Global online community element14 has been very busy lately implementing innovative new ways to help engineers stay one-step ahead—from dedicated hubs to aid communications in Thailand to development kits designed to help engineers bring products to market faster than ever before. Following are a few noteworthy additions to the element14 community:
- element14 has been ranked number one in the Heardable “Online Brand Benchmark Report: 30 Leading Brands in the Electronics Industry.”
- The SAM9 development kit is now available on the community—a full-featured evaluation board centered on Atmel’s ARM based AT91SAM9G45 processor, designed to provide developers with a feature-rich, development platform for ARM926 based embedded microprocessor design enabling shorter development cycles and significantly reducing time-to-market.
- To support communications while companies navigate the flooding crisis in Thailand, element14 has created a dedicated online space at Thailand Flooding which will act as a central repository for the electronics industry on the rapidly changing situation.
element14 News: Communications Support in Thailand, New Dev Kits - [Link]
Pachube service goes free! via Shigeru – [via]
We’re making the Pachube service free for all users. As of today there will only be one type of account. Every user will have unlimited datastreams, datapoint uploads and history as well as the option to create private feeds. We are setting a limit on the API request rate at 100 requests/minute. Current PRO users will see their rate limit go up from 40/minute to 100/minute. Current PREMIUM users will keep their current rate limit of 250 requests/minute.
…So, why go free? No, we haven’t decided to become a non-profit. No, we’re not just super-nice. What we are is ambitious. And having worked with and talked with many people in the Pachube community, we know that they’re ambitious too.
The “Internet of Things” is a big idea (though secretly many of us don’t actually like that term), and we want our community to lead the effort to define it. As devices continue to find their way onto the Internet, we want them to be able to take advantage of everything the Web has to offer. We want Pachube users to control their own data, build applications that we would never envision, and share with others as they see fit. This idea, as obviously correct as it sounds to us, is not inevitable. There are significant business and technical barriers to this vision.
By making the Pachube service free, we’re removing a small barrier today, and we’re committed to removing more barriers in the coming months. The Pachube service is not as easy to use as we want it to be. It still doesn’t do everything we want it to do. This is, of course, okay. That’s why our engineers come to work every day, sit at too-small IKEA desks and code their asses off. Pachube will continue to get simpler, better and more capable. Our intention is that many of these new capabilities will be free. Some of them won’t. We hope that you’ll want to pay for the stuff we decide to charge for.
Pachube service goes free - [Link]
Here’s a (hopefully) complete list of entries in the Open 7400 Competition – Winners to be announced tomorrow – [via]
- Nixie tube clock
- Moving dot running light
- Propeddle software defined 6502 computer
- 2 bits divider/multiplier
- Telephone Intercom from TTL
- Pen holder
- Water level indicator
- 74LS00 based full wave rectifier
- PCPU, homebrew minicomputer
- Capacitive Sensing, the Hard Way
- Sychnometro Hz
- Pure TTL clock
- New earth time (NET) digital clock
- Discrete servo driver
- Discrete logic POV clock
- Money counter
- Masochist’s video card
- Animated LED Christmas sign
- Analog comparator
- SPI LCD backpack
- Hex KeyPad
- TTL Tilt Sensor
- Lights out game
- TV pattern generator
- Four digit RPN calculator
- CMOS digital clock
- 7400-based USB prank
- The Computer
- Illogical Dickson Doubler
- 7400 Logic E-reader
- Charge pump voltage inverter
- Safer alarm
- Police lights and siren for a toy car
- Discrete logic preamp
- AM radio
- TimeBonder 275
- TTL based range finder
- Digital die (74XX Family)
- Discrete logic amplifier
- FM modulation and demodulation system
- Beeping down counter
- AM radio transmitter
- LED clock
- Peltier temperature controller
- Capacitance meter
- CD4007-based voice changer
- Accelerometer controlled racing game
- Drum machine
- Etch-a-Sketch toy
- Game of Life with CMOS logic
- Heat generator
- Wheely bin night reminder
- Horologium Romanum
- 8-Channel, 6 -MSPS USB logic analyzer
- Discrete Logic Drum machine
- C-IR capture device
- Flickering Jack-o’-lantern
- Homemade 7400
- Ternary base-3 electronics using 74HC4052
- 80M direct conversion receiver
- Logic PLL based switch-mode power supply
- Silly bunch of unbounced switches
- Bad driver feedback 40×16 LED display
- Nixie tube PLL synthesizer for retro style radio
- RTC with gate IC
element14 today unveiled The Drawer, an innovative new content storage tool for design engineers that allows users to capture, collect and store information, parts and content as they navigate through the element14 community and the knode.
A recent TFI Global Study revealed several pain points that engineers face during the design process—increasing time pressures, incomplete/inaccurate information from relevant sources, and difficulty comparing options. And, the Drawer addresses many of these needs, giving engineers an easy way to store and compare relevant news, videos and product information from across the entire element14 community. A video of The Drawer in action is available here.
The full press release is below. I believe this story would be of real interest to your readers and I’d be happy to arrange a discussion with Jeff Jussel, senior director of global technology marketing at element14, to discuss The Drawer and other design solutions, and their impact on the industry.
New Collection & Storage Feature on the element14 knode - [Link]
Independent Distributor of Electronic Components
Superior Quality – Prompt Delivery – Excellent Service
StealthComponents.com is a leading electronic components distributor located in North Carolina providing stock and source services of standard long-lead-time, allocated, hard-to-find, and obsolete electronic components for domestic and international customers. They focuses on Long Lead Time, Low Availability electronic parts with improved lead time.
Stealth’s mission is to be electronic manufacturers’ first choice for an independent distributor by offering superior quality products, providing fast / on-time delivery and ensuring all customers are supported with excellent customer service.
- Quality - Offer only quality components and provide high quality customer satisfaction
- Delivery – Deliver when you need it. Delivering your components is the most important part of placing an order.
- Service – Stealth’s commitment to its customers is second only to the quality of products they provide.
- Over 15 years’ experience
- Global network of trusted suppliers
- Personalized customer service to allow for a quick response to your needs
- Availability and immediate delivery for over 600 manufacturers
- 100% quality inspection conducted for all parts
- ISO certified third-party testing and reports provided for selected components
- Parts guarantee – if our parts fail, we’ll replace them*
Stealth continually stocks and sources over 600 manufacturers. Vast array of products and manufacturers mean they most likely will have what customers need.
“A Day in the Life of an Engineer”
element14 invites electronics designers to share their ingenuity and inspire peers
October 18, 2011 – London, element14, Premier Farnell’s innovative online engineering community, announces the launch of “A Day in the Life of an Engineer”, an online video challenge, open to electronics design engineers and enthusiasts worldwide until January 31, 2012.
“At element14, electronics innovation is at the core of our business by bringing everything together for the designer in one site, from solutions and services, to components and a collaborative engineering community of experts, peers and a wide range of technical information,” said Dianne Kibbey, Global Head of Community and eProcurement, Premier Farnell.
“Anyone in the electronics field faces a daunting task today with the ever increasing pressure to do everything faster and better. As we’ve seen time and again, electronics innovation can happen in someone’s garage, a lab, at the office or in a classroom – but it is all about the creativity that can happen in this wide-ranging field. This competition gives us an opportunity to better understand those challenges and to showcase how electronic designers find innovative solutions to everyday problems, or even pose their own challenge on what they think needs to be solved in the future.”
Entrants are invited to “tell their story” by submitting a video blog to element14.com/videochallenge. The choice of topic can be anything from a video blog about a designer’s workbench, to highlighting how a problem was solved or just taking a camera into work and talking about daily challenges around the office. It can even be about what people think the next big innovation needs to be in the electronics industry.
The videos will be judged on their creativity by a panel of element14 peers and the winner will receive an iPad2. In addition, one winner will be randomly selected each week to receive a selection of element14 branded merchandise from that week’s entrants, which include those who comment, vote or post videos.
Challenge details and examples of video entries can be seen at element14.com/videochallenge
A Day in the Life of an Engineer - [Link]
As a worldwide leader in soldering equipment, Weller tools are built to last. And that’s why we want to find the oldest Weller soldering tool that still works.
All you need to do to enter is email us a picture of your oldest working Weller soldering tool. Feel free to send us the background story of your tool too.
Email your entry, along with name and shipping address to email@example.com
Entries will be accepted October 1, 2011 – December 31, 2011. The winner will be announced on our blog as well as our Facebook page and Twitter page on Monday, January 16, 2012. The winner will also be contacted via email.
Oldest Working Weller Soldering Tool Contest - [Link]
Open Hardware Hub. From the about page… [via]
Open Hardware Hub is the first and only place where you can upload, share, and collaborate on open source hardware creations. Our goal is to become the number one place on the internet for people to learn, design, and build together. We want to provide a compelling community where builders around the world can work together on whatever they have a passion for. Sharing knowledge is vital to making our world a better place, and by connecting intelligent builders, we hope to fuel the fires of innovation.
Open Hardware Hub - [Link]
Following up the 7400 Logic Competition announcement, we are proud to announce that will be one of the sponsors of this competition. We give away:
- uOLED-32028-P1T graphics display module + P1-EB expansion module + uDrive-USB-G1 SD module + uUSB-CE5 module + 64MB microSD card + adapter
- BOOK: Programming & Customizing PICmicro Microcontrollers – Myke Predko
- BOOK: Switchmode Power Supply Handbook (McGraw-Hill) – Keith Billings
- BOOK: Practical Electronics: A Self-Teaching Guide (Wiley Self-Teaching Guides) – Ralph Morrison
- BOOK: Switching Power Supply Design – Abraham Pressman
- BOOK: PIC: Your Personal Introductory Course, Second Edition – John Morton
- BOOK: PIC in Practice – David W Smith
- BOOK: Power Supplies Switching Regulators, Inverters, and Converters – Irving Gottlieb
- BOOK: PICmicro Microcontroller Pocket Reference – Myke Predko
- BOOK: Simplified Design of Switching Power Supplies – John Lenk
Open 7400 Logic Competition – We are a sponsor! - [Link]
If you want to host an open source hardware project today, you have to cobble together wikis, forums, online polls, blogs, and online file storage to share your materials. Then you have to send the link (or links) to your “system” to the people you already know who might be interested in participating. For a person who just wants to start designing and building cool stuff all that pre-work is a giant pain in the you-know-what.
So is it any wonder that most makers interested in open sourcing their designs tend to skip that step, do all the work themselves and then just release the final designs on the web when they get around to it?
There has to be a better way.
In order for open source hardware to become as prevelant and infulential in the hardware community as FOSS is in the software community we need a way to integrate the required services into a single system, as well as provide a destination for users looking for open source hardware projects to build or to extend to get involved in the community.
Enter Open Design Engine.
If it takes a forge to develop open source software, then you need an engine to develop open source hardware. Introducing Open Design Engine (ODE). ODE is a web based engineering project management system created to facilitate the design and development of openly licensed hardware projects. ODE provides a critical service to the growing open source hardware community, similar to the role Source Forge played in the early growth of open source software.
ODE is based on the open source software Redmine and is licensed under the GNU General Public License v2 (GPL). ODE is being distributed in a similar manner to WordPress. Which means there will be a version available for download that users can install on their own servers (like http://wordpress.org) and a hosted version where users can register accounts and host projects (like http://wordpress.com).
Version 0.1 of the site is up and running at https://opendesignengine.net, but before user accounts can be made available to the public, V0.2 must be completed.
Open Hardware Needs a SourceForge of its Own by Mach 30 @ Kickstarter - [Link]