# Howdy, just found this place

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,155
I've been looking for somewhere like this for years.

Someone from MajorGeeks recommended this site, and it's twice as nice that the forum software is identical, so the first thing I did was set up my profile.

I just joined usernet at yahoo for electronics, but I can't help feeling I may have trashed that email account (I have several). I'll just keep my fingers crossed. The amount of spam there is outrageous.

I've been using M/S Paint to draw schematics. I have made a template of shapes and whatnot that I cut and paste to. So far I'm happy with the results, but laying out PC boards is another story. In printing out transfers the 1" to 1.06" translation is a killer.

One question, can we show off projects were working on? I'm thinking schematics, board layouts, whatnot, mostly based off site somewhere like photobucket. I'm thinking it might be fun to get input from other people, especially if they have similar interests.

But that is for another post. Once I get comfortable here and learn the personality I expect you'll see more of me. BTW, where is the home location of this forum. I don't want the address, just the part of the world it's based. Thanks all.

#### Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
Hi Bill, and welcome to All About Circuits, it's always good to have new faces. Nice to here that people over at MajorGeeks are recommending us.

For drawing your schematics, have you considered the free and open-source TinyCAD? Has been recommended a few times by members here.

As for showing off projects that you are working on, yes by all means share them, most of the people who frequent this forum are electronic hobbyists, technicians, engineers, students, or just the curious. We have two channels that you can use; firstly there is the Projects Collection Forum where you can upload details of any projects you have worked on and get some feedback; and secondly we have just introduced a new blogging system to the forums (works exactly like the forums, except it is focused as a blog) where you can talk about any projects, electronics musing, or anything for that matter (as long as it conforms to the Forum Rules, of course). Please feel free to use either of these channel for sharing and getting feedback on your projects etc. You can also upload schematics directly to the forums, no need to use photobucket etc. We advise that you use PNGs and we employ a (lax) fair usage policy on the number and sizes of attachments. Most of this is covered in the FAQ should you wish to read up on it.

The home location is Canada. Also be sure to check the other features: our free e-book which is available to read on-line or to download, and our newsgroup archive for decentralised discussions from newsgroups etc.

Hope that answers some of your questions. Let me know if there is anything you need help understanding about the site and will help where possible.

Dave

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,155
Thanks. I obviously figured out what I was doing wrong logging back in. My main machine is acting up somehow, but that is something I'll take up on a different forum.

I might be interested in TinyCAD, I'll look around for it. I like Paint because it is on every computer in existance almost, and some of the machines I dink around with I can't install new software on. Combined with open display locations like Photobucket I can post pictures without taking any real space on the forum. Of course, I feel the pinch on some of this, as things like works in progress require bitmaps (.jpg and .gif add progressive errors as you modify them), but so far so good. Here is an example of something I did as a show and tell a while back.

I love basic concept circuits. Like the 555 ocillator with one resistor and one cap.

One of my to do's is to start a small website so I can post some of this without restrictions. .BAS is an illegal extension in most free websites, which irks me to no end. I started with BASIC back in 1977, I'm Comfortable with it.

#### Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
Glad to hear you have sorted the logging in issue. Let me know if you are still experiencing issues - if it is a widespread issue then I will need to investigate further.

TinyCAD is available from here. There is also a Yahoo! support group for it. It works on XP, not sure about Vista.

I understand your point about taking real space on the forums. We do encourage people not to use bitmaps, but provide the functionality for those cases where people have no choice. Your Paint endeavours are admirable! How does it work: do you have JPGs/PNGs of each component?

Dave

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,155
Basically it just a bunch of shapes, sympols, and components, each on it's own bitmap page. I just copy and paste and piece it together on a new page. Everything is in bitmap format until it is finished, then I save the final result as .jpg for distribution (and have the bitmap version for backups). If hard drive space were still expensive it might not be so attractive, but 1 Gig flash can be had for under $10 nowdays. It's a work in progress, I suspect I'll be adding to it forever, as I need to add something like MosFets and whatnot. I keep a copy attached an email account so I download it at need. Interestingly Hotmail is a no go, they do not like zipped bitmaps, declaring them to be viruses. Since I made these files from scratch, and check my computer regularly, I know it ain't so, but what can you do? I use Yahoo and Gmail instead for these projects. If I could find a vector based drawing program that printed in real dimensions I would use it, laying out single layer PC boards isn't that hard, but since I don't know of anything like that I have to find another way. Guess I'll have to do it the same way everyone else does. If anyone wants a copy just send a PM with their email address, and I'll send back an attached copy. I'm not artistic at all, but like most technical types I can draw mechanical things just fine. #### justicejayant x Joined Mar 25, 2008 3 Oh welcome. #### Dave Joined Nov 17, 2003 6,970 Basically it just a bunch of shapes, sympols, and components, each on it's own bitmap page. I just copy and paste and piece it together on a new page. Everything is in bitmap format until it is finished, then I save the final result as .jpg for distribution (and have the bitmap version for backups). If hard drive space were still expensive it might not be so attractive, but 1 Gig flash can be had for under$10 nowdays.

It's a work in progress, I suspect I'll be adding to it forever, as I need to add something like MosFets and whatnot. I keep a copy attached an email account so I download it at need. Interestingly Hotmail is a no go, they do not like zipped bitmaps, declaring them to be viruses. Since I made these files from scratch, and check my computer regularly, I know it ain't so, but what can you do? I use Yahoo and Gmail instead for these projects.

If I could find a vector based drawing program that printed in real dimensions I would use it, laying out single layer PC boards isn't that hard, but since I don't know of anything like that I have to find another way. Guess I'll have to do it the same way everyone else does.

If anyone wants a copy just send a PM with their email address, and I'll send back an attached copy.

I'm not artistic at all, but like most technical types I can draw mechanical things just fine.
Bill, as a curiosity, how large are all the BMP files together?

Dave

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,155
The base files, unpacked, are 32.3 Meg. Packed with Zip they are 175KB. The size of my entire directory, including every project I've worked on or am working on, is around 250 Meg at this time. Bitmaps zip pretty well.

If I was to set some I would like to include some of my folders to show how I'm using it, so figure a packed size around 1 Meg or so, although I could pack the projects separately.

The Paint as CAD idea (which I've abriviated as PaintCAD) is not that old for me, I started doing it when I got into combat robotics, and wanted to show the basic plans for a light tree. It got interesting though, because the other members of the club started shifting the base design concepts under me, so I had to go with the work I had already done, and modify it to meet the new requested requirement. I started off with a simple AC circuit light tree and ended up with a transistorized unit that each of the lights could be turned on by a low current +5V. Fustrating, but fun.

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,155
So Dave, who actually owns this site? It looks like it has been around for a while.

The forum I came from, MajorGeeks, is extremely similar, except it's orientation is computers. Politeness is a must, all questions are encouraged, especially from newbies, lots of assistant moderators, and I get a powerful impression that they actually make some money due to the advertising, which is quite intelligently targeted. While it is the same software (so is very comfortable for someone used to it) I don't see the ads here, so I suspect this is more a labor of love.

What is the policy towards advertising something like this site (MG I mean). There is some overlap, but not as much as you would think. People wandering in for computer fixes are actually a lot less technical than the types who hang around here. They've had some trolls show up, but they're nixed pretty quickly, and I haven't seen any sign of that here. As in here, there is a core of high tech knowledge base volunteers, so the general feel is pretty similar from the people too.

#### studiot

Joined Nov 9, 2007
4,998
Well hello, Bill.

I see you are diving right in here - I've sure learned a deal more about you. The graphics and robotics is interesting.

A very usefuls tool for those would like to line up bitmaps when cutting and pasting is 'crosshair' a bit of freeware by Mike Lin.

http://www.mlin.net/index.shtml

On the robotics front I saw a new type of alarm clock that runs away and hides when it rings.
You have to find it to turn it off!

Cheers

Eric

#### Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
So Dave, who actually owns this site? It looks like it has been around for a while.
The site is privately owned by someone called Rob (jrap) who is responsible for all the design, layout and features on the site. I am the lacky who administrates the day-to-day stuff on the site, so if you have a question I am the one you should direct it at. I am also lucky in the sense that Rob gives me a lot of input into the site.

The original e-book was (partially) written by Tony Kuphaldt who is no longer active in the project. Since then Dennis has taken control of coordinating the e-book development. The e-book now heavily utilises AAC for proofreading and corrections because of the reach of this site - over 1.5 million page views in the last 30 days.

Also some sections of the e-book have been written by members here. Each volume has a list of contributing authors, so check them out (even minor corrections get a mention for their contribution).

The forum I came from, MajorGeeks, is extremely similar, except it's orientation is computers. Politeness is a must, all questions are encouraged, especially from newbies, lots of assistant moderators, and I get a powerful impression that they actually make some money due to the advertising, which is quite intelligently targeted. While it is the same software (so is very comfortable for someone used to it) I don't see the ads here, so I suspect this is more a labor of love.
Yes, vBulletin is a very popular forum software. We moved to it nearly 2 years ago from Invision, and I must say it is much better from a user and administrative perspective.

As for site ads: ads are served up to readers of the e-book, however they are blocked for forum-goers - more a reason to join in!

What is the policy towards advertising something like this site (MG I mean). There is some overlap, but not as much as you would think. People wandering in for computer fixes are actually a lot less technical than the types who hang around here. They've had some trolls show up, but they're nixed pretty quickly, and I haven't seen any sign of that here. As in here, there is a core of high tech knowledge base volunteers, so the general feel is pretty similar from the people too.
We are strict on advertising and enforce the Rules on this matter very strictly. If the site suggestion is on-topic then there is no problem, however the Mods here are a very experienced bunch and we are pretty good at weaselling out stealthy adverts as well as the obvious ones. Don't be deterred from linking to other sites, if it is advertising we'll let you know; for regular/trusted members this is not really an issue.

The cleanliness you see on the forums is because of the great work the Mods do here; we have always been lucky that the Mods are both active in the community and active in keeping it an enjoyable experience. We also benefit from the forum members reporting any contentious posts.

See our Rules for more details: http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/announcement.php?f=10&a=3

On the robotics front I saw a new type of alarm clock that runs away and hides when it rings.
You have to find it to turn it off!
As if getting up on a cold morning isn't bad enough!

Dave

#### SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,210
Originally Posted by studiot
On the robotics front I saw a new type of alarm clock that runs away and hides when it rings.
You have to find it to turn it off!
Moving target, eh?

Welcome aboard, Bill! Lots of tinkerers on the site, you should fit right in

Did you work for Collins Radio, or simply working on their products? I knew a couple of people who were with Collins up in Virginia.

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,155
It was Rockwell Int., Collins Div., when I hired on. It had been a part of Rockwell for about 4 years after old man Collins sold his company. This was in 1977. In 1990 it was sold again, after most of the company had been parted out like a Christmas turkey, to Alcatel. The plant was shut down in 2000 after the telecom bust. There is still a second Collins Div. plant left in Plano, I understand they are about to hire for some new space hardware work.

I helped move part of the plant out of the Richardson area back to Cedar Rapids IO around 87 or so. I spent two weeks in Cedar Rapids setting up the consoles.

Currently I work for Raytheon as an operator, I bond gold wire on machines I used to maintain. I was a lead tech for Collins for 24 years, but when you have kids you take the jobs you can find.

#### SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,210
I was working at Hughes in El Segundo, CA next to the Rockwell Int'l plant when they shut down. It was very sad. Seemed like one week they were shipping stuff out the door, next week they were laying everyone off, and the next week they tore ALL of the buildings down and ripped up the asphalt so they didn't have to pay taxes on it. Seemed like within a span of two months and there was no trace of the entire facility; and it was quite large. It was a harbinger of things to come. Hughes went from a high of 86k employees in '85 to under 30k by the time I went out the door in '94. The company was sold off piecemeal; part was bought by McDonnell-Douglas (Hughes Helicopters) which eventually became Boeing, Hughes Space & Communications bought by Boeing, and much of the rest of it was bought by Raytheon. We sure had a great team in the 80's and 90's.

#### beenthere

Joined Apr 20, 2004
15,819
Everybody in electronics must have worked for Rockwell at one time. I spent a year at Stromberg Datagraphix (a subsidiary) putting together microfilm printers back in 1975.

For a while there, they put out an interesting variant on the 6502 (R65C02). It had an instruction subset that made it a natural for real-time processing, or as close as you got with a 1 Mhz clock.