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Bits n Bytes


Welcome to Bits n Bytes.

Bits n Bytes is the place to know and see whats new in the group and/or anywhere else.

Well its now 2007, and to kick things off, the Transformers live action movie is due out this year, on July 4th, American Independance day.

Wow, the new trailer is fantastic, though the Citroen C4 isn't in it.

We, the many fans from the 80's, now 20 somethings are anxiously waiting for this movie to arrive.

On our regular meets on Friday at Next Window, we sometimes gather round the mad scientist, also known as Paul.

On this particular night he treated us to home made plasma, by using a glass bell jar, a large flat piece of alumnium, a fridge compressor and a 15KV neon transformer.

Intially there was a vacuum inside the jar, then he moved on to butane then Flux Cleaner.

Last year, we also did some fun things that you wouldn't 'normally' do.

For example, have you ever wanted to know how a regualr LED would survive being zapped at 15KV using a neon transformer regulated at 30mA?

The LED was still functioning afterwards, can you believe it?

No its nor arcing inside the LED, nor is the LED doing half wave rectification.

Another thing we guys did last year as part of what we do on Fridays, is pump 18A through a pencil lead.


Because Keith was itching to test out his brand new 18A DC power supply.

You wanna know what happened?

Watch the movie and you'll find out.

Towards the end of the month, Keith and Paul together made and programmed an X Y plotter robot for use in calibrating touch screens at Next Window.

It is built using two identical flatbed scanners and built in just 3 days, from scratch.

With future plans to have a Z axis added onto the plotter at some point.

Speaking of plotters, Paul found this link to instructions on making your very own rapid prototyping machine also known as a 3D printer.

With a little inginuity and some number 8 fencing wire.

Also your limited to the various materials you can use, but as what was said, a bit of inginuity will allow for some pretty amazing things.

On the site, which is US based, they claim that you can build it for just a few thousand dollars, using their drawings.

Keith reads magazines from another member of the RoboNZ group, that has a subscription to the SERVO magazine. Its actually me "Gary".

This magazine is full of tips, stories and everything related.

In December's issue, under the mind iron section, Keith found this article which he found very inspiring.

To top off the end of the month, we have a surprise for you all.

If you don't know already RoboNz will be hosting a robotics competition this year.

Something for everyone, and all skill levels.

Quicktrip, Pathfinder and Domination are just a sample of what you can enter into.

Are you ready for a challenge, then go here for more infomation and full rules.

We're expecting Domination to be the highlight of the competition, as it is the only contest seeing two robots compete at the same time on the same course.

Get cracking, you don't want to miss out becuse you hadn't finished the software.

The competition date is not final and will be updated.


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