Thursday, December 29, 2011

Are Pb-free Processes and Products Worth the Effort?

Here is a link to an interesting discussion on whether the move towards Pb-free products and manufacturing processes were worth it.   

The article is from ECN magazine and discusses the opinion of whether replacing Sn/Pb solder with Pb-free solder was worth the effort in terms of measurable environment benefits. 

Decide for yourself.

Friday, September 23, 2011

High Temperatures and Semi-conductors

Great article on high temperature semi-conductor solutions for down-hole applications....

This article discusses the various temperature extremes needed for down-hole applications, and addresses which type of semi-conductors work best for certain conditions.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sales Seminar - April 2012

Update - The Sales Seminar has been postponed.  We hope to have a firm date by 2012 3Q.  We apologize for any problems this may have caused you. 

Only Seven (7) months until the 2012 Sales Seminar! It will be five (5) years since we were altogether in 2007 and all of us at VMI and CalRamic are looking forward to seeing everyone and a informative exciting time in April.

Location Information

Who: All VMI USA and International Representatives

When: April 12th arrival- April 15th Departures 2012

Where: Visalia Marriott Hotel
Phone: (559) 636-1111 Fax: (559) 636- 2285

Dress: Business casual / Friday evening dinner Business attire

Preliminary Agenda

Arrivals: Thursday April 12, 2012 and Evening Welcome Reception

Friday April 13, 2012
VMI Plant Tour
Sales Meeting
Evening Dinner

Saturday April 14, 2012

Sales Meeting
Saturday afternoon- Activity 
Saturday Evening Dinner

Sunday April 15, 2012 Departures

What we need from All of you

We need your confirmed reservations NO later than March 1, 2012.

To make the Sales Seminar successful VMI and CalRamic need to know what All of you would like information on at the Seminar. Please provide your suggestions on topics to discuss by December 1, 2011 or sooner.

If you have any technical issues you want addressed specifically please let our engineer Daniel Deschenes ( know so he can organize and present the information you want and care about.

VMI and Calramic engineers will be happy to help you with individual questions, but any information or topic you think would help others is appreciated. Our engineers want to help you sell our products with accurate technical information and rapid and precise information. Help us help you!

More information will be provided as we move closer to April 2012.

Thank you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why Multipliers Do Not Perform Optimally at 50-60Hz

Every once in a while we get a customer inquiry about running voltage multipliers at frequencies of 50-60Hz, which we try to graciously decline, since most of our multipliers are designed to run at 10kHz or higher.

The problem with low frequency multipliers (50Hz – 60Hz) is the slow oscillation at lower frequencies does not charge up the capacitors in the multiplier quickly enough to keep up with normal discharging during the negative cycle.

The reason the voltage multiplier works the way it does is because the capacitors are able to store energy to supply other circuitry down circuit. 

Voltage multipliers work best at 10kHz and higher.   

Sometimes a D.C. input is used, but in order to generate a high D.C. output voltage, the D.C. input has to be converted to an A.C. signal.  This can be done by using a fly-back oscillator or PWM controlling the frequency, and stepping up the signal via a transformer, before being fed into the multiplier.

We normally consider a configuration of this type to be more in line with a power supply, since it incorporates signal conditioning, and a high voltage multiplier.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Build Your Own SiC LED

Is this cool, or what?  The author, Michael T. Lippert, takes raw materials, and creates a SiC LED.  No, it's not really for use on a pcb or as part of a circuit, but it IS great 'scientific' fun.

Check it out....


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

2012 Sales Seminar

VMI will be hosting a Sales Seminar in April, 2012.  Included will be Sales, Marketing, and Technical presentations, plus an in-depth plant tour.

We look forward to greeting old friends, and making new ones! 

More details to follow.... 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Quantum Dots - Doped and Ready

Scientists in Israel have figured out a way to dope Quantum Dots to form a p-type and n-type pair - the basic building block in creating semiconductor devices such as diodes and transistors.

They are particularly well-suited for solar panel applications, or ones needing to be inserted into flexible plastic materials (flex circuits for instance).

An exciting development....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mercury Fly-by Images

It's no accident that the Mercury fly-by space probe was named "Messenger". You probably recognize the winged Roman god, Mercury.  He was the messenger of the Gods.

Anyway, NASA recently released the first images of the planet Mercury taken by the Messenger probe, with more to follow.

Launched in 2004, it took almost 7 years to get there.

I dunno....if you're like me, photos of other planets, our solar system, and the universe STILL makes me jump for joy! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Summary of Status of Nuclear Power Plants Worldwide - The Impact of Fukushima

A blog post by Prach Patel in IEEE Spectrum, updated 3/24/2011, provides a comprehensive list of worldwide nuclear power projects and their status after Fukushima. 

Some countries have issued a moratorium, others have made it clear they plan to proceed, albeit only after additioanl saftey tests, and analysis.

Find out which ones....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Alcholic Beverages Aid in Superconductivity? Really?

While it would be easy to draw interesting, and possibly amusing, social parallels of alcohol and conduct(ivity), this study doesn't do that.  Instead, it focuses on properties needed to produce superconductivity, and how some alcoholic beverages seem to facilitate that characteristic in certain materials.


Study Reveals Alcoholic Beverages Induce Superconductivity

Article by Paul Whytock, appearing on-line in Electronic Design magazine.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

VMI is at the 2011 Pittcon Show in Atlanta

Drop by the booth to visit with Daniel Deschene and Karen Spano.  They're at the Pittcon show going on right now in Atlanta, GA.

The show goes through March 17th.  We're in booth #4642.

Now's the time to catch them if you need quotes, or new designs for high voltage componets or power supplies.

The venue is the Georgia World Congress Center.

See you there!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Breakdown in High Voltage Lead Insulation - Failure Mechanism Found by Researchers

If you've done high voltage design for any length of time, you've probably encountered problems with punch-through on high voltage insulated lead wires.  (If not, you have something to look forward to).

Researchers now have an idea about how failures occur in the insulation, and it has to do with applied voltage.  No surprise there, but what is surprising is how the damage actually occurs.  First comes creasing, then comes cratering.   

It's exciting to think that info from this study may lead to improvements in lead wire insulation.  Learn more about the research conducted at Duke University. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

Lightning Made by Humans - Images Captured by a Camera

Very interesting read about lightning, and x-ray radiation.  The pictures show that most of the x-ray radiation is carried in the tip of the lightening bolt.

Talk about very, very, VERY, high voltage....and the speed of the camera needed to capture an image of lightning. 

Lightening Captured by Incredibly Fast Camera

Monday, January 24, 2011

Photonics West Show in San Francisco - Starts Tomorrow!

Hi y'all,
VMI is attending the Photonics West trade show in San Francisco at the Moscone Center.  Stop by for a visit, our booth number is 4325.

If you can't make it tomorrow, 1/25, don't worry - the show goes through 1/26.  It's a great opportunity to talk with like-minded engineers, designers, and scientists.

Ask for Karen Spano or Daniel Deschenes.

See you there!