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1  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Moderation and Clones on: July 10, 2014, 02:42:58 pm
Hi SirNickity! Thanks for your opinion. I agree almost 100% with it. But "your definition" of clone is different from the official one. Thanks to Coding Badly, now I know what is the official definition of clone.

If you want to be pedantic, "clone" might be used in either context:  A clone of an Arduino board with third-party branding, or a clone of an Arduino board with counterfeit branding.  Both are probably valid uses of the word.  You really have to take it from context.  Here's the piece of text you originally referred to:

No advertisement to non-Arduino-related products of any form are tolerated in any boards. Website links in the signature are fine as long as it doesn't have too many links in it. Use your judgement. Actual links to other sites are discouraged.

Advertisement of Arduino clones, should link to moderate the message, and could be linked to a legal action by the Arduino team. On the other hand, ads of Arduino derivatives, shields of all types, suggestions for improvements, are not considered spam when e.g. coming as part of a discussion like user A asks "how can I solve this project", sometimes the answer is as easy as "buy the XYZ shield by ABC at", and that should not be moderated. Please use common sense in these cases.

The text isn't perfectly written, but as near as I can tell it means this:  First, you are not allowed to take advantage of this board's traffic as a cheap method of self-promotion.  However, some people promote themselves or their products in their signature, in a reasonable and unobtrusive manner, and that is perfectly acceptable.  (Even beneficial, and in accordance with the community spirit.)

Second, if you try to peddle your counterfeit hardware here, you're going to bring upon yourself the wrath of Arduino's legal team.  Note that the text specifically allows discussion of non-Arduino hardware that doesn't infringe their rights -- to include clones that DO NOT use the Arduino logo or name.  This is done with such regularity that I feel very confident that I am interpreting correctly the spirit of the rules, even if the actual wording is somewhat ambiguous and possibly even contradictory to the definitions used in the blog post that was reference above.  We don't all speak the same tongue here, and so there's going to be a certain amount of "fudge-factor" involved.

There seem to be a few people lately that feel the need to scrutinize the policies of this site.  In general, the Arduino folks have been extremely supportive of everyone in the community.  The users, fellow vendors, retailers, authors, blog posters, etc.  Their actions speak far more loudly than any boilerplate legalese.  If you want to understand their intentions, participate in the community and see for yourself.  I don't understand the need to pick apart any official text looking for draconian policy or half-hearted open-source philosophy.  As far as I can tell, it's just not there.  They want this thing to thrive, and are very generous in what they allow, while doing only what is necessary to protect themselves.

Lighten up and have fun, eh?
2  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Students caught out.... on: July 10, 2014, 02:15:57 pm
What kind of compressor do you use?  Are we talking about a 3-6 gallon jobsite type, or something smaller scale?

The handheld one is neat and compact, but after watching the mikeselectricstuff video on SMD soldering, I think an external box with foot control would be a better way to go.
3  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Moderation and Clones on: July 09, 2014, 02:32:59 pm
It's a subtle difference, but this is the point they are trying to make:

- You can build your own, you can buy compatible boards, you can point out other vendors that may sell compatible hardware, you can even make and sell compatible hardware.  No problem.  It's open-source hardware, and that's all fair game.

- You can NOT build a board and slap the Arduino name and logo on it, unless you have entered into a license agreement with Arduino.  (This is the technical definition of a "clone", but perhaps should be referred to as a "knock-off".)  Using the Arduino name and/or logo violates their trademark.  If you build a board and call it "MyDuino" then you're safe.  (Although they kindly request you not butcher the name and use the "duino" suffix, they will not actually stop you from doing so.)  Using the name and/or logo will get you a nasty letter from Arduino, and possibly result in legal action.  This is absolutely fair, even (or especially) with the hardware being open source.

- You may not recommend "clones" to others here on the forum, and posts that do so may be removed by moderators.  (Although usually they're relaxed enough just to point out that you should be using genuine hardware, or at least legal derivatives instead.)  Arduino pays the bills here, so it's their right to enforce this stipulation, and if you are a decent person, you should respect that wish whether or not it's enforced because it's the right thing to do.

So, you can relax.  No one will take issue with you building your own, or buying a competing product -- so long as that competing product does not claim to be "an Arduino".  It isn't.
4  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Is it just me, or.... on: July 08, 2014, 05:49:13 pm
However, when you don't know what you're looking for then how do you search for it or know when you see it?

This is legitimate, especially for vague questions and ones that use terms likely to match an impossible number of topics.  Search isn't going to be intelligent enough to answer complex contextual queries for a while yet.  smiley

One of the most asked questions is: "how do I merge 2 sketches"

Yep, I've seen that one a lot.  This question shows a fundamental lack of understanding on the topic of programming.  Like, you can mix one sketch that is blue, one that is yellow, and get one that is green.  There's just no telling if they're compatible in a copy/paste kind of way, so you can't ever build a procedural approach to this problem.  It requires creativity and understanding of the code -- and based on the question itself, you can bet that level of understanding is absent.  What can you do?  Learning curves are a .... pain.  smiley-wink
5  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Oscilloscope recommendation. on: July 08, 2014, 05:41:39 pm
Rigol DS1102E.  They're usually $350-400, but you might find one used for less.  If you don't need the storage and can live with a little lower bandwidth, get a used analog scope.  (Ideally, you would have one each anyway.)

If you want digital and can't afford the Rigol, keep saving.  The little iPad and USB scopes are just toys.  Even the 1102E is nothing fancy, but it's good enough for casual stuff.  "Good" starts at $1k and goes straight up from there, so you do whatcha gotta do.  smiley-money
6  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Your latest purchase on: July 08, 2014, 05:34:41 pm
But unfortunately in the process of that snipping I also cut one of the connection legs off, perfectly flush with the housing.  smiley-cry

Well, they do say you should buy spares....

Yes, you should.  You'll use them eventually anyway!  But, in the meantime, surface-mount that puppy!
7  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Students caught out.... on: July 08, 2014, 05:31:16 pm
Awesome, thanks!  I find it hard to pass up a chance to DIY something.

Did you notice that it needs a 220-240V 50Hz power supply? It may not work on your 110V 60Hz supply.

I did not notice that actually.  But I suspect that's not an insurmountable challenge. smiley-grin
8  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Question about FAQ and Open Hardware. on: July 03, 2014, 02:12:30 pm
We've been meaning to talk to you guys about that for a while.  It seems to still have some English weather patterns.  In particular, a nasty habit of being gorgeous and sunny during work hours, only to cloud over and start raining by quiting time.  (Anchorage is a coastal town... hence the name.)
9  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Is it just me, or.... on: July 03, 2014, 02:10:03 pm
You never know!  I actually have a vintage traffic light that used to hang in my town.  (The un-hanging of that light is completely legit and has nothing to do with me.... to the best of my knowledge.)  My first circuit design was a 555 timer and decade counter to cycle the lights.  One of my first Arduino projects was to digitize that process.  To this day I haven't actually had the board made with relays to control the bulbs, but the LEDs lit up nicely.
10  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Students caught out.... on: July 03, 2014, 02:07:14 pm
Anyone tried this?

I'm looking into a solder paste dispensing thingy.  That one's relatively cheap.  On the downside, it looks relatively cheap.  Also looks like it needs an external air pump.
11  Community / Bar Sport / Re: The Cracked Pot on: July 03, 2014, 02:03:59 pm
Engineer:  The glass has acceptable margin.
Product Manager:  The glass could be half its size, which would save on production costs.
12  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Question about FAQ and Open Hardware. on: July 02, 2014, 06:21:17 pm
Touche...   smiley-cool
13  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Students caught out.... on: July 02, 2014, 02:43:42 pm
These guys ship free and I always get my stuff in 20 to 30 days.

Thanks!  I found some at, but after a couple of weeks, no answer to emails, and a couple phone calls where someone picked up, then hung up, I contacted my CC company to reverse the charges.  That finally got someone's attention and they shipped the product.  At this point, I don't trust them enough to try again.

A good component base because they supply the local educational facilities in the state.

An educational system that teaches useful engineering skills?  Nice!  I'm kinda hoping the Maker movement actually persuades individual schools to take this stuff seriously.  Electronics as a marketable industry could be a fad, but looks solid for a few years at least.  smiley-wink
14  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Question about FAQ and Open Hardware. on: July 02, 2014, 02:37:24 pm
I feel like we're being trolled by a Turing test.

Hey Alessio, what's 32 divided by 0?
15  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Your latest purchase on: July 01, 2014, 09:12:39 pm
Ah, good idea.  That would take care of all the surplus time and living space I have, too.  smiley-sweat
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