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Mechanical computer part 3
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 09 August 2011 00:00
Maker Faire Detroit: Iron pour
Written by Dangerus Prototypes   
Monday, 08 August 2011 00:00

Authors: Dangerous Prototypes

It’s hard to overestimate the awesomeness of seeing metal splash around like water.  Seeing Chicago Crucible transform small heaps of busted up iron into awesome art by using fire seemed to be a highlight for many.

The raw materials, from old radiators and such like, busted apart with sledgehammers, measured out with scientific precision.

These molds served as the final destination for the liquid iron.  For $20, you could buy one of the square forms (to the left in the image) and carve it up however you like, and they would pour it for you.  Observe the leftmost, already filled.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 August 2011 22:54
Warm Nixie Tube Clock
Written by admin   
Monday, 08 August 2011 00:00

Authors: admin writes:

This is a new and improved version of “Warm Tube Clock” – the open source Nixie clock project. Important hardware changes between this new version and the previous one are:

- Timekeeping is more accurate and is done by DS3231 (or DS3232) RTC IC
- There is no DS18S20 temperature sensor – the internal one of RTC IC is used instead
- Backup battery is not powering AVR anymore, but only the RTC IC
- There is no “slide switch” to control the alarm – now it is done in firmware
- Crystal on PCB is optional and can be chosen up to 16 MHz. It clocks AVR and GSCLK pin of TLC59401 IC
- Pin-compatible with previous version of Nixie “shields”

Warm Nixie Tube Clock –[Link]

Last Updated on Monday, 08 August 2011 00:05
Lightweight Headlamp from Cheap, Readily Available Parts
Written by Instructables   
Saturday, 06 August 2011 16:03


Night skiing is really popular where I live, and while the ski resorts are adequately lit on piste at night, they are, obviously, not lit in the trees. Well, just because I can't manage to get to the resort during the day doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to enjoy a little tree skiing. Most commercial headlamps contain at least one if not more deal breaking issues, prohibitive pricing being one of those deal breakers. Home built headlamps can be really good, but often the designs I see online require the use of a lot of tools and ample shop space. Some of us are liberal arts majors who spend all our meager income on lift tickets and/or can't manage to hold on to one job long enough to afford to live in a house with a shop.

I don't have access to a CNC machine, a shop, or fancy tools, so I set out to design a headlamp that could be built in a spare bedroom of an apartment out of readily available parts that didn't require exotic tools or materials. Everything is available online and at either a good hardware store or a hobby shop.

The other considerations I had in mind are size, water resistance, and the ability to pocket the battery pack. The light runs off an inline resistor rather than an electronic driver so the input voltage can be 4.2 volts, which is the output of 4 rechargeable AA batteries. This is important because we skiers have to keep our batteries in our pocket so they stay warm, which means they have to be in a small enough package to fit inside a ski jacket pocket alongside snacks and a cell phone without making the skier look like a conspicuous shop lifter.

I also wanted the cabling to be cheap, detachable, and intrinsically strain relieved. That meant using RCA plugs for the power connectors so I could just use audio cables for the interconnects. This also obviated the need for a switch as I can just disconnect the cable when I want to turn the lamp off.

The whole assembly needed to not cannibalize straps and stuff from other headlamps. This meant I had to come up with a helmet mount that tilts as well. On top of tilting, it also needed be adjustable with gloved hands and able to be locked in place once at a satisfactory angle. I kind of like my solution, which is to utilize big ol' brass wing nuts and brass machine screws.


Last Updated on Sunday, 21 August 2011 01:37
1.2 kA motor driver circuit based on the PIC16F877
Written by Dangerus Prototypes   
Saturday, 06 August 2011 02:14

Authors: Dangerous Prototypes

rsdio writes: This thing puts out so much torque that it has to be run at 3/4 power to avoid slipping the clutch!

Features: Programmable current limit 100-1200 motor amps, automatic over-temperature current limit cut-back, water-cooled copper heat sink, low-loss IGBT modules, and motor overspeed limit.

Processor: Microchip PIC 16F877 This small yet powerful microcontroller runs at 5 MIPS and 20MHz with 8kb of onboard program FLASH memory. It also has two onboard 10-bit PWM generators, eight 10-bit ADC channels, and a UART interface.

Via the Dangerous Prototypes forum.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 August 2011 23:14
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