Meet 2015 TI Community Top Helper Martin Valencia

Learn about TI MVP and Community Award Winner in this in-depth profile. #TICommunity

 was one of the winners of the Texas Instruments Community Top Helper Award for his outstanding excellence in helping others in the TI Community in 2015 and especially for Latin audiences to which he works so hard to produce hands-on Spanish language content and training. Through Martin's efforts from Element14, ElectronAplica, YouTube, Launch Your Design, part of the Jan & Martin Project Pick of the Month Award and more, he constantly strives to help Latin audiences learn about TI parts and software. Many existing, emerging and even parents of kids (who hope they turn into engineers) have credited Martin's efforts in Spanish language as a huge resource and reason they are learning more and more about Texas Instruments. Thanks Martin for all that you do for the TI Community! Gracias Martin por todo lo que hacen para la Comunidad TI!

Highlights include:

  • Sage advice he got from a professor
  • Dream TI Hercules Project
  • Advice for future engineers
  • His friendship and help he's gotten from
  • And more...

Tell people about yourself and how you came into the profession of Engineering?

MARTIN: I liked engineering since I was 16 years old. It was because before I wanted to be a lawyer; but my father took me several times to travel to power plants and I was just amazed.

The greatest influence was to be an engineer like my father.

I really like and feel inspired by the difficulty of power electronics and medical engineering.


What role and value does the TI E2E Community play for you as a business professional?

MARTIN: The TI Community is my window into new technology. Texas Instruments is constantly innovating and launching new products into the market and thanks to the TI Community I have also managed to obtain the necessary support to be able to more readily use these products.


How has the TI MVP Program helped or given you value?

MARTIN: The TI MVP Program keeps me in daily contact with engineers from around the world who regularly share their experience and knowledge of technology.

Also, thanks to the MVP program I have direct communication with the design teams of various TI products launches, such as TI analog, Hercules Team, TM4C, CC3200, C2000 and more, all graciously helping me to learn more.

I want to also add that it has helped allow me to make different "Share Your Project" style Webinars where people from around the world can see my work and give me instant feedback that helps me to only get better.


What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?

MARTIN: I love racing, especially in the city center when it is full of people, starting from one point in the city A and run at full speed trying to dodge people and cars, to another remote point B, trying to the shortest possible time.

When I've participated in this, twice I have been confused as a thief with policemen stopping me.


How close to the volcano you live by in Peru have you been?

MARTIN: My house is within 20 kilometers of the volcano, so I'm always very close.

I can feel the tremors caused by the volcano long before other people, it's a skill I've perfected over the years.


For people not aware, how would you describe your Element14 Blog and ElectronAplica?

MARTIN: ElectronAplica is a Community for people who speak Spanish (there are also cases where we get English messages and followers as well) and I am not alone as it is a group of 4 members where we strive to keep it updated with fresh information and especially anything about the Texas Instruments family of LaunchPads.

My blog on Element14 is like a complicated project where much of my time and work is recorded. I also like to share there all the project information for what I'm working on, because I receive instant criticism and advice that helps me to make my projects even better.


Your favorite moment so far in picking winners for the Jan & Martin Project Pick of the Month?

MARTIN: There have been many pleasant moments up to this moment. It's always complicated and time consuming finding the right projects and then to decide who wins among a group of projects.

After deciding a winning project, we try to find even more detailed information about it and write a short summarized article that richly describes it for the TI Community. Each winner of course gets the great allusive drawing by that always gives each winner a special touch.

How has been instrumental in your life as an engineering professional?

MARTIN: I would say that Jan Cumps was the beginning of everything (laughter).

One day I was researching new microcontroller projects for my college and I came across his YouTube videos, where he explains how to use a TI Hercules LaunchPad and thanks to this video, I decided to buy a Hercules Launchpad to learn.

Then slowly I was watching more and more of Jan's videos and learning even more. On one occasion, I asked for Jan for help on LCD screen libraries. He then helped lead me through it and doing other difficult things.

Many times Jan has made a tremendous effort in helping me along and to that I will always be appreciative, and especially for my completed projects where his help was vital.

I was able to fully realize my power quality analyzer with the Hercules RM57Lx LaunchPad, because Jan taught me how to add libraries in a Code Composer Studio driven project.

Thank you very much for the help, !


Since forming ElectronAplica, your Element14 Blog and YouTube Channel, how many people have you been able to meet and connect with as a result of it? Any sense of how many people in the Latin community you are helping?

MARTIN: Honestly I can not remember the number of people, because they were many, but I can remember many of their countries including: Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Germany, Panama, Guatemala, China, Bolivia and well really increasingly almost all of Latin America and beyond!

Most of the questions I regularly get are on the MSP430 and TM4C TI families as they are both very popular throughout all of Latin America. We often receive on ElectronAplica lots of questions around support, we have often have to then point them to the right E2E Forum in order to receive help from its worldwide engineering experts.

There are many people who like to share their our projects with others that we have published on ElectronAplica.

The ElectronAplica Community has slowly grown (now over 1,000+ Likes on Facebook) and over this period of time it has taken on its own life as people expect us to share even more and more information around TI Launchpads including its code and examples. We hope to continue for it to be a Community where the Latin Community can continue to find what they want and more.


How did you first learn about the TI Hercules family and what really caught your attention with it?

MARTIN: As mentioned earlier, I discovered the TI Hercules family as a result of
YouTube videos.

I would say it was love at first sight. I wonder who came up with the great idea of ​​combining a code generator IDE (HalCoGen) and the Code Composer Studio. With this combination I completely forgot to write long lines of code and to toggle control records. Because all that HalCoGen does, I just have to write to the main project "gioInit ()" or "hetInit ()".

At my University we always have the need to make electronic projects designed for both power electronics and medical electronics. As a result I was searching for a microcontroller that meets these requirements. The TI Hercules meets these requirements and more giving me the security of a dual processor running in parallel. When comparing all solutions ... it was just fantastic!

I'm not only content with only that as they also give me excellent speed to its main processor 100/220/330 MHz. Whenever I use a Hercules, I feel like I'm driving the Ferrari of microcontrollers!

I always try to do different things with microcontrollers and the TI Hercules family always meets my expectations.


What interests you about the Hercules devices technically – how are they different than other microcontrollers that you have used?

MARTIN: I was very interested in the security provided by the TI Hercules family, since I work in an industrial environment (mining) where you should always have a safety factor in your microcontrollers that you use in your applications.

The TI Hercules microcontrollers gives me the assurance that my application will not fail for a hardware failure in the microcontroller.

I have used many other Microcontrollers companies but the TI Hercules family differs from these because of its low cost and its number of peripherals, timers, the RTI and the different specialized modules. This is as a result perfect for unique applications that require lots and lots of precision and processing speed.


What is your impression after experimenting with the signal processing capabilities of the TI Hercules family?

MARTIN: First, it strikes me that the large number of functions that are included in documentation for the Hercules family, then the little memory space they occupy once aggregated to it.

I did a review of your source code where you can notice the high efficiency of the code made for each algorithm.

I used documentation for the floating point digital filters for cardiac signals and I had the idea that the process would take too long. But it was not so as I noticed they only take a few milliseconds which I thought out loud, "Wow that fast!"


What was the hardest part of your Power Quality Analyzer to implement?