Thursday, January 20, 2011

Netduino Giveaway Announcement


As promised, this post provides the details to enter to win a free Netduino board. I said it would be a very small giveaway and I meant it. Unfortunately blogging hasn't brought me the riches of the world so I'm only giving away 2 Netduinos at this time but hey, two is better than none right?

Why Netduino?

You may be asking "Why a Netduino? Don't you use PICs?" Well, yes, I'm a PIC user myself but I also realize that PICs, while pretty easy to get setup, are no match for the ease of the Netduino and my purpose is to help a budding hobbyist get right into it. Besides, who cares what it is? It's free right?

How to Enter

To enter to win one of the Netduinos you have to meet the following criteria.
  • Have a strong desire to get into or continue learning about embedded systems.
  • Be at least 18 years of age or have guardian permission to enter.
  • Be a registered follower of this blog. (see the column to the right)
  • Send an email to netduinogiveaway@hardlysoftware.com explaining to me why you are interested in winning a Netduino and what you would do with it if you won.
  • Be willing to send me an update of what you make with you're new Netduino if you win

Now most of these bullet points are based on the honor system so please.....be honest.

Winner Selection

I'll be accepting entries from now until February 18th. I will choose the two entries that I feel have given me the most compelling reasons for why they want/need a Netduino board. My goal is to get these two free boards to owners that I think will get the most out of them. So submit your entries. Tell your friends. Tell them to tell their friends. Tell anyone you think may be interested in a brand new Netduino. If you don't like these rules then just don't enter. You've got until midnight (Mountain Standard Time) on February 18th to get your entries in.

The Fine Print

To make this a worthwhile endeavor I need to receive at least 20 submissions to select two winners. If I receive less than 20 entries the giveaway will be cancelled. Tell your friends and anyone you think might be interested so we don't have to worry about this one. In your email submission you must provide some contact information and a shipping address that can be verified. I just need a way to get in touch with you (email is fine) and if you win I'll obviously need to know where to ship your new Netduino. Except as required by US law enforcement I WILL NOT share this information with ANYONE. If your submission has been successfully received and meets all of the above-defined criteria you will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours notifying you that your entry has been accepted. Winners will have their Netduino board shipped within 2 weeks of the giveaway ending. If you have any questions just shoot me an email at netduinogiveaway@hardlysoftware.com. I've never done anything like this before so bare with me. As always, feel free to leave a comment if you so desire.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vote for the Next Step

Just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone that has taken a look at the FMBomb article on Codeproject. If you just linked over from there, welcome. I appreciate the nice comments and votes. You never know what kind of reaction you'll get when posting an article for everyone to see.

What Should We Do Now?

So in the article I mentioned that I wouldn't be opposed to doing a follow-up article if there was an interest. So, if you're interested in more let me know. Leave a comment to this post with your idea for what I should do next. It doesn't necessarily have to be an extension of FMBomb. It could be something completely new. Some possibilities are:
  • Add a display to show transmission info for FMBomb
  • Add a way to change the transmission frequency other than hard-coding it
  • Add a microphone preamp so you could broadcast your voice
  • Do an article about the sensor platform
  • Something different all together. All ideas are welcome

I'll take the feedback and look at what to do next so don't be shy, leave a comment.

Embedded Fun Giveaway

I'm passionate about embedded hardware. I love learning about it and I love sharing what I can to help others learn. As such I wanted to do a very small giveaway to help some budding hobbyists on their way. I'll post the details in the next day or so. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Codeproject Article Posted

The FMBomb article was posted today. You can find it at
http://www.codeproject.com/KB/system/fmbomb.aspx. Feel free to leave comments there or here and if you like it give it a vote.

Friday, January 14, 2011

FMBomb Article Submitted

I sent my article to the Codeproject staff today for submission in the Beginners Hardware Article Competition. I'll post the link here when it's published on their site. It covers the creation of a simple FM transmitter using the PIC16F688 and the NS73M FM transmitter module available from Sparkfun. It's a simple project that I think is very approachable for beginners.

Like What You See?

If you like what you see in the article or here on the blog please leave a comment. I have a real passion for sharing the joys of working with hardware. I welcome any and all questions and comments or even suggestions on topics I could cover. If I get enough feedback on the FMBomb article I might post a follow-up article in which I go over expanding the capability of the project.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Change of Plans - A Quick Sidetrack

SD Functionality Up and Running

First of all, I have the SD card communication up and running using the Petit FatFS library. It really is a slick little library. Up next is to take that functionality and create an SD bootloader. I'll document all of this and get the code up as soon as it's ready and hopefully find time to do a screencast. Stay tuned.

CodeProject Competition

This is where the change of plan comes in. So I was going to enter the beginnings of the sensor platform as an article for the hardware competition but I just couldn't make it concise enough and "beginner" enough so I decided to switch gears and use some hardware I built about a year ago involving FM transmission. I hope to get that posted in the next week or so and then it's back to the sensor platform. I'll post a link here when it's up.