Eric Mack writes:
This DIY cell phone created at MIT manages to have something for just about every major contemporary subculture or hipster subset I can think of.
Nerds and tinkerers? Check. Wooden case for the steampunk set? Check. Huge antenna for the retro, skinny-jeans-wearing set? Check. Big buttons for the fat-thumbed and Luddite crowd? Check. Rugged design for outdoorsy types? Check.
The folks at the MIT Media Lab created this prototype with an SM5100B GSM Module that takes a standard SIM card and a custom circuit board. The screen will take you back to the last century at 160×128 pixels and the laser cut wood and veneer enclosure is just one of many possible exteriors, given the availability of 3D printing. While far from a smartphone, voice, texting, and other slightly old-school functionality is possible. All told, the parts cost between $100 and $150.
Awesome DIY cell phone has universal appeal - [Link]
Retromaster has honed his PCB making skills to get professional quality boards at home. He’s successfully made double sided PCBs with 8 mil trace width, with 6 mil clearance. In his guide he describes how to etch the PCB with toner transfer, how to use mechanical vias, and hot to apply soldermask paint.
DIY double sided PCB with soldermask - [Link]
Please welcome ArduPilotMega 2.0! – DIY Drones. Jordi writes – [via]
APM 2.0 is the culmination of almost a year of hard work. We wanted to make it perfect and we finally have it, we are pushing the limits of AVR and Arduino. I’m sure you will love it, and it’s designed to cover all the DIY community expectations (including those that are not so DIY and are only interested for something that doesn’t require soldering skills).
ArduPilotMega 2.0! - [Link]
Lawn Sprinkler the Introduction Part 1. Mike writes… [via]
The new craze for Home Automation is to use technology to Go Green. One aspect of Going Green is about managing resources in a more efficient way. I have seen a number of other hobbyists build projects that manage the amount of electricity or gas that they use within their home. In this project I am going to manage the amount of water I use for watering my lawn. In part 1 of this series I am going to cover the big picture of what I am attempting to do.
DIY sprinkler system with Netduino Plus - [Link]
Teravolt.org – DIY High Voltage Capacitors… [via]
Sure making a cap out of paper is fun and all, but making a high voltage one is even more fun!
You don’t need lots of money to make high voltage capacitors, in fact some pretty decent ones can be made with some cheap and readily available materials. This is because capacitors are very simple devices; consisting only of a dielectric and two plates. Most often a capacitor’s plates are just aluminum foil, and reynold’s wrap is easy enough to obtain, but what about the dielectric?
Enter the overhead projector sheet. Transparencies as they are commonly known as are nothing but acetate film, and while this is not the ideal dielectric for a capacitor it still does quite a good job. Typically a four mil OHP sheet can withstand 14kV before breaking down. As for obtaining them, the cheapest I have found these sheets is $10 for a box of 100, enough for about 16 capacitors.
How you make the capacitors is a rather trivial task, all that needs to be done is some cutting, flattening and rolling. Below I have an image that explains the process. Multiple sheets of OHP sheet are used to increase the capacitor’s voltage rating, and two sets of sheets are used so the capacitor can be rolled up.
DIY High Voltage Capacitors – [Link]
Jeri Ellsworth managed to build his own NMOS transistor at home using a kiln, Whink Rust and Stain remover, Emulsitone spin on dopant, ebay wafers and vinyl stickers. Entire proccess is demostrated step by step on the Youtube video above. Really awesome work! [via]
How-To Roll your own NMOS transistors - [Link]
Gio @ diyaudioprojects.com writes:
Like many of you, I love speakers and DIY Audio, but my woodworking skills are mediocre and I don’t have a suitable setup and proper tools for loudspeaker enclosure building. As a result I am often browsing the many DIY speaker kits that are available. When I came across the Tang Band D4-1 DIY Horn Speaker Kit, which is pre-cut (no cutting or drilling = no saw dust), pre-finished (no painting or staining) and looks like it goes together much like ready-to-assemble furniture, I figured it would be the perfect kit that can be built indoors as winter already had a firm grip on Winnipeg.
Tang Band D4-1 DIY Back Horn Speaker Kit - [Link]