Semiconductor radioactivity detector: part 3

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Robert Gawron has made a new version of his radioactivity detector project and wrote a post on his blog detailing its assembly:

In this post I will present a new hardware version of my sensor, older versions are described in part I and part II. In comparison to the previous one, sensitivity is roughly x10 more sensitive.
In previous version, tin foil window for photodiodes was very close to the BNC sockets and because enclosure was small, it was hard to place a sample close enough. Not it’s better, however, if I would choosing again, I would use metal enclosure similar to those used in PC oscilloscopes and put BNCs on front panel, power socket on rear panel and tin foil window on top. This would allow me to easier access for debugging- now I have to desolder sockets to get to photodiodes or to bottom side of PCB.

See the full post on his blog.

Open Trickler: The DIY smart powder trickler

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Eric Higgins has a nice build log on his Open Trickler project a bluetooth-enabled smart powder trickler from off-the-shelf parts for under $60:

Fundamentally, this is not a hard problem to solve. Read the value from the scale, run a motor that moves powder into the scale, turn off the motor when the scale reads the target weight. As with many projects, the devil’s in the details and there was plenty of trial-and-error during the development process to reach a working prototype.
In this project, a Raspberry Pi is used to read the weight from the scale and run a small vibration motor (like those in mobile phones) to trickle powder. An app on your phone or tablet connects to the Raspberry Pi over Bluetooth, and is used to set the target weight and start/stop the automatic trickling process.

See the full post on Ammolytics blog.

Check out the video after the break.

Homebrew DMX-controlled RGB LED light

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Glen has written an article detailing his homebrew DMX-controlled RGB LED light:

This project is a small DMX-512 controlled, color-changing RGB LED light. The light can be controlled via the DMX512 protocol or it can run a number of built-in programs depending on how the software is configured. The light incorporates an advanced 16-bit PIC24 microcontroller with PWM capabilities, a 3D printed enclosure, a laser cut acrylic lid, a custom switching power supply, and a MEMS oscillator. The light measures roughly 2.25″ square by 1.25″ high. This light is the evolution of my RGB LED light designs that span back over a decade.

Project info on Photons, Electrons, and Dirt blog.

Qi wireless power receiver from scratch

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Vinod made a Qi wireless power receiver using Attiny13, that is available on GitHub:

I have only two aims while trying this. The receiver should get powered by the transmitter continuously. I should be able to control the power received by adjusting the error packets, in my case I am trying to keep received voltage always 10v.
There are lot more but I am only interested in this two features for now, so I will not be following the complete Qi specs described on the WPC documents, by the way, it worked for me without any issue. This is purely experimental.

See the full post on his blog.

Check out the video after the break.

Piggybacking USB onto an industrial push button

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Glen Akins has written an article detailing his USB-connected big red button project:

In this project, I mount the electronics from my single-key USB keyboard project to the back of an industrial mushroom push button switch. The finished big red button now activates my screensaver with a single overly-large button press. The biggest issues in this project were where to mount the USB electronics and how to connect the USB cable between the button and my computer.

More details on Photons, Electrons, and Dirt blog.

Resistive load, constant-current power supplies, and a 3D printed desk lamp

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Dr. Scott M. Baker published a new build:

In this video, I build a 3D Printed Desk lamp. The basic design came from Thingiverse, but I repurposed my LM2576 Constant-Current design to serve as a dimmer.  It all started when I found an interesting lamp on thingiverse, which used 75mm air hose segments from another model to make a flexible articulating desk lamp. What appealed to me about this project is the size of it, and the use of COB LED panels, which I’ve been wanting to experiment with.

See the full post on his blog.

Check out the video after the break.

Wifi based DIY 5V switcher for led-lights

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Albert posted a detailed how-to on building DIY ESP-12F based USB-5V switcher:

5V powered 100LED circuit was consuming around ~1.8Watts(though 5.1Ohm series resistor was really hot) and the brightness of the LED’s were not bad, especially difference between first led and last led brightness didnt bother me it was hardly noticeable when seen from distance. So I decided to use them as a christmas decoration for my garden.
I wanted to use them with battery-bank as there was no power-outlet readily available(for the safety of my children, i would avoid any 230v circuit in my garden especially in wet weather). Also I wanted them to be switchable remotely to avoid going out in the freezing cold. Hence this is what i came up with.. an “ESP-12F based USB-5V switcher”

See the full post on his blog.

Raspberry Pi based indoor air quality monitor

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Dr. Scott M. Baker made this Pi-based environmental monitor and wrote a post on his blog detailing its assembly:

For years I’ve followed the “uRadMonitor”, a device that does air quality monitoring and radiation monitoring. I’ve played with geiger counter projects before and frankly found them to be not very interesting. However, the idea of monitoring air quality is something that seemed like it might yield interesting data. For example, as I’ve started to become involved in 3D printing, it would be useful to see whether or not 3D printing affected the air quality. It would also be useful to correlate my results with what my region reports for outdoor air quality.

Check out the video after the break.