Welcome to the July Make: Newsletter
We hope you're having a splendid summer so far. We're buzzing along here at MAKE with all sorts of exciting activity, on the magazine, online, with the upcoming Detroit and New York Maker Faires, and in the Shed and Makers Market. Here are a few peeks into what we're up to:
MAKE Volume 23, the Gadget Issue — Our latest issue is chunk-chunking its way out of the presses as we speak. Ah... we love that smell of fresh (soy-based) ink! The issue will be making its way into the mail next week and starting its earnest migration toward your mailbox (and to newsstands by July 27). See the sidebar for cover and content details.
The Make: Projects Platform — We will soon be launching a new area of our site that we're extremely excited about, a next-generation projects portal that will greatly expand our how-to project offerings online and will allow you to get far more involved in creating how-to and educational content. Stay tuned to the site next week for the launch details.
Make: Online — Besides rolling out our new Projects section, we're also celebrating summer MAKEcations this quarter. What's a "MAKEcation?" You've probably heard of "staycations" — vacations you and your family take at home? A MAKEcation is a productive, educational, DIY take on stay-at-home summer fun. All this quarter we'll have project ideas geared towards family DIY, fun, educational things you can do at home, and useful skills you and your family can learn together. Last year, we taught families
how to solder
. This year, we'll be doing everything from teaching you how to build forts and treehouses to running family high-tech teardown competitions. If you have any DIY family projects you'd either like to share with us, or you'd like us to share with you, let us know. July is also Kids month on Make: Online. We'll have some cool content for kids and by kids. If you have any ideas for our kids theme, please send those along as well.
Maker Faire Detroit — Don't forget: Maker Faire Detroit is coming up, July 31 - August 1, 2010, at The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Mich. Online tickets are currently discounted, so order now to save money and avoid standing in line at the gate. We hope to see you there!
CRAFT — Our cohorts at CRAFT have just announced that BUST, the N.Y.-based indie women's magazine that's been championing DIY for some 16 years, will be the select craft fair hosts at World Maker Faire in New York, September 25-26. This is great news for all concerned.
We hope you'll take some time this summer to instigate a project or two, by yourself or with friends and family, and that you'll share the results with us. We want to see those MAKEcation photos!
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Gadget Freak Contest: Last Call!
In case you haven't heard, we teamed up with Design News, Alibre, Texas Instruments, and Allied Electronics to create a Gadget Freak Design Contest, with a grand prize of $1000 and a chance to open a storefront in Makers Market. We've gotten some cool entries, such as the 3D LED Tic-Tac-Toe
above, but we'd like to see more. The deadline is fast approaching (July 13!). Got a nifty gadget you'd like to enter? See the full details on the Gadget Freak Design Contest Landing Page.
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The Maker's Dictionary explores the world of DIY through its technical terms, jargon, and slang. We cover emerging terms you might hear floating around (but don't really know the meaning of), the tried and true argot of various technical disciplines (that all makers can benefit from knowing), and fun slang that helps paint a picture of DIY subcultures. If you have any terms or slang you want to share, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
. This month, we thought it'd be fun to focus on terms associated with that essential of electronics prototyping, the breadboard. —Gareth
Binding Posts — The screw-down posts on the board that allow you to connect an external power supply to the breadboard by screwing wires to the post terminals, inserting wires or pins, or plugging banana-type connectors into the tops of the posts (on most breadboards).
Breadboard — Yes, this popular form of prototyping tool, which allows you to temporarily plug in components to test a circuit before soldering it together, really did get its name because, originally, homemade versions of them were frequently created with nails hammered into wooden cutting boards.
Bus — The rows of electrically connected terminal strips usually found along the top/bottom or left/right of the breadboard that provide power and ground to the tie point groups on the board. The bus strip reserved for power (V+) is usually marked with a (+) sign and/or a red line and the ground (GND) strip with a negative (-) sign and/or black line. Some breadboard buses are divided in the middle and require a wire jumper across the divide to power the entire length of the bus strip.
Hookup Wire — Varying lengths of pre-stripped solid-core wire designed to easily make the temporary connections on a breadboard. Most hookup wire kits are color-coded, so you can keep track of sections of a circuit by color-coding them.
Tie Point — The contact points (or holes) into which you can plug components or wires to make electrcal connections on the board. Inside each tie point hole is a metal spring clip. The group (usually five) of electrically connected contacts (via a terminal strip inside the plastic board) is called a "tie point group."
Trench — The area down the center of the board spaced so that DIP (dual inline package) IC chips can be installed into the board.
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