Upverter Tour Update – Vancouver Hack Space

Our next stop on the tour was Vancouver!  First I want to thank VHS (Vancouver Hack Space) for hosting our 4th meetup, the space is great and the people are even better, if you are ever in town you should swing by and check it out. I think Tuesday is open house night.

For this one I was flying solo with the goals to connect with our users, get feedback on the future of Upverter and Circuit Maker, and find the words that best describe what we are working on.  I hope everyone had as good a time, I could not have had a better and more engaging time talking about what people are working on and Upverter’s future plans.

So what did we talk about? well we started with what people are working on, like this pump controller for a sail boat! And being a fire thrower on weekends!  As a side note, I love boats and electronics, so I was jealous.  The people that came and the projects that they are making made this event a great time.  Thank you everyone for coming out and sharing.

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I got to talk with people about what Upverter is are working on right now, how our engineering team is busy working night and day bringing Upverter and Circuit Maker communities together.  It was exciting to talk to people that had used both, what drew them to try both and how they see bringing our families together to make a better place to build electronics.  I am excited to keep this ball rolling and get the new look Upverter + Circuit Maker joint community live by the end of the year!

Together we we also talked about the future, what we are thinking and discuss what we are cooking up in the lab.  I got the chance to get feedback on the Upverter all in one solution that helps take Ideas and deliver them to your door.  What does that mean?  Well this is were it go tricky, I will need more ink to fully explain, but let me give you an idea of the high level what we talked about.
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The first idea we talked about is “automated system design to pcb”, “modular design” or “drag and drop electronics”.  This is making a tool that connects templates together at a functional level, not at the IC level, making it easier and faster to get from your idea to a manufacturable PCB layout.  One aspect that I am excited about it having a fully syncronized System design, schematic and PCB layout!

The next idea that we talked about is integrated manufacturing, having a “print button” that checked the design for errors ahead of ordering, and when it passes, have a fully assembled PCB at your door.  This solves a real problem that I have personally, I cannot wait to make this a reality!

Finally we talked about integrated enclosure design.  Is it be better to auto-generate an enclosure from the PCB design? or should we make the enclosure and generate a board outline from the created enclosure?  both?  we need to start somewhere and we need your help on building what makes sense for you

 

We are doing the next meetups in the Bay Area, if you are around you need to join us!  I would love to get your thoughts on what future and get to know what kinds of projects you are working on, thinking about or dreaming of making.  Check out when and where we are going next on the Upverter Events Page.

Michael and the Upverter Team!

Design Contest with MikroE

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We’ve teamed up with MikroeElektronika to issue a challenge to all hardware designers out there.

Before September 18th, design and submit an innovative mikroBUS™ add-on board. If your project rises above the competition, your board will be manufactured and marketed – it will join the Most Excellent Order of MikroElektronika click™ boards. And you, the champion, will be showered with $6500+ worth of prizes from Upverter and MikroElektronika.

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New To Click Boards ?

click™ boards are add-on boards with a standardized mikroBUS™ pinout that make hardware prototyping as elegant as it gets. Each board carries a single sensor, transceiver, display, encoder, connection port or any other sort of chip or module. There are currently more than 130 of them.

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From the idea to the final touch, here are things you should consider:

1. Idea: Will your board be useful to end-users? What’s it for? What’s the short term and long term market availability and price of the BOM? Is there a novelty factor to your design and the technology it’s based on?

2. Design: Is the main chip or module used to its full potential? How functional is the layout? (for example, if the click board has a pushbutton on it — is it placed on the optimal position? Did you do your best with routing the board? Did you follow the guidelines of the particular chip or module’s producer?
(the complexity of the design comes to play here)

3. Final Touch: Did you come up with a cool name? Silkscreen illustrations?
Shape of the PCB?

Getting Started…

First, register a starter Trial account on Upverter (takes less than a minute). Then, to make sure your design conforms with mikroBUS™ specifications, fork one of following templates (NOTE: don’t call your board a “click”, that’s reserved for the winner):

There are three sizes you can work with: Small, Medium & Large.  To better understand all the possibilities and constraints of mikroBUS™ download the official spec document: HERE.

Submit your design HERE.

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First Place:

1. 5x winning click™ board and a special commemorative plaque for bragging rights, and the winning design gets manufactured and marketed.
2.  A one year Upverter Standard account (valued at $499/month)
3. mikroC, mikroBasic or mikroPascal compiler license of choice
4. “Easy” board of choice
5. clicker 2 board of choice
6. Arduino UNO click shield, Pi 2 click™ shield, mikroBUS™ cape
7. An hour of hardware design consulting with Upverter engineers via phone/Skype

Second Place:

1. mikroC, mikroBasic or mikroPascal compiler license of choice
2. “Easy” board for architecture of choice
3. A Design review from Upverter engineers
4. An hour of hardware design consulting over phone/skype

Third Place: 

1. mikroC, mikroBasic or mikroPascal compiler license of choice
2. clicker 2 board for architecture of choice
3. An hour of hardware design
4. consulting with Upverter engineers via phone/Skype

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Submitting Your Design
Remember — only one mikroBUS™ add-on board from this competition
will become a click™ board. To increase your chances, you can submit
as many designs as you like. Terms and conditions apply.

Send all submission through the official contest portal –> HERE

Good Luck To All!

FirstBuild Circuit Design Challenge

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Upverter is partnering with FirstBuild to launch a circuit board design challenge for the home appliances of the future.  Challenge participants design circuits on the Upverter platform, and winners receive a cash prize as well as a year’s professional subscription to Upverter.

FirstBuild and GE Appliances previously released the green bean maker module which provides a USB interface and Node.js SDK to several major GE appliances.  This challenge offers hardware engineers the opportunity to extend, iterate or replace the functionality of the green bean module, and offer their own vision of the future of home appliance technology.

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FirstBuild is a partnership between General Electric and Local Motors to create a new model for the appliance industry.  Be sure to check out FirstBuild’s Upverter projects for inspiration!

Upverter sponsors Nodebots Day

Upverter Node Bots Day


“We’re going to get together, collaborate and hack.”

Jason (@_jden) told us about the Nodebots Day earlier this week and we thought it was a great idea to help newcomers to hardware. So we’ve teamed up with the team at Nodebots to “hook you up with some great stuff for you introduction to the world of hardware”.


How does it work?

Create an Upverter account, design an Arduino compatible board and if you submit your project within the first 20 we will build it and deliver it to you at the Nodebots Day on July 27th.

Make sure you submit your designs by Thursday 18th.

Want more info? Check this out or ask us using #hwintro on Twitter.

Good luck!