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26 Aug 2011

Libstock is a community website created by mikroElektronika, allowing users to share their projects and libraries. It was created to provide the community with the right and necessary infrastructure.

Libstock is a powerful concept, encapsulating many useful features for easier navigation, flexibility in code presentation, and mechanisms to getting what you are seeking for, using categories, search, sorting and filters. Libstock allows you to stay in touch with your fellow contributors, to be notified of code changes, to discuss code implementation, but also express your wishes for future development. Libstock, mikroElektronika say, is far more comprehensive and user-friendly than any other embedded community website. It’s the best place for code! [via]

Community website for emebbed progrogrammers – [Link]

26 Aug 2011

Paul Thede, owner/President of Race Tech Suspension can claim he is the fastest man in the world on an electric motorcycle after cresting the 200 mph mark when he set a new Land Speed Record of 206.080mph. Paul Thede crushed his previous record of 176.321 mph that he set in 2010 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

Thede teamed up with Richard Hatfield from Lightning Motorcycles to accomplish this feat. “Breaking the 200 mph barrier on an electric-powered motorcycle is so special because it isn’t just another record; it’s a step towards furthering ‘green’ technology around the world,” Thede stated. He goes on to say, “It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. If you swung a leg over and opened her up, you’d become a believer too!”

Thede is no stranger to motorcycles. He is a former pro motocross racer, Pikes Peak Hill climb winner, and has set numerous land speed records at Bonneville. [via]

Electric motorcycle breaks 200 mph barrier – [Link]

25 Aug 2011

Pendulum Waves [via]

What it shows: Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and random motion. One might call this kinetic art and the choreography of the dance of the pendulums is stunning! Aliasing and quantum revival can also be shown.

How it works: The period of one complete cycle of the dance is 60 seconds. The length of the longest pendulum has been adjusted so that it executes 51 oscillations in this 60 second period. The length of each successive shorter pendulum is carefully adjusted so that it executes one additional oscillation in this period. Thus, the 15th pendulum (shortest) undergoes 65 oscillations. When all 15 pendulums are started together, they quickly fall out of sync—their relative phases continuously change because of their different periods of oscillation. However, after 60 seconds they will all have executed an integral number of oscillations and be back in sync again at that instant, ready to repeat the dance.

Setting it up: The pendulum waves are best viewed from above or down the length of the apparatus. Video projection is a must for a large lecture hall audience. You can play the video below to see the apparatus in action. One instance of interest to note is at 30 seconds (halfway through the cycle), when half of the pendulums are at one amplitude maximum and the other half are at the opposite amplitude maximum.

Pendulum Waves – [Link]

25 Aug 2011

Digi Launches Wi-Fi Version of Popular XBee Module, we’re checking this out shortly! [via]

Digi International (NASDAQ: DGII) today introduced the XBee® Wi-Fi, an embedded module that enables industry leading low power, serial-to-Wi-Fi networking in the popular XBee form factor. Because of the XBee’s common footprint and application programming interface (API), customers can now create a single board design for wireless products that supports 802.15.4, ZigBee, ZigBee Smart Energy, 2.4 GHz, 900 and 868 MHz, Wi-Fi and proprietary DigiMesh protocols.

“XBee modules offer developers tremendous flexibility and are extremely easy to use,” said Larry Kraft, senior vice president of global sales and marketing, Digi International. “By adding a low-power Wi-Fi module to the XBee product family we give customers the fastest and most flexible way to get Wi-Fi up and running on their systems.”

Ideal for energy management, wireless sensor networks and intelligent asset management, the XBee Wi-Fi offers 802.11 b/g/n networking and flexible SPI and UART serial interfaces. Because the module includes the 802.11 b/g/n physical layer, baseband MAC and TCP/IP stack, developers can add Wi-Fi to their products simply by connecting to the XBee Wi-Fi’s serial port. The XBee Wi-Fi is fully tested at manufacture and comes with modular certification for the U.S., E.U., Canada and a number of other countries, further reducing the time to market, development expense and design complexity.

Digi Launches Wi-Fi Version of Popular XBee Module – [Link]

25 Aug 2011

A word about open source hardware @ The Custom Geek… [via]

So, what is open source hardware and why should I be interested in it? Open source hardware is simply hardware that is released in the wild along with CAD files (PCB layout data), documentation, and hopefully a tutorial on how it is set up and works…

Now, I was skeptical about this when I first heard about it because I thought,”If I want to sell my stuff, why give away the information I worked on?” I mean after all, aren’t we supposed to design something, then patent, copyright, trademark, and lock it in a safe? Thats the way to keep it ours right? After all, I worked on it, and I should get all the credit and all the profit right? I’m not giving my stuff away! But then I started thinking…

Read more, great post!

A word about open source hardware – [Link]

25 Aug 2011

Bench Lights from Jeremy Saglimbeni on Vimeo.

Controlling high power (or a high number of) LED’s with an Arduino from Jeremy Saglimbeni on Vimeo.

Jeremy writes:

OK, so about a year or so ago, I was working at my bench and I could not quite see what I was doing. I needed more light! I got so mad, I built this in about a half a day, and fixed the problem. Now I have enough light even when working on tiny things with magnifiers on my head.

I now have 4 white 12″ CCFL tubes, 6 1 watt warm white LED’s, 144 cool white LED’s (in strips), and 12 5mm diffused white LED’s under the bench pointed at the floor (did you ever drop anything?). All the LED’s are ramped on and off with PWM dimming as you will see in the video above. I also have 2 more channels available with full PWM dimming. Running everything wide open will allow you to see very well, and only consumes 17 watts.

A little overkill, but I was really frustrated. And hey, who just wants a plain ole boring switch anyway? Not me…

You can never have enough lights on your bench! [via]

UPDATE: Jeremy has made a new explanatory video (above, bottom), and shared his source code. You can check out all that new goodness here.

Workbench Light Controller – [Link]

25 Aug 2011

This project guides you through the process of building an animatronic neck using two servos to make a pan and tilt system. The demo video is pretty funny.

Animatronic Neck – [Link]

24 Aug 2011

Do you know SocialCompare.com, a Flexible and Collaborative Comparison Engine ?

There are already many comparison tables in High Tech area, such as comparisons of Smartphones, Tablets, Ereaders, Android versions…

Actually, it is a kind of “Wikipedia” site since everyone can contribute by creating lists, interactive comparison tables… (data are published under open licenses).

 It’s very easy to add, maintain data…, everything can be compared !  (not only high tech products.. but also business tools, video games consoles, crowdfunding sites, curation tools, politics, people.. and so on, the limit is only your imagination…)

Different table views of similar data can be saved (choosing the cells order of the table, the elements to be compared or the list of comparison criteria that can be: video, images, users ratings, users votes, text, yes/no…).

There is also a visual sizes comparison tool of objects when you click on a graphical icon in the top left corner of a table (containing the dimensions criteria, great to compare smartphones or tablets sizes for example).

It is also available as an independent and innovative visualization tool to compare sizes of various things (without building any matrix):


SocialCompare.com: Collaborative comparison engine – [Link]

24 Aug 2011

Keithley Instruments, Inc has published an electronic handbook titled “Making Precision Low Voltage and Low Resistance Measurements”. The handbook, which offers instant online access to a wide range of Keithley application notes, white papers, webinars, and many other references, was developed to help readers solve today’s toughest low level measurement challenges. It can be downloaded at no charge from the url below. [via]

A number of topics related to low voltage measurements are addressed in the handbook:

  • Offset voltages
  • Noise
  • Common-mode current and reversal errors
  • Low resistance measurement topics covered include:
  • Lead resistance and the four-wire method
  • Thermoelectric EMFs and offset compensation methods
  • Non-ohmic contacts
  • Device heating
  • Dry circuit testing
  • Testing inductive devices

Free E-Handbook on low voltage, low resistance measurements – [Link]

24 Aug 2011

While roofs across the world sport photovoltaic solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity, a Duke University engineer believes a novel hybrid system can wring even more useful energy out of the sun’s rays.

Instead of systems based on standard solar panels, Duke University engineer Nico Hotz proposes a hybrid option in which sunlight heats a combination of water and methanol in a maze of glass tubes on a rooftop. After two catalytic reactions, the system produces hydrogen much more efficiently than current technology without significant impurities. The resulting hydrogen can be stored and used on demand in fuel cells. [via]

Hybrid solar system makes rooftop hydrogen – [Link]





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