When building a computer or replacing parts, it can sometimes be confusing to know what is best, or what every specification means for a certain item. Components for computers are also always evolving with new abilities, speeds, and more. When it comes to RAM, understanding the specifics of their use and specifications can help you to make a more educated purchase when it comes time to build or replace.

Random Access Memory, or RAM for short, is a type of memory that holds and reads the data that your computer is currently using. It serves as a form of short term memory, as compared to long term memory such as a hard drive. By this, RAM stores the applications and systems that your computer is currently running, and they are volatile as they lose all their data when the computer is shut off. This is comparable to hard drives which store information even when the computer has no power. RAM is also much quicker than even the most powerful SSD, often surpassing their speeds by over 100x.

When picking RAM, there are a few numbers to understand to better know their differences. Storage size refers to the amount of applications that can simultaneously run on the stick, and unless you are doing heavy video rendering, 4-8gb is often more than sufficient for the average user. Speed is measured in Megatransfers per second, and DDR is an acronym for “double data rate”, referring to the fact that there are two transfers per clock. While speeds have surpassed 4000 with the newer DDR4 models, the performance increase slows down exponentially after surpassing 1600. Lastly, timing relates to the speed of each RAM stick, and it is important to note that the lower the number, the faster the speed.

At Purchasing Management 360, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find computer memory parts you need, new or obsolete.

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When dealing with the complexity of aircraft parts both electrical and hardware, it’s easy to overlook something like your aviation headset. Even easier to forget is the headset plug. However, the headset plug you choose is an important decision every aviator should take seriously, like you would any other connector in your aircraft.

The GA plug, also known as a general aviation plug, twin plug, or dual plug, is found is most general aviation aircraft. Manufacturers like Cessna, Beechcraft, and Piper use a GA plug, while newer manufacturers such as Cirrus or Mooney typically provide an array of connection options. While GA plugs are as universal as they come, before you purchase them you should know that the plugs will not provide noise reduction or bluetooth capabilities. When in use, one side of a GA plug will provide the audio to your headset ear cups and the other will power your headset’s microphone.

In addition to the GA plug, the U174, XLR, and Panel Power plugs are also used in the aviation sector. The U174 plug is used in helicopters. It is a single plug and, while similar to the GA plug, is much shorter and thicker. It provides power to both your ear cup audio and microphone. XLR plugs are also referred to as Airbus plugs due to their common use in commercial aircraft. Instead of a single plug, XLR plugs feature five small pins that connect to a source. Very similar to the XLR plug is the Panel Power plug. A newer type of plug, it features six small pins and provides power to all aspects of the headset including noise reduction and Bluetooth.

Most military aircraft use a single plug called a U-93A plug which is the same size found in civilian helicopters. Despite this, civilian headsets will not work in a military aircraft. Due to performance needs, military headsets are generally much lower impedance than those of civilian aircraft.

At Purchasing Management 360, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the headset plugs for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries.

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In the realm of aviation, stalls are caused when lift is quickly replaced by turbulent drag. Aviation stalls are not to be confused with a mechanical problem such as a stalling aircraft engine as aircraft stalls are caused by too high of an attack angle at a slow speed. When the angle is exceeded, airflow from the upper surface of a wing separates, causing a loss of lift and thus a loss of altitude. While pilots are trained on stall situations and how to pull out of them, there are also many technologies that have been designed over the years to help prevent stalling, give warning to the pilot, as well as provide characteristics of the stall that are easier to pull out of. In this blog, we will give an overview of a few of the more common types of devices that provide favorable stall characteristics.

One popular device comes in the form of winglets which are curved ends featured at the end of aircraft wings. Many modern aircraft have them, and they work to mitigate induced drag created by air vortices. The winglets generate more lift by creating forward thrust, as well as result in lower stall speed. NASA studied the effects of winglets for stalls and found that they created more favorable characteristics and faster stall recovery than those without.

Slots are another device that serve as one of the earliest methods of reducing the effects of stalling. Slots are holes that are installed at the leading edge of the wing and move high pressure air towards the lower pressure on the upper region of the wing. This allows for aircraft to attack at higher angles, as well as delays stalls while increasing the lift. The downside to slots are that they must be initially designed with the aircraft and cannot be fitted later. They may also cause drag while cruising, which can be mitigated with a moveable cover.

Lastly, and most commonly used, is the vortex generator. Vortex generators are small plates that are installed perpendicular to the wings surface and create vortices that both delay airflow separation, as well as stalling. This type of device can be seen on a wide range of aircraft both small and large. They prove very beneficial as they can be installed during manufacturing, or be fitting later on. They also prove to be a very cheap and easy solution for creating favorable stall characteristics.

Though stalls are a problem that aircraft may face, there are many devices that can work to both prevent them, as well as give the pilot warning and easier ability to take themselves out of them. While pilots may have training to get out of stalls, devices that create favorable characteristics help to improve the safety and ease of flight.

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According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), people may not legally operate an aircraft that has not been deemed airworthy. From required annual inspections to approval of parts for maintenance, aircraft and their parts undergo many certifications and inspections to ensure that they are airworthy and legal for use. While it may be simple to understand the reasons we demand that aircraft are airworthy, the details in what qualifies a part as “airworthy” can be complicated. With many set regulations in place, what makes an aircraft part considered airworthy?

14 CFR Part 21.303 includes a set of quality standards to which any new part that is installed during maintenance must meet to be considered airworthy. Parts that meet approval are manufactured to FAA-approved quality standard and have passed inspection. There are five possible quality standards that a new part can meet: PMA, PAH, TSO, standard parts, and owner-produced parts.

Parts Manufactured Approval (PMA) are often direct replacements and apply to specific part numbers. PAH are those that are produced under a production certificate. Technical Standard Order (TSO) parts are those that are FAA-approved designs and the manufacturer must hold TSO authorization from the FAA. Standard parts are those that are manufactured up to standards such as AN, NAS, and MS hardware. Lastly, owner-produced parts are those that are for the purpose of repairing one’s own aircraft and often still must meet FAA approval.

Even used parts for maintenance and repair must meet the criteria set under 14 CFR Part 43. These parts can be properly approved for return to service through the use of FAA form 8130-3 which is an authorized release certificate and airworthiness approval tag. Interior materials for aircraft installation also have various criteria that must be met to be considered airworthy. Those that have a lot of leather or fabric will often come with certification for meeting flammability requirements.

From new and used aviation components, to the materials that are used for interiors, every part of an aircraft must meet requirements to be considered airworthy. While this may be a complex process, it is important to have regulations and requirements to ensure the safety and smooth operation of aircraft for everyone.

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Aircraft inspections, maintenance, and overhauls are by necessity a lengthy and involved process. Even the simplest procedures must be inspected and verified to ensure that the aircraft is airworthy before being returned to the owner, a process that can last weeks or months if done inefficiently. To avoid costly delays, here are five tips for when you’re planning an aircraft repair, inspection, or overhaul job.

Firstly, know the MRO’s in-house capabilities. Most MROs and repair stations don’t have 100% maintenance capabilities, and cannot perform every possible task in-house. A repair station that specializes in structural repair might not be able to deal with an issue with the electrical connector system, for instance. This means that they will have to outsource, which is expensive and time-consuming. You don’t need a one-stop shop, but you should always research and keep in mind the common repairs your aircraft will need, FAA inspections and requirements, and what the prospective repair station you are considering is capable of.

Secondly, take an active part in the aircraft repair process. Provide the facility with discrepancy approvals as soon as they are detected rather than waiting for a later stage in the repair process. This will allow for a faster turnaround, and hopefully save money as well.

Next, be aware of the current and future maintenance status. Review your log books, and keep in mind what will need to be done in the near future, and see if you can integrate it into your current plans. If you are planning to refurbish your aircraft’s interior, for instance, see if you can incorporate other inspections and overhauls into what will be a several-week-long process to see if you can save yourself time in the future.

When you’re preparing your briefing on the aircraft for the maintenance crew, be sure to be detailed about issues you encounter while flying: when you lose aircraft engine power, when the control surfaces become unresponsive, when pressurization drops, etc. This information will make it much easier for the repair crew to hone in on the exact problem, accelerating the repair process.

Lastly, communicate! Give your contact information to the project manager of your aircraft, as well as how you prefer to be contacted so that you can respond quickly and effectively. Enabling some form of video and picture sharing can help as well, as it will allow mechanics to seamlessly show you what they are doing, and get your approval to continue.

In short: start early, plan deeply, and communicate ceaselessly. Do this, and your repair process should be drastically improved.

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A critical part of pre-trip planning is aircraft support equipment and supply considerations at the airport you will be landing at. When operating from remote or secondary/domestic airports, you may face supply restrictions or equipment shortages you would not encounter at larger airports. This checklist includes some of the most critical issues you should make sure you address before setting out.

1. Fuel availability: Always confirm that the type of aircraft fuel you need is available locally, and how that fuel is provided. Is it available from the hydrant, or by trucks? If by truck, how many are available on the airfield? In some cases, fuel has to be brought in from off airport, which increases lead times and the cost of refueling. At some locations fuel must be pumped straight from barrels, and at others is impossible to have fuel brought in.

2. Towbars: Many locations, including airports in India and Brazil, require operators to have a towbar onboard before they confirm aircraft parking. In other cases, you’ll need a towbar just to depart from an assigned parking stand. Not all fixed-base operators and ground handlers carry all towbar types, particularly for less common types of general aviation aircraft.

3. Airstairs, baggage loaders, and lifts: external stairs are often needed for large and widebody aircraft. In some places, the appropriate equipment is not available at the planned destination. You may need to arrange to bring in stairs from off airport, or in some cases, choose a different port to operate at. For some larger aircraft, the availability of baggage belt loaders and lifts for delivery are also a serious consideration. This equipment can be in limited supply at certain airports or due to peak hours of local commercial airline availability.

5. Oxygen availability: oxygen can be difficult to source at many destinations due to local airport or countrywide restrictions, as well as the capabilities of the ground handler’s storage. Particular restrictions may exist on replenishment of onboard oxygen box, and there may be liability issues in terms of suppliers.

6. Required additives: Fuel additives are not always available at all locations. Be sure to confirm in advance that they are available, or plan to bring some with you on your flight.

7. Cabin disinfectants: Some regions, such as India, Australia, and parts of Africa, require that the cabin be treated with an insecticide spray prior to landing. Typically, this means spraying the cabin at the top of descent or immediately upon landing, prior to opening the doors, then presenting the empty spray cans to the local airport authorities. These sprays can be difficult to source however and controlled or restricted at many locations.

8. Deicing fluids: For winter operations, it is important to confirm local availability of deice fluid and what types are available at the airport. Some local fluids may be corrosive to aircraft paint, and different airports use different methods for deicing. Some aircraft use “weeping wings” leading edge deicing systems and require replenishment as well.

9. Miscellaneous supplies: For larger aircraft, having ladders to put on engine covers or access engine cowlings is often a requirement. Depending on the aircraft, you may also need to bring along or locally source external headsets, as well as cleaning supplies, wheel chocks, and other equipment types.

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There comes a point where the maintenance of an aircraft is simply not worth the cost. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars replacing an engine component or flight instrument, many aircraft owners and operators choose to turn the aircraft over to salvagers.

Although the instruments and parts lose their working value, they still hold a monetary value due to the materials they are made from. Unlike cars, aircraft are subject to harsh conditions that require specialized metals that can withstand high temperatures, pressures, and corrosion. Exotic alloys such as silver cadmium is used in switches and relays, mercury and chromium in gauges, and platinum in thermocouples. It would be hard to find these materials in various other mechanisms and the price to purchase these materials is significantly greater. Along with exotic alloys, gold is used in to make the circuit boards of an aircraft. It is estimated that a modern jet engine contains more than $15,000 worth of precious metals.

An aircraft cannot be dismantled and stripped at an MRO but needs to be taken to a specific site where the proper precautions can be taken. While the FAA governs all aspects of airworthy aircraft, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates the scrapping and salvaging of an aircraft. Scrappers with specialized knowledge should be consulted rather than simply abandoning the aircraft. With their expert knowledge, scrappers can assess the value of materials and give a fair price for the purchase of the aircraft. Finding a trusted scrapper can be difficult, however the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA) is an international aircraft disassembly and salvaging association. With members such as Boeing Company, Embraer, and Rolls-Royce, AFRA is a safe and responsible way to scrap your aircraft.

Hazardous materials need to be handled with care in order to avoid any environmental damage through runoff. If the aircraft is equipped with a bathroom, the biological waste needs to be addressed using specific measures to prevent any human risk.

The owner of an aircraft can be held accountable if the aircraft is left unattended to corrode and break down. Owners may find themselves inundated with parking fees and state issued fines if they incorrectly abandon their aircraft. After all, this is littering to the highest degree.

All in all, an aircraft is an expensive asset even if it is no longer flying in the air. The scrapping process is not only a money maker, but also encourages the recycling of valuable materials that would otherwise go to waste and cause damage to the environment.

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A pressure sensor is a device equipped with a pressure-sensitive component that measures the pressure of a gas or liquid and converts the measured value into an electrical signal as an output. These are also referred to as pressure transducers or pressure transmitters and are used for controlling and monitoring pressure. Their day-to-day usage includes biomedical instruments, touch screen devices, and automobiles. Pressure sensors can also be used to measure other variables such as water level, altitude, and speed.

Before you select a pressure range, remember that the degradation of a pressure sensing element works similarly to that of an elastic band. When a rubber band is stretched and held at maximum length, it degrades faster and eventually breaks. It is a moving part, which means it can be overworked if it is continuously used at or beyond its maximum capacity. Pressure sensors work on the same principle, but instead of elastic, there is a thin diaphragm made of metal.

The diaphragm is designed to be sensitive to varying pressure forces; however, this does not mean that it can withstand other types of force applied to it. It is the most fragile part of the sensor and requires special attention when it is being used. Any occurrence that affects how the diaphragm moves will alter the sensors’ functionality. Certain impacts can cause a dent in the diaphragm, creating the potential for the sensor to be inaccurate. Even if the diaphragm isn’t physically damaged, any disturbance to the diaphragm can still cause the sensor output to drift.

Another aspect to consider when using your pressure sensor is managing the application environment, specifically, the operational temperature range. Ensure your sensor meets all the expected thermal requirements of the environment to avoid a troublesome situation. The external environment and temperature must also be compatible. If you are operating in an outdoor area that will be exposed to humidity or moisture, confirm that the pressure sensor casing has the appropriate user rating. The sensor must be composed of material that is suitable for any corrosive gasses or chemicals that may be present in the application area.

To avoid electromagnetic interference (EMI), make sure the sensor is wired and grounded properly per the manufacturer’s instructions. EMI can do more harm than altering the performance of the sensors; it can degrade or destroy them permanently over time. Be sure to monitor your sensor for any EMI damage.

It is possible for the pressure sensor to drift outside the recommended performance range after an extended period of time and use. This can be fixed with a zero balance or an offset adjustment; sensors with an adjustment feature have extended longevity. Manufacturers go to great lengths to reduce the drift caused by aging.

If you follow all of the aforementioned tips in selecting and caring for your pressure sensor, you will be able to enjoy a prolonged and functional lifespan.

At Purchasing Management 360, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the pressure sensor parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. 

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Connectors are one of the most common electronic parts in the market. Because there is such a wide variety of connectors and applications for these connectors, it can be difficult to know what you need for what purpose. Fortunately, the most common types of connectors are relatively easy to recognize.

  • D-type connectors are popular because they are quite robust. With rather tough outer shells in the shape of a “D”, they can be found in various standard sizes with 9, 14, and 25 pins. D-types are used in many different applications, but they’re most common as the connector for RS-232 serial links for computer serial ports.
  • DIN 41612 connectors provide for multiple connectors, typically 32, 64, etc. They are comprised of long rectangular plastic shells with connections in rows and are usually used as connectors for printed circuit boards or cards in computers.
  • Jack plugs are typically used for telecommunications and audio transmissions. They are the typical connectors used for simpler, lower-tier headphones and microphones. The standard size is a ¼ inch, but 3.5 mm miniature and 2.5 sub-miniature sizes are also available.
  • Phono connectors, aka RCA connectors, are the normal red, yellow, and white connectors used for domestic audio connections. They provide coaxial connections perfect to connect hi-fi separates.
  • XLR connectors are easily recognized by their metal outer shells and larger girth than the jack plug. XLRs are used in professional audio applications as opposed to being jack plugs because of their more balanced audio interconnection capability.

Of course, that is not to say that these are the only connectors, nor are these aforementioned uses the only use that each connector has. But no matter what application or type of connector you’re looking at, there are few basics to remember. For example, connectors are typically made up of two parts, a male with pins, and a female with receptacles for the pins. If the application in question subjects the connectors to extreme strain and environmental conditions, then you might need to look for connectors that are moisture, vibration, and heat proof. Or maybe, the application has small space restraints, in which case you need connectors with different outlines or degrees of flexibility. If the application is sensitive, you might need connectors with lower or high current and voltage capabilities and so on.

There are many things to consider when you’re looking for a connector. And while it can be very daunting because of all the things you have to consider and the options you have, it’s important that you take the time to figure out exactly what you need. It’s better to take the time to figure it out than to take the time to fix it and deal with problems later.

At Purchasing Management 360, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the connector parts and assemblies you need, new or obsolete. 

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IBM sold its first personal computer in 1981 which was an impactful moment in computer motherboard history. It included a planar board, which featured an Intel 8088 central processing unit (CPU), built-in memory, and external input/ output (I/O). This was a huge upgrade compared to the previous motherboards— they were large and clunky. Creating compact and advanced motherboards allowed computers to become lighter and more sophisticated.

A motherboard is the main printed circuit board and allows all components of a system to communicate with each other. It is the common link between all of the components of an electronic system. Parts made by different manufacturers are not always compatible with every motherboard. A specific motherboard will support a single type of central processing unit (CPU) and different types of memory. Motherboards have become much more complex since their initial launch. Currently, these devices vary in design, cases, power supply, size, and compatibility.

There is a socket on motherboards that are used to hold the CPU. These vary on different motherboards and they each contain different configurations for the processor pins. The socket determines the processor’s physical packaging that can be installed, and the motherboard chipset determines the specific processor model that can be used with the motherboard. Since random access memory (RAM) is updated frequently, it is important to choose a motherboard with more RAM capacity than initially needed.

The form factor is the shape and layout of a computer motherboard. It determines where individual components can go and the shape of the computer’s case. For certain applications, there are standard cases and specific form factors are used to fit them. A chipset connects the microprocessor to the rest of the motherboard and transfers data from part to part while a bus is a circuit that joins the components of a motherboard to one another. High-quality buses can handle more data at one time. Expansion slots offer the ability to add additional components.

When deciding which motherboard to use, it is important to consider all of these factors. Choosing the wrong motherboard can become an expensive problem to fix.

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