Glen Chenier from EDN was approached by a colleague who had a failed diode component that is no longer manufactured. Armed with a similar unknown-but-working replacement, a pulse generator, and oscilloscope, they were able to determine a suitable replacement part that is currently manufactured.
The other day Linda from Purchasing came to me with a problem: Lou from Operations needed to source a replacement for a shorted diode on a switching power supply. The darned thing was marked with a strange part number that no amount of Googling could decipher.
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