In 2012, one of my posts were featured on Hackaday, a globally read and frequently updated aggregator of projects that modify, create, and otherwise hack. The traffic this garnered was enough to throw a couple 500 Server errors, but it also resulted in getting the attention of someone at Farnell/Newark.
I was contacted through the comments by a member of the Farnell team, who spent quite some time on my site and was “loving the content”. After further communications, he asked if I would be interested in reviewing products for them. Of course I said yes!
The question was, what would I review? After looking through some of their enormous catalog, I realized I’d rather create something out of the components I reviewed, and discovered the LM3886, a relatively inexpensive 68-watt audio amplifier. This is where the adventure began!
It isn’t the first time, and it probably won’t be the last. Today I had a client e-mail me in some panic, as her USB memory drive had stopped working. It was plugged into the computer, and someone walked into it, bending the connector.
Breaking the 64MB, chinese-made promotional USB key was not the disaster – it was losing the files on it.
I’ve had luck before re-soldering damaged USB key connectors, so I got my tools together and gave it a shot.
After yesterday’s exam, I have completed the Electronic Technologies program at Heritage College! Although final marks are not yet posted, graduation is certain, and I can pretty much call myself a Technologist (except not officially).
The biggest part of this third and final year was the final project. I’ve made a few posts in the past about it (video, menu, schematics), and the original plan was to make separate blog posts for each step of the process. However, time constraints, and the sheer volume of material, makes it easier if I just provide this summative post.
This post will be divided down into two main sections: hardware and software. I will try to explain with detail while keeping it short, and cover some of the key elements and choices involved in making this project.
For every project I post on here where I obtain the results I was looking for, chances are there are two other projects I’ve tried that didn’t quite work out. Such is the nature of tinkering and hacking for fun.
Just because it ended in failure (and occasionally, catastrophic failure), it doesn’t mean I’ve wasted my time – here are some lessons I’ve learnt from failure over time.