Monthly Archives: July, 2014

Digilent Makerspace
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Now that another week has passed, it is time for a more recent MakerSpace update! A few weeks ago, James wrote a blog post about one of the 3D printers that we were entrusted with. In addition to the 3D Touch, we were also charged with a MakerBot Replicator 2. Having two printers on loan, Larissa decided that it was about time for a training session on the basic use and care of the 3D printer. Two Fridays ago, we had an introductory class on the new 3D printers, and last Friday was a class on basic 3D design.

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Guide
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Operational amplifiers (op-amps) are everywhere, in everything, and can do just about anything. Well, okay, maybe not quite, but there is no doubt that they are one of the most useful ICs ever to hit the market.

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Guide
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Are you wanting to build something that requires DC power but changing batteries would either be inconvenient or just plain annoying? Here’s a simple how-to for converting AC mains voltage to rectified and regulated DC voltage.

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Digilent Makerspace
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If you have been keeping up with our blog, you know that we are currently working on starting our MakerSpace and opening it up to the public. So far we have mainly been working on the content part of the MakerSpace by holding the networking class and most recently the first installment in the 3D printing class.

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Trade Shows
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Digilent is happy to announce that we’re at HI-TEC from July 23-24. The High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC) is being held at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency from July 21-24 and Digilent’s booth (number 711) is in the exhibit hall. Come find us there!

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Digilent Makerspace
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On August 20th, Microchip will be holding the Microchip Masters Conference in Phoenix, AZ. We are extremely proud that one of our own, Keith Vogel, will be holding a class there. Last Friday at our MakerSpace, we had a dry run of his class for Digilent employees and a community guest.

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Microcontrollers
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I’m a big fan of the chipKIT WF32. It’s a powerful little board with a WiFi card and SD card reader built in, but there’s a lot more to this board than meets the eye. There are a ton of communication lines, external interrupts, output compare pins, and more hidden in all those GPIO pins, but how do you tell what is what? That’s where the WF32 pin diagram comes in. I’ve compiled, color coded, and listed what each pin is capable of.

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Digilent Makerspace
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Many of you have likely done some soldering before, but if you are like me, you may not be familiar with all the different soldering iron tips that are out there. I know that I used to be under the impression that there were only two types of soldering iron tips and only one useful type–the one currently on the soldering iron.

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Guide
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Earlier, I made a post on how a shift register is operated in practice. But what exactly can a shift register be used for and how does it work? As always, the answer will depend on what you are trying to do (yes, we do have to play by reality’s rules).

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Our Team
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Have you ever wondered who is in charge of maintaining our website and making sure it has a polished, Digilent-branded look? Then its time to meet the web team.

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STEM Culture
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This week, I have some book recommendations! Helping children, especially young girls, embrace their potential empowers a whole generation. Here are some books that I and a few others around the office have enjoyed and find to be good examples.

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Digilent Makerspace
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Recently, Digilent was entrusted with a Bits From Bytes 3D printer to use as we wish, with the stipulation that we take good care of it. A number of people here are versed in proper operation and maintenance of 3D printers, so the offer was gladly accepted.

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Our Team
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A decent portion of the Digilent blog content is produced by marketing interns and maintained by our blog editor and web staff . As awesome as our projects are and as important as the Learn site is, an equally as important part of the Digilent family is the engineering interns. The engineering interns primarily work on support for you, our customers. They write documentation, libraries, and FPGA cores.

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STEM Culture
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Welcome to this week’s installment of the Women in STEM series. Today, I’ll be showing some women from the past who stand as amazing role models not just for those interested in STEM, but also for those who are interested in strong and brilliant human beings. I asked the marketing team at Digilent about women in STEM who had inspired them and why, and I got some great examples. I’ll include the reasons my coworkers and I think of them as role models (in captions) and a brief bio of each woman.

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Digilent Makerspace
2

A few weeks ago, we found ourselves in the Digilent Makerspace tinkering with some fantastic LED strips, the WS2811 / WS2812. If you haven’t played with these yet, you really ought to. I grew up loving colored lights. Some kids threw the baseball, while I made amusing shapes on a Lite-Brite and begged to put Christmas lights in my window in mid-September. That being said, you can see how giving a weirdo like me a strip of individually-controlled LEDs, each supporting 24-bit color, would be like giving matches to a madman.

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