The Winter of Our Discontent

Written by: Tony Harris, December 9, 2015


“Now is the winter of our discontent.”

When Richard (the future king, Richard III) opens the play with this quote, it is actually not to protest the winter but to celebrate the summer and the upturn in his family’s fortunes. It is often misused. I hate winter, I would be quite happy to see snow only on Christmas cards or picture post cards, where it looks pretty. The reality is that it is cold, seeps inside your clothes, melts and freezes seemingly at will to cause general discomfort. I really should domicile at about zero degrees latitude, I’d have a much better attitude.

When winter will finally leave us, in Upstate NY, in April, the roads will open up showing the damage that the successive freezing and melting has brought upon them. Pot holes will appear everywhere popping up overnight like zits on an acne-ravaged teenager.

It is amazing the destruction that can be caused by the heating and cooling of any material. The majority of failures in electronic equipment are caused by thermo-mechanical stress. If thermal management is not properly adhered to, solder joints will be ripped apart, active devices such as transistors can have their leads pulled out from underneath them. Just like the roads in upstate New York, the constant thermal cycling can cause catastrophic failure.

The guide lines and ‘best known methods’ that were wrought over decades of design, testing and reliability cycling are embedded in our philosophy at E&I. So you need not fear about the temperatures as far as the reliability of your E&I amplifier is concerned. And if you are here in May you could say: Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious by the summer of Upstate New York.


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