2014 year in review - Personal observations from the non engineer
by Wayne Lesperance on December 30, 2014 | 0 Comments
As we close the books on our first year at Esterline Research & Design, I couldn't be happier. Happier about my decision to partner with the people I did, and the direction we are going. As the only partner of ER&D who's not an engineer, these are few personal observations I have made over the past year. Fair warning to engineers: This is not a technical paper, and at times includes such things as humor, speculation and vagueness. 1. Engineers are incredible multi-taskers. It's probably about as consistently true as saying car salesmen are good talkers.Maybe it's the nature of the..Read More »
Timing is everything - Setting a new standard in Clock Generators
by Wayne Lesperance on September 23, 2014 | 0 Comments
Being in the Frequency Control industry, we commonly run across the need to generate specific signals for testing circuits.For development and proof of concept, a stable clock generator is a standard piece of equipment. Although single channel clock generators are found in labs everywhere, they generally come in a big form factor with a big price tag.With the goal of adding capability, while reducing size and cost - The CG5 comes in a sleek 3.5" x 3.3" x 0.5" case and connects to a desktop or laptop which eliminates the need for a bulky and costly integrated display. A clock generator found in a lab might..Read More »
When does the Design Phase End?
by Wayne Lesperance on September 08, 2014 | 1 Comments
As we approached the point of bringing our first product to market, packaging became a focal point. It only makes sense to ship high end, high precision electronic gear in the most secure way possible, but does it matter what it looks like? That was the question... Typical outer packaging Bad example of inside packaging So, if it’s already been purchased, is there anything to gain from packaging appeal? If you’ve ever bought something from Apple (for example), you’ve seen the difference first hand.With Apple, packaging appeal is given nearly as much consideration as the product itself. I can’t speak for everyone,..Read More »
DA-10M0: Not more than you need, just more than you're used to...
by Wayne Lesperance on August 13, 2014 | 0 Comments
The new ER&D DA-10M0 5 channel 10 Mhz distribution amp features SMA inputs and outputs with optional programmable output power.Input power is supplied via wall wart or screw terminals. With a 3.5" x 3.3" x 0.5" footprint, this distribution amplifier can be embedded in larger RF systems requiring low noise distribution of reference signals or used as a standalone DA.The default option is discrete filtering set for 10MHz reference distribution. However any custom frequency (up to 100MHz) can be accommodated, upon request."What's great about this module is that it's something we have immediate use for ourselves" At ER&D we do a..Read More »
The new Pick and Place is in place...
by Wayne Lesperance on July 08, 2014 | 0 Comments
As much fun as it is to hand build a PCB, it can be awfully time consuming. Prototyping a single board isn't so bad, but once you have the final design nailed down it's just intricate busy work.Today we got our new Pick and Place Machine all set up and tested and we're pretty excited about it. It's not a large scale model, but it's perfect for what we need. Given we are primarily a R&D company and not a big manufacturing facility, it's ideal for our needs. After doing some due diligence, we decided to go with the Dengxin..Read More »
RF Distribution Amp - A useful module
by Wayne Lesperance on July 02, 2014 | 0 Comments
To design our high precision RF test gear, the design of several key subsystems was needed. These subsystems have potential to be useful tools and embeddable subsystems for other users, so we have decided to bring them to market. The first module in development is a low noise Multi-Channel 10 MHz Distribution Amp for distribution of a high precision frequency references. This 5 channel distribution amp will feature SMA inputs and outputs with optional programmable output power. Input power is supplied via wall wart, screw terminals (+6VDC), or USB power from PC. With a 3.5" x 3.3" x 0.5"..Read More »