Site description

A blog for electronics professionals, amateurs, hackers, and anyone interested in the world of electronics.

27 September 2011

HP-15C now in Stock at HP! No it isn't! Yes it is ! No it isn't!

Well, the HP-15C finally made it to market, and promptly sold out within a few hours. So quickly, in fact, that I didn't even get a chance to post it here before they had all gone. From the look of Ebay, many seem to be bought by speculators.

Anyway, they are back on sale at HP's online store. Oh wait... No they aren't. This time the stock lasted about half a day. All I can say is - keep an eye out for when they restock! My guess is that if they keep selling this quickly, then the Limited Edition won't be quite so limited. look to have them in stock. 4 left at the time of writing, listed at a mere $119:99. $20 more than the official HP shop, albeit Amazon have free shipping. Can we say "gouging"? I thought so. Still, it is cheaper than Ebay.

I don't think I will be buying one, I find the missing binary / hex modes too useful. Any chance of the HP-16C? Potential purchasers might like to be aware that the build quality is typical Kinpo Electronics rather than classic Hewlett Packard.

14 September 2011

A PCB CAD Refresher Course

At one time it felt like I was destined to be a PCB designer, churning out design after design for someone else's work. Now this is a very worthwhile and skilled job, but it wasn't for me, and so it is only occasionally that I get to design PCBs now. Unfortunately that means that I tend to forget work-flows, and fiddly little quirks and details. Come to think of it, I tend to forget some pretty big details too! When you have let muscle memory get on with things, it can be daunting when you come back to your CAD software.

I have a fair few notes which I have written up over the years, and I was even considering recording a video. This started me wondering what YouTube might have to offer. Altium have done a load of videos (hosted on their own site), but I have to say they aren't very helpful. At best they are rather "corporate". Anyway, to cut a long story short, I found these YouTube videos. They are clearly recorded by someone who knows what he is doing, and aimed at the more introductory end, but are very much worth watching if you need a quick refresher.

All these videos relate to Altium Designer, and are best viewed full screen. Videos recorded by

1. Schematic capture and PCB layout (Part 1)

2.Schematic capture and PCB layout (Part 2)

3. Creating a Component Library

4. Navigating Designs

5. Working with Vias and Multiple Layers

6. Copper Planes and Pours