2017 Newsletter: 72/73 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Meetings This Week:

Programming - Tuesday 12th Dec - 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Come and show your projects, and see some others. We have a computer with a projector, so bring along picture files of your project and we'll project them on the wall. We have a broadband internet connection, so discussion can be wide ranging.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday December 12 at 6pm. We'll see some new microprocessor applications and programming examples.

Past meetings:


At the November meeting Steve showed some basic functions of mbed, the online compiler and IDE run by ARM. There is a list on the website of development boards that will work with mbed, and there are many code samples and libraries available that will support a wide range of applications and peripherals such as LCD displays, RTC, sensors. One of the key benefits of mbed is that it is fully online, so there's no compiler to download and install on your PC, you just use a browser. Steve said he uses one of the STM32 Nucleo boards, but that there are other suppliers and models to suit your needs. Binaries download to your PC and the Nucleo board has an onboard programmer/debugger.

Martin showed the Raspberry Pi Zero. It has Wi-Fi built in and it only costs about $15. He also talked about “pi-hole.net”, a project for the Raspberry Pi to easily block advertising on a home network. Alex gave away some electronic spare parts. They were small DC motors, cameras, infrared sensors and lithium battery/chargers. He will bring more along for the next meeting.

At the October meeting Andrew discussed the current use of the Forth language. He said he had used Forth in the 1980s because it could fit a lot of functionality into very small memory spaces, and suggested it had a role in today's Internet of Things. He showed a list of available Forth systems at ForthHub/wiki. One system was Mecrisp Stellaris Forth for ARM architectures such as the STM32 series. The YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvTI3KmcZ7I was viewed and showed how a $2 STM32 “blue pill” board can become a complete Forth development system able to take on a wide range of IoT projects. Stuart discussed Arduino grabbers, and making embedded systems.

At the September meeting Alex showed a Raspberry Pi 3 board from the IOT Group. It is a compact RPi, without the connectors, and has on-board Wi-Fi and can run Windows 10. Steve showed an adjustable power supply unit from ALI Express costing just $6.50. It delivers an adjustable 3 amp output with LCD display from a 20v DC input.

At the August meeting we discussed articles in the new Australian electronics magazine DIYODE. They include a project to enhance a cheap laser cutter; the ESP8266 microcontroller that adds Wi-Fi to projects; and a small buggy kit for teaching how to run microcontrollers.

At the July meeting Alex spoke about using a laser cutter at Robodino to make a keychain for a Blue Mountains motorcycle ride event. Topics mentioned included how to use the RDWorks software to design the keychain, prepare the laser for operations, and adjust speed/power settings to achieve proper cutting and engraving depth.

Neville Hoffman

Web Design - Saturday 16th Dec - 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

NO MEETING this month. Next meeting 20th January, 2018.

Steve South

Meetings Next Week:

Tuesday Group - Tuesday 19th Dec - 9:30 am - 12 noon
Family History - Tuesday 19th Dec - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Tech Tips:

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Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

Information for Members and Visitors:

Link to — Sydney PC & Technology User Group
All Meetings, unless specifically stated above, are held on the
1st Floor, Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney.
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