National Electronics Week - The Geeks Tell

So there we were busy with our normal lives, being Geeky, munching, stressing and debugging on the code, developing mobile apps. Tiyani Nghonyama received an email that got him excited, an invite to the National Electronics Week ADEC Expo 2014.

photo 2

Tiyani is from an electronics background and he's very passionate about the field and had had worked with various Microcontrollers including the at89s52 family, Microchip's PIC16F6XX/PIC16F8XX series and open hardware Arduino. His major interest is in wireless communication modules and had used modules such as the RN-42 Bluetooth shield, GPRS/GSM/Wireless, GPS module, among others for his projects. At Geekulcha, he uses sensor technologies in developing systems with mobile and web applications.

photo Tiyani's pride, at89s52 family controller board

The N.E.W Expo was seen as a great opportunity for our  new GeekStars Abdoul King and Herve Ntubi to get interact with various companies, the corporate world and importantly, to learn more. Having came from an electronics background, Abdoul and Herve had been working on various electronics projects, and had made use of liquid sensors on one of their projects.

Recently, Tiyani, Abdoul and Herve had been working on a queue mobile app with the use of electronics sensors. The team was really excited about the Expo and were looking forward to learning new technologies, and the to bring home technologies they would use for their projects.

We made our way to the Expo venue, The Gallagher Convention Center. The venue was not new to us as we had attended several conferences at this venue and we think it couldn't had been a better venue. Though we were dressed as Geeks, we were humbled that they had put up a red carpet. Registration process was quite good though we had had forgotten to print out our registration letters as instructed, we were not worried at all, we were at the Electronics EXPO and we felt like Royal Geeks.

Red Carpet Walk Red Carpet Walk

teiya Expo Access

photo 1 Exhibitors list on map

There about 80 Exhibitors of local and international electronics houses ranging from basic components distributors - soldering technologies - to optic technologies - PCB boards innovation - simulation softwares - technology publishing houses - data evangelists - high resolution microscopes -oscilloscopes - to massive high speed processing place-and-pick machines.

We visited each and every exhibition there was and it was very exciting to see the different technologies they brought along. Tiyani had brought his own multimeter, one of the multimeter exhibitors took aim at him and offered him the very latest of the multimeter technologies.

This is what Abdoul King had to say about the Expo:

photo 2(2) Gifts From the Expo
[caption id="attachment_305" align="alignright" width="250"] photo 2(1) Abdoul at the Proteus Design Suite[/caption]

As a fan of electronics, it was a blessing, being able to attend the electronics exhibition that took place at theGallagher estate in Midrand on the 11th of March.

Attending the exhibition gave me a great idea on not just how the different components I’ve been using throughout my time in varsity are manufactured but how they are distributed in the world and by which companies. I had the chance of meeting very interesting companies who distributes electronics components throughout South Africa. I also attended a seminar that discussed the problem designers are facing nowadays which was a great insight.

Besides the seminar, there were many exciting exhibitions such as the pick and place machines, that assembles 70,000 components per hour, that’s

almost 1167 components per minute (now that’s crazy) it is so fast that one of the exhibitors said there we

re able to make 10 Nokia Lumnia phones in 1.5 seconds, crazy right? Well that’s technology. Another great exhibition was the Touch screen oscilloscope, I mean not long ago I was using a normal oscilloscope in the lab at school which had many great features and now they manufactured a better version which is both touch screen and hard button, when did technology advance so much that we cannot even imagine what will be next?

As a member of the Geekulcha family, I believe in the future we can approach the manufacturers and suggest to become the link between them and the community as to expose electronic lovers such myself to the “Real Deal”. Last but not least, “The

freebies” getting to know different electronics companies was really great but their reception was even better (most of them), each company gave us what you’ll call a farewell gift, although I was a bit disappointed by Panasonic, they did not really show interest in our questions.

Overall it was a great learning experience and I will definitely love to attend the next exhibition.

Long Live Electonics…

What Herve Ntubi had to say:

photo 3 Proteus Game Board

photo 1(1) Herve With The Touch Screen Oscilloscope

We decided to attend the expo to better familiarize ourselves with electronic gadgets, to get an insight view of the electronics field in the engineering industry, and also to see the different technologies used and innovations made in the field.

One of my highlights was definitively the Panasonic  cellphone-making machine that processes seventy thousand components per hour (really impressive), the Zetech pick-and-place machine and the cellphone-making machine that makes ten Nokia Lumia in 1.5 seconds.

About technologies to try out, I think it’ll be really good to get my hands on devices like the PIC32, the EDA Technologies’ PCBs, LabView by National Instruments, and so on.

I’d gladly attend future events to learn more about electronics and find out about new technologies in the electronics field. Geekulcha would fit in because it also incorporates electronics in their various mobile development projects, like the AQMS.

I think the expo organizers reached out to the community because anybody/everybody from the community was welcome to attend the event, and people had been assisted with any inquiries they had.

photo(2) National Instruments Seminar

The Expo also featured 6 seminars all aiming to inform, teach and change the mindset of design with new technologies. With 80 exhibitions to see, we only had the opportunity to attend two of the the seminars. A seminar by National Instruments was aimed at employing a Graphical System Design Methodology for Embedded System Development, we learned about the evolution of the software abstracrion and raised an interesting question: Buy or Build?

A seminar by EDA Technologies taught all that we need to know about about building good, safe and maintainable Printed Circuit Boards and the different techniques to protect them. This seminar introduced us to the Altium softwares and its different capabilities.

photo(1) The best of networking

All in all, we had a very good time at the N.E.W Expo, as much as we enjoyed getting all the freebies, pens, books, bags, and others, the knowledge we had gained is phenomenal. In each exhibition we went to, we would ask what they do, it's either a company is a manufacturer or a distributor of electronics components or they are into media space distributing information on technology.

Networking was also a best element of the Expo, exchanging ideas, new technologies trends talk and business cards. There is a reason as to why we exchange the cards, building a wider network of the technological space and we aim for it.

walkout As we walked out

We look forward to the next one. Thank you for a great time over a feast of knowledge.