When I was a young lad, I was always building electronic and mechanical “things” — some of them even worked. A lot of my friends were similarly inclined. Those were the days when it was cheaper to make something than to buy a finished product.
Things changed over time. It became cheaper to buy something than to make it. Eventually, when something broke down, it's owner simply threw it out and purchased a new one. Meanwhile, fewer and fewer people seemed to be interested in building things for the fun of it, and do-it-yourself hobbyist magazines went out of business around the globe.
Then, suddenly, in the early 2000s, the Maker Movement leapt onto the scene. I couldn’t have been more surprised and delighted. In the 1990s, if you had told me that there would soon be Maker Faires around the world — from North and South America to Europe to Asia to Australia — I would have laughed a hollow laugh and shaken my head in disbelief.
How things have changed, spurred on in large part by the Internet, which allows Makers to share their passions with others. As just one example, I recently heard from Nicholas Brown, who is the founder of Kompulsa.com.
Nicholas is a writer who works on engineering projects in his spare time, focusing on technology for power grids, power generation, and HVAC (not professionally). Nicholas tells me that he originally created Kompulsa.com with the intent to share energy conservation tips, but he expanded it over time to include general electronics content, such as the following:
- Basic introduction to PWM using an LED
- How to build a PWM fan controller that follows heat sink temperature
- Turning an LED on/off using GPIO and buttons on the Launchpad TMS570
- How to make an anti-reset device for surge and HVAC-R appliance protection
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