Basic reason for existence of MLAB is the need for opened robust and somehow universal kit (as a box of universal bricks) for both electronic hobbyists and professionals. MLAB is focused on general electronics and microcontroller technology. It can be used for tuition as well.
In opposite to another more known projects such as Arduino the MLAB is not a development platform focused to only one architecture of microprocessors but uses many types of chips from much manufactures. In addition the MLAB provide much better design reliability which is achieved by using the base board usually made from aluminium or single sided PCB material. The board is not only mechanical support but it is a good ground conductor as well.
The base is furnished by holes for fastening of individual MLAB modules. The holes are places on a grid every 10.16mm (0.4inch). Dimension of a module can be any integer number of grid and screws are usually places to all four corners.
Electrical connections are made by stranded wires with female connectors on both sides. On modules there are prepared jumper connectors in common raster 2.54mm (that is 1/10 inch). Wires can be easily obtained from old printer cable. There are a lot of wires of different colors, almost free.
For power supplies it is used the same jumper connectors. Usually this way:
The web was created because we believe that we have something to publish. The main reason was the MLAB project. It is some sort of construction kit or electronic "lego". MLAB modules proved usable so well that we wish to share it with the others.
Everything about MLAB (documentation, design files etc.) and a lot of other things. Some articles about electronics. Everything is original written by our authors.
The web is primary in Czech language but some information is translated into English. When the text is not in English it is presented in Czech. Schematics, tables, source files and other design data are considered to be international enough to be valuable even without translated text.
The translation may not be done well. If you can see errors let us know, please.
Several keen electronics and hobbyists. Our hobby is our job as well. The web and MLAB project are non-commercial and they are created in authors free time.
Let us know and we will try to mend or improve it (if the result is worth the effort).
The base component is SubVersion system (source code version system, similar to CVS or SourSafe). Every piece of information is in SubVersion database and web content is automatically generated. SubVersion is primarily intended for the authors. Users do not need to install SubVersion client. The content of SVN is accessible via WebSVN Web interface (read only).
Web server is Apache 2 running on Linux.
Web pages are based on HTML4 and CSS2. They are not optimised for any particular browser and we hope that we avoided successfully all important bugs of widely used browsers.
In the beginning of the project MLAB was developed by few authors. But now MLAB is continually improved by much more wide community. Some of main contributors is listed on project wiki page.
The whole content of this web is copyrighted material and remains as is even if it is stored or spread by any means (web, computer, operational memory).
The authors gives the project as is without any warranty. They particularly do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness and suitability for any purpose. Thinking is required.
It is possible to use the project for non-commercial purposes and for personal studying. Commercial organizations may use it for their own internal needs but as a part of training of their customers or partners.
Original and derived project may be published provided that they contain link to MLAB web http://www.mlab.cz and that the information about original authors is preserved.
To use project for commercial purpose, especially for profit. It is not allowed to manufacture the MLAB devices or modules and sell them and to publish MLAB documentation by print or publish it with another commercial documentation.
It is not allowed to modify the project and deploy it as commercial project.
It is possible to use MLAB against the rules above with agreement of the authors only. If you are not sure consult with authors.
The most fastest communication channel is IRC on our server mlab.cz #mlab
E-mail conference is powered by google groups. This is the most reliable communication method useful for general questions addressed to mlab community. This method of communication is useful especially for questions and problems who can be needed probably even other users.
We have a facebook page too Facebooku it is used mainly for propagation or highlighting some of main events in development.