Engineering Joke of the Week: The Tunnel


I’m a believer that engineers not only need to act in a professional and ethical way, but they have to have some sense of humor too. For that reason I have the tradition to tell the class (almost) every semester week a joke or fun story with an engineering background :-). And to make it stick, at the exams there is always one bonus questions about these engineering jokes. Some of the jokes or fun stories came from my daughters, some from my former students, and some I have found myself. I have asked to share the fun story from this week, so here we go….

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McuOnEclipse Releases on SourceForge


When I started the McuOnEclipse project back in 2012, I did not expect that it would create that much of attention :-). So far I’m sharing the project files on GitHub (see “McuOnEclipse goes Git“). GitHub is excellent for sharing sources, but not a good way to share release (binary) files. It is somewhat ok for small/few files, and initially that worked well for the few Processor Expert files (see “Processor Expert Component *.PEupd Files on GitHub“). However, with the amount of components and binary releases, the GitHub repository gets bloated. So I’m performing some maintenance work, and so I’m moving binary releases to a new McuOnEclipse SourceForge site.

McuOnEclipse On SourceForge

McuOnEclipse On SourceForge

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Cheap and Simple WiFi with ESP8266 for the FRDM Board


How cool would it be to add WiFi support to any projects or IoT? Why not using WiFi with a microcontroller which has only few KBytes of RAM and FLASH. For less than US$5? Dreams came true, and intrigued by an article at Hack-A-Day, I searched a supplier for that ESP8266 module. And this evening I have found the four ESP8266 modules I have ordered for $4.50 each from ElectroDragon in my mailbox. Of course I did not want to wait for the week-end, so I hooked it up to my FRDM-KL25Z board.

ESP8266 Module

ESP8266 Module for US$ 4.50

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How NOT to Solder Headers on a Board


There are two basic strategies in teaching:

  1. Teach and show how things should be done.
  2. Teach and show how things should NOT be done.

I usually do the first method. But there is a lot of value in the second method too!

When I asked all student groups to solder the headers on the Freescale FRDM-KL25Z board, I received one report that the board does not work any more. A quick inspection of the board showed this:

Soldering the FRDM Board Headers

How NOT to Solder the FRDM Board Headers

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Enabling/Disabling FXOS8700CQ Device Needs a Delay


Found an interesting behaviour with the Freescale FXOS8700CQ on the new Sumo Robots (see “Sensor and Communication Shield for Sumo Robot“): when enabling the accelerometer/magnetometer, it actually did not work:

Failed to Enable FXOS8700 Accelerometer

Failed to Enable FXOS8700 Accelerometer

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