Meetings – 2018


Minutes of SAMG meeting dated 14th of September 2018

Meeting Opened 7:30 pm

Members Present: Rick Heindenreich, Adam Webb, Chris Burrows, Mark Spooner, Howard Harvey, Wayne Sierke, John O’Sullivan, Thomas Loo, David Zerk, Colin Huckel, Phil Kocent, Rick Matthews, Graeme Wilson.

Chairman: Cliff Shirra

Secretary/Treasurer: Peter Gheude

Apologies: Eric Clarke, Gordon Crawford

Agenda Items:

SAMG website content – presentation and layout – improvements – member projects

Reflecting on the past few years – what did you enjoy – what would you like to see more of -ESP8266 –ESP32 –STM –R/Pi – Pine64 -UDOO –PIC –Bus Pirate -Saleae
What are your personal projects – what projects would you like to participate in either individually or as a group
It has been suggested that we revive the ATMega328 – Yes back to basics – members thoughts and ATMega328 projects
Lapel microphone. Webcam for online video.
Move of SAMG start time to 7:30pm
Presentation on PCB manufacture – Cliff Shirra
Member Ad hock presentations

Preamble: The feedback and input contributed by all SAMG members was very positive which led to some further clarification with respect to our diverse needs and wants as a club and personally.

Regarding our website Website administrator Graeme Wilson has been actively reviewing and changing our website to make it more relevant to the public and members.

Discussion on SAMG website included suggestion to move to alternative product called BootStrap.

It was agreed however, that a simplification of the site’s menu structure (site-mapping) would be beneficial and content to be focused on club activity only.

WordPress would remain as it is the easiest to maintain at this time as it is used by 75% of similar websites.

It is “work in progress” and the site will change and progress continually to make it relevant and pleasing to navigate and use.

Past, present and future reflections with club topics and projects

It was noted most members were satisfied in most areas.

It was mentioned that we could:
Take a closer look at utilising STM32 (Bluepill)
Since many of us have a PINE64, possibly revisiting Linux (Rick M has generously volunteered to further our education in this area and will start his presentations on the 9th of November this year)

Personal or Group Projects

Group or Individual suggestions:

  • It was mentioned that we could look at monitoring, retrieving and re-purposing Weather Balloon radiosondes (either re-flashing or trying to decode output from these devices)
  • Take a closer look at the STM32
  • Look more closely into the micro architecture
  • Delve into the possibility of retro-computing
  • Investigate the use of Raspberry PI
  • Going back to basics
  • Possibly reviewing our use and implementation of the ATmega328. Making sure that we all have a working combination of computer, USBASP and 328 development board. Along with an IDE.
  • Lapel microphone, webcam

A brief discussion on the benefits of sharing the meeting using streaming technologies so absent or distant members can view tutorials, lectures and participate in meetings. Cost will have to be reviewed and further discussed amongst the committee members before any progress will continue.

Start Time: Changing the meeting time to 7.30 was tabled and voted amongst the members. The vote was in agreeance to change the time to 7.30. It was stressed any member can arrive before this time if they want to. The meeting room doors should be open. These members must wait if the room is already occupied by another group.

General Input: It was suggested our group may be able to hold “Swap, Barter or Buy” nights.

Presentations: Cliff Shirra did a short presentation on PCB (printed circuit board) manufacture. This will be available on SAMG website for general viewing.

Ad hock Presentation: Adam Web did a very interesting presentation on a project he has/is doing. It covered a hybrid of Arduino and commercially available product that included the use of a touch screen HMI (human machine interface) and MODBUS. Adam also discussed RS485 and RS422 standards.

Meeting Closed: 10:55 pm


2018-08-10 August Meeting

Meeting opened at 7pm by Secretary (Peter Gheude).

Adam Webb Spoke on new acquisition being a Computer Numeric Control Milling machine as a prelude to the nights presentation. (CNC)
He shared some pictures and discussed his plans for his new machine.
Much more to come on this one as Adam gains experience on his new find.

Minutes of Special General Meeting.

The meeting opened at 8pm on 10th of August 2018

Members present as follows: Chris Burrows, Ian Fisk, Peter Gheude, Rick Heidenreich, Colin Huckel, Steve Knight, Philip Kocent, Thomas Loo, Rick Matthews, Clifford Shirra, Wayne Sierke, Mark Spooner, David Tilbrooke, Adam Webb, Graham Wikins, Graeme Wilson, David Zerk and Kevin Zietz.
Guests; Peter Rosenthal and Peter Wintulich.

Nominations were called for the position of Chairman for remainder of 2018.
Clifford Shirra was elected unopposed as the new Chairman.

Usual meeting resumed at 8:15pm.

Peter Gheude presented a brief overview of AC Servo Motors and precision encoders. Aspects such as closed and open loop systems, and an introduction to motor design and construction.

On display and demonstrated were several AC Server Motors and a Servo Controller. Discussions included Incremental and absolute coding encoders.

Our Guest presenter, Peter Rosenthal shared his experience with encoders, utilising “Bitscope” for the capture of waveforms from demonstration encoder provided by Peter G.

Many types of encoders were passed around for all to see brought in by Peter R. Peter W, brought along examples of encoders including those used by DROs (Digital Readout Displays)>/p>

General informal discussions followed.

Meeting closed at 10:50pm.


Friday the 11th of May 2018

Adam Webb was to give a talk this evening but has postponed the presentation until the June meeting.
Instead we had a brilliant presentation by Cliff Shira on using the ESP8266 as a web server.


Friday the 13th of April 2018

April’s meeting included a “Bring Your Own Project” or work in progress and or requiring help with a problem. Amongst other projects demonstrated was a 68000 processor setup by David Zerk and an Atmega 2560 based PLC module to be installed by Adam Webb in Northern S.A. This evening also included Peter Gheude’s 3D printer progression and the carry over from March’s Part 2 of “The Arduino IDE and coding in C” by Eric Clarke.


Friday the 9th of March 2018

This was be a feature packed night, with the following themes from three of our members. Each presenter attempted to complete their demonstration within 45 minutes or less but due to a time over run Eric’s Part 2 of “The Arduino IDE and coding in C” was cancelled until April.

Peter Gheude demonstrated the latest updates to his Tronxy X5S 3D printer with further mechanical modifications  and upgrades to the electronics on the horizon.

Cliff Shirra displayed his work to date on using the ESP8266 (a low-cost Wi-Fi microchip with full TCP/IP stack and microcontroller capability produced by Chinese manufacturer, Espressif Systems) as a web server.

Wayne Sierke demonstrated his work, using “Rooter” (An open source derivative of OpenWRT. The  primarily use for his system is to route network traffic) on a (TP-Link) router, autonomously.


Friday the 9th of February 2018

This month was our AGM meeting and all committee positions were open to members. The following members were elected as follows:- Chairman – Eric Clarke , Secretary/Treasurer/public officer  – Peter Gheude, Web site editor – Graeme Wilson, Committee – Chris Burrows, Colin Huckel (also auditor), Cliff Shirra (also sub editor),  Mark Spooner.

We also revisited the updated constitution and after some discussion the constitution was passed.

After the AGM we had a very impressive presentation by Peter Gheude on his new custom built ( Tronxy X5S 3D printer ). The Tronxy X5S 3D printer was also discussed regarding members interested in buying / building their own unit.


Friday the 12th of January 2018

Wayne Sierke presented a control system that was built to manage solar PV generation at a residential “village”. The equipment uses a proprietary data-over-powerline technology utilising a TI MSP430 (TI mixed-signal microcontroller ) family.

The system management controller comprised a Raspberry Pi in conjunction with a custom interfacing board and control programs written in TCL (Tool Command Language). A testing unit was assembled based around a Freetronics Eleven (Arduino-compatible) controller with input switches and an LCD display.

Live data from the system is sent to web services for monitoring. A custom web-based service was implemented in Apache Rivet with a TCL servercomponent managing communications with the site. Wayne gave an overview of the system and a look at some of the hardware used in the project. He also demonstrated how the various microcontrollers and some of the technologies are used to implement this system.

Unfortunately, Peter Gheude’s 3D printer kit purchase (Tronxy X5S 3D printer) did not arrive in time. However we did have some videos showing a Tronxy X5S being built and in operation.

Wayne has also offered to give future quick presentations on the following:-
– a quick follow-up on the PV Solar system
– a “review” of that Altronics Inventa enclosure
– a look at that “other” type of rotary encoder
– some practical examples of TCL in use
– using “Rooter” (OpenWRT derivative) on a (TP-Link) router
– a quick look at the freescale FRDM-KL25Z development platform

Interested members in any of the above presentation ideas can email SAMG.