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23 Oct 2009


While scientists are finding ways to make batteries smaller but even more powerful, problems can arise when these batteries are much larger and heavier than the powered devices themselves. Good news: Jae Kwon, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering has developed a nuclear energy source that is smaller, lighter and more efficient. Reportedly Kwon’s radioisotope battery can provide power density that is six orders of magnitude higher than chemical batteries.

Your next battery may be nuclear – [Link]

22 Oct 2009


A contest is running on telovation.com. The first person to identify what this automated robotic device is, will receive a free technology grab bag. Visit the link to participate.

Electronics Design Contest: What Is It? – [Link]

22 Oct 2009


ian writes:

Schematic & layout for an updated JDM2 PIC Programmer. Includes clock & data filter, Vpp voltage divider for modern PIC microcontrollers (eg USB PIC 18F2455/4455).

After seeing all the cool projects people were doing with Microchip PICs, I HAD to have a PIC programmer. About a year ago I made my first PIC programmer based on the uJDM design. This programmer uses 6 common components. Though the link says ’16F84(a)’ only, I used it for the more modern (and cheaper) 16F628(a) processors without problems. This programmer has served me extremely well, but it is limited to (less than) 18 pin PICs with a programming Vpp of 13 volts.

JDM2 based PIC Programmer – [Link]

22 Oct 2009


Ian Lesnet writes:

Cadsoft Eagle is the most popular circuit design and layout software among DIY’ers, and the program I use in all my projects. Today I designed a project with Eagle 5 and journaled my favorite updates. I also tested compatibility with the current and beta versions of Eagle3D, a 3D circuit board rendering program.

Cadsoft Eagle 5 test drive – [Part 1] – [Part 2] – [Part 3] – [Part 4]

20 Oct 2009

This is a really nice 3D animation made using Cinema 4D demostating the construction procedure of Drawdio. Drawdio is actually a pencil that lets you draw music. You can find more info on their website [via]

Amazing 3D animation of Drawdio – [Link]

20 Oct 2009


Justblair writes:

In the past, advice on forums has always tended more towards purchasing a second hand scope.  These tend to be had for around £100 on places like E-bay and most certainly will be a few years old if available at this sort of price.  Well that is changing and I was excited yesterday to get my hands on a “Scope” that may just re-write the forum advice.  Meet the Nano DSO from Seed Studio… [via]

Pocket Digital Storage Oscilloscope – [Link]

20 Oct 2009


Bruce Heran writes:

This project is related to the other tube amplifier projects I have posted. It has more than a casual similarity to the first Push-Pull EL84 (6BQ5) Oddwatt project from nearly two years ago. Both tube amplifier projects use EL84 / 6BQ5 tubes and the earlier one used a ECC802S driver while this one uses 5751 driver tubes. The basic circuits are rather similar, but the new project has a number of differences. Most notably it is easier and less costly to build.

5751 SRPP / EL84 (6BQ5) Push-Pull Tube Amp – [Link]

20 Oct 2009


These tiny controller boards are build to provide a quick start for projects with 8 and 20 pin AVR microcontrollers, e.g. ATtiny13, ATtiny45, ATtiny85 and ATtiny2313. They don’t include any fancy stuff, they are just as simple as possible. Eagle schematics are included.

ATtiny breadboard headers – [Link]

20 Oct 2009


An embedded Internet Radio based on an ARM Cortex-M3 Mikrocontroller and VS1053 Audio Codec. The Radio can be powered through PoE (Power over Ethernet). Supported Audio Formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, Ogg, FLAC

ARM Cortex – M3 WebRadio – [Link]

19 Oct 2009


I came across a very nice article at tinkerlog.com  explaining why you need to use a current limiting resistor to power your leds. They write:

In this post I will try to show, why it’s a good idea to use a current limiting resistor for an LED. And when it’s safe to drive the LED without any resistor.

If you read about LEDs, you will notice that everyone tells you, that you need a current limiting resistor. But mostly they do not tell you why.

Driving an LED with or without a resistor – [Link]





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