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NerdKits Newsletter Archives » NerdKits Newsletter #14 - Forum Improvements, Customer Projects, and the LED Array Kit

August 19, 2010
by mrobbins
(NerdKits Staff)

mrobbins's Avatar

This newsletter was released on August 19th, 2010.

Hi! This is the fourteenth edition of the NerdKits Newsletter which we publish ~monthly to keep you and the world up to date with everything going on at NerdKits.

  1. New Improvements to the Forums
  2. Requesting LED Array Kit Feedback
  3. Awesome Customer Projects
  4. Customer Project featured in Make Magazine

NEW IMPROVEMENTS TO THE NERDKITS FORUMS

Over the past year, our forum has evolved from a simple way for our customers to get their questions answered to a full blown community full of helpful members and awesome ideas. We would like to take this opportunity to formally announce two improvements to our forum that were rolled out over the last few weeks that many of you have probably already noticed.

To make pasting your code into the forum easier, we added an "Indent Selection as Code" button. Our forum software always displays code that is indented with at least 4 spaces as preformatted text (perfect for code). However, if you were not using a powerful text editor to draft your forum post first, it could get quite cumbersome to add 4 spaces before every line you wanted formatted as part of your code block. With this new button, you can paste the code right in, highlight it, and press the indent button to automagically indent the selected block.

The indent button is great for posting, however being able to easily view code, make comments on specific lines, and copy code out of the form are all key to the educational aspect of our forum. To make viewing code easier, we have added a syntax highlighter that goes through and highlights code that has been preformatted.

Take a look through our forums:

http://www.nerdkits.com/forum/

to see the new improvements in action!

REQUESTING LED ARRAY KIT FEEDBACK

Last November, we launched our first add-on kit: The LED Array Kit.

http://www.nerdkits.com/store/NKLEDARRAY001/

This kit has its own 62-page guide which we wrote to focus on building the array and writing the code to control the 120 individual LEDs from a single microcontroller. This involves a lot of intermediate-level techniques, like row-column addressing, handling interrupts, sharing memory between different tasks, and building complex systems.

We'd like to get your feedback and add some customer testimonials specifically about the LED Array Kit to its webpage.

To all of LED Array Kit owners: please send us your feedback and even photos of how you're using your LED Array! What did you learn from the guide? Was it fun to build? Have these techniques and concepts enabled you to build other advanced projects?

This helps us make our website better, and also will be useful feedback for us as we continue to expand the set of NerdKits offerings. Thanks!

AWESOME CUSTOMER PROJECTS

As usual, we would like to highlight some of the neat projects that we have seen over last few months. These projects exemplify the DIY spirit and show off what is capable with a NerdKit and a little ingenuity.

NerdKits user Keyster put together a TV remote control clone that can send the volume up and volume down signal to his Samsung TV. His code is pretty small and very readable, and a great quick overview of how TV remote signals are sent:

http://www.nerdkits.com/forum/thread/834/

User pedroh96 put together an awesome demonstration of what you can do with a web server, a smartphone, and a NerdKit. You really have to watch the video to see what his little application is capable of, plus we absolutely love the production values of his YouTube clip!

http://www.nerdkits.com/forum/thread/849/

User tom8787 put together a really neat enclosure for his NerdKit. The NerdKit as it is first assembled is admittedly rather awkward to work with. Most of our NerdKit setups here at our labs are mounted either on cardboard or foamboard, and we have seem a number of rather ingenious methods of mounting the NerdKit for added stability. Tom's approach is probably among the most creative we have seen, and it certainly ends up with a unique result:

http://www.nerdkits.com/forum/thread/907/

If you have an awesome way you've mounted your NerdKit, we would love to hear about it. Send us an email or post it up on the forums!

CUSTOMER PROJECT FEATURED IN MAKE MAGAZINE

We mentioned Luis Cruz's "Embedded Entertainment System" project in our February newsletter, and he was subsequently asked to write a brief article for Make Magazine's Homebrew section. His work was recently published, and he has posted an online copy of his article here:

http://www.nerdkits.com/forum/thread/876/

Also check out the photo of his NerdKits breadboards and neat wiring work above his article.

If your NerdKits-based electronics project has received publicity, please let us know so we can feature you here!

THANKS!

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for being such great customers. Make sure you tell your friends and neighbors about NerdKits so we can keep the world's DIY spirit alive!

Best wishes,

Humberto & Mike
NerdKits, L.L.C.
http://www.nerdkits.com/

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