Five-Stage Coilgun Powered by an Arc Welder!

Coilguns used to be the weapons of science fiction. Nowadays, whenever we see someone build one in their workspace it always serves as an inspiring reminder that the future is now. YouTuber [Cody’sLab] has done just that, assembling a rudimentary — but beefy — coilgun in his workshop. The one…... [Continue...]
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Decoding Rediscovered Rope Memory From the Apollo Guidance Computer

On August 25th, 1966, an Apollo Command Module was launched aboard a Saturn IB rocket in mission AS-202. This mission was intended to immediately precede the ill-fated Apollo 1 mission, the AS-202 was unmanned, serving as a test of flight hardware, fuel cells, and the guidance and navigation control systems.…... [Continue...]
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Books You Should Read: Engineer to Win By Carroll Smith

One problem with engineering education today is a lack of experimental teaching. Oh sure you may have a project or two, but it’s not the focus of the program because it’s hard to standardize a test around. Typically sections of the field are taught in a highly focused theoretical course by…... [Continue...]
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Mini Plasma Cutter

What do you get when you combine an arc cigarette lighter and some scrap glass and metal? [NightHawkInLight] created a simple plasma cutter project along with some hot glue and a few simple tools. If you aren’t a smoker, an arc lighter uses a high voltage spark to light the cigarette. He…... [Continue...]
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From Project To Kit: After The Sale

However you sell your kits online, you’ll have to find a means of shipping them to the customer. For an online operation this unseen part of the offering is more important than any other when it comes to customer satisfaction, yet so many large players get it so wrong. This…... [Continue...]
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Portable temperature, humidity and light ambient datalogger

A battery-powered small datalogger based on a PIC18F2620 microcontroller project from Jesus Echavarria: The idea comes a few months ago, talking with a friend. He needs something to  monitoring temperature and humidity inside a sea container, for a three weeks travel from Spain to China. Low consumption is important, in order…... [Continue...]
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“Starry Night” Dress Shines on the Experience of Multiple Builds

[Dave Hrynkiw] wrote up some practical and useful detail around embedding electronics into clothing. It centers around his daughter’s “Starry Night” high school graduation dress, which is the culmination of a lot of experimentation in finding the best way to do things. His daughter accented the dress with LEDs to produce a twinkling starfield effect, and a laser-cut RGB pendant…... [Continue...]
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Racing Roomba Packs the Power to Pop Wheelies

This is just good, clean fun. Well, maybe not clean since this souped-up racing Roomba appears to move too fast to actually clean anything anymore. But did they ever really clean very well in the first place? [Roland Saekow] doesn’t offer much in the way of build details, but the starting…... [Continue...]
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High-:publishVoltage Fractals

Int 1777, Georg Lichtenberg found that discharging high voltage on an insulating surface covered with a powder, a fractal-like image appears, sometimes known as a lightning tree. Incidentally, this is a crude form of xerography, the principle that lets copiers and laser printers operate. [PaulGetson] had a high voltage power…... [Continue...]
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Blowtorch SMD Reflow

[whitequark] has been experimenting with a blowtorch for SMD reflow. Having just moved 8,000 km [whitequark] was stuck without any of his usual reflow tools. He did however have a blowtorch handy, and gave it a go. When he mentioned his attempts on Twitter, we figured the results would mostly…... [Continue...]
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How To Make Your Weller Wireless

On occasion I have encountered portable soldering irons and my impressions of them have ranged from nearly usable to total rubbish. While using a popular butane powered model and pondering if it was really any better than a copper wire and a candle a thought occurred to me. A regular…... [Continue...]
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Cat-Operated Cat Food Dispenser

Tired of being harassed by your cat? [MomWillBeProud] made a cheap, effective — and more importantly cat-operated — cat food dispenser. The feeder is of an efficient construction — a double cat food dish, one container to store the electronics, and a Pringles can to act as the hopper. A simple…... [Continue...]
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How the Human Brain Stores Data

Evolution is one clever fellow. Next time you’re strolling about outdoors, pick up a pine cone and take a look at the layout of the bract scales. You’ll find an unmistakable geometric structure. In fact, this same structure can be seen in the petals of a rose, the seeds of…... [Continue...]
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How I²C EEPROM Talks to the Bus

You will probably be familiar with I²C, a serial bus typically used for not-very-fast communication with microcontroller peripherals. It’s likely though that unless you are an I²C wizard you won’t be intimately familiar with the intricacies of its operation, and each new device will bring a lengthy spell of studying…... [Continue...]
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Inventable Releases Improved X-Carve CNC Router

Introduced last year as an improvement on the very popular Shapeoko CNC router, the X-Carve by Inventables has grown to be a very well-respected machine in the community. It’s even better if you throw a DeWalt spindle on there, allowing you to cut almost everything that’s not steel. With a recent…... [Continue...]
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Hackaday Prize Entry: Open Sip And Puff

A sip-and-puff device is an assistive technology used by people who cannot use their hands. Being a quasi-medical device, you can imagine this technology is extremely expensive, incapable of being modified, and basically a black box that can’t do anything except what it was designed for. For his Hackaday Prize…... [Continue...]
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Antenna Rotation Arduino Style

Back in the days when you didn’t pay for your TV programming, it was common to have a yagi antenna on the roof. If you were lucky enough to have every TV station in the area in the same direction, you could just point the antenna and forget it. If…... [Continue...]
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