Greetings Best Community Members in the Galaxy!


Here's this week's rundown on some of the exciting activities going on in and around the community.


Community Member Judging for Remote Monitoring & Control


There were a lot of exciting projects in the  Remote Monitoring & Control  competition and its now time for you to choose the winners.  By volunteering to judge you help ensure that the winners of Remote Monitoring & Control reflect the diversity of thought and opinion that makes this the best online community for engineers in the galaxy!

  • 1 Grand Prize Winner will receive a $200 Shopping Cart.
  • 3 First Place Winners will receive a $100 Shopping Cart.


You can view all the projects and decide the winners by visiting the following thread:


Project14 | Volunteer to Judge the Remote Monitoring & Control Competition!


Energy Harvesting Just Launched!


The Energy Harvesting competition just launched on the community and you can submit project ideas around energy harvesting in the monthly theme doc, Project14 | Energy Harvesting: Build Projects that Scavenge Energy from Wasted Energy Sources! To make things fun, the Grand Prize is an Energy Harvesting Kit to GoEnergy Harvesting Kit to Go from Würth Elektronik  for the project that does the best job of inspiring the world to reuse wasted energy.  The reason is that it seemed like a very interesting product and it tied in really nicely with the theme. The kit includes four linear voltage converters that are optimized for different energy sources such as solar, electromagnetic, piezo electric, or thermal energy converters. There's also the usual $100 shopping cart for the 3 first winners.


While, this project competition is not sponsored, it seemed like a good opportunity to tie the program with the greater community, by offering a cool looking prize from one of our suppliers.  rscasny recently launched a roadtest involving another Würth Elektronik product, Amber Pi Design Kit , and he helped me set up the upcoming webinar, Wireless IoT for Everyone with the Amber Pi.


Some different possibilities to consider for your energy harvesting project:

  • Photovoltaic Harvesting - the process of turning direct sunlight into electricity.  It is the most popular form of harnessing the power of the sun.  It is the process of turning direct sunlight into electricity.
  • Thermoelectric Harvesting - dependent mainly on the operation of the thermoelectric generator (TEG). Thermoelectric energy harvesting, is of particular interest in the automotive and industrial industries, where large amounts of heat are wasted.
  • Piezoelectric Harvesting - Human motion, low-frequency vibrations, and acoustic sounds are all potential sources of piezoelectric energy harvesting. The piezoelectric effect converts kinetic energy in the form of vibrations or shocks into electrical energy.
  • RF/Electromagnetic Harvesting  - An RF harvesting system captures and converts electromagnetic energy into usable continuous voltage using an antenna and a rectifier circuit as its fundamental building blocks.
  • Vibration Harvesting - This is possible through several types of technology such as electromagnetic induction or piezoelectric.  Typical applications that would benefit from this would be where sensors or measurement instruments are used to gather data and traditional power sources (batteries or cables) are too expensive or impossible to use.
  • Wind Harvesting  - kinetic energy from wind is used to generate electricity or mechanical power.  This type of energy is practical as a supplemental source of energy for electrical power grids.  Storage for wind energy can have high initial costs and much cheaper to keep wind energy as one piece of a varied and flexible energy grid than to store wind energy.


As dougw and genebren point out, this is a broad theme with even more possibilities including:

  • Mechanical Harvesting - An example that dougw gives is regenerative braking, but any motion or momentum can be converted to electrical energy. There are systems to convert walking motion to electrical energy.An example from genebren is using a high speed fly wheel system, as a UPS type of storage.  The wheel is spun up slowly over time and maintained with small impulses, until a power dip is detected, then the kinetic energy is used to spin up a generator to generate electricity to provide energy through the dip.
  • Hydro-mechanical Harvesting - An example that dougw includes is small scale hydro power in the mix as you could get power from rain or any flowing water. genebren gives a real world example of how this is done using two lakes with one significantly elevated from the other. Water is pump into the higher lake during periods of excess energy available on the grid and then used to generate electricity at 'peak' or high level demands to generate energy.
  • Superconducting Magnet Harvesting - genebren has experience working on such a system,  used a large superconducting magnet to store energy as a UPS or grid support system.  The system was capable of supporting a 2.1MW load for a limited time (minutes, not hours).  These systems were developed to support manufacturing facilities in isolated area, where power interrupts were quite common.  On of the leading reasons for failures were caused by snakes falling out of trees onto the power lines (short interruptions as the snakes quickly burned off). (I worked on the inverter system that took it the energy off the superconducting magnet to support the load, brown outs only).


Would be interested in hearing any other ideas you have.   Feel free to post them here or in the comments section of the theme doc. It would be interesting to know which forms of energy harvesting interest you more and this will be a topic we explore further in an upcoming poll.


Vision Thing (and Graphics) is the Monthly Theme for September!


Very good participation in last month's poll,  Project14 | Poll to Decide the September 19' Competition, and it resulted in a two way tie between Vision Thing and Graphics.   Both these competitions offer a lot of possibilities, and because the poll ended in tie it gave us an excuse to tie both these ideas together to form a single theme:


  • Your projects can include anything involving Computer Vision and Machine Learning , Camera Vision and AI based projects, Deep Learning. Or, projects involving graphics such adding a graphical display to a microcontroller, image processing on a microcontroller, image recognition interface a camera to a microcontroller,  or FPGA - camera interfacing/image processing/graphical display


Monthly Poll to Decide the October 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 and this month's poll,  Project14 | Poll to Decide the October 19' Competition , is no exception.  Holdover's from last month's poll are CPU Math and Mesh Network, and they are joined by Low on Energy (this has been an option before but gustavovelascoh had some good suggestions on what we could do around this theme) and Animatronics.   This October theme will overlap with Halloween so we figured some of you would be interested in Animatronics project such as  A Flying Purple People Eater by dougw


Electronic Toys Competition Update!


If you're looking for a lighter project competition, the Electronic Toys might be just what you were looking for.   Here's a recap of all the action so far:


balearicdynamics decided to build a project for kids who were discovering Arduino for the first time.  His objectives for the project were to make it easy to assemble and understand by a class of kids and to make the project components replicable as a medium-difficult assembly kit.   As you would expect from a project from balearicdynamics, every box should have something original:


It joins the following Electronic Toys  projects:


connormiller is working on a wearables project that that will involve C/Python programming, sewing, soldering, Autodesk Fusion 360, and Circuit Design.  It will utilize a CO2 powered Gauntlet Webslinger, a Spidey Sense Rear Proximity Sensor to flag close objects, a Spidey Sense Rear Camera to use Microsoft Azure Machine Vision to report objects seen, and (In testing) Small vibration motor that will rest on the neck and vibrate whenever the sensors report a danger:


balearicdynamics has once again created a very beautiful and original project that stretches the creative imagination.  Best of all, it involves something dear to most of our hearts, music. For the music generation, he uses an Arduino UnoArduino Uno aiming to create a general-purpose mp3 with a reusable design in other projects. In this particular context the Arduino mp3 player should reproduce the classical musical-box sound; to build the circuit he has an Arduino Prototype Shield. The circuit is not particularly complex and also an Arduino NANO will work fine. The core of the mp3 music player includes all the features you would find in a commercial mp3 player such as a six level equalizer preset, track selection, volume control, amplified speaker output, and earphone output:


ravi_butani shows you how to build a DIY >$15 DIY Park Controller Plane using an ESP8266 and the Arduino IDE:


Looking forward to seeing what types of electronic toys gam3t3ch , dubbie , fmilburn , and anyone else who joins in the fun comes up with.   Submit your project ideas for electronic toys at Project14 | Win a SNES Classic Bundle or Shopping Cart for Your Electronic Toys Project!


Upcoming Autodesk EAGLE Webinar on Manual Routing Magic!


The final webinar in the Getting Started with Autodesk EAGLE: Webinar Series is set for next Wednesday, 21st in August at 2 PM CST or 7 PM GMT:


You can view the rest of the On Demand webinars here:


Webinar Update: Exploring IoT Possibilities with Symbisa:


In a few weeks Hahaaa will be giving a Webinars called:

Sign up to this webinar to learn how:

  • Symbisa sensors feed live data directly into Microsoft Excel using simple formula.
  • Allows data to flow through to larger data where big data tools can be deployed to management, analytics and learning.
  • You can create templates, reports, and apply all the analytical power of excel to live streams of data.


The webinar will be on the 29th in August at 4 PM CST and 9 PM GMT


Check out the unbiased and honest reviews from our RoadTests & Reviews of Symbisa:


Also, check out these awesome posts from our own cstanton:


Andy West Builds a Robot Artist on element14 Presents

If there is one thing community members love, its a Robotics project.   andywest , the really smart guy that did all those really cool FPGA projects on element14 presents doesn't disappoint with:


Conditional Logic Devices with Karen on The Learning Circuit:


Also, on element14 presentsmakerkaren , who previously discussed logic gates and digital logic, dives into more complex combinational logic devices: multiplexers, demultiplexers, encoders, and decoders in the latest The Learning Circuit :


Also, be sure to check out the previous episodes on Logic Gates & Discrete Components:


What Else Is Happening


If there's one other thing that are members also love its Test & Tools !   You can win a free tool kit by entering the survey at Tell us what you think - Win Yourself a Tool Kit! - Survey Over, Winners Soon   All you have to do is tell us what you think.   Can't beat that!


That's all for this week.  So long, for just a while...