Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Instant On Demand Learning

Well – You have to love the internet...

My trusty Compaq Mobile Workstation had a LCD Hinge break, the Laptop is a really nice performer so I didn't want to upgrade as it's got some more years in it.

So I searched around for a replacement hinge. In 5 minutes I found an online retailer that claimed to have the part. I was all set to order, but first I did a search to see if they had any reviews. They did – on their PC sales they got good reviews, but on the parts side everyone was disappointed.

What to do next – I searched eBay for the part – found a guy 500 miles away with the hinges, ordered them over a holiday weekend and the parts arrived Monday morning via first class mail. Now that's service.

The next problem was in trying to figure out how to take the Laptop apart. These things are always easy once you see how it is put together, but unless you know that – something is going to get broken.

No Problem – Just search YouTube for some videos on repairing Laptop Hinges – I could not find my exact Laptop model, so I just watched a few videos of similar sorts of HP Laptops. That was close enough.

45 minutes later I had my laptop apart and the hinges replaced. I even improved the Laptop some by placing a few more strips of household double sided tape under the keyboard which made it much more solid in a few spots.

In the past I have used the YouTube “Quick Learning” method for many other projects – such as,

* Figuring out how to properly tension my Garage Door springs
* How to upholster a headboard with fabric
* A quick refresher on Plumbing
* How to drill ½ inch holes in Concrete
* Learn about the latest Semiconductors via brief Webinars

And on and on....

You just have to love the Internet for “Instant On Demand Learning”.

Steve Hageman

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Can you use an Agilent 34401 DVM as a Waveform Digitizer?

EDN Has published an article written by me this very subject

"Use a DVM to directly digitize low-frequency noise (Part 1 and 2)"

The project I was working on involved measuring 0.1 to 10 Hz noise not only for RMS and peak-to-peak values in the time domain, but using an FFT Analyzer in the frequency domain also. I was all ready to get out a bunch of equipment and make a special test fixture, but then I remembered that my Agilent 34401 can make readings very fast and I set about exploring what can be done with just the meter itself.

When we think of DMM's we normally think of measuring very slowly moving DC signals. This month takes a look at what performance can be acheived, Next month we will take a look at how to verify the performance of our DVM as a Waveform Digitizer.

Steve Hageman