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Entries for 'Matt Puskala'

CAD Models in C#: Developing with Eyeshot
Matt Puskala

CAD Models in C#: Developing with Eyeshot

DMC recently developed some desktop applications for clients in C# that require 3D modeling. We’ve been using a third-party CAD tool developed by devDept called Eyeshot. If you are working in the world of graphic design, 3D animation rendering, or physics simulations, there could be better options for your needs, like gaming engines such as Unity and nVidia PhysX. However, if you are working in the engineering world of CAD files, Eyeshot is by far the best tool available for C#. Th...

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Industrial Security: 4 Ways to Keep Your Factory Safe from Cyber Attacks
Matt Puskala

Industrial Security: 4 Ways to Keep Your Factory Safe from Cyber Attacks

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to meet a high-ranking US Senator. One thing that stuck with me was how seriously he took Chinese cyber espionage. Was it really possible that our phones could spy on us, even when powered down, unless the battery is removed? I was skeptical, but since then, we’ve learned of the reality of incurable spyware that lives on your hard drive’s firmware, and seen countless high-profile cyber-attacks that can bring even the largest companies to their ...

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DMC's Accuracy and Precision Expertise Featured by Control Design
Matt Puskala

DMC's Accuracy and Precision Expertise Featured by Control Design

DMC technical director, Ken Brey, and project manager, Jesse Batsche, contributed their expertise for an article titled, "How to Get High Precision and Accuracy for OEMs and System Integrators," recently published in Control Design for Machine Builders.  What exactly do the terms accuracy and precision mean? Ken offered the article's author, Dan Herbert, a very decisive definition: "Accuracy is the degree to which a measurement agrees with an established refe...

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Arcade + Beer = Geek Heaven
Matt Puskala

Arcade + Beer = Geek Heaven

I enjoy arcade games - who doesn't?  My enthusiasm must not be a secret, as when an arcade bar  opened up not too far from our office, several coworkers made sure to let me know about it.  Arcade games are best enjoyed with heavy competition, and DMC's night at Emporium Arcade had some impressive contenders. We had a good turnout of over a dozen DMC engineers.  The most popular games of the evening were X-Men, The Simpsons, and Frogger. I spent the night trying to ...

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Automatic Remote Updates and the GHI Electronics EMX
Matt Puskala

Automatic Remote Updates and the GHI Electronics EMX

Our first experience with the .NET Micro Framework (NETMF) was on GHI Electronic's Embedded Master platform, using the .NET Micro Framework 3.0.  We recently had an opportunity to use the GHI's next generation replacement for the Embedded Master, the EMX module, and the .NET Micro Framework 4.1.  Both Microsoft and GHI have made many changes to the assemblies, classes and methods.   One cool new feature is the SystemUpdate class and the bootloader features that GHI a...

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Fast Embedded Prototyping: GHI Electronic's FEZ Cobra
Matt Puskala

Fast Embedded Prototyping: GHI Electronic's FEZ Cobra

In an ideal world, a design project has well defined phases with appropriate time alloted for each milestone.  In the real world, clients often bring a project that is already behind schedule, needing results yesterday. Board design can be a cumbersome process, often taking weeks before something physical is ready for the end customer. Breadboarding is an option, but it often isn't worth the time to put together a complete system with flimsy connectors that will be difficult to document...

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Selecting an Embedded Board Designer
Matt Puskala

Selecting an Embedded Board Designer

It is quite typical for companies to outsource their embedded design and other electronic and board design needs to other firms. Sometimes companies have innovative ideas they want to bring to market but not the internal electronics expertise, sometimes larger firms don't have the internal capacity or don't do enough electronics or embedded design to justify the dedicated staff. Own Your Design There are two major business models that embedded design firms use. Some firms make thei...

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New Case Studies
Matt Puskala

New Case Studies

Over the past few months we have added many new case studies to our website. We are continuously adding more examples of broad experience across industries and technical fields. Some of these are recent projects while others are past projects that we have just recently written a case study for. We have several new Battery Testing and other Test and Measurement Automation case studies: Batter Management System (BMS) Validation Test Stand Battery Pack Monitor System for Environmental Test...

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PLC Troubleshooting
Matt Puskala

PLC Troubleshooting

We are frequently asked to work on PLC systems for clients that we did not develop. The job could be troubleshooting an issue or adding a new feature to the system. Working with unfamiliar code has its own unique challenges, although we take pride in our ability to do so. Here are some things you should keep in mind when asking an integrator or even your own internal maintenance staff to take a look at your PLC system. Source Code Almost every PLC system I've worked with does not store...

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DMC Engineer Attains ISA Certified Automation Professional
Matt Puskala

DMC Engineer Attains ISA Certified Automation Professional

I am happy to announce that I have recently completed the requirements to officially become an International Society of Automation (ISA) Certified Automation Professional (ISA CAP). Per ISA, Certified Automation Professionals are responsible for the direction, definition, design, development/application, deployment, documentation, and support of systems, software, and equipment used in control systems, manufacturing information systems, systems integration, and operational consulting. In a nu...

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Crossover Cable and Null Modem Wiring
Matt Puskala

Crossover Cable and Null Modem Wiring

Setting up communication networks or interfacing with devices is a common task at DMC. Usually we try to prepare ahead of time so that we have all the hardware we need, but in a pinch, we do occasionally have to make our own cables or have a better understand of how things work so we can debug communications or monitor specific I/O lines. Crossover Versus Patch Cables I'll start by giving some background information. Typical, old-school communication systems work by each device having ...

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Installing Visual Studio 6.0 on Windows XP or Vista
Matt Puskala

Installing Visual Studio 6.0 on Windows XP or Vista

One of the more fun, and sometimes challenging aspects of working at DMC are service calls to work on legacy systems, hardware, and software. I have recently been working on a Baldor motion control system with a Visual C++ 6.0 front end. When I first joined DMC, we would implement C++ or VB 6.0 solutions quite frequently. Now we use the .NET platform, so I have not had Visual Studio 6.0 installed on my laptop for over a year. I ran into some problems during the install. Ultimately, the proble...

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DMC White Papers Go Live
Matt Puskala

DMC White Papers Go Live

We are happy to announce a new section of our website has gone live: DMC White Papers! We have planned on adding this section ever since we revamped our website four months ago. At this point in time we have two white papers. First there is Ken Brey's discussion of optimization of a servo system for a non-linear mechanical movement. It details Ken's work for a client earlier this year to optimize a system for maximum speed without over-taxing the server/amplifier system. We get into l...

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CSS and How to Center Images of Unknown Size
Matt Puskala

CSS and How to Center Images of Unknown Size

When DMC launched our new website a few months ago, we were quite happy with some of the new skills and tricks we learned. One area where I learned quite a bit more, in particular, was CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, and html style tags. One issue we had to overcome involved centering images of varying or unknown size. We use a content rotator module on our website. There are numerous content rotator modules available for Dot Net Nuke. The content rotator we used comes from a company called ...

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DMC is a Windows Embedded Partner
Matt Puskala

DMC is a Windows Embedded Partner

We are happy to announce that DMC has become a Windows Embedded Partner. DMC has been an active partner with Microsoft, joining the Microsoft Partner Program in 2001 and acheiving Gold Partner status in 2007. Our Windows Embedded Partner status reflects our familiarity with Windows Embedded platforms, included Windows Embedded operating systems and the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework. Due to DMC's experience and expertise with the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET development environment, usin...

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Forcing IE8 Compatibility Mode in Dot Net Nuke
Matt Puskala

Forcing IE8 Compatibility Mode in Dot Net Nuke

Microsoft has just released Internet Explorer 8. Unfortunately, some of the pages on our website have some issues when viewed with IE8's default settings. In particular, the styling that we've done on our main page's tab control is causing issues. Users can fix these issues on the client side by selecting compatibility mode (the button to the right of the URL field shown below). Of course, a client side fix is never a user-friendly fix. Thankfully there is a meta tag that can ...

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Circuit Board Design: Auto-routing in Altium
Matt Puskala

Circuit Board Design: Auto-routing in Altium

You've finished and double checked your schematic, all the footprints have been loaded or created, and you've laid out all of your components on your board. Now it is time to route the traces. Traditionally, board designers route traces by hand giving them complete control over everything. However, there definitely are times and places for the auto-routing tool. When to Use Auto-Routing Tools Simple board designs with fewer components Situations where impedance matching and...

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Fixing Pidgin for Yahoo Messenger
Matt Puskala

Fixing Pidgin for Yahoo Messenger

Like many offices, we have adopted the use of instant messenger while at work. It allows us to stay in quick contact with each other, even when working remotely at customer sites. The network we use is the Yahoo Messenger network. Some of us use the default client, but many of us have switched over to Pidgin. The main advantage of Pidgin is the ability to link other IM networks to one client (ICQ, MSN, Google, etc.). Today I noticed issues with my current version of Pidgin on the Yahoo Mes...

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DMC Launches New Website
Matt Puskala

DMC Launches New Website

We've launched our new and improved website. We implemented our website in-house, so we have full control, allowing us to edit and add new content going forward. We decided to go with a CMS to make this easier. ASP.NET based Dot Net Nuke (DNN) was an obvious choice for us. Implementing the new website required efforts in many disciplines: graphic design and image editing, ASP.NET, CSS, html, marketing and writing. Needless to say, we've picked up a few new tricks along the way. Over t...

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