Mark, I notice that 1 of the 17 faces on the front page is a woman’s and the rest are men’s. I also assume, based on reading you for the past decade, that does not reflect your own values: can you help change that?
Interesting. Over time I’ve realized that I have a lot of tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years, and a few projects I’ve always felt were a little too fun to keep to myself.
The monkey is nice. However, I’d be concerned about the inductive kickback from the relay, and suggest adding a diode. Or dumping the relay and using a N-FET, to get rid of a mechanical part.
Also, the circuit could be built around a 555 timer chip. Would not be amenable to future software enhancements, though. (Maybe even a RC circuit with a transistor could do the job? This opens a potentially educational question of how many variants of a triggered timer can be designed, possibly given just a corpse of an old TV for parts, and with their individual merits.)
Marching desk! Marching desk!!
What’s the business model? There is no mention of where the money that flows into the bank accounts of the employees of Foundry comes from.
Can you explain how it’s different from sites like http://diy.org?
It looks like maybe it’s aimed at showing off more professional products, than the “amateur” DIY projects of diy.org, maybe?
It seems to be mostly products that are actually in production, or getting Kickstarted. So is it mostly for advertising products?
Also, you describe it as a place to “collaborate with other makers” — can you describe this more? So far it seems to be just “here’s this thing I made.”
I ran the relay 10,000 times and it didn’t burn out.
I am not smart enough to design circuits with a 555 timer. That’s why I like Arduino.
DIY.org is a wonderful site for kids. You earn merit badges for completing projects.
Stage 1 of Foundry is creating a portfolio of makers and projects. The other stages are coming soon!
Possibly the protection diodes on the ATmega pins are strong enough for the relay’s coil. (But it is generally strongly inadvisable to rely on them, the die area for the ESD networks is generally rather small which limits the amount of energy they can handle.)
You are, you just don’t know it because you didn’t try yet. It’s not that difficult. (It’s however much more limiting once you get past the simple timers. Software allows much wider variety of tricks without further circuitry. So in a way it has its merits. But when I was young, we did not have these fancy microcontrollers and SoCs. We had to salvage transistors from old TVs, in snow, uphill both ways.)
Random thought. Arduino can be quite a good help for low-speed analog circuits. You have six (eight?) ADC inputs. They can serve as pretty good voltmeters. The readout speed is about 10 kHz top (I think you could push it higher for the cost of accuracy), multiplexing the inputs gives you a bit over 1 kHz of samplerate for all the channels. Output to serial port, line by line. Time-tag the lines (whether in the Arduino code itself or in the host computer after receiving). Process the files with e,g. gnuplot, or get something to handle them in real time.
Voila - 6 (8?) channel oscilloscope/datalogger for free, albeit with lousy input bandwidth. Lets you see the behavior of the circuit in real time - you can watch the inputs, the outputs, the voltage on the timing capacitor in the 555 circuit…, could make it all easier to understand.
A trick I am using often. When the output reporting rate is slower than the sampling rate (e.g. kilohertz of sampling, but once per second reports), report three variables instead of one: the arithmetic average (sum of measurements divided by measurement count), and the lowest and highest value encountered at that measuring period. Tells you a lot more about the signal than just a single value.
Thanks for this info, Shadduck!
I’ve created a virtual breadboard for teaching students the basics of electronics (although my own ability at designing circuits is poor). Also, the company that I work for once long ago created a “broken calculator” game, where you had to create a calculation to get at some answer, but many of the useful buttons on your calculator were broken – forcing you to come up with a creative solution given constraints.
I love the idea of a “low-stock of components” breadboard simulator.
From the trivial (how do you create a 250Ω resistance when all you have is this box of 1kΩ resistors?) to designing a timed trigger, it seems like it would serve as a great trainer in practical electronics, as well as a lateral-thinking game.
These things are fun!
It’s a common set of problems when you are either broke, or sourcing parts is unviable at the moment (no amount of money can buy you a component when all shops are close and the night is young, or you are dislocated at some remote job site and your only company is the problem you’re there for).
Also, a variant for bonus points: how much can you afford to stray from the prescribed component values. How do you make a 470 ohm one from 1k ones (make 500 ohm and check if you can shrug off the difference, the resistors can commonly have 10% tolerance anyway).
And where it is better to use precision parts and where you can afford throwing there a bottom-of-a-box junk and compensate in software.
Sometimes the solution can be even outside of the field of electronics (“put there somebody with a cellphone and a switch” can save a lot of electronics for a one-time test).
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