Delays and Timers in LTSpice (no 555)

If you need a precise time, you could use a microcontroller. Of course, then all your friends will say “Could have done that with a 555!” But the 555 isn’t magic — it uses a capacitor and a comparator in different configurations to work. Want to understand what’s going on inside? [Mano Arrostita] has a video about simulating delay and timer circuits in LTSpice.
The video isn’t specifically about the 555, but it does show how the basic circuits inside a timer chip work. The idea is simple: a capacitor will charge through a resistor with an exponential curve. If you prefer, you can charge with a constant current source and get a nice linear charge.
You can watch the voltage as the capacitor charges and when it reaches a certain point, you know a certain amount of time has passed. The discharge works the same way, of course.
We like examining circuits for learning with a simulator, either LTSpice or something like Falstad. It is easier than breadboarding and encourages making changes that would be more difficult on a real breadboard. If you want a refresher on LTSpice or current sources, you can kill two birds with one stone.

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Masters: Xander Schauffele has very different Augusta National take than Jon Rahm

Xander Schauffele will tee off Saturday at the 88th Masters Tournament six shots off the lead. That might sound like a lot, but with the way the course has played thus far, he is absolutely alive.
He kept himself there with a fantastic second round Friday. Schauffele carded an even par 72 for the second straight day.
“I played pretty solid. I made some key putts,” Schauffele said after his round.
He certainly did. Out of the 89 Masters participants, only eight finished under par and only Ludvig Aberg broke 70, with a 3-under 69.
Conversely, numerous stars posted rounds into the 80s as Augusta National showed its teeth.

Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Wind gusts upwards of 45 miles per hour wreaked havoc on the course.
“It was probably the toughest day that — not that I have a ton of experience here, but definitely will probably go down as hopefully the hardest day at Augusta I’ve ever played.”
Despite the conditions, the 30-year-old was not left with a bad taste in his mouth, unlike reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm who questioned Augusta National Golf Club for continuing play.
“It was fair. If you hit a good — the fairways out here are right in front of you, so 13 and 15 were those holes you need to take advantage of, and they were still tough to birdie just with how the greens were bouncing. Overall I thought the course played really fair. It was hard to get it close, and you just felt like anytime you had a birdie putt of 15 to 20 feet, you really felt like you needed to make it to try and make up some ground.”
The 75.08 scoring average Friday was the worst at The Masters since 2007 when Zach Johnson won a Green Jacket at 1-over par.
Schauffele appears to have the right mental approach. But with winds dying down, if he wants to make up ground on the leaders, he will likely have to go low Saturday.
Kendall Capps is the Senior Editor of SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social media platforms. […]


David Carr Lets Slip Which QB Davante Adams Wants Raiders to Add


Las Vegas Raiders WR Davante Adams.

There’s conflicting information on what the Las Vegas Raiders might do in the 2024 NFL Draft but there’s no denying the team needs to upgrade the quarterback position. Wide receiver Davante Adams is 31 and doesn’t want to waste a season with a stopgap quarterback.He’s been vocal about the team’s quarterback position in the past and wanted them to add C.J. Stroud this year. According to NFL Network’s David Carr, Adams has another specific quarterback he’s eyeing this year.“You gotta move up,” Carr said on the April 1 episode of “NFL Total Access. “You’re going to have to make something happen. So, he has a lot of trust in his front office in finding the right guy, and then also making the appropriate moves to get up there. But honestly, when you look at this thing, I really think that they’re going to have to get one a little bit higher than where they are. They’re going to have to identify who they want, what quarterback fits their system – obviously, we know who Davante [Adams] wants.”“I think that that’s something you’re going to have to navigate also because he’s not a piece that you can move. That would be kind of ironic; you trade Davante to bring in Jayden Daniels, who he wants. I think that’s going to be really fun to see how this thing plays out.”Adams is very close with the Carr family as he was a teammate of David’s brother Derek Carr at Fresno State and on the Raiders. The wide receiver has also hinted at interest in Daniels in the past so this information from Carr isn’t a big surprise.Less & Less Likely Las Vegas Raiders Will Get Jayden DanielsAs bad as Davante Adams might want Jayden Daniels, it’s not likely to happen. It’s looking more and more like the Washington Commanders at No. 2 are locked in on the quarterback.Caleb Williams will be the Chicago Bears‘ pick at No. 1 so there won’t be any surprises for Washington. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it might just be a matter of when, not if Daniels will be the Commanders’ selection at No. 2.“I think you can go and get those Jayden Daniels jerseys,” Schefter told Commanders fans on the April 12 episode of the “The Trap or Dive Podcast.”Schefter is one of the most connected reporters in the NFL so unless there’s a change in the next couple of weeks, Daniels is going to be a Commander.What Do Las Vegas Raiders Do if Jayden Daniels Isn’t an Option?The Raiders have been heavily connected to Jayden Daniels due to his previous experience with head coach Antonio Pierce. There hasn’t been much of an indication about which quarterbacks the team likes outside of Daniels.Daniels going at No. 2 would open up the possibility that Drake Maye could be available. He has long been considered the second-best quarterback prospect in the draft but Daniels appears to have leapfrogged him. It’s unclear if the Raiders would want to trade up to get him. The team could also stay put with their No. 13 pick and take Washington’s Michel Penix Jr. They may also be able to get him if they trade down. The Raiders don’t have many appealing options considering their draft position. […]


Viktor Hovland makes analytical choice amid epic Masters meltdown

After an abnormal showing Friday at The Masters Tournament, Viktor Hovland has made a change to his short-term schedule.
He posted a 9-over 81, 10 shots worse than his Thursday round to miss the cut by two strokes. The reigning FedEx Cup champ was one of many prominent names to miss the cut.
On Saturday morning, news surfaced that Hovland withdrew from play next week at the RBC Heritage event.
There was no reason behind the withdrawal from PGA Tour Communications’ X, formerly known as Twitter post.

Viktor Hovland WD from next week’s RBC Heritage. The field will be finalized after the conclusion of the Masters Tournament.— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) April 13, 2024

Hovland has made multiple swing coach changes recently after he and Joe Mayo split up at the beginning of the year.
He worked with Grant Waite for a while and then made another switch. Hovland confirmed earlier in the week that he returned to Dana Dahlquist, who helped him when he first turned pro.
Things looked promising on Thursday but went off the rails Friday, including missing a tap-in putt on the par-5 15th. He was within the cut line, but that miss put him two shots off the number. After recording a seven, he chunked the ball into the water, another bizarre action from the ordinarily laid-back player.
The world knows that Hovland is working on his swing, but his second round performance was uncommon. From off the tee to his putting, nothing looked like it worked for him.
It’s uncertain if Hovland will skip more events past the RBC Heritage, but after an 81 at Augusta, it appears he did not want to put his game on a course again so soon.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports. […]


Jon Rahm questions ANGC amid Masters “borderline” unplayable conditions

Jon Rahm has not had his best stuff this week at Augusta National.
But the defending Masters champion still managed to make the cut, thanks to a couple of key birdies on the 15th and 16th holes late during the second round.
Prior to that, however, Rahm looked like he would miss the weekend. A costly double-bogey at 14 and three other bogies before that almost sent him home packing.
“Made just too many mistakes when I put myself in a good position,” Rahm said.
“To just see one putt go in [on 15] is nice, and then a bonus on 16.”
Rahm made a 40-footer up the hill at the par-3 16th, which elicited a nice roar from the patrons.
But Rahm did not speak too highly of the wind that roared all day at Augusta National.
“A couple of times, I questioned myself why we were out there, especially when I got to 18 and saw the whole front of the green just full of sand,” Rahm said.

Jon Rahm during the second round of the 2024 Masters.

Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

“It’s rolling a little bit different. I understand they want us to finish. I can imagine they were very close to calling it a few times, especially when we were on 11 green, and we were getting those massive gusts every couple of minutes or so. It was extremely difficult.”
The 75.08 scoring average on Friday marked the highest scoring average since the second round of the 2007 Masters, won by Zach Johnson.
The 40-mile-per-hour wind gusts made things nearly impossible for the players, as only one player—Ludvig Åberg—managed to break 70. The Swede carded a 3-under 69.
“You just put the ball down, and it’s very close to moving,” Rahm continued.
“Not only that, how long did it take us to play? Over six hours to play just because they had to blow the greens in between groups, and then when you get to a group, people stepping back [out] and back in. It’s just, again, borderline. It was very, very close. It’s about as hard a golf course as I’ve seen in a very long time.”
Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well. […]


Masters: Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy practice well into darkness after grueling 2nd round

One player holds a share of the lead at 6-under, while the other barely made the cut.
Despite their different positions on the leaderboard, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy worked well into the night on their swings after a brutal day at Augusta National.
The scoring average was 75.08—the highest since the second round of the 2007 Masters, when Zach Johnson triumphed. High winds wreaked havoc for everyone in the field.
Scheffler managed to shoot an even-par 72 and sits atop the leaderboard with Max Homa and Bryson DeChambeau, while McIlroy carded a 5-over 77.
McIlroy did not make a single birdie Friday as he continued to search for something in his swing well into the evening.

“Tough day, really tough day. Just hard to make a score and just sort of trying to make as many pars as possible,” McIlroy said afterward.
“My golf swing felt horrific for the last six or seven holes, just from hitting around. Especially that 11th hole. It felt like it took an hour to play that hole. Yeah, it was stop-start; it was hard to get into a rhythm with the conditions and, obviously, how slow the play was as well.”
Historically the most challenging hole at Augusta, McIlroy found the pond that guards the left side of the green at the 11th. He tried to hit a long iron high into the air, but the wind ate it, dumping it into the water and leaving McIlroy disgusted. He paid the ultimate price with a double-bogey six.
Scheffler, meanwhile, safely found the green—a metaphor for the differences between McIlroy’s and Scheffler’s current games.
“Mentally, it’s a grind because you just have to try to commit as best you can to the shot that you’re trying to play,” McIlroy added.

Rory McIlroy.

Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

Before last week’s Valero Texas Open, McIlroy paid a visit to renowned swing coach Butch Harmon in Las Vegas. He wanted to seek Harmon’s opinion on his approach play, something that has not been up to McIlroy’s standard in 2024.
He went on to finish solo third in San Antonio, but clearly, McIlroy is still searching for something in his swing.
On the flip side, Scheffler spent time on the range working on his fundamentals, namely his grip. The 2022 Masters champion indicated in his post-round press conference that he would “hit a few just to get a feel,” and Scheffler did just that.

But Scheffler’s decision to practice more after posting a good score speaks volumes about his drive and tenacity to improve. The same can be said for McIlroy, who continues to chase the Grand Slam at The Masters.
Whether this late-night practice session pays off for either of these players remains to be seen. Scheffler will begin his third round at 2:35 p.m. ET in the penultimate pairing with Nicolai Højgaard. McIlroy tees off at 10:55 a.m. ET with Camilo Villegas.
Despite sitting at 4-over for the tournament and 10 shots back of Scheffler, the Northern Irishman feels his chances are not completely shot.
“I still think I can go out tomorrow and shoot a low one, get back into red numbers, and have half a chance going into Sunday,” McIlroy said. “We’ll see.”
Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well. […]


Western Digital preps 4TB SD cards for 2025 — SDUC cards big enough to tackle 8K video

Western Digital showcased three major new SD cards: a 4TB SDUC SD card, a 2TB SDXC SD card, and even a 256 GB SD Express-supported card. Below, we’ll examine some finer details, including why SDUC cards are still rare and how SD Express compares.First, review the 2TB SDXC cards, the SanDisk Extreme Pro V30. The SanDisk Extreme Pro V30 comes in standard and microSD card formats, and this is stated to be the Extreme Pro’s debut with 2TB of storage. The world’s first 2TB microSD cards were released in January, so this is a brand-first and not a world-first anymore. However, 2TB is not a sufficient storage area to sneeze at— in fact, this officially tops out the range of the SDXC spec by hitting that 2TB target.According to Western Digital, this SD card’s use of UHS-I should make it one of the world’s fastest microSD cards designed around these mainstream SDXC specifications for SSDs.(Image credit: Western Digital (via ComputerBase.de))Next, let’s look at the SanDisk SD Express (or microSD Express) cards, which join a market where similar SD Express cards already exist. WD’s SanDisk SD Express and microSD Express cards look pretty similar to other SD cards, but using a faster PCIe interface can achieve storage read speeds of up to 880 MB/s and storage write speeds of up to ~650 MB/s. Unfortunately, the SD Express cards seem limited to only 256GB— but these speed feats place them somewhere between the best SATA SSDs and many early NVMe Gen 3 SSDs.These speeds are pretty impressive for SD cards, and if costs get low enough while support continues to improve, the future of upcoming devices like Switch 2, Steam Deck 2, etc., looks just a bit brighter. Since many games are beginning to require SSDs and several pro workloads are better with them, continued improvements to SD card speeds like this bode well for the future.(Image credit: Western Digital (via ComputerBase.de))Finally, look at the crowning jewel: the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDUC V30, which weighs a whopping 4TB capacity. Even by the standards of full-sized drives, that’s a lot of storage, and achieving it is finally starting to make good use of the SDUC specs. While SDXC caps out at 2TB anyway, SDUC-supported SD cards could one day get as big as 128TB. So, while a 2TB SDXC card shows that the limit has been reached, a 4TB SDUC card like this indicates that the absolute limit is one we have yet to go. While these are optimistic looks at the near future of SD cards from Western Digital-owned SanDisk, we do not have any actual pricing or lease date information to share.Join the experts who read Tom’s Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We’ll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.(Image credit: Western Digital (via ComputerBase.de))Western Digital’s new SDUC cards will be available in 2025. Pricing remains a mystery as the company didn’t share many details about the upcoming products. […]


How to identify which application is hogging your camera in Windows 11 and 10

You’re just about to go on that all-important client call when disaster strikes! Your camera isn’t working! “Why isn’t it working?” you cry. It turns out that there is another application using the camera, but which one?In this how to we will learn how to list all of the applications which have camera access, using the Camera application as an example. Using this example we will learn how to turn off and prevent applications from accessing the camera using the Windows 10 and Windows 11 settings menu.Knowing which applications have access to your camera is important for your privacy. Not every app needs access to your camera. By checking the list of apps which can access the camera, we provide an extra level of security for ourselves and family members.How to check which application is currently using your camera1.  Open the Camera application using the Start menu. Search for camera. Leave the app open for the entirety of this how to. The built-in camera application is pre-installed in Windows 10 and 11 and it is the perfect application to determine.(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)2. Click on Start > > Settings. Alternatively you can search for Settings via the Start menu in much the same way as we launched the Camera.(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)3. From the Settings menu, select Privacy. Windows 11 users, look for Privacy and security.(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)4. From the left hand menu, under App permissions select Camera. The menu looks a little different in Windows 11, but the general gist is the same.Join the experts who read Tom’s Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We’ll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)5. Scroll down to “Choose which Microsoft Store apps can access your camera” and “Allow desktop apps to access your camera” and you can see which application is using your camera. It will have red text indicating that the camera is currently in use. Windows 11 users, the app will be listed under “Let apps access your camera”.(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)6. To stop the application using the camera, In Windows 10 and 11 click on the toggle slider on the right. This will trigger the application to ask for permission to use the camera. We can use the toggle slider to prevent certain applications from accessing the camera, these can be re-enabled should they later be needed.(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)7. From the Camera app, click on Privacy settings to bring the Privacy settings into focus. Re-enable the camera to restart the Camera app.(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)👉 How to Add Custom Shortcuts to the Windows 11 or 10 Context Menu👉 How to Install Windows 11 Without a Microsoft Account👉 11 ways to increase free disk space in Windows 11 or Windows 10👉 How to Get Windows 11 or Windows 10 for Free (or Under $20) […]


Raspberry Pi 4 brings KITT from Knight Rider to life using ChatGPT

Without thousands of hours of sci-fi media to get lost in, it is no surprise that makers like to take a little piece of their adventure home with them. Today, we’ve got an example from Knight Rider Historians’ YouTube channel. These guys love all things Knight Rider, and they recently showed off an excellent KITT replica that uses a Raspberry Pi and ChatGPT to work as an interactive prop.A quick look through the channel’s history will show that the duo behind the channel, AJ and Joe, have amassed a huge collection of props from the original Knight Rider series. The Knight Rider fandom has been going strong for years. In fact, we covered another Raspberry Pi-powered KITT replica in the past, but that one didn’t have any integration with AI.This KITT prop is designed to resemble the voice box from the car. It listens for audio input and processes it using speech-to-text so that the data can be parsed to ChatGPT. From there, ChatGPT generates a response in the way KITT would speak. This text is then transposed into audio played while the LEDs flash to mimic how they would flash on the original show.Knight Rider Historians use a Raspberry Pi 4 to control the operation in this case. It’s connected to a USB mic and USB speaker for audio input and output. According to the video, the KITT board was submitted by a viewer and features a matrix of LEDs that flicker during the text-to-speech process.You don’t need anything special as far as an operating system goes. The AI tools work with Raspberry Pi OS, which is arguably the easiest OS to get started with on the Pi. The ChatGPT portion of the project is handled using OpenAI, an open-source tool that lets you send and receive requests to ChatGPT.If you want to see this Raspberry Pi project in action, check out the video shared on YouTube by Knight Rider Historians, and be sure to follow them for more cool Knight Rider stuff.Join the experts who read Tom’s Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We’ll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox. […]


A Bend Sensor Developed With 3D Printer Filament

PhD students spend their time pursuing whatever general paths their supervisor has given them, and if they are lucky, it yields enough solid data to finally write a thesis without tearing their hair out. Sometimes along the way they result in discoveries with immediate application outside academia, and so it was for [Paul Bupe Jr.], whose work resulted in a rather elegant and simple bend sensor.
The original research came when shining light along flexible media, including a piece of transparent 3D printer filament. He noticed that when the filament was bent at a point that it was covered by a piece of electrical tape there was a reduction in transmission, and from this he was able to repeat the effect with a piece of pipe over a narrow air gap in the medium.
Putting these at regular intervals and measuring the transmission for light sent along it, he could then detect a bend. Take three filaments with  the air-gap-pipe sensors spaced to form a Gray code, and he could digitally read the location.
He appears to be developing this discovery into a product. We’re not sure which is likely to be more stress, writing up his thesis, or surviving a small start-up, so we wish him luck. […]