube MX V5.0
      • Redone UI and cleaner look
      • Better searching options
      • Looks like a more streamlined approach to configuring your uC. Sort of a “left to right” path
      • What is your path? Pins first? Clock First? Communication? Timers? Interrupts?
    • CNC Router options?
      • Need a 2’ x 4’ CNC machine
        • CNC Router Parts
        • Vacuum Table
        • Get a Guest for DIY CNC
          • Picking out lead screws
          • Motor specifications: Stepper Vs Servo
          • Controllers
    • Cheeseburger Compass
      • GPS and Raspberry Pi combined to let you know where the nearest Cheeseburger fast food place is.

Visit our Slack Channel and join the conversation in between episodes and please review us, wherever you listen (PodcastAddict, iTunes). It helps this show stay visible and helps new listeners find us.

Parker has lots of routing work left on the RPI Compute Module board.

Parker has lots of routing work left on the RPI Compute Module board.

Diagram of the potential PCB stack up for Stephen’s EQ design.

Diagram of the potential PCB stack up for Stephen’s EQ design.

About the Hosts

Parker Dillmann
  Parker Dillmann

Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.

In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.

In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.

Parker also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.

Stephen Kraig
  Stephen Kraig

Stephen Kraig is a component engineer working in the aerospace industry. He has applied his electrical engineering knowledge in a variety of contexts previously, including oil and gas, contract manufacturing, audio electronic repair, and synthesizer design. A graduate of Texas A&M, Stephen has lived his adult life in the Houston, TX, and Denver, CO, areas.

Stephen has never said no to a project. From building guitar amps (starting when he was 17) to designing and building his own CNC table to fine-tuning the mineral composition of the water he uses to brew beer, he thrives on testing, experimentation, and problem-solving. Tune into the podcast to learn more about the wacky stuff Stephen gets up to.

Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!

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