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Physical Computing
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
The beginning of my domotica controlled room
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 25 July 2011 00:00

A great automation project, a domotica controlled roombedroom. An ambitious use of speech control.

Read more:

Last Updated on Friday, 22 July 2011 20:49
DIY Split-flap display driving circuit
Written by admin   
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 00:00

Authors: admin

Markus got his hands on some old split-flap displays from a train station and build a controller for them. The controller is based on a PIC 12F683 and is using optocouplers to isolate the 42 volts display motors from the driver circuit. The unit is able to control 8 of the segments.

DIY Split-flap display driving circuit –[Link]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 23:58
Design and Print a Cookie Cutter…In Minutes
Written by Matt   
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 00:00

Authors: Matt


New MakerBot operators frequently ask for a good first design project for printing on their MakerBot. Well, I’m a tremendous fan of the Custom-Cookie-Cutter-Generator by guru, a Processing tool for creating your own cookie cutter designs by adjusting nodes on a polygon and then hitting a keypress to generate the STL file you need.

Hitchcock cookie cutters by MiFGa

He completed his first version of the tool very quickly back in June as a part of the 30 Days of Creativity challenge. I used this version of guru’s project to make a pair of Hitchcock themed cookie cutters for the Halloween Challenge by grabbing the libraries and then jumping into the Processing script and adding the additional node points I needed. But aside from guru’s own cookie cutters, I didn’t see that many other people taking advantage of the tool.

Well, that is bound to change really soon — he has updated his tool to allow a great run-time version with a few more extremely useful keypresses, including “c” to circle up the nodes, “t” to load an image to trace, and even more exciting, “+” and “-” to add or remove node points.

He also made the above “How To” video which shows a few techniques including hitting the “c” key to circle up the nodes,1 so I really can’t see how any self-respecting MakerBot operator can avoid dropping everything to make a cookie cutter. In fact, I just made two … and it took me less time than to write this blog entry. Seriously.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 June 2011 02:40
Reed Switch Motor and Parallel Port Tachometer
Written by admin   
Monday, 06 June 2011 00:00

Authors: admin

parallel port writes:

A reed switch motor consists of a rotor made up of 2 (or 4) permanent magnets. An electromagnet and reed switch are placed close to the rotor on opposite sides. I got my electromagnet by stripping a relay. When a magnet on the rotor gets close to the reed switch, the reed switch gets magnetized and allows current to pass through and turn on the electromagnet. The electromagnet pushes the magnet closest to it, and makes the rotor turn. The electromagnet is switched off when there is no magnet close to the reed switch, and this allows the rotor to spin freely from inertia. When the other magnet gets in working range of the reed switch, the electromagnet pushes again.

Reed Switch Motor and Parallel Port Tachometer –[Link]

Last Updated on Monday, 06 June 2011 14:47
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