This week Parker and Stephen welcome James Lewis back to the show after a rather long absence! The occasion stems from James chiming in on a Circuit Break Community thread that Stephen started, asking all about component aging effects. Stephen posed questions like, “What happens to resistors over 5 years? How about 20 years? Are there rules of thumb or better yet, calculations for aging?” And helpful engineer that he is, James got in there and tried to provide some answers before agreeing to appear on the show to elaborate.
- How no one is completely sure about how to approach component aging
- When component aging actually affects designers
- The difference between aging and reliability
- The impact of components lasting longer than they were meant to
- Variables, parameters, and other factors that can inhibit and exacerbate aging
- Levels of violence in polymer tantalum explosions
- The history of constants
- Device longevity laws
- How to define rated voltage for a capacitor
James Lewis aka Bald Engineer, is a freelance electronics content creator. You might recognize James from the YouTube channels AddOhms and Workbench Wednesdays from Element 14. His interests include talking too much about capacitors, repairing vintage computers, and making unique PCBs that go into poorly designed 3D-print enclosures. James has been on the show a few times now, including episode #141 and #222 to discuss testing and validating PCB assembly design. The episode about ceramic capacitors is still one of Parker’s all-time favorite episodes!