Fast switching power supplies have been with us for possibly a hundred years but it’s only now recently that these power supplies are starting to become very popular as design trends have made them more reliable and cost effective than every before. With the high prices of copper and steel it’s no wonder that the old linear power supply is losing popularity. Shipping charges, based on weight or volumentric weight also plays a role and manufacturers know this. A very large factor in home theater failure is the overloaded poor mains transformer which is not designed in many budget systems to continuously power loudspeaker loads with a music source. Either the thermal trip goes faulty or the primary winding eventually shorts out burning the mains fuse. Switched mode power supplies have become more resilient, generating far lower electromagnetic interference (EMI) and general noise and they can be mass produced at a fraction of the cost of a mains 50Hz/60Hz transformer. Looking back the only things that haven’t changed in modern equipment is the loudspeaker and mains transformer, both very ineffecient devices.
Power plants for motor vehicles get manufactured in their thousands but few remain a household name. This page is a tribute to the Ford Essex 2.5L, 3.0L and the race tuned 3.4L Cosworth DOHC V6 engines. What puts these engines in the top ten of my list is a) the affordability and b) the ease of which the home mechanic could raise the power and torque. Modern times call for drastic measures and certainly there are 1600cc engines developing the same amount of horsepower and more performance but these are temperamental beasts powered by sophisticated and costly electronics. The Essex motor was built in the 1960s and is still a tinkerer’s dream chiefly because they can be picked up at low cost and afford the owner easy maintenance on a tight budget.
I’ll try to get a picture of the Essex engine – this is that of the Cologne built for the German and European market, the Essex was used in the UK and South Africa. If anyone of our readers could assist me I’d be mighty obliged – please give a little bit of history (of yourself as well).
Continuing in our weekly series of Science on the Web, this week’s honours go to Tomi Engdahl.
One thing that should never surprise one is the tendency of great web masters (like previous article on Rod Elliott) to keep it straight and simple. I have been reading Tomi Engdahl’s articles for more than ten years now – he now owns and authors the website ePanorama.net and the mostly technological driven articles are directed at audio, RF, wiring, circuits to amateur radio. ePanorama also hosts a blog page. What makes his website so fascinating? Continue reading “Science on the Web – Part Two, Tomi Engdahl”