Is Your Product a Good Idea?

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This is a very difficult question, and one I’m always a bit hesitant to answer. But, let’s start by breaking down what it means for a product idea to be “good”.

To most entrepreneurs a good idea is obviously defined as one that will eventually make a lot of money, or that will perhaps change the world if that is the goal. READ MORE...

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The 6 Parts of a Hardware Startup You Must Conquer to Succeed

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Even though I’m an electrical engineer that specializes in product development, I still think that most entrepreneurs tend to over-focus on product development.

One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs and startups make, is they spend years on product development without thinking about any other parts of the business. READ MORE...

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The Solo-Founder Maverick Versus a Co-Founder Team

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Should you go at your hardware startup on your own, or is it better to have a team of co-founders? Is one option clearly better than the other, or does it depend on the founder and the product?

There isn’t one clear winner that is the same for every person and every product. As with many things in life the answer isn’t simple or obvious, and it instead depends on your exact situation. READ MORE...

How to Prioritize Time-to-Market, Development Cost, and Product Quality

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When developing a new hardware product and bringing it to market, there are three fundamental variables under your control –speed, cost, and quality.

First, is the speed at which the product reaches the market. In other words, how fast can you develop the product, scale it, setup manufacturing, and get it on the market. READ MORE...

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Tools, Devices, and Gadgets for Novice Product Developers

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Technical Difficulty Rating: 6 out of 10

Product developers spend a lot of time interacting with various tools which are vital to the development phase. Whether it’s software, a mobile app, or hardware you are developing, these tools are critical to the success of your project. READ MORE...

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FAQ: How Do the New U.S. Tariffs on Electronic Components from China Impact My Product?

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Confused about the new U.S. Tariffs on electronic components from China, and how they impact your hardware development? Well, you’re not alone. I think most people have found them confusing.

In this article I’m going to discuss how these new tariffs may impact your electrical components, printed circuit boards, integrated circuits and even your assembly choices. READ MORE...

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12 Ways to Select the Best Product Idea to Bring to Market

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Technical Difficulty Rating: 3 out of 10

There are many steps required to bring a product to market, but ultimately, it all starts with the product idea itself. If you have the wrong product idea, then all the other steps, no matter how well you perform them, won’t really matter. READ MORE...

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Top 10 Mistakes Made on Product Development

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Above image: Bridge in Minnesota which collapsed during rush hour traffic due to a design flaw.

Technical Difficulty Rating: 5 out of 10

There are a few mistakes that I frequently see when it comes to the development of electronic hardware products. Some of these mistakes are with the electronics design, some are with the enclosure design, and some of the mistakes are more general in nature. READ MORE...

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FAQ: Should I Patent My Product?

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Disclaimer: I’m an engineer and an entrepreneur, not a patent attorney so nothing I say should be construed as legal advice.

This is one of the most common questions for anyone with an idea for a new product. Whether or not you should you get a patent is a question with two likely answers depending on who you ask. READ MORE...

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10 Ways to Find Engineers to Develop Your New Product

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Technical Difficulty Rating: 0 out of 10

Finding engineers to develop your product is not an easy task. It’s very challenging to find good engineers, and it can be even more difficult to judge the quality of those engineers. This is especially true if you are not an engineer yourself, because you likely don’t have the technical skills to judge the experience or work quality of other engineers. READ MORE...

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The Right Way to Bring a New Product to Market

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Technical Difficulty Rating: 3 out of 10

There is always a right way and wrong way to do something. When it comes to bringing a new product to market there are in fact many wrong ways to do it. Unfortunately the majority of entrepreneurs, startups, and inventors go about it the wrong way. READ MORE...

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7 Strategies to Develop a New Product

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Technical Difficulty Rating: 3 out of 10

There are multiple ways for you to develop a new physical product and bring it to market. However, the strategy that is best for you depends on your specific experience, your product, your team, and your finances. There is no strategy to develop a product that is best for everyone under every situation. READ MORE...

Charging Methods for Lithium-Ion Batteries

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The battery type of choice for most electronic equipment running on batteries is the li-ion battery.

Of the other types that were used previously, NiCad batteries for use in electronic equipment have been banned in the EU, so the overall demand for those types have dropped. READ MORE...

What’s Inside a Smartphone?

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Modern smartphones are marvels of technology, and it is really impressive how much technology is crammed into such a compact device. The product that the customer holds in their hands is certainly the result of many compromises made to satisfy many conflicting requirements. READ MORE...

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How to Add Audio Features to Your Embedded Product

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Embedded applications often need to reproduce sound. Whether you need simple prompts, chimes, rings or music clips, having the ability to reproduce pre-recorded audio can greatly enhance the UI (User Interface) of many embedded applications. READ MORE...

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A Practical Guide to Using an Oscilloscope

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An oscilloscope, frequently referred to in the trade as a scope, is an essential diagnostic tool used in any serious electronic circuit design activities.

A scope provides a time-stamped, running clip of a signal at the point of measurement. The signal in this case is simply an input voltage. READ MORE...

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Introduction to Embedded Firmware Development

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An embedded system is a stand alone, intelligent system dedicated to running a set of tasks, or an application, from the moment it is powered on.

This is in contrast to the way an application is started on a desktop or similar device, where the user does not have to specifically load anything. READ MORE...

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Wireless Sensor Communications Network – IoT Case Study

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Given the explosion of Internet-of-Things (IoT) capable products, I wanted to go into more detail on how to add wireless sensors to your new product.

This article describes a simple system, and a communication protocol, that can be used to implement a two-way, low-speed, polled star network. While not suitable for all applications, there is a surprising range of applications where this setup could be used. READ MORE...

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Electronic Lab Setup – Tools and Equipment Requirements

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If you are a maker or engineer planning to develop your own electronic product, then you’re going to need a way to test, program, and debug the electronics. In this article we will discuss how you can construct your very own lab setup for testing out all your product concepts. READ MORE...

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Introduction to the Ultra High-Performance STM32H7 32-bit Microcontroller

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The STM32H7 is the most powerful member of the popular STM32 family of 32-bit microcontrollers based on ARM Cortex-M cores, and offered by ST Microelectronics.

This microcontroller can be clocked at speeds up to 480 MHz with a benchmark performance greater than 1,000 DMIPS. This is one of the fastest, most powerful microcontrollers currently available on the market. READ MORE...

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Introduction to the ESP32 WiFi / Bluetooth Wireless Microcontroller

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The ESP32 is a very versatile System On a Chip (SoC) that can be used as a general purpose microcontroller with quite an extensive set of peripherals, including wireless capabilities.

Manufactured by Shanghai based Espressif Systems, the ESP32 costs less than $5. It’s quite popular with the maker community, but is also a good low-cost solution for mass production. READ MORE...

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Introduction to Developing Wearable Technology Devices

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Developing a wearable electronic product involves juggling design constraints and compromises in ways that are quite a bit different from a conventional non-wearable design.

In this article, I’m defining a wearable product as a body-worn device, with its own power source, that doesn’t restrict the movement of the wearer. Examples would be a pair of smart glasses, or a smart watch. READ MORE...

Advanced Guide on Interfacing with a Video Display

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NOTE: This article is a guest post by Shawn Litingtun. Shawn is an extraordinary electronics designer. He has an insanely comprehensive understanding of many topics in electronics and has extensive knowledge on electrical certifications. I’m yet to ask him a question about electronics that he can’t answer! He is also one of the experts inside the Hardware Academy available to answer technical questions. READ MORE...

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Comparison of Memory Types Available for Your Product

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Every electronic system that has some kind of microcontroller, or microprocessor, needs to have some memory attached to it.

This memory holds the program that the processor executes. It also holds the data that the program requires, or produces. This data may come from sensors, or is some intermediate result of the running program, or is simply to be saved or displayed. In an ideal world, there should be only one kind of memory. READ MORE...

How to Select the Best Display for Your Project

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If your new electronic product requires a display, then it is essential that you select the right type of display.

Your choice of a display directly impacts your product’s user experience simply by being one of its most visible aspects. A display is also likely to be one of the most expensive components in your product, and also one of the most power hungry. READ MORE...

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Introduction to Battery Chargers (Part 2 of 2)

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In this second part on battery chargers we’re going to be looking at the BQ24092 and the BQ24703 chargers from Texas Instruments.

If you are not familiar with lithium battery chargers I highly recommend you first read part 1 where I explain some of the fundamental concepts. READ MORE...

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Introduction to Battery Chargers (Part 1 of 2)

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One of the most common types of electronic circuits used in modern portable electronic products are battery chargers, specifically those for recharging lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries.

This two-part series will review three common battery chargers. READ MORE...

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How to Pick the Right Voltage Regulator(s) for Your Design

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Probably more than 90% of products require a voltage regulator of some kind, making them one of the most commonly used electrical components.

Unless you’re able to run everything directly off battery voltage or an external AC/DC adapter voltage, a voltage regulator is required. Odds are that multiple voltage regulators will be needed. READ MORE...