What's All This Contest Stuff, Anyhow?

July 12, 1999
Here in San Francisco, we don't have a "county fair" like people in farming country have, with cows and pigs. We got a city-based county fair, since SF is an identity of city and COUNTY. We've got...

Here in San Francisco, we don't have a "county fair" like people in farming country have, with cows and pigs. We got a city-based county fair, since SF is an identity of city and COUNTY. We've got contests for fog-calling, finding parking spaces, and other urban pleasures. About five years ago, I had a great idea for a "contest" for the SF county fair. (But the county fair guys did not buy my idea.)

Often you come around a hill, late in the afternoon, and see a lot of buildings. The sun is reflecting off the windows, and it may be reflecting the beautiful sunset. There's a LOT of windows reflecting.

My contest is: Take a photograph of this. Be sure to note your EXACT location and the exact time, hour, minute, day, and date. This way, BARRING weather changes, anybody could go back to this place and see similar reflections.

One of my favorite places is coming down Route 280 at 5 p.m., just before sunset, on about February 10. You can look across the bay at Oakland and Berkeley. Are there more than 199 windows? Yes, maybe. But you can do better than that.

Keep an inexpensive camera in your car. Put it in an insulated bag or chest so the sun doesn't cook the film. Make notes when you take pictures. Perfect pictures would be nice, but not a big deal. Everybody will be a winner, as we will all get to see glorious pictures and views! More later. In the meantime, send me your ideas for contests you'd like to see. My contest closes in one year (July 30, 2000). Send prints or slides to:

RAP / Robert A. Pease / Engineer
Mail Stop D2597A
National Semiconductor
P.O. Box 58090
Santa Clara, CA 95052-8090

BOB'S MAILBOX:

Dear Bob:
I was especially interested in your "What's All This Julie Stuff, Anyhow?"(Electronic Design, May 3, p. 100). It is a fitting tribute to Mr. Julie that he truly understood the importance of resistance. He dedicated his life work to its understanding....

The contribution of high-precision resistors in the early inertial guidance systems caught my attention. One of my hobbies is model and high-power rocketry. For the past few months, I have been working to develop a small inertial measurement unit that will fit in these small rockets to record flight dynamics and altitude.

As I worked on the problem, I quickly realized the importance of accuracy and stability when integrating acceleration into velocity and position. My requirements went from 12- to 16- and now 24-bit resolution on the analog-to-digital converters....

Lord Kelvin was correct when he said, "When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it..." My IMU project has required a lot of measurements and my understanding has grown.
JOHN KRELL
via e-mail

I must say that I am impressed with anybody whose hobby includes REAL inertial guidance of REAL rockets!—RAP

Sponsored Recommendations

TTI Transportation Resource Center

April 8, 2024
From sensors to vehicle electrification, from design to production, on-board and off-board a TTI Transportation Specialist will help you keep moving into the future. TTI has been...

Cornell Dubilier: Push EV Charging to Higher Productivity and Lower Recharge Times

April 8, 2024
Optimized for high efficiency power inverter/converter level 3 EV charging systems, CDE capacitors offer high capacitance values, low inductance (< 5 nH), high ripple current ...

TTI Hybrid & Electric Vehicles Line Card

April 8, 2024
Components for Infrastructure, Connectivity and On-board Systems TTI stocks the premier electrical components that hybrid and electric vehicle manufacturers and suppliers need...

Bourns: Automotive-Grade Components for the Rough Road Ahead

April 8, 2024
The electronics needed for transportation today is getting increasingly more demanding and sophisticated, requiring not only high quality components but those that interface well...

Comments

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!