During 6th grade science we had a chapter on Last time we learned that under patent law the machine.Would you expect a modern electronic memory stick to be a machine? Probably not. But, under patent law it is. It’s an electronic device, and as such it’s made up of multiple parts, including integrated circuit chips, resistors, diodes, and capacitors, all of which are soldered to a printed circuit board where they interact with one another. They do so electrically, through changing current flow, rather than through physical movement of parts as in our diesel engine. A transformer is an example of another type of machine. An electrical machine. Its fixed parts, including wire coils and steel cores, interact dynamically both electrically and magnetically in order to change voltage and current flow. Electromechanical, the most complex of all machine types, includes the kitchen appliances in your home. They consist of both fixed and moving parts, along with all the dynamic interactions of mechanical, electronic, and electrical machines. Next time we’ll continue our discussion on the second hurtle presented by 35 USC § 101, where we’ll discuss what is meant by ___________________________________________ |

## Posts Tagged ‘resistor’

### Determining Patent Eligibility – Part 4, Machines of a Different Kind

Sunday, April 28th, 2013### Transistors – Voltage Regulation, Final Chapter

Monday, November 19th, 2012### Transistors – Voltage Regulation Part XVII

Monday, November 12th, 2012### Transistors – Voltage Regulation Part XV

Sunday, October 28th, 2012### Transistors – Voltage Regulation Part XIII

Monday, October 15th, 2012
Last time we learned how the Zener diode, an excellent negotiator of current, is involved in a constant trade off, exchanging current for voltage so as to maintain a constant voltage. It draws as much current through it as is required to maintain a consistent voltage value across its leads, essentially acting as voltage regulator in order to protect sensitive electronic components from power fluctuations. Now let’s revisit our example power supply circuit and see how Ohm’s Law is used to determine the amount of electric current, ## Figure 1
If you’ll recall, Ohm’s Law states that current flowing through a resistor is equal to the voltage across the resistor divided by its electrical resistance. In our example that would be R. In fact, the voltage across _{Limiting}R is the difference between the voltages at each of its ends._{Limiting} Applying this knowledge to our circuit, the voltage on one end is V. According to Ohm’s Law the equation which allows us to solve for _{Zener}I is written as:_{PS}
V – _{Unregulated}V) ÷ _{Zener}R_{Limiting} And if we have a situation where V, such as when the voltage of an unregulated power supply like a battery equals the Zener voltage of a Zener diode, then the equation becomes:_{Zener }( V) = 0_{Zener }And if this is true, then the following is also true:
R= 0_{Limiting} In other words, this equation tells us that if V, then the current _{Zener}I will cease to flow from_{PS} the unregulated portion of the circuit towards the Zener diode and the external supply circuit. Put another way, in order for I to flow and the circuit to work, _{PS}V must be greater than _{Unregulated}V._{Zener} Next week we’ll continue our discussion and see why the resistor ____________________________________________ |

### Transistors – Voltage Regulation Part XII

Sunday, October 7th, 2012
Let’s continue our discussion with regard to the example circuit discussed last time and see how the Zener diode works in tandem with the limiting resistor to control current flow and hold the output voltage at a constant level. ## Figure 1
To recap our discussion from last week, the unregulated power supply portion of the circuit in Figure 1 generates an unregulated voltage, V and converts it into a steady output voltage, _{Unregulated}V. Because these output terminals are connected to the ends of the Zener diode, _{Output}V is equal to the voltage put out by it, denoted as _{Output}V._{Zener} The Zener diode, an excellent negotiator of current, is essentially involved in a constant trade off, substituting electric current that originates in the unregulated power supply portion of the circuit for voltage, I, through it as it needs, its objective being to keep _{Z}V at a constant level, and it will continue to provide this constant output, despite the fact that V_{Output} varies considerably._{Unregulated} So, where does the current I, that is, the current flowing from the unregulated power supply area, as shown in Figure 1. _{PS}
I splits off from _{Z}I and continues on to the Zener diode, while current _{PS}I splits off from I on its way to the total internal resistance, _{PS}R, in the external supply circuit. _{Total} What this means is that when you add I together, you get I. Mathematically speaking this is represented as:_{PS}
= I_{Z} + I Why solve for I, _{PS}V, _{Unregulated}V, and _{Zener}R relate to each other with regard to the Zener diode. _{Limiting}____________________________________________ |

### Transistors – Voltage Regulation Part VI

Sunday, August 26th, 2012 Believe it or not as a kid in grade school I used to hate math, particularly algebra. None of my teachers were able to decipher its complexities and render it comprehensible to me or the majority of my classmates. Then in high school everything changed. I had Mr. Coleman for freshman algebra, and he had a way of making it both understandable and fun, in a challenging kind of way. With 40 years of teaching under his belt, Mr. Coleman knew exactly how to convey the required information in an understandable manner, and to this day I find his insights useful in solving engineering calculations.
Last time we began our discussion on Ohm’s Law and how it may be applied to our example circuit to solve for the electrical current flowing through it. Let’s continue our discussion to see how the Law applies to only one part of the circuit. Then, we’ll use a little algebra to show how the output voltage of an unregulated power supply is affected by changes in ## Figure 1
To help us see things more clearly, in Figure 1 we’ll cover up the inside workings of the unregulated power supply side of the circuit and concentrate on the external supply part of the circuit alone. Since Ris the same as the power supply output voltage, _{Total }V._{Output} In my previous article, we learned that according to Ohm’s Law, the current flowing through a resistance is equal to the voltage applied to it, divided by the resistance. The fact that I, flowing through :_{ }R_{Total}
Now let’s pull the cover off of the unregulated power supply again to see what’s going on within the circuit as a whole. ## Figure 2
In Figure 2 we can see that the current,
We can combine the above two equations for R, _{Internal}R, and _{Total}V:_{DC}
Then, by rearranging terms and applying the cross multiplication principle of algebra we can solve for R_{Total:}
This equation tells us that although V will fluctuate when _{Output}R does. This fact is demonstrated in our equation when we make use of algebra. That is to say, when a term changes on one side of the equation, it causes the other side of the equation to change as well. In this case, when _{Total}R changes, it causes _{Total}V to change in proportion to the fixed values of _{Output}V and _{DC}R._{Internal}Next time we’ll look at another shortcoming of unregulated power supplies, more specifically, how one supply can’t power multiple electrical circuits comprised of different voltages. ____________________________________________ |

### Transistors – Voltage Regulation Part V

Sunday, August 19th, 2012 I’m sure you’ve seen the television commercials warning about harmful interactions between prescription medications. By the same token electronic circuitry can also be adversely affected by certain combinations of electrical components, as we’ll discuss in today’s blog.
Last time we R increases, the electrical current, _{Total}I, decreases, and when R decreases, _{Total}I increases. In contrast to this increasing/decreasing activity of the total resistance Rdoesn’t fluctuate. Let’s explore Ohm’s Law further to see how the static effect of _{Internal}, Rcombines with the changing resistance present in _{Internal }R to adversely affect the unregulated power supply output voltage, _{Total}V, causing it to fluctuate._{Output}## Figure 1
In Figure 1 R are operating in series, meaning they are connected together like sausage links. In this configuration their two resistances add together as if they were one larger resistor. _{Internal} Generally speaking, Ohm’s Law sets out that the current,
In the case of the circuit represented in Figure 1, the resistors R are connected in series within the circuit, so their resistances must be added together to arrive at a total power demand. Voltage is applied to these two resistors by the same voltage source, _{Total}V. So, for the circuit as a whole Ohm’s Law would be written as:_{DC}
But, Ohm’s Law can also be applied to individual parts within the circuit, just as it can be applied to a single kitchen appliance being operated on a circuit shared with other appliances. Let’s see how this applies to our example circuit’s ____________________________________________ |

### Dynamic Brakes

Monday, May 31st, 2010
Last week we looked at how a mechanical brake stopped a rotating wheel by converting its mechanical energy, namely kinetic energy, into heat energy. This week, we’ll see how a dynamic brake works. Chances are you have directly benefited by a dynamic braking system the last time you rode in an elevator. But, to understand the basic principle behind an elevator’s dynamic brake system, let’s first take a look at the electric braking system in Figure 1 below.
Here the brake consists of an electric generator wired via an open switch to an electrical component called a resistor. The weight is attached to a cable that is wound around a pulley on the generator’s shaft. As the weight freefalls, the cable unwinds on the pulley, causing the pulley to turn the generator’s shaft. Unlike last week’s mechanical brake which required a good deal of effort to employ, a dynamic braking system requires very little. All that needs to be done is to close a switch as shown in Figure 2 below. When the switch is closed, an electrical circuit is created where the resistor gets connected to the generator. The resistor does as its name implies: it resists (but doesn’t stop) the electrical current flowing through it from the generator. As the electrical current fights its way through the resistor to get back to the generator, the resistor gets hot like an electric heater. This heat is dissipated to the cooler surrounding air. At the same time, the weight begins to slow down in its descent. But how is this happening? The electric braking system can be thought of as an energy conversion process. We start out with the kinetic, or motion energy, of the freefalling weight. This kinetic energy is transmitted to the electrical generator by the cable, which spins the generator’s shaft as the cable unwinds. Electrical generators are machines that convert kinetic energy into electrical energy. This energy travels from the electric generator through wires and a closed switch to the resistor. In the process the resistor converts the electrical energy into heat energy. So, kinetic energy is drawn from the falling weight through the conversion process and leaves the process in the form of heat. As the falling weight is drained of kinetic energy, it slows down. Okay, now let’s get back to dynamic brakes on elevators. An elevator is attached by a cable to a hoist that is powered by an electric motor. When it’s time to stop at the desired floor, the automatic control system disconnects the elevator’s electric motor from its power source and turns the motor into a generator. The generator is then automatically connected to a resistor like the one shown in the electric brake above. The kinetic energy of the moving elevator is converted by the generator into electrical energy. The resistor converts the electrical energy into heat energy which is then dissipated into the surrounding environment. The elevator slows down in the process because it’s being robbed of kinetic energy. When the dynamic brake slows the elevator down enough, a mechanical brake is introduced, taking over to bring the elevator to a complete stop. This two-fold process serves to reduce wear and tear on the mechanical brake’s parts, lengthening the operational lifespan of the system as a whole. Next time, we’ll tie everything together and show how mechanical and dynamic brakes work together in a diesel locomotive. _____________________________________________ |