Thursday, May 24, 2012

Australian Electronics – David Jones interviews Colin Mitchell

Welcome back

In this post I would like to share a series of interviews conducted by Dave Jones from eevblog.com. Dave interviews Colin Mitchell from Talking Electronics. Throughout the 1980s and onwards, Colin published a range of electronics magazines, tutorials and a plethora of electronics kits – of which many are still available today. Personally I was a great fan of the TE products, and sold many of his books through my past retail career with DSE. I hope you enjoy these interviews, and if not – stay tuned for upcoming articles.

Once again, thanks to Dave Jones and of course Colin Mitchell from Talking Electronics for their interview and various insights.

In the meanwhile have fun and keep checking into tronixstuff.com. Why not follow things on twitterGoogle+, subscribe  for email updates or RSS using the links on the right-hand column? And join our friendly Google Group – dedicated to the projects and related items on this website. Sign up – it’s free, helpful to each other –  and we can all learn something.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SMD Soldering made easier

Hooray – we’re back…

SMD (surface mount device) soldering to some people can seem scary and dangerous. And if done incorrectly, or in the wrong state of mind, and/or with the wrong equipment – it can be. Or like myself, you could be pretty bad at it. To make things easier, I’d like to point you in a few directions to find help and guidance if this technique is new to you. 

First up we have a new comic from Greg Peek and Dave Roberts from siliconfarmers.com, (written in a similar vein to the “Soldering is Easy” comic that was released in 2010) that is easy to read and makes sense. Here is the cover:

As you can see from the CC logo on the title page, the comic is in the public domain, so please print it out, email it, and generally distribute it far and wide. For more information about the authors see their website at siliconfarmers.com. I have also placed the files here at tronixstuff for you to download.

Next we have a detailed and nicely illustrated tutorial by Jon Oxer from freetronics.

Jon runs through the process of soldering with a toaster over, with great success. So head over and have a read.

For the first video tutorial we have the SMD episide of the series by David L. Jones at eevblog, well worth the time:

In the meanwhile have fun and keep checking into tronixstuff.com. Why not follow things on twitterGoogle+, subscribe  for email updates or RSS using the links on the right-hand column? And join our friendly Google Group – dedicated to the projects and related items on this website. Sign up – it’s free, helpful to each other –  and we can all learn something.

Monday, May 14, 2012

April 2012 Competition Results

April is well and truly over so time to announce the results of our April 2012 Competition!

The winner of the First Prize is Michael F from Germany who will receive a new Freetronics DMD – Dot Matrix Display as reviewed recently and used in Clock One:

The DMD consists of 16 rows of 32 LEDs that can run directly from an Arduino-compatible board, or at a much higher brightness using an external power supply. It is simple to program for yet a load of fun to use. Specifications include:

  • 32 x 16 high brightness Red LEDs (512 LEDs total) on a 10mm pitch
  • 5V operation
  • Viewable over 12 metres away
  • Tough plastic frame
  • Controller ICs on board, simple clocked data interface
  • Arduino compatible library, graphics functions and example support
  • Dimensions: 320(W) x 160(H) x 14(D)mm (30mm(D) including rear connectors)

DMDs are also available in blue, as shown below:

The winner of the Second Prize is Hendrik from Germany (!) who will receive one each of the eleven modules from the Freetronics Module/Sensor range, as reviewed recently:

With this range of modules you will be able to sense temperature, humidity, magnetic fields, light and sound pressure levels, sound and shock. Plus light up with the RGB LED, get more I/O with the expansion module, interface with the level shifter board, control high currents with the N-MOSFET, and power the lot with the tiny switch mode power supply. Available from Freetronics or a reseller near you.

For the curious, the questions and answers were:

  1. Name three HP calculators that use LED displays – There are many. Just scroll through the list available here.
  2. What does CPLD stand for? Complex programmable logic device. (Why CPLD? We were going to review some CPLD gear but it didn’t work out)
  3. In which year was Tektronix founded? 1946.
  4. Which company introduced the term “numitron”? RCA.
  5. Which company invented Bluetooth? Ericsson.

Thanks to Freetronics for the prizes!

In the meanwhile, follow things on twitterGoogle+, subscribe  for email updates or RSS using the links on the right-hand column, or join our Google Group – dedicated to the projects and related items on this website. Sign up – it’s free, helpful to each other –  and we can all learn something.