Animatronic Eyes

This project/article explains the theory behind building a pair of animatronic eyes by using servo motors and a gimbal system, with the servos controlled by a PIC 18F452. The article includes all the details for making your own animatronic eyes: hardware schematics, PIC firmware and a detailed procedure with many pictures.

Animatronic Eyes – [Link]

Sun-free photovoltaics

A new photovoltaic energy-conversion system developed at MIT can be powered solely by heat, generating electricity with no sunlight at all. While the principle involved is not new, a novel way of engineering the surface of a material to convert heat into precisely tuned wavelengths of light — selected to match the wavelengths that photovoltaic cells can best convert to electricity — makes the new system much more efficient than previous versions.

The key to this fine-tuned light emission, described in the journal Physical Review lies in a material with billions of nanoscale pits etched on its surface. When the material absorbs heat — whether from the sun, a hydrocarbon fuel, a decaying radioisotope or any other source — the pitted surface radiates energy primarily at these carefully chosen wavelengths. [via]

Sun-free photovoltaics – [Link]

Laser sparks revolution in internal combustion engines

For more than 150 years, spark plugs have powered internal combustion engines. Automakers are now one step closer to being able to replace this long-standing technology with laser igniters, which will enable cleaner, more efficient, and more economical vehicles.

In the past, lasers strong enough to ignite an engine’s air-fuel mixtures were too large to fit under an automobile’s hood. At this year’s Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics (CLEO: 2011), held in Baltimore May 1 – 6, researchers from Japan described the first multibeam laser system small enough to screw into an engine’s cylinder head.

Equally significant, the new laser system is made from ceramics, and could be produced inexpensively in large volumes, according to one of the presentation’s authors, Takunori Taira of Japan’s National Institutes of Natural Sciences. [via]

Laser sparks revolution in internal combustion engines – [Link]

element14 Challenge & Prizes-Are you in the knode

As you know, the recently launched element14 knode  is the world’s first design solutions gateway that brings knowledge (KNO) and design engineering (DE) together in one place, giving engineers one interface to a world of design solutions. element14 created the knode to streamline the design process and offer a new platform for peer collaboration.

Now, element14 is inviting electronic enthusiasts and engineers who are registered at the online community to participate in the “Are you in the knode?” challenge to win tech prizes everyday through Oct. 1. Prizes from leading manufacturers, such as Microchip, ST, NXP, Texas Instruments, and Linear Technology, will be given away daily. In addition, all entrants of a daily draw have a chance to win a weekly giveaway, and one grand prize winner will also be chosen from everyone who entered the challenge.

With the development of the knode, element14 is continuing to be a provider of design engineering solutions that go beyond components, giving engineers more tools they need to get their jobs done. We hope you’ll share this information about the challenge with your readers so they can join the fun and utilize all the benefits that the knode and the element14 community have to offer.

element14 Challenge & Prizes-Are you in the knode – [Link]

element14 Challenge & Prizes-Are you in the knode

As you know, the recently launched element14 knode  is the world’s first design solutions gateway that brings knowledge (KNO) and design engineering (DE) together in one place, giving engineers one interface to a world of design solutions. element14 created the knode to streamline the design process and offer a new platform for peer collaboration.

Now, element14 is inviting electronic enthusiasts and engineers who are registered at the online community to participate in the “Are you in the knode?

Repairing LCD Monitor Samsung 943NW

Today we have repaired the Samsung LCD monitor with model no: 943NW , he come with symptoms that monitor off after 2 seconds.

I opened it and saw that the electrolyte (100uF/400v) cracked, then I replaced the new capacitor, but the problem is still here, the monitor turns off after 2 seconds, I tried the other new CCFL lamps but now shuts down after 30 sec, in that period as the monitor for i felt that the inverter transformer smell the melted plastic.

Repairing LCD Monitor Samsung 943NW – [Link]

24 LED Police Flasher

Dual color (4 line x 3 column) led, 12 white and 12 blue are intermittently switched controlled by two NPN transistors BC337.  The speed and duty/cycle timing of lighting duration is determined by NE555 oscilator. The number of repetition of sequential lighting of each group of led is determined by 5-stage divide-by-10 Johnson counter with 10 decoded outputs and carry out bit (CD4017).

The intermittent lights from two group of led imitate the police car strobe lights.
The speed of switching off and on of led are continuously regulated by variable trimmer resistor.

24 LED Police Flasher [Link]

Digital AC Voltmeter

electronixandmore.com writes:

My variable AC power supply has gone through several revisions over the years. It started out as a simple unenclosed variac (variable autotransformer) and electrical outlet mounted on a block of wood. I eventually put it in the case of what used to be an old audio signal generator for safety and appearance. Among the other added features, I used a 0-250VAC analog meter that I had on hand to display the output voltage because otherwise it was annoying to whip out the multimeter to monitor the voltage coming out of the variac. Over the years I realized that the meter was inaccurate and simply useless, so a new readout was necessary.

Digital AC Voltmeter – [Link]

Wireless Infrared Link

pyroelectro.com writes:

One of the earliest methods of wireless transmission used was with infrared light. Using wireless IR links has many advantages with the primary two being low cost and low part count to implement. The simplest of on/off switches using wireless IR would take no more than 10 parts, but this tutorial will be going to send asynchronous serial data over a wireless IR link.

This tutorial will create a wireless infrared transmitter using an IR LED and a wireless IR receiver using a phototransistor. Asynchronous serial will be transmit over this link at 9600 BPS. The PIC 18F452 will be used to transmit and receiver this data.

Wireless Infrared Link – [Link]

Pill Reminder

ibuildthings.ryanblace.com writes:

Remembering to take a vitamin daily is simple enough. Remember to take a vitamin every three days is nearly impossible (for me). I wanted a solution which will remind me to take the pill and require zero effort. This small project holds two bottles in a fairly nice looking box and flashes red until you take the pill. The act of picking up the bottle (the pill ingestion is assumed) is the entire interface.

Pill Reminder – [Link]

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