Greetings to all!
If you are a new member, or if you have joined element 14 in the last few months, I'd first like to welcome you aboard. I'm part of the element14 team that produces the programs our suppliers sponsor. I hope you have the time to look around the community. We have a lot of information, content, and things you can participate in. Whether you are new to electronics or engineering, or you're an old hand that wants to stay connected to the engineering profession, I think we offer something for everyone.
Today. I am writing in my role as the element14 RoadTests & Reviews Program Manager. I think Roadtests are one of the programs that makes element14 unique. So, I'd like to tell you about the Roadtest program and encourage you to check it out.
What is a Roadtest?
Over the years, I think RoadTests have acquired several definitions. The way I prefer to define RoadTests is that is an opportunity for a community member to receive a new tech or engineering products to play around with or experiment with and write-up your experience for our members to read and enjoy. I sometimes will call it a product review. While that term rings true most of the time, I think a RoadTest transcends a personal opinion review since we want you to show your experience with the product, not just give it a thumbs up or down. So, the meat of a RoadTest is telling us what you saw, did, tested, and measured from the time you open the box, connected the product, and enabled it to do something real.
A RoadTest can also be a project you would like to build. Or, a RoadTest could very well be a spec sheet verification test. For example, let's say you roadtested a power supply that had a 1% load regulation. Well, your roadtest could be a test that you design to try to measure and verify it. (Of course, this would perhaps be a more complex roadtest, requiring other kind of test equipment.)
Simple or Complex Roadtest: It's Your Choice
The products we RoadTest vary in their degree of complexity. Some products we RoadTest are designed for students or children ( ACCESS:bit for micro:bit - Review ), while other products are used by the professional electronic design engineer ( FPC1500 Spectrum Analyzer - Review ). You can choose what product you would like to RoadTest, based upon your interests, technical background, and available time.
It's simple to participate in the RoadTest program. Select a RoadTest that interests you and complete an application. If you are selected as an official RoadTester, we will ship you the product (element14 pays for all shipping costs). Once you receive the product, do your testing and write your review on element14. You have 60 days to post the review. That's it. Oh, I forgot to mention one more thing: you get to keep the product you RoadTested!
I like to think of RoadTests being a two-way street. Someone new to electronics and engineering can use a RoadTest as a educational development experience, while a mature engineer can use it as a mentoring experience. You are never alone on a RoadTest. If you have a question, enter the question in the comments section of the roadtest page and someone is bound to help you!
RoadTests Currently Enrolling Applicants
Let me wrap up by mentioning some of the products we are currently roadtesting and enrolling applicants for. Since this is an electronics hardware community, you will notice that we RoadTest quite a few development or evaluation boards.