D-104 mike
High Frequency Measurement - Podcasts
Douglas C. Smith
 Address:  P. O. Box 1457, Los Gatos, CA 95031
 TEL:      800-323-3956/408-356-4186
 FAX:      408-358-3799
 Mobile:   408-858-4528
 URL:      www.dsmith.org
 Email:    doug@dsmith.org


Starting in January, 2006, I am posing my high frequency measurement podcasts at this URL. I don't like things that automatically download into my computer so I will not do that to others either. The mp3 files linked below may be listened to in your browser by simply clicking on one of the links or downloaded to your computer to listen to later. To download, right click on a link and select "save as" to save the file to your computer. In a sense, these files are "manual" podcasts in that you manually download them. You can play the files on most any computer or mp3 player (such as an iPod, hence the name "podcast")

Feel free to pass around original, unaltered copies of the mp3 files. In fact, I encourage sharing of these files so more people can hear these files while saving bandwidth charges for me at the same time. If you can put the files up on an internal company server, BitTorrent, or any of the file sharing services, so much the better.

The first file, really a test file, dated December 28, 2005 is the introduction to more that follow. At first there will be a few per month increasing in frequency to once per week or more as soon as I get a feel for the volume of traffic to expect. I hope these podcasts prove useful to the engineering community. Feel free to send me suggestions for improvement.

One way to reach this page is by clicking the image of a microphone on my main site (http://emcesd.com, http://www.dsmith.org, or http://hfdesign.org).  That microphone link will always point to the current location of this page. You may also bookmark this page directly.
Doug at the microphone

Doug at the Microphone


Available Shows: (click on the date to hear the audio play in your browser or right click to download as an mp3 or mp4 file)

Weekly Video Podcast
Updated each Friday
Archive

Doug Unplugged logo

A series of informal podcasts on a number of subjects.


Technical Podcasts
  • #39 - July 10, 2008, Small Square Loop Construction (mp4 video) (~2.7 MB, 1 min 15 sec)
    • I will be doing more video podcasts now that I can easily record and edit videos on my new Mac OS X 10.5 machine. This video is is short and simple with no editing needed. It is a trial recording that contains useful information. I show how to construct a small square wire loop out of a piece of stiff brass wire and a BNC barrel adapter.  The resolution is only 352x288 pixels to keep the size down, but that is adequate for the purpose. I make the original movie in higher resolution as a .mov file, some of which will be shown in my seminars.  In this case, the MOV file is almost 18 MB, a little large for many readers of this site. More and better videos are coming.
  • #38 - April 1, 2007, Rubber Band Theory of Circuit Design (video) (~12.5 MB, 1 min 15 sec)
    • This is my first attempt at a video netcast and describes my April 2006 Technical Tidbit on "Rubber Band Theory of Circuit Design." The analogy between rubber bands and current flow can be a bit of a stretch, but it is April and the analogy is good enough for describing current flow to a manager. You should read the April 2007 Technical Tidbit before viewing the video (use link below). A high speed Internet connection is recommended due to the large file size.
    • April 2007 Technical Tidbit link: http://emcesd.com/tt2007/tt040407.htm
  • #37 - March 6, 2007, DesignCon 2007 (~3.9 MB, 17 min 16 sec)
  • #36 - January 10, 2007, Coupled Bonding Conductors (~2.5 MB, 10 min 53 sec)
  • #35 - January 8, 2007, Finding That Glitch (~2.1 MB, 8 min 44 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • In this podcast I review a couple of Technical Tidbits on at http://emcesd.com that bear on finding glitches and then go on to propose a method of finding sources of fast glitches within a board design using a (very) fast  scope and high bandwidth differential probes.
    • I define a "glitch" as a noise spike that is larger than normal noise I would expect to see in a given situation.
    • Links in this podcast:
  • #34 - January 5, 2007, A Common Design Rule Violation (~1.4 MB, 6 min 23 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • This podcast discusses a common design rule violation that has caused problems for design engineers. In the last year, I have seen a number of products that had a major operational or compliance problem because of this violation.
  • #33 - January 3, 2007, Making Measurements in the Presence of Severe EMI (~800 kB, 3 min 17 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • Measuring signals around severe EMI, such as ESD, can be difficult. This podcast summarized the last three Technical Tidbits for November 2006, December 2006, and January 2007 and points out what can happen of care is not taken.
    • Links in this podcast:
  • #32 - December 25, 2006, The 2006 EOS/ESD Symposiun in Tucson, AZ (~4.7 MB, 20 min 9 sec)
  • September 4, 2006, A Method for Improving the Repeatability of Air Discharges at 8 kV and Higher (~1.5 MB, 6 min 30 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • This podcast was updated on September 14, 2006 to add more information about air discharge as well as troubleshooting techniques using filtered IEC 61000-4-2 contact discharge waveforms.
    • Applying the IEC 61000-4-2 ESD test to devices presents a number of problems. The construction of an average air discharge current waveform by filtering the contact discharge waveform at 8 kV and higher can give repeatable results for an equivalent air discharge in many cases. Also, filtered contact discharges can be useful in  troubleshooting system level ESD problems.
    • Link in this podcast:
      • http://emcesd.com/tt2006/tt090106.htm - Technical Tidbit article on which this podcast is based. The article contains detailed descriptions and links to items referred to in this discussion.
  • August 22, 2006, The IEEE EMC Symposium in Portland, OR, USA (~7.2 MB, 30 min 44 sec)
  • August 3, 2006, An Interview with Martin Rowe: Directions in Engineering (~2.7 MB, 12 min 03 sec)
  • August 1, 2006, A Measurement Technique for Locating EMI "Hot" Areas on Boards or Systems (~1.3 MB, 5 min 44 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here  and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • This podcast is a companion to the August 2006 Technical Tidbit on my main site, http://emcesd.com . I go into the background of the technique described. This technique is an extension of a technique that I first learned of throughHenry Ott.
    • Links in this podcast:
  • July 14, 2006, EMC: The Early Years, an interview with Michael King (~2.9 MB, 12 min 52 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here  and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • I interview Michael King in this podcast on his recollection of the early years of EMC (1950s and 1960s) and contrast that period with the current state of EMC.
    • Links in this podcast
  • July 6, 2006, A Small Change Can Have a Large Effect - Part 2 (~1.2 MB, 5 min 8 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here  and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • This podcast is based on my July 2006 Technical Tidbit and describes some of the problems one can get into if there are uncontrolled variables in a test setup. A few examples are given.
    • Links in this podcast
  • June 5, 2006, Measuring Structural Resonances (~1 MB, 4 min 16 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here  and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • This podcast describes some of the uses for the technique described in my June 2006 Technical Tidbit, Measuring Structural Resonances.
    • Have you ever heard someone describe EMC troubleshooting as relaxing and fun? If not, you must listen to this podcast!
    • Links in this podcast
  • May 30, 2006, Workshop to benefit the University of California at Santa Barbara (~700 kB, 3 min 1 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here  and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • I am donating my time to teach one of my seminars at UC Santa Barbara as a workshop with all funds going to benefit the Electrical Engineering department. The single day workshop is to be held on Friday, July 14, 2006. See the blue box above for information or click here for a description of the workshop in pdf format. As a workshop, there will be lots of hands on experiments as well as a vendor area for vendors whose products are used in the workshop, including: Agilent, Thermo Electron, and Fischer Custom Communications. Click here for registration information.
    • The workshop involves many design verification and troubleshooting techniques I developed and are not available in any other course, seminar, or workshop except those taught by myself.
    • Come to the workshop and spend the weekend in Santa Barbara, one of the most beautiful areas in California (the workshop is on a Friday)!
  • May 29, 2006, CISPR 22, Edition 5 (~1.4 MB, 5 min 59 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here  and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • I discuss the new CISPR 22, Edition 5 with Mark Briggs of Elliott Labs in Sunnyvale, CA. There is a chance that this new edition may result in radiated testing above 1 GHz needing to be done twice using different test site configurations to meet FCC and CISPR requirements. Listen to the podcast to see if this may affect your product.
    • Links in this podcast
  • May 18, 2006, Inexpensive Sources of Useful Test Equipment (~1.4 MB, 6 min 14 sec)
  • May 3, 2006, Routing Signals Between PWB Layers - Part 2, An Emissions Example (~1.4 MB, 6 min 14 sec)
  • April 20, 2006, Silicon Valley EOS/ESD Society Meeting (~2.4 MB, 10 min 31 sec)
  • April 6, 2006, Routing Signals Between PWB Layers - Part 1, An ESD Example (~1 MB, 3 min 55 sec)
  • March 26, 2006, Strange Happenings (~1.2 MB, 5 min 30 sec)
  • March 18, 2006, Wireless Internet at 37,000 feet (~1.4 MB, 6 min 13 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here  and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • This podcast discusses some interesting technology I encountered on a recent trip including wireless Internet service on the airplane at 37,000 feet over the middle of the Pacific Ocean and mobile phones that come with hotel rooms.
  • March 10, 2006, Predicting Cable Emissions from Common Mode Current (~1.4 MB, 5 min 54 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here  and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • This podcast is a discussion and interview about the March 2006 Technical Tidbit at http://emcesd.com titled "Predicting Cable Emissions from Common Mode Current." The paper contributed by Mat Aschenberg and Charles Grasso for this article is discussed by Mat in the interview. He talks about:
      • Why you may want to measure common mode currents on system cables.
      • How to make common mode current measurements.
      • Error in predicting emissions from common mode currents and a practical solution.
      • The cost benefits of making this measurement.
    • Links in this podcast:
      • Fischer F-61 current probe (Fischer's home page). From there, click on "Instrumentation" and then "Monitor Current Probes", and finally on the link to the F-61 probe. The F-61 probe is very sensitive, more than I estimated during the interview. The data sheet shows its transfer impedance above about 100 MHz to be 22 dB Ohms or a little over 10 Ohms (10 Volts output per Ampere of current). This is sensitive enough to view common mode currents that might cause a Class A (commercial equipment) emissions failure without the need for an external preamp for most spectrum analyzers.
      • Radiation from Common Mode Currents - Beyond 1 GHz (~1.2 MB) a short paper by Mat Aschenberg and Charles Grasso
  • March 4, 2006, A Tribute to Andy Hish, a True Engineering Pioneer (~3.6 MB, 15 min 34 sec)
    • Can't download mp3 files? Right click here  and select "save as" to download the program as a .dcs file. After download, manually change the ending from .dcs to .mp3 to listen to the program.
    • Andy Hish passed away this last week. He was a true pioneer in the fields of high frequency measurement, EMC, and ESD. This podcast is an interview with Michael King, a close friend of Andy's. In the interview, Michael recalls some of Andy's major contributions to the field of EMC and ESD. There is a great piece technical history here.
    • Some of the questions answered in the interview:
      • What was the Stoddard Aircraft Radio Company?
      • Why was Andy's ESD simulator, designed decades ago, far more advanced than anything we have today?
      • What happened to his ESD simulator design and why are we not using it today?
    • Links in this podcast:
      • Michael King's website - http://www.systemsemc.com
      • Instruction manual (first few pages with pictures) for Andy Hish's model ESD-255 ESD generator on the rentals and sales page of the Testwave website (page down on the site to see a picture of Andy's ESD generator).
  • February 28, 2006, ESD Association Committee Meeting Interviews - Part 3 (~2.1 MB, 8 min 52 sec)
    • This is the third and final interview of the series at the ESD Association Committee meetings in Tucson.
    • Jon Barth of Barth Electronics gives us a bit of history in high speed instrumentation and an interesting perspective on ESD at the device level as well as cable discharge. You will find this interview fascinating and informative.
    • Links in this podcast:
  • February 27, 2006, ESD Association Committee Meeting Interviews - Part 2 (~1.0 MB, 4 min 14 sec)
    • This is the second interview of the series at the ESD Association Committee meetings in Tucson.
    • Bob Vermillion of RMV Technology Group, LLC gives us a perspective on ESD protective packaging.
    • Links in this podcast:
  • February 26, 2006, ESD Association Committee Meeting Interviews - Part 1 (~1.2 MB, 5 min 14 sec)
    • This week the ESD Association committees and standards groups are meeting in Tucson, Arizona, USA and there are many ESD industry experts in attendance. This is the first of several interviews with some of the experts here.
    • Michael Hopkins of Thermo Corporation, manufacturers of the KeyTek line of EMC test equipment, gives us background on cable discharge as well as a little history of KeyTek's involvement in pulsed EMI testing.
    • Links in this podcast:
  • February 17, 2006, Controlling Test Variables During Troubleshooting (~1.5 MB, 6 min, 44 sec)
  • February 14, 2006, Podcasting Tips (~1.9 MB, 8 min, 27 sec)
  • February 8, 2006, Construction of a Simple Antenna for Wireless Troubleshooting (~2.2 MB, 9 min, 36 sec)
    • This podcast is a discussion of the February 2006 Technical Tidbit at http://emcesd.com titled "Construction of a Coaxial Antenna for Troubleshooting."
    • It is not necessary to read the Technical Tidbit this podcast is based upon. However, if you read the Technical Tidbit before or after listening to this podcast, the information will be reinforced and easier to remember.
    • A simple troubleshooting method is described to help determine if wireless equipment, such as a mobile phone, may cause interference to an electronic product.
  • February 7, 2006, Trends in undergraduate Electrical Engineering programs and other topics from the University of California Santa Barbara Electrical and Computer Engineering, ECE, department (~2.3 MB, 9 min, 53 sec)
    • Interviews with faculty/staff of the ECE department
      • Steve Long, Professor in the ECE department
      • Leslie Edwards, Manager of the Technology Management Program
    • If you know a person considering Electrical or Computer Engineering as an undergraduate course of study or are just interested in the current state of Electrical Engineering, the information in these interviews may be very helpful.
    • Trends in undergraduate Electrical Engineering and specifically the program at UC Santa Barbara, including some of its unique features, are discussed.
  • January 27, 2006, What Makes a Good Technical Seminar? (~750 KB, 3 min, 11 sec)
    • This podcast includes interviews with people at one of my technical seminars.
      • What do they like to see in a technical seminar?
      • What do they want to take back to their job?
    • Presenters of (and people planning on attending) technical talks and courses may benefit from this podcast!
  • January 17, 2006, It's Just a Small Design Change! (~1.1 MB, 4 min 35 sec)
    • Sometimes a small design change can have an unintended effect!
    • This is a discussion of the January 2006 Technical Tidbit at http://emcesd.com titled "ESD, A Small Change Can Have a Large Effect." The discussion goes well beyond ESD effects to general design changes.
  • January 16, 2006, So You Want to be a Consultant, Part 3 -  Engineering Influence (~1 MB, 4 min 10 sec)
    • The "prophet in his/her own land" effect
    • Why the boss and one's peers may not listen to an engineer on design issues (and how to change this)
    • Why the boss and one's peers will listen to a consultant on design issues (and how an engineer can command the same influence)
  • January 12, 2006, So You Want to be a Consultant, Part 2 - Websites (~2.2 MB, 9 min 42 sec)
    • Website for career enhancement
    • Things to avoid, such as fancy features
    • Getting your site noticed
    • Generating your site using a free tool (Mozilla Composer)
    • Making the most of the site, web access logs
  • January 7, 2006, So You Want to be a Consultant, Part 1 (~3 MB, 13 min 06 sec)
    • Introduction
    • Two modes of work, a few or many clients
    • Some basics (such as: P. O, Box, 800 number, domain name, website)
    • Concerns (such as: burnout, risk, sickness)
    • Advantages (such as: tax benefits, freedom, reduction in number of bosses by one)
  • January 6, 2006, Trends in EMC/compliance testing and implications for manufacturers (~2.8 MB, 11 min 55 sec)
    • Interview with Eddie Pavlu, CEO of Elliott Labs in Sunnyvale, CA
    • Equipment getting complex -> requirements also getting complex
    • Compliance is not just EMC testing anymore
    • Integrated, reasoned approach is needed minimize test time
    • DFS, dynamic frequency selection, testing and implications to 801.11 WiFi
    • RoHS, Restriction of Hazardous Substances
    • WEEE, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
    • and more!
  • December 28, 2005, Introduction (~670 KB, 2 min 50 sec)

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Copyright © 2006-2008 Douglas C. Smith