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Douglas Wong's Blog

34 posts
dougw

Who remembers EPROM?

Posted by dougw Top Member Oct 21, 2021
This is just an off the wall way to say thank you to element14 and Xilinx. They had a little give-away draw to win a Zynq book and they ended up sending me a huge book called Exploring Zynq MPSoC and a screw driver set. I also recently completed a Project14 so I threw in some images from that project. This is a digital microscope image of a 27512 EPROM. It took a lot of digging in my archives to find this chip, but I wanted a chip with a ready-made window so the microscope could image the actua ...
I made an unexpected discovery the other day while purging some old dead storage. I came across a slide rule and a super 8 movie camera. At this point, these items are mostly just curiosities, but I thought I would see if I could remember how to use a slide rule and blog about it in case members would find it interesting. If you went through engineering after 1972, you probably never needed a slide rule because calculators took over  after that. A decent slide rule jockey could go much fa ...
Veroboard Spoiler alert - for me strip board is generally the best proto-board. But why? Well, when it comes to circuit cards, I have a compulsion to make them clean, neat and orderly (PCB-OCD). I have all these rules and objectives that I use when laying out circuit cards that have little to do with circuit functionality and everything to do with my concept of an aesthetically pleasing layout. I have no idea what courses teach with regards to layout aesthetics since I never took such a cour ...
dougw

element14 Loot

Posted by dougw Top Member Feb 1, 2021
I just received a box of loot from element14, including an Arduino Nano Every and an Arduino Micro - thanks tariq.ahmad I'm not quite clear what the occasion is, but this stuff is useful - the cat thinks so.... Look for these to appear in a project at some point.... ...
I like to make a list of my main activities of the previous year and put them in a summary blog, so I can easily find them. 2020 was a strange year as I'm sure everyone can attest to. element14 was a bright spot throughout the year that helped take my mind off the myriad problems that characterized the year. However pain and frustration were almost always present, even when trying to focus on projects, and it all conspired to depress the amount that was accomplished. The year started with a ...
dougw

Miracle Batteries

Posted by dougw Top Member Dec 11, 2020
My first digital multimeter was a Micronta....here it is, fresh from my museum archives: I remember being very impressed with its long battery life when I was using it decades ago, probably because it didn't use LEDs. But now I just turned it on and it powered right up, so I checked the batteries and they look pristine. The absolutely astounding thing is I believe these are the original Radio Shack Enercell Extra Life batteries bought when the meter was new! More than 3 decades ago! I did han ...
dougw

Peek-A-Boo!

Posted by dougw Top Member Mar 12, 2020
Two element14 T-shirts in two days - Wow. This one came with a very useful breadboard. ... But not the cat - he just wanted to try it on. Hey - when are you going to learn to get the size right?   Thanks element14 ...
dougw

The Cat and the T

Posted by dougw Top Member Mar 10, 2020
The T-shirt is great - the cat has spoken... Note the nice element14 Presents battery it came with. What do you mean photobomb? .... this is my half of the shirt..... I was here first. Okay, lets see how to turn this into a game....   Thanks element14! ...
Somewhere in the last 2 years I lost the plot. I thought I would share my experience in case it benefits other members. One of my goals in the past 2 years has been to get nominated for member of the year, but I have not been able to figure out what it takes. The first metric I thought was important was participation. I addressed this by reading virtually everything that was published on the forum and commenting whenever I could contribute something useful. It definitely takes a lot of time to ...
Every year I review my projects for the last year, but when I look at the oddball list of projects I did last year, it really begs questions like "What was he thinking?" or "What was he into?" or "What was he up to?" It started with a magnetic levitation project to bring in the new year. Next it switched to a LoRa GPS locator project - part of the arduino MKR "Build a Smarter World" contest. Then it moved on to an R2D2 design and build - part of the "A Question of Scale Project14 contest". ...
In the past year or so I set out to explore what we members could do to improve interest and participation in the forum. This blog is a discussion of some of those initiatives. In total these activities took quite a bit of thought and effort so I wanted to evaluate them as a whole collection to determine if they were worthwhile or making a difference. I'll start with a poll that investigated road test fears: https://www.element14.com/community/polls/2629#comment-137994 This poll indicated ...
dougw

element14 T-Shirts

Posted by dougw Top Member Dec 18, 2018
It came up recently that it is possible to collect a whole week of T-shirts from element14. Here is the proof:   This collection is actually missing at least five T-shirts I have squirreled away somewhere, but it does show it is possible to have a lot of element14 T-shirts. I couldn't tell you what each one was from, although the "Live Your Ideas" shirts were won in a T-shirt design contest at element14 - and only available at Embedded World. I wore the Tektronix shirt on a pilgrimage ...
dougw

Goodies ....

Posted by dougw Top Member Dec 17, 2018
This is what I won for participating in the Project14 Test Instrumentation contest: Some of it was chosen by element14 (tool kit, PocketBeagle and swag) I chose the Pi 3A+, displays, proto stripboards, & transistors.   Thank you element14 - this is all going to come in handy.   Here is a link to my entry blog: µBOSS .... Test Instrumentation ... micro:bit ...
This is the latest blog in my annual summary series. This year I will try to include a few more statistics for those that are interested in that sort of thing. Those that follow the forum will know from my comments that I greatly enjoy reading and learning from all the great content posted here by staff and members and the discussions provide  a further enjoyable dimension to the activity. The participation stats indicate I participated in over 764 discussions this year - more than 2 per da ...
A few months ago I purchased a 2.5" 2 TB USB hard disk drive mostly for backup, but I started using it for project work that had lots of video in it. A few days ago it wouldn't power up with my computer - it just made an intermittent beeping sound. After some research I decided this was probably a situation where the heads got stuck to the disk. I haven't seen any complete analysis of why or how heads get stuck to disks, but here is my speculation: Heads normally stay in their parked position be ...