Electronics

A closer look at the world’s most (insanely) powerful Laser Pointer

October 11, 2010
Thumbnail image for A closer look at the world’s most (insanely) powerful Laser Pointer

I ordered a Wicked Lasers Spyder Arctic S3 back in June. It did take quite a while to ship – so if you order one, expect long delivery times. When I first read about them, I thought it was just over-enthusiastic marketing – a blue laser in the 1W range was difficult and expensive to […]

Share
Read the full article →

Things to do with 12,000 Volts #3 – Strangely lethal plasma ball

October 10, 2010
Thumbnail image for Things to do with 12,000 Volts #3 – Strangely lethal plasma ball

Everyone has seen those plasma balls you get from Spencers gifts. They even make versions that plug into USB ports – although they do all look a bit feeble. You can create a hugely more dramatic effect by hooking up one side of a regular light bulb to 12,000V and a piece of foil to […]

Share
Read the full article →

Man builds 2Mhz Tesla coil on kitchen table, annoys cellphone addicted wife

October 9, 2010
Thumbnail image for Man builds 2Mhz Tesla coil on kitchen table, annoys cellphone addicted wife

I was clearing out the basement the other night and I found a box of stuff I’d put aside to build a Teeny Tiny Tesla Coil (TTTC). Small Tesla coils are tricky, especially using the traditional “Spark Gap” approach as they tend to resonate at really high frequencies and this makes them difficult to tune. […]

Share
Read the full article →

Now that’s clever – a real use of wireless power transmission…

October 6, 2010
Thumbnail image for Now that’s clever – a real use of wireless power transmission…

I’ve been looking into persistance of vision (POV) style displays recently as part of a new project. The spherical projectors are especially cool and groovy. What really impressed me about this particular implementation is the use of pulsed 12v DC to drive a circular transformer wrapped around the drive motor. So enough power is being […]

Share
Read the full article →

So *that’s* what they’re called…

October 5, 2010
Thumbnail image for So *that’s* what they’re called…

How long have I been looking for these? [About 20 minutes? -Ed] Second only to those springy clips you get in 200 in 1 electronics kits, these are GREAT for protoyping stuff that won’t/shouldn’t fit in a breadboard – like Tesla coils. Fahnestock Clips! From Wikipedia: “Fahnestock clips were seen on early radio receiver breadboard […]

Share
Read the full article →

RGB LED Light cube, now available at Fry’s

October 3, 2010
Thumbnail image for RGB LED Light cube, now available at Fry’s

I’ve been following the development of the LED lightcube for quite a while. I was in my local Fry’s earlier tonight when I noticed they were selling this 4x4x4 cube for $99. Initially I wasn’t going to buy it, but after careful consideration I thought that the saving in labo[u]r costs were probably worth it. […]

Share
Read the full article →

Quite possibly the most useful thing I’ve seen in a long time…

October 2, 2010
Thumbnail image for Quite possibly the most useful thing I’ve seen in a long time…

I was perusing Lady Ada’s blog and came across this article featuring an IC pin alignment tool. If you’ve ever had to solder DIP-type integrated circuits you’ll know that you nearly always have to bend the pins in just a little bit, since they are shipped with a “bow-legged” stance. Usually this can be quite […]

Share
Read the full article →

Things to do with 12,000 Volts #2 – CD eraser

October 2, 2010

Chance of data recovery – minimal. Believe it or not I was actually trying to do something constructive with all those pesky MSDN subscription CDs I have lying around the place… Lichtenberg figures are “trapped lightning” fractal patterns created using a very large DC accelerator. I was hoping to produce something similar in the CD […]

Share
Read the full article →

Things to do with 12,000 volts #1 – emulate old horror films

September 30, 2010
Thumbnail image for Things to do with 12,000 volts #1 – emulate old horror films

Baron Frankenstein wouldn’t be without one, Steve Martin couldn’t keep a brain alive without one either. The Jacob’s ladder is *the* 1950’s mad-scientist fashion accessory. Remarkably easy to make if you can find a neon sign transformer, and a thick insulating block… (Rather than give you step by step instructions, I’m going to show you […]

Share
Read the full article →

Blast from the past – The Stylophone Schematic

September 30, 2010
Thumbnail image for Blast from the past – The Stylophone Schematic

Years ago (and we’re talking more than a few) my parents finally gave in and bought me the closest thing you could get to a real synthesizer – The Stylophone. Mine was the white one – there was a slightly more advanced model that was black with faux wood trim. The sound was monophonic, and […]

Share
Read the full article →