For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life , please press three. - Alice Kahn
 
Will knowledge of electronics fundamentals eventually be replaced by microcontroller programming?
 
"Children and younger adults often have an easier time picking up microcontrollers, relative to someone with years of experience with analog circuits." - Bryan Bergeron

One of the observations we often hear from readers is that newcomers are able to use platforms like the Arduino to enter the electronics hobby without ever mastering the fundamentals.
  1. Do you think that the "Art" of circuit design will fade and eventually be lost as focus shifts to programmable devices as entry points into the field?
  2. If you made the transition from discrete components to programmable devices, what were the barriers that had to be overcome? 

Congratulations
to Rick Davis, the winner of our last newsletter's storytelling prize. Like those that came before him, Rick will be getting an R Cube Talking Alarm Clock kit. It's fun to build and does some pretty cool stuff. 

And ExpressPCB brings it all to you once again!

That's it, Enjoy! 
Can't Get There From Here
My most frequent email inquiry is some version of "I've been doing transistors and resistors for 30 years, how do I get into microcontrollers?" The readers that send in these inquiries invariably conclude that they simply can't get there from where they stand. That may be true, but it comes down to a matter of perspective.

Read It Now!
A Solar Energy Story 
A SOLAR ENERGY STORY - 
Design, Installation, and Performance
 
The Solar Revolution is here whether we like it or not. I was pulled into the fray, but not because of any altruistic desire to go green. I wanted to stop being at the mercy of my electric utility and get some "free" energy by becoming my own electric power plant.

The AC Volt
THE AC VOLT
 
In the US, the DC volt is legally defined by the Josephson array - a super conducting quantum device with a highly repeatable output voltage. Banks of standard cells and temperature-stabilized zener diode references are used by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) to calibrate DC meters for scientific and industrial customers. So how is the AC volt defined?

Read It Now!
Low Cost, Quick Turnaround Prototyping!
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Smiley_s Workshop
Smiley's Workshop 46
C Programming * Hardware * Projects


This time, we'll continue even deeper into pointers and finish up the hardware project. Note that this episode's theory and lab sections are only loosely related, much like broccoli and coconut pie. Eat your healthy theory first, then you can have your tasty lab for dessert.

  Read It Now!  
DC Voltage Converter Circuits
DC VOLTAGE CONVERTER CIRCUITS

In many modern battery-powered electronic circuits, a DC supply is needed that is of either a larger voltage value than that of the main battery, or is of reverse polarity. In such cases, the required voltages may be generated via one or more special DC voltage converter circuits.   

Hacking Electronics_ An Illustrated DIY Guide for Makers and Hobbyists
Book Pick Of The Week
From the Nuts & Volts Webstore
 
Hacking Electronics:        
An Illustrated DIY Guide for Makers and Hobbyists

Who needs an electrical engineering degree? This intuitive guide shows how to wire, disassemble, tweak, and re-purpose everyday devices quickly and easily. Packed with full-color illustrations, photos, and diagrams, Hacking Electronics teaches by doing (our favorite method) - each topic features fun, easy-to-follow projects. Hack sensors, accelerometers, remote controllers, ultrasonic range finders, motors, stereo equipment, microphones, and FM transmitters.
   
Check It Out!
  • Safely solder, join wires, and connect switches
  • Identify components and read schematic diagrams
  • Understand the how and why of electronics theory
  • Work with transistors, LEDs, and laser diode modules
  • Power your devices with AC supplies, batteries, or solar panels
  • Get up and running on Arduino boards and pre-made modules
  • Use sensors to detect everything from noxious gas to acceleration
  • Build and modify audio amps, microphones, and transmitters
  • Fix gadgets and scavenge useful parts from dead equipment
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