The Mystery Misfire

The dreaded P0171 code… If you've experienced it, just the mention likely gives you nightmares. If not - here's the rundown. P0171 is the automotive On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) code1 for a lean condition on the engine. If the engine is running lean, it simply means that the air to fuel ratio is not optimized, and there's either too much air or not enough fuel.

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Parallel Plate Capacitor Equation - Simulated

The Question A recent homework problem had us derive the parallel plate capacitor1 equation for electrostatics. This gives the capacitance of a parallel plate structure in terms of the plate area, distance between the plates and relative permittivity. The equation for this situation is: $ C = \epsilon_{R}\epsilon_{0}\frac{A}{d} $ After solving this problem for the analytical solution, I was curious to see how closely the result matched a 3D field solver.

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Antenna Analysis from Ham Radio to PCBs

Has anyone else ever thought about why so many engineers are also active amateur radio operators? My theory is that there's just so much passion for the science and practical use of these complex electronic systems! We enjoy the problems, challenges and solutions so much that we want to find other ways outside of work to find those same experiences.

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NDAA Implications for Design Engineers

I recently found out about the latest National Defense Authorization Act (from I-Connect007) and a new provision for printed circuit boards with some government contract procurement rules. If you made it through that first sentence, then there's a good chance the rest of this article won't be too boring for you!

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