- Mars is currently making its closest approach to Earth.
Here are some viewing tips.
- Mining platinum from the roadside (YouTube)
- Crowdfunding a book about The Secret History of Mac Gaming
- How it’s made: “Long Eggs” (YouTube, german language)
- The Cattle Prod Selfie Stick
- Cute japanese bags, modeled on deep sea creatures
- Radio Shack to return once more?
- Converting stepper motors into industrial servo motors
- Camera tests for the Muppet Movie in 1979 (YouTube)
I’ll be giving a talk and demo on Saturday at this year’s Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA. I’ll be demonstrating one of the many projects from my book, The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory (and signing books as well).
You can catch the talk and demo on Saturday, May 21, at 1:30 PM, on the Maker Show & Tell Stage.
Our collaborator Eric Schlaepfer has been extremely hard at work this year, designing a truly monstrous follow up to our giant-scale dis-integrated 555 and 741 circuits. This is the MOnSter 6502: a transistor-scale replica of the famous MOS 6502 microprocessor, the processor found at the heart of influential early computer systems such as the Apple ][ and the Commodore PET.
It is huge, at 12 × 15 inches, with over 4000 surface mount components, and 167 indicator LEDs added throughout so that you can see the flow of data.
This is a new project, still underway. We will be showing off the first prototype of the MOnSter 6502 at the Bay Area Maker Faire this coming weekend. We don’t promise that it will be completely working by then — this is a first stab at an extremely ambitious project — but we’re genuinely excited to show it off in this early stage.
(Before you ask, the MOnSter 6502 is not yet a kit or product that we’re selling. Right now, it’s an amazing thing that we’re trying to build. If you would like to stay in the loop as this project evolves, we’ve set up a special mailing list for updates.)
I used your Larson Scanner with 10 mm LEDs to put a little life into my Cylon “standee” which stands guard over my office. It has delighted everyone in the office (especially the IT Guys that work for me).
I’ve had What’s It Like in Space? sitting on my desk for a few weeks now. It’s a compact book that fits nicely in your hands, with a glittery starfield on the cover. Every so often I pick it up and flip it open to one of the vignettes of astronaut experiences Ariel Waldman has gathered together.
My favorite is titled “Mysterious Headaches” which tells the story of how NASA accidentally sent astronauts into caffeine withdrawal by providing them with insufficiently caffeinated (freeze-dried) coffee.
The brightly illustrated tidbits can be jumping off points for further exploration— inspiring the reader to learn more about a particular bit of science or history. They’re also just plain fun to read, ranging from silly to profound. This makes it great both as a coffee table conversation starter and for anyone with an interest in science and space.
Deanna was our youngest presenter at the 2015 faire – she discussed the learn-to-solder board that she designed and uses to teach her elementary school classmates. At this year’s faire, she will show you how to solder with her specially-designed board.
Deanna will be teaching soldering and Brian will be talking about chipKIT at the mini Maker Faire, which is May 14 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Each circuit depicts an original, traced and hand-drawn schematic created by Forrest Mims for his iconic books “Getting Started in Electronics”, and the “Engineers’ Notebook” series. Every board includes a description of how it works, in Mims’ handwriting, on the reverse side.
They look like a fantastic way to learn electronics. You can order them through her Crowd Supply campaign now.
We are once again excited to be helping judge the Hackaday Prize.
Now in its third year, the Hackaday Prize challenges the international community of designers and makers to address issues facing humanity through technology.
This year the prize is divided into five separate 5-week design challenges. The first one, Design Your Concept is ending on April 25th. It will be followed by Anything Goes, Citizen Scientist, Automation, and finally Assistive technologies, which ends on October 3rd.
20 projects will be chosen from each of the 5 rounds, and awarded $1000 per project. At the end of all 5 rounds, 100 projects in total will advance to the finals where 5 top prizes will be awarded: $150k, $25k, $10k, $10k and $5k. In addition the 1st place project will win a residency in the Supplyframe Design lab to develop their project further.
S.W. wrote in:
I just wanted to let you know that I am using your XL741 kit in my Electronics 2 class lab. It is a high quality kit and I thank you for putting it together. We build the 741 in stages, make measurements, adjust offsets, etc. It is a great vehicle to teach the analog building blocks. A student of mine (now graduated) and I wrote four lab exercises for it and they are being used now for the second time. We also just got to share them with several EE teachers who were also very enthusiastic about the idea.
We love to hear about how our kits get used!
Dr. Nim was made by John Godfrey, the same person who designed the original Digi-Comp II. His grandson, Andrew Beck, has the Dr. Nim prototypes and recently shared pictures and video of them via twitter.
Here’s a video showing the first two Dr. Nim prototypes, made by hand in the 1960s
The second prototype still works, and he shows off how the mechanism works in the video, along with pointing out some of the differences between the two prototypes.
The earlier prototype has switches that look very similar to the ones in the Digi-Comp II.
The second prototype is very close to the production version, which we blogged about some time ago, and can be seen below.
Thank you, Andrew, for sharing this bit of history!