How're you doing? Hopefully this month's Round-Up and Review finds you well! Here at the element14 Community we're working hard to make sure it's business as usual, and while the staff in the Farnell and Newark distribution centres work as hard as possible, and as safely as possible to ensure your orders are fulfilled, the Community staff are making sure you receive your Roadtest hardware and prizes where possible! Thanks to our members for being patient with us while we're working through these difficult times!
Meanwhile, it's clear that you've all taken this time and opportunity to work on your projects and to keep your minds healthy and active, thanks to the efforts of gam3t3ch we even have Coronavirus analysis running on the Raspberry Pi - you can find more information about Folding@Home and Rosetta@Home here: Set your Processors to ANALYSE for the COVID-19 virus with Folding@Home or Rosetta@Home
Now let's check out what's been happening on the element14 Community for the past month or so, from news to activities and video projects. Be sure to 'like', 'bookmark' and 'comment' on the content, along with vote in the polls! You'll be rewarded with points and a badge.
Dial it Up Past 11, Degrees?
While I've created a few projects that used LCD displays, usually the typical 16 segment, 2x8 display (you probably know the one, with 16 pins, usually used with an Arduino) there are many different, usually industrial ways to visualise either data you're analysing or reading from your sensors, network or data bus. In a lot of the programmable logic controller systems I've seen in steel works, these tend to be more in the realm of the analogue, swinging meter. Or if you're more familiar with something a bit more recent and in the public eye, what you see at the start of Back to the Future when Marty is cranking up the volume of his amplifier. shabaz has demonstrated a side project for his sensors to show the readout from his electronics, Meter Dial Creator Toolkit using python and appropriate graphics
Sound Off with your MCU
Micro-controllers are often used for projects with sensors, or in place of keyboards and mice, sometimes they're used for small automation tasks or to communicate on digital buses. One under-used method I've seen is for the reproduction and capture of audio. Once upon a time home computer systems were based around micro-controllers rather than the behemoth central processing units they have now become, and the audio from them was relatively primal along with their recording abilities - which were mainly used for the retrieval of data from cassette tapes. I think it would be great to see more projects using microphones, especially for audio which is outside of the human hearing, they should not only be used for speech. Consider using shabaz 's Microphone Amplifier for Micro-controllers in your next project.
It's Not What it Sounds Like
Not every project involving frequencies are necessarily about audio, it can be important for computer network transmissions, HAM Radio (which can be data or voice) and also power transmission and receipt. That's why it can be important to be able to analyse frequencies and their responses. michaelkellett has been working on an analyser for such a thing with A simple frequency response analyser working with a sine wave generator, ADCs and DACs, it's a project worth checking out
The News that keeps Coming Back Around
Wind turbines are always a contentious topic, almost as contentious as 5G (let's not go there..). There's refute over them being an eyesore, bad for animals and allegedly not producing enough power overall. In fact, some of them decide to get rid of themselves in very explosive ways. It's good news then, that there are plans posted by Catwell on how they Wind turbine blades lay on the ground - could be recycled in the future - I find it somewhat surprising that recycling them hadn't already been considered, but then that's what makes us human most of the time - mistakes and fixing them!
CAN you help?
Our resident phoenixcomm has been working on their NexGen Flight Simulator, and is asking for some input and assistance. Nexgen: RSS: Intercommunications: Canbus: Request for Comments. regularly seen in most vehicles, there's often a method for communication between components through to the heart of the vehicle itself. So the question here is, why not the CAN bus? If you have any thoughts or tips then head on over and give a comment.
Walking on the Wild Side
I'm a fan of Boston Dynamics, with their little robot doggo. I think we can finally say we've 'made it' when it comes to four legged friends going for a walk or for a run, at least for the most part. However bipedal, two legged motion is still not quite there, and there are still different ways to attempt it. Catwell has provided the latest news with PedestriANS robot can adjust its walking behaviors based on its environment and the research
Go for a Flight
Talking of flight simulators, have you been keeping up to date with element14 presents ? In March, we had a really awesome build using custom hardware to create the perfect control for a helicopter flight sim. Also using an Arduino for the input to the simulator. You can watch the full episode here Episode 440: DIY Arduino Helicopter Collective Joystick Control
Making so you can Make More!
There are some items of hardware that are but a pipe dream for makers and engineers, perhaps having access to them at your local Maker or Hackerspace, or if you're fortunate you get to play with them at work or at your educational establishment. Some of us though, get to have them at home (personally, I rent and this just wouldn't fly unfortunately) so it's great to see ralphjy safely dabbling in producing his own CNC machine, a laser cutter Adjustable Bed for Laser Cutting - just make sure you're using appropriate ventilation!
Stick it All Together
Do you remember when you learned how to solder? In class at secondary school, for Design & Technology some of us were taught how to solder. I don't understand why not every class were taught (we weren't) but that's when it was introduced for most people. For myself, it was at home, my Father was an electrical engineer and would happily bring out some crusty utility to solder together the home electronics if it broke. So I picked it up by watching. These days there are really nice kits you can buy, such as fmilburn's Rosie Learns to Solder - a fantastic little badge.
What're your Highlights of the Community?
Let me know in the comments what content, news, blog posts or comments you've appreciated or found interesting on the Community lately
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!