National High Voltage AC month

N_TeslaIn honor of Nikola Tesla, hero to engineers', birthday (July 10, 1856), Screaming Circuits has declared this to be National High Voltage AC Month.

For those of you who don't know Nikola Tesla... Never mind. If you don't know who he is, you're probably not an actual engineer. If you are an engineer, but still don't know, I challenge you to use your powers of self-education, and spend a little time learning about the person who pretty much made the modern world possible.

Part of our homage comes in the form of a free T-shirt. Every customer who places an order before August 10, 2014, 5:00 PM, PST, will have the opportunity to get a Free "National High Voltage AC Month" T-Shirt, designed by local graphic artist, Kyle DeVore.

T-shirtLook for instructions via email on how to get a free T-shirt after your next order (provided the order is placed between today and on or before August 10). If you place an order between now and then, and promptly respond to the email, you can get one for free.

But, what if you don't have anything to order? Well, you can still celebrate life threatening high voltage induction by buying a T-shirt from our page on teespring.com. (link here).

Any profits from the sale of the shirts will be donated to the Tesla Museum at Wardenclyffe.

How Teespring works: Orders can go in during a 21 day window. If you buying one, you don't get charged until the closing date. After that, they send you the shirt about a week or so after. They send any profits we made on the shirt directly to Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe; a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization registered with the State of New York.

If you're a recipient of one of the free shirts, you won't pay anything. Your shirt will be mailed at about the same times as the paid shirts.

EELive The Show is On it's Way

If you're going to be in San Jose during the first week in April,stop by the EELive show (formerly known as the Embedded Systems Conference). We'll be in booth 972. Stop by and see what we can do for you. Maybe earn a fabulous T-Shirt.

While you're there, check out my two sessions:

"FPGAs - Light at the End of the Learning Curve", at 3:30 on Tuesday. It's not exactly PCB Assembly, but FPGAs are quite cool and getting more useful by the minute. Get some basic knowledge and see how to avoid many beginner traps.

My second session: "Best Practices in Circuit Board Design", part of the "Hardware Startup Engineering Summit," is set for 2:15 on Tuesday. You can watch that one and then run with me to my FPGA session at 3:30. Place bets on whether I can make it in time.

Duane Benson
Ach, Captain. She Canna Go Any Faster

  

 

Possible Weather Caused Delays

Sign on 2-6-14UPDATE Feb 11, 2014

We are back to our usual 40 degrees and drizzling - so business as usual. No more weather delays from this storm. Just dampness. Never... ending... dampness...

 ---------

Yes, we here in the Portland area can get snow too. I know it's not as deep as everywhere else, but it still gets in the way. That means that some parts shipments in to our plant may be late and some finished board shipments going out may be late.

Unfortunately, I have to pop up a reminder that  weather related days do not count toward your turn-time. I'll let you know as soon as I can if anything changes. Unless it gets worse, Bob the cat will attempt to keep on delivering, but may be late.

Duane Benson
Eli The Ice Man says "What?"

 

UPDATE Feb 7, 2014:

We're here. We're working. But we still may have some weather caused delays. I know, Minnesota has ten more feet of snow than we do, but they also have things like snow plows and mittens.

Here's proof positive that Bob the Cat is attempting to get parts in and out of here.

Bob the cat prints

Old and New: 60 Years at Milwaukee Electronics

In 1954, one of my favorite movies, "THEM!", premiered in U.S. theatres. An even more significant (to us, anyway) event took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: The founding of Milwaukee Electronics.

We are excited to announce that our parent company, Milwaukee Electronics has been in business for 60 years! After six decades of dedicated service to customers, and several name and logo changes, Milwaukee Electronics is updating it's image. Click here to view more details.

Without Milwaukee Electronics, Screaming Circuits would not be possible. 60 years of expertise, plus our unique perspective, gives us the ability to offer something that no one else can: real-time, on-line turn-key quote and order of quick-turn prototype and small-lot production assembly.

Duane Benson

10th Anniversary Top 10 Traps

A few folks requested my presentation from out 10th anniversary open house.So, without much adieu, here it is.

Download Top 10 traps 7-2013 (PowerPoint format)

Download Top 10 traps 7-2013 (PDF format)

Duane Benson
10 times 10 isn't necessarily equal to 10 times 10.
Especially if you mix bases.

10 Years of Speedy Prototypes

10th anniversary badgeSN74LS90 years and we're having a party - a party for engineers. Good food & drink, factory tours, door prizes, presentations... You just need to RSVP to: rsvp@screamingcircuits.com or call us at 503-266-9100

July 18, 2013, 3:00pm to 7:00pm.
1140 NW 3rd Avenue, Canby, Oregon 97013

See all the details here.

10 Years of Screaming at Circuits

ladies and gentlemen and engineers of all ages...

Screaming Circuits, A Milwaukee Electronics company, is celebrating ten years of specializing in speedy prototype assembly.In honor of your great support, we're having a party! Come and see where it all happens. Take a tour. Enjoy a come-when-you-can buffet, beer, wine and SMT parts. We promise that the food and drink will all be lead-free.

See more details here:

blog.screamingcircuits.com/10-years-of-screaming-at-circuits.html

July 18, 2013, 3:00pm to 7:00pm. 1140 NW 3rd Avenue, Canby, Oregon 97013

Just RSVP to: rsvp@screamingcircuits.com or call us at 503-266-9100.
  • Food to eat. It will be delicious, but we can't promise it will be nutritious.
  • Wine and beer from Canby's own St Josef's Winery
  • Fabulous door prizes
  • A Google Nexus 7 32GB Wi-Fi tablet for one lucky winner**
  • A $2,500 assembly coupon for another lucky winner**
  • A nice little gift pack from Screaming Circuits for everybody
  • Tables with people to answer any questions about any part of what we do for you
  • Informative presentations***
  • A few examples of fun projects we build for people
  • The "Game room" where you can challenge a Screaming Circuits champion to pool or ping pong

Duane Benson
Come on in and see what's happening
Pay the price*, get your tickets* for the show

* The price is free. just send an email to "rsvp@screamingcircuits.com" and you don't really need tickets.
** We consider you all to be winners, but only one of you will with the tablet.
*** This is supposed to be fun and informative. Sales pitches have been banned from the event.

Would You Like Parts With Those Frys?

In days of yore (last month), the PCB design process would more or less start with the schematic. (I'm ignoring all of the work that has to take place before the schematic) The bill of materials would typically come together during the schematic phase and get refined during PCB layout.

After that, it would be time to enter your bill of materials, a line at a time, into a parts website, upload your Gerbers to Sunstone Circuits for boards and then (hopefully) send the boards, parts and files to Screaming Circuits for assembly. If you're hand soldering, you might skip the last step. We hope you don't, but certainly understand if you do.

But here's something new:

At the Screaming Circuits website, you can now quote and order all three in real time.

  1. Quote the assembly labor
  2. Quote the cost of Sunstone PCBs
  3. Upload your BOM and quote parts

If it looks good to you, you can place the order right then and there. Of course, we still have folks to talk things through on the phone if you have questions or need non-standard services, but if you like what you see, it's a real quote and real order. No waiting for an email quote back. No going to three websites.

As always, we’ll happily build as few as one board or up into the thousands (or hundreds of thousands in our EMS division). Once we have your parts and boards, we can assemble it all in as little as one day.

BOM quote confirmation screen

 

Sharing With Sunstone

Sharing is what our partner Sunstone Circuits would like today - sharing your stories. We've been partners with Sunstone Circuits for a very long time. When we purchase boards turn-key, we go to them first. They even build a fair number of the boards that we don't personally order. We can tell by the labels on the boxes on our receiving dock.

Naturally, when I had some projects to build, (like this one) I went to Sunstone for PCBs. I've run a few other projects with their boards as well. The reason I bring this up is that they are running a design story contest right now (stories.sunstone.com). It looks to be a fun way to run a contest and you can make a game of it. They want you to submit a story involving their PCBs, share it and get your friends to vote for it. The contest ends December 16 of this year, so if it's the year 2015 and you're reading this in the archives; too late.

Personally, I would recommend that everyone vote for my story, except that I haven't submitted it yet. And, if I do end up submitting mine, I'll be like a third party candidate and steal votes from one of the true contenders. Being a Sunstone partner, I wouldn't be eligible for a prize, but I could still upset the whole balance of promotion by grabbing votes that would otherwise go to a more worthy candidate. So, if I ever do get my story uploaded, don't vote for me.

Duane Benson
I'm not red or blue. I'm sepia

Coming Soon!

If  you happened by our booth at DesignEast, you may have gotten a personal preview of our new automated parts quoting system. If you didn't get to see it, you will shortly. It's in the final stages of beta.

Order cost - new

 

This sample shows what you might see when you order Screaming Circuits assembly along with Sunstone PCBs, and components from our website.

In the meantime, you can still quote your assembly and PCB prices online here, and you can have us quote your parts offline.

 

 

 

 

Duane Benson
Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
You won't regret it.