Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels

Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

All Content in element14 Community
    0 0

    Click Here to View the Power To Do Anything Series Page


    Get Hands-On Experience with these products: Step Down Converter EVM


    {tabbedtable} Tab Label Tab Content

    Achieving higher power density, efficiency, and voltage accuracy in point-of-load (POL) DC/DC converters

    Learn from a TI expert how to address the design challenges of point-of-load DC/DC converters


    Designing a power solution for a performance processor can be challenging. Processors have changed a lot over the years, and some of the most challenging aspects of point of load power are providing a tight voltage accuracy, designing for a fast transient to lower output capacitance requirements, eliminating noise, attaining high power density and efficiency and understanding the trade-offs, and finally, finding a solution that can address the needs of today's, or tomorrow’s processors.


    What the Attendee Will Learn

    • How the change in processor over the years impacts the design of a power solution
    • The challenges of developing point-of-load power and how to overcome them
    • How to find a power solution to address the needs of processors in the future

    Pat Hunter

    Pat Hunter joined TI in 2008 and is currently a senior Product Marketing Engineer in DC/DC Converter and Controller product  group at Texas Instruments. He earned Bachelors in Electrical Engineering  from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, NC.

    Webinar Recording

    A video recording will be available at the conclusion of the webinar.

    0 0

    IoT on Wheels Design Challenge
    About this Challenge The Kit The Prizes Intro Video Unboxing Video
    Technical Documents The Judges Example Application Terms and Conditions The Challengers


    To judge the merits of the IoT on Wheels applications and final project builds, element14 asked the help of a panel of experts who agreed to be the judges of the Challenge.

    So, without further ado, element14 is pleased to introduce our panel of judges:


    Martin Hubik- Application Support Engineer

    Martin Hubik is an application support engineer at STMicroelectronics.  He received his M.Sc. in engineering at CTU in Prague before joining STM in 2016.  His daily job is to provide expertise in microcontrollers to customers.  His area of interest is low power MCUs and digital signal processing. Apart from his passion with electronics and programming, he also enjoys swimming and windsurfing.


    Vladimir Janousek- Analog and Sensor Applications Manager

    Vladimir Janousek is an analog and sensor applications manager at the STMicroelectronics office in Prague.


    Dr. Radmehr Monfared- Loughborough University's Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electronic, and Manufacturing Engineering

    Academics from Loughborough University's Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electronic, and Manufacturing Engineering (led by Dr. Radmehr Monfared) will participate in the judging of the contest (specifically, code, videos, blogs) to determine the winner.



    Dr. Jenny Harding- Loughborough University's Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electronic, and Manufacturing Engineering

    As professor of Intelligent Manufacturing Knowledge Systems, she is also the Director of Academic Staffing, Research Theme Leader, Sports Technology and Design Systems at Loughborough University.



    Rachael Peterson- element14 Top Member Judge

    As a Top Member in the element14 community, Rachael will provide her services as a judge and technical expert.


    Thank you to Martin Hubik and Vladimir Janousek from STMicroelectronics, Dr. Radmehr Monfared of Loughborough University and Top Member Rachael Peterson for offering their time and services as judges, as well as being on hand to respond to questions during the Challenge.  The element14 community team with help oversee the judges and challengers during the design challenge process.


    For any general questions about the Challenge, you can post a 'comment' on the About This Challenge page. Your fellow Challengers or anyone following the challenge are likely to respond.


    To keep up-to-date on the IoT on Wheels Design Challenge, please 'bookmark' the Challenge.

    0 0

    IoT on Wheels: Winners Announcement


    After 11+ weeks of design, research, prototyping, coding and testing the final submission date for IoT on Wheels Design Challenge has passed. Tools down!


    The judges have tallied their thoughts and feedback until our original 15 sponsored challengers have been whittled down to Grand Prize, Runner Up Prize, 3rd Prize and Finishers.


    We are very pleased to congratulate all the Winners of the IoT on Wheels Design challenge with STMicroelectronics.


    The Winners:


    Grand Prize - Traffic Predictor and Auto Pilot

    Dixon Selvan - Project Summary



    Our grand prize winner Dixon has created a device that attaches to your vehicle and scans the traffic around you with sonar.


    The device then saves or uploads this traffic data to a central database, including location, time, and traffic severity.

    This app then lets him "Avoid traffic like a Bat!" using the findings from sonar, the app and the Google Maps AI to find the best shared route to your chosen destination. The data on the app is to be crowd sourced from other users traffic experiences. We loved that Dixon created a motorized servo rig to attached to his motorbike that hold the sonar and Nucleo steady while riding around.


    Judges Feedback:

    Clear diagrams from build and Great Videos

    - Dr. J Harding

    I like the detail put into diagrams, flow charts, database schema etc. I like the app and the hardware works and communicates successfully with the app.

    - rachaelp

    Pros: Very good Theme, Machine Learning, Clear description on how and why original plans changed,  Very good Videos and finally Good Overall Summary and Blogs.

    - STM Judges


    Read More of Dixon's Traffic Predictor and Auto Pilot


    Grand Prize Includes:

    • Segway MiniPRO (retail value $600)
    • Oculus Rift and Touch VR Headset (retail value $600)
    • Duratool Crimp Kit (retail value $567)



    Runner Up - The Konker Connection

    Douglas Wong - Project Summary


    As always, Douglas Wong really shines through as a stand out challenger.  The Konker Connection connection is Douglas's effort to make his off road motor biking safer using the STM 32 Nucleo.


    The initial brief was that the Nucleo was used to monitor his GPS location, monitor if his bike has been left on its side (signalling that he might have fallen off and is unable to pick it back up) and use the resonance sound of the gas tank to figure out how full it is.  This was then all to be sent out via LoRa radio.


    Although Douglas did not reach some of his stretch goals, he demonstrated working examples of each of the functions required.


    His use of 3D printing on a curved gas tank as well as having to reverse engineer some of the Nucleo pin outs really pushed his boundaries. As always there is glory to be had in having to produce your own PCB for your project.


    Douglas's "Konker Connection" is well rounded up in his own stats:

    Project Stats:


    16 blogs

    18 videos

    1 custom PCB

    1 gigantic amount of learning+

    As always, Douglas always comes through with a finished and polished project.


    Judges Feedback:

    Very good experiment with the Fuel gauge using the tank responance. Great use of Schematics and PCB design, 3D Printed Brackets, Clear blogs. Additional use of HW blocks.

    - STM Judges

    This project has so much to offer, in the usual Doug style he went the to great lengths to come up with a pretty polished solution. The end result, although he didn't reach some of his stretch goals was superb. The platform he's developed could easily cater for the addition of more functionality and it's already at a point where it's a pretty decent custom hardware platform.


    A very high quality build including a fully custom PCB to bring everything together and a custom designed case specifically for the purpose. The end result is supurb.

    - rachaelp

    Clock was complete and the Product looked really good with very good presentation of experiments.


    Dr. J Harding


    Runner Up Prize Includes:

    • Pioneer GPS Cycle Computer Bundle (retail background $379)
    • GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera (retail value $400)
    • Master Appliance: Soldering Iron, Hot Knife & Heat Tool Kit (retail value $231)



    Third Prize - Smart Drive

    Sergey Vlasov - Project Summary



    Sergey's project, the Smart Drive, is an open, public, Big-Data project that collects broad data of journeys, like a collaborative black-box flight recorder system.


    Some of the data collected would be "Red Flag Warnings" which could be input by users or created by the system. An example situation of this would be using the Geo-location and Accelerators to detect "Emergency Breaking" or "Fall Detection" as a "Red Flag Warning".

    This data would firstly be displayed to the rider, giving them an option to flag it as a "False Alarm" which would ignore this Warning. If the Fall Status, Crash Status or Hard Breaking Status was a legitimate "Red Warning Flag" the GPS location would be logged and shared, that way, when other users were in close proximity to any location with a "Red Warning Flag", lights would flash and a sound would chime.


    Judges and element14 staff loved this project for the extensive blogs on the details of using the Nucleo. These blogs will be very good reference for others in the future.


    Data Decision Tree

    Judges Feedback

    Great drawings showing “How” and Clear experiments to find how things work.

    - Dr. J Harding

    Very good theme, Very good blog posts, real world application test, use of existing ST tools, STM32CubeMX, MQTT, and other SW Packages

    - STM Judges

    The concept of sharing knowledge while travelling to benefit others is great. There are others that do similar, TomTom traffic works in a similar way, as does Waze navigation, but none of these are open and accessible to the larger community. I like the use of Unicleo-GUI for visualization and logging of the various sensor data. Also all the fundamental blocks were developed and tested to prove out the concepts at each stage without getting bogged down in the detail of one particular section. I'd like to have seen more on the hardware side and a bit more of a robust prototype than the breadboarding that's currently used but given the amount of additional sensor pieces produced this is a minor criticism. Finally the video of the system actually in operation, although referenced in the final blog appears to be missing. I'd have loved to see that.

    - rachaelp



    Third Prize Includes:

    • The Traxxas Slash Radio Controlled Car Pro 2WD Short-Course Truck  (retail value $245)
    • QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones (retail value $350)
    • Tenma Programmable Bench Power Supply (retail value $159)




    Not everyone can win the grand prize but everyone who've reached the finish line is a winner in their own way. Anyone who adhered to the terms and conditions, used the STM32 Nucleo and posted more than 10 progress blogs receives a finishers' prize pack. This also includes all winners and any non-sponsored challengers that have completed the challenge.

    Gurinder Singh Gill
    PASS Smart Bike Smart Rider (SbSr)

    Shantimohan Elchuri
    Vehicle Temperature Alert System (VeTAS)

    Dale Winhold
    Fatigue Alert System

    F. Yao
    Wheels Walking on Water


    All Finishers received the following:

    • Duratool Electronic Tool Kit, Basic, 22-Piece
    • Duratool Heat Gun
    • Tenma Handheld Digital Multimeter


    The Judges


    Martin Hubik- Application Support Engineer

    Martin Hubik is an application support engineer at STMicroelectronics.  He received his M.Sc. in engineering at CTU in Prague before joining STM in 2016.  His daily job is to provide expertise in microcontrollers to customers.  His area of interest is low power MCUs and digital signal processing. Apart from his passion with electronics and programming, he also enjoys swimming and windsurfing.

    Vladimir Janousek- Analog and Sensor Applications Manager

    Vladimir Janousek is an analog and sensor applications manager at the STMicroelectronics office in Prague.


    Dr. Jenny Harding- Loughborough University's Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electronic, and Manufacturing Engineering

    Professor of Intelligent Manufacturing Knowledge Systems

    Director of Academic Staffing, Research Theme Leader, Sports Technology and Design Systems

    Dr. Radmehr Monfared- Loughborough University's Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electronic, and Manufacturing Engineering

    Academics from Loughborough University's Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electronic, and Manufacturing Engineering (led by Dr. Radmehr Monfared) will participate in the judging of the contest (specifically, code, videos, blogs) to determine the winner.


    Rachael Peterson- element14 Top Member Judge

    As a Top Member in the element14 community, Rachael will provide her services as a judge and technical expert.

    0 0

    Why Become a Member?

    As you may have already discovered, a large portion of our website is viewable without registering, so you may ask — why become a member?


    After registering, you’ll be included in a Community where your fellow members speak the same lingo. They can provide helpful tips and support when you tackle your latest project challenge. The more you participate, the more points you’ll collect to help build your credibility and rank on the Community.



    As a member you can:


      Get Access to online education and exclusive events featuring the latest products and technology


      Connect with engineers, manufacturers, innovators and top experts from around the world to discuss technical challenges and products.


      Earn points and badges to build your credibility and rank in the Community


      Trial the latest products for free in our RoadTest


      Inspire and be inspired by Design Challenges to join your fellow members in creating a connected world


      Share your skills and expertise by blogging about your electronics project


      Access the Design Center, which is a comprehensive resource for the very latest embedded and analog development tools, combining technical information from suppliers, community discussions and live chat with our support team.


      Read unbiased product reviews to aid in your decisions on upcoming purchases


      MemberExclusiveAccess exclusive information that is available only to registered members

      Take your electronics project to a higher level with access to 24/7 community support to problem-solve challenges


      Join a Community of support from engineers, like you!


    I'm Ready to Join Now



    What some of our members are saying about their experience on element14 Community:


    - “I have never experienced such passionate people as I have found here.”


    - “There are a large number of experiences to learn from.  Engineers and computer scientists are always willing to lend a helping hand.  It’s like having your own team of mentors available to bring you along and help you grow regardless of discipline.”


    - “It’s leading the field in my opinion.  It has a healthy level of participation from product manufacturers too, who can engage with their customers using the site.”


    - “element14 has introduced me to a lot of interesting new gadgets and technologies, and a lot of interesting and supportive people – and continues to do so regularly!”


    - “It’s a place where you can find answers to almost any question on programming, electronics and other topics.  It’s a wealth of valuable information”

    0 0

    VeriSafe Panel-Mtd. Absence of Voltage Tester
































    The Road Test in this case is pretty straight forward given the nature of this product. Why Would you use it, How do you use it and Does it work


    So people dont have to read all of the road test to find this out, I was able to show a scenario were the A.O.V. Tester failed to report 110V AC still connected to it, it showed a GREEN SAFE indication, this was with a wiring fault (Deliberate) but this still should not have given the all clear. Now please read on.


    The VeriSafe Panel-Mtd. Absence of Voltage Tester  is a device intended for industrial use but could also be used domestically or in small office or commercial spaces.


    When people work in electrically hazardous environments it is standard practice (REQUIRED) to power down equipment prior to working on that equipment and perform absence of voltage tests before starting work. This is in order to provide a safe environment for the worker, often  this is not very convenient but it should never be neglected or omitted,


    The process to validate the power is isolated from the equipment to be worked on is fairly straight forward


    1.    Select a working and suitably rated multi-meter

    this is NOT a suitable meter or the correct way to use it.... can you tell me why???

    DMM and transistor, safety hazard

    A suitable meter will have a known brand and a trusted certification, CE is not enough, that can be self applied by any manufacturer, Any multi-meter that has Amps and Volts on the same jack, or even a transistor tester built in would NOT be suitable in my opinion, your life is not worth it., in the picture above the circuit is about to be tested and the user has a transistor left in the socket... that will be ok right!!!!, oh and did I mention the long UN-insulated probes just waiting to short out something, may be necessary in some scenarios but CAT Rating also requires probe covers of the right type be correctly fitted in order to be valid..


    2. Validate the meter is reading correctly, especially for the voltage your testing for, or more specifically the voltage your hoping will not be present... what if it is still there!

    3. Test the circuit your going to be working on to ensure the voltages normally there are not and that in fact there are no unsafe voltages present.

    4. Re-Test your meter to ensure it is still working correctly, this double validation is critical, especially if your working in CAT IV where you can have many phases and 415VAC or more present, if you accidentally popped the fuse in your meter and did not realize it, you could be in trouble

    5. Now if the process provided the results you need, proceed with the work... simple right, sure but tedious but still essential for personal safety.


    The VeriSafe Panel-Mtd. Absence of Voltage Tester is designed to be installed into a panel or other electrical installation in a way that will detect the hazardous voltages normally present in the equipment, the indicator is through hole mount so should be mounted on a suitable panel or fascia.


    The nice thing with this unit is that it will work for DC voltages as well as AC Voltages, the down side is that in DC mode, the RED phase live indicators do not illuminate, they do for AC Mains though.

    The Green "SAFE" indication works for both AC and DC voltages and will detect any voltage exceeding 3V across any of the color sets including to ground. I tested this to my satisfaction.

    For redundancy and additional pre and post testing when you start a test, there are two sense wires for each connection, the idea is that you will connect them to the monitored point with separate connections... like so:-

    This picture from a Panduit video demonstrates the desire for two separate connection to the circuit to be monitored but I am not so sure about the seriously exposed metal work there with 415V 30A power potentially, but later it shows then heavily taped up.

    Also in the video it clearly states (At 3:23) that if a sense wire is not connected correctly then it will present a warning result, as you will see in my video, this is not always the case!,

    I demonstrate a scenario in the video where the sense wire was disconnected but either touched another powered down phase wire or simply a low impedance path to ground (1.7K is the measured resistance of my multi-meter in low Z mode). I still had 110V AC connected to the other pair of the sense wire (Brown wire in this test), when I pushed the test button it actually showed a GREEN SAFE condition but I knew this was not the case.... now I will never trust it 100%.


    To be fair, as long as the wiring is intact or if the broken/disconnected sense wire is not touching anything else then it gives a correct reading, unfortunately real life is not always like that so be warned and look at the wiring every now and again if your using one of these. On the flip side though, this is trying to get you to skip the manual process and trust it is looking out for you so are you willing to put your life in its hands knowing what I have just said ?


    ok, so in summary, I like what the tester is trying to achieve but given the scenario I discovered where it reports incorrectly, I would never recommend the use of this in any critical application, and would still recommend some manual checks even if this is installed. There could be some situations were the risk of this occurring is minimal and therefor acceptable but I cant think of any right now.


    Here is the videos

    Part 1 looks at the unit and its operation, Part 2 I perform some actual live testing of the AOV Tester, be sure to check out time index 12:45 and 16:20 for unfortunate surprises


    0 0



    The Birth of Project14


    To be honest with you, I have no idea who first pitched the idea of starting a monthly project competition on the community, outside of the fact that it all got started based on a conversation in the Top Members  section.  I'm closing in on my second full year as a moderator on the community,  the majority of my first year was spent on The Ben Heck Show, a big enough job all on its own.  Most of what I learned about the the community was influenced through my involvement with element14's The Ben Heck Show.


    I did other things during my first year, I was part of the Design Challenges team, although I mainly just listened, to learn as much as I could about how the program worked,  so I would be prepared when we did cross promotions between element14's The Ben Heck Show and Design Challenges  such as  Which Iconic but Obsolete Gadget Would You Upcycle to Relive Your Past?  poll and video announcement for the Upcycle It Design Challenge.  I also helped out behind the scenes on the community such as helping out with shipping for  RoadTests with element14Dave,  who was running the program at the time, similar to the role danzima plays with the work he does with rscasny .


    I got to know a lot of the community members a lot better, around the holidays last year, when I was asked to fill in for the  How Were You 'Bit by the Bug' of Engineering & Technology? holiday campaign when element14Dave announced he was moving onto his next opportunity. He made sure he was the first person to comment on the post,  this was the first really big campaign I was asked to run outside of The Ben Heck Show and he wanted to make sure the Top Members were aware of it, so they could provide their support.  As some of you on the community are aware, we lost some really talented people at the beginning of the year, and we're still a relatively young, but capable team. I haven't been around very long, so I can only hope I can be of as much help for the new people, as the people who were around before me when I got started. When the year started, I was working to revive the Arduino space, which had existed but had been mothballed, and I was working with design and development to launch subspaces for Arduino Projects and Arduino Tutorials.


    In addition to The Ben Heck Show  and Arduino , I was given some handover notes and pointed to discussion threads in the Top Members  section where they expressed a desire for smaller project competitions that did not require the same level of commitment as Design Challenges.  I can't say for sure that what would become Project14 was what was expected when the program got the green light, but I can say that it was heavily influenced by the programs I worked with, particularly The Ben Heck Show  and Arduino , and much of the initial planning was done with my former manager kellyhensen , and the ideas were fleshed out with my new manager min, who worked with both of us during the transition.


    Project14: Introducing Projects About You


    Having never started a community program before, I frequently turned to the community members, who after all were the ones that wanted to see this new program get started for feedback.  The following community members had as much to do with the success of the program, either behind the scenes with their help with judging, or through advice and/or project submissions:  DAB , mcb1 , balearicdynamics , shabaz , Workshopshed , and  dougw .  While there are other names that can be added to this list, these names stand out, especially during the beginning where it was a bit of a bumpy ride.  These members helped make the program work, and offered encouragement when the going got rough, and have my eternal gratitude for their help throughout this process.


    We tried to make it as much about what the community members wanted, while handling the logistics of a project competition that was always happening, and used the  Monthly Polls to make sure that the contest stayed true to what the community members wanted.  As a fan of video, I also saw the new program as a way to help encourage community member generated video content, as well as, a platform to showcase it.


    We already had great video content around projects with  The Ben Heck Show  and the new program could offer a fun way to add more "edutainment" videos on the community.  On March 3rd, shortly after being handed this assignment, I notified the top members that monthly project competitions on the community was still happening and worked with them to finalize a name.  The name most people seemed to like was Atomic14 but because it was used already we went with Project14.  We began with a soft launch announcing the program:  Project14: Introducing Monthly Project Competitions About You!  followed by the launch of Techno Toys.

    Back to the Top


    Techno Toys: Sparky the Power Chick


    Launch Date:  April 4, 2017 (Soft Launch)


    Full Launch: April 14, 2017


    Expectations were high for the new program, and many people expressed enthusiasm for the idea when it was announced to the entire community. Looking back we had some really good earlier entries right out the gate such as Xylophonomatic by  tech_nut81  , Bob_007 by rsc  , and DollaS Dancer by Molham .    However, the most memorable project, at least to my mind's eye, was one that  dougw did with  Sparky the Power Chick .  It sort of set the tone for the new program and internally became a sort of mascot for new program:


    Sparky the Power Chick





    Inaugural Monthly Theme Doc: Give New Life to Old Toys by Turning Them Into Techno Toys!


    Inaugural Monthly Theme Poll: Monthly Theme Poll for June 2017


    Inaugural Winners Announcement:Winners Announcement: Techno Toys Project14 Competition!



    Back to the Top

    Geeky Gadgets: Project Portfolio Badge


    Launch Date: May 14, 2017


    After receiving some feedback from some community members we extended the deadline for each of these project competitions to two months.  This move was intended to increase participation from everyone who wanted to submit a project but had outside commitments such as family or work that made it difficult to get their project submitted in time.  While participation for Techno Toys was good,  Geeky Gadgets was off to a slow start.  There was some concern whether or not there would be a winners announcement due to the lack of entries. Close to the deadline we received a flurry of activity from Geeked Out Business Cards by dougw , Build your own Torch/Flashlight! by shabaz , and at the buzzer we had Project Portfolio Badge by fvan .  Its the final entry that really stands out from the second competition.


    It was the first Project14 project to really get a lot of attention as far as visits go and really demonstrated the strength of the new format, a single blog post that contained a video and steps such as schematics and code.  This project inspired an Influencer badge on the community as it's a prime example, much like Sparky, of a project that influenced the new program.  To acknowledge the members who helped found the program we issued Founders badges.    To acknowledge the members who had helped with the judging, as well as, assisted members with their projects, we issued Mentor badges as well.


    Project Portfolio Badge




    Monthly Theme Doc:Celebrate Geek Pride with Your Own Geeky Gadgets!


    Monthly Theme Poll:Monthly Theme Poll for July 2017


    Winners Announcement: Project14 | Geeky Gadget Winners, Founders, and Mentor Badge Announcement!


    Back to the Top


    Going Green: IoT Irrigation Valve


    Launch Date: June 14, 2017


    There were only two winners announced for this competition but they were both strong submissions:  IOT Irrigation valve by idanre1 and Chicken Coop Livestream by fvanidanre1 had submitted a great project for techno toys called This little bug has a bug and fvan had recently done what was at the time the most visited piece of content for the entire Project14  program, Project Portfolio Badge.  His weekend project, Chicken Coop Livestream gave the program a shot in the arm at a time when it was struggling and inspired the Influencer Badge, of which he was one of the first recipients.


    IOT Irrigation valve



    Monthly Theme Doc: Build Awesome Technology for the Garden or Backyard by Going Green!


    Monthly Theme Poll: Monthly Poll to Decide August 2017 Project Competition


    Winners Announcement:Project14 | Going Green Winners, Step Climbers, Finishers, Influencers, and Trophies!


    Back to the Top


    DIY Test Equipment: Cyclops 1000


    Launch Date: July 14, 2017


    The first breakthrough competition for Project14 was DIY Test Equipment.  There was a bit of reflection going on internally after the last couple of project competitions failed to catch on the way we hoped.  So far we had been lucky that there had been enough quality projects to do a Winners Announcement around.  Before this competition began, we reached out to top members for advice on what we needed to do better with the program.


    One of the ideas that was floated was having one quality project ready when the competition began and  shabaz reached out to me to volunteer a project for the cause.  If you haven't visited the Winners Announcement, you're in for a treat.  This remains the most popular Project14 competition to date and Shabaz's project is featured here as it was the breakthrough project that got the ball rolling.  We again turned to the community members to do the voting, something that did not make sense with the last couple of competitions, which had fewer completed submissions than we had prizes available.  We also awarded a fourth $100 Shopping cart, with the prize money left on the table from the Going Green competition.


    Cyclops-1000: An Electronic Eye for Rotational Speed Measurement





    Monthly Theme Doc:Project14 | DIY Test Equipment Projects


    Monthly Theme Poll:September Monthly Poll


    Winners Announcement:Project14 | Winners Announcement: Inspiring DIY Test Equipment Projects!




    Back to the Top


    Solar Powered Yard Gadgets: Building a Solar Charger


    Launch Date: August 14th, 2017


    DIY Test Equipment proved to be so popular,  that we cross promoted it with a Ben Heck Giveaway, Winners Announcement: Ben Heck's Raspberry Pi Bitscope Mod!  We hadn't done a Ben Heck giveaway in a while, after seeing how well the community responded to DIY Test Equipment we decided to keep the craziness going with a piece of DIY Test Equipment that Ben did.  At the same time,  we extended the DIY Test Equipment competition long enough to coincide with the Ben Heck giveaway.  While this did help produce some more DIY Test Equipment projects on the community, Solar Powered Yard Gadgets was perhaps forgotten about.


    Luckily, we got two great project submissions,  another gem from  shabaz and the first of two really great projects from carmelito who showed me pictures from his phone of his award winning Upcycled Clock when I got a chance to meet him at Makers Faire!  I was in San Mateo, working in a booth, alongside Ben and Karen from The Ben Heck Show when I got a chance to meet carmelito .  It made my day to not only see him participating on Project14, but he even took the time to add Project14 branding to his projects which was awesome!


    Building a Solar Charger





    Monthly Theme Doc: Project14 | Solar Powered Yard Gadget Projects


    Monthly Theme Poll: Monthly Poll to Decide October Competition


    Winners Announcement: Project14 | Solar Powered Yard Gadget Winners!



    Back to the Top


    Wacky Automation Devices: Automated Tea Dunker


    Launch Date: September 14th 2017


    All three winners of this contest were great, in fact, the Wacky Automation Devices Winners Announcement recently surpassed the DIY Test Equipment Winners Announcement as the most visited piece of content since the Project14  program began!  carmelito automated tea dunker is one of my favorite Project14  projects and Workshopshed debuted, look out Ben Heck, Megan TV with his  Voice activated torch using a Rube Goldberg Machinedougw , who not only came up with the idea for Wacky Automation Devices, but also had a great project to go along with it in  Purple Panic Button.  To say dougw has been influential toward this new program is an understatement.  The idea for four project competitions were started by threads from  dougw .  Those ideas were put in the monthly poll and voted on as the competitions the community members wanted to do!


    Automated Tea Dunker




    Monthly Theme Doc: Project14 | Using Rube Goldberg Projects to Consider Design Engineering


    Monthly Theme Poll:Monthly Poll to Decide November 2017 Competition


    Winners Announcement: Project14 | Winners Announcement: Rube Goldberg Wacky Automation Devices!


    Back to the Top

    Simple Electronic Repairs: Repair of Tone Circuit in Old Transistor Radio


    Launch Date: October 16th 2017


    The idea of Simple Electronic Repairs came from fvan ,  it was the first idea from a member other than dougw .  When you think of what makes this program special its the contributions that come from people like dougw fvan , shabaz , Workshopshed , balearicdynamics , mcb1 , DAB , carmelitojc2048 , etc.  You really get a feeling of this program belonging to the community members , which was the goal we started with when all this began.  Following The Holiday Specialshabaz  will be the third community member to have his project competition voted on when we launch Portable Electronics Kit.  dougw is credited with the idea for the following project competitions: DIY Test Equipment, Solar Powered Yard GadgetWacky Automation Devices , and Cool LED Display.  This program is awesome because dougw  is awesome!


    Repair of tone control circuit in old transistor radio




    Monthly Theme Doc: Project14 | Earn a $100 Shopping Cart for Your Simple Electronic Repairs!


    Monthly Theme Poll: Monthly Poll to Decide December Competition


    Winners Announcement: TBD





    Back to the Top

    Cool LED Display: Infrared Thermometer


    Launch Date:  November 14th, 2017


    This competition got off to a hot start and is the most popular competition we've had since DIY Test Equipment.  It is timed to end at the same time as The Holiday Special competition and because of how prizes will be distributed, there are more than the usual 3 First place Winner Prizes up for grabs!



    Infrared thermometer




    Monthly Theme Doc: Project14 | Anything Goes with Cool LED Display Projects!


    Monthly Theme Poll: Project14 | The Holiday Special Poll


    Winners Announcement:  TBD





    Back to the Top



    The Holiday Special: Introducing Holiday Projects About You


    Launch Date: December 1st, 2017


    This idea for a holiday theme came from us.  After a full year of running Project14 competitions it also gives a little break from the routine we've had here.  Many of us within the office will be on vacation as various points so having this start at the beginning of the month allows us to focus on other end of the year promotions.  It's also exciting to see how people will respond to the bigger prizes that are available,  something that's been a dream of this community moderator!  It's the holidays so we also wanted to make sure that there is a giving component to this.


    When we did the "Bit by the Bug" competition last year, one of the things that I thought was really nice was that we included a gift to give.  When I learned that Project14 would be included as part of the end of the year festivities this year, it was an opportunity the program could not afford to turn away from!  It will delay the launch of Portable Electronics Kit a little bit ,  but because this project competition would have taken place when most of us were gone, it will be better having this picked up after the break.


    As part of the Gift to Give for the upcoming Holiday Special:


    The Holiday Special


    Grand Prize: 3D Printer to Have Plus STEAM Kit to Gift to Give!
    Your Prize:  RBX01-BK-REFURBRBX01-BK-REFURB 3D Printer
    Your Gift to Give:SAM's STEAM Kit
    Value: approx. $600 Value: approx. $600
    • Dual-nozzle system allows you to print in 2 materials at once.
    • Allows a mechanical design engineer to prototype injection mould design without the need to modify the design
    • Built by curriculum experts, includes curriculum-based STEAM Projects and lesson plans on data capture, programming logic, and more!
    • 40 + SAM software blocks, Easy integration with Lego, hands-on educator support, and easily adapts into homework



    First Place Winner: Shopping Carts to any of our Stores!

    Your Prize: $100 Shopping Cart (3) to any of our Stores!


    An additional $100 Shopping Cart (1) is available for a project that is deserving but doesn't win!

    Your Gift to Give: $100 Shopping Cart to any of our stores!



    Project14 was always meant to be an inclusive program.  Projects are done around themes so no matter what your skill set is you can participate.  Not everyone celebrates the Holidays the same way.  My holiday season will begin on December 14th when I go to see Star Wars:  The Last Jedi.    I imagine I will go and see it more than once with friends.  I'm watching it the first time alone, so I am not bothered by anyone.    I'm going to go straight from the office Holiday Party to the movie theater!


    If you haven't considered The Holiday Special competition before, please do so.  You can do a project around Star Wars or your favorite holiday tradition,  Christmas or Hanukkah if you are a traditionalist,  or even Festivus if you don't like all the commercial aspects of the holidays like Frank Constanza!



    Monthly Theme Doc:Project14 | Introducing Holiday Projects About You!


    Monthly Theme Poll: Poll to Decide February '18 Monthly Competition


    Winners Announcement: TBD


    Back to the Top


    Finally, in closing I would like to thank my previous manager kellyhensen and my current manager min for their support for what at times was a challenging undertaking;  I'd like to thank your community manager e14megan for her help promoting the new program on the newsletter and also adding all those badges manually (a painstaking effort that did not go unnoticed);  danzima who helps us in so many areas from creating content (including some content on Project14), to analytics, to filling in for whatever is asked of him; I'd like to thank the social media team led by Sarribas (the social media lead for what has become a social media driven program) as well as the outstanding social support provided by cstanton and plowe (both of whom are true professionals on the greatest social team on earth),  pchan who is the designer for her painstaking and tireless effort on all aspects of design and  randogless whose had her back as her backup,  summerella for being my bridge to the development team and handling all those annoying hydra tickets when a new competition starts, dudley.nelson , mcollinge , and oadesida for all their hard work behind the scenes on development, Christy-Admin the dev team's fearless leader, and dkibbey the power behind the curtain that makes all things possible.


    Most importantly,  I'd like to thank you!  This program is all about you!


    0 0

    12  Mechanical Engineering undergraduates from the National University of Singapore (NUS) are working with Farnell element14 to design and build flapping wing micro air vehicles (MAVs) with the aim of participating in two major design competitions in 2018. 'Team MechFly' hope to enter the Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition (SAFMC) in March and April of next year, followed by the Taiwan Innovative Unmanned Aircraft Design Competition (TIUADC) in April.


    Farnell element14's associated PLC Multicomp has provided tools to assist the team in the design and build process, including soldering equipment, cutting devices and essential components from industry leading brands such as Duratool and Tenma.


    We caught up with the team to find out more about the challenge and their association with Farnell element14 and Multicomp...


    Team Mechfly is supported by Farnell Multicomp


    How did Team MechFly come together?

    The flapping wing Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) project started in 2012, spearheaded by Dr Chan Woei Leong, a research scientist at Temasek Laboratories. The current team was formed in July 2017 by individuals who have an interest in air vehicles, with the objective of streamlining and enhancing the design of the MechFly from previous batches.

    Team MechFly currently consists of 11 undergraduates from the NUS Faculty of Engineering. We currently have 10 Mechanical Engineers working on the structure and flight and 1 Electrical Engineer working on the flight control of the project.


    Tell us about the team’s current project(s) – what are you hoping to achieve in the next 12 months?

    We will participate in the Taiwan Innovative Unmanned Aircraft Design Competition in Mar 2018 (tentatively) and then the Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition in early Apr 2018. In between, we will be involved in conducting flight tests, mastering flight control and building more workable prototypes.


    Why has the team decided to focus on Micro Air Vehicles?

    There has been an increasingly feverish interest in Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) in the fields of military defence and environmental sustainability. Environment scientists and military forces have steered the demand for smaller air vehicles with greater agility that can be easily transported and operated by control personnel. As compared to the conventional drones/fixed wing air vehicles, ornithopters can take one smaller sizes without compromising efficiency, allowing for greater versatility and agility.


    Tell us about the technology you’re using in the project – how was it selected and developed?


    We used a 3-axis CNC Milling Machine to fabricate most of the structural parts of the platform. Power tools and hand tools are also required for mechanical processes such as grinding and cutting of small parts.


    The on-board electronics, including the servos, speed controllers, and motors, are some of the smallest in the market. A single cell Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery is used to power the on-board electronics.


    Since our platform is tailless, it is inherently unstable. We chose to integrate Lisa/S Autopilot to actively stabilize the MAV. The Lisa/S Autopilot is the smallest full-fledge autopilot in the World. Hence, we selected it because it is the most compatible autopilot system available in the market for our small platform.


    What are some of the key practical applications of MAVs?

    Due to their size and agility, MAVs are among the most versatile air vehicles in the world. The agility of the vehicle allows users to inspect environments that are inaccessible by land vehicles or hazardous for on-site inspection. For environmental applications, MAVs could be utilised for pollutant samples collection, allowing for the cleanup process to be quicker and safer. The small size of MAV also allows this class of flight vehicle to be operated both indoors and outdoors.


    What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far?

    One of the key challenges was to design a wing that would generate sufficient lift for the MechFly platform. As prototypes from previous batches are starkly different from this years’, there were many new issues such as experimenting with wingspan and autopilot configurations. To overcome this challenge, our team is constantly acquainting ourselves with new programmes to better equip ourselves against unfamiliar problems.


    What are some of your biggest achievements to date?

    The prototype earlier this year was entered into the Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition (SAFMC) and the Taiwan Innovative Unmanned Aircraft Design Competition (TIUADC). This prototype earned the team several awards - including the Special Recognition Award in the SAFMC Unconventional Category, plus the Championship and 2nd Runner-Up in the TIUADC Flapping Wing Category. Our prototype was also featured in cyberpioneer, the official news website of the Singapore Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces.


    How did Farnell element14 become involved with the project?

    For the earlier projects in previous years, we had frequently purchased tools from Farnell element14 and were comfortable with the high quality and reliable tools. This year, we intend to continue our usage of Farnell element14’s tools and build a relationship with the company so that we may gain access to a wider network of manufacturers and consumers with similar interests.


    What does it mean to have support from a company like Farnell element14 on this project?

    Other than obtaining tools that will aid us in our fabrication process, gaining support from Farnell element14, a company with a broad network of manufacturers and customers, opens Team MechFly up to multiple channels of publicity towards like-minded enthusiasts. We hope to raise awareness and appreciation towards ornithopters, an uncommon mechanism of MAVs.


    A sample of the tools provided by Farnell Multicomp to Team MechFly


    Have any other partners or organisation supported this project? If so, how?

    As of October, Micron Wings, an Australia-based supplier of components and materials particularly for Micro Air Vehicles, had provided us some materials such as piano wires and carbon rods. These materials will be used in the fabrication of our wing. 1BitSquared, an American-based company, has offered us a discount during our purchase of their autopilots.


    In the near future, we aim to contact engineering companies to help offset the costs of competition fees and flight travel. Earlier this year, the team participated in SAFMC and TIUADC under the sponsorship of Airbus, and we will continue to seek their support in the coming years.


    What preparations will you undertake before entering the TIUADC and SAFMC challenges?

    In the period leading up to the competition, we will focus on equipping some of the members with the technical skills to become the pilot. On top of running flight tests, we will be involved in crafting reports and presentations to be pitched during the competition. We will also frame our competition strategies to tackle the criteria set by the Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition panel, which include themes and storylines.


    What are you hoping to gain from entering these challenges?

    For the project, one of our objectives is to promote the MechFly platform to Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) enthusiasts and to gain recognition from the community. As engineers, in the rigourous process of running analyses, fabrications and flight tests for the competitions, we hope to gain practical experience which cannot be replicated in a classroom setting. This practical experience is crucial for us to become versatile engineers who have good intuition of structures and mechanics.


    What do you feel are your greatest strengths as a team?

    Our team’s unique trait is the diversity in terms of field of study, level of experience and nationalities. Such diversity is rare in the field of unarmed air vehicles (UAV) and has empowered us to solve and discuss problems holistically.


    If our readers wish to follow your progress in undertaking this challenge, how can they do so?

    Our Facebook page is updated regularly with a variety of content including progress reports and related articles. That's the best way to stay in touch with us and gain an introduction to our work with MAVs.

    0 0

    For Project14 | 2017 Year in Review: Projects that Inspired a Program! we went through all the project competitions, with the exception of The Holiday Special , and picked a project that stood out.


    Obviously,  there is more than one project that could have been picked but to save us space we just picked one.


    We've added some of those and invite you to pick others that you want to see voted on!


    Now, you can vote on which project inspired you?

    0 0
  • 12/11/17--08:26: Capacitor issues
  • I'm mid-way through building the 2 Big Muff pedals and have hit upon a problem sourcing some ceramic capacitors. I've ordered a number of 50v caps off ebay and to date the caps that are delivered are physically too small. They will work obviously, but they won't look aesthetically correct on the board. The caps I have here have about a 2 or 3mm pitch between the pins, where it needs to be  around 8mm. the size of the capacitor ideally needs to be around the same size as the resistor so it at least look nice. If I was building these for myself (one of them is for me) i wouldn't worry, but one of these is for a professional musician so attention to detail is high. Can people look to see if you have any lying around?


    These capacitors are too small

    These capacitors are way too small!!!


    The capacitor values i'm after are:


    4 off 470pf

    2 off 0.004uf (4nf)

    2 off 0.012uf (12nf)


    The 0.012uf is an odd one, and i can't seem to find that value anywhere, the nearest i can find is 0.010uf which will probably work fine, but i'm trying to ensure that the values are as authentic to the original as possible. Also I've learned that the capacitor values do have an effect on the end result. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    0 0

    Perhaps this should also be subtitled "how do I get support?" because I have tried both phone support and email support with no luck today.  (I've waited over 5 hours for the promised call back.)

    On February 10, 2017 I installed a trial version of CircuitStudio. I used it until March 10th.  On March 10th I purchased a license. (I believe I did it from inside of CircuitStudio.)  The computer it was on recently started blue-screening so I set up a new computer to use.  Last week I attempted to install and activate my license for CircuitStudio, but was unable to.  When I log in, the Licenses page in CircuitStudio tells me that my subscription expired on March 10, 2017. (the same day I purchased it.)  My understanding is I was supposed to get 1 year of subscription and I should be able to re-install during that year.  Did I misunderstand?  Did I waste my money buying software that can't be re-installed on a new computer?

    CS was marketed as a "perpetual license" alternative to the now subscription-only Eagle, but if "Perpetual" means I can only use it as long as my current computer works, I will not be a happy customer.