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Comment: Re:the problem with lithium ion technology (Score 1) 395

I have Radio Shack NiCds in the blue case. We're talking 20 years here. My friend has some that are filled with juicy gunk in the plastic sleeve and they still work. I even have some RS alkalines from 20 years ago that still work.

RS had some good batteries back then.

Comment: Re:Now if they can implement this technology... (Score 1) 97

by 50000BTU_barbecue (#48136395) Attached to: Smart Battery Tells You When It's About To Explode

Duracells are notorious for poor quality. Avoid at all costs, they are garbage now. I try to use low self-discharge NiMH for standby electronics. Even if they go flat, they don't leak IME, I guess they're still at a price point were the manufacturer can put in the right ingredients.

Comment: Re:I dont think its the chips (Score 4, Informative) 60

by 50000BTU_barbecue (#48088525) Attached to: Sharp Developing LCD Screens In Almost Any Shape

As a (mostly) PCB designer, I find these TAB (tape automated bonding) attachments to the panel to be fascinating. The chips are the column and row drivers, that is, these chips have the job to drive the gates of the transistors that control each and every sub-pixel on the panel.
So your typical 1920x1080 LCD panel has 1920x3=5760 columns to drive. That's R G and B for every pixel. There are 10 such chips arranged along the top of the panel, which means each chip (about 10x3mm) has to have 576 analog outputs driven from the RSDS digital bus, itself generated from the TCON (timing controller) which receives the video in whatever format and translates it to the particular panel's needs (ie, bit depth, refresh type, etc).
Oh yeah, each LCD shutter must never have a DC potential on it for too long, so on each alternate cycle the polarity of the control signal is inverted.
This has something to do with the crystals themselves becoming "denatured" if they're in the same position too long.
Not only that, but the gate drive is non-linear and the column driver has to compensate for that, of course each type of compensation depends on the exact chemistry of the crystals used.
Anyways, if you look at the little PCB it's 1 mil thick (~0.025mm), and has hundreds of traces packed into a few mm... Not to mention the hundreds of contacts on the chip, all perfectly aligned to the PCB.

Ever wonder how the distance between the front and back panels is kept so uniform across the panel?
There's thousands of tiny ceramic beads in the panel to maintain the precise separation ...
Ahhhh yeah, this stuff is cool, amazing what we can afford to make and throw out if it doesn't work.

Comment: Re:Arduyawn (Score 3, Insightful) 56

What do you think was limiting it? You think someone who wants to design a (say) 15GHz sampling oscilloscope will stop because of the Arduino?

On the other hand, why not use an Arduino? I don't need a 32 bit monster "micro" controller running embedded Linux to flash the headlights on my RC car. I use a bare-bones PIC but someone who is happy with the "get it done" approach of an Arduino, what is wrong with that?

"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it." -- Marvin the paranoid android