The Amp Hour
An off-the-cuff radio show and podcast for electronics enthusiasts and professionals
 Chris has a new mic! An AT2020 USB microphone. Dave uses a Samson C01U USB microphone. The Jacksonville police mistake LED lightbulbs for a bomb! Whoops! Shonky Product of the Week: The ADE651, a scam bomb detector. Similar to a dowsing that it's full of crap! Shoutouts: Fake EE Quips has created a bingo [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-58-ZappyZendikZoilism.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:00pm EDT

  Welcome to another awesome guest: Alan Yates, VK2ZAY!   Alan works on pyrotechnics for fun(?!) While he's not worried about burning out over doing similar hobby/paid work, Chris has written about burn out recently and how that might be a part of it. He also is an active ham operator, mostly working with PSK31 [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-57-ReconditeRadiationRaconteur.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 12:34am EDT

  Another week of bouncing from topic to topic. This week included robots, entrepreneurs, OSHW, FPAAs, Ecology and LEDs! Whoo, that's a lotta stuff!   Elon Musk is an enviable entrepreneur and engineer. Great video piece on him on Google buys the Motorola handset business for $12.5 billion. Chris thought it was for access [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-56-OpenOrbificOratiuncle.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:20pm EDT

  Just when you thought the names of episodes couldn't get any weirder...   US economy seems to be diving again, hopefully it will not seriously impact the electronics industry. If it does, Chris thinks startups will be even more reliant on Angel Investors like Paul Buchheit (creator of Gmail) Is DIY finally going mainstream, [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-55-ShonkyStiverStultiloquence.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:45pm EDT

Embedded industry maven and prolific writer, Jack Ganssle, joins us on The Amp Hour this week.   Dave called Chris a "young whippersnapper" (actually "young feller", but the same sentiment) in writing about Jeri's chip making. A former colleague of Jack's maintained that  spec's for computers were driven by the porn industry and how much [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-54-EmbeddedElcheeEpexegesis.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:42pm EDT

  Happy Birthday to us! One year in the bag! Thanks for all of our wonderful listeners!   From the EEVBlog forums, user "dics" is listening to The Amp Hour on a breadboard! Awesome! Tech Shop SF is matching donations on a new campaign to spread the word of Hacker/Makerspaces in the community. Chris's alma [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-53-BiarchyBirthdayBavardage.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:56pm EDT

Our friend and previous guest, Jeri Ellsworth, returned to the show to talk about her latest projects. And holy wow, they are prettygreat!   Jeri discusses the process of making transistors in your home using household chemicals, silicon wafers and a small kiln or oven. More info on her process of making the chips [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-52-CarnassialChipChemicals.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:14pm EDT

    Our initial try of Google Plus "Hangouts"! Hopefully all the interuptions and the concentration on a new medium didn't interrupt our usual shabby quality of podcast (thereby downgrading our rating to "godawful"). We had fun and hopefully will be able to use it to pull in guests in an easier way and somehow [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-51-VafrousVideoVaniloquence.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

  What would be the best way to create a "cough switch" or "kill switch" for a USB based podcasting microphone? EMSL created an AWESOME 555 Timer Footstool. Such a great replica! Design Spark corrected us on what their new plugin does, in relation to Google Sketchup. Dave is wondering what kind of criteria to [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-50-CallowCoughCoverups.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:18pm EDT

This week focused more on electronics! Think we talk about something too much or too little? Let us know in the comments!   Chris finally got a chair and wowsa does it make a difference! Finding parts online can be tough with distractions, apparently extended internet use can affect the brain. What's a datasheet [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-49-UnusualUsenetUsurpation.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:49pm EDT

  Though it's been a sad week for the field of analog engineering, we want to honor Bob Pease and Jim Williams' passing. They were wonderful educators, engineers and people and we felt honored to even talk about them on the show. Please share any comments you might have about either of these two great [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-48-PosthumousPeasePorridge.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:56pm EDT

    Very sad news, Jim Williams of LTC analog fame has suddenly passed away The Art of Electronics 3rd Edition is the Duke Nukem Forever of the electronics industry. Jeff reminisces about his old Commodore Amiga and mentions the Amiga on an FPGA, and Dave talks about Jamma consoles. Agilent impress with their response to the [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-47-TheMothershipManifesto.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:30pm EDT

  The Amp Hour has a new server! Let us know if it is working ok for you. Daniel Garrido linked here from his project site. Some great projects over there! (sorry if I butchered your name!) Open Hardware Summit is on again this year and are looking for entries for presentations. Bre Pettis of [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-46-CloddishCollegiateConversations.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT

  Dave is a daddy! Congrats to him! See Dave's intro video to his new "project" below.   If you have suggestions for who to have on the show, check out the thread on the EEVblog forum (or leave comments below) Should the Jones' be worried about electromagnetic radiation sensitivity for the baby? Only if [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-45-NerdyNeuroelectronicNeurosis.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:27pm EDT

  This week it's back to just Dave and Chris...almost feels weird without more people! We'll get more guests on soon. Dave is in his studio with freshly made acoustic panels! Throughout the week, Chris has been mistaking BAMF to mean "Badass MotherF*#$%@!"  when in fact they've been talking about the Bay Area Maker Faire. [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-44-PerniciousProjectsPuppiesInPeril.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:41pm EDT

This week we have our first 4 person Amp Hour! Welcome to the Ed McMahon of The Amp Hour, Jeff Keyzer, and the young star of the maker scene, Jeremy Blum!     Happy birthday to Jeremy! How do people say "Arduino"? Friend of the show and 555 contest entrant, Jason Pruitt linked here recently from his [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-43-AudaciousArduinoArguments.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:26pm EDT

  Lots of fun and lots of discussion points this week! We talked about schools, contests, more contests, ham radio, 3D transistors and our first Chip of the Week! New-ish podcast about scientific computing. We found out about it when Ayah and Alicia from the Open Hardware Summit were on there. Jason Struble (@strube09) linked [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-42-HamSpamThankYouMaam.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

  This week is another threesome. Chris & Migthyohm Jeff are jury-rigged up in a hotel room at the ESC conference.   New startup kit business Nerds Like Us Sebastian (@sgtech) linked to us on his blog Chris & Jeff visited Halted Electronics & Weird Stuff Dave retold the Robert Cringely's DEFCON hacker conference story [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-41-ExhilaratingESCescapades.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 2:52am EDT

This week focused mainly around building a kit business, namely keeping costs down, keeping revenues in check and how to license your project.   Jigish linked to us from his site. Thanks! The Nottingham Hackerspace, Nottinghack, was pushed out of their old space and needs help funding a new one. Can hackerspaces thrive in [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-40-TheKitConniption.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:29pm EDT

  A few audio snafus this week, but we decided to leave them in for the "real experience". We'll get it eventually.   Chris and Jeri are broadcasting a live video show to announce the 555 contest winners. Dave is stressing about the Tektronix contest. He's trailing in votes! Jeremy Blum was featured on The [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-39-MumbleMumboJumbo.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:25pm EDT

  Jeff Keyzer of joins us this week to talk electronics and his new comic book!   Jeff Keyzer and Mitch Altman and Andie Nordgren just put out a comic book called "Soldering is easy!". Great resource for those just starting out and a preview of a book to be published later this year. [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-38-ComicalKeyzerComesACallin.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:09pm EDT

Whoa! Some big news this week!   Chris has a new rig in the mail. Should help future Amp Hour podcasts. Dave officially has left his day-job at Altium (never before spoken directly on air before!). The company is moving to China, as stated in their official press release. In other news, Texas Instruments [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-37-TheChineseClairvoyancy.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:05pm EDT

No guests this week, but lots of rants and items! Suggest future guests you'd like to hear either in the comments section or on the Suggestions Page.   Mike Cowgill is building an LCR meter. Looks like a really cool build! Welcome to Adam Ward, who recently started a new site and gave us [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-36-BigBusinessBuffoonery.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 12:56am EDT

The Amp Hour - Now with 100% more guests! Welcome, Jeri Ellsworth!   C vs. assembly language. Jeri still uses asm, Dave has in the past but favors C, C stands for Chris, that's good enough for him. Management of projects could improve projects, but not much can help code reviews. Jeremy is done [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-35-TheTernaryTussle.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:08pm EDT

Chris has a new bench! New podcasts! Vintage Volts is a podcast about electronics "back in the day" by Jeff Salzman. The BeagleCast is a new podcast from the folks at Jaime (@jpwack) is the awesome dude who put together the text and processing behind the final Widlar poster. Tell your favorite chip vendor [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-34-TheRantRhetorical.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

Protip: If you don't understand the title, think U2... Corrections It was Electronic Design, not Design News with the new radio show we mentioned last week. Sorry! WotW (our last?) Lucas Weakley writes from Florida to show off his bench and some kind of device in a pelican case. Our first female WotW submission, Irmi from [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-33-MondayMetaMonday.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:04pm EDT

WotW Dino (who now has a uStream channel for his workshop) Modular bench Bench with dresser drawers Bench with old Tek scope! Mitch (@mitpatterson) Bench with etching tools laid out Panorama of home lab Shoutouts DigiKey and Electronic Design Magazine have a new show! Rants DigiKey and Electronic Design Magazine have a new show! We [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-32-TheCommercialCompetitorCommencement.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:49pm EDT

Chris apologizes for the poor audio quality on his end, it was a new setup (again) while the bench is being finished. What's your favorite movie about engineering? Piggybacking on an article by Bill Schewber article from EEtimes. Bjork pulls apart a TV and tells us about it. WTF. "You shouldn't let poets lie to [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-31-PublishPopularPartsPlease.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:25pm EDT

WOTW Kibi (a WOTW alum!) send in pictures of a past bench! And a past beefy power amplifier! Jeremy Blum (@sciguy14) submitted pictures of his work workbench on his personal site! Great toaster SMT reflow! Not submitted, but Steve Liebson did a video interview with Jim Williams and we get to see Jim's lab. Events [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-30-FundingFusionIsNotFutile.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:08pm EDT

This week on The Amp Hour, Dave and Mightyohm Jeff Keyzer join forces to talk about: Jeri was naughty and got thrown out of the Designcon conference! Workbench of the Week from SnakeBite & Jeff's buddy Tony The new one-stop EE shop, Jeff rants about Eagle and the lack of IPC footrints Forest Mims [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-29-DJandJazzyJeff.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:43pm EDT

The 555 contest continues onward! Everyone is getting excited! Dave's classic 1976 vintage Signetics 555 timer chip (which he destroyed! RIP). Can anyone beat it? WOTW William L-shaped bench photos Laurence White Photo tour of the workshop Mr. J from Boston Home workbench Radio gear Rants Dave doesn't like how all those cupcakes he's sending [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-28-BowieAndTheBrownNote.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 7:19pm EDT

Shoutouts Thanks to Mitch (@mitpatterson) for linking to us from his site! Alexander linked here too and asked about what to do when family and friends might not be interested in hearing about your latest project. Octopart now indexes Digikey as well! Electronics porn! Hi res photos of an old Microchip part. Light can get [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-27-TheGreenPenHornswoggle.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:53pm EDT

WOTW None! C'mon people! But we did hear that some people have been building benches, such as John S. Can't wait to see them! Chris is planning a new bench as well! And has been doodling in Google Sketchup to get an idea of what he wants: View from the front From afar with the [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-26-TheBenandJeriShow.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

. WotW JP Wack from Santiago,  Chile Bench with awesome labels! Other work Troy Rank from Rochester, NY Bench page Stynus from Belgium Project page (tons'o'projects!) Workbenches And workbenches with Stynus in the picture Followup The 6502 was laid out by hand by one person! A new study out found that ASUS was the most [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-25-TheNASANostalgia.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:43pm EDT

. Shoutouts Sparkfun has a new "grab bag" program for all their pick and place cast off parts. Could be some good pickins! Rants Why does the IEEE still charge membership fees to unemployed engineers? And why does the cutoff for waiving the fee occur at 13k(and below)? Is that a realistic point at which [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-24-TheDetroitDebunking.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:07pm EDT

. WotW Adam C of submitted the first workbench of the week submission by video! Bob of took a picture of his bench with his pup, including a signed HP 300A! Lieven Blancke of Belgium submitted two pictures of his 7 year old maker son at their bench. Also included a picture of [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-23-TheInnovationSpeculation.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:58pm EDT

We wanted to try out a title similar to the style of The Big Bang Theory...we love it! Shoutout Another Ham-like video podcast called Amateur Logic. We like it! Thanks to the queen of science videos (Jeri) for the link! Dave got scooped! Afrotechmods did an AWESOME video about ultracaps. He arc welded a coin! [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-22-TheHardWorkHypothesis.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:27pm EDT

. Seasonal What is on your electronics list for the holidays? Dave and Chris both need new chairs for their labs WOTW Henrik from Oslo, Norway Bench setup and explanation. Sylvain from Belgium Bench setup for RF projects. David from Portland Portable bench setup. Taking your electronics on the road is impressive! Mike from the [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-21-MoreFreagle_MoreBenches_MoreEngineersOnTwitter.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:10pm EDT

Our first WOTWs! Mike, who works at Ascot TV in Christchurch New Zealand! More info about Mike's is here. Dave likes the Bob Parker ESR meter. David work at Delta-Q Technologies in Vancouver, Canada. More info about David is here (as are many more pictures!). David plans on doing something similar to the Electric Delorean [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-20-MilitaryElectronics_FirstWOTW.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:16pm EDT

Shoutouts Rich Hoeg of The Northstar Nerd, linked to us from his podcast page! Be sure to check out the others on there! To Google Sketchup! For offering electro-nerds the opportunity to do 3D modeling (easily!). They have a new contest in conjunction with Ponoko (thanks to @dustynrobots for the link). Check it out if [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-19-CADPrograms_SystemsDesign_RenewableEnergy.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:25pm EDT

Shoutouts Dave's $50 shootout is cited in Adafruit now carrying the Extech meter. Cool! There's also mention of it on extech site. NPR did a piece covering hackerspaces. Likely many have heard about it , but it's good coverage of the burgeoning trend. All About Circuits is a great resource if you've never seen it. [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-18-TransistorTypesAndWhereToGetElectronicGear.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:15pm EDT

Links! Shoutouts Solder Smoke is back! Bill is out in the HAM shack, broadcasting podcasts for all. Go catch the latest one! A podcast about DIY Drones, check it out and hear the most about the developing industry of unmanned personal drones! Rants Chris loves the Webench tool from National Semiconductor...he just wishes there was [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-17-EEmovies_PartRants_SPICE.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:22pm EDT

After an admittedly non-technical episode last week, we had an abundance of tech topics this week. So why keep writing when we can get to the links and you can get to listening! Shoutouts Troy Rank has a new show about e-bikes. Looking forward to hearing about the electronics in them! The 555 timer is [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-16-LEDDesigns_LastMinuteDesigns_BoardDesigns.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:30pm EDT

Not as many links this week but the usual hour's worth of talking. We even managed to work in a comment or two about open hareware development (even though we promised not to previously). On to the links! Shoutouts There's a documentary about hacker/maker spaces that needs your help! Help fund it at Kickstarter! Dave's [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-15-AnalogComponentsFirstPersonFlyingAndIdeaOwnership.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:38pm EDT

Dave made it home safe and sound! We're glad to have him back and appreciate Jeff from MightyOhm stepping up to the plate in his absence. This week we jumped right past the videos Dave plans on posting and into talking about current events, so why don't we do the same with the links? Shoutouts! [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-14-ChinaEntrepreneursBlueCollarReality.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:34pm EDT

Holy YouTube clips, Batman! We have tons of clips this week. Me and our special guest were talking about lots of stuff and it turns out many of them were video based. We can't wait to see many of Dave's videos, he's still traveling around and is still working on editing and uploading many of [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-13-ChipsAndFabsAndGarages.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:14pm EDT

Dave is back! And blogging from a hotel room, just like Chris did in episode 9 of the Amp Hour. He has lots of great videos he made at Renesas Dev Con and some good stories and experiences. On to the links! Shout outs! Thanks to Nathan from the Sober Newt for linking here! Thanks [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-12-DaveIsBackAndBlogging.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 8:08pm EDT

NOTE: I apologize about the sound quality on this recording. Thanks to the Zoom H1 autogain (very bad thing) and recording in a cubby like desk at my house (nearly as bad as the autogain) I sound like a mouth breathing, key pounding cubby troll. I'm very sorry and I tried to fix it best [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-11-ArduinoDaveThisWeek.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 1:19am EDT

Most of this week's discussion revolved around open hardware. The summit definitely provided some interesting conversation points, explained below. If we missed any links, please leave them in the comments! Open hardware The open hardware summit was awesome! (writing for EEtimes at ESC Boston was cool too!) Videos aren't all online yet but Limor Fried's [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-10-OpenHardwareAndSelfPublishing.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:02pm EDT

No, not in boxers, but definitely from Boston! On a $10 internet connection no less! Highway robbery! Next week we'll do a round up of my trip to ESC Boston and the Open Hardware Summit, but for this week we stayed within the usual tech bounds. The links mentioned are below and as always, comments [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-9-FromBostonInBoxers.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:03pm EDT