MacroFab Engineering Podcast

MacroFab Engineering Podcast

MacroFab's Engineering Podcast! Where Electrical Engineers, Parker Dillmann and Stephen Kraig talk about electrical engineering topics, DIY projects, and industry news. Sometimes cool people stop by the podcast to drop some knowledge.


December 2, 2022 56 min
MEP EP#355: The One They Talk About Football Fields For a Long Time

End of 2022 Engineering Questions?

  • What trends in the past few years have changed PCBAs the most in the last few years?
  • Weird SMT packages are starting to become more normal
  • PCBs themselves are being used more as a structural part of the overall product
  • What do you think will be the next “big” thing that will change the way EEs design PCBs?
  • Rigid Flex changed the ...
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    MEP EP#354: A Consumable For Your Wallet

    Louis Rossmann’s fresh start in Austin, Tx

  • Moved his business from New York to Austin, Texas
  • Learn how to open and fix things
  • Classes will be free
  • Mercedes Makes Better Performance a $1,200 Subscription in Its EVs

  • Subscription to make your car vroom vroom faster
  • Acceleration from 0-60 mph is said to improve by 0.8-1.0 seconds and the overall characteristics of the electric motors are supposed to...
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    November 18, 2022 55 min
    MEP EP#353: The Name Will Arrive

    Jeep Prop Fan Thingy

  • Jeep Prop Fan thingy
  • Spec Sheet
  • Connectors
  • The Quest for 25 Amps
  • TE Connectivity 1-1418362-3
  • Pg 63 of this catalog
  • Haltech released a new PDM
  • 10 8A
  • 4 25A
  • 2 Push Pull
  • Arduino Opta

  • Arduino's First Micro PLC
  • supporting standard languages including LD (Ladder Logic Diagram) and FBD (Function Block Diagram)
  • STMicro STM32H747XI dual-core microcontroller
  • Opta Lite, Opta RS485, Opta WiFi
  • Hig...
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    November 16, 2022 56 min
    MEP EP#352: CNC Crafting

    November 5, 2022 - Extra Life Recap

  • Improvements to the script
  • Thank you to everyone that hung out, supported, and donated!
  • What is next for CNC

  • Parametric cnc model in fusion
  • Model by Ed Frazier
  • Changed to a 5x5 cutting surface
  • All 8020 construction with good bit of milled aluminum
  • Added a 40 series table
  • ATP-5 aluminum by vista metals
  • https://www.vistametals...
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    MEP EP#351: Signal Switching for Maximum Offness

    Python Demo for Extra Life API

  • Stream Date: November 5th, 2022
  • Python to OBS functioning!
  • Websockets. What are they?
  • HTTP is unidirectional where the client sends the request and the server sends the response
  • Websocket data is continuously pushed/transmitted into the same connection
  • OBS has a built in local server that you can establish a websocket with another application
  • Python module ...
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    October 28, 2022 60 min
    MEP EP#350: Estimating Effort

    Python Demo for Extra Life API

  • Stream Date: November 5th, 2022
  • Functionality so far
  • Check Extralife API for donations
  • This is done with the requests module
  • This endpoint seems to return old and new donations
  • There isn't a “new donation” end point it seems
  • Get the donation IDs and compare them to a local file
  • Local file is made with the pickle module
  • Pickle allows you to take any data structure in pyt...
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    October 23, 2022 61 min
    MEP EP#349: Connector Catalogs

    November 5, 2022 - Extra Life

  • Haven't had a chance to work on this yet
  • Going to stream working on it?
  • Adventures in injection molding

  • PINNACLE 5112C3
  • 8% haze - this is pretty low. Any lower and it would be considered “clear”
  • Low melt flow, excellent processability - Voids
  • Two ways to create diffusion
  • Haze
  • Surface Texture
  • Jeep Prop Fan 

  • Half bridges for each output
  • Current sensing
  • INA219
  • Inputs
  • Found ...
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    October 14, 2022 59 min
    MEP EP#348: AVRDUDE All The Way Down

    November 5, 2022 - Extra Life

  • Content for the stream
  • API for Extralife
  • Custom plugin that goes to a Duke Nukem Sound Board
  • Trying to get it to play gifs 
  • Working with Open Broadcast Software now
  • Live podcast Nov 22 in Houston

    Microchip woes?

  • Microchip has got back to us about the firmware - no issues on their end
  • Suggested using the command line interface
  • Originally thought pullups on the reset line bu...
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    October 6, 2022 43 min
    MEP EP#347: Out Of Bounds Engineering

    November 5, 2022 - Extra Life

  • I play games for children's hospitals
  • Raised $5,169.42 last year
  • Was the number one raiser for the Texas Children's Hospital
  • What game for this year?
  • What should I make for the stream?
  • API for Extralife
  • Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens Colonial Marines 
  • Custom Stream plugin for the games
  • Live podcast Nov 22 in Houston

    Hacking FR4 for light transmission

  • Using FR4 ...
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    MEP EP#346: Calibrating CNCs with PCB Rulers

    November 5, 2022 - Extra Life

  • I play games for children's hospitals
  • Raised $5,169.42 last year
  • Was the number one raiser for the Texas Children's Hospital
  • What game for this year?
  • CNC

  • Calibration
  • 90
  • Dust Collection
  • 2/4/5/6 in pipe
  • Thinking I will do an overhead PVC solution
  • Have to design a skirt capable of interfacing with a 4 in hose
  • Battleship Texas

  • Going to try to get someone on to...
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    September 23, 2022 68 min
    MEP EP#345: The Hot List of Tasty Chip Fabs

    Pool Shark Update!

    Wolfspeed fab for NC is latest on CHIPS Act list

  • 668,000 domestic manufacturing jobs
  • Global Unemployment. Do we have enough people for this?
  • What technology are they aiming for?
  • Here’s the latest hot list of cool chip fabs coming to the US

  • GlobalFoundries
  • 180nm down to 12nm
  • Intel
  • Ohio
  • New Mexico
  • Arizona
  • Micron
  • Memory Chips
  • Samsung
  • High end computing
  • Texas Instruments
  • 45...
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    September 16, 2022 47 min
    MEP EP#344: Fierce Key Inventory

    Differential probe design update

  • Trying to reduce part count - Want to make it simple
  • Decided to go with Caddoc 1776-C681 resistive dividers.
  • Used this on the bias test system
  • 1:100 divider with high voltage, good tolerance and good thermal performance
  • Challenge is to get the dividers to fit
  • 3d printed case
  • Air Filter / Canister

  • Turned out great so far will have to see how it holds up under the heat
  • Pic...
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    September 9, 2022 60 min
    MEP EP#343: Bricking Bad

    Bricking Microcontroller - Watch those fuses

  • Pic, AVR, STM
  • Atmel ATXMEGA16A4U
  • AVR studio and microchip studio
  • Air Filter / Canister

  • Long Running Project between Chris Kraft and Parker
  • Mods on the red Jeep necessitated moving the original air cleaner
  • First design was all 3D printed around 2016 / 2017
  • This is right around when 3D printing large objects like this started to get fessable on a hobby printer
  • PL...
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    September 2, 2022 51 min
    MEP EP#342: Hackery Experts


  • Mathematician
  • Computer Scientist
  • AND!XOR employee of the month
  • Working on badges and things Hackery
  • Previous Podcast Episodes

  • Incognito Mode episode number 69
  • Arduino, The Gateway Drug To #BadgeLife episode number 109
  • Espress-ify? Designing Products Around the ESP-32 Platform episode number 144
  • Feel the Hum episode number 183
  • Better Encryption than Zoom, Firmware Stacks episode number 238
  • And a couple of th...
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    August 26, 2022 57 min
    MEP EP#341: Project Snackey Recap

    Project Snackey at Defcon30

  • What we did
  • CTF
  • Codes
  • What went wrong
  • What went right
  • People’s reactions
  • Improvements for next year
  • Lock Picking Village
  • Hardware improvements
  • Physical Security
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    August 6, 2022 59 min
    MEP EP#340: Necrobiotic Synthesizers

    Project Snackey

  • See y'all at defcon 30!
  • Stuff you want to learn about?

  • Canbus
  • FPGA design
  • AWS web development
  • Manim - python
  • My Spider-sense is Tingling

  • Spiders are just hydraulic animals
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    July 29, 2022 52 min
    MEP EP#339: Educated Compromises

    Project Snackey

  • Announcement video lands before this podcast gets released.
  • Project Diffprobe

  • Looking at teardowns of other diff probes
  • ADA4817
  • 2pA input bias
  • -3dB bandwidth of 1050MHz
  • Very low input capacitance
  • Combine to make an instrument amp
  • Perhaps going with an integrated instrument amp
  • INA12
  • Page 27 of the datasheet -  Right-Leg Drive
  • Hardware subscriptions?

  • BWM to offer heated seat subscription
  • ...
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    MEP EP#338: Feature Complete or Minimal Viable Products

    Project DiffProbe

  • Landed on the topology Stephen wants
  • High voltage dividers
  • Compensation capacitors
  • CMRR calibration (120dB rejection)
  • Offset correction
  • Buffers and Instrumentation Amplifiers
  • Differential Stage
  • 10x and 100x attenuation means offsets have to be bang on
  • Opamps (3 of them)
  • Buffers
  • Low input bias current
  • Low offset
  • Bandwidth?
  • Differential amp
  • Low offset. Capable of...
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    July 15, 2022 60 min
    MEP EP#337: CSV File Woes

    Project Snackey

  • Input Firmware is completed
  • Output Firmware is skeltonized/frameworked
  • Need to add a “Power Good” signal
  • Auxiliary circuits need software resets on power cycling
  • Due to how Arduino hardware/software works
  • The Dangers of Basing your Project on Someone Else’s

  • ExtractModel
  • Fortran
  • No Github
  • One CSV file change causes script to break
  • Is it really broken?
  • What to do?
  • DIY Meat Smoker Ideas

  • ~$1600 for th...
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    July 9, 2022 64 min
    MEP EP#336: Heirloom Documentation


  • The right way to do instructions
  • Full table of contents
  • Broken out into sections. The ref designators match the section
  • Build
  • Test
  • At the end is a full calibration section
  • Section for logging your calibration values
  • A whole section for building enclosures and wiring
  • Project Snackey

  • PCBA completed!
  • Smoke monster is still contained within the circuit
  • Wrapping up the wiring inside t...
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