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PCB Design Software – Which One is Best?

Article Technical Rating: 7 out of 10

There are numerous software packages available for designing printed circuit boards (PCBs), too many in fact.

That being said, there are three PCB design packages that are the most popular: Altium, Eagle, and OrCad.

For a struggling hardware entrepreneur developing a new electronic product or even for a freelance engineer just getting started, all three of these packages are probably prohibitively expensive. Launching a new product is already rather expensive without also spending thousands of dollars on just design design software.

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27

The Essential Guide on the Costs to Develop, Scale, and Manufacture a New Electronic Hardware Product

Article Technical Rating: 5 out of 10

Most entrepreneurs drastically underestimate all of the costs required to develop, scale and manufacture a new electronic hardware product. This is one of the main reasons so many hardware startups ultimately fail.

Don’t make the fatal mistake of underestimating the costs, or worse yet not estimating them at all, because in order to succeed to market it’s necessary to know your costs. Without knowing all of the costs you’ll either run out of money before your product is market-ready, or you’ll find yourself developing a product that can’t ever be manufactured profitably.

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1

Home Automation with an Arduino – A Basic Tutorial

Article Technical Rating: 6 out of 10

From controlling the room lights with your smartphone to scheduling events to occur automatically, home automation has taken convenience to a whole new level. Instead of using mechanical switches, you can now conveniently control all the devices in your home from your fingertips.

However, that comfort comes with a rather expensive price tag.

For instance, a normal LED bulb costs $1-$2.  The Philips Hue smart home kit is available for $130 with each bulb costing $30.  Wemo Smart plugs that allow any electrical device to be controlled from your smartphone start at $30.

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10

Linear and Switching Voltage Regulators – An Introduction

Voltage regulators are an essential part of most electronic hardware products. The function of a voltage regulator is to provide a stable voltage on the output of the regulator while the input voltage can be variable.

Voltage regulators can be generally classified as linear or switching.

Linear Regulators

Linear regulators can be thought of as variable resistance devices, where the internal resistance is varied in order to maintain a constant output voltage. In reality, the variable resistance is provided by means of a transistor controlled by an amplifier feedback loop.

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