A Note From the Editor

Welcome to the January issue of Analog Dialogue.

I hope you had a great start to the year 2020. Analog Dialogue is now in its 54th year following the release of the first issue in April, 1967. As it continues to be the longest running, noncommercial magazine in the industry, we will see more on the topics of autonomous driving, 5G communication, Industry 4.0, and condition-based monitoring (CbM), which will continue to be major area of technological advancement. And thus, naturally, safety and security will play a larger role in new designs and applications. Connectivity will be the key. Autonomous driving will not be possible without a strong 5G (or even 6G) communication network. Likewise, the amount of data generated by Industry 4.0 and CbM applications will require it as well. With all of this communication and connectivity, one question remains: will the world become safer? Technology develops rapidly and becomes more readily available, but humans determine its applications and impact. It is a responsibility that belongs to all individuals. There are many exciting possibilities, and I look forward to seeing where this new decade takes us.

And now, back to the articles from the Analog Dialogue.

Traditional combustion engine vehicles emit engine sound, even at low travel speeds, making it easy for pedestrians to notice a moving vehicle. Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids, on the other hand, accelerate almost silently at low speed and do not emit engine sound. This poses a new threat for blind pedestrians, mobile users, and headset wearing pedestrians. Our first article explores how an electric vehicle warning sound system (EVWSS) can help eliminate this threat by producing a series of sounds designed to alert pedestrians to the presence of an electric vehicle. These sounds vary from artificial tones to realistic sounds that mimic engine noise and tires moving over gravel. Why not use a DSP or SigmaDSP® for this audio task?

In our next article, you will discover how radio amateurs have acquired another way to achieve uninterrupted worldwide radio coverage. With two dedicated transponders onboard, the Es’hail-2 satellite is a new geostationary satellite that connects users across the globe in real-time and provides reliable coverage of over one third of the Earth. The new software-defined radio approach to radio transceivers offers multiple advantages that have also impacted the amateur radio world. This article gives an overview of the Es’hail-2 satellite, its coverage capabilities, and how it can be accessed. The creation of a practical radio station is presented using the ADALM-PLUTO SDR.

At high power densities with low output voltages, the problem of heat dissipation rises to the top of the design priority list, especially for linear regulators in low noise applications. Paralleling LDO regulators can increase the supply current capability and mitigate heat dissipation, reducing the temperature rise of any component and the required size and number of cooling devices. This article shows how to parallel the LT3033 very low dropout regulator for applications that require higher-than-3 A current. The LT3033 can be easily paralleled—and current balanced—due to its built-in output current monitoring feature.

Our RAQ this month concentrates on LTspice® in more detail and shows how to generate an accurate analog switch macromodel. There are good macromodels available for op amps, but analog switch macromodels are not designed for high performance simulations. Generally, a warning will appear in the header of switch macromodel files, stating that modeled parameters are only valid for particular constraints. Analog switches are general-purpose and require an accurate analog switch macromodel for simulation. To achieve more accurate performance, you might need a new macromodeling approach to bring your simulation to a higher level.

Lastly, the ADALM2000 StudentZone series continues with the topic of base-emitter junctions of NPN transistors. We will investigate the forward and reverse current vs. voltage characteristics of a bipolar junction transistor connected as a diode. Next month, we will continue the ADALM2000 series with further interesting topics based on basic electronics, as prepared by our series’ hosts, Doug Mercer and Antoniu Miclaus.

And as we have for 54 years, we invite you to be part of the dialogue in Analog Dialogue. You can get in touch through our blog, Facebook page, or email. Let us know how we’re doing and what you’d like to see from us in the coming months.