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On the 12 Days of Christmas, an EE Gave to Me… – News – All About Circuits

2020 took its toll on the electrical engineering community just as it did on many other disciplines across the globe.

Beyond the incredible feats of EEs this year—banding together to meet the global ventilator shortage, devising rapid COVID-19 testing devices, and increasing safety in public spaces—engineers have contributed in creative ways to keeping our lives afloat amidst worldwide shutdowns. 


Emergency MIT ventilator

Emergency MIT ventilator

MIT’s emergency ventilator project. Image used courtesy of MIT

During this Christmas season, the editorial staff wants to thank the All About Circuits community for the many projects you’ve worked on over the years to help us all feel a little closer in an age of social distancing. 

In this electrical engineering edition of the 12 days of Christmas, we take a look at a few familiar highlights of the season and zoom in on the technologies EEs have contributed to make them possible.

Without further ado… 

On the 12 days of Christmas, an EE gave to me:


12 Feet of LEDs

Gone are the days of checking bulbs one by one to find the culprit in a string of lights gone dark. LED Christmas lights are less susceptible to catastrophic decoration failure than old-fashioned incandescent versions. 


LED lights

LED lights

Image used courtesy of Michael Hession and The New York Times

11 Laser Lights

Laser-projected Christmas lights are an easy way to cheer up your home during the holiday. Unlike traditional Christmas lights that require a bulb, laser projectors can create sharp patterns of red and green light. 


10 Hallmark Movies

Love them or hate them, Hallmark movies are best viewed on an LCD flat screen. This technology switches pixels on or off electronically using liquid crystals to rotate the polarization of light, presenting a vibrant picture of however many formulaic rom-coms you can stomach. 


9 Ham Radios

Amateur radio is a great way to get involved in community events (managing comms for a Christmas 5K anyone?), prepare for natural disasters, or chat with other hams. Yes, the functionality of antennas extends much further than ham radios nowadays, as we discuss in the fundamentals of Wi-Fi antennas, but there’s something about a ham radio that touches the tinkerer in all of us.


Ham transceiver

Ham transceiver

A look inside the Baofeng amateur radio transceiver. 

(See AAC’s contributor Mark Hughes tear down a Baofeng amateur radio transceiver to see what we mean!) 


8 Smartphone

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