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- Chris is traveling and thinking about his portalab once again. This may require a set of modular test equipment built into the case.
- Perhaps a “MIDI for control surfaces” for portable test equipment would be a good solution going forward?
- Dave’s intern, also named Dave, has been working out well. He has been using SolidWorks to design a case for a project. 3d design skills continue to be valuable in the marketplace.
- New CAD makers have been entering the market. Extremely well funded OnShape has a browser based CAD tool (similar to Upverter) that has been in development for 3 years. Perhaps this is the future?
- Chris has been learning Autodesk Fusion 360, also free to use for new folks
- Giving away student licenses seems like a no brainer. Dave’s intern learned Altium and Solidworks because it was free to students. Chris mentioned that small companies may struggle even giving away their software.
- Chris wrote about using Github and KiCad together. This continues to be a good tool combination.s
- The Arduino group has been embroiled in trademark legal issues. Read about it from Massimo here or from the court documents here.
- This has interesting implications in the (open) hardware industry as people/companies will likely:
- Get more paranoid about up front agreements.
- Innovate and collaborate less openly because of potential downsides.
- Mooooore consolidation in the electronics industry
- You can dream up new circuits…using psychedelics? Chris has used a floatation tank to think about control system problems.
Thanks to BusinessSarah for the Venn diagram picture
What should we call Dave’s assistant?
* Dave 2.0?
* Dave prime?
* Evil Dave?i
You may want to check, but at least in the US, those ‘student’ licenses are not valid for commercial production. And Dave, your work you are given the intern qualifies as ‘commercial production’…
Kris Steffens says
Awful show, Dave ranting about this Arduino cr@p pretty much all the time… where’s the electronics show? PLEEEEASEE. You used to have chip of the week and commenting on actual electronics news… Anyway, I can hear Dave saying “yes well mate go and hear some other show if you don’t like it…”
Steve Dalton says
+1 on the electronics, talking a bit of crap is ok at the start, but not the whole show!
Kris Steffens says
And Dave, PLEASE stop being so stingy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There are a few midi controllers, but if you are wanting to build your own, using an existing standard, look at making it a USB Joystick (using either a prebuilt controller or making one with an microcontroller)
Chris Gammell says
Ah, that’s an interesting idea. So is there a standard set of drivers that I could spec an input device to be like?
If a device uses the HID joystick device descriptor, it shouldn’t need any drivers that are not already in Linux, Windows, or MacOS. You can make a joystick using a Teensy. The default code for the Teensy supports 32 buttons, 6 axis, and 1 hat switch. There is an alternate joystick on the Teensy forum that supports 128 buttons, 6 axis, 17 sliders, and 4 hat switches.
Hah, was about to write my own reply, but you beat me to it 🙂
my comment before I read yours:
“knobs and buttons – there is standard, its called HID, you emulate keyboard (for buttons and encoders), if you need
analog you can add joypads. Teensy 2.0 is all you need to emulate keyboad + mouse + bunch of joypads all with one small board.”
Chris Gammell says
Ah, so something with discrete knob “steps” (don’t know else how to say it) should send one or more characters to indicated where it is on the encoder?
Assuming the software supports Joysticks, then if it has absolute positions you could set it as a slider. If it is an incremental encoder you could either set it as a slider in software, or use two buttons. If the software only has support for keyboard shortcuts, then using a absolute position encoder may be difficult.
encoders never tell you where they are, only direction and steps. The trick is to never lose count of the steps, even better trick is mapping velocity to rate of change (something Dave often complains when testing gear).
Look at your mouse, mouse wheel uses quadrature encoder, but all computer sees is “Button Wheel Up” and “Button Wheel Down” events.
in pure logic oscilloscope knob can be represented as a pair of up/down buttons. Everything on modern scope panel is discrete logic, there are no analog controls afaik (dont remember seeing any sliders) – everything can be emulated by a teensy pretending to be a keyboard, software just needs to be able to map a bunch of key presses to all of the front panel buttons/knobs (pretty much like every single PC game has a key binding menu).
One limitation might be rate of update, keyboard over USB is 125Hz, standard rotary encoder is 12 steps, so as long as you can limit yourself to <10 turns per second you will be fine 😛
There is one panel already build specifically for the same purpose
Frank Buss says
HID is a very flexible, but complicated, binary protocol, see http://www.usb.org/developers/hidpage/HID1_11.pdf
You create a binary hardware descriptor, which can even include physical units (see PDF page 49, page 39), many sensor definitions and how they are oriented etc. Then all sensors are packed according to the description to binary packets, which are sent over USB. The PC needs to parse the descriptor and extract the sensor data. I think it is even bit-packed. I don’t know any program which do use this, except for some pre-defined descriptors like keyboard or axis for joysticks. I guess that’s the reason the hackaday project sends normal keyboard events when you turn a knob, because any program can read the keyboard.
Would be easier to define your own protocol for a few device types, like incremental rotaray knob, absolute knob, slider and button, with one byte and another byte for the position or incremental update. Then one external USB device, where you can plug-in the knobs etc., each with a small PIC which sends it to the USB host wired (maybe emulating a Maxim 1-wire bus, which has the advantage that all connected devices can be enumerated, and you can use the knobs with every 1-wire master) or wireless over bluetooth.
Hey Chris, you might wanna check out VELLEMAN HPS140I HANDHELD POCKET SCOPE for your Portalab. Please also try to make the show bit more interesting.
Sir Cut says
An EPIC show again, this one topped last week by a million miles! LOL
Chris Gammell says
You know, we forgot to ask Chuck Peddle about his thoughts on trademark 🙂
ru4mj12 (@ru4mj12) says
Regarding Midi, there’s an interesting midi / arduino / firmata environment called Max (from Cycling74)
The TI online analog classroom looks great.. anyone know if there’s a forum for it?
Speaking of Bingo words, not Arudino but IOT, what do you guys think of the new Wolfram offering to allow you to upload you sensor data?
Not sure how it compares to current free kingpin.. data.sparkfun.com
Hi Chris & Dave
I miss the type of shows you used to do, when I learned about something new about electronics each week. I like the show when you have interesting guests to interview but the shows on alternating weeks are a lot two guys in a pub catching up.
I actually have listened to every show since the beginning and I have all of them on my MP3 player to listen to. I understand that you are both really very busy, but the shows often comes across as if you can’t wait to just get it over with.
Perhaps a slightly more structured format with some regular topics that you rotate through would be the show more in focus.
I look forward to your shows each week, bring back the old Chris and Dave!
Chris Gammell says
What kind of stuff would you guys like to hear about? What specifically about the old shows did you like that we should try to cover this time around.
We’re not the same guys we used to be, for better or worse.
Over the past 2 days I went back and listened to 6 shows, 2 each from 2011, 2012 and 2013. The biggest change I noticed was that you and Dave use to laugh a lot, it seemed like you both were having a lot fun doing the show. At the end of some shows you and Dave seemed surprised that the hour was already up and you hurried to each add 1 or 2 more topics before signing off.
I also noted that in earlier shows you both often referred to “the list” which seemed to be topics that you might cover during the show. There were many discussions about things that were submitted or sent in by listeners, and what I would call “the news” which were goings on in the tech world.
I personally miss topics like “chip of the week” , “wonky products”, or the latest Kick Starter project that seems doomed to fail.
You and Dave used to talk a lot more about what you each were doing and this adds a personal touch to the show and makes each of you more relatable.
Summing it all up, I would say that it seems that the tenor of the show has changed more than the content. Many of the shows during the last year come off as if it was the last thing you wanted to be doing.
I truly look forward to each weeks show and my comments are only meant to be constructive, not critical.
Dave Jones (@eevblog) says
We still have a list, it’s on Reddit, and we do still go through that most weeks if we get stuck for material throughout the show.. The show has always been and will always be “off-the-cuff” meaning we just talk about whatever based on wherever the conversation leads. We never have really followed any list of topics.
BTW, I get these kinds of comments all the time on the EEVblog that my show has “changed” from the “good old days”. So I went back and analysed 100 shows during my “golden age” according to some to 100 more modern shows, and you know what? my show wasn’t nearly as good or stuck to whatever topic they liked nearly as much as they remembered it. I have the data to prove it. And I’m willing to bet if I did the the same thing with the Amp Hour, you’d find something similar.
Some weeks we rant about one thing for half and hour, and it does feel like a bit of a drag at the end for whatever reason we didn’t “click” and “flow” that week. But other week we come out saying “that was a great show, it flew by” etc.
Try recording a show continuously every for nearly 5 years and you’ll know what I mean.
So whilst I appreciate your comments, I can’t help but think there is some confirmation bias at play here in you remembering what the show used be like. And yes, our style will naturally change with time too.
Sorry, but our show can’t be all things to all people. I’m sure there are people out there that would hate our show to be more segmented and regimented in the way you seems to like.
But thanks, we’ll take it as a feedback data point.
Lots of Burrito !!! 😀
Sorry for whining, but the trademark discussion really dragged on.
Love the show, keep it up.
Dave Jones (@eevblog) says
Sometimes we are on our game, sometimes we aren’t.
Justin Richards says
“the court documents here” link appears broken
Chris Gammell says
Working for me on multiple browsers, should be going to this page: https://www.unitedstatescourts.org/federal/mad/167131/
Steve Case says
Chris, I think the idea about the universal controller has legs. Take a look at the scope controls for the new Tek DPO70000SX. The DPO7AFP (Auxillary Front Panel). I like the idea of standardization but a joystick seems a bit clumsy. Scopes gotta have knobs!
Dave, See if you can get a DPO70000SX for a teardown. Or even a demo. Now that would be awesome.
Love the show, even the last one was pretty good. I suppose it’s tough to get a great guest like Chuck Peddle every week. Anyway – keep up the great work.
I count 70 buttons, so definitely doable with a teensy(+few shifters/io expanders) emulating a keyboard
The business and legal junk takes over most things these days (the only time TV news talks abut tech is during business/corporate merger/IPO stuff) and it does get boring but most of the episodes are very interesting. This episode just wasn’t one of them.
Speaking of MIDI, ever since the Bil Herd interview I’ve wished for a good interview with the legendary Dave Smith. http://www.davesmithinstruments.com/about/
I think Chris actually captured a few good points on the Arduino discussion, but one main point that a lot of technical/craftspeople who start their own businesses was missed. You should engage the lawyers up-front, not years later! I know from first-hand experience myself that this can be a very costly mistake, second only to failing to find and use a good accounting firm. If the Arduino guys had taken the time to form a partnership with terms fair to all, the issue would have never arisen. The laws we are taking about go back 100’s of years and have their basis in Torts, rooted in old English law. Italy’s laws were probably written in Latin originally! I feel this was the real lesson here. Just because you are smart does not mean you can figure-out the law and make the right moves in business without a lawyer.
Steve Dalton says
Oh Dave…. just shut up man….
Chris – you have the patience of a saint.
And Chris – going back to you comments in a few previous shows about dumb questions….. please don’t put yourself down and say that – they aren’t dumb, your humbleness and honesty is what makes you the better interviewer. Keep asking the dumb questions – some of us are thinking the same as you!
J. Call says
The Arduino trademark discussion almost went where I was hoping it would go. It seems that in electronics, when two sides go to court it is because their revenue source from hardware is declining. The hope is that the lawyers can squeeze a few more golden eggs out of the goose before it is cooked. Is Arduino in decline? Is the maker community moving on to newer and cooler tech?
Chris Kosmakos says
It appears that Arduino LLC does have the trademark in the US and is defending it because Arduino Srl is challenging the trademark with the US patent and tradmark office.
Apparently Arduino LLC applied for a US trademark in 2009 and was it was registered in 2011. But it is currently in “cancelation proceedings” filed by Arduino Srl.
Trademark info: http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=3931675&caseType=US_REGISTRATION_NO&searchType=statusSearch
Cancellation info: http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=92060077