Bad Mistakes and Good Feedback

I am a learner. I love robotics, but I’m still fumbling my way through it, learning as much as I can and doing my best to pass that knowledge on. That’s why it wasn’t really surprising to me when my Motor Controllers for Cheap Robots tutorial on Instructables started getting some comments that pointed out how badly designed my circuit was. What was surprising was how helpful that feedback proved to be!

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Recapping the Week: June 7-June 13

It’s been a gorgeous (and desperately hot) summer out here so far, and we can’t think of a better way to spend an oppressively hot day than to switch on fleet of oscillating fans, pile on some ice packs, and enjoy some of the latest events and projects that Digilent’s blog has to offer! We’ve also been harnessing the seemingly infinite energy of a few new interns to aid us in the prep for ASEE, so be sure to check back for updates on the conference later next week.

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Building Logic Gates with Transistors

This is a continuation of previous blogs about logic gates. Earlier you read about logic gates and their functions. Then you read about how to code logic gates in Verilog, VHDL, and C. Now its time to learn about creating logic gates with transistors. After reading all of these posts you’ll have learned about logic gate theory, coding logic gates in both hardware and software, and the physical hardware design of logic gates.

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The Analog Parts Kit

The Analog Parts Kit contains a large selection of components perfect for creating a wide variety of useful circuits & devices. Featuring Analog Devices components, the kit includes transistors, resistors, capacitors, diodes, sensors, and variety of useful ICs, including op amps, converters, and regulators. Finally, the kit also comes with an assortment of lead wires, a solderless breadboard, and a screwdriver.

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How to Choose a Resistor for Your Design

Take a look at a circuit board and chances are you’re going to find a resistor or two. Most boards today use surface-mount device (SMD) technology, so the components are almost too small to see sometimes, but they are on there, I promise. How do engineers decide which resistors to use in the design? Sometimes it depends on how you want that portion of the circuit to perform, as in the case of an op-amp. Other times it’s to prevent too much current from passing through a given point in a circuit, which is why they are often called current-limiting resistors. Maybe you want a simple way to divide the voltage or current. The reality is that there are numerous ways to use resistors, and oftentimes, the defining the resistor value is up to you.

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