Hardware related projects??

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
jaj1
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Hardware related projects??

Postby jaj1 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:18 pm

I recently learned of the LDSTech site. I am intrigued by the ideas being generated here and I am interested in helping.

My background is in electrical engineering. I design hardware for embedded systems and have very limited software development experience. Although I do maintain a HTML based family website and missionary meal calendar for the 3 sets of missionaries in our ward.

Most of the projects I see in the forums and in the Projects section of the site are very software-centric. I acknowledge that an environment like this is more conducive to software development, but are there any plans to start projects with new hardware elements?

Is there an infrastructure in place that would support new project suggestions that involve the development of new hardware? I understand that this opens up a can of worms when it comes to schematic capture and layout tool licensing and file formats; not to mention design specifications, component selection, firmware development, and system integration.

-James

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:22 pm

Welcome to the forum! WOO HOO! Another hardware Engineer! :)

OK, now that the celebrations are over, I don't know of any hardware oriented projects open for public input, but I don't work for the Church either, so please don't take that as a definitive answer. Perhaps someone closer to the Church's inner workings would be willing to shed some light.

Mike
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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:52 am

If you have some good ideas, post them on these forums. We would love to hear them.

Tom

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hpaulsen
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Postby hpaulsen » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:14 am

I don't know of any universally needed hardware projects. At one time, I wanted to make a hardware interface to capture printer output from our automatic door locks and provide a computer interface. No-one has - and no-one is likely to - read through pages and pages of entry logs to identify problems. A computer program would make it easier to make sure codes are updated and could automatically identify odd occurrences. Unfortunately, I imagine that other buildings use different door locking systems, and also that there are surely other door locking systems that could theoretically be purchased (if the need was shown to be great enough) which provide these capabilities.

The only other hardware I want is a telephony interface so that we can send reminder calls to people and collect information from them re: home teaching, meetings, assignments, etc. Again, there are already systems out there - if I could just convince anyone that they're worth getting.

Perhaps those of you with more experience designing hardware would have some better ideas of how hardware could help advance the kingdom.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:30 am

Well, my degree says "Electrical Engineer" so I guess that makes me a hardware guy too. :cool: But it's been ages since I've built anything. I've found it's usually better to get something off the shelf and modify it.

The only place I've seen custom hardware is back in the day of analog satellite system for the foreign languages.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:53 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I've found it's usually better to get something off the shelf...

I love the quote, "Why buy something for $10 when you can build it for $100?" :) Incredible how much truth there is the that with many things nowadays.
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brado426
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Postby brado426 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:11 pm

I have no formal electronics experience, but I did do a project once that allowed a person to replace the unreliable original electronics of an old pinball machine with a PC running Windows that controls all the solenoids and lamps via a parallel port.

Fun project, but I doubt the Church owns any pinball machines that need an overhaul. :)

Brad O.


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