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Build Like A Pyro!
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Take Me To The Gadgetory!
KPV: A Solar Powered Scooter

Posted January 5, 2014 by Chris

"As far as solar powered vehicles go, the Hybrid Electric Kinetic Photovoltaic Vehicle (KPV) is probably the most innovative and eye catching of the lot. For one, the KPV is extremely portable and can fit in your suitcase. The KPV has a lithe body frame but can function just as well as any solar powered vehicle twice its size."

XBee Wireless Robot + Obstacle Avoidance

Posted October 30, 2013 by Chris

"The goal of my project was to design and implement a mobile robot that can be controlled wirelessly using speech as a user interface. This was my first mobile robot which I built by forking concepts from here and there. I tried to follow open standards and use opensource hardware and software components wherever possible."

Ultrasonic Security System

Posted July 29, 2013 by Chris

“We came up with the idea because it could help us and others protect property and privacy. Traditional household security systems often require installation and detect based on opening of doors and windows. In the cases where installation is not possible and/or the area of interest has no door, our ultrasonic security system will come in handy because it requires no installation, and detects intruders based on their physical presence.”

Building a Rare Tube Detector

Posted March 27, 2013 by Chris

“How many times have you bought a Nixie tube at a garage sale or swap meet, only to discover once you got home that the tube was outgassed?…With a very high voltage, low current supply, one can build a portable ion source that can ionize the gas inside a tube, without even touching the tube. In effect the user ends up with a magic wand that will cause any cold cathode tube in its presence to light up.”

PIC18F2550 Experimentierboard

Posted March 12, 2013 by Chris

“Microchip PIC now has a USB flash controller in an IC. So you no longer need a USB chip with various components AND a microcontroller. Both components are integrated in one chip. Microchip also sells these chips in DIP package. This makes the job for prototype development and hobby electronics easier.” [Article in German]

A Commodore Pet in an FPGA

Posted October 16, 2012 by Chris

“I miss my old Commodore Pet. It was a blue-face with the chiclet-style keyboard. So, I’m recreating it in a Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA. I’m using a Digilent Nexys3 development board. The design runs original version 1 or 2 ROMs.”

One Bit Ferrite Core Memory

Posted August 18, 2012 by Chris

“If you thread a wire through a core and then pulse it with a current of sufficient strength, the magnetic domains will align such that the core will become magnetized in the one circular direction, or the other. The magnetic property that makes this work as a memory technology is that when a core flips from one state to another, it kicks back a small induced current pulse that can be sensed with a simple transistor amplifier.”

Simple RS232 Level Converter Using Transistors

Posted June 24, 2012 by Chris

“There are many…asking for the RS232C level converter chip, DS275…and many have changed to MAX232 instead. Here is another simple and cheap circuit using small signal transistor providing TTL to RS232C level conversion.”

MiniDDS Signal Generator

Posted March 25, 2012 by Chris

“The board does not contain any microcontroller. So you can decide whether you want to connect it to a PC or to a microcontroller. I created a small piece of C-code software for Atmel AVR microcontrollers to control and test the signal generator. At the moment it is just possible to enter the desired output frequency and the divider is set automatically. It does not make any use of the second frequency register and the phase registers. In addition i did some experiments in creating a WSPR signal with this setup.”

Magnetic Levitation

Posted March 5, 2011 by Chris

With proper electronic control, stable magnetic levitation of objects is actually quite possible. This project does just that too. Using only a handful of electric parts and an electromagnetic, levitation goes from black magic to reality.