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October 18, 2012
News - Hardware Hump Day: The Os…
about 5 days ago
While I fully understand the comment, please respect that CHILDREN use this website as a resource for classwork and labwork. Even though they probably use the vulgar language on the playground, as educators we need to maintain civility, morality, and set a good example for them. Thank you
News - Adventures in Science: Ho…
about 6 days ago
I believe you omitted a step in the ZERO PROCEDURE, one should always clean the outside measurement jaws prior to performing a zero. A lint free cloth should be used. This is a step we teach our students here at the college and its often overlooked, a bit of pocket lint or debris from the workbench can easily give you incorrect measurements.
News - T³: A makerspace in your…
about 4 months ago
Let me add, finding money to create and sustain a maker space in a middle school is a significant hurdle in many California schools. The current level of funding does not allow for many luxuries were it not for the efforts of parents via the PTA/PTO organizations many California elementary, middle, and high schools would not have some of the few extras they enjoy today. I can tell you that even at the community college level (where I currently sit) finding money to buy some Aruduino/Redboard SIK and 3d Printers took years to achieve. We have a TECHSHOP locally but the price structure of their facility and classes in well out of reach for a significant portion of the student population.
I think that the educational process in most countries and especially here in the USA is degree oriented, go to school, get the paper, get out. My personal educational meandering has always (50 years post high school) been about acquiring knowledge, information, and skills. I found that despite having a college major of engineering that most of my classes were about everything else. I never did find a major in “jack of all trades” but somehow I muddled through some formal education but my real education came primarily from books, experiments, and observation. I worked with some extremely gifted scientists and engineers in my many years with IBM Research and Development, but I often found it was difficult for them to implement their ideas as their core focus did not allow them the opportunity to learn many practical subjects. There is nothing wrong with, nor any problem with having “other” skills. Following one’s bliss makes, I think, for a happier life.
News - Friday Product Post: Dili…
about 7 months ago
I have used the ANALOG DISCOVERY (Ver1) for some time as my bench scope, have been very happy with it. We have used it for a portion of our Circuits Analysis class at the college level with good results. With a reasonable laptop, a small box of parts, an ARDUINO, and some jumper wires a nice portable laboratory is easy to carry around for education, hacking, or just amusement. More versatile than my Fluke Scopeometer, my NI PCMCIA scope and DMM, and many more functions.
News - T³: Etching your own cir…
about 9 months ago
The need for protective equipment is well worth paying attention to. I also suggest use in a WELL ventilated area, protect the surface you are working on if indoors. Wear only clothes you do not mind having permanent stains on. Ferric Chloride and Cupric Chloride are both corrosive chemicals treat them with the utmost respect and dispose the used chemistry in a proper manner. Having used both in modestly high volumes and seen the damage they did to commercial grade circuit board processing equipment, I suggest you think safe and work safe.
News - T³: Laminating Circuits
about 10 months ago
Please keep in mind that it is now possible to get some reasonably good flat conductors, I even have a nice flat USB cable. When I need to laminate way too thick objects my laminator has a nice reverse switch so that I can bond part of the sheet and back it out, then bond another edge, etc…. for some objects I force air into the packet to act as a pillow, for others I use a small vacuum pump to remove the air to make it more conformant. I also have an attachment for my soldering iron that has a flat disc at the end (10mm) that allows for spot lamination.
about 2 years ago
Could someone verify the DC and AC current ranges, the above is not quite the same as the USER MANUAL, thank you
News - Can Soldering Help Therap…
about 2 years ago
Someone asked when is the last time a soldering iron spit in my face, well that would be YESTERDAY shortly after posting my comment. Soldering a 12 AWG wire into a terminal and boiling flux bubble shot out some little particles of hot solder. And as to the comment about safety glasses in Europe, having spent some time in Germany and Hungary teaching and repairing equipment, there is most assuredly a REQUIREMENT for safety glasses AND positive ventilation of the fumes, AND a requirement to deal with the dross and other ruminant’s of the soldering process. When we teach students here at our college, safety glasses are mandatory for almost every activity, including powering up uncovered circuit boards, its no fun pulling chunks of blow up capacitors out of one’s face. Accidents happen, its far easier to work safely than to recover from an accident AND fill out all the resulting paperwork especially in the workplace (can you spell OSHA?)
Seriously, staged or not, soldering iron in hand ONLY after safety glasses over eyes. And in my labs no hand or wrist jewelry allowed! It is ALWAYS important when educating to set the correct example, ALWAYS.
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