The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from. Andrew Tannenbaum
The Poles Are Open

Thanks to everyone who sent in their favorite tech jokes for last week's challenge. We have our selections ready for your judging. Just click below to enter the voting booth and either hit "Like" or "Don't Like" for each one. (It's OK if you like them all or don't like any of them.) The winner will get a fabulous prize from our stash. For the rest of you Cool Readers, well, you'll just have to enter the Workbench Challenge (see below) to get a shot at winning something!

Also, thanks and welcome back to ServoCity for making it happen this week.

That's it, Enjoy!
A High Voltage Halloween
A High Voltage Halloween
 
A powerful Van de Graaff generator can be a thing of wonder - producing both a number of strange looking and strange feeling effects - plus make for some hair-raising Halloween fun! This year when the trick-or-treaters reach your door, they may never be the same!

100 Amp DC Current Transformer
Magnetic Saturation and the 100 Amp DC Current Transformer
An Alternative to Using a Series Shunt

For most of us, measuring DC current means putting an ammeter or low resistance current shunt in the line. But now, you can build an adapter that can be used with your voltmeter and will measure 100 amps DC.

Mantis Robot Kit
Take your off-road excursions to the next level!

The bug-like chassis of the Mantis Rovers offer extreme A-arm style suspension and nearly 5" of independent wheel travel.

With 313 rpm ball-bearing precision planetary gearmotors, you'll have plenty of torque to turn the aggressive 5.4" offroad tires even when up against the toughest obstacles.

If you're looking for a rugged, versatile and powerful off-road robot, the Mantis™ kits will not disappoint - order yours today and get building!
 
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The WORKBENCH CHALLENGE 2015 Redux FAQs

Here are some of the most asked questions about the Workbench Challenge!

Is it hard?  No
Will there be prizes?  Yes
If I win, will I be famous?  Yes   (wait, define famous... then No)
What are my odds of winning?  Good  (Odds go down significantly if you don't enter)
What if I don't have a workbench?  That sucks for you, but you can still enter Part 1.
Does it cost money to enter?  No
What exactly is the Workbench Challenge? See below.

Get The Details
A simple NOR gate.
Understanding Digital Buffer, Gate, and Logic IC Circuits - Part 4
 
This time, we'll take a look at some practical digital NOR gate, EX-OR gate, and EX-NOR gate logic ICs.
 
  Read It Now!  
Lightning Screen
The Lightning Screen Project
 
Although it represents a principle of physics centuries old, anyone with a passion for lightning, high voltage phenomena, and electrical history will find this device to be an impressive performer.  
  
Read It Now!
A Simple Terminal
Smiley's Workshop 19 - A Simple Terminal
Serial Communications - Part 2
 
Previously, we learned about serial communications between a PC and an Arduino using C# or Visual Basic Express .NET. This time, we'll look at selecting a serial port, getting user input, and then we will expand on all this to build a simple terminal.

Read It Now!
Teardowns 
Book Pick Of The Week
From the Nuts & Volts Webstore
 
Teardowns: Learn How Electronics Work by Taking Them Apart

This one's by Nuts & Volts' own Bryan Bergeron, so you know it has to be good! Right?

Remember taking things apart as a kid just to see how they worked? Only they didn't quite go back together the same way and never actually worked the same again. Well here, Bryan takes his own stuff apart so you don't have to break yours and shows you what everything inside does, right down to the last resistor!  He'll also recommend some modifications and ways to use the parts for other things. It doesn't get any better than that!

Check It Out!
  • Learn about sensors and ICs from smoke detectors and motion-activated lights
  • Work with the LCD and strain gauge transducers in a digital scale
  • Discover how surge protectors, power conditioners, and UPS units function
  • Study thermal design techniques in compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Analyze the control systems in ultrasonic humidifiers and digital thermometers
  • Understand how op amps and power ICs work in a hi-fi stereo amplifier
  • Figure out how ultrasonic transducers work in a laser-guided measuring device
  • Explore electric guitar pickups, effects pedals, and tube amplifiers
If you're NOT a subscriber to Nuts & Volts, you should be! (If you like these articles)
If you like robots, then you should subscribe to our sister publication - SERVO Magazine!
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