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'[AD] Join me in kindling a fire in the hearts of y'
2011\07\12@130421 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
I created a free kit that kids can put together to make a pressure
sensitive switch using common household items.  It was a big hit at a
mini maker faire, and now I'm bringing it to the Detroit Maker Faire.
Each person that wants one can assemble it there or take it home and
make it for free.

Unfortunately I'm not in a position to fund this large an effort, and
am asking others to consider supporting it as well.

http://kck.st/r0eRoK

Watch the 5 minute video, and read about the project and the rewards
for pledging your support at the above link.

For those who haven't heard of KickStarter, I set a minimum goal, and
as long as that goal is met, all the people who pledged money have
their credit cards charged the amount they pledged, and after some
fees that money makes my project a reality.

If the minimum funding isn't reached, you are charged nothing

Further, most pledge levels have a reward, so in addition to helping
pay for the free kits I'll be passing out, you'll also receive the
gift corresponding to your pledge.

You can donate as little as one dollar, and if you want to support it
in other ways, please pass it around to your friends, family, and
other technical groups.

I had a blast helping kids and adults build these at the Ann Arbor
Mini Maker faire - they were amazed that you could build something so
interesting and functional out of materials they already had at home.

I hope you will join me in sparking that same interest in electronics
that you developed years ago in thousands of others at the Detroit
Maker Faire.

Thanks for your consideration!

-Ada

2011\07\12@145641 by Peter Johansson

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On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 1:04 PM, M. Adam Davis <spam_OUTstienmanTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:

> I created a free kit that kids can put together to make a pressure
> sensitive switch using common household items.  It was a big hit at a
> mini maker faire, and now I'm bringing it to the Detroit Maker Faire.
> Each person that wants one can assemble it there or take it home and
> make it for free.

That's really clever, but I am having trouble figuring out how the
materials cost for each switch is $1.00 even when materials are
sourced in low volume.

Also, does the switch conduct when pressed in a location where the
fabric is not cut?  My gut feeling says that it won't, but that could
be wrong...

In any case, I went to my recycle bin and pulled out some cardboard
and wired up a 4 x 4 row/column keypad in about 15 minutes.  Works
great!  I can definitely see expanding this to much larger switch
networks.  ;-)

-p.

2011\07\12@154532 by Denny Esterline

picon face
On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:04 AM, M. Adam Davis <.....stienmanKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:

> I created a free kit that kids can put together to make a pressure
> sensitive switch using common household items.  It was a big hit at a
> mini maker faire, and now I'm bringing it to the Detroit Maker Faire.
> Each person that wants one can assemble it there or take it home and
> make it for free.
>
> Unfortunately I'm not in a position to fund this large an effort, and
> am asking others to consider supporting it as well.
>
> http://kck.st/r0eRoK
>
> Watch the 5 minute video, and read about the project and the rewards
> for pledging your support at the above link.
>
>
Well, the idea isn't exactly new - I believe it was in one of the Forrest
Mimms books...

But I do think it's a _great_ idea for kids, and likely to be a big hit as a
"make-n-take".

One obvious (at least to me) thought - why not build them smaller? If you
downsized to "sandwich bag" size, I bet you could cut costs by 75% or more
while still being large enough for kids to handle.

-Denn

2011\07\12@231036 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 2:56 PM, Peter Johansson <rockets4kidsspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
> That's really clever, but I am having trouble figuring out how the
> materials cost for each switch is $1.00 even when materials are
> sourced in low volume.

They cost less than $1, but the nature of the fundraising is that
we'll be spending about half the money on the rewards, and half the
money on the kits (not to mention the 10% lost to credit card
processing fees and the kickstarter fees).

I actually expect to take more than 1.5 kits per dollar pledged to the
faire, but we'll have to see how things turn out.

> Also, does the switch conduct when pressed in a location where the
> fabric is not cut?  My gut feeling says that it won't, but that could
> be wrong...

No, but the cardstock we are using forms enough of a bridge that you
can make a lattice out of the felt, and the switch will operate with
only one square inch of force anywhere on the surface.  It really
depends on how you want to cut it, and in fact that's one of the
explorations we'll be making with the kids to help them understand how
the switch works.

> In any case, I went to my recycle bin and pulled out some cardboard
> and wired up a 4 x 4 row/column keypad in about 15 minutes.  Works
> great!  I can definitely see expanding this to much larger switch
> networks.  ;-)

Yeah, making a matrix switch, or even four switches with a common is
something we want to put in the instructions for advanced makers.
Little kids love lights, sounds, and motors, so making a pad that has
four regions, each of which do something different, will appeal to
them.

On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM, Denny Esterline <.....desterlineKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
> Well, the idea isn't exactly new - I believe it was in one of the Forrest
> Mimms books...

Yeah, it's been around for a very, very long time. I just remember
being a kid, trying to make a sensor pad with aluminum foil so I could
tell when my siblings entered my room, and failing miserably because
the aluminum deformed, but wouldn't spring back.  Tearing apart a
commercial pressure switch led to the aha - back the aluminum foil
with cardstock or similar, to provide the return spring force.

What amazed me was how resilient these pads end up being, as simple as they are.

> But I do think it's a _great_ idea for kids, and likely to be a big hit as a
> "make-n-take".

My experience is that they love it.  Kids and adults alike really
enjoyed making them.

> One obvious (at least to me) thought - why not build them smaller? If you
> downsized to "sandwich bag" size, I bet you could cut costs by 75% or more
> while still being large enough for kids to handle.

I wanted to give them something they could use under door mats, and
for larger physical activity games, similar to dance dance revolution.
They are familiar with DDR, and so telling them that this is similar
to how DDR pads are made, and you can use it the same way makes it
easier for them to relate to.

As it is, each pad costs on the order of $0.50 cents in raw materials,
and cost more in time and effort to kit, though we are essentially
donating that (not insignificant) time for free.

Every additional step, such as cutting parts, results in taking more
time to assemble the kits.  Lastly, I needed a large area for
sponsorship messages.

Thanks for all your questions and support

2011\07\13@032038 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 13/07/2011 04:10, M. Adam Davis wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I don't think this is any big deal. It's just a switch.

Unless it's for 5 year olds

2011\07\13@041343 by Oli Glaser

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face
On 13/07/2011 08:20, Michael Watterson wrote:
> I don't think this is any big deal. It's just a switch.
>
> Unless it's for 5 year olds.

I may be wrong, but I thought young children is exactly what this thing is aimed at?
I didn't notice any claims of it being a "big deal", or anything other than a switch - just a way to get children interested in electronics.
Unless I'm missing something, it seems like a nice idea to me...

2011\07\13@064315 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 13/07/2011 09:13, Oli Glaser wrote:
> I didn't notice any claims of it being a "big deal", or anything other
> than a switch - just a way to get children interested in electronics.
> Unless I'm missing something, it seems like a nice idea to me...

Something better done at home using it to turn on/off a door bell or a dismantled torch. IMO not worthy of fund-raising. Or "kits". Everyone has paper, foil and something that can be cut as the spacer (egg carton lids, jiffy bag, cut up washing up sponge) etc.

Nor does it warrant mentioning of Arduino.

In the late 1950s on TV the BBC was showing young kids how to make a one valve battery radio (a predecessor show to Blue Peter, though both ran at same time for a short while) . A switch is a 2 minute novelty. Yes it's cute. But not worth funding. Nor does it do very much for interest in Electronics. So after fifty years we have progressed from getting kids to build a radio to making a switch.

I taught 5 of my kids how to make a radio (winding the coil) before they Teenagers. Also how to read schematics.
Interesting Chemistry using simply stuff from kitchen.
Boats with engine made out of loop of  broken telescopic aerial  (bent with heat from a cigarette lighter, no one here smokes, but I always have one or two for Macgyver use.
Got them to saw and nail their own gang hut out of old palettes (before Teenagers).
Planting flowers and vegetables from old enough to talk
Made shadow prints in bathroom with objects, and a box of photo paper
Let them take photos and enlarge and develop using a Slide projector as Enlarger.

Then later soldering and how to design  Vero layouts.


Two are Applications Engineers in Analog Devices. Both can do Electronics, Desktop programming, Embedded programming etc before end of 1st year at college. One has Masters & PhD
One is Environmental Scientist
One did Landscape Architecture and now makes Warhammer dioramas and models as well as rasiing kids
One is starting Uni in Autumn doing English and New Media

I know about kids. This "project" is the sort of thing I'd do in an odd 20 mins after they had already done light bulbs, batteries and regular switches, out of scrap already in the house. Part of the "fun" would be obtaining and experimenting with different ingredients, not using a "kit" . Not something I'd fund with donations.





2011\07\13@085249 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 6:42 AM, Michael Watterson <EraseMEmikespam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTradioway.org> wrote:
> I taught 5 of my kids...

Your children are pretty blessed to have such good teachers as parents.

I met university students who were assembling them at the Mini Maker
Faire who had a difficult time understanding how the switch worked.
This was after they had assembled it themselves and tested it, and it
turned out they were beginning engineering students.

I met a lot of kids who didn't care how it worked, but the fact that
it worked was just as exciting to them as, I suspect, you found
building your own radio or your kids found building their own boat
engines.

I went to last year's maker faires with PIC32 projects, RFID stuff,
and multiplexed LCDs.  I even brought an oscilloscope to the first
faire to expose kids to that tool and let them see what the signal to
the multiplexed LCD looked like.

It was far, far, far above the majority of their heads.

I realized that as much as I loved the more complex systems people use
every day, the majority of the population are non-technical, and
honestly even Arduino is beyond them.

As an engineer I can't imagine not knowing and being able to apply all
the stuff that I know.  I can't put myself in their shoes.  Perhaps
you're right - I may have set the bar too low.

But everyone has to start somewhere, and in two and a half weeks I'm
hoping that several thousand people will get excited about a simple
switch.

And if only a very small portion start wondering how to do more than a
little switch, it will have been worth the $2,000.

-Ada

2011\07\13@091647 by alan.b.pearce

face picon face
> Your children are pretty blessed to have such good teachers as parents.

I would agree with this. Unfortunately many children who could become useful engineers don't have parents with the necessary background to get them enthused, which is a large part of the first hurdle.

> I met university students who were assembling them at the Mini Maker
> Faire who had a difficult time understanding how the switch worked.
> This was after they had assembled it themselves and tested it, and it
> turned out they were beginning engineering students.

It reminds me of a story told by my boss when I was an apprentice. New Zealand used to (I don't know if they still do) allow students from SE Asia to go to NZ universities for free as part of NZs Overseas Aid schemes. My boss said that many of the ones that came through the Engineering School when he was there did not have any clues at all about engineering required. He put it down to not playing with constructor sets like Meccano when a child.

> I met a lot of kids who didn't care how it worked, but the fact that
> it worked was just as exciting to them as, I suspect, you found
> building your own radio or your kids found building their own boat
> engines.

This is part of today's 'get on with the next Big Thing (tm)' attitude I think.

{Quote hidden}

I think I agree with you. Sometimes it needs a push to show that fun can be had with simple stuff that you can build yourself, instead of them having a mindset that 'I cannot do that as I need the electronics to fit into a cell phone, and I cannot do that ...' but a play like this, even for something as simple as a door mat switch, can start their mind along a different path.
-- Scanned by iCritical.

2011\07\13@102634 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 13/07/2011 14:16, alan.b.pearcespamspam_OUTstfc.ac.uk wrote:
>> >  I met university students who were assembling them at the Mini Maker
>> >  Faire who had a difficult time understanding how the switch worked.
>> >  This was after they had assembled it themselves and tested it, and it
>> >  turned out they were beginning engineering students.
> It reminds me of a story told by my boss when I was an apprentice. New Zealand used to (I don't know if they still do) allow students from SE Asia to go to NZ universities for free as part of NZs Overseas Aid schemes. My boss said that many of the ones that came through the Engineering School when he was there did not have any clues at all about engineering required. He put it down to not playing with constructor sets like Meccano when a child.
>

What on earth did they do at School?

My School was particularly bad for Science. But we did do hands-on Chemistry experiments and in Physics "Hands on" with  the Wheatstone Bridge, Triode Characteristics etc. My wife's school was more up to date for the 1960s. They did transistors and no valves. (Tubes for Americans).

My kids didn't like Meccano, but still buy Lego.

Parents are a more powerful influence than School though.

Performance of kids in Education and the amount they read is mostly dependent on the Home environment and how much is read at home. My Brother is of course the "exception that proves the rule", in that my Parents have read and have room-fulls of books as has my sister and I. We think my brother has read two books. He is also the wealthyist member of family and has done no third level Education.


2011\07\13@112104 by alan.b.pearce

face picon face
> It reminds me of a story told by my boss when I was an apprentice. New Zealand
> used to (I don't know if they still do) allow students from SE Asia to go to NZ
> universities for free as part of NZs Overseas Aid schemes. My boss said that many of
> the ones that came through the Engineering School when he was there did not have any
> clues at all about engineering required. He put it down to not playing with
> constructor sets like Meccano when a child.
> >
>
> What on earth did they do at School?

This was at the time of the Vietnam War - although I believe most of the students came from Singapore and Malaysia, and many of the areas that the students came from I suspect were village schools, then maybe off to boarding school for secondary level. I don't know that the educational standards they achieved were that terribly high, but their governments saw potential in them, so were prepared to put them forward for university. Just how much practical stuff they did at any stage was an open question, but it is the practical playing with constructor sets, these days stuff like Lego, to get the feel for basic principles of what is needed. These guys never had anything to do this sort of play engineering with.

That same boss of mine had a related story, he used to work in a gas station while a student, manning the pumps and taking the payments. One day some Asian students came in to fill up their 50cc step-through machines. He takes out the bottle of 2-stroke oil, putting an appropriate dose in each tank as the gas went in, until one student got all excited and didn't want it. Their English language abilities were limited, and despite all the best efforts of my boss, this particular guy didn't want any oil in his petrol, with him getting more vocal in his 'No' each time. Eventually the other students caught on to what the commotion was about, and after a discussion in their own language he gladly wanted oil in with his petrol. Again the engineering concept of why he needed oil in his petrol for a 2-stroke engine just wasn't there.
-- Scanned by iCritical.

2011\07\13@131235 by RussellMc

face picon face
I just started a new GMail label
This thread is the first member.

        UphillBothWay

2011\07\13@135505 by PICdude

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face
Cool memoir, but I'll have to disagree with this opinion.  I know kids  too, but not just from one lifestyle, but from several different  lifestyles, families, upbringings, environments, etc.  These include  nieces & nephews in different countries, friends' kids, and  high-school kids I've worked with and still work with from various  schools).  Everyone is different.  VERY different.

Electronics and soldering irons may have been somewhat natural around  your house, but to others it may novel and open up new opportunities.   What I do with my high-schoolers is get them exposure to different  things (such as tours of machine shops, inventors' society meetings,  techie gatherings, etc).  There are lots of things out there that they  may not know even exist.  And I have seen results -- them coming up  with ideas that they only thought of after exposure to some technology.

In addition to that, I find that doing is a very powerful tool, rather  than just knowing.  It may be a simple switch, but Adam already  indicates that the tables were "swamped", so that pretty much answers  the question of interest.  And putting it in someone's face (vs. say  posting it on some website) is great way to reduce the motivational  requirement.  I don't think age is a major factor either as it's a  starting point, and whatever age someone starts at, they really should  start with the rudiments.

Personally, I think that if we get one good engineer out of the whole  deal, that's worth $2000 right there.

My only thought would be to make these smaller -- maybe 3"x3" or 4"x4".

Cheers,
-Neil.



Quoting Michael Watterson <@spam@mikeKILLspamspamradioway.org>:

{Quote hidden}

2011\07\13@141749 by Bob Blick

face
flavicon
face
On Wed, 13 Jul 2011 10:54 -0700, "PICdude" wrote:
> Cool memoir, but I'll have to disagree with this opinion.  I know kids  
> too, but not just from one lifestyle, but from several different  
> lifestyles, families, upbringings, environments, etc.  These include  
> nieces & nephews in different countries, friends' kids, and  
> high-school kids I've worked with and still work with from various  
> schools).  Everyone is different.  VERY different.

I volunteered a few months ago at the Exploratorium on an OpenMake day.
I brought parts and tools and showed people how to build Human Detectors
(Resistor, LED, 9V battery and a couple of transistors on perfboard). It
was basically a soldering lesson and introduction to how a schematic
diagram can represent a physical circuit. It was a project from when I
taught electronics, but instead of a lab full of students all building
them at once, this time it was one at a time, with me helping fulltime.

It's amazing how much variation there is in people. Everyone gets it in
a different way. Most had never seen a soldering iron before. Experience
with tools had some bearing on how well they did, but not as much as
you'd think. Average time spent on each was about 15 minutes.

In the end, a dozen or so people went away with Human Detectors and
there were no cuts, burns or bruises. Age range was 5 to 60 and an even
balance of male and female. They all tested human :)

What Adam is doing is really good. Getting people to do something new,
hands-on, will always trigger a spark in a small percentage of people,
you never know who.

Best regards,

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - One of many happy users:
 http://www.fastmail.fm/docs/quotes.html

2011\07\13@180205 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 13/07/2011 19:17, Bob Blick wrote:
> What Adam is doing is really good. Getting people to do something new,
> hands-on, will always trigger a spark in a small percentage of people,
> you never know who.
>

Yes, it's really good. But I'm not convinced it's $2,500 good :)

Academic for me though  as I have no money anyway and nothing similar in Ireland to put time into. (There are a few Hackerspace places for older folks and the Irish Annual Young Scientist thing). I did some stuff with JOTA one year, but just real time Satellite Tracking...

2011\07\13@182813 by Oli Glaser

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face
On 13/07/2011 11:42, Michael Watterson wrote:
> On 13/07/2011 09:13, Oli Glaser wrote:
>> I didn't notice any claims of it being a "big deal", or anything other
>> than a switch - just a way to get children interested in electronics.
>> Unless I'm missing something, it seems like a nice idea to me...
> Something better done at home using it to turn on/off a door bell or a
> dismantled torch. IMO not worthy of fund-raising. Or "kits". Everyone
> has paper, foil and something that can be cut as the spacer (egg carton
> lids, jiffy bag, cut up washing up sponge) etc.
>
> Nor does it warrant mentioning of Arduino.

What is wrong with the mention of an Arduino?

> In the late 1950s on TV the BBC was showing young kids how to make a one
> valve battery radio (a predecessor show to Blue Peter, though both ran
> at same time for a short while) . A switch is a 2 minute novelty. Yes
> it's cute. But not worth funding. Nor does it do very much for interest
> in Electronics. So after fifty years we have progressed from getting
> kids to build a radio to making a switch.
>

That's one way to see it. Another is that this is simply a different type of project, aimed at a different range of people.

> I taught...
>
> I know about kids.

You know about *some* kids. There are quite a few in the world, and all of them are different. My experiences whilst teaching children and adults (sometimes together) in various places suggest to me that it is almost impossible to adapt to fit all well.
We who have the privilege of (things like) a good education/upbringing/keen mind can often miss the fact that many don't have one or more of these.
Even with such things, differences are quite obviously still there - I have a very close relative who has various pieces of paper to say they are well educated, and does indeed appear to be very knowledgeable about many things, but still does not understand how electricity works at all.
With this in mind, I expect there are many adults out there who could gain something from this too.

>   This "project" is the sort of thing I'd do in an odd
> 20 mins after they had already done light bulbs, batteries and regular
> switches, out of scrap already in the house. Part of the "fun" would be
> obtaining and experimenting with different ingredients, not using a
> "kit" . Not something I'd fund with donations.

I don't think what you or I might do is too important here.
According to the OP, these kits were very successful first time round so it would appear that quite a few people got something from them.
As others have said, if it helps to spark even one young (or old) minds interest in electronics then it's all worth it.

2011\07\14@101452 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Wed, 2011-07-13 at 23:27 +0100, Oli Glaser wrote:
> > In the late 1950s on TV the BBC was showing young kids how to make a one
> > valve battery radio (a predecessor show to Blue Peter, though both ran
> > at same time for a short while) . A switch is a 2 minute novelty. Yes
> > it's cute. But not worth funding. Nor does it do very much for interest
> > in Electronics. So after fifty years we have progressed from getting
> > kids to build a radio to making a switch.
> >
>
> That's one way to see it. Another is that this is simply a different
> type of project, aimed at a different range of people.
>
> > I taught...
> >
> > I know about kids.
>
> You know about *some* kids. There are quite a few in the world, and all
> of them are different.
I agree.

One of my most vivid early memories was when I used a wire and a metal
plate attached to my bedroom door which would cause a light to turn on
when the door was opened.

Extremely simply, something I did with whatever I had laying around. I
"studied" this contraption for quite a while.

Sure, it was REALLY, sure my attention lasted only a day or two, but it
was the spark that got me interested in other things. Wasn't very long
after that I built a touch switch that lit an LED when you touched it.
The rest as they say is history.

I think this kit is a really good idea. Many kids don't have the
environment I had (my father was a master mechanic, so I had at my
disposal a huge range of hand and power tools growing up, along with
tons of electrical goodies from cars like relays, light bulbs and
switches), so a prepackaged "kit" I think is a good idea. If there is a
spark to light, I believe something like that kit will light it.

TTYL

2011\07\15@154848 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Michael Watterson wrote:

> Parents are a more powerful influence than School though.

Probably.

> Performance of kids in Education and the amount they read is mostly
> dependent on the Home environment and how much is read at home. My
> Brother is of course the "exception that proves the rule", in that my
> Parents have read and have room-fulls of books as has my sister and
> I. We think my brother has read two books.
He isn't exactly an exception. Even though he may not read himself a
lot, he's been influenced by a home environment where reading was
normal. IMO it's not only the own reading that has that effect, it's
also the environment.

> He is also the wealthyist member of family and has done no third level
> Education.

Education and knowledge aren't exactly closely related to wealth... :)

Gerhar

2011\07\18@151556 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
The first three days people pledged about $500 per day, and then
things slowed down significantly.

We only need another $465 to make our goal, so if you feel this is
worthwhile, I'd really appreciate your support!

I put up the instruction sheet for backers only, so if you pledge $1
or more, you can get early access to it, and then brutally critique me
on my paint.net skills.  MMMMmmm, fresh black and white pixels, just
like mom used to make!

If you can't pledge any financial aid, please watch the video on
http://kck.st/r0eRoK and consider passing this information on -
twitter, facebook, local technical groups, etc...

Thanks for considering this project!

-Adam

On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 1:04 PM, M. Adam Davis <KILLspamstienmanKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2011\07\19@234448 by Alex Harford

face picon face
On Mon, Jul 18, 2011 at 12:15 PM, M. Adam Davis <RemoveMEstienmanTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> The first three days people pledged about $500 per day, and then
> things slowed down significantly.
>
> We only need another $465 to make our goal, so if you feel this is
> worthwhile, I'd really appreciate your support!

I'm glad to see you met your goal. My kids loved Maker Faire here in
Vancouver, their eyes were as big as saucers when they got to sit on
the Panterragaffe (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYdtWHvTdm4). When I
put my oldest to bed, I asked him if he was going to dream of little
robots in his head that night, and he replied, 'No, *BIG* robots!'.

Right now they are too young for your project, but I will definitely
build it with them when they're old enough to grab the correct end of
a soldering iron. :

2011\07\20@001549 by RussellMc

face picon face
>  ... when they're old enough to grab the correct end of
> a soldering iron. :)

Learning NOT to grab the hot end of a dropped or falling soldering
iron is an acquired art.

Unlike some tasks which require many repetitions over long periods to
attain the requisite skill level automatically, soldering iron
non-catching requires surprisingly few iterations to learn.

Ask me how I know :-)

Kicking the iron to deflect its fall is allowed.


        Russel

2011\07\20@082123 by Joe Wronski

flavicon
face
 On 7/20/2011 12:15 AM, RussellMc wrote:
>>   ... when they're old enough to grab the correct end of
>> a soldering iron. :)
> Learning NOT to grab the hot end of a dropped or falling soldering
> iron is an acquired art.
>
> Unlike some tasks which require many repetitions over long periods to
> attain the requisite skill level automatically, soldering iron
> non-catching requires surprisingly few iterations to learn.
>
> Ask me how I know :-)
>
> Kicking the iron to deflect its fall is allowed.
>
>
>           Russell
I'll never forget when, as a young tech, I wondered why I could smell smoke, but that quickly turned to feeling pain, and that was because the soldering iron I let hang over the benchtop was burning my pants, then my leg.
Joe W
--
Joe Wronski
Stillwater Embedded Engineering
http://www.stillwatereng.net

2011\07\20@082813 by Geo

picon face
Joe Wronski wrote:

> I'll never forget when, as a young tech, I wondered why I could smell
> smoke, but that quickly turned to feeling pain, and that was because the
> soldering iron I let hang over the benchtop was burning my pants, then
> my leg.

Not exactly young - but on board a ship doing some soldering at the back of an equipment rack while ship was on trials. In an awkward crouched position and foot had "gone to sleep". Smelt burning and found it was nylon sock now embedded in foot.

George Smith


2011\07\20@105807 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Wed, 2011-07-20 at 08:22 -0400, Joe Wronski wrote:
> I'll never forget when, as a young tech, I wondered why I could smell
> smoke, but that quickly turned to feeling pain, and that was because the
> soldering iron I let hang over the benchtop was burning my pants, then
> my leg.

Yikes, once had something similar happen to me with a camp fire...

It's taken years, but I've pretty much nailed my automated response to
something falling to: let it fall, watch it fall, watch where it goes.
It's saved my bacon MANY times, with the added bonus that I can usually
find the tiny nut or whatever it is because I concentrate not on
stopping it falling, but on watching where it ends up.

Not always the right decision, but often the better one.

TTYL

2011\07\20@161022 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:59 AM, Herbert Graf <spamBeGonehkgrafspamBeGonespamgmail.com> wrote:
> It's taken years, but I've pretty much nailed my automated response to
> something falling to: let it fall, watch it fall, watch where it goes.
> It's saved my bacon MANY times, with the added bonus that I can usually
> find the tiny nut or whatever it is because I concentrate not on
> stopping it falling, but on watching where it ends up.
>
> Not always the right decision, but often the better one.

I've developed the same reflex with one exception, and it's saved me
and particularly my feet many times from falling knives and heavy
objects (not to mention the occasional soldering iron drop, although
that usually doesn't make it to the floor, instead dangling at the end
of its cord, dancing close to my shins).

The only thing I've found that the reflex is completely opposite for
is falling children, and with 6 boys below the age of 12, I've had
more than a few times to test this out...

I constantly worry about my phone and ipad though - I think I spend a
little extra mental energy making sure these things don't fall in the
first place because I'm pretty sure I'll let them drop before
realizing that maybe I shouldn't

2011\07\27@130317 by Daddy Dave

picon face

Thanks for putting me onto that Maker Faire!  I don't know when I can ever
get involved, but was _this_ _close_ to designing a little PIC board for a
one-week Jr High science camp last year.  I'd design a very small PIC board
with an 4x4 LED array on it and CR2032 battery and give the kids a working
project to start from.  They'd solder SMT components under a microscope then
customize the LED patterns to their own preferences using for() loops and
end up with something they could show their friends.  They might pin it to a
hat or wear it on a string.  They'd get experience with SMT components and C
programming - all in a week!

So many of the project-in-a-bag kits use thru-hole components and 555
timers.  It just kills me to see the ancient technology in those kits.
-- View this message in context: old.nabble.com/Join-me-in-kindling-a-fire-in-the-hearts-of-young-makers-tp32047652p32148853.html
Sent from the PIC - [AD] mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

2011\07\27@135751 by Carey Fisher

face picon face
Dave,
Here is a link to a project I did for a 1 week summer camp last year:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Autonomous-Control-of-RC-Car-Using-Arduino/

It was quite inexpensive and the kids (middle school, 6 boys, 6 girls)
learned the "gist" of programming using an Arduino.  They got real excited
when their cars traveled the pattern they programmed into it - figure 8s,
big circles then small circles, back up circles and then go forward.  Nearly
anything they wanted to make the cars do they could do.

The cars were about $5 at Walmart and I spent a couple hours beforehand
modifying them - bringing the control wires out etc.

The kids got to keep the Arduinos and a few have actually gotten into
programming.

We also set the Arduinos up to play single tone music.  I taught the kids
how to translate musical notes to periods and then to loop values.  They
learned to program Happy Birthday and several other songs.  It was really
cool when one of the kids said - "hey, this is the same as a musical
greeting card!"...

They didn't have to do any soldering, just plug in the wires, write and load
a program and they're off to the races.

Carey Fisher
Chief Technical Officer
New Communications Solutions, LLC
678-999-3956
TakeThisOuTcareyfisherEraseMEspamspam_OUTncsradio.com




On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 1:03 PM, Daddy Dave <RemoveMEhaile.davidspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2011\07\27@151652 by David Haile

picon face
That looks like a fun project.  I'm impressed that you found the
right/left/forward/back inputs to the RC car!

David Haile
Sheridan, WY

On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 11:57 AM, Carey Fisher <careyfisherEraseMEspam.....ncsradio.com>wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> > --

2011\07\27@154432 by Carey Fisher

face picon face
Just looked up the RC controller chip data sheet on the web...
Carey Fisher
Chief Technical Officer
New Communications Solutions, LLC
678-999-3956
RemoveMEcareyfisherspam_OUTspamKILLspamncsradio.com




On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 3:16 PM, David Haile <RemoveMEhaile.davidTakeThisOuTspamspamgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>


'[AD] Join me in kindling a fire in the hearts of y'
2011\08\02@163252 by Alex Harford
face picon face
On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:04 AM, M. Adam Davis <spamBeGonestienmanSTOPspamspamEraseMEgmail.com> wrote:
>
> I hope you will join me in sparking that same interest in electronics
> that you developed years ago in thousands of others at the Detroit
> Maker Faire.

So how did it go? I hope you didn't get charred by the fire breathing pony. :

2011\08\03@040556 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
Heh, I saw the pony, but didn't get to see it in action.

The make and take was very, very successful.  We distributed two
thousand kits, and hundreds were made at the booth we set up.  Went
through nearly a gallon of rubber cement.

In addition we got an award for our make and take, and the Ann Arbor
Hands On Museum (who's tent we were part of) received a total of 5
awards for the entire tent of exhibits.

I posted a few pictures here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2070729777/pressure-sensing-switch-make-and-take/posts/104138

So thank you again to everyone who helped!

-Adam

On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 4:32 PM, Alex Harford <KILLspamharfordspamBeGonespamgmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:04 AM, M. Adam Davis <EraseMEstienmanspamEraseMEgmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> I hope you will join me in sparking that same interest in electronics
>> that you developed years ago in thousands of others at the Detroit
>> Maker Faire.
>
> So how did it go? I hope you didn't get charred by the fire breathing pony. :)
>

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