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Douglas Wong's Blog

24 posts
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 ...
Every year about this time I do a review of my forum activity over the past year. This summary provides some insight into the amount of time I expend on element14 activities and it also provides insight into how well the forum motivates me to participate. (pretty well ) So far this year: created 57 blogs - more than 1 per week created 83 videos - about 1 every 4 days spawned 10 discussions generated 6 polls applied for 7 road tests - successful on 6 made 3 design challenge proposals - 2 w ...
This blog is to add to theheckwithkaren blog about using Dollar Store parts in projects. I scour the Dollar Store for parts on many projects and I have use parts from the Dollar Store countless times. Here are a few examples: The Acrylic dome on my Konker Connection is part of a butter dish from the Dollar Store (The other part will likely be used to cover a solar panel on a different project): This urethane orb was found in a Dollar Store. It was used in my LED road test.   This PLA d ...
dougw

Phantom 4 Unboxing

Posted by dougw Top Member Sep 13, 2017
This blog will cover my experience with the DJI Phantom 4 which was a prize for my entry in the Safe and Sound Design Challenge. The objective is to provide those who were curious about the great prize in this challenge with information about what it was and what I'm doing with it. Initially this blog will cover the unboxing, but I will add to it when I have some video of the system in action.       This is a very high quality quad-copter with outstanding features and perfor ...
dougw

Makers - The Missing Link

Posted by dougw Top Member Jan 15, 2017
It is clear from the response to the "bit by the bug" blog that there are a lot of inspiring stories about how people became interested in technology. Active members of the forum can all relate to many of the sentiments and motives expressed. We can all make a long list of reasons why people get involved and like maker/hobby electronics. But why are makers different from non-makers? What is missing are big explanations about why more technical people don't get involved in maker/hobby electroni ...
dougw

CES 2017

Posted by dougw Top Member Jan 11, 2017
I finally made it to CES for the first time, which explains why I have not been active on this forum for a week. This is a beast of a trade show. CES showcases about 3,600 exhibitors in about 2.5 million square feet for over 170,000 attendees. Exhibit hours are from 9:00AM to 6:00PM (34 hours over 4 days). This only allows about 34 seconds per exhibitor if you want to see them all. Even if you don’t want to see every exhibit, you still need to walk at least 50 km to walk past each exhibit ...
dougw

Creating a Maker Wish List

Posted by dougw Top Member Dec 19, 2016
For me accumulating a complete set of tools, software, instrumentation and stock to permit building electronics projects has been a long slow process (decades) and it is still going on. This list is my idea of the most effective order in which to acquire new equipment. It takes into account cost and usefulness. I did not exactly follow this path as costs were different when I started - back then a DVM was a very expensive device. 3.5 digit DVM (DVMs are the most used instruments and they are no ...
dougw

Some Highlights From 2016

Posted by dougw Top Member Dec 5, 2016
Every December I try to summarize my participation on element14 over the year. This year I will keep it short and just link a few highlights. I was fortunate to be successful on 4 road test proposals and participate in 2 design challenges. I also entered a couple of contests. These projects kept me busy writing proposals, designing electronics and circuit boards, building, testing and blogging - taking a large portion of my "spare" time every week. Although the work resulted in at least 67 blo ...
This blog investigates how the BBC micro:bit power supply circuitry works. I have been trying to interface the micro:bit with different peripherals and planned to run it off a 4.2 volt lithium-polymer battery, however it was not clear if it is safe to run it off a Li-Po battery. The manual only says it can run off 2 AAA batteries, which might supply a little over 3 volts. The technical documentation for the device is still very sparse and for the types of things I am doing there are no example ...
dougw

Open Heart

Posted by dougw Top Member Oct 25, 2016
  #ShareTheScare this Halloween Visit our Halloween space and find out how to win one of two Cel Robox 3D Printers. There are two ways to win: Build and document your past or present Halloween projects. Tweet your best engineering spook with #ShareTheScare. Share your Project and Win #ShareTheScare Competition The Ben Heck Show Episodes   This is an entry in the BOO! Pi Costume Contest: Enter to Win a Raspberry Pi 3 & Sense HAT for FREE in our 'BOO! Pi Costume Contest' Th ...
dougw

Brandi

Posted by dougw Top Member Oct 18, 2016
I just got back from spending some time in cottage country ... decompressing. Not watching TV or computer screens, just hiking, canoeing and wading through 4 real paper books. I did make a new friend though, and thought I would give her a little air time on my blog so all readers can have a few moments of unexpected respite from immersion in tech talk: Brandi the chipmunk here. A few days ago I came across a gigantic scary monster about one thousand times bigger than me. My network had rumors ...