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Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by T.T., Jan 10, 2011.

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  1. T.T.

    T.T. Guest

    Today I realised that I haven't had a Silicon Chip for a while. It seems
    that my subscription ran out in April 2010 and nobody told me. I guess that
    if I didn't notice it had stopped coming, I won't miss it if I don't
    re-subscribe. I have subscribed to at least one of the magazines since the
    1950s, and before then I would buy Radio and Hobbies from the newsagent.
    I won't miss Silicon Chip, but I do miss being as interested and aware as I
    used to be.
  2. fritz

    fritz Guest

    It took 8 months to realise SC wasn't in the letterbox ?
    Maybe you need another interest - how about building a Stirling engine model?

    Electronics is not what it used to be as a hobby, though. In the past the
    electronics mags published projects that were usually either not available elsewhere
    or were much cheaper to build yourself. These days there are so many
    electronic gadgets available so cheaply that I fear the electronic hobbyist is a dying
    breed. My first project was a Playmaster 136 amp, all of 13W per channel, bought
    in kit form from DSE when there was only one branch - at Gore Hill.
    There are still some interesting (but expensive) project kits around, compare the
    following project to the old Playmaster 136:

    The really staggering advances have been in microprocessors - my first uP project was the
    'baby 2650' from EA, it had 1kB of ROM containing the monitor program, a massive
    256 bytes of RAM and it ran at the breakneck speed of 1MHz.
  3. terryc

    terryc Guest

    They are just not very good at keeping web pages current.
    Young kids? The only ones I know of are oldish and into art/fart projects.
  4. terryc

    terryc Guest

    Hardly hackerspace, especially the commercial development.
    Beautiful post supporting fritz and my points.
  5. keithr

    keithr Guest

    My argument with SC is that, in an age when so many projects are
    microprocessor based, they so rarely release the source code. One of the
    great things in the "Old days" was that, if you aspired to do more than
    just solder a bunch of parts together, you could modify the project to
    your hearts content. That should be even easier these days by playing
    with the software, but only if you have the project source code to start
  6. fritz

    fritz Guest

    True, but dreaming up a new project is becoming harder as the number of
    off the shelf electronic gadgets increases daily. The last project I did was
    a sun tracker using red LEDs as sensors - it was more mechanical than
    The online PDF datasheets certainly are great, although I've still got a
    1976 National Linear databook which still covers a surprising number of chips today.
    You haven't bought Silicon Chip ? If nobody buys the mag, a source of some of
    the stuff on the 'net will dry up. I noticed one of my SC Circuit Notebook contributions
    appeared on many different websites.
  7. fritz

    fritz Guest

    -It's not, in fact it's had a massive resurgence through the hacker/
    -modder/maker/hackerspace movements.
    -Even if it's not so much traditional "hardcore" hobby electronics, you
    -still have all these young kids buying multimeters and soldering irons
    -and doing some electronics. Even if it is just using an Arduino board
    -to flash their LED's etc.
    -Open source hardware is getting big too, and startup kit businesses
    -like Sparkfun, DIY Drones and Adafruit can be turning over $10M+
    -selling kits.


    Hackers are far more into the software side - meaning they are more programmers
    than electronic hobbyists. I noticed you mentioned the 'hackability' of the LCR meter
    in your #137 blog...
    Now that is fine to point out, but why would you want to mess around with the software
    in an LCR meter ? Maybe a specialist might have some need, but your average hobbyist
    will not want to risk stuffing up the accuracy. I think you mentioned that it didn't come with
    a calibration certificate - what's the use if you hack it ?

    I still think that people who in the past would build electonic projects from magazine
    articles are more likely these days to spend their money on a pre-built gadget.
    (I would love to get hold of an 800mW laser module, if I could get it past customs!)

    Also, the trend to surface-mount and micro-sized components will inevitably lead
    to fewer people making their own pcbs and instead using stuff like the Arduino board
    for projects. Not that I think that is a bad thing, it saves a lot of time but it seems to
    be at a cost - pcb design skills.
  8. fritz

    fritz Guest

    Not sure about this, but most of the SC uP projects in the last decade
    have been from a Mr. John Clark. AFAIK he has made the assembler listing
    available for most of his projects. When an article is contributed, that is
    it comes from outside of the SC staff, the software author does not always
    make the assember listing available, probably because SC doesn't want to
    pay extra.
  9. fritz

    fritz Guest

    -I have literally thousands of young kids who watch my EEVblog every
    -The video, photos, and stories of the MakerFair that gets 100,000+
    -people seem to be mostly kids.
    -Not too dissimilar stories for Hackerspaces either.
    -The soldering tutorial classes at these kinds of places seem to be
    -packed out with young kid every time.
    -And the number of youngsters on Youtube channels and hacker blogs I
    -see never seems to end.

    -The way see it, there is an electronics oriented revival happening,
    -and it ain't based around old farts.


    Please teach the yanks how to pronounce 'solder'.
    They all seem to have been dropped at birth or some other
    disaster has affected their speech ability -
    - they all seem to say 'soder' . as if the 'l'
    wasn't there at all .
  10. terryc

    terryc Guest

    Watching =/= doing. Do you have any idea of how many are doing or even
    Which hackerspaces?
    Certainly not the ones I know about.
  11. keithr

    keithr Guest

    AFAIK lasers as such are not banned, only laser pointers. From the
    Customs web site:-

    Laser pointers (restricted import)

    Hand-held devices commonly known as laser pointers with an accessible
    emission level of greater than 1mW.
  12. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "fritz is a lying prick "
    ** Someone needs to teach a **** like you a few lessons in good manners

    ** Well, that IS something YOU would know a whole lot about - ain't it


    ** Do tell us, mr fritz, what disaster affected YOUR ability to function
    as a normal member of society so badly ??

    A massive genetic defect like ASD ??

    Or did you step-dad inflict massive brain damage by slamming your head
    against the wall over and over ??

    ...... Phil
  13. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "fritz is a lying pig "

    ** FYI = dickhead.

    John Clark is a former staffer of EA magazine.

    He was one of the defectors that left along with Leo Simpson and Greg Swain
    to form the original SC staff.

    That event precipitated the return of Jim Rowe to the editorship of EA

    Mr Rowe did not consider the departure of the above three to be any great
    loss at all.

    ..... Phil
  14. fritz

    fritz Guest

    Coming from a foulmouthed fool like you, that is laughable.
  15. terryc

    terryc Guest

    Sigh, you'll learn.
  16. fritz

    fritz Guest

    Yawn - that just shows how ignorant you are........and you always mount a
    personal attack...because you are unable to conduct an intelligent debate.
    Are you on record stating that John Clarke (spell his name correctly, please) is
    a dickhead ?
    They formed SC because they saw big business (Federal Publishing) was going
    to screw them.
    As an interim caretaker, Federal Publishing had already decided that EA was a goner.

    Didn't stop Jim from joining Silicon Chip later, did it ?
    You are so ignorant of the motivation of the people involved in setting up SC.
  17. keithr

    keithr Guest

    Not supplying the source code to a microprocessor project is the same as
    not supplying a circuit in a conventional project.
  18. keithr

    keithr Guest

    That is because it is not illegal to import lasers, only laser pointers.
  19. Grid Leak

    Grid Leak Guest

    I declare Phil Allison should be President of this NG.
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