Last week a team from Keio University took one of our geiger counters for a drive. That was a test run for our slightly more elaborate set up, the first test of which happened this weekend. Rather than taping the counter to the window and taking photos (a method which worked fine btw) we’ve developed a bit of a self contained kit we’re calling the bGeigie since it’s something like a little bento box. We dropped off sensor equipment to volunteers in effected areas and took some measurements at schools around Koriyama that we’re a bit concerned about (including one reading of over 50µSv/hr near a kindergarten playground).
Radiation Data Collection in Fukushima – [Link]
If You’re Going To Kill It, Open Source It! @ MAKE… [via]
Another week, another company killing off a giant product after spending millions of dollars and years developing. Back in 2009 Cisco bought Pure Digital Technology’s Flip. Gadget fans and makers were puzzled by this; phones were just about good enough to start beating the Flip. Now, it’s heading for the landfill.
Some companies fail, some kill off product lines that are not profitable, but in the end, where does all the knowledge go? Nowhere, usually. In a world of disposable everything, is it time that we demand companies do what’s good for humankind in addition to the bottom line?
If companies are going to just kill something off, why not open source it? Some companies do just that, and others, like Nokia, will promise open source (Symbian, dead product) and then quickly reverse itself, locking it up. Pictured above, a Nokia coffin.
In this article I’m going to share my collection of products that no longer exist but should (or could) have been released as open source projects. Part of the goal is for you to post the ones you’d like to see “open sourced” as well. My list includes some familiar favorites, like the Sony humanoid robots, to some old timers like Ricochet wireless cards.
If You’re Going To Kill It, Open Source It! – [Link]
While reading through Charles Platt’s excellent book Make: Electronics, I came across this nice little circuit for making a gentle pulsing LED. I built it for fun, and was struck by the “humanness” of the pulse, but couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Later I found a heart-shaped tag on some pants I had bought, and well, this is the result. I opted to use mainly scrap parts salvaged from various sources. I liked the hacky recycled feel that gave it.
I took Charles’ circuit, and added a second LED for some symmetry. The bob under the pendant is the power source. The pendant’s chain is part of the circuit, so the clasp becomes the on-off switch.
Beating Heart LED Pendant – [Link]
If you’d like to try your hand at turning on a lathe, but don’t want to shell out for a machine, how about printing your own EZLathe? Paul writes: [via]
So I’ve built a complete mini lathe system I’m calling the EZLathe… Fully 3D Printable except a small motor, and a couple pieces of cheap electronics. And able to do small wood turning jobs, or small pieces of pretty much anything.
3D-Printed Lathe – [Link]
This device attaches to dishwasher to tell what state the contents are in. She writes: [via]
I’m absentminded in general, but especially when it comes to the dishwasher. I can never remember whether the dishes are clean, whether the machine needs to be run, or emptied, or whatever. I needed a solution to this problem. My first thought was to hang a flippable sign on the door that said “clean” on one side, and “dirty” on the other. Simple, logical, functional. My second thought was, “What?!? That’s dangerously under-engineered. I can make something much more ridiculous than that.”
This contraption is the result.
Introducing the Dish-O-Tron 6000! – [Link]
Valentin B — 555 Inductivity Meter
555 Contest Winners Announced – [Link]
If you’re not following along with the great work RDTN is doing to create networks of radiation sensors, check out just one of their projects: iGeigie, a geiger counter that plugs into your iPhone. [via]
iGeigie – world premiere of a portable Geiger Counter with iPhone dock.
– Glass Geiger Tube can detect beta and gamma radiation
– Runs on mophie juice pack
– iGeiger app computes Counts Per Minute (CPM)
– Breadboard architecture allows for continuing upgrades and improvements
– Interface with iPhone through line-in interface
– Ability to call the iGeigie and listen to clicks
iGeigie, an iPhone-Connected Geiger Counter – [Link]
Through his company Images Scientific Instruments, John Iovine has been designing, making, and selling Geiger counters for nearly 15 years. MAKE’s Paul Spinrad talked with him about the recent run on Geiger counters, how (in)accurate and misleadingly described many of them are, and two new counters he’s designing for MAKE Volume 29: a standalone data-logging model and a steampunk-style counter.
John Iovine: Geiger Counter Sanity Check – [Link]
Ran into this on the element14 site and thought it was interesting. It’s technology I don’t really know that much about. Maybe you all do. [via]
This video is of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Hydrogen Fuel Cell (green color) powering a MP3 player. A PEM water electrolyser is show on the background (blue device) to generate pure hydrogen and oxygen gases on demand from distilled water.
Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Powering MP3 Player – [Link]