Category Archive: Uncategorized

Flipper the Aquatic Lassie

Written by: Tony Harris, December 2, 2015

 

 

According to studies released in 2003 by American and Scottish Biologist over 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises were killed unintentionally in fishermen’s hauls in 2002. This is just a statistic and statistics are just numbers, unless of course they are about someone you knew. What if it was about Flipper!

So called ‘drift out nets’ used in the Baltic seas have long been banned in other waters due to the danger to marine life. So how can we catch fish economically and yet preserve marine life. Ultrasound provides a solution, in what is called a ‘pinger’.

There are different types of pinger but we are interested in the ADD or Acoustic Deterrent Device.  An ADD is a device with a low intensity that emits signal of about 10 KHz with higher harmonic frequencies. Pingers use ultrasound to keep the dolphins away from the fishing nets.

Before it introduced its own pinger program in 2000, Denmark estimated up to 6,000 porpoises were caught annually in its waters alone. The use of pingers continues to reduce the number of porpoises caught in nets up to 4 km, and compliance in pinger use has improved. Of course pingers introduce noise into the marine environment, and so are not without potential impacts themselves, but perhaps they are the lesser of two evils.

E&I supplies amplifiers to companies that manufacture pingers. The usefulness of ultrasound appears boundless. And we like to think that we can help keep Flipper out of the statistics.

 

For more info see here:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0ahUKEwiu8v3ng77JAhXI8x4KHb0kCowQFgg0MAM&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sustpro.com%2Fupload%2F14352%2Fdocuments%2F124%2Fescarmentador%2520acustico%2520maritimo.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFvBEjkSMmSd2QV48Z31tSgP6_G5g&sig2=KaRADTqL9OrOoBLGWATmoQ&cad=rja

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“Back to the Future”

Written by : Tony Harris, November 30, 2015

 

 

How time flies… I find it very difficult to believe that it was 30 years ago that the movie “Back to the Future” was released. The movie sent Michael J Fox back 30 years to 1955. But eventually he got back to 1985 only to have a sequel mess with time again and send him on to 2015.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991. He has been instrumental in advocating studies into finding a cure for the disease. Along with the Focused Ultrasound foundation, the Michael J Fox foundation funded research by the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia. The study showed how treatment with ultrasound could alleviate ET or essential tremor. The trials have shown excellent results as can be seen from the progress of one patient; Kimberly Spletter See: http://www.fusfoundation.org/news/1650-parkinson-s-patient-no-longer-just-spinning-her-wheels

When we consider the advances that are happening in medical research, it seems sometimes as if we have traveled to the future. Let us hope that we can find cures for these debilitating conditions without having to go much farther into the future…

BBB

Written by: Tony Harris, November 29, 2015

 

 

The human body is truly an amazing piece of technology. Its functions cross the boundaries of so many fields of study; biology, physics, and chemistry, being the obvious ones. Like all complex organisms it has a hierarchy that protects and sacrifices. Hair, nails, epidermis, and teeth to a lesser extent, are discarded when their usefulness has run out.

I am not going to get into the argument of evolution verses intelligent design. I would venture the opinion that a design normally needs a prototype and if we count the Neanderthal as one, then we have to question why they didn’t lose the appendix in Homo sapiens Rev 2. But then one could argue that the evolution process should also have dispensed with it.

However, I digress, the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB), is an incredibly highly selective barrier that separates the blood circulating in the body’s blood stream from the brain and allows only the passage of select fluids and chemicals. It serves to protect the brain from poisons ingested, injected or developed inside the body. It is an extremely effective and protective screen; it is a MacAfee for the brain.

The downside is that sometimes drugs that one needs to get to the brain are filtered out. Tumor treating drugs are stopped at the BBB. This hampers our ability to treat patients with brain tumors.

Earlier this month the BBB was broken for the first time, by researchers in the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. This is a very important achievement in the advancement of treatment for brain cancer and elucidates the breadth of treatments utilizing therapeutic ultrasound.

 

For more information see: https://youtu.be/uwdRYbAFdOI

2015

Written by: Tony Harris, January 11, 2015

 

 

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe how time goes past so quickly. It seems only yesterday we were singing “Auld Lang Syne” to welcome 2014.

2015 should be a great year for E&I. We will be introducing our first Class D product and additionally totally new models of our 3000 series. The 325LA, 350L, 3100L and 3200L have all been redesigned. The new design uses LDMoS power transistors and reduces the form factor and increases bandwidth.

We are looking forward to the ISTU in the Netherlands, the international congress on ultrasonics in France http://2015-icu-metz.gatech.edu/ and the IEEE in Taiwan later in October.

But before that we have Burns night to look forward to first.

 

End of FY-14: Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

Written by: Tony Harris, September 21, 2014

 

 

Busy time of the year at E&I, September 30th is the end of our fiscal year. I must confess, I’m looking forward to a week’s vacation I have planned in October. I’m going out to California and will be meeting up with a lot of friends; some that I met in 1979 when I started at the University of Lancaster and some that I met when I started at ENI in 1997.

Now here at E&I, we are working on an exciting new product. Our first Class D amplifier will operate from 20 to 100 KHz at 1000 watts. It is highly efficient and we are very pleased with the prospects that this product has. The new product line will be rolled out in early 2015

Additionally, we will start rolling out our new higher frequency products next month. Our 3200LA / 3100L / 350L and 325LA have been redesigned along with the 403 LA and 411LA. The new designs of the 3200LA / 3100L and 350L are more compact than the older versions. Not only more compact but actually they are less costly so we will be able to reduce the price. Not often you hear that these days…

Here in Upstate New York, the trees are starting to change colour. There was a mist over the fields this morning and Naples Grape festival is next weekend. Not good signs for a sun and heat lover such as I!

 

 

21st September 2014

IEEE

Written by: Tony Harris, September 14, 2014

 

 

It is a very strange day. I sit here watching the American Football team; the Buffalo Bills and they are winning! They normally specialize in finding ways to lose. But then, the game is not over yet – Last week they played against the Chicago Bears in Chicago and won; on the opening Sunday.

I watched that game too, on TV, even though I had been in Chicago all week for the IEEE IUS conference. It is good to meet up with so many friends and acquaintances, that we have made over the years. We met Oliver from Imasonics in Manhattan in 2007, Precision Acoustics in Beijing, Sonic Concepts, Onda Corp, Verasonics, PZ-Flex and so many others. Most we see twice a year, at the IEEE IUS conf. and also the ISTU conf.

The first IEEE IUS conference that E&I sponsored was in 2007 in Manhattan NY. Since then we have sponsored/exhibited at the conference every year, taking us to Beijing, Rome, San Diego, Orlando, Dresden, Prague and last week Chicago. We are looking forward to next year in Taiwan and in 2016; Tours, France. We hope to see you there too. If you make it, please stop by our booth.

It was an excellent conf; the activity and progress in ultrasonic research seems unstoppable.

Incredible scenes; Buffalo beat the Miami Dolphins 29 to 10.

Cheers,

Tony

What is a Watt?

Written by: Tony Harris, September 7, 2014

 

 

I recall my physics teacher (Kevin Conway, at the British School of Brussels) looking at me and saying: watt is a unit of power. Placed on the spot I was mentally sifting through possible answers. We had just learned about Volta and Ampere, so I knew it was neither of them. I was thinking of offering up horses, but thought it sounded silly, when he either tired of my deliberations or took pity and explained he was making a statement; not asking a question.

So we learned if you take an Italian and multiply him by a Frenchman you get a Scotsman. Or a Watt is a Volt times an Ampere – it is indeed the SI unit of power. James Watt had a lot of influence over the industrial revolution. There are several statues of him in the city of Birmingham, England where he lived and coincidently where I was born. Strangely enough though, there are no statues of me there.

The main specification of a power amplifier is their output power. But within the operating range of an amplifier, where should the measurement be made? In an apparent attempt to confuse our customers, amplifier manufacturers all use different points. At E&I we believe that if we are talking about a linear amplifier, we should specify the output power at the 1 dB compression point. So our 2100L, for example, we call a 100 watt amplifier and we guarantee that it will produce a minimum of 100 watts at 1 dB compression. Also this is where we specify the harmonic content and distortion.

A quick look at a few web sites and I see that some 100 watt ‘rated’ amplifiers have specifications that only guarantee, 60 – 75 watts at 1 dB compression. There is one that says it is a 175 watt amplifier, but in the detail of the specification it is actually only produces 50 watts within the linear range. (In each case it was the 1 dB point that the harmonic distortion is specified).

So I apologize to you, on behalf of all amplifier manufacturers for the confusion. I do wish that James was around to add clarity to the situation and come up with a standard for when we say ‘rated’. In the interim, I would suggest that if you are comparing amplifiers, compare them at the 1 dB compression point – not rated, not saturated – but at a useful operating point.

Cheers,

Tony

Muses

Written by: Tony Harris, August 1, 2014

 

 

Jen has been bugging me for ages to write a note for the E&I newsletter, but there always seems to be something that takes a higher priority. Now I sit here at my desk with no internet. I’m not sure if it was the tremendous thunderstorm last night that caused the problem, but Frontier tells us it will definitely be repaired by tomorrow at 5.00 PM! So I have cleaned up my desk, done a lot of filing of paper that accumulates somehow, done all the finance stuff (which I hate) that Karen has been on my case for, so that she can do the bank reconciliation.  Now I can sit here and let my mind wander, guilt free.

It’s been a crazy year for us at E&I. In April we moved to a larger facility which was quite stressful. We had to make sure that we were able to continue to serve our customers while we moved; phones, internet, computers, servers, test equipment, manufacturing and on and on. On the day of the move John was in the office before 8.00 am tempting everyone with coffee and donuts. He finally left the new building at 11.30 pm that night. Yury and Jeff got test up and running, Sarah and Laurie did an outstanding job in organizing everything and we were up and running in operations within a couple of days. The effort that Laurie put into organizing the new stock room was, for me, truly awe-inspiring.

Since we moved 3 more people have joined E&I: Bev Devito, (ex ENI) in assembly, Bill Pulhamus (ex ENI) in R&D and Jeff Keller (from pharmaceuticals) in Sales, to cope with the ever-increasing work load. Bev brings more years of experience in electronic assembly than she would want me to let on. Bill has a wealth of knowledge of RF and switch-mode designs, gained not only at ENI but also Harris RF; while Jeff Keller brings experience in CRM systems and customer satisfaction.

It is just over 10 years since E&I was founded and the demand for our products continues to grow. I do not think that this is by chance. I am exceptionally lucky to be part of a really great team here; dedicated to listening to our customers, solving their problems and ensuring we provide them with the most rugged and reliable RF power products available. Some of us have worked together for a couple of decades, some a couple of months, but we all share common values. These are, as our mission statement states, to ensure all our actions and interactions are carried out in accordance with the highest levels of ethics, respect and integrity. Whenever we face a question or dilemma, we ask ourselves a question: If we were the customer, what would we want us to do? It is amazing how this simplifies everything and quickly puts any issue into perspective.

Cheers,

Tony