We’re pleased to announce that we now have two books available in our store and for today only for you Sunday makers who are reading our site you can get 10% off either (or both) books. Just use the code “book10″ (no quotes) on checkout and 10% off these great Arduino and Electronics books. The 10% off deal is for today, Sunday 1/31/2010 only.
Make: Electronics (Charles Platt) – 1st print
We checked out this book before putting it in the shop, its geared towards ultimate-beginners and teaches electronics starting from basic core of analog to some digital to microcontrollers. You’ll learn tools, prototyping soldering techniques, transistors, 555′s, etc. while completing useful projects. A nice and tidy intro! This book is a good accompaniment to learning microcontrollers/Arduino in that it fills the necessary electronics theory and background. Read more…
A user in the customer forums had a problem with multiplexing analog signals, they seemed to be very noisy and inconsistent. Turns out it was because the sensors are high impedance. This means that if there is capacitance on the ADC line or on any sort of sample&hold capacitor, it may take a while for it to charge up. Read these threads for some great analysis! View here and here…
I recently picked up an Arduino starter kit from Adafruit Industries. For those unfamiliar with the Arduino, it is a popular open-source processor and development kit for hobbyists. Starter kits are available from lots of places for about $50 or so. I wrote a quick little program for it to automatically tap the left or right buttons for you — depending on how far left or right you turn a potentiometer. This helps makes the game more tolerable, in my opinion. It’s not a cure all though — Checkered Flag also suffers from a pretty low framerate. Anyhow if anybody has an Arduino or decides to pick one up, here’s the program in it’s entirety — along a picture of my modified controller (with Arduino attached). The program could probably use a bit more tweaking — however I’ve probably taken it as far as I’m going to….
The TechShop San Francisco Building at 5th and Howard Streets (Signage Added Digitally). TechShop San Francisco will be located at 926 Howard Street, just 1 block from the Moscone Center, 3 blocks from the Powell Street BART station, and 6 blocks from Union Square. The building is 15,500 square feet and includes a private parking lot. TechShop San Francisco will feature all the tools and equipment that members enjoy at other TechShop locations, including:
Epilog Helix 60-Watt Laser Cutters
Tormach CNC Milling Machines
Stratasys 3D Printer
NextEngine 3D Scanner
Formech 600 24″ x 24″ Vacuum Forming System
Formech Heat Strip Bending System
Morgan Industries Injection Molding System
Janome Sewing Machines
Janome Serger Sewing Machine
Computer-Controlled 52″ Vinyl Cutter
Powder Coating System
CNC Plasma Cutter, 4′ x 8′
MIG Welders (Steel)
TIG Welders (Steel and Aluminum)
Oxy Aceylene Welders and Cutters
Hand-Held Plasma Cutter
Sheet Metal Spot Welder
Sheet Metal Brake, 16 ga x 50″
Rotary Sheet Metal Punch
Sheet Metal Corner Notcher
English Wheel and Planishing Hammer
Sheet Metal Shear, 16 ga x 50″
Sheet Metal Roller, 16 ga x 50″
Automotove Bay with Tools and Equipment
Metal Grinders and Sanders
Metal Chop Saw
Metal Horizontal Band Saw
Metal Vertical Band Saw
Computer Controlled Embroidery Sewing Machine
Silkscreen Printing Equipment
Electronics Testing and Soldering Equipment
Epson R1900 13″ x 19″ Achival Printer with Continuous Inking System
ShopBot 5′ x 9′ CNC Wood Router System
SawStop Professional Cabinet Table Saw
Wood Band Saw
Wood Scroll Saws
Metal Lathes, 14″ x 40″
Vertical Milling Machines with DRO and Power Feed
Granite Surface Plate with Digital Height Gauges
Lots of Machine Shop Accessories and Tooling
Lots of Fast Computer Workstations with 2D and 3D Design Software
Come and get’em! Arduino Starter Packs back in stock! Heard about Arduino but not sure how to start? Want to learn how to work with electronics and microcontrollers but need a little help?
You’ve come to the right place! This bundle is designed to get you started quickly and easily on your path of learning electronics. Once you’ve received your starter pack you can follow the introductory tutorials here on our site, designed for everyone, even people with little or no electronics and programming experience. The starter pack has everything you need (except tools) for all lessons. We think this is the best Arduino starter pack out there at this price! AND it’s made with love
Adafruit Industries is pleased to announce we will be laser etching and engraving the Apple iPad once the units start shipping. The backing of the devices are etchable, just like the Macbooks, Kindles and other devices we etch here. We’ll also be etching the outside leather cases. We’ll post up photos once we crank out the first dozen or so
Video dinner chat with Instructables! Having dinner over 3k miles away, we used Skype video (mac) – worked well, iChat seems a little better if both folks have macs, but we’re still testing. We’re still working on broadcasting Skype LIVE while we do our weekly chats, a little clunky – stay tuned.
Maker Faire is a two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It’s for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make things. So much to see, you will need 2 days to see it all! Bay Area – May 22nd and 23rd, 2010, San Mateo County Event Center. San Mateo, Calif.
A garage renaissance is spilling over into such phenomena as the booming Maker Faires and local “hackerspaces.” Peer production, open source, crowdsourcing, user-generated content — all these digital trends have begun to play out in the world of atoms, too. The Web was just the proof of concept. Now the revolution hits the real world. In short, atoms are the new bits.
Let me tell you my own story. Three years ago, out on a run, I started thinking about how cheap gyroscope sensors were getting. What could you do with them? For starters, I realized, you could turn a radio-controlled model airplane into an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone. It turned out that there were plenty of commercial autopilot units you could buy, all based on this principle, but the more I looked into them, the worse they appeared. They were expensive ($800 to $5,000), hard to use, and proprietary. It was clear that this was a market desperate for competition and democratization — Moore’s law was at work, making all the components dirt cheap. The hardware for a good autopilot shouldn’t cost more than $300, even including a healthy profit. Everything else was intellectual property, and it seemed the time had come to open that up, trading high margins for open innovation.
To pursue this project, I started DIY Drones, a community site, and found and began working with some kindred spirits, led by Jordi Muñoz, then a 21-year-old high school graduate from Mexico living in Riverside, California. Muñoz was self-taught — with world-class skills in embedded electronics and aeronautics. Jordi turned me on to Arduino, and together we designed an autonomous blimp controller and then an aircraft autopilot board.
We designed the boards the way all electronics tinkerers do, with parts bought from online shops, wired together on prototyping breadboards. Once it worked on the breadboard, we laid out the schematic diagrams with CadSoft Eagle and started designing it as a custom printed circuit board (PCB). Each time we had a design that looked good onscreen, we’d upload it to a commercial PCB fab, and a couple of weeks later, samples would arrive at our door. We’d solder on the components, try them out, and then fix our errors and otherwise make improvements for the next version.
What the country needs most now is not more government stimulus, but more stimulation. We need to get millions of American kids, not just the geniuses, excited about innovation and entrepreneurship again. We need to make 2010 what Obama should have made 2009: the year of innovation, the year of making our pie bigger, the year of “Start-Up America.”
Obama should bring together the country’s leading innovators and ask them: “What legislation, what tax incentives, do we need right now to replicate you all a million times over” — and make that his No. 1 priority. Inspiring, reviving and empowering Start-up America is his moon shot. And to reignite his youth movement, he should make sure every American kid knows about two programs that he has already endorsed: The first is National Lab Day. Introduced last November by a coalition of educators and science and engineering associations, Lab Day aims to inspire a wave of future innovators, by pairing veteran scientists and engineers with students in grades K-12 to inspire thousands of hands-on science projects around the country. Any teacher in America, explains the entrepreneur Jack Hidary, the chairman of N.L.D., can go to the Web site NationalLabDay.org and enter the science project he or she is interested in teaching, or get an idea for one. N.L.D. will match teachers with volunteer scientists and engineers in their areas for mentoring.
Phil was in the meeting in NYC with MAKE and the National Lab Day team – we’re really excited by all of this! National Lab day for many will be the National day of making