As I promised in Engineering Power Adventures I have evaluated a kit for budding engineers from age 8 and up. The kit was kindly provided by the fine folks at Elenco. It is their Snap Circuits 300 Experiments kit. Actually you can probably do more than 300 experiments with the kit.
I was discussing my ECN article Some Tools I Use with the guys on the TinyCAD list and they suggested that I look into FreePCB for PCB layout. I did and it looks like a wonderful tool (I have just downloaded it and haven't had a chance to use it yet).
First let me say that the design of the XP15K power supply kit by Elenco is a very functional design. It does what it is supposed to do. It is the engineer behind the soldering iron (me) that needs some adjustment.
I belong to a vast underground of secret parts lovers. To wit the 365 pF air variable capacitor. Singles and duals. With ball bearing shafts and vernier control dials. I get all jiggy thinking about them and the smell of newly machined phenolic.
Operating an engineering shop on an extreme budget isn't easy. I have to watch my pennies. Let alone nickels. So here is what I use for schematic capture. TinyCAD. They don't have a lot of parts in their library but, making parts is easy. And the price is right.
The folks from GreenArrays were kind enough to send me a GA144 evaluation board. I have had it for about a month. I have taken my time because I was also rebuilding my shop while evaluating the board. And building a little gadget for testing. So now down to work.
Can some one please tell me the point of making our electrical grid more hackable than it already is? And please. Don't tell me about "security". Security is only a delaying tactic. Some one who wants to can figure out how to defeat it.
There are no doubt some diehards (like me) out there who have been playing around with the GreenArrays Software Suite (free download), but with all the things you need to learn (it seems like all at once) it is pretty tough sledding.
Green Arrays in conjunction with Schmart Board announced a hobbyist board for the Green Arrays GA144 chip. Things have progressed some since that announcement was made. You can now buy the mounting PC board and the GreenArrays GA144 chip together...
GreenArrays, the makers of the GA144 chip, announces an OEM partnership with Schmart Board that will allow hobbyists and experimenters to get in on the fun provided by playing around with a chip with 144 cores that can do around 90 billion instructions per second...
Voltage dividers that divide by 10, or 100, or 1,000 are tough with standard resistors. The numbers do not come out exactly with standard resistors. By adding one resistor to the divider it is possible to get the division ratio exact (not counting resistor tolerances).
Biotechnology firm Joule Unlimited may have come up with a game changer in the quest for economically viable biofuels. Joule Unlimited received a patent for “a proprietary organism” – a genetically engineered cyanobacterium that produces liquid hydrocarbons: diesel fuel, jet fuel and gasoline.
IBM has announced a really fast power transistor. Of course power is a relative thing. At the frequencies involved power is a relative thing. I'd say they would be doing good if they could get between 1 and 10 watts out of the device.
Fusion is the power source of the future, goes the old saw. And for fifty years, it has always been "fifty years in the future." That may be changing with a number of new small fusion projects in the works or doing actual experiments.
In my last post I discussed Forth as a language. A language that is based on a virtual machine. What if that virtual machine was turned into a real machine? Good things. For one operations can be done in parallel. Returns can be automatically initiated at the end of an instruction cycle.
Since I wrote Neighborhood Development Package on November 11, 2006, I have been thinking about the pieces needed to make the system work 24/7. The full article is below but let me give you a short review. My idea was to electrify a neighborhood in order to educate, communicate, and pump water.