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April 2012

Jameco Electronics Newsletter

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My Story: The Greening of PCBs

Green PCB Jose Pablo Campos

Being near the rain forests in Costa Rica, Jose Pablo Campos feels closer to the environment than most people and he wondered how he could make an impact as an electronics engineer. Greening PCBs! He invested in a CNC milling machine to be able to manufacture circuit boards without the use of harmful chemicals. Campos found the benefits go beyond the environment.

How did using CNC milled PCBs help save the world?

Jameco welcomes the contributions of its customers. Frankly, we think what you write is more interesting than anything we could write. Share your electronic component story, project, or challenge, and we'll share it with the world. Send your story to [email protected]
Connector Challenge

Jameco Challenge: Mystery Connector Solved?

We posed the question and you came. The sage wisdom of our Jameco community came to the rescue of our Product Manager Ryan. We turned to you to help him determine the gender of an indeterminately gendered connector.

See what the Jameco community had to say.
Web Chat

DIY Web Chat Hack

Lee von Kraus

Running late at work and no one's home to feed the dog? Never fear, this step-by-step hack will let you manage your household appliances using a web chat interface. Watch Fido's tail wag when you remotely uncover his dinner dish from your desk at work. While you may not want to turn on the toaster oven remotely, Fido wont go hungry with this useful DIY Hack project.

Control your household appliances via web chat.

Greg's Corner: Speed & Decisiveness

Greg's Corner By Greg Harris

It wasn't clear what knocked the candle over but the flame spread quickly soon enveloping the entire bedroom. I stood frozen. I knew that I had to act quickly, and that I would only get one chance, but instead of visualizing success, all I could see was failure.

The heat grew intense, the anxiety mounted and I knew that only speed and decisiveness could save the day.

Jameco prides itself on fast work. While we are not as fast as a speeding flame, our team's day doesn't end until every order placed (by 6 pm ET) is on its way that same day. Speed is important but it is decisiveness and focus on quality that fuel this company. Tell me your story of speed and decisiveness as it relates to electronics and maybe we'll share it in an upcoming newsletter.

Greg Harris
Vice President, Marketing
[email protected]

DIY: SD Card Reader

LCD Display By Lance Summer

What's good is memory if you can't access it? While SD memory cards are extremely handy, without a device to read them, they are useless. Jameco customer, Lance Summer and his wife wanted a way to access a list of their video and book collections while shopping so he built an SD card reader from scratch. Not happy with simply printing to paper or using a smart phone, Lance did it the Jameco way and built the device from scratch.

Enhance your memory, build your own SD card reader.

Motor-less Mechanical Motion

Muscle Wire By Robert Cong

Easy to use, lifts many times its weight, and functions as a cool party trick too! Muscle Wire or Nitinol has been used in a huge range of applications from space missions to prosthetic limbs and heart surgery. This technology is ideal where mechanics require minimization, such as electronic textile or nano applications. Check out how it works as Rob takes you through the wonder of Muscle Wire.

Experience the magic of Muscle Wire at work!
Pololu 3pi

Amazing Pololu 3pi Robot Build

By Bradley Eckert

Look down on the floor, it's more thoroughly field tested than any other robot. Capable of speeds exceeding three feet per second. Two micrometal gear motors, five reflectance sensors and a buzzer. It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's Pololu 3pi! 3pi is a complete, high-performance, maze solving, Arduino compatible mobile platform. Great as a first robot for ambitious beginners or perfect for those looking to move up to programmable bots.

Where will the 3pi's line following take you?