Some people look at a venerable resource like resistor color code charts and see something tried and true, but to [Andrew Jeddeloh], there’s room for improvement. A search for a more intuitive way is what led to his alternate cheat sheet for resistor color codes.
Color code references typically have a reader think of a 560 kΩ resistor as 56 * 10 kΩ, but to [Andrew], that’s not as simple as it could be. He suggests that it makes more sense for a user to start with looking up the colors to make 5.6 (green-blue), then simply look up that a following yellow band means resistance in the 100 kΩ range (assuming a four-band resistor); therefore 560 kΩ is green-blue-yellow.
The big difference is that the user is asked to approach 560 kΩ not as 56 * 10 kΩ, but as 5.6 * 100 kΩ. [Andrew] shares a prototype of a new kind of chart in his post, so if you have a few minutes, take it for a spin and see what you think.
Is his proposed method more intuitive, or less? We think [Andrew] makes a pretty good case, but you be the judge. After all, just because something has always been so doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. This happens to apply nicely to resistors themselves, in fact. It may seem like through-hole resistors have always had color bands, but that is not the case.
What started as business cards for [Nerdonic]’s engineering clients unexpectedly expanded into a project in its own right. A CheatKard set consists of seven electronics cheat sheets made in the style of PCB rulers. Sized at 80 mm x 50 mm, they should fit in your business card holder or wallet regardless of the standard in your country. Alternatively, the set can be held together with a small ring in the top corner. The cards are made from fiberglass PCB stock, 0.6 mm thick with gold plating and matte black solder mask. The stackup goes like so:
- Schematic Symbols
- Component Values
- Footprints, SMD 1
- Footprints, SMD 2
- PCB Design
- Laws and Theory
Even before shipping this electronics set, [Nerdonic] has already been asked to make sets of CheatKards for other fields, such as photography, chemistry, antenna design, mathematics, etc. While these aren’t as comprehensive as the Pocket Ref book from years gone by, we like a good cheat sheet. If you want to get a set, check out [Nerdonic]’s Kickstarter project which was funded within hours of going live, and see the short video clip below the break. He also makes a pledge to plant one tree in the Amazon rainforest for each set he sells.
Do you have any favorite cheat sheets or cheat sheet making techniques? Do you prefer your cheat sheets to be physical or stored on your computer? Share your comments down below.
Continue reading “Pocket Cheat Sheets For Electronics”
[Brendan Herger] was warned that the process of publishing a Python package would be challenging. He relishes a challenge, however, and so he went at it with gusto. The exhausting process led him to share a cheat sheet for publishing Python packages with the goal of making the next time smoother, while also letting other people benefit from his experience and get a running start.
[Brendan] describes publishing a Python package as “tying together many different solutions with brittle interchanges.” His cheat sheet takes the form of an ordered workflow for getting everything in place, with some important decisions and suggestions about things like formatting and continuous integration (CI) made up-front.
The guide is brief, but [Brendan] has made errors and hit dead ends in the hopes that others won’t have to. The whole thing came about from his work in deep learning, and his desire to create a package that allows rapid building and iterating on deep learning models.
Deep learning is a type of machine learning that involves finding representations in large amounts of data. [Brendan] used it in a project to automatically decide whether a Reddit post contains Star Wars plot spoilers, and we recently saw it featured in a method of capturing video footage only if a hummingbird is present.
We aren’t sure that a PDF with 100 pages in it qualifies as a pocket reference, but TI’s Analog Engineer’s Pocket Reference is certainly a good read. You do have to register with TI (use a disposable address if you are too paranoid to do that), but the free download is well worth the effort. The document’s been around for awhile, but TI recently released a new 4th edition.
The first few pages might underwhelm you. You probably know the standard decimal prefixes and are more likely to ask Google to convert circular mils to square millimeters, for example. The second part, though, gets more into electronics. There’s standard values for resistors and quick reminders about the difference between X7R and Y5V ceramic in capacitors, for example.
Things get progressively more interesting, covering measurements and phase shifts, and then amplifiers. The little circuits are pithy but cover the bases including things like frequency response.
Continue reading “TI Releases New Edition Analog Engineer’s Pocket Reference”
Check out the resistor color code reference cards I just whipped up. I was inspired by the PCB versions that Octopart has been crowdfunding this week. Those didn’t have the information I would normally be looking up, so I decided to whip up a few of my own and put them out there for inspiration or for you to print yourselves.
Continue reading “Hackaday’s Resistor Code Reference Card”
Quick: which pins are used for I2C on an ATmega168 microcontroller?
If you’re a true alpha geek you probably already know the answer. For the rest of us, ChipDB is the greatest thing since the resistor color code cheat sheet. It’s an online database of component pinouts: common Atmel microcontrollers, the peripheral ICs sold by SparkFun, and most of the 4000, 7400 and LMxxx series parts.
The streamlined interface, reminiscent of Google, returns just the essential information much quicker than rummaging through PDF datasheets (which can also be downloaded there if you need them). And the output, being based on simple text and CSS, renders quite well on any device, even a dinky smartphone screen.
Site developer [Matt Sarnoff] summarizes and calls upon the hacking community to help expand the database:
“The goal of my site isn’t to be some comprehensive database like Octopart; just a quick reference for the chips most commonly used by hobbyists. However, entries still have to be copied in manually. If anyone’s interested in adding their favorite chips, they can request a free account and use the (very primitive at this point) part editor. Submissions are currently moderated, since this is an alpha-stage project.”
[Alex] put together this handy cheat sheet to make pinout lookups much quicker. It covers the most common chips from the AVR line, ISP headers, and FTDI cables.