Cylon-approved

Red Eye

Andrew Probert, the designer of the Cylons for the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, wrote to say:

Years later, now, I just was made aware of this great pumpkin idea of yours and wanted to thank you personally for keeping my toaster ’alive’ in a fun new way… this is SO cool.

Our Cylon Jack-O-Lantern project and Larson Scanner kits are carrying on the tradition!

Proximity activated Snap-o-Lantern

Gabe Hoffmann wrote in:

I heard you on Science Friday talking about halloween, went home and looked on your website at Snap-O-Lanterns, and was inspired.  I added a phototransistor and infrared LEDs to make a motion sensing small pumpkin that can try to bite you.

Thanks for sharing your project, Gabe!

If you built a Snap-O-Lantern or were inspired by any of our Halloween projects, we’d love to see your photos in our flickr group.

The Art of Tinkering

The Art of Tinkering

We just got an advance copy of The Art of Tinkering, by our friends at the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium.

On their own, science, art, and technology all make for interesting, fun, and rewarding explorations. But when you mix them together, you get a veritable tinkering trifecta in which technological tools and scientific principles let you express your own artistic vision.

We flipped through the wonderful pictures and projects before we took it to the bench for some quick pictures. In the spirit of the book, we put it among a few tools and parts from recently photographed projects that were still on the table.

Surprising Circuits

We found projects by some of our friends, including Ken Murphy, Jie Qi and AnnMarie Thomas. We’re excited that we have a few projects in the book, including our Circuitry Snacks, in a section on Surprising Circuits. The book itself incorporates some circuitry on the cover, which we hope to play with soon!

The book launch party will be at the Exploratorium Afterdark (ages 18+) event on November 7.

Snap-O-Lantern Kit

Just in time for Halloween, we’re launching a Snap-O-Lantern kit. You can still build this robotic snapping pumpkin from scratch using our original instructions, or you can do it the easy way with this kit, which uses one of our ATtiny2313 target boards and has all the parts you’ll need— except the mini-pumpkin and three AA batteries.

We’re putting the full documentation for the kit on our wiki.

Maniacal Labs on the Three Fives Kit

Dan at Maniacal Labs posted a review of our Three Fives kit:

… yay for creative kits that cause you to go out and (re)learn stuff! The cool thing about the 555 chip is that it is very much a building block to bigger things. There are plenty of resources out there for 555 applications and project ideas. I’d like to thank Eric Schlaepfer for his awesome kit idea and Evil Mad Scientist for helping make it available to the masses!

 

LED Vertical Blinds


dinofizz posted in the forums about the LED display based on the Peggy 2 he installed on his vertical blinds:

I had custom PCBs made to help daisy chain the vertical blinds (they’re sitting on top of the horizontal beam from which the blinds hang). 300 ft spool of 16-way ribbon cable completely used up. Around ~4000 individual solder joints, and I’m still using breadboard to hold things together at the moment! Took me forever.

He linked to a few more build photos over in the forum post, and he even posted some video of it in action: