Members meet RUKU

Paul, K1YBE, gave a presentation at last night’s meeting on a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program he developed in conjunction with UMass Dartmouth, to encourage young women to consider engineering degrees.

The ultimate goal is to capture the imagination of young people and encourage their future education choices, while illustrating some basic principals like teamwork, design trade offs, and continuous improvement.  All those “boring” things were wrapped up in a project that was interesting and challenging — building a robot that can solve a Rubik’s Cube puzzle.

Paul’s slideshow can be found by clicking here.

Allison Phillips Gives Presentation on Prototyping

Allison Phillips, a professional engineer, gave a walk through of the design, simulation, and production of simple circuits using free tools, during last nights NCRC meeting.

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Allison Phillips Presenting to NCRC Members

Allison used LT-Spice, a free circuit simulation tool, available from Linear Technology at:  http://www.linear.com/designtools/software/

For her PCB Prototypes, she used another free tool that is well integrated with the DigiKey parts catalog, called ExpressPCB.  This CAD software is used to capture a schematic and layout a PCB which is then produced in a few days by ExpressPCB (a set of 3 identical small boards costs $51, for example)

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Allison reviews Googled oscillator designs

Coincidentally, the February 2015 QST had an article on rapid prototyping:  “Make Homebrewed Look Factory Built”.  That article also described using ExpressPCB, as well as other companies to produce metal enclosures and attractive front-panels. (Reprinted with permission, February 2015 QST; copyright ARRL)

(Thanks to Dave Brown, KC1AAA, for the photographs)