Version 3

    It's been a busy number of weeks over the past month or so at the element14 Community, with the Coronavirus Crisis forcing us to change how we work together, hunting for toilet paper, and making sure we look out for our fellow person in various ways like Setting your Processors to ANALYSE for the COVID-19 virus. I figured it would be a great opportunity to look back on great content and get your feedback and views of what's been published so far.


    Make sure to 'Like' and 'Comment' on the blogs if you haven't already and let me know if there's anything you've checked out, in the comments below.



    Don't crimp my style!

    shabaz has been putting crimping tools to the test. Those devices which, as a maker, you don't realise you need until you come across a socket on a development board that you don't know the name of, and don't know how to interface with (or perhaps that's my experience?). There are so many different standards out there, that it can be confusing and frustrating to deal with if you're not familiar with it. Not only that, but they can be costly!


    While it can often be tempting to simply by more jumper cables, accidents can happen with them. If your connections don't 'make' properly on a breadboard then you can spend hours trying to work out a problem only to find it's a faulty connection.


    You can check out the blog here: Making 0.1 Jumper Cables - Crimp Tools Tested



    Engineers Making Beautiful Music

    I've tried to learn how to play the guitar a few times. I think a combination of a boxer's fracture in my hand and being tone deaf have worked against me, so the closest instrument I've managed to get to this is the Rockband 3 Pro Guitar. Another instrument that I've been meaning to make more use of though, is an oscilloscope. Whether it's diagnosing problems with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System I have that needs to be repaired, or decoding the impulses from i2c.


    Along comes lui_gough and makes the instrument sing in ways I didn't think were imaginable though, in his Project14 write-up It’sa me, Oscilloscope! - Making Music with a 'scope? - I'd say I was jealous, but I think I'm simply amazed, because that isn't the only hardware that's been pushed in ways I wouldn't expect, I've heard buzzing coming from power supplies before, or high pitched whines thanks to transformers having a loose copper cable. I've never thought of purposefully circuit bending them to my will It'sa me, Power Supply! - Making Music with a PSU?


    Great work, but how have you, the reader used this hardware?




    Time for Take-Off

    With so much information on the element14 Community it can be too easy to overlook the projects that our members work on and blog about themselves. I'm an avid fan of simulator software, the first one I played was Microsoft Space Simulator where I practised landing the lunar module. phoenixcomm is working on a more practical simulator for flight and has been producing a comprehensive catalogue of documented effort and work for this simulator on the Community. You can read more about the latest progress as they've hacked up the switches and keys here: Nexgen: Flight Simulator: Hacking The CP-1252/ASN-128: Keyboard Switches



    Electrifying Knowledge

    How's your understanding of electronics components? I consider mine to be at a stage where I'm still learning, and while we have the illustrious The Learning Circuit, I'm still picking up details from our members of the element14 Community. Opto couplers are a hardware component that I'm freshly learning about and how they're applied. Coming from an academic scientific background, I also love tests, and putting items to the test to see their capabilities. That's just what jw0752 does with their blog on the AC Optocoupler LTV 814. Well worth a read!



    The Blockchain's not just Coin

    It has been a buzzword for the better part of forever, in the past few years Bitcoin has rose and fell with value, and a majority of other 'coins' have came to the market. However little is said about the technology behind it, what does it mean to 'be on the blockchain' and can it actually be used in any way that's practical? That's what we wanted to find out with a RoadTests & Reviews on Infineon's hardware. We certainly get closer to the answer as to how to work out this security handshake thanks to jancumps's blogs on Blockchain - Hyperledger Burrow: set up a distributed ledger , a series based around the roadtest of the hardware!




    Printed Circuit Boards need not be Dull!

    I still have yet to pick up a design tool, whether it's Autodesk EAGLE, Altium CircuitStudio or KiCAD. Perhaps I'll get around to it for one of the many projects on my to-do pile! It always impresses me that users not only design and create their own projects such as mayermakes on element14 presents but also fmilburn as part of turning the PCB into a piece of functional art: PCB Art:  The Great Wave off Kanagawa - I've had the good fortune to see the original 'The Great Wave' in an art gallery in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and I'm sure it looks just as good as part of a PCB!



    Have Yourself a Cup of Coffee and a Piece of Pi

    March the 14th holds a special place in the hearts and minds of mathematicians across the world, and it's not surprising it's also been adopted by those who love the Raspberry Pi. Our resident Catwell blogger has looked back on his past projects and collected them together for you to view Pi Day Memory Lane 2020 - All of Cabe’s 14 Raspberry Pi Projects to Date , and here's hoping there are many more in the future. Of course it's not only Catwell who has been making projects, many of our fantastic members have as well Great Raspberry Pi Projects Around element14 to Ring in Pi Day.


    Biotechnology Creeps Closer

    While we're waiting for technology to interface with our cerebral cortex, along the lines of the film Avalon, and other technological Sci-Fi films like The Matrix (isn't that getting a fourth soon? I think they should have stopped at the first film...) the other way around is also getting development time as scientists make computers out of biological entities, mini human organs? Scientists develop “body-on-a-chip” made of mini human organs I'm not quite sure what to make of this, if this was more commonplace how do you suppose that would affect embedded systems? Perhaps a theoretical discussion at this point.



    What've you been up to?

    What're your plans for this week / this weekend? Currently the world's a bit shaken up due to the coronavirus, but for some people it's still business as usual. Here's hoping you're keeping fit, well and healthy!


    Don't forget!

    Join in the polls, Like and Bookmark your favourite articles from this round-up and add a comment - you'll be rewarded for your contributions with a badge and points!