Electronics related projects, information, and resources.
|FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions|
I get a LOT of email about various things, and a lot of them are very similar. So here is a FAQ page to cover some of the most common questions that I get asked. Before you email me with a question, check this page to see if there is already an answer!
Q. Why do I now charge for stuff now?, it used to be free.
Q. Can I help you out with your design if it doesn't work?
Q. Can you explain how this circuit works?
A. I'm sorry, but generally NO. I do not have the time for this, and it's already in the articles on the web page, READ IT. If there is no article then the schematic on the page is all that I have, you will have to work it out from this.
Q. Can I PAY YOU to help me fix/explain/build my project?
A. NO, sorry. My free time is more important to me than money, unless you are talking 6 figures ;)
Q. What is the current status on a particluar project (kit availability, software versions etc) ?
A. Each page devoted to a particular project has all the latest information, and I update these imeadiately if anything changes.
Q. Do I have any further information on a particular project ?
A. Generally not. Everything I have (or am willing to give away) is already on the web site.
Q. Do I release source code for my programs ?
A. The source code for most of my projects in on my web page, I have now given most if away. If it's not then I don't wish to share it for some reason, or simply don't have it any more. But I am quite generous, and if you can show that you are an honest person who will use the code for personal use then I can usually be persuaded. However, emails that just say "give me the source code" won't get any response at all.
Q. Do I sell kits or complete units for the projects shown ?
A. I do NOT sell kits,
PCB's, or parts for any of the projects shown here, except for the AIU
Dick Smith sell the MK1 EPROM programmer and the Mk2 Digital CRO.
Altronics sell the 20MHz Function Generator.
If you want just the PCB, then RCS Radio should have all the one's that have been published.
I am now out of the kit business altogether, and the only things I am now selling are old leftover stock.
Q. How do I pay for and order the software ?
A. As of the 1st Jan 2000 I will only except payment in Australian dollars in the form of cash or an Australian money order payable to "David Jones", I will no longer accept cheques. I do not accept credit cards, forien cheques, money orders, or cash (except maybe US cash :-)). Sorry, but this isn't big business for me, and I don't want the hassle and expense of excepting other forms of payment. All orders and correspondance should be sent to the address on the main page.
Q. Do I do custom electronics/software/web design ?
A. Generally not, I don't have any time nor enthusiasm for such things any more. Although if it's something interesting and relatively easy (to me anyway) then I might consider it, but that's a big might.
Q. I can't read the PCB and Schematic files, what is wrong ?
A. All of my PCB and Schematic files are in Protel (mostly DOS) format. Protel format is the defacto industry standard here in Australia. There is a Freeware version of the Protel DOS PCB program available called EasyTrax, and Protel have demo versions of their Windows products that will read the files. I am unable to convert these to other formats such as OrCad. There are GIF file versions of the PCB and schematic for most of the projects.
Q. Where can I get scanned copies of the original project articles ?
A. You can get them from Silicon Chip magazine.
Q. When will a particular new project be comming out ?
A. If it's in the magazine, then I generally have no idea. It can take anywhere from 4 to 24 months to get something published!.
Q. Why don't I use the latest technology ?
A. I get a lot of people asking me why I don't use the latest FPGA's, microcontrollers, DSP's, and double sided plated through PCB's for my magazine projects. The reason is simple - Availability. Australia has a very poor component supply industry, sure you can get almost any chip you want, but you have to wait anywhere from 4-40 weeks (yes, 40!) for the thing!. Very few distributors keep any stock, and if they do, it's only the popular high turnover ones.
The Australian magazines don't like publishing projects using hard to get bits, and the kit suppliers don't like them because they make kitting up more difficult. You will see that I stick to componets available off-the-shelf from RS or Farnell, which allows the individual constructor to build it. Try asking a distributor to sell you just 1 chip and watch them laugh in your face. If they don't have it in stock, then it's a minimum order quantity and 4 weeks minimum delivery from the US.
It's worse for programmed chips, the kit suppliers and magazine both don't like to use them unless a reliable source of ready programmed chips is available.
As for double sided plated through PCB's, you can't make them yourself, and don't bother asking a PCB manufacturer to make you just one, unless you want to part with a few hundred dollars.
Q. Can you make a living out of designing magazine projects ?
A. No way!. If I charged for the time involved in developing a magazine project, then it would be an order of magnitude greater than I get from the publication fee. I do it for the fun of it, it's just a hobby to me. If anything I loose money from it.
Q. How do I go about getting a magazine article published ?
A. Check out the Silicon Chip writers guide.
Q. What does Tronnort mean ?
A. Check this out.
Q. Can I call you to discuss something ?
A. Sorry, I will NOT accept nor return phone calls. Please use email
Q. How do I make PCB's at home ?
A. Check out my Work Bench.
Q. Why don't you return my email damn it! ?
A. I respond to all emails
ASAP, but I do not respond at all to people that are rude, complete
idiots, or send messages with such bad grammar and spelling that it makes
them unintelligable. I get a *lot* of email from non-english speaking people
and in some cases I can't even read it. I only speak ENGLISH! :->
I also get a lot of SPAM mail, and I delete all emails that have no subject heading, or some silly title that sounds like spam, so make sure you have a GOOD UNDERSTANDABLE subject title like "Electronics Question".
Q. Am I interested in job offers ?
A. Of course! I am always on the lookout for a better job. If you have a job offer that you think I might be interested in then please email me.ested in then get in touch and I will send you m
Copyright(c)1995-2003 David L. Jones