Electronics

Watts really were bigger in the 70’s…

January 11, 2011
Thumbnail image for Watts really were bigger in the 70’s…

From time to time I like to check out the local Goodwill store – mainly the electronics to see if there’s anything worth salvaging and re-purposing. I keep a look out for TVs, radios and speakers but once in a while you can snag a real bargain. I just bought this amp for $10 – […]

Share
Read the full article →

How *not* to make a vacuum tube Theremin…

December 28, 2010
Thumbnail image for How *not* to make a vacuum tube Theremin…

I think that the humble coil has to be my favourite electronic component – You take some wire, and wind it round and round and make a radio, a metal detector, a tesla coil, and a theremin. And they look darned cool too. For a long time I’d been thinking about trying to build something […]

Share
Read the full article →

Korg releases hackable box of squidgy noise – Stylophone beware!

December 24, 2010
Thumbnail image for Korg releases hackable box of squidgy noise – Stylophone beware!

Korg recently released the Monotron – a truly analog (yes it is, I’ve checked –  nothing but op-amps and capacitors and stuff). A pocket synthesizer with the same filter found on the MS-20 synth. Here’s a short video showing what I found under the hood – nice touch from Korg providing pre-soldered and labelled test […]

Share
Read the full article →

Yet another box of mystery – any guesses what this does?

December 14, 2010
Thumbnail image for Yet another box of mystery – any guesses what this does?

As a follow-up to my last Box of Mystery… This is the latest “thing” I’ve been working on – it’s still quite a way off completion, but it does look rather cool – anyone like to guess what it is? Gotta love ye-olde-worlde-Jules-Verne-style tech! Click here for a closer look OK (so as worked out […]

Share
Read the full article →

Is the Kinect a CPU hog? – a follow up

December 7, 2010
Thumbnail image for Is the Kinect a CPU hog? – a follow up

After upsetting a few people with my previous post regarding the amount of post processing required to use gesture recognition with the Kinect – I thought it was worth posting a follow up, now that I’ve had time to delve into the device a bit more deeply. First off – I wanted to address the […]

Share
Read the full article →

What the Kinect sensor actually does…

December 4, 2010
Thumbnail image for What the Kinect sensor actually does…

I was confused about the Kinect sensor. I knew that it was somehow capable of recognising human gestures but I didn’t know exactly how that data was presented to the host computer. Peering in on the Kinect community from the outside, it was difficult to work out exactly what the Kinect sensor delivered. Luckily I […]

Share
Read the full article →

Now there’s no excuse – the one tool you should own…

November 27, 2010
Thumbnail image for Now there’s no excuse – the one tool you should own…

I get a few people asking me what the best way is to learn electronics. For me nothing is better than actually doing electronics and seeing all the stuff happen right in front of you. Perhaps the most useful tool I own is a tiny USB oscilloscope I bought years ago from Measurement Computing. An […]

Share
Read the full article →

How to stop your inventions from blowing up…

November 26, 2010
Thumbnail image for How to stop your inventions from blowing up…

The first test you perform when switching something on is the “smoke test” – literally you are seeing if anything produces (magic) smoke when you apply power. This is the most costly moment in any project as a simple solder bridge can cause those $10 MOSFETs to fry and set you back a week in […]

Share
Read the full article →

First look at the AR Drone SDK for Windows

November 21, 2010
Thumbnail image for First look at the AR Drone SDK for Windows

As some of you know, Thomas Endres, Julien Vinel and myself have been working on a .Net SDK for the Parrot AR Drone quadcopter. We were planning on doing a release last week, but Parrot asked us to wait until they had revised their license to include the creation of “3rd Party” (that’s us) development […]

Share
Read the full article →

Mining stuff from an old TV – Flyback Driver

November 21, 2010

In my (now) continuing series on making stuff out of an old TV I wanted to show you next step I took. Having tested the driver I made in an earlier post with a 12v battery it became apparent that I needed to create a much higher DC power source. Luckily I had a variable […]

Share
Read the full article →