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July 2011

Jameco Electronics Newsletter

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Marshmallow Launcher

My Story: Cannon Launches Boy Into His Own Skin

By Joey Hudy

At May's Maker Faire we met 14-year-old inventor Joey Hudy, and the project that brought him there. Both have become an overnight sensation. Joey's Extreme Marshmallow Launcher, which features a bicycle pump compressor, can launch the spongy confections up to 176 feet. The modifiable cannon barrel can also be used to launch T-shirts.

Joey's project is even more impressive when you hear his life story.
Circuit Skills PWM

Circuit Skills: Pulse Width Modulation

By Collin Cunningham

Controlling your speed is not just for the highway. Collin Cunningham shows us how controlling your motor speed with pulse width modulation (PWM) is versatile and efficient. Whether modulating lamp brightness, a heating element or producing a simple audio tone, PWM can be, as Collin says, "Pretty wild, man."

Control your own motor speed with PWM.
Bob Pease Jim Williams

A Jameco Salute to Bob Pease and Jim Williams

Depending on your age the names Bob Pease and Jim Williams are likely to be either electronics heroes or total strangers. The two close friends died within days of each other last month. In fact, Bob died after he returned from Jim's funeral. Both were Silicon Valley icons known as analog gurus and industry legends.

Read how a young engineer grew to appreciate these industry veterans.
Crash Space

Crash Space Music Fest

By Carlyn Maw

After an intense brainstorming session, CRASHSpace decided to turn their work space into an interactive musical instrument. The instrument triggered by sidewalkers in front of the store, used ultrasound elements to bang pots and bottles. CRASHSpace is a collection of hackers, programmers, builders, makers, artists and people who generally like to break things and see what new things they can build.

Create your own tunes by building a solenoid Thwacker.

Ageless Technology

By Greg Harris

Ageless Technology AGELESS TECHNOLOGY. Two simple words yet I don't think I've ever put them side by side. In fact isn't this expression an oxymoron? If there is one thing that seems consistent about technology, it's that it ages quite quickly. Engineers, of course, just can't leave good enough alone apparently having never heard the advice, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." And yet there are a few technology gems in our world that are just as impressive today as they were years ago.

I raise this topic because this month we'll retire an ageless technology. How can you retire a technology that's ageless? Read on and I'll tell you about a technology that is 30 years old, equally as impressive today as it was back then, yet it's being discontinued. Do you think you know?

Continue here and I'll tell you the technology that I'll soon be missing.

Greg Harris
Vice President, Marketing
[email protected]
FM Transmitter

DIY Make Project: Build Your Own Micro FM Transmiter

This fun and simple project will allow you to broadcast over an FM radio from a distance of up to 30 feet. Here's your chance to become your own DJ with this step-by-step project from our friends at MakeProjects.

Do it yourself with this transmitter project.
Power Load

Know Your Power Supply's Full/Minimum Load

By Robert Cong Where there's smoke, don't let there be fire. Videos of smoldering motherboards, hard drives and servers are aplenty online. Jameco gets a lot of calls from customers asking for troubleshooting tips, and one of our common questions is how to calculate the full/minimum load of a power supply. Knowing your power supply's full load can help maintain efficiency and safety, avoiding the smoke AND the fire.

Learn how to calculate your full/minimum load.

YLOD: PS3 Repair

By iFixit Project

Step-by-step fix for game consoles plagued with the "Yellow Light of Death".

As PS3 gamers may know, the fatal console condition known as Yellow Light of Death (YLOD) precedes complete system shutdown. Before you fork out the money for a new gaming console, try this YLOD PS3 repair idea from our friends at iFixit.

Repair your PS3 motherboard.

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]