Electronics technology is helping farmers and gardeners make more effective use of water by determining when it's time to turn on irrigation equipment. The Acclima Digital TDT Soil Moisture Sensor reads the absolute volumetric water content along with soil temperature and soil conductivity. The instrument converts its many digital inputs to analog output using an increasingly common technology, incorporating the converters onto a microcontroller. Texas Instruments' MSP430F155 holds two DACs that are integral to the digitizing function. That integration helps keep current draw under 15 µA, letting the sensors run for two years on standard alkaline cells.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies.
You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived.
So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.