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Suitability of Electronics in Magazine Article

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  • Suitability of Electronics in Magazine Article

    I am currently working on a project that involves some electronic construction in addition to machine shop work. It will require building one or more circuit boards for controls. It has occured to me that it may be a good project to write up for submission to one of the magazines, perhaps Digital Machinist. But I know that many here are not familiar with electronic construction beyond simply incorporating already built electronic equipment. So I am not sure if it would go over well or not.

    I would like your comments on what you would think of such an article. This would help me to write it if I decide to do so.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

  • #2
    I'm not very knowledgable in electronics but I'd still be interested in an article. The British MEW magazine seems to carry more electronic projects and I'm always interested in what they've come up with.

    My natural inclination is for mechanical solutions, so when there are projects like dividing using electronics and a stepper motor with a rotary table, or John Stevenson's experience with electronic gear hobbing it serves as a mind expanding experience. And perhaps one day I'll actually make one of those things. Even though I can't work it out initially, if somewhat shows what and how, a reasonable mechanic ought to be able to put the parts together.
    "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill


    • #3
      That depends on what you mean by circuit board building...

      I'd guess I have about average electronics skills for the folks around here, I've done a good bit of soldering stuff together... some of it on little fiberglass boards... but the idea of doing the etching and all that to get a proper 'circuit board' made up is a little beyond what I'd feel comfortable getting into.


      • #4
        There have been previous articles that included building circuit boards, the scooter project is one, and I seem to recall one on a powerfeed. Both were well done and easy to follow for the electronically challenged such as myself.

        If it is kept simple and includes information for sourcing the components, it should present no problems.
        Jim H.


        • #5
          I think it would be an interesting read. Productize it and offer kits so it will keep on giving


          • #6
            if its electronics supporting a metalworking project sure, but include enough that the initiated to electronics don't feel they have turn away - make it accessible without buzzwords and assumed knowledge and you may start people into a new area of things engineered - that and use standard components if possible, no special ic's etc. as builders may turn to your project years from now
            in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


            • #7
              One of the big stumbling blocks for me is the printed circuit board-
              yes, I can take artwork and get one made, but I have a stack of
              'gonna get to it' projects that I never got sent out.

              Conversely, if I can paypal you for a board, or even download a file I can
              sent to one of the board makers,
              I stand a decent chance of assembling it and
              at least trying it.

              That's just been my experience.

              But either way, I'll read and enjoy an article with significant electronics content.

              rusting in Seattle


              • #8
                Tonly problem in todays rushey world is the change from the wire ended world our (?) generation is familiar with, to the SM devices of the iPod era. I used to etch my own hobby type P/C boards 50years ago with primative technology, so with the computer enhanced renderings we now have it's easy. What will be difficult is the same problems we had all those years ago and that's the COMPONENT availability, the component shops we were able to go to have long gone, so to achive any sort of success you may have to supply a kit or even ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH a fully assembled Chinese PCB.

                Regards Ian.
                You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Circlip
                  What will be difficult is the same problems we had all those years ago and that's the COMPONENT availability, the component shops we were able to go to have long gone, so to achive any sort of success you may have to supply a kit or even ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH a fully assembled Chinese PCB.

                  Regards Ian.
                  He could distribute the gcode to cut the PCB from blank stock. Evan has shown us samples of his efforts there.


                  • #10
                    I think the answer is to make available for download the .sch and .brd files using Eagle. Eagle is available in a free version and with the .brd file you can get a board or two made for a reasonable amount from a variety of sources.

                    I would be happy to host such files on my gallery at no charge.
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                    • #11
                      From my point of view, electronics are welcome in Digital Machinist. Indeed, I include some degree of electronic content in every article I write for my column in DM. Also, other authors occasionally submit articles with electronic content.

                      Bear in mind that there is the full spectrum of experience and knowledge reading, so explaining the circuitry for the those less knowledgeable is helpful.

                      Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                      ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~


                      • #12
                        I can help with circuit boards if there is any interest. I owned a multilayer printed wiring plant for many years but closed it eight years ago due to foreign competition. I sold off all the big equipment and plating systems but kept what was needed to make boards for my own products. The only type of boards I make now are single sided since they don't have any plating requirements. Two sided boards are not a problem as long as plated through holes aren't needed.

                        My system uses dry film photoresist and the art work is CAD generated. I have Gerber photoplotters in house which give excellent results with plotted films. I also have silkscreening capabilities for soldermask and component legend printing. Let me know if I can help with this project.


                        • #13
                          When Brian Thompson wrote the article up on the electronic gear hobber in MEW, as the initial design was Brian's, I advised him to transpose the printed circuit boards we had done and use Veroboard instead.

                          My take on this was probably more people would attempt it given the availability of this product versus the trouble of having a custom board made.


                          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


                          • #14
                            A one word answer. YES
                            Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


                            • #15
                              As Wes mentioned, we frequently run articles in Digital Machinist that require some electronic construction, so that would certainly not be a problem. The readers of the magazine have a wide variety of skills and skill levels. Because of this, we like to have a mix of beginner and advanced articles in each issue (doesn’t always happen, but that’s what we would like). An article aimed at those with some experience in electronics is just as welcomed as an article written for someone with no experience.

                              Along with running the drawings in the magazine, we can place the CAD in the download section of our web site to help those that may be interested in making their own boards.

                              I would be interested in seeing what you have. From what you stated in your post, the article sounds appropriate for Digital Machinist. If you have any other questions, send me an email or give a call.

                              Traverse City, MI