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28 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 Application notes are the key to shedding light on new topics or new products and soft- ware tools in an easily digestible form. As both a consumer and an author of more application notes than I care to remember, Andy Shaugh- nessy posed an interesting question on wheth- er designers should rigorously follow applica- tion notes or verify the content. Types of Application Notes I tend to categorize app notes into the fol- lowing areas: • How to set up equipment or software • How to apply a product or software tool to get the best results • Background notes, which involve explanations of the engineering or science behind a particular task or problem Application Notes: Advice for Authors The Approach As always, the approach I recommend de- pends on the nature of the note. Notes based on how to use a piece of equipment or software do require following to the letter, and personal "in- terpretation" can lead to disappointment when a system doesn't set up or function as expected. Customers sometimes call to say a setup hasn't worked as expected, so applications engineers will remote in to follow what is happening only to see the end-user miss several key steps "be- cause they always miss those out." For notes aimed at how best to ensure a design meets a specific need, it is always worth looking at sev- eral sources as there are often multiple correct ways to solve certain challenges. Delivery of Content Historically, application notes were just that: a series of written notes to help explain to a The Pulse Feature Column by Martyn Gaudion, POLAR INSTRUMENTS

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