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DK Tech Talk - Volume 2

Recycling Old Treasures

Recently, I had a chance to go to one of our neighboring county fairs to help judge projects that students had completed as part of the 4-H program. I reviewed projects in the shop, engineering, and mechanical areas. The projects that I found to be the most interesting were from the students who had taken materials or items that would otherwise be tossed aside and turned them into useable items. A couple of my favorites included:

  • A student that had found a World War 2-era chair in his grandpa’s barn and disassembled and refinished the chair into what was now a chair that would be a centerpiece of a home office
  • Another student had found an old tractor seat, a steel wheel from a plow, and a piece of pipe and had made a decorative bar stool

Both could easily have bought an item that is useable, but this way they have built/refurbished an item that is both functional and now has a story.

I hear similar stories from time to time in my position with Digi-Key. People who are trying to repair an old TV or radio from the 1970s or the person who is trying to come up with a way to replicate or replace electronics that no longer exist. Helping to find products for these applications is just a small part of what our Applications Engineering team does every day. They are available 24/7 and can help you find the parts you need for your next project, no matter if it is repairing a used item or making the next great electronics device. You will also find our techs and engineers working on some of the newest content that we feature on our site.

NEW Content

One of our engineers, Scott Larson, posted about the “Ambient Light Sensor Pmod Controller on our eeWiki.

Maker.io

Over on Maker.io our very own Kevin Walseth talks about “A New Slice of Pi”, and not only talks about the Raspberry Pi4 Model B launch, but also shares Another Teaching Moment video that compares the Pi4B vs. the 3B+.

Kelsie M., a Partnership Marketing Manager and former Applications Engineering Tech, posted in TheCircuit a blog on How to Create EELs for Digi-Key’s IOT Studio.

Recently, we released a new article on “Using Bluetooth 5.1 Enabled Platforms for Precise Asset Tracking and indoor Positioning.

On the TechForum we see some Guidelines for soldering tip longevity from Ryan and I shared a couple summaries from KEMET on Voltage Coefficient of Capacitance and Ceramic Capacitor Aging.

Yeah, we sell That!

For the person who wants to try and make that unique product, how about Hydro Dipping Film? Add an inkjet printer and you are on the way to a one-of-a-kind project.

I like to look at safety, and no matter if you like Flames (3M158243-ND) or Skulls (3M160500-ND), Digi-Key has a welding helmet in-stock and ready for your next project. We have some without designs as well.

3M’s Flame Themed SpeedGlas™ Welding Helmet (Image source: 3M)

Inside the walls of Digi-Key Electronics

A couple notes from our July press releases. I am sure if you have read my works that you know I have a love for the company I work for, but recently Digi-Key was named to Forbes Inaugural America’s Best-in-State employers list.

While we are continuing to work on our new warehouse here in Thief River Falls, MN, we have opened our new office in Shanghai, China. Our teams there do a great job and if you have ever read any of my material on the Chinese Forum, it’s only because of the hard work of our engineering team in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Thank you for stopping by and as with all the content I write, I am open to discussion, questions, and contributions. Please feel free to comment below or send me your Digi-Key questions so I can answer in the next edition.

About this author

Image of Robert Fay

Robert Fay, TechForum Manager at Digi-Key Electronics, has been with Digi-Key since 2010 and is currently the TechForum lead, working on the forum since its inception in 2017. He holds a certificate in Aerospace Propulsion from his time in the Air Force and degrees in both Powersports Technology from Minnesota West, and Electronics Technology and Automated Systems from Northland Community and Technical College. When not at work or tinkering in his garage, Robert enjoys introducing robotics and engineering to kids at a local elementary school through an afterschool program.

More posts by Robert Fay