This is the second entry in the weekly content journal that I am experimenting with.  The reason for this experiment is to communicate directly with the members on what I've been working on this past week in the community, mainly Project14 and Arduino , but will also touch on any of the other areas the content team is working on in the community.

 

Community Member Judging for Programmable Logic

 

The  Programmable Logic competition was one of the tougher competitions that we've had since this program started.  It was very cool to see a flurry of projects come in at the end of the competition and overall we had very good participation.  It was also really good to get some more Arduino MKR VIDOR 4000 projects on the community.  We had a mini competition around the time the board was released last year, Winners Announcement: Freedom of FPGA: Build an Arduino MKR Vidor 4000 Project for an Arduino Engineering Kit! , and it proved difficult to get projects.  For one thing, the Arduino MKR 4000 did not appear to be very beginner friendly.

 

Right now,  volunteer judging is still open.  We've received a couple of responses from community members and we're hoping to get this wrapped up with a winners announcement expected for next Monday.  If you would like to volunteer to judge then you can take a look at the projects here:

 

Project14 | Volunteer to Judge the Programmable Logic Competition!

 

Feel free to contact me directly tariq.ahmad or comment below if you have any questions or want to volunteer.  The more people that volunteer to judge, the better the chances that we get the winners announcement right!

 

Electronic Toys Competition Just Launched!

 

Seems like the last few competitions have been challenging so its really nice to have a lighter competition such as Electronic Toys .    To make it more fun, and because the Super Nintendo is referenced in the theme doc, Project14 | Win a SNES Classic Bundle or Shopping Cart for Your Electronic Toys Project! , we've thrown a SNES Classic on top of the $200 shopping cart grand prize.  I've got many fond memories of playing endless hours of NBA Jam and Super Street Fighter 2 when my brother brought the original game system home from college.  Having played these games on a retro pie,  they still hold up well today!

It's hard not to think about the first theme we launched for Project14, and the upcycled toy projects the first class of projects produced:

 

 

Its been pointed out by others, the Techno Toys projects will always have a special place, as they were the first class of projects to launch the program.  It was fun and light-hearted, so will be cool to see a return to a lighter theme as the last couple were challenging for a lot of people.  Getting the party started is ravi_butani with DIY Smartphone controlled tiny plane as weekend project for children and parents .    He shows you how to build a DIY >$15 DIY Park Controller Plane using an ESP8266 and the Arduino IDE.

 

Energy Harvesting is the Monthly Theme for August!

 

By unanimous decision, Energy Harvesting will be the monthly theme that launches in August.  It comes from a suggestion from fmilburn and its to build projects that use solar, vibrations, heat, etc. and associated storage such as rechargeable batteries, super capacitors, etc.  Could also include low power microcontrollers, sensors, and techniques.

 

Looking for inspiration?  Dug this old Design Challenge from the archive:  Energy Harvesting Design Challenge .    Its from 2013, so if any of you members remember participating,  tell us about it in the comments below!

 

Monthly Poll to Decide the September Competition Just Launched!

 

As we do every month, when a theme ends, a new theme begins, a theme is announced, and a theme poll to decide the upcoming competition is launched.  Often times, themes that weren't voted on before will find there way in new polls.  This time around, we decided to go with 4 fresh new suggestions from members:

 

Project14 | Poll to Decide the September 19' Competition

 

The themes this round are a little challenging, that's just how it happened this time around.  Just as a reminder, for this program to work we're always looking for fresh ideas for new themes around project competitions so let us know by commenting in the monthly polls!

 

Remote Monitoring & Control Keeps Rolling!

 

This is a fun theme and hoping to see some really cool projects.    The latest batch of projects didn't disappoint!

 

andyforeverest takes a 20 year bike and updates it to take fitness info to the cloud:

 

ralphjy gives a tip of the hat to Dr. Seuss in  LoRa Experimental Environmental Sensors (LoRaXes) - Introduction and does something really cool with the LoRa Gateway he won in the IoT: In the Cloud competition.

 

sjmill01 is going to make a data logger of 24 sensors logging data every one minute that could run without mains power or human intervention for 7 days with no wires.  He shows you what's possible by taking Rosemount 648 Wireless Transmitters, an Arduino Mega, and some coding magic in Big Petro Maker Magic:  $100 Datalogger That Can Save Millions and demonstrates how these projects can be used to address real world problems such as the 2019 Philadelphia refinery oil explosion:

 

 

Autodesk EAGLE Getting Started Series!

 

Part 1 of Getting Started with Autodesk EAGLE: Webinar Series was well attended and really grateful to Edwin and Jorge for suggesting the idea to do a series around getting beginners started using Autodesk.  Even if you use something else, its a good skill to learn.  I found it very interesting that Autodesk is what Arduino uses to design their boards.  That  was something I didn't know but I guess that's what makes these webinars so interesting to me.  Its all about learning, which is different from the hands on learning you get from doing projects.  Its a wonderful complement to the other areas of the community that I'm on, and also the areas where I am here to lend support for the rest of my teammates.

 

To help encourage participation e14softwareuk has put together some 10% voucher codes for those interested in purchasing an EAGLE license or renewing an existing license.  You'll need to let us know which country you will be purchasing from due to the way the vouchers codes are set up.  I've emailed a notice to those who attended with this information and encourage anyone who attended to help support the rest of the webinars in the series:

 

July 24th -  Electromechanical Workflow with Autodesk EAGLE and Fusion 360

 

August 7th -  Uncovering the Mysteries of the Autodesk EAGLE Library Editor

 

August 21st - Manual Routing Magic with Autodesk EAGLE

 

Projects for Makers, Vol. 1 Arduino and Vol. 2 Raspberry Pi!

 

Almost forgot to mention...  A few weeks back I got to sit down with balearicdynamics to discuss the Project14 program for inclusion in his upcoming two volume book series Projects for Makers, Vol. 1 Arduino and Vol. 2 Raspberry Pi.  The intent of the book is to help introduce the element14 community to makers in Italy.  Then just this last week I helped facilitate an interview with rscasny to discuss the RoadTests & Reviews program.   An invitation was also sent to e14phil to discuss the Design Challenges program.  He's had his hands full with all the Raspberry Pi stuff, not to mention PiCasso Design Challenge, so don't know if they can work the right schedule but balearicdynamics was more than understanding.  As far as the interview on Project14, the conversation was very thoughtful, so much so, that I spent the latter half the hour interviewing him to get his thoughts on the program.   Much more interesting to hear what you guys have to say than me....

 

Some tidbits from the interview: I spent my first year in the community working pretty much only on element14's The Ben Heck Show program.   I also helped element14Dave  with shipping for RoadTests & Reviews,  similarly to how danzima helps out rscasny now, sat in on the Design Challenges calls (really didn't have much to say as I was there to mostly listen and learn), and was mostly known around the community for doing Ben Heck giveaways.   That all changed and I got a taste for the wider community with the How Were You 'Bit by the Bug' of Engineering & Technology? campaign, towards the end of my first year.  It was then that I felt I really got to know a lot of the community members after reading stories about what drove their interest in engineering and technology.  Also, we discussed how initially there was a lot of pressure for both the Arduino and Project14 programs to succeed because no one knew how Ben Heck's pending retirement would affect the rest of the community.  By the time Project14 launched and Arduino relaunched, it was obvious that it would be The Ben Heck Show's last year so we needed both programs to stand on their own.

 

I felt then, as I do today, video has a fundamental role in inspiring creativity for projects on the community.   Thankfully, I can report that The Ben Heck Show lives on as element14 presents continues to do new Friday episodes and video properties like the The Learning Circuit with makerkaren , WorkBench Wednesdays with baldengineer , and The Electronics Inside with a531016 churn in new audiences.   As for me, I'm still part of the review team for episodes and the weekly meetings, the big difference is I am focusing more and more of my attention on growing the  Arduino and Project14 program.  I've also started working more closely with rscasny on Webinars and product spotlights for our suppliers.

 

Arduino Site Update

 

We relaunched the Arduino  program around the same time we launched the Project14  program.  Last year, e14phil  launched a webinar series around the Commercial Uses of Arduino - 5 Recorded Live Streams as well as Design for a Cause - Design Challenge while I launched a series of "mini" contests around the MKR line.  We've also tied in several project14 competitions with the new line of MKR boards and this has produced a lot of great projects on the community using the new boards.  The most successful of these mini competitions was the Smarter World competition which was done around the MKR WAN 1300.  Getting projects around the MKR VIDOR 4000 was a bit of struggle,  it didn't help that there were some unexpected shipping problems, and there were some complaints that as they were currently, they were far from beginner FPGA boards. 

 

I've spent a bit of time earlier this week organizing some of this great MKR projects.  It was with great pleasure that the recent Programmable Logic competition produced some great MKR VIDOR 4000 projects.  This is especially good news as word is that Arduino was specifically eyeing our community to get the MKR VIDOR 4000 boards into the hands of the engineers.

Here are all the MKR VIDOR Projects you produced from both competitions:

 

When we brag about our community members being the best in the planet, that is what we are talking about!  Also, organized some of the great projects around MKR 1010 from the IoT: In the Cloud competition, MKR 1300 from the Smarter World competition, etc.

 

Arduino includes more than just Arduino MKR boards, there's also classic boards such as the Uno, Nano, Mega, and Leonardo.  Also, there are the Arduino compatible boards such as the ESP8266.  There's always a lot we can do, or need to do, with the Arduino site so if you have ideas of what type of content you would like to see let me know in the comments below.  Part of having these weekly updates is so that we can discuss what type of content you would like to see more of on our community!

 

Also,  we still got plenty of Uno and Nano boards , some ESP8266 so feel free to enter 10 Year Challenge | Tell Us What You Can't Live Without for an ESP8266, Arduino Uno, or Arduino Nano! for your free board.

 

What Else Is Happening

 

baldengineer goes over Workbench Wednesday 11: Instrument Basics:Digital Multimeters in WorkBench Wednesdays and mrvolt builds Episode 402: PiPhone++ The Giant Raspberry Pi Flip Phone in the latest element14 presents .

 

Azure Sphere mania has invaded the community and you can get a free board by getting involved with the latest Design Challenges which is Sensing the World Challenge or the roadtest AVNET Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit .

 

I'm sure there's a lot I missed but that's pretty much what this weeks looked like from this corner of cyberspace!