About Us

This is the storey of the “State of Electronics”, a documentary about the art and science of electronics and how it coincided with the modern formation of our society. Electronics starts out as digital in telegraphy in what has been dubbed the “Victorian Internet”. It then changes state to analogue with advent of the valve and Lee De Forest’s “triode”, becoming Radio … later Television. Transistors change it’s form in the 50’s and 60’s into “solid state”. Integrated circuits herald another change with the miniaturisation of hardware and the “space race” in the late 60’s and 70’s. The advent of electronic calculators, computers and micro controllers bring about the true digital age, with computational and computer programming changing the “state of electronics” into both hardware and software. The internet is born, forever changing what electronics means to most. 

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Episodes

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Trailer

After several years of researching, interviewing and filming, this is the first public Trailer to my new Documentary "State of Electronics" - A discussion on the Electronics Industry in Australia. Even though the documentary is focused on Australian Electronics Design and Manufacture, much of it applies to all countries from around the world. Watch the video!

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Roll Call

In this Preview entitled "Roll Call", the Cast from my documentary have the opportunity to introduce themselves and tell us a bit about what they do. It's not meant to be a traditional trailer but rather "Extra Material" that will not appear in the final documentary. Watch the video!

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An Honourable Role

Episode 1 - Australia contributes in the field with many world changing innovations, including such inventions as WiFi, The Blackbox Flight recorder, The Cochlear Ear Implant, The Electronic Pacemaker, Ultrasound, Distance Measuring Equipment for Aircraft and the revolutionary software that would become Google Maps to mention just a select few! Watch the video!

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Getting Started

Episode 2 - In “State of Electronics - Getting Started” the conversation begins … Often simply being exposed to a new skill, an idea or curiosity begins a life long passion. In this episode, people recount how they got started and subsequently hooked on “electronics”. Watch the video!

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The Hobby Years

Episode 3 Part One - The conversation turns to the hobby years ... Lots of funny anecdotes about dealing with hundreds of volts and being stimulated on earthen floors, kit building, Tuning the TV into the Taxi channel, early projects that while fun had questionable use and a lot more. The cast of "State of Electronics" talk about their funny moments while on the journey of personal discovery in the field of electronics. Watch the video!

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The Hobby Years 2

Episode 3 Part Two - We look at the phenomenon of "kits" - the introduction to making electronic devices. Kits are produced by companies to make electronics easy for beginners. The participants of "State of Electronics" recount their experience with building kits, producing kits and how it helped shape their future. Watch the video!

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The Role of the Magazines

Episode 4 Part One- In this weeks episode, we look at the role of the magazines. Magazines helped to bond the electronic community, by providing resources for people interested in learning electronics, uniting the industry leaders and provided a vehicle for those wishing to advertise products and services. Historically, magazines were critically important to those practicing the art of electronics and introduced technologies, construction methods and ideas to many. Today there is just one magazine produced in Australia - Silicon Chip Magazine. In part 2, we look at the effects of the internet and the future of magazines. Visit siliconchip.com.au and talkingelectronics.com for more about the magazines. Watch the video!

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The Roll of Magazines - Part 2

Episode 4 Part 2 - In this weeks episode, we conclude "The Role of the Magazines" and look at how things are changing. The effect of the internet, alternative sources of information such as the "Hackerspaces" phenomena, online forums such as the EEVBlog and the importance of retaining Australia's only hobby electronics magazine "Silicon Chip" are all discussed . Watch the video!

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Hunters and Collectors

Episode 5 - In this episode, we look at how people acquired components, to make electronic devices. Some people were loaned components (or old radios), while others had to "dumpster dive" or scavenge on the Tip, while yet others dragged Billy Carts along their streets, picking up discarded TV's, Radios and HiFi equipment for parts. In the past, Disposal Stores sold ex military equipment, which could be stripped for components, while Junk shops and Surplus stores sold off massive back catalogues of parts to anyone interested. While new parts were expensive, used ones were plentiful. Watch the video!

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The Dusty Years

Episode 6 - This week, we look at the early years of "Electronics Retailing". "The Dusty Years" is about the struggle for early hobbyists in the field of electronics, in sourcing components. It follows on from their initial steps in scavenging for parts at the Tip, council pickup days & donation of parts by looking at how new parts were sourced pre 1970. Early electronics stores were mostly over the counter experiences, served by "dusty" people and old school professionalism. To the young enthusiast, these early retail experiences were intimidating and inefficient but were quite literally their only choices. Watch the video!

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The Retail Revolution

Episode 7 - The conversation continues by exploring the 1970's & early 80's when the retailing of electronics to hobbyists exploded onto the Australian scene. This period saw the rise of Dick Smith and his retail chain "Dick Smith Electronics" as well as many others who reinvigorated the industry. Gone were the dusty days of "over the counter" electronics and in was "self service". It also heralded the marketing of Electronics, with advertising campaigns, marketing stunts, catalogues and more. In a future "in-focus special" on Dick Smith, we will explore the techniques and marketing tricks he used in more detail, plus cover some great stories too long to include in this episode. Watch the video!

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The Changing Face of Hobby Electronics

Episode 8 - Australia contributes in the field with many world changing innovations, including such inventions as WiFi, The Blackbox Flight recorder, The Cochlear Ear Implant, The Electronic Pacemaker, Ultrasound, Distance Measuring Equipment for Aircraft and the revolutionary software that would become Google Maps to mention just a select few! Watch the video!

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The Decline of Hobby Electronics?

Episode 9 - We ask the question, has there been a decline in hobby electronics since the 1970's & 80's? For the participants, it was hard to differentiate between hobby & industrial electronics and the definition between the two practices is blurred. When asked why there was a decline many stated that it wasn't really a decline but rather a shift or change within the industry. Manufacturing of consumer goods in Australia has stopped, putting many suppliers of components out of business. Those that remain feel it's shrinking state, even today. They mention globalisation, the shift overseas for manufacturing, a change in technology that creates a divergence between the kinds of parts hobbyists use and that used by industry. …… Watch the video!

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Complexity and Integration

Episode 10 - We ask, has complexity and integration made things harder for anyone interested in learning about electronics? As innovations in electronics leads to discrete components being integrated into miniaturised circuits (known as "Integrated Circuits"), the march of time sees whole IC's being integrated into even more specially miniaturised package, providing even greater functionality with less components. Watch the video!

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An Education in Technology?

Episode 11 - In 2010, we asked our participants "Australians and other people from all over the world are super keen to get technology into their hands as soon as it is released, and yet, do they understand how it works? Do people understand technology? Can you even get an education in technology (circa 2010)? Are we heading towards a technological blackhole when it comes to the youth of today? With mass consumerism, complexity and integration as major factors, kids these days appear not to be interested in learning about "how things work" ... or are they? Watch the video!

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Henry Sutton - The Innovative Man

Episode 12 -In this video, I would like to present Henry Sutton - an unrecognised inventor of an incredible assortment of things from the pre 1900 era. This special video is my effort to help get the story out there, for Lorayne Branch, author of the book "Henry Sutton, the Innovative Man". She needs your help to get the book published. Please support her via her Gofundme campaign here: https://www.gofundme.com/27w2b4k or you can help her by donating to the following bank details: Account Name: LORAYNE BRANCH Account Designator: ATF HENRY SUTTON BOOK PUBLISHING DONATION Account Type: WESTPAC Esaver Home Branch: WENDOUREE BSB: 033607 ACCOUNT No: 000569 In a future episode of State of Electronics, I am looking forward to sharing a great deal more about Henry Sutton and his incredibly inventive mind. On discovering information about Henry Sutton, I was like many, overwhelmed with his apparent discoveries. After a great deal of research and one on one discussions with experts, I can say that he was a truly exceptional person. Watch the video!

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Fun Way into Electronics

Episode 13 - In this episode, I investigate the Dick Smith "Fun Way Into Electronics" books & kits and their effect on hobbyists and student engineers. So many Australians in particularly got their start in electronics with these kits and books. This is a somewhat nostalgic look into the impact of the key players, authors and creators of the collection of books and kits with the aim in highlighting their importance overall. Educators of today should take note of the lessons learnt, experience gained from these efforts. Today is a different world and the internet has largely taken over, however, the fundamentals taught in the DSE books and kits are as relevant today as they have ever been. A huge thank you to Dick Smith and his long-serving friends and associates, who participated in the making of this episode. This episode was made with the generous assistance of Alex Cochran of funwayelectronics.com who is bringing back the Fun Way Kits and owns the intellectual property of the Fun Way Kits and books. If you are interested in buying new versions of the DSE kits have a look at http://funwayelectronics.com for more information. I would like to thank Andy Gelme and Hackmelbourne for helping out with this episode in organising so many contributions! Join http://www.hackmelbourne.org if you are in the area! The credits tell the true story of everyone who contributed their time and made the effort to make this episode possible - thank you to you all! Your generous time I'm sure will be appreciated by all. State of Electronics is a personal effort on my part, to try to record and attribute the amazing story that is "technology" and your appreciation by liking, sharing and commenting in a positive manner is so greatly appreciated. If this is not the area of your interest don't worry, future episodes will almost certainly be so please support the channel anyway. Watch the video!

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The Rise of the Maker Movement

Episode 14 -In this episode, State of Electronics looks at the changes to hobby electronics and how that influences the broader view of the profession of electronic design and manufacture. The rise of hobby electronics through open source hardware like Arduino and other hardware such as the Raspberry Pi, leads to a significant shift in the development of individuals within the industry. The democratisation of hardware, service bureaus and crowd funding models creates an environment of hope, change and opportunity. In the next episode, we travel to Shenzhen China with a bunch of makers from Australia with the view of discovering how "makers" can leverage the current climate of "making" and manufacturing, to provide the world with innovative products and services. In addition to this, we visit Maker Faire Shenzhen and look at the culture of "Making Things" from a global perspective. Watch the video!

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The Makers Road to Shenzhen

Episode 15 -In this weeks episode, SOE follows a group of Electronic Engineers, Makers, Entrepreneurs and Startups on an innovation tour to Shenzhen China. The eleven participants introduce themselves and prepare for an incredible tour of Chinese factories, Maker Faire Shenzhen, the Huaqiangbei electronics markets and more. The group consists of tour leader Vela Georgiev, participants Andy Gelme, Brian Gilbert, Jon Oxer, Kemal Ajay, Liam Brennan, Noor Magesh, Sarah Last, Tom Partridge, Simon Holmes a Court and yours truly. Along the way, I interview Hacker and Activist Andrew "bunnie" Huang, Kevin Lau from Makernet China, Zack Shelby from micro:bit, Sherry Huss from Maker Media and a cast of amazing makers, hackers and entrepreneurs. In upcoming episodes, SOE will look at the Maker Movement as it pertains today, how China is actively creating its own intellectual property for the world market, AI and the future of manufacturing, modern day hackerspaces with SEEED's xFactory, incubators and accelerators like HAX and a whole lot more. There is a lot to talk about, show and tell. So stay tuned to an exciting series of episodes related to the innovation tour of Shenzhen. for more about the tour please see: https://www.hardworx.io Watch the video!

InFocus

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Silanna Semiconductor

In this special "in focus" episode of State of Electronics, we highlight Australia's only fab - "Silanna Semiconductor" - who compete on a global stage, creating "Integrated Circuits" (IC's) for niche markets. Through their success in combining analogue and digital designs onto a single die, utilising a materials advantage using Silicon on Sapphire, Silanna has produced "Chips" for major mobile phone manufacturers (including Apple, Sony Ericsson, Nokia), Many Satellites, The Mars Rover, the Cochlear Implant just to mention a few. Silanna has an amazing history having been created by AWA in Sydney, and despite incredible odds, continues to produce innovative devices that are radiation hardened and have many other advantages due to its substrate, materials advantage.

Team

Bronte Howell

Producer | Careers Coordinator

Bronte works in education as a Careers & Pathways Coordinator, International Baccalaureate Co-CAS Coordinator, Prep to Year 10 Electives and Holiday Programs. She loves listening, learning, drawing, digital art, music, reading, coding and making jewellery from old electronics and rare silver cutlery. Download her CV here.

Karl von Moller

Director | Cinematographer

Karl is a Director, Cinematographer and actively involved in teaching electronics and programming, by introducing open source platforms, such as Arduino, to schools, in an effort to combat what he sees is a lack of understanding in technology today. Download his CV here

Contact

If you would like to be part of the 'State of Electronics' project or have images to contribute. Please contact us below.

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