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  • 01/18/17--11:26: Eagle v8 licensing...
  • Hi All --


    Moving this to a separate thread so it doesn't get lost in the ether.  Here's my two cents on licensing and I'd love your feedback:


    Firstly, the Autodesk licensing model is subscription and the EAGLE paid license will require that you install the SW and then generate an account to retrieve your license entitlement.  Once you have this, you are good to go and the SW will run as expected.  If you lose your network connection, the SW has a 14-day heartbeat that will enable you to work offline for 14 days.  I know that some folks would prefer to never have to connect, but this is required to support a monthly subscription model that can be selectively enabled and disabled when you use the SW (so you only pay when you use it).  The total cost of ownership for those folks using it less than a few weeks a year will thus be substantially lower and still enables you to access the full software for less money.  <Insert revolt here> 


    WRT to "what happens if autodesk decides to one day just shut off the license server?" ...ok, sure, that's possible, but so is a reality TV star becoming President of the..cough...nevermind, bad example.


    Point is, that's a pretty remote possibility (think: time travel and alien invasions) and it wouldn't benefit us *at all* to upset the users we just spent real money hoping to bring into autodesk and earn their business.  As the guy with both development and P&L for the product, I can tell you that it's counterintuitive and wouldn't benefit us at all.  We know this.  We make SW used by governments, movie studios, game developers, MEs, Civil Engineers, machinists, etc. and you can bet that shutting down a license server is not to our benefit in any of these categories.  To demonstrate this behavior in one category, without a path for user SW and data, calls into question ALL of our tools' viability under this model.  Not helpful.


    Now...a question was raised about "but what if I drop my subscription and I want my data".  Awesome, the data is yours and lives on your machine.  And for SW that stores data in the cloud (we have some of these) we always provide a path to your data.  If this again fails with one product, it puts all of the others up for discussion.  Again, not helpful.  (Read:  strategy = doomed).


    "So what about needing an entitlement for the freeware to open the data I created in another version (a *paid* version) and reading it?  What if I want access and I dont want the 14-day time out?"


    So here's the deal...We can do better here.  So we will.  Here's my commitment to the group here for freeware that ensures you always have a license that you can fall back onwithout need of internet connection *except when you first install it* (which after all, you would have had to get it in the first place):  in version 8.1 or 8.0.1 or whathaveyou (let's call it 'a future release'), if you install the SW and authenticate once, we'll remove the timer req.  So what I'm saying another way is, the freeware will require you to login the first time to get your license, but if you log out beyond that, you're good.  You got your entitlement and you can use it freely without connection.


    Caveat:  to install an update, you will need to login.  The update server (which issues the new version...e.g. 8.1 or 8.2. or 8.0.1, etc.) requires that you login and get the update, but beyond that, logout.  Thus if you want to go off-grid in a mountain cabin somewhere, get your license at Starbucks (blagh! I understand they have 'free' wifi, but no frappucinos!  ...that stuff is bad for you) then get your license and go on your merry way up to the snow drenched peaks.  When you hear from the other mountaineers or your local yodeler that a new version of EAGLE is, login, get your license, get your 'decaf double-pump vanilla non-fat latte macchiato' and head back up the slopes.


    Point being, we can do the freeware better.  So we will.


    Hope this is clear.  Let us know if you have questions!


    Best regards,


    Matt Berggren

    Director - Autodesk


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    I thought I was going to do saturation next, but somehow I've diverted off into looking at the transistor as a diode. This came about from my

    referring to Bob Pease's book, Troubleshooting Analog Circuits, to look up something else and then thinking that I'd like to measure for

    myself the graph he shows of Vf against If for various diodes, including transistors connected as diodes.


    A bipolar junction transistor contains two PN junctions, one between the base and the emitter (B-E) and one between the base and the collector (B-C),

    and either can be used as a diode. When used in a circuit, the base-emitter diode normally has the collector shorted to the base (CB-E). It is

    also possible to join the collector and emitter (B-CE), giving a final possible configuration (then the two diodes are in parallel).





    The following graph shows the B-C B-E and CB-E forms for a  2N37042N3704 CB-E for a BD135(a medium power device intended for audio amplifiers

    along with a few common diodes. I've also included a small-signal Schottky diode (BAT42) for comparison. This plot is in the usual form.




    This is the same data with the current plotted on a log scale. This has the advantages that we can see the low current detail better and it allows us to see

    and compare the forms of the curves.





    All the curves are different. What I am measuring evidently isn't just a simple piece of semiconductor physics, though all the curves have a similar

    form with a straight section at the lower currents and moving away from that higher up. I'm not going to sample lots of devices, but be aware that

    there will be differences between different batches from the same manufacturer and differences between parts marked with the same part number

    from different manufacturers.


    The two CB-E transistor curves stand out as being almost straight lines over the five decades of current I've done the measurements for. In practice

    the relationship holds much further and it points to one of the main uses of transistors in this configuration - linear to log and log to linear conversion,

    often in conjunction with an op-amp.

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    Back in First Steps - Intel Edison step 4   I reported that for some reason the External DC switcher IC has expired on the Intel Edison Arduino Interface board.


    I managed to get a picture of the dead object.



    Looks like it has a bubble on the top and it definately doesn't work.


    The schematic is available


    U1 is the dead item


    So I ordered a couple of replacements (and a few other items)

    TI 5v SwitcherTI 5v Switcher


    I held off doing anything until I was finished writing the previous blogs, and the parts arrived.

    Yesterday I took the parts and board into work, and had a talk with our workshop experts.




    Reflow machine

    I was very surprised that there were two options, either "... manual or we can use the new automatic machine..." .....


    They had just received this beast and hadn't had the opprtunity to 'practice' on smaller boards.

    Sadly it was the day I left my camera behind so I had to borrow one that I had no control over the focal point.



    This is a PDR IR-E3 Evolution with vacuum part placement and some clever cameras and bits to ensure the part is placed correctly.

    Various profiles are loaded into the tablet, and it looked like a better choice than the manual method which was likely to blow other parts away.



    The large lens like device is the component heating and you change the lens to suit the area and then adjust it to the size you want.

    The 3 x 3 mm chip size caused a few issues due to the lens size and the connectors located close by. It meant the vacuum placement had to come in through the only gap available, and just cleared the bottom of the lens.



    This photo was taken during the alignment phase, where you adjust the board position using two verniers to line it up under the lens and placement tool.

    The placement tool enters from the upper left between the 2.1mm DC socket and the headers.


    Given what I know now, there is no need for the IR Component heater to be in place during the process if you manually control the pickup and placement.





    This picture gives an idea of the components.


    On the left is a split mirror camera. This is slide sideways into place and looks down on the board at the component location.

    At the same time the component on the bottom of the vacuum pickup is brought over the hole with the LEDs pointing out at 45 deg, and the camera looks at the bottom of it.

    You adjust the light levels until you see both the board and component underside.

    You adjust the board position and the rotation of the pickup until the two are exactly in the right place.

    The camera is shifted out the way and the component placed onto the board.

    You can check with the camera to ensure it is correct.


    The large lens in the middle is the IR component heater.

    There are two temperature probes that you line up on the component location (red) and the board (green), and the feedback from these controls the heating process.


    The camera at the front can be moved around to see the progress and works well right up until it gets swamped with the IR light.


    The suction filter on the right is part of the fume extraction they fitted into the workshop, and removes fumes, smells and adds some cooling effect.






    The first job was to remove the dead chip.

    Despite two different profiles, it refused to budge.


    A look at the temperatures showed that it never really reached 250 degrees, and it had a 80% max heating setting, meaning it never would.

    Once this had been corrected it came away with tweezers.



    A check under the electronic camera showed the board was okay (despite having three heat cycles applied)

    The diode got knocked but was an easy fix with the soldering iron.







    One method of soldering SMD parts is to use a stencil and apply solder paste.

    You can follow Shabaz's blog to see his process in making a stencil holder PCB Stencil Printer - Alignment discussion

    Obviously that only works for bare boards.


    Solder paste is a mixture of flux and tiny solder blobs of a uniform size.

    Using a stencil provides an even coating of just enough solder to the pads.



    I've heard of people soldering the pad, adding flux, then heating the component.


    Some people use a solder paste dispenser and squeeze out the estimated amount on the pads.

    I've got one of these.

    Pieco Paste Press Solderpaste Dispenser

    The other method I hadn't heard was to spread a fine layer of paste and place the component on the fine layer.


    The IR rework machine has the ability to do this, so we duly spread the paste using the special aluminium block and spreader, added the component, and then tried to suck it up .......

    It seems that the size combination was not optimal for lift off, and in the end we resorted to manually placing it on the pad, sucking it up and then aligning everything before placing it exactly in the right place.



    This time we chose a profile to suit the solder and let it rip.


    The image taken from the progress camera screen shows the IR energy heating the component.

    The bright parts are excess solder paste that migrated around during the various attempts to place the IC correctly (dropping didn't work) with the correct orientation.

    For those interested, we worked out that the extra holder was most likely to prevent the board from flexing during the placing process, but the process camera was very useful to see when we had 'touchdown'.


    The reflow process is controlled by the profile, and unlike the manual hot air 'hit and miss' approach this is absolutely repeatable.


    This gives you an idea of the profile, which is just starting out. (20 secs in)






    Finished Job

    A check under the microscope again showed some pins may not have been soldered.


    It was likely that the solder under the thermal pad was too much and had held the IC a little too high off the board.

    For larger IC's with the thermal pad underneath, they often have a via or a trace which helps ensure there is no excess.


    An application of liquid flux and another cooking should sort it out, but the reality was it cleaned it up, but didn't move it.

    In the end some careful heating with a very fine tip soldering iron made it look perfect.







    Since I had no idea of what caused the problem in the first place, I hatched a plan to use some current limiting to try and spot any issues before destroying the chip/board.


    I thought my home supply had current limiting, but it didn't, so I'm going to order some parts to make one like jw0752  which are linked here Comparing Power Supplies

    Instead I resorted to using a resistor in series and checking the voltage.


    The series resistor didn't work very well, depsite lowering the value more than I wanted to, it really didn't work.

    The power light sometimes flicked on, then went off, but if I applied 5v to the 5v pin it seemed to stay on.

    It did confirm that the bare board was drawing 4-500mA, so the series resistor was never going to work.


    A check with the Ohmeter around the IC showed no shorts and each pin produced the sort of results that indicated it should work.

    In the end I applied 7.5v and it happily produced 5v at 600mA.

    Once the voltage rose to 10v it dropped back to 500mA and at 12v it was 4-450mA.


    Sadly once the voltage hit 15v, it drew max current and it was game over.




    The datasheet for the IC says 7-20v




    I had it in my mind that the specs suggested a 7-17v power pack could be used.

    But on checking the schematic it is 7-15v.


    it is repeated here.

    2.6 Intel® Edison kit for Arduino* power supply

    Edison is a low power device. In general it will not draw more than 200 mA (approximately 430 mA (final value TBD) when transmitting over Wi-Fi) from the main power source. Therefore, an Intel® Edison device may run on USB power (when configured as a device), or off an external power adapter from 7 to 15 V.



    BUT here  it is 7-17v



    So imagine my surprise when it went short circuit at 15v (using a good supply with a good Fluke meter) ...



    Needless to say I've ordered some more IC's (we lost one during the pasting process)

    We've decided that we can cook the board once more, and now we've got different solder it should release easier.


    Failing that I'll use an external DC to 5v  and wire it in place of the IC.






    The first suggestion to anyone reading this is USE 12 v ONLY ON J1 or Vin.


    J1 has a diode in series, so my measured 15v was really just under that at the IC, and I can only imagine that there is something in the design limiting it.



    The next suggestion would be to the document writers to alter the text to match the rest of the limits.



    I now think that one of the power packs I used had an open circuit voltage that was above 15v.

    They are an older transformer, rectifier and some capacitance, so it's very likely that this caused the initial problem.

    The regulators on Arduino's are almost bullet proof, so could well handle the initial unregulated voltage better than ths IC can.



    We've now had some experience using a machine that is 12,000 times the price of the item, and learnt a few new tricks along the way.

    So it's not all bad.





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    Not sure if I bricked my MDK... I flashed my MDK firmware using MDK utility with a tftf file I just built, however now whenever I attach the mod I get a notification on my phone saying "The Moto Mod can't connect and isn't working. Try attaching it again". I can't upload over openocd either, I get something about error code -4. I might just have openocd misconfigured though as I've never used it before this. Has anyone gotten any of these errors before or know how to flash the MDK without it responding? Thank you!

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    Happy Valentines to 15 lucky Challengers who will be receiving an exclusive Texas Instruments Design Challenge Kitto help them turn their wearables design idea in to reality to promote personal safety..
    Today, element14’s next biggest Design Challenge officially kicks off.
    Sponsored by Texas Instruments, element14 is challenging 15 community members to design a personal safety-oriented wearable device that protects a person from personal and environmental risks, monitors personal health or protects personal property from theft.
    Well done to these Challengers!
    We look forward to reading all your initial blogs introducing your project designs:

    C-3PO (Clem) | Priyanto Deb | Dale Winhold | Alex Kucherov | Sakthi Vvs | Douglas Wong | Peter Lauer | Md. Kamrul Hussain | John Kutzschebauch | Alexander Molnar | Feng Yao | Arturas Vaitaitis | Jon Morss | Inderpreet Singh | mehmet bozdal

    Clem Martins (C-3PO (Clem)
    United States
    Project: Balloon Safety using TI MSP430 Wearable
    I would like to create a wearable light TI MSP430 using Piezoelectric power source. This will provide safety by warning of any power lines within the vicinity of the balloon similar to the warning of airplanes when about to stall. Also using GPS attached, information can be gathered for playback to plot balloon performance. Information can be sent to the team on ground to track and recover the balloon when it lands. By freeing the pilot of some of these chores, the pilot can spend more time ballooning improving the safe operations.
    C-3PO's project blogs coming soon

    Priyanto Deb
    Project: Rider protection and vehicle safety gear for bikes
    I am from India, belonging to a developing country with such a high volume of bikes and scooters, i witness a lot of accidents and thefts of these vehicles which in general have low security options and even less rider protection systems in place, with other developing countries also facing such problems such as Vietnam and Thailand. There are no commercial off the shelf products which can provide any specific theft protection. Although helmets are widely available, people prefer not to use them because of low police presence and no proper training. I propose a two stepped solution. Firstly, I propose a safety lock, working both ways for security and avoiding accidents, before the vehicle starts. Secondly, a different system that provides safety during the bike ride.
    Priyanto Deb's project blogs coming soon

    Dale Winhold
    United States
    Project: Cold Weather Survival Suit
    Here in the great white north (Canada) our winter can be very cold. I live in Edmonton Alberta, recently we have had a cold spell of -31oC. We still go out in these temperatures, you just have to dress properly. Our outdoor sports also put a demand on keeping yourself warm, especially if you are a spectator. In these temperatures hypothermia and frost bite are very real and happen more then realized. So, I propose designing a cold weather survival suit for these conditions.
    Dale Winhold's project blogs coming soon

    Alex Kucherov
    Project: Smart Safety Glasses
    According to Prevent Blindness America, more than 700,000 Americans injure their eyes at the work place, making eye-related injuries one of the most common. In 70 percent of the accidents, the eye injury was caused by an object or equipment. What is perhaps more alarming, is that according to the Occupational Health and safety administration (OSHA), 90 percent of the cases can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear. I propose designed Smart safety glasses, which communicate wirelessly with an electrical power tool or machine, and have the ability to detect whether they are being worn by a worker/operator. Unless the power tool receives a signal, indicating the operator is indeed wearing the safety glasses, it will not switch on, thus forcing the worker to wear the eye protection glasses.
    Alex Kucherov's project blogs coming soon

    Sakthi Vvs
    Project: T-Shirt for Monitoring Elderly and Physically Challenged Patients
    Monitoring Elderly and Disabled Patients while away is always been a challenge. Thus, I promose designing a T-Shirt that monitors a Patient's position and Vitals and Transmits to a Computer (RPi) over bluetooth, which in turn connects to the Internet via WiFi.In case of Abnormalities such as Patient movement or Vitals change,the data starts to transmit to a mobile device of a care taker.
    Sakthi Vvs's project blogs coming soon

    Douglas Wong
    Project: Invisible Hazardous Environmental Factors Monitoring System
    The first step in becoming safe and sound is to know the dangers and risks. Then we can devise strategies to stay safe and sound. This project investigates what invisible environmental factors might have hazardous side effects, how we might detect these conditions and what we can do to minimize the risks.Most people are aware that there are numerous invisible environmental factors that are potentially dangerous to humans, and many of us have nagging concerns that we are being exposed to potentially dangerous levels without knowing about it.
    I propose to create a Invisible Hazardous Environmental Factors Monitoring System that explores how we might attempt to monitor some potentially dangerous environmental factors that cannot be detected by human senses. It will also discuss health risks filtered from information on the internet and provide some techniques we can use to minimize risks and exposure.
    Douglas Wong's project blogs  coming soon

    Peter Lauer
    United States
    Project: Motorcycle Winter Monitor
    If you live in the northern part of the US you know the drill. Every fall you winterize your toys, Motorcycles, classic cars, convertibles, boats. Every spring you face the same issues, battery died, mice chewed through the charger wires, hoses busted. For this project, I propose to design a motorcycle winter monitor that will Equip the battery charger, conditioner with an IOT monitor. Measure battery voltage, charging current temperature, humidity. Transmit it via bluetooth or wifi to smart phone. Anytime you are worried about your toy in the corner of your garage, where you can't get to now? Just look at your phone and you get a great health status.
    Peter Lauer's project blogs coming soon

    Md. Kamrul Hussain
    Project: Wearable Tracking Device for Miners
    My project proposal will be designing a wearable device that will display surrounding environmental information to the miner and to develop a system to track the location of a miner working inside the mine. The wearable device will be mounted on Miner's wrist which will display information on surrounding environment. A system based on NFC/RFID or BLE will be designed to locate the working zone of the Miner.
    Md. Kamrul Hussain's project blogs coming soon

    John Kutzschebauch
    United States
    Project: Element 14 – Custom Logging Explorer Wrist Equipped (E.C.L.E.W.E.)
    I propose design an E14-C.L.E.W.E.: A wrist mounted explorer utility that provides GPS logging as well other navigation functions and utilities. A digital ball of thread that can be used to find your way!
    John Kutzschebauch's project blogs  coming soon

    Alexander Molnar
    Project: Firefighter’s Telemetry System for Smart Clothes
    Today, there are many dangerous profession in our lives. The most dangerous is the rescue workers, firefighters, steelworkers, military and so on. One of the main means of protection from the dangerous environment is protective clothing and additional protective devices (eg balloons with compressed air, steel plates, and so on). All this leads to a complication of doing the task, but necessary for the save health or life. Significantly improve the protection of special clothing is the using of modern electronic systems. I propose to design a firefighter's uniform for firefighters. Portable monitoring system for “smart clothes” was designed to be fix in clothes and wear comfortably. The system consist of main module (device) and sensors, which connected with module through flexible wires
    Alexander Molnar's project blogs  coming soon

    Feng Yao
    Project: Flooding early-warning Alarm Pack
    Empty riverbank is slumber demon if the river or lake is not well managed. In Octorber 2009, Chembarambakkam lake discharge floods new areas in city with death toll at 269. Refer to, Even best weather forecast can not foretell the flood of July 2012 in Beijing, China, which ruined bunches of Resort Inns along one dry-up riverbed, even more severer than Hollywood Scenery. I propose to create a Flood Early warning Alarm Pack that sends an alarm to persons near a Reservoir Downstream Riverbed who may be exposed to great danger of unexpected flood discharge. This Early-warning Alarm Pack along the river can be of great help by offering vital escape signal. In most cases, 60 seconds in advance of danger can make life safe and sound.
    Feng Yao's project blogs  coming soon

    Arturas Vaitaitis
    United States
    Project: Safe Sleep Baby Monitor
    We propose to create a safe sleep baby monitor for prematurely born babies. If the monitor will detect interruption in breathing for more than 15 seconds it will alert parents via their smartphone and via build-in buzzer alarm.
    This monitor will help new parents with their anxiety about how their newborn babies sleep at night. The product will measure and classify motion, movements, position, orientation and activity levels and sending it to parents smartphone. It will detect breathing and falls and streams data to a smartphone app, where information is displayed in a convenient, easy-to-understand manner. Breathing movements, body position (on the back or on the stomach), fall detection, proximity to the phone, battery and connection status: parents will choose only the alerts they want to receive.
    Arturas Vaitaitis's project blogs  coming soon

    Jon Morss
    United States
    Project: Personal Sound Sensor for Hearing Protection
    I propose to design a personal Sound Level indicator that alerts the user either via an LED or vibration that the noise level in the are has gone over a certain level. This will let the user (such as Road worker, Yard Maintenance Person, Data Center Engineer, and so on) that the noise in the are is at an unsafe level and they need to use Sound Sound Suppressors. This also could be used as a standalone device in areas such as Data Centers or Warehouses to alert all those that enter the area the sound level is unsafe.
    Jon Morss's project blogs  coming soon

    Inderpreet Singh
    Project: Safety Jacket for the Tolling Industry
    A few years ago when I was responsible for the RnD Department of a Toll Automation Company in India, I was unfortunate enough to witness an accident on one of our sites. A Toll Plaza in Chennai India was the location where a high speed car hit one of our local site engineers and he died as a result shortly thereafter. The application is based around the design and development of a complete safety and management solution for industrial workers in the tolling industry and can be extended to be used in other industrial environments as well. It consists of two major components as explained in detail below.In keeping with the theme of the challenge, the first part of the design consists of a wearable smart Safety Jacket.
    Inderpreet Singh's project blogs  coming soon

    mehmet bozdal
    Project: Trackable Safety Helmet for Miners
    I am planning to build a safe working place for the miners. I decided to build this project because 21st century we still get news miners are missing and the result is usually catastrophic (Gas explosion kills 33 Chinese miners-2016, 9 miners dead and 23 missing after an explosion in Ukrainian coal mine). The main reason for the coal mine explosions is the methane gas explosions. The gas concentration, temperature, and pressure effect the explosion. These parameters should be observed carefully. Even all the measures are taken, the explosion may occur and some miners can be stuck inside the mining area and it may take long times to reach them. If we know where they are exactly, we can reach them faster. Another problem is human ignorance like not wearing the required safety-uniform, helmet, or mask. In order to solve these problems, I will design a trackable safety-helmet.
    mehmet bozdal's project blogs  coming soon


    Can you still join the Design Challenge?

    We encourage anyone who has already submitted a design idea, but not selected to still participate.


    You can do so, provided that you use the Texas Instruments MSP432 Performance Launchpad as the basis of your project, that it is keeping within the theme of the competition, and that you blog about your project in the Safe & Sound Challenge Page.


    element14 invites entries from electronic engineers, performance apparel designers and makers to conceive and build any ‘safe and sound’ wearable to steer the world close to our vision of improving personal protection.

    Finalists will have until May 12th to submit their projects. Entries will be judged on originality, innovation and technical merit by a panel of judges including experts from Texas Instruments and the wearables sector. The winners will be announced by the end of May.


    >See Prizes

    >Terms and Conditions


    Once again, congratulations to the Safe & Sound official Challengers and welcome to any members who would like to compete against them to be in with a chance of winning some amazing prizes!

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    For my Safe Sound Hearing Guard System project I plan to use a  BOOSTXL-K350QVG-S1BOOSTXL-K350QVG-S1 with a TI MSP432 for the base unit The QVGA TFT will be used for user input to the system to set dB thresholds and view data collected from the noise sampling from the Personal Noise Sensor and Room Unit I did not find the  BOOSTXL-K350QVG-S1BOOSTXL-K350QVG-S1 example in MSPWare v3.x so I resorted back to a v2.x of MSPWare and Code Composer 6.x since the older MSPWare example fails the build process in CCS 7(At the time the video was made I did not try the MSP-EXP432P401RGrLibExample located in MSPWare v3.60.00.10




    MSP432P401R LaunchPadMSP432P401R LaunchPad  (Black)


    Code Composer Studio

    MSPWare - Version



    The example I found for the MSP432 was in the MSPWare but when compiled in Code Composer 7 it produces 100 errors. However, with CCS this compiled without issue. My plans are to implement this in to TI RTOS, so we'll see if the IDE rev is a factor at that time.


    So from Code Composer Studio to get to the TI Resource Explorer go to View Resource Explorer(Examples Once this has been selected the TI Resource Explorer will appear in the IDE right window If MSPWare is not installed it can be searched and then imported on to the Desktop After this the individual devices such as MSP432 or  BOOSTXL-K350QVG-S1BOOSTXL-K350QVG-S1 GRLib Example can be searched for by adding BOOSTXL in the search field



    Then click on “Step 1: Import the example project into CCS.



    This will add the "BOOSTXL-K350QVG-S1_GrlibExample_MSP432P401R" example to the Project Explorer window.


    After the example is loaded on the MSP432, this is what the demo looks like. (I did have some issues with the Touch Screen and the Calibration).


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    intel edison logo.PNG


    Click Here to join the Upcycle it Design Challenge featuring the Intel® Edison



    {tabbedtable} Tab Label Tab Content
    About This Webinar

    The Intel® Edison development platform is a powerful system on chip designed for inventors, entrepreneurs, and consumer product designers to rapidly prototype and produce Internet of Things and wearable computing products. During this webinar, you will learn the basics of setup, programming, and debugging of the Intel® Edison. We will also look at the resources Intel provides to developers and how to best leverage them to rapidly prototype your product. This is a beginner level webinar with some programming in Node.js.




    The Intel® Edison Kit for Arduino

    The Intel® Edison development platform is designed to lower the barriers to entry for a range of inventors, entrepreneurs, and consumer product designers to rapidly prototype and produce “Internet of Things” (IoT) and wearable computing products. Intel® Edison Kit for Arduino provides the Arduino 1.0 pinout and standard connectors such as a micro USB connected to a UART, a USB OTG port that can be switched between a second micro USB device connector, a standard size USB host Type-A connector, a uSD card holder, and a DC power jack.


    Like an Arduino Uno, the Intel® Edison Kit for Arduino makes possible to have provides 20 digital input/output pins, of which 6 can be used as analog inputs. The Intel® Edison has 4 PWM outputs which can be configured via jumpers to any of the 6 pins supporting PWM on the Arduino Uno (pins 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, or 11).


    The Intel® Edison Kit for Arduino is designed to be hardware and software pin-compatible with Arduino shields designed for the Arduino Uno R3. Digital pins 0 to 13 (and the adjacent AREF and GND pins), Analog inputs 0 to 5, the power header, ICSP header, and the UART port pins (0 and 1), are all in the same locations as on the Arduino Uno R3. The digital IOs and analog pins can be configured to operate at either 5V or 3.3V. The outputs can source or sink 24 mA at 3.3V and 32 mA at 5V.


    The Intel® Edison Breakout Board

    The Intel® Edison Breakout Board is designed to expose the native 1.8V I/O of the Intel® Edison module. The board consists of power supply, battery recharger, USB OTG power switch, UART to USB bridge, USB OTG port, and I/O header.

    The Presenter head-shot.jpeg  intel.jpeg

    The Presenter: Martin Kronberg


    Martin is a Technical Evangelist for Intel’s Developer Relations Division. He is responsible for running workshops, creating content, and supporting the developer community in the Internet of Things environment. He is skilled in developing applications that interface hardware with cloud analytics and have included computer vision, robotics, and language processing.

    Webinar Recording A recording of this webinar will be made available upon the conclusion of the live presentation.
    Cool Videos



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    Every lab (home, office, school) needs temperature measurement capabilities. Measuring temperature for science experiments is hard – all sorts of materials, liquids, and chemicals may be involved or a large temperature range may need to be covered. The sensor used for this (a thermocouple) is not easy to interface, and the sensor amplifier is non-trivial since it has to be able to measure an extremely small voltage.


    For flexibility in the science experiments that it can be used for, high accuracy is needed along with a fast response and good update rate. It goes without saying that data should be logged in a convenient form, and it should be easy to use.


    For convenience there are ready-built temperature measurement and logging products out there, sometimes they are not easy to use due to soft-button overload and a limited display. In addition for large lab or classroom use information should be logged and retrievable by people easily – and perhaps view the current status on a large screen. It also goes without saying that some experiments may take a long time, so the ability to check up on your experiment using a mobile phone during lunch is useful too. One last requirement was that this should be easy to build even for people new to electronics and software.


    This project shows how to connect up a thermocouple board to a Raspberry Pi (RPI), and use it for temperature measurement and logging with great performance and ultra-low cost. This project is easy – no soldering required unless you want to. This is also a great project to start using the 'DIL (dual-in-line) header'  connector on the RPI if you have not already done so.



    Here is a video showing the entire project in action; the brown cable is the temperature probe.


    Design Overview

    A lot of thermocouple-based hobbyist projects use the MAX31855 integrated circuit and ready-built ‘thermocouple amplifier’ boards are available for connecting to the RPI from several suppliers. This project however uses the far higher-resolution ADS1118 from Texas Instruments. It comes in a surface-mount package but fortunately a ready-built ADS1118 development boardready-built ADS1118 development board is available which contains all circuitry including a LCD display and thermocouple - it is extremely good value for money. If you don’t fancy soldering then it is possible to connect up this board to the Raspberry Pi (or any other computer board – it uses a standards based communicaton method called Serial Peripheral Interface or SPI) using eight jumper wires (male-to-female cables are needed). Alternatively, if you don’t mind a soldering exercise then a small adapter board can be constructed. This was the approach taken here. In summary you can see in the photo below all the bits that are used for this project, including the assembled adapter board.



    The entire project can be controlled via a web browser or from the command line.



    To build the adapter board, the simplest way is to use a circuit board; using EAGLE software I drew up a design for which the files are attached to this post ready to send off to a PCB manufacturer (it costs about $30 for ten boards).



    Alternatively, prototyping board can be used; I obtained some perf-boardperf-board (the type with isolated pads, not stripboard) and cut it to size. A 3mm hole was drilled for attaching a support pillar (threaded hex spacer)support pillar (threaded hex spacer). The boards are next to each other, not on top of each other, to minimise temperature change and noise issues, both of which would have an effect on the thermocouple reading.


    The next step was to solder a  40-way DIL header socket  40-way DIL header socket.



    I wanted the ability to plug in the ADS1118 board onto the pad side of the perf-board, so there is a slight complication here. The solution was to use bent SIL headers. 10-way SIL headers10-way SIL headers are needed (the photo shows 8-way which is what I had at hand) - or use surface mount ones which are similar but with the bent ends alternating on either side. If you are using a circuit board and not perf-board, then straight SIL headersstraight SIL headers are needed.


    To get them aligned, plug them into the ADS1118 board, and position it over the perf-board and then tack a few pins with solder. Then the ADS board can be very gently unplugged and the SIL headers can then be soldered properly. Note that at this stage it is quite difficult to unplug without tearing the pads off the board. Hold the bent part of the SIL headers against the board while unplugging the ADS1118 board.


    Next, to make the SIL headers very secure, solder each pin to as many pads as possible (each one can be soldered to three pads).



    The next step is to wire it up. I used Kynar wireKynar wire which is very thin but any wire will do.



    To identify the connections, refer to the pin numbering photo below and the following table:

    * Connections:
    * TI board       RPI B+
    * ------------   ------------------
    * P1_1  VCC      1     3.3V
    * P1_7  CLK      23    CLK
    * P1_8  ADS_CS   26    SPI_CE1
    * P2_8  LCD_CS   24    SPI_CE0
    * P2_9  LCD_RS   11    GPIO_17_GEN0
    * P2_1  GND      9     GND
    * P2_6  SIMO     19    MOSI
    * P2_7  SOMI     21    MISO      




    After testing the software and board functionality, it is possible to use some epoxy resin glue (e.g. Araldite) to make the SIL headers even more secure. A minimal amount was used so that it was possible to still just-about solder onto the pins if needed to in future.


    With the PCB approach mentioned earlier, when the PCB arrives, the header pins and receptacle can be soldered, and it is an easy task (takes five minutes) so the PCB is the preferred method especially if you need to make many of them (I intend to make several). I used DIL header pins instead of SIL, but either will work with the PCB layout attached to this post.


    Here it is attached to the RPI:


    Underside view:





    The diagram here shows the entire solution overview. The majority of the code is in three files. The code that interfaces to the ADS1118 board is discussed first, because it is possible to run this code standalone if desired. It is shown in purple in the diagram.



    To create the software, the first thing one of the things to do is to create a logo:

    * therm.c
     RPI  430BOOST-ADS1118 Thermocouple/LCD Board
    *         __                                __     ____   _____
    *   ____ |  |   ____   _____   ____   _____/  |_  /_   | /  |  |
    * _/ __ \|  | _/ __ \ /     \_/ __ \ /    \   __\  |   |/   |  |_
    * \  ___/|  |_\  ___/|  Y Y  \  ___/|   |  \  |    |   /    ^   /
    *  \___  >____/\___  >__|_|  /\___  >___|  /__|    |___\____   |
    *      \/          \/      \/     \/     \/                 |__|


    The next step is to make use of the wealth of code that TI usually offers. In this case, TI already had high quality ADS1118 code intended for the MSP430 Launchpad that could be reused. It was adapted slightly to be usable on the RPI, using some input/output (I/O) code from Gert van Loo and Dom.


    Temperature measurement may seem to be an easy task (read an ADC value and convert to temperature) but thermocouples require ‘cold junction compensation’ which in the case of the ADS1118 means reading an internal temperature sensor too. The code interleaves reading the internal sensor and the external thermocouple. Another key point is that a thermocouple output is not linear compared to temperature; thermocouple manufacturers publish data that can be used to get a more accurate conversion from ADC value to actual temperature. The TI code already includes these capabilities for the supplied thermocouple.


    The code was adapted to add logging capability. Since the board is to be powered by the noisy 3.3V supply from the RPI, and it is in close proximity to the RPI, some steps need to be taken to ensure that the measurement is cleaned up. The implemented algorithm every second reads the internal temperature sensor once, and the external thermocouple ten times in a short burst (a few hundred milliseconds total) so that the measurements can be averaged and finally output to 0.1 degrees C resolution. The end result was very good; see some example output here.


    The LCD has two lines of 16 characters, so it was decided to use the bottom line to display the time and current thermocouple temperature. The top line is user-dependent; it can be set to something so that people immediately know what the experiment is about. For example, it can say “Test #1” or “Don’t touch’.



    Using the code is easy.


    First off, confirm that some features are enabled on the RPI. If the RPI is being used fresh, then after operating system installation, ensure that the ‘Advanced’ menu option is selected and then enable three things: SSH, SPI and I2C - we don't use all these for this project, but they are standards based interfaces that should always be enabled unless you never want to unplug the RPI from a monitor or not make use of the 40-way DIL connector on the RPI. If this was not done after OS install, then type raspi-config in a text window (also known as a command shell) on the RPI and then select ‘Advanced’ in the menu that appears.


    Assuming the three features mentioned above are enabled, then create a folder for your work off your home directory (e.g. create a folder called development and then a sub-folder called therm) and copy the source code (stored at into that sub-folder.

    Here is how to do all this:



    To compile the code (also shown in the screenshot above) type:

    gcc -o therm therm.c -lrt      


    The code is now ready to run. There are a few ways to use this project. One way is to just type commands into the command shell. Another way is to use a web browser. These two methods are discussed next.


    Command Interface

    The code can be run either using ‘sudo’ or as superuser (root) user.

    For the latter, to become root user, first type sudo passwd root one time, and create a superuser (i.e. root user) password. Now, whenever you want to become superuser, you can just type 'su' and enter that password. To exit out of superuser privileges at any time, type 'exit'. Some people prefer sudo, others feel it is an unnecessary handcuff.


    sudo ./therm      


    or (using the root user method)

    sudo passwd root


    The temperature will be displayed.

    There are other variations, of which some are listed here. For example to dump the temperature every second to the command shell, type:

    ./therm 1      


    The command above will indefinitely dump temperature to the screen. To stop it at any time, press Ctrl-C.


    To log the data, type:

    ./therm 1 mylogfile.csv      


    Press Ctrl-C to stop logging, and the generated file can be viewed and graphed using spreadsheet software (e.g. Excel).


    To print some text to the LCD display, type:

    ./therm msg “Experiment #1”      


    or combine it with a filename to start logging too:

    ./therm 1 mylogfile.csv msg “Logging…”      


    Using a Web Browser

    To use web browser capability, a platform called Node.js is run on the RPI. There are plenty of projects on Element 14 using Node.js with the RPI or BeagleBone Black. To avoid repeating, just follow the Node.js and Socket.IO install steps at this location (scroll to the section "Raspberry Pi web server and application software") and follow all the steps listed in that section up to and including the command ‘npm install’.

    The code that will be used to enable web control is shown in blue and orange in the diagram below:



    To run the web server/application software, type

    node index.js      


    Now you can navigate using a web browser tohttp://xx.xx.xx.xx:8081/index.html to see the web page. Click ‘Live’ to see the live view of temperature.



    Select a file name and click ‘Log’ to start logging data.



    Thanks to TI’s skilful engineering with the ADS1118 board, a very high quality science lab temperature-logging instrument can be quickly assembled, ready to run interesting experiments. See the coffee cup blog post for an example.


    The software is fresh and really just proof-of-concept level and will have a few bugs but it appears to work reasonably well in the limited testing I have done so far (I used it to log data for a few hours). It would be wise to do a practise run before trying to use the software in a classroom.


    Although I have no means to measure accuracy, TI have published a PDF document about precision thermocouple measurement with the ADS1118 which shows the techniques they used to ensure an accurate result. It is reassuring to see the output using the board and algorithm appears clean and as expected.


    For quick results, use the PCB design attached to this post, but the proto-board method works well too.



    Additional Ideas

    If desired (e.g. outdoor use), the solution can be powered from a Lithium Polymer (LiPo) cell. To do this, a BatteryBoosterPackBatteryBoosterPack is inserted in-between the adapter board that was created, and the thermocouple board. Here is what it looks like:


    The Battery BoosterPack comes with the LiPo cell. Note that some slight modifications need to be done to the Battery BoosterPack before it is used for this project, in order to prevent any pins from clashing. See this blog post (scroll to the section titled "Battery Power" and perform the steps in that section).


    Source Code

    Code is available on GitHub, click here. The initial version has functionality to display temperature on the LCD display and on the browser dynamically, and also initiate logging (and displaying temperature). It is experimental code, and will need enhancements; currently it is not possible to stop the logging if started, except by going to the command line.


    It has some bugs, such as if multiple users connect to the browser, expect occasional erroneous values of 0 degrees C on the display briefly if multiple users connect and the system is not logging (if the system is logging, this issue does not occur). Also it may display 'error' briefly when connecting. It continues to function.


    There are no known issues with the actual measurements and the logging functionality, however if you are planning to run a very long (multiple hours) experiment, it would be good to have a dry run first, to confirm the system functions for an extended time - I only ran the system for an hour or two at a time. Also, you may wish to log less frequently in that case (currently it logs every second).

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    {tabbedtable} Tab Label Tab Content
    About This RoadTest

    The Nero is a reference design for an energy efficient Arduino UNO compatible board based on the ATMEGA328 with the FTDI FT231X USB- UART, capable of operating at 5V with a full 1A while remaining cool to the touch. Features include:

    • 16MHz ATmega328 32-pin TQFP package microcontroller. Features include:
    • UNO R3 form factor
    • 14 Digital I/O Pins (6 PWM outputs)
    • 6 Analog Inputs
    • FTDI FT231XS USB UART interface
    • A Micro-B USB connects to PC connect or provides power supply over USB for board.
    • VIN Input voltage - 7V to 20V ( 9V or 12V recommended )
    • Hardware Reset button provided.
    • 5V Switching regulator with 1A output current
    • CE and FCC certified
    • Optiboot bootloader preloaded
    • Arduino Software (IDE) and UNO library compatible,
    • Arduino shield compatible


    The CleO35 is a smart TFT display shield for Arduino. It includes a 3.5 inch 320x480 pixel TFT LCD panel with resistive touch, PWM audio output with in-built speaker amplifier for better audio quality

    These smart TFT display shields can be easily programmed by almost anyone to give professional looking HMI / GUI's with no prior knowledge of complex graphics programming or mathematics. The CleO35 utilises the FTDI FT903 low power MCU to bridge between the Arduino and fast interface accessories such as camera and SD Card input. For a full list of the FT903’s features please see the FT90X datasheet .In addition, the CleO35 has the following features:


    • Landscape and portrait modes supported
    • In built FTDI FT810 embedded video engine (EVE) graphic controller
    • Anti-Aliased graphics throughout for much finer image quality with no "jaggies".
    • Ready to use LCD module with resistive touch in panel mountable bezel.
    • Micro SD card socket support.
    • In built 8M Byte Eflash memory
    • USB DFU port for firmware updates
    • Support camera interface
    • PWM audio supported and in built speaker amplifier
    • Designed as Arduino and NerO shield
    • Compatible with FTDI CleO-RIO, CleO-Camera and CleO-Speaker.
    • CE and FCC certified


    Important Dates

    Enrollment Begins: Jan 4 2017

    Enrollment Ends: Feb 10, 2017

    RoadTesters Selected: Feb 20 2017

    Product Shipped: TBD

    RoadTesting Begins: TBD

    Reminder/Update Email: TBD

    Submit Reviews By: TBD


    Thanks to everyone who applied. The supplier chose the following applicants:







    Terms and Conditions

    FTDI Chip | BRIDGETEK CleO35  and NERO-LP1 – RoadTest

    Terms and Conditions

    These are the terms and conditions which govern the FTDI Chip | BRIDGETEK CleO35  and NERO-LP1 RoadTest contest. This Contest requires participants to submit an application indicating their previous experience with this type of equipment/component, information on what they would do to test the equipment/component, and the applicant’s desire to post a thorough review of their experience with images, photos, or other supplemental materials. Participants will be required to meet the Conditions for Participation.  The winners of this RoadTest will receive the item(s) listed below. RoadTest Reviews are due no later than 60 days after the receipt of the item(s). No other prizes are offered.

    The Principal terms of the Competition:

    The following words and phrases are used in these terms and conditions and have the meanings given to them below.

    RoadTest: FTDI Chip | BRIDGETEK CleO35  and NERO-LP1 (RoadTest or Contest)

    Key dates:

    Applications Close: midnight (GMT) on 10 February 2017

    Announcement of Winner (estimated): 20 February2017


    Prize:  FTDI Chip | BRIDGETEK CleO35  and NERO-LP1

    Additional Prizes: none

    Competition Site:

    Site or element14 Community:

    Judges: members of the element14 community team chosen at the Organiser’s discretion.

    Judging Criteria, All of the following which will have equal weighting:

    · Demonstrated competence with the technologies including links or descriptions of past projects

    · Qualifications as indicated by current job role and/or schooling/vocational training;

    · A thorough description of how the prize would be tested;

    · Likelihood that the Applicant will blog about the prize and provide a review on;

    · Originality;

    · Innovation.

    Organiser: Premier Farnell plc (registered in England and Wales under company number 876412) whose registered office is at Farnell House, Forge Lane, Leeds, UK

    Conditions for Qualification: in addition to meeting the requirements of these terms, all persons applying to take part in the Contest (each one an Applicant) must:

    · Provide a RoadTest application describing what he/she would do if awarded the Prize including similar previous projects, product experience and qualifications

    Terms: these terms and conditions which govern the Competition and to which the Organiser reserves the right to make changes from time to time and the latest version of these Terms from time to time will be posted to the Site.

    1. Eligibility
    2. Applications:
    3. Selecting Winners:   
    4. Liability:
    5. General:

    1.1 Save as set out in these Terms, the Contest is open to any natural or legal person, firm or company or group of natural persons or unincorporated body.

    1.2 All Applicants must be aged at least 18 at the time of their application.

    1.3 Applicants must not enter the RoadTest if doing so or taking part may:

    1.3.1 cause the Organiser and/or themselves to be in breach of any agreement (including but not limited to any contract of employment) to which they are a party or in breach of any law, regulation or rule having the force of law to which the Organiser or the Applicant may be subject or any policy of the Organiser or the Sponsor;

    1.3.2 Require the Organiser to obtain any licence, authorisation or permission to deal with the Applicant; or

    1.3.3 Be in breach of any policy or practice of their employer. Some employers prohibit or restrict their employees from taking part in competitions such as these or receiving prizes under them and the Organiser respects those policies and practices.

    The Organiser reserves the right to disqualify any Application made in breach of these Terms and to reject any Application which it reasonably believes may be or become in breach. The Organiser reserves the right to require evidence in such form as the Organiser may reasonably require of any Applicant’s compliance with any of these Terms and to disqualify any Applicant or Participant who cannot provide such evidence reasonably promptly. 

    1.4 Multiple applications are not permitted.

    1.5 Applications may not be submitted by an agent whether acting on behalf of an undisclosed principal or otherwise.

    1.6 The Contest is NOT open to:

    1.6.1 Any person or entity who is a resident or national of any country which is subject to sanctions, embargoes or national trade restrictions of the United States of America, the European Union or the United Kingdom;

    1.6.2 Any employee, director, member, shareholder (as appropriate) or any of their direct families (parents, siblings, spouse, partner, children) (“Direct Families”) of the Organiser and Sponsors; or

    2.1 Each Applicant must fully complete and submit a RoadTest Application by the Application Close.

    2.2 By submitting a Registration Form, each Applicant:

    2.2.1 Authorises the Organiser to use his or her personal data (as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998) for the purposes of running and promoting the RoadTest;

    2.2.2 Authorises the Organizer to copy, reproduce and publish their application should they be accepted as a Participant;

    2.2.3 Will be deemed to have read, accepted and agree to be bound by these Terms. Applicants are advised to print and keep safe these Terms;

    2.2.4 Authorises the Organiser to copy, reproduce and use the Application and/or Review for the purposes of the RoadTest and as otherwise contemplated by these Terms. The Organiser will not be responsible for any inaccuracy, error or omission contained in any reproduction or use of the Project Blogs.

    2.2.5 Licenses the Organiser to use the intellectual property in the Project (IP) for the purposes of this Contest. As between the Applicant and the Organiser the IP remains owned by the Applicant.

    2.2.6 Grants the Organiser the right to use his or her likeness, photographs, logos, trademarks, audio or video recordings without restriction for the purposes of Contest or the promotion of it or the Site;

    2.2.7 Agrees to participate positively in all publicity surrounding the Contest;

    2.2.8 Agrees to be responsible for all expenses and costs incurred by him or her in preparing for, entering and participating in the Contest (save for any expenses expressly agreed by the Organiser to be borne by it in these Terms);

    2.2.9 Confirms that he or she owns all IP used in his or her application or Project or Blogs and indemnifies the Organiser from any claim by a third party that use of any material provided by an Applicant to the Organiser infringes the intellectual property rights of any third party;

    2.2.10 Agrees not to act in any way or fail to act in any way or be associated with any cause or group which would have a negative impact on the reputation of the Organiser and/or the RoadTest.

    2.3 All applications submitted to this RoadTest must meet the following criteria:

    2.3.1 Applicants must be the author, creator and owner of the proposed review idea. Applicants must not submit someone else’s idea;

    2.3.2 The proposed application must be reasonably achievable by the within the time constraints of the Contest; 

    2.3.3 Applications must not include or propose any of the following, the inclusion of which shall render any proposed application ineligible:

    (a) Applications which relate to socially taboo topics, such as illicit drug use or sexual gratification;

    (b) Applications that are or could reasonably be considered to be illegal, immoral, discriminatory or offensive as determined by the Organiser;

    (c) Applications in relation to them which if accepted would infringe or breach any of the policies or terms of access or use of the Site.

    2.4 No Application may contain any of the hazardous substances identified by Article 4 of Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament on the Restrictions on the Use of Substances in Electronic and Electrical Equipment ("the Directive") or the use of such hazardous substances in the in any such Project must not exceed the maximum concentration values set out in the Directive.

    3.1 Winners will be selected by the Organiser on the basis of the quality of his or her application and its adherence to these Terms.

    3.2 The total number of Winners selected will be at least the minimum number set out above but the actual number is at the sole discretion of the Organizer and/or the Sponsor, if applicable.

    3.3 The Organiser will use all reasonable efforts to announce the Winners via an update to the RoadTest page by the date listed above.

    3.4 Winners agree to take part in all publicity which the Organiser or the Sponsor wishes to use to promote the RoadTest, the Products featured or other Contests with which the Organiser may be connected from time to time.

    3.5 Details of the Winners may also be published in the media.

    3.6 Winners are responsible for all applicable taxes, duties or other charges payable in relation to any prize.


    4.1 The Organiser hereby excludes all and any Liability arising out of the Contest or the acceptance, use, quality, condition, suitability or performance of any Prize, even where that Liability may arise from the Organiser’s negligence.

    4.2 Nothing in these Terms will affect any Liability of the Organiser for death or personal injury arising from its negligence, for breach of Part II of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (in the event that any entrant is entitled to claim rights under the Consumer Protection Act 1987) or for any matter in relation to which it would be illegal for the Organiser to exclude or to attempt to exclude its Liability.

    4.3 Subject to 4.2, neither the Organiser, any parent company nor any subsidiary of the Organiser or such parent company or any of their directors, officers and employees (together referred to in these terms and the ‘Associates’) makes any guarantee, warranty or representation of any kind, express or implied, with respect to this Competition or the Prizes potentially available under it. Neither the Organiser nor any of its Associates shall be responsible for any Liability that may arise out of or in connection with person’s participation in this Competition, the claiming, redemption or value of any prizes under it, the use or enjoyment of such prizes or any events or circumstances arising out of or in connection with any of them. Any implied warranties of condition, merchantability or suitability or fitness for purpose of any of them are hereby expressly excluded. Wherever used in these Terms, ‘Liability’ shall mean any and all costs, expenses, claims, damages, actions, proceedings, demands, losses and other liabilities (including legal fees and costs on a full indemnity basis) arising directly or indirectly out of or in connection with the matter concerned. 

    5.1 The RoadTest is organised and sponsored by the Organiser. The Organiser reserves the right to delegate all or any of its powers, rights and obligations arising in relation to the RoadTest to any Associate and certain such rights and powers are assumed by the Organiser on behalf of itself and each Associate. Reference to “Organiser” shall be deemed to include reference to each Associate.

    5.2 The RoadTest may be terminated at any time if there are, in the sole opinion of the Organiser, an insufficient number of entries, or if the Applications are not of an appropriate standard for a competition of this nature. The Organiser has the right to cancel or suspend the RoadTest at any time due to circumstances outside its reasonable control.

    5.3 The Organiser shall have the sole discretion to disqualify (without correspondence or right of appeal) any Applicant it considers to be adversely affecting the process or the operation of the RoadTest or to be in breach of these Terms or to be acting in a disruptive manner or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other Applicant or Participant.

    5.4 The Organiser has the right to amend or add to these Terms from time to time. Revised Terms and Conditions will be posted on the Contest Site and it is a condition of entry to the RoadTest that Applicants agree to comply with these Terms and, if appropriate, such Terms as amended from time to time.

    5.5 Headings are for convenience only and do not affect the interpretation or construction of these Terms and Conditions.

    5.6 These Terms and the operation of the Contest shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English Law and any claim or matter arising under these Terms shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

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    What are you going to be this Halloween?

    Simply ENTER ANY SIMPLE IDEA as a comment here by 23:59 GMT on 1st November 2016 to WIN a Raspberry Pi TREAT BAG including the Pi 3, Sense HAT and goodies!


    It’s that time of year again at element14 when we let out the ghosts and ghoulies from our electronics cabinets and get in to the spirit of things; this year with our ‘BOO! Pi' Costume Contest.


    Supported by Raspberry Pi, post your ideas for creepy costumes and wearable tech here and we'll choose our top 10 favourite attires to send a BOO! Pi Treat Bag containing the latest Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi Sense HAT.

    You can use any tech to make your outfit.


    For inspiration, Community Top Member and Halloween aficionado Charles Gantthas already started designing his very own walking, talking, digital slot machine, so why not follow Charles and his own costume project blogs.

    Blog 1: Raspberry PySlots: The Costume - Introduction? and

    Blog 2:The Costume - Hardware, Software, and Pretty Lights! and

    Blog 3: Raspberry PySlots: The Costume - The Slot Machine, NeoPixels, Pull Arm, And Finishing Things Up


    To get your skulls glowing, here’s some more muse:


        Ben Heck's Hacker Halloween Mask                                          Ben Heck Builds a Portal Shirt for Halloween


        Ben Heck'sHalloweenSuperhero Wearables Part 2             Ben Heck's Halloween Drone: Dressed Up as a Ghost



    Not spooky enough? Looking for other Halloween costume ideas? >


    Basic Terms

    • No limits on how many pictures you post. Any haunted humans, animals and object costumes accepted.
    • Use any tech and costumery to make your outfit.
    • Entries posted up to 23:59 on 1st November when all ghoulishness will be suspended for another year will be in with a chance to win 1 of 10 BOO! Pi treat bags.
    • All genuine ideas and designs commented up to the competition close date and time will also be awarded an exclusive digital badge on their profile!
    • We'll announce the winners here no later than November 4th, 2016.


    Read full Terms & Conditions >


    Now Go Get Your BOO on!



    Other Past Halloween Content:


    Popular Costume Tech:


    RPiBrowse Raspberry Pi 3 range here >