- 10 Cuts: How to make wooden pliers (YouTube, embedded above)
- Inside the TWA terminal at JFK, a “time capsule from 1962.”
- Emu vs Weasel Ball (YouTube)
- How does pumping a swing work?
- Historic spacecraft illustrations, CC-licensed.
- Echochamber.js — a brilliantly cynical approach to blog comments (via Scanner)
- Wintogreen Lifesaver Flash (YouTube, via @xek)
- Super-K neutrino detector news: EGADS! GADZOOKS!
- The Straight Dope on pronunciation of ancient languages
- Computer-generated handwriting: Paper (arxiv.org), online examples
- Aldrovanda vesiculos: An aquatic carnivorous plant
- Receiving weather satellite data on your computer
- A filmmaker debunks the moon landing hoax
Our two “dis-integrated circuit” kits are the Three Fives Discrete 555 Timer, and the XL741 Discrete Op-Amp. These two kits are functional, transistor-level replicas of the original NE555 and μA741 (respectively), which are two of the most popular integrated circuits of all time.
Last year, we wrote up a detailed educational supplement for the Three Fives kit, that works through its circuit diagram and discusses its principles of operation down to the transistor level. Today, we are doing the same for the XL741 kit, and releasing an educational supplement that explains how a ‘741 op-amp IC works internally, down to its bare transistors and resistors:
This ability to peek inside the circuit makes the XL741 a unique educational tool. In what follows, we’ll work through the circuit diagram, discuss the theory of operation of the ‘741 op-amp, and present some opportunities for experiments and further exploration.
You can download the supplement here: XL741 Principles of Operation (1.1 MB PDF)
- Get the XL741 kit at our store.
- Our original article here, announcing the XL741 kit
- Main XL741 documentation page at our documentation wiki
- MatterHackers Punch-Out: The Best 3D Print Ejector Ever (YouTube, via Make)
- The 11,000 marble marble machine
- Red Hot Nickel Ball (RHNB) vs Jawbreaker (YouTube)
- After Dark (Classic Mac Screensavers) in CSS
- 3D printed sink faucets by American Standard
- The Amazing Do-Nothing Machine at the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum (YouTube)
- Building enclosures from circuit boards @ Hackaday
- Elsa M. Garmire, laser art pioneer
- Resonant Frequency of Googly Eyes from Rob Cruickshank (Vimeo)
- Painting clean lines with painter’s tape @ Popular Mechanics
- svgerber: a browser based Gerber to SVG converter, for previewing circuit board designs
- The chalk that the mathematicians are hoarding
- Cat video: Kitty hitches a ride in the wing of an ultralight aircraft.
JK Brickworks made this amazing “pick and place” style Lego Mosaic Printer:
It is built entirely using LEGO parts. It first uses the EV3 colour sensor to scan the source image and save the data on the Mindstorms unit. It can then print multiple copies from the saved image data. The 1×1 plates used for ‘printing’ the mosaic are supplied using a gravity feed system and the printing head is simply a 1×1 round plate that can pick up and place the 1×1 plates.
More information about this project can be found at JK Brickworks.
Politicians To Poop is a new extension for the Chrome web browser that replaces the names of presidential candidates (US, 2016) with the “pile-of-poo” emoji. Options allow you to “poopify” the names of Democrats, Republicans, or both.
Politicians To Poop is available now, for free, at the Chrome web store.
Possible reasons that you might want to use this extension include:
- You are from outside the US, and don’t need to hear these names every day.
- You are temporarily overloaded by the amount of poop that the candidates sling at one another.
- Because it is funny.
No judgement upon any of the named individuals, nor their platforms, parties, or beliefs is either implied or intended. This is intended to be an equal-opportunity text replacement tool, for the good of all humanity.
This project was inspired by Millennials to Snake People. Much more information including source code, the list of names, and additional attribution is available at our GitHub repository.
We have a book coming out!
Coming soon: The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory is a new, updated version of Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory, the classic 1960’s hands-on science book by Raymond E. Barrett.
The book is scheduled to make its debut at Maker Faire next week, where I’ll be speaking about it. It’s also available for pre-order now from Amazon.com and other sellers of books, as well as from our store.
We’ll be writing much more about the book once it’s out— about what’s in the book, the process of updating and annotating it, and about the hundreds of project ideas spanning biology, geology, chemistry, physics and more.
However, since we’re already in teaser mode, here are some photos of the original version from the 1960’s:
Fine print: “You can build these and many other experimental items with materials from your home, garage, or local hardware store. Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory will show you how!”
- Fixing Computer Space, the 1971 arcade game
- Ethanol-shaped bottle opener @ Shapeways
- Lunar Lava Tubes: Nice place for a moon base!
- Modern alternatives to the HTML <blink> tag.
- Word vs LaTeX: Which is more productive? (It depends, of course.)
- Paper: Source of perytons identified. (“Perytons” being millisecond-duration transients of terrestrial origin.)
- Real Vegan Cheese: A cool project from our friends at Bio-hackerspace Counter Culture Labs.
- A layered-fabric 3D printer for soft objects: Link (pdf)
- Dark matter may feel dark forces.
- Biosphere 2: The planetary makerspace
- Open Source Software for Quantum Information, Developed in partnership with NIST
- APOD: All the nebulas in Orion.
Last fall we wrote about NanoBeam, a new super-miniature open source aluminum T-slot profile construction set that was on Kickstarter at the time. While comparable in design to industrial profile systems like 80/20, its cross section of just 5 mm × 5 mm is comparable to a stud on a lego brick.
We recently got our
tweezers hands on a ‘beam, and yes, it’s real, yes, it works, and yes, it’s that tiny. And just wait until you see the fasteners.
- No, you are not a tetrachromat.
- How to solder without electricity (or a soldering iron). Hint: candles produce heat.
- Automated Pocky Dispenser (via Hackaday)
- Reminder: Don’t plug untrusted USB devices into your computer.
- Power grids with heavy solar: What happens during an eclipse?
- Open source photopolymer resin for Autodesk’s Ember 3D printer.
- Walkthrough of the Apple Watch making-of videos @ Atomic Delights
- Original Moog Schematics
- The most expensive part of farmed salmon: Pink coloration pills.
- Agricultural water usage per pound of food in California: How many gallons of water does it take to make a pound of almonds?