Monthly Archives: August 2014

Is a Part's Technology a Step, Stretch, or Leap?

The most secure type of part is one that is manufactured to an industry standard and is made by multiple vendors. Unfortunately, products that use only multi-source, standards-based parts will not give you any advantage in the marketplace. To be able to build a profitable product in volume reliably, you must apply enough new technology to give you a marketplace advantage while maintaining an acceptable level of component supply risk − balance is everything. Continue reading

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Hip Roof Angle Calculations

Quote of the Day The only hope of a pure mathematician is to die before their work is applied. - Pure mathematician stunned to hear that his work found an application in string theory. I am considering building a small … Continue reading

Posted in Construction | 6 Comments

Interesting Chart on US Health Care Costs

I have family members who are involved in the US health care system and we often talk about what is good and bad about our system. Once aspect of the our system that none of us understand is why it is so costly considering the level of service it provides. I have tried to become more informed on the subject by reading all I can, including the books by Atul Gawande − which are excellent. However, the answer still eludes me. Continue reading

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Modeling Manufacturing Defect Level Versus Process Yield and Test Coverage

Quote of the Day Innovation has nothing to do with how many R & D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It's not about … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics | 1 Comment

Budgeting for an Air Conditioner

I just recently added 20 kW of capacity electrical capacity to the lab. Other lab users have probably added another 20 kW of electrical capacity to the lab. Since I am conservative by nature, I will assume that all this electrical power is going to be used and will end up as heat dissipated in the lab. So I am estimating that we have added 40 kW of heat load to the lab, which means I should provide sufficient air conditioning capacity to cool that load (Figure 1 shows a common type of commercial, roof-top, air conditioner Continue reading

Posted in Construction, General Science | 1 Comment

Cost of Optical Fiber Versus Kite String

I try to help customers develop some perspective as to the cost of deploying fiber optic cable. Each cable can carry multiple fibers (see Figure 1). Customers will frequently ask about the incremental cost of adding an additional fiber to a cable they are about to deploy, which is often called the marginal cost of a fiber. Continue reading

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Sharks a Hazard For Submarine Cables

Quote of the Day There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. — Niccolo Machiavelli … Continue reading

Posted in Fiber Optics | 1 Comment

Compound Miter Cuts Without Any Formulas

Quote of the Day I refer to that time as their second bottle phase. — My mother on the teenage years of her children. My brothers did down one or two beers 🙂 You will find many carpentry web sites … Continue reading

Posted in Construction | 7 Comments

Massive Bandwidth to Come From Wavelength Division Multiplexing and Coherent Communications

I was just reading an article on the FASTER project, which is a submarine cable project that will deliver an initial information capacity of 60 Terabits Per Second (Tbps) between the US and Asia. This is substantially more than the 4 Tbps we typically see today in these systems (example). It does this by extensive use of Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (WDM), with each wavelength carrying 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps) over a six-pair cable. Continue reading

Posted in Fiber Optics | 1 Comment

Waveguides and Plumbing

One of the older gentlemen there was a World War 2 veteran who had worked on radar systems during and after the war. He used to tell me that assembling those systems made him a very good plumber. When I asked what he meant, he said that many of the waveguides were made of copper pipe (Figure 1) that was similar to that used for distributing water within homes in the US. Continue reading

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