Circuit Break Podcast #423: Magical Semiconductors of Pixies

Podcast Title: Magical Semiconductors of Pixies

Release Date: 2024-03-26

Episode: #423

We’re joined by Alexander Vartanov, an electrical engineering student with a knack for hands-on projects. He discusses his journey from early soldering mishaps to his behind-the-scenes role in creative YouTube projects. We delve into his experiences with rapid prototyping for YouTube, his favorite solder, and shopping for surplus aerospace materials. Additionally, we explore his unique projects, including transforming ordinary alarm clocks into machines that shred money or douse sleepers with water. Tune in for a mix of engineering insights, student life, and tales of creative projects.

Podcast Audio:

Podcast Notes:

🚨Contest Announcement 🚨

Introducing a new Circuit Break contest! This contest is themed around building food-related electronic projects. We’re offering over $5,000 in cash prizes, themed trophies, and free prototyping from MacroFab. The deadline to submit is March 31st, 2024. Thanks to Mouser Electronics for sponsoring the contest prizes!

Discussion Highlights

  • Educational Journey: Alexander shares his experiences transitioning from high school to community college, emphasizing the shift in student and teacher mentalities, and his plans to transfer to California State Northridge for electrical engineering.
  • Choosing Electrical Engineering: Discussion on why Alexander chose electrical engineering despite its challenges and the conversation extends to the hosts’ own educational paths and changes in majors.
  • YouTube Projects and Experiences: Alexander talks about his involvement in YouTube projects, including some unique alarm clocks and LED installations on vehicles.
  • Childhood Inspiration: Alexander’s initial fascination with electronics was sparked by his father giving him LED lights to experiment with.
  • Early Soldering Experiences: Alexander shares childhood memories of learning to solder, emphasizing the hands-on approach and learning from mistakes, like burning himself while reaching for wire.
  • Impact of YouTube Projects: Discusses how rapid prototyping and pacing for YouTube projects have refined his engineering approach, teaching him to achieve functional results quickly.
  • Favorite Solder and Surplus Stores: Alexander expresses his preference for Kester 60/40 solder and shares experiences sourcing materials from Apex Electronics, a surplus store with historical aerospace inventory.
  • Advice for Aspiring Engineers: Alexander encourages finding passion outside of work and pursuing it professionally, ensuring a balance between enjoyment and responsibility.

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