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Welcome to the Encoder

Welcome to the Encoder, the Newsletter of the Seattle Robotics Society.

Content last updated 8/21/18

Encoder News

The Encoder has been static for a number of years, mainly because no one has wanted to write articles. This is understandable since in general, robot enthusiasts would rather build than write about their robots (talking about them is a different story...). Much information has been shared over the years, some of it dated, some still quite useful. Please feel free to browse through what's here. Allow yourself to be inspired by the creativity of these people and consider writing something yourself. The complete list of all the articles is available on the original Encoder index page. Google searching will work just fine, using all of the articles. A few years ago some ambitious members tagged articles for a database that is currently not working. Please don't try to use the "List Articles By..." links above. We will attempt to get this back online soon.

Articles for the Encoder are presented as-is, for informational purposes only, and remain the property of their respective authors. They reflect the knowledge and opinions of their authors and are not endorsed by the SRS.

Recently scanned PDF files (thanks to Ron Provine) of long past issues of the Encoder are posted on the website for your perusal. Publication of these articles began in the early 90's and were mailed to subscribers until the mid-90's (~1996) when Kevin Ross took the Encoder online. They provide an interesting historical look at what the SRS was like during its first dozen years of existence and what people did at meetings back then. You will be introduced to the folks responsible for much of the early innovation in hobby robotics and many of the articles contain information that is just as valid now as it was then. Some will also be dated as technology has changed drastically, but you will gain a real appreciation for how tough it was to build robots before the plug-n-play options we have today were available. Please take some time to check them out.

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Writers Guide for the SRS Encoder

The SRS is always open authors seeking to write and publish articles. The key to growing in this hobby is communicating your experiences to others. The Seattle Robotics Society Encoder has been one of the premier resources for amateur robotics on the Internet but it needs your input. These issues have been read by people around the world. Please consider sharing ideas with us. Check out the information below about how you can help spread the excitement!

The Encoder welcomes any submissions for publication. The intent of this page is to describe the procedure and introduce some guidelines for you to follow when you write your article. You will find it is easy to do and very rewarding.

The Article Contents

The article should be related to robotics, machine control, microcontrollers, sensors, engineering, or otherwise of interest to the SRS membership. If you are unsure about suitability of your idea, send the editor mail (SeeattleRoboticsSociety(at)gmail.com, Subject: Encoder) with a brief description of the subject (or the complete text if you already have it). We aren't too picky, but would prefer that it is applicable to the group.

Since this is an online publication, hyperlinks and pictures are appreciated and will make your article more interesting but consider that the web changes all the time. If possible, capture as much information content directly into your article as you can so that if links break, the article stays relevent. The length of the article isn't a big issue but figure on keeping people's attention for about 20-30 minutes. Long disertations probably aren't the best for this publication. Pictures should be reasonable for computer screen viewing and you don't want your overall file size too large. Choose a resolution that captures the important details but avoid high-definition if possible. Better to add extra zoomed and cropped pictures for those important details.

The Text Format

This is the easy part. Use your favorite word processor. Single spaced is preferred. Format it as you, like then convert the final draft into one or more PDF files as the finished product. If you can combine them into one file that would be helpful. If they can be linked internally, do so with a link that is just the file name of the next file since they will all sit together in a single folder. All modern word processors and office applications can make PDF files but not necessarily combine them, however there are online utilities that can. You may be able to paste things together in the word processor before conversion to PDF. Try to submit a completely finished product as this will ensure that the article will look and work exactly the way you want it to, and it makes it easy for us to post it quickly on the website.

For information about submissions or comments about the online Encoder, contact us at SeattleRoboticsSociety(at)gmail.com, Subject: "Encoder"