Monthly Archives: May 2011

Chili Math and a Good Use for Decibels

You never know what you will see when you walk into a guy's cube. I went to an engineer's cube with a simple question on some electronic parts and I left with an education on chili peppers. My education began when I looked at his bookshelf and noticed that it was filled with various hot sauces, a dead giveaway that I was in the presence of a man who likes his heat. I also noticed the following chart on one of his walls (Figure 1). Continue reading

Posted in Baking, General Mathematics | 3 Comments

The Power of a Simple Magnifying Glass

Introduction My favorite radio program is Science Friday. Last week, their web page included an excellent video where Science Friday's resourceful intern, Flora Lichtman, gave a wonderful explanation behind the use of a lens to concentrate the Sun's power. Her … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Fiber Optics | 2 Comments

A Simple Analog Multiplier

Introduction I regularly get questions on using solar panels to power our Fiber-To-The-Home gear (FTTH). You might think that sounds kind of odd, but it makes a lot of sense for many businesses and municipalities. For example, every municipality has … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics | 6 Comments

Learning How Electronic Parts Work (Part 2)

As you guys know, I've been on a mission to learn how electronic parts work. As an engineer, I have a decent knowledge of certain parts of electronics but I always want to know more. What makes the leviton switches … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics | 2 Comments

What is a Hyperbola Doing in There?

Introduction An engineer came by my cube and asked me a question about a part we use in one of our older designs. This clever little device is made by Maxim and is called the 3660. This chip is used … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics | 2 Comments