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26 Jul 2011

Circuitbee: Sharing Electronic schematics online [via] .. Ben Delarre shared his story with Make about the origins and future of Circuitbee, a service that allows you to embed schematics on websites…

Have you ever designed an electronic schematic then wanted to share it on your blog? Or wanted help improving your circuit on a forum? Ever peered at a tiny/massive image of a circuit on a website and wondered why on earth there wasn’t a better alternative?

We have. Back in 2010 we were working on our first major electronics project, the Illuminatrix, an array of 256 RGB LEDs that were to show animations created by people all over the world at the Burning Man festival. It involved using a lot of technology we’d never used before, so we weren’t quite sure about our circuit designs.

We tried posting on blogs and forums trying to explain our schematic and the problems we were having with it. This proved more difficult than we expected: describing a circuit in words is really hard, so we tried to post an image of our schematic instead, and our schematic project files.

This involved a lot of messing around with capturing JPEGs of the schematic and uploading all the project’s symbol libraries and schematic files. But of course people willing to help didn’t necessarily have the right software, or the JPEG was too small to read usefully, or too large to post on many of the forums. We thought that there must be a better way to share schematics, to discuss them, and to show them to people while writing about them. It turned out there wasn’t anything out there that would help us do this, so being the ambitious fools that we are we set out to create it.

CircuitBee is like YouTube for your circuit schematics. You upload your Eagle or KiCAD schematics, we crunch the numbers and create an online embeddable version of your schematic. You can pan and zoom, and mouse over components in your circuits for more details .

We’re still at an early alpha stage right now, so you’ll have to forgive any hiccups we have going forward. But you can get started immediately by visiting Circuitbee and signing up for an account. Then simply upload your schematic files, any associated library files, and let our servers do the hard work. Within a few minutes your schematic should be ready to embed on your site or forum.

Eventually we plan to add lots more useful features like downloading original schematic files, searching for components within schematics and adding notes and annotations to your circuits. We want to make it easier for all of us to communicate our circuit design ideas and to help each other improve our designs.

We hope to make CircuitBee into the most useful service for hobby electronics enthusiasts, so we’re going to keep the service free for as long as we can. We’ll need your help to reach our goals though, so please let us know what you think of the site, what needs improving and what else we can do to make learning about electronics and sharing your designs easier than ever before

Circuitbee: Sharing Electronic schematics online - [Link]

21 Jul 2011

A competition is running on element14 community. The “Summer of Design” competition revolves around programming an accelerometer and MCU based development board to find an innovative application.

We are giving away 100 free XL_Star boards to the first 100 entrants to the competition, and offering up a prize bundle as follows:

  • -A trip to a Freescale Competency Centre
  • -CadSoft EAGLE licenses (either for the individual, or a whole department if they are a student)
  • -£250 Farnell/Newark vouchers
  • -Inclusion in our “road-tests”

The competition is open to anyone over the age of 18 and runs until September.

Summer of Design competition – see your design excel, win amazing prizes! - [Link]

17 Jul 2011

element14, the leading online design engineer community, today announced a worldwide distribution agreement with Micrium, a global RTOS leader and a top choice for embedded design engineers. This new agreement is designed to enhance the value proposition of both element14 and its parent company, Premier Farnell, as they continue developing and growing the already extensive supplier group with additional leading technology suppliers to satisfy the evolving requirements of customers worldwide.

This supplier agreement is one of the many enhancements planned for the recently announced element14 knode, the industry’s first tool of its kind designed to help engineers accelerate design and development, and bring products to market faster than ever before. Micrium will extend its product and marketing support to collaborate on new product information through the element14 knode, allowing engineers to easily access Micrium’s increasingly preferred commercial RTOS components to streamline the design process even further.

element14 Announces Partnership with RTOS Leader Micrium - [Link]

30 Jun 2011

Celebrating its second birthday this month, element14 has grown leaps and bounds, essentially becoming the Facebook for engineers. Over the last quarter alone, more than 500K people visited the online community, spending over 65K hours researching, collaborating and communicating with fellow engineers.

Driving element14 growth are creative strategies like:

  • Celebrity Participation – OK, not Brad and Angelina, but geek alternatives like Ben and Jeri
  • The industry’s first online design hub – the element14 knode – designed to help engineers accelerate design and development and bring products to market faster than ever before
  • RoadTests – Allowing members to actually try out the latest new products for free and share their reviews with other engineers
  • Focused sub-groups – scores of technical forums ranging from LEDs, robotics, FPGAs, engineering student design teams, etc.

These elements along with the community’s newest design offering – the element14 knode – make its birthday celebration that much sweeter.  Beginning this week through July 28, new and current registered members will have the opportunity to win one of 214 special gifts by participating online.

Facebook for Engineers – element14 – Turns 2! - [Link]

8 Jun 2011

Premier Farnell’s wave of innovation continues with the launch of the element14 knode – the world’s first interactive design automation hub

Through a single interface the element14 knode gives the design engineer immediate access to a world of electronic design solutions.  Automating the creation of project design from initial concept to full realisation, increasing productivity and accelerating time to market as another unique aspect of the element14 global engineering community

7th June 2011 – London, in line with the Group’s focus on providing engineering design solutions, driving business to the web and growth in emerging markets, Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), today announced the launch of the element14 knode, a revolutionary online design platform that is exclusively focused on the needs of electronic design engineers. Unveiled today at the Design Automation Conference, San Diego, CA, the element14 knode provides one interface to a world of engineering design solutions.  It supports the complete design flow from concept to final production and is unique in enabling engineers to research, design, develop and prototype manufacture in a single, intelligent environment.  Products get to market more quickly, and by automating the configuration of product design flow solutions, valuable engineering resource can be increasingly focused on application design and IP creation.

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19 May 2011

element14 today announced three semi-finalists in “The Great Global Hackerspace Challenge,” a two-month competition which challenged 27 teams to build a project to help advance technology in education. Throughout the competition, each team updated their progress on the element14 community to collaborate with peers and electronics enthusiasts.

The three teams will present their projects at Maker Faire Bay Area on May 22 to an esteemed panel of judges, including Ben Heck, Jeri Ellsworth and Mitch Altman, who will choose a grand prize winner.

The full release is below for your reference. Also, additional details on each of the semi-finalist teams and projects are available at http://www.element14.com/hackerspace including a “thank you” video saluting the participants.

element14 announces hackerspace challenge semi-finalists – [Link]

19 May 2011

totallycoolpix.com writes:

We’ve all got them. Computers, mobiel phones, LCD screens and other electronic gadgets. Their great to us while we use them, but what happens to them when they become obsolete? Well, they go into a process called Urban Mining.

When electronics become obsolete – [Link]

10 May 2011

element14 offers PCB Fabrication Service to streamline design cycle through partnership with Pentalogix

Service provides design engineers and enthusiasts with instant quotes on element14’s global community and quick delivery of manufactured boards

LONDON– MAY 9, 2011 To further support the design process from concept to prototype, element14, the first collaborative engineering community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts, today announced a partnership with leading printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer Pentalogix, to offer its PCB Fabrication Service on element14’s electronics community. This cost-effective service, available at www.element14.com/pcbservices further streamlines the design cycle for engineers and electronics enthusiasts, offering instant, customized quotes and fast, high-quality board delivery for prototype PCB implementation.

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7 May 2011

dangerousprototypes.com writes:

43Oh has announced that entry to their May 2011 contest is open. This is an opportunity for you to show off what you can do with the MSP430. The winner will be determined based upon poll results of members of the 43Oh.com forum. Check out the 43Oh contest page for full details, rules and prizes.

43Oh project of the month contest - [Link]

4 May 2011

InMojo – Make. Share. Live. Open Source Hardware.… [via]

InMojo is a community market, collaboration, and project support site for Open Source Hardware (OSHW) and DIY makers. We built the site to help individual makers with the less-than-fun side of sharing their ideas (manufacturing, licensing, selling, etc.) and leave them to the part they like: designing hardware.

InMojo was launched in the Fall of 2010 by 3 very geeky graduate students who felt that there wasn’t anywhere they and their Open Source Hardware making friends could easily share their products, projects, and hardware ideas.

Open Source Hardware (OSHW) is about being a part of the creation process and having the ability to personalize everything in your world to meet your individual needs. It’s an alternative to mass production, top-down design, and to proprietary products and technology.

By opening the design process we can pool our resources to build more complex projects than we could ever build alone, and it gives makers the information they need to hack and customize at will.

InMojo is here to help everyone who wants to make, share, design, or customize their own products. It for hackers and makers. Innovators and hobbyists. Problem solvers and visionaries. Artists and engineers. Renovators and revolutionaries. (And of course geeky grad students.)

Open Source Hardware is a lifestyle where products are manufactured according to our personal situation and immediate context, reacting to the dynamic situations of our lives and environment.
With Open Source Hardware, you get exactly what you need, because you are part of the design process. You’re no longer just a consumer, you are part of the creation process. No matter whether you assemble a kit, or whether you redesign existing product to match your own needs, you’re supporting the growing community of open source makers.

InMojo’s mission is to promote the user-led innovation and design-on-demand process that is at the core of Open Source Hardware.

Make. Share. Live. Open Source Hardware.

InMojo – Make. Share. Live. Open Source Hardware – [Link]





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