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Entries for the 'Circuit Design' Category

The Product Development Process: How to Bring Your Product to Market
Tim Jager

The Product Development Process: How to Bring Your Product to Market

Have you ever had a product design idea? Our engineers created this overview of the product development process to demystify how to bring your product to market.  Learn more about DMC's Custom Software and Hardware Development services.

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Exploring Altium: Using Design Variants
Ryan Taylor

Exploring Altium: Using Design Variants

One of my absolute favorite things about embedded design is watching a product evolve over the development cycle. From unboxing the first prototype all the way to the release of the deluxe commercial model, each revision of the design poses new and interesting challenges. One of these challenges is managing each revision of the electrical schematic and PCB layout in a way that minimizes human error and maximizes automation. Altium Designer has an excellent tool to assist the embedded engineer...

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Pet Project: Turn A Fan Into A Clock
Devon Fritz

Pet Project: Turn A Fan Into A Clock

For those of you with electronics hobbies, here is an interesting pet project that is not very difficult or expensive. In fact, you can find most of the parts lying around your house. The idea is to make an analog display clock. The finished product will have a rotating circuit board that flashes LEDs at the correct time in order to make a floating image of an analog clock. Here is a list of basic materials that you will need: White box fan Perforated board PIC (or any microcontroll...

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Repairing an NI USB-6351 X-Series DAQ
Johnny Sun

Repairing an NI USB-6351 X-Series DAQ

Recently, I’ve needed to do some proof of concept testing for a LabVIEW-based project. The only special I/O requirement for my prototype was a +/- 10V analog output that is capable of sourcing at least 1mA of current. The good news was that DMC owned just the piece of hardware: an NI USB-6351 X-Series DAQ. The bad news was that it was handed to me with the caveat that it doesn’t turn on and may or may not smell bad when plugged in. Undeterred, I resolved to resurrect our $1500 out-of...

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Exploring Altium: Design Rules
Ryan Taylor

Exploring Altium: Design Rules

Some rules are meant to be broken. Unfortunately, none of them apply to PCB design. Designing and developing printed circuit boards can be an unforgiving process: placing a critical analog line just a few millimeters closer to a noisy clock line might be the difference between a functional widget and an expensive drink coaster. Luckily, many modern software tools provide safeguards to catch critical mistakes before they’re sent out to your favorite PCB fabricator. The most fundamenta...

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Exploring Altium: Pin Swapping
Ryan Taylor

Exploring Altium: Pin Swapping

Since joining the DMC team, I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to a wide variety of awesome projects and learn several new technologies. During a recent embedded design project, I was tasked with converting our circuit schematic to a printed circuit board (PCB) layout using a software package called Altium Designer. Altium is a very powerful tool for schematic capture and layout (as well as FPGA design and simulation) with a fantastic support wiki, and I wanted to share some of the tip...

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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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Introducing LabVIEW Object Oriented Programming to your Toolbox
Danny Budzinski

Introducing LabVIEW Object Oriented Programming to your Toolbox

The concept of LabVIEW Object Oriented Programming (LVOOP) has been around for a number of years now, but has consistently been one of those areas that seemed to have to high of a learning curve to justify learning “just because”. Luckily, in a recent project I managed to get the green light for implementing an object oriented (OO) solution. For me the biggest appeal for OO programming in LabVIEW was the increase in organization, manageability, and code-reuse that it offers. The i...

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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: Simple board designs with fewer components Situations where impedance matching and trace lengths are not a concern ...

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