Monthly Archives: September 2020

OSHWA 2020-2022 Board Nominations Open!

via Open Source Hardware Association

OSHWA is looking for 5 new faces to join the board of directors for the Open Source Hardware Association. The nominee form is, as always, for self-nominations only. Please fill out the nominee form (deactivated 11:59PM ET on Oct. 10th) to become a nominee or forward the link to someone you want to nominate. Do not fill out the form for someone else. The purpose of this form is to tell voting members why you want to serve on the OSHWA board. We will be publish the nominees and their answers on Oct 12th. Board members hold a 2-year position. Once board members have been chosen by the community, the board will appoint a President, VP, and Secretary. Board responsibilities include fundraising, advising on goals and direction, and carry out compliance with the organizations purposes and bylaws. See the board member agreement to get a sense of the responsibilities. Board members are expected to adhere to the board attendance policy and come prepared having read the board packet. Board members are expected to spend 5-10 hours of time per month on OSHWA. Nominees can submit questions to Nominations will be open until Oct. 10th.

Member voting will take place Oct. 19th-23rd. Want to vote in the election? Become a member! Please note that only individuals can vote, corporate members cannot.

Light[s]well is a voice-controlled custom lighting installation

via Arduino Blog

Designed by Brian Harms of NSTRMNT, Light[s]well is a beautifully crafted 4’x8′ light installation for a triple-height living room that’s voice-responsive thanks to the Arduino Alexa skill.

Light[s]well is constructed out of 80/20 extrusions and fasteners, with individually addressable LED strips embedded in the channels of the structure. 74 sheets of laser-cut cardstock make up the undulating light-diffusing wave pattern.

According to Harms, 30 LEDs per meter strips were used to give each gap in the cardstock two LEDs per structural metal beam, for a total of six LEDs per gap. The LEDs are controlled by a MKR1000 (via a logic level shifter) along with the Arduino IoT Cloud.

More details and images of the incredible project can be found on Harms’ NSTRMNT website.

Got Technical Support?

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Our Technical Support forum moderators are here to support SparkFun customers, and customers who have purchased SparkFun products from our official distributors. We are here to troubleshoot product issues and test both hardware and software problems against SparkFun's internal and external documentation to resolve issues for our customers. Technical Support moderators have the ability to issue tickets associated with refunds and replacements in addition to performing repairs and conducting tests on returned products.

Once you have created your topic on the SparkFun forums, a moderator will review the topic shortly and will respond to the post in about three business days if it fits our criteria for eligibility. Keep in mind: We like to build robots, but we aren't robots – we have a limited staff of technical assistance professionals so mistakes may happen. Please be kind.

The SparkFun Forums

In some instances where a moderator cannot answer your question we may redirect you to other resources not associated with SparkFun to try and point you in the right direction.

Hardware testing on returns takes up to 10 business days after the product(s) have been received into SparkFun's facility. Due to COVID-19, several SparkFun policies have changed as a result and hardware testing may take up to 15 business days at this time.

When working on issues within a specific tutorial, we encourage you to review the “troubleshooting” section for quick pointers on how to overcome some common issues. There is also a quick link to the appropriate forum category to post topics associated with the product, in most cases.

If you are working with a code issue while using code written by a SparkFun employee within a SparkFun product tutorial, please consider submitting a GitHub issue ticket associated with that product, including the problem you are running into. SparkFun does not offer assistance on custom modifications to our existing code, nor does SparkFun offer assistance for code that was not written by a current SparkFun employee. Consider posting in the General Development Platforms discussion category if you would like to see if the community can assist you under these circumstances, or consider posting on other forums such as the Arduino forums if the code is Arduino IDE related.

There are three primary categories that topics fall into on the SparkFun forums:

Topics moderators can assist with (response time - three estimated business days)

  • Product(s) appear to have a defect in hardware.
  • Product(s) do not work as advertised per our hook-up guide or other documentation on the SparkFun website product page.
  • Code written by a SparkFun employee and published in an official SparkFun product tutorial or hook-up guide is throwing compile errors.
  • Simple questions about a SparkFun product that are re-searchable using information available on the SparkFun website.
  • Simple questions about the compatibility of several SparkFun products for a project (be sure to post in the projects category).

Topics with issues which may require an electrical engineer to review and reply (esponse time is dependent on issue - some topics may not receive a response)

  • Topics that state a specific fundamental advertised feature of a product is not working, indicating a design flaw or issue in software.
  • Topics that ask about features of a chip not mentioned within the hook-up guide of the product.
  • Topics that discuss discrepancies in electrical characteristics associated with components or PCB design related issues within a SparkFun product.

Topics that require no response from a SparkFun employee

  • Topics where a customer's question(s) or issues(s) were answered correctly by another forum user within the community.
  • All topics within any forum category other than "SparkFun products" or "SparkFun Education."
  • Topics that are not relevant to the forum category (these topics will be moved to the appropriate category in most cases).
  • Topics that pertain specifically to a third party IDE, SDK, or other environments not owned or developed by SparkFun.
  • Topics that specifically pertain to code not written by SparkFun.

Keep in mind that there are exceptions, which are handled on a case-by-case basis and may fall into or deviate from the above examples.

Moderators may need some personal information to assist further in some circumstances, such as Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) processes, and we may ask for this information via private messages. A technical support representative will never ask you to share personal information publicly on the SparkFun forums. Always double check and make sure the individual who is private messaging you is a verified SparkFun moderator or employee. The best way to tell is by the red coloring in the name and the "SFE-TS-Moderator" title underneath.

If you have feedback on anything associated with the forums including functionality, spelling errors, response time from moderators, etc., please private message TS-Feedback and we will look into it as soon as possible.

For more information on how to use phpBB3 and the SparkFun forums, check out the phpBB3 user guide.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this blog. We look forward to assisting you on the SparkFun forums soon!

comments | comment feed

Winner, Name that Ware August 2020

via Hacking – bunnie's blog

Well, we didn’t get an ID on the chip, but I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed flipping through the NASA reports that dzjc linked. I feel like these are unique windows into that short period of time when we didn’t have enough computer power to design, analyze, or even document computers, but we still tried to make computers nonetheless. I appreciate the intangible thoughtfulness that is often found in reports where every diagram is hand-drawn and every page rendered via typewriter. Thanks for the links, dzjc! email me to claim your prize.

Raspberry Pi reaches more schools in rural Togo

via Raspberry Pi

We’ve been following the work of Dominique Laloux since he first got in touch with us in May 2013 ahead of leaving to spend a year in Togo. 75% of teachers in the region where he would be working had never used a computer before 2012, so he saw an opportunity to introduce Raspberry Pi and get some training set up.

We were so pleased to receive another update this year about Dominique and his Togolese team’s work. This has grown to become INITIC, a non-profit organisation that works to install low cost, low power consumption, low maintenance computer rooms in rural schools in Togo. The idea for the acronym came from the organisation’s focus on the INItiation of young people to ICT (TIC in French).

Visit the INTIC website to learn more

The story so far

INITIC’s first computer room was installed in Tokpli, Togo, way back in 2012. It was a small room (see the photo on the left below) donated by an agricultural association and renovated by a team of villagers.

Fast forward to 2018, and INTIC had secured its own building (photo on the right above). It has a dedicated a Raspberry Pi Room, as well as a multipurpose room and another small technical room. Young people from local schools, as well as those in neighbouring villages, have access to the facilities.

The first dedicated Raspberry Pi Room in Togo was at the Collège (secondary school) in the town of Kuma Adamé. It was equipped with 21 first-generation Raspberry Pis, which stood up impressively against humid and dusty conditions.

In 2019, Kpodzi High School also got its own Raspberry Pi Room, equipped with 22 Raspberry Pi workstations. Once the projector, laser printer, and scanners are in place, the space will also be used for electronics, Arduino, and programming workshops.

What’s the latest?

Ready for the unveiling…

Now we find ourselves in 2020 and INTIC is still growing. Young people in the bountiful, but inaccessible, village of Danyi Dzogbégan now have access to 20 Raspberry Pi workstations (plus one for the teacher). They have been using them for learning since January this year.

We can’t wait to see what Dominique and his team have up their sleeve next. You can help INTIC reach more young people in rural Togo by donating computer equipment, by helping teachers get lesson materials together, or through a volunteer stay at one of their facilities. Find out more here.

The post Raspberry Pi reaches more schools in rural Togo appeared first on Raspberry Pi.