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embedded systems

Hai sir.i am a electronics and communication engineering student. i want to buiid embedded systems but dont know from where to start.i am thinking to start from reverse engineering of basic embedded systems like calculator,old mobile phones but i dont have knowledge on how to access the hardware,display etc.so please guide me how to know about basics and where to start from.

Topic by shankar gowd    |  last reply


Does anyone from the UK want to go in on an oshchip - the mbed compatable processor board with bluetooth? see link & text for more details.

Https://www.reddit.com/r/ARMmbed/comments/43ulln/does_anyone_from_the_uk_want_to_go_in_on_an/ Text from link: Hi all. I have decided to place an order for the oshchip (as mentioned in the title. But as the shipping is $35 to the uk - I thought I would try and split the shipping among any other UK dwellers. what my plan is: gauge interest on this subreddit and maybe others. Based on the number of people interested get a quote from the oshchip.org shop (we may be able to get a bulk discount - so savings can get back to you.) So that we can all be honest - once I have a quote, my plan is to set up an ebay page with a buy it now option. This gives you protection - as ebay / paypal is very buyer friendly. Orders from Ebay will then allow me to pay oshchip to send me the product - and as soon as I have it - I can send to you via recordered delivery (for my protection). http://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/Royal-Mail-UK-and-international-parcel-and-letter-prices-30-March-2015.pdf The prices for that are above. I should be able to fit 1-2 programmer/debug boards in a large evelope plus plenty of the OSHchips. Feel free to ask any questions - but bare in mind I check Reddit more than I check the instructables forum.

Topic by evildoctorbluetooth    |  last reply


Embedded video solutions

I'm working on a project that requires the playing of short videos based on some physical conditions. The microcontroller and more general electronic end of stuff I'm fine with. What I haven't yet figured out is the mechanics of the video player mechanism. I want to use digital video stored on removable media (preferably CF or similar memory card storage). The videos will have no sound, be black & white, and probably low resolution (640x480 being the max size). I had originally planned to use an embedded linux system (gumstix verdex or some such thing) hooked to a TFT display. With some software running on the computer, it shouldn't be hard to control with serial communication. However, I'm not sure how well (if at all) mplayer would run on the Verdex. Also, if there's a cheaper solution I'd rather take that. I guess this post is to see what my options are. I know there are mp3 decoders on a chip (like the STA013) that produce output that you feed more or less directly into a DAC. Is there such a thing as a hardware mpeg video decoder (or divx, or quicktime, or avi, or whatever?) If something like that existed, I could connect the CF reader straight through my uC to the hardware decoder and pipe it out directly. Either to LCD or CRT (depending on which signal is easier). So, does this exist? Is it feasible? Thanks,

Topic by deadbilly    |  last reply


12V DC to 12V AC? Answered

I have a speaker with an embeded amplifier that uses 12VAC ~ 2.9A and want to connect to a 12VDC in my car, a simple bridge rectifier will do the trick converting the corrent? 

Question by Salazar2    |  last reply


Tips to minimize error on embedded projects

Hey all, Over the past long while (5 months of freetime or so) I've been hard at work on an embedded electronics project for fun. However, I keep running into stupid mistakes where I frankly should've known better. Sometimes it feels like there is a gremlin or some other sentient force whose only goal in life is to make sure my project fails. Anyhow, because of this, I ask: What suggestions do you guys have for things to do to help minimize stupid mistakes while undertaking projects (particularly embedded projects involving PCBs, though general project guidelines are also welcome). Thanks, Purduecer

Topic by purduecer    |  last reply


Serial/Console Interface for Video Brochure?

Hello All!  I recently acquired one of those cheap video brochures (the kind that loops a video on full volume until you want to dash it against a wall)... Anyways, I couldn't resist the urge to hack with it, so I pulled the enclosure apart to expose the electronics. Inside I found a magnetic switch, a USB mini connector with all pins wired (two power/two data), a motherboard with three ICs and a scattering of other components, and a rechargeable battery (seems to be LiPo) all wired up to a 5.5" display. I plugged the usb to my computer and it mounted as a drive labeled "MediaPlayer". Inside was the original video file that I replaced with one of my own videos in the same format. It now plays my video with sound. Where I am stumped is with the circuit board. I have not found any markings on the board itself, however it has some pins around the edge to which the switch and speaker were connected to (I'm guessing these may be GPIOs.....). There is also an unpopulated four pin header (to the right of the display connector) that looks like it may possibly be for another USB port. There are also four solderable connections (on the bottom of the left side of the board) that are labeled GND, HRP, HRL, and DET... I wasn't able to find any meaning for those, but is it possible to establish communication through that? Last but not least, the three ICs on the board seem to be a CPU, and two flash chips. The markings on the center one (which I'm assuming is the CPU) are: F1 E200 F8148DA 19H1  The second IC, to the right of the "CPU" is marked: hynix 812A HY5DU121622CTP-D43 KOR N7EAX553Q2 - also engraved with the letters JHY The final IC, left of the "CPU" is marked: hynix KOR HY27UF082G2M TPCB 604A M8SD53321 According to Google, the E200 refers to the all winner E200 SoC that supports UART, SPI and TWI... It also says that it runs OS Melis 2.0... I would like to hack into this system if possible and/or find a way to interface the LCD through SPI for my Pi Zero... Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks! I included a couple of High Res photos to show the PCB (the display ribbon cable has been removed to show the third IC). 

Question by JoeW79    |  last reply


Human Detector

I'm trying to come up with a small, cheap, simple circuit that will detect a human. I plan to use a grid of luxeon rebel OLEDs and whatever detector I come up with embedded in my ceiling to light up only when you are under them. I've looked into passive infrared, but it's fairly expensive for the components I could find. Any leads for circuits, ideas, or parts? I'd use parts from cheap security lights, but they tend to be around $10 each and I would probably need around12-18 ... kinda painful on the pocketbook. Thanks in advance for any help!

Topic by homba    |  last reply


How to, or where to find instructions on making a computer controlled LED plate?

Hello, I would like to know were I could find, or if anyone knows how to make a plate of LED's [so a flat surface with LED's embedded], which I would be able to connect to a computer [either via a cable such as USB or an integrated small computer such as the Rasbery pi], so as I could on the computer change which LED's were lit? Personally I know nothing about this material but I am very eager to lean, realizing that this is a fairly complicated project is their a product on the market like this, and what would be some good simple projects that would help me to start learning? Thank you

Question by treky123    |  last reply


How can I programme a AVR microcontroller with this board?

How can I programme a AVR microcontroller with this board? I got this board frm a frnd.....I wd like to knw how can I programme a AVR microcontroller with this board? Will I need a separate usbisp programmer r this is enough..... r a makeshift arrangement can b done....

Question by chatsbk007    |  last reply


Electrical / Electronics Engineering Position in Chicago - RAW THRILLS

Hi everyone, We have one of the ultimate electronics positions available. We make coin-op arcade games and constantly innovate our electronics to differentiate our games from the home consoles. We're looking for someone that can hack innovative technology and make it work in our market. Official job posting is below. Please check out www.rawthrills.com for more information about our company! JOB INQUIRIES SHOULD BE SENT TO jobs@rawthrills.com. Please include a resume and an explanation of your qualifications and interest. ====================================== Available Position: Highly Motivated, Entry Level Electrical or Computer Engineer Raw Thrills, Inc. - February 2010 Raw Thrills, the leading US manufacturer of coin-operated video games, is looking for an enthusiastic Electrical or Computer engineer to join our Electronics Engineering design team. You will be working as an efficient member of a small team on products that continue to gain domestic and international market-share. Immediately, you will contribute to the design and verification of electronics, firmware, and software. In addition to the internal team, you will work with partner engineering companies to develop & maintain products, and interact with contract manufacturers to troubleshoot issues on-the-fly as they arise on the production line. You will collaborate with several experienced engineers and programmers, all the while working independently most of the work day. At Raw Thrills, our arcade games are designed entirely in-house, from the ground up. They are composed of custom mechanical parts (wood cabinet, plastics, metals, etc.), an off-the-shelf PC, a monitor, custom wiring, custom electronics & interface devices, and custom game software. As part of the Electronics Engineering team, you will be involved in much of the arcade game’s design, from low-level circuitry to high level software, and everything in between: * ESD testing & EM compliance * Custom circuit & firmware design * System integration & validation (peripherals ↔ PC ↔ API ↔ software) * Operating System (Windows Embedded) maintenance * Device driver & device-application interface (API) programming * Device functional & longevity test design (including GUI PC software, firmware, and mechanical construction) * Coordination between mechanical and electronics design * and more! Required Skills: * Demonstrable working knowledge of C/C++: need examples of work and debugging proficiency * Solid understanding of digital circuit design & troubleshooting digital systems (from circuit to PC software) * Experience designing & implementing a digital system from the ground up (school project, internship, etc.) * FPGA (VHDL or Verilog) and/or MCU (c or asm) programming competency * Self-sufficient and motivated to independently learn * Proficient with standard bench tools: soldering iron, oscilloscope, DMM, etc. Bonus Skills: * Programming experience with PC↔device communication: USB, RS232, LPT, etc. * Schematic capture and PCB layout experience * GUI programming experience (Win32 or Linux) * Active knowledge of Linux / home Linux user * Working knowledge of common scripting languages (Python, bash, Windows batch, etc.) Example Projects: * Design low-cost circuitry to robustly control addressable LEDs for eye-popping lighting effects * Design, implement, and perform game system latency testing (create hardware/software as needed) o EX: What is the round trip time from button-press to in-game feedback? Where are the bottlenecks? * Design hardware diagnostic software to allow automatic system diagnosis by end-user * Design automated functional test software for completed PCB assemblies * Design circuit and layout PCB for contact-less sensor module o Determine and perform validation testing * Add interface firmware features (i2c, Dallas 1-Wire, etc.) to MCU based board and update PC API so that game programmers can leverage the new features

Topic by rawthrills  


Job opening at MIT working on wireless sensors

Thought I'd pass this along in case there are electronic hackers looking for a job. Unfortunately, you need at least a master's degree.Post Doctoral Associate or Research ScientistMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MAIndividual will work under the auspices of the House-n Research Group to contribute to the development of a hardware and software system that will measure physical activity type, intensity, and location in very large populations of adults using ordinary mobile phones (see http://web.mit.edu/wockets). Responsibilities will include developing and field testing wireless accelerometer technology that sends data to mobile phones, extending past work at MIT, developing housing for those wireless sensors so they meet a set of design constraints identified by prior research and so they can be easily produced in prototype and larger quantities, writing academic papers on the design and use of the technology for healthcare with colleagues at MIT and Stanford, fostering an open-source community of developers to use and extend the technology, and collaborating with other researchers working on developing technologies for the NIH's Exposure Biology Program. The appointment will be for one-year. Minimum Qualifications:An M.S. or Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering (or closely related subject), with expertise in embedded systems design (hardware) and RF design (e.g. Bluetooth or any other RF protocols used in sensor networks). Microcontroller programming and knowledge of interfacing microcontrollers to analog and digital sensors is required. The candidate must possess 1-2 years of research or development experience designing, prototyping, testing and debugging electronic circuits, and the candidate must have past experience demonstrating the ability to independently develop wireless sensors from conception to manufacturing to enclosure design. Expertise in rapid prototyping of enclosures, pattern classification algorithm development, and/or ubiquitous computing helpful. Interested candidates should send a cover letter indicating why they are interested in the position and a CV/resume to intille@mit.edu. Please indicate earliest date of availability.

Topic by Vsayuni  


Starting point for designing an android handheld game device?

I've had plenty of ideas before, and one of them was to design my own game system.  Specifically, a handheld. Years back, it was just something that was like the DS - basic system with some random ideas, and of course, could play games.  Now? Figured I'd hop on the bandwagon and now I wanna do something with android - or something similar to it. Think to those PSP knockoffs that use android.  Only 1000x awesome. Fairly high density screen (not quite retina display quality... but a decent resolution) CAPACITIVE Multi-touch screen Physical buttons Sleek case This is the type of thing I'd want.  Probably some kind of modified SD Card would be used for non-downloaded games, or something.  Or SOME kind of chip-based storage device. If anything, this is first and foremost intended as a personal project for the sake of learning, and creating something.  Even if it doesn't become something that's sold to people, I'd love to eventually invest cash into this, if only to say "Hey, I made this".  So money and everything isn't an object... I just have to actually save up the cash, and of course figure out the final cost of this thing. Unfortunately, while I have built a PC before, I can't say I fully figure out what I'd need for this project.  The following is what I assume I need: Power source (AC Adapter, batteries/battery pack (lithium ion probably?). LCD Screen+Digitizer Motherboard Ram Flash storage (SSD or mini HDD?) Embedded OS (or dedicated storage for the OS and any updates?) Speakers Buttons PCB board ... It's rather early, and there's plenty of other things I figured I'd need for this stuff, including various tools, whatever is used for etching the PCB, solder, etc...  The main thing though, for the barebones stuff - excluding a case, and anything else... What are the very specific things I need?  The basic electronics... input, video (output), some sort of storage/ram.. I'm not quite sure how I'd go about doing this.  Nor have I found anyplace online to start reading up on this.  How would I have to deal with the screen?  What kind of board do I need?  Where would I find a place that can create custom chips (if needed) or, where would I find the various processors I need for this (ARM processors?  intel instead?)

Question by anthonyloprimo    |  last reply


15 steps to starting your own electronic-kit business - ladyada's tips for success

Voices: 15 steps to starting your own electronic-kit businessLadyada, of MintyBoost! fame among others, gives EDN the step-by-step process for building a successful kit-building business. I've seen her operation, and she's a total pro. If you're interested in doing this yourself, this information is gold.After Limor Fried received her master's degree in computer science and electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004, she started her own business designing and selling electronic kits, targeting customers who want to explore embedded-microcontroller-based designs or create their own GPS (global-positioning-system)-based systems, among others. She has made Adafruit Industries into a successful electronics-kit business, and, based on her own experience, offers these 15 practical steps for engineers who dream of starting their own kit business. Plus Step 7:Put basic documentation of your project online. You can use the Wordpress.com or the instructables.com site. Put the picture at the top of the project page. Below that, place a one-paragraph description of the project with specifications. For example, if you built a DMX-controlled RGB LED light, your paragraph should describe how bright it is, the DMX-control functions, how many LEDs it has, and why it's innovative. People who will give you publicity are busy, and you should make it as easy as possible for them to copy and paste your photo and description to their blog posts. Repeat this step for each project.Check out her site at http://ladyada.net/

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


XinCheJian - A Shanghai Hackerspace

XinCheJian is a Hackerspace in Shanghai, China. XinCheJian provides a community environment with open hardware setup for hardware thinkers, digital artists, designers, DIY hobbyists and everyone interested in figuring out how things work and are happy to get their hand dirty to build some fun stuffs with some like-minded people. XinCheJian will provide workspace for people to work on projects, organize workshop and courses on various subjects ranging from electronics, embedded system, and programming and host speakers and workshop session. Also, XinCheJian will act as fund raising and supporting platform for people interested in prototyping their ideas and launching new projects.  Check out our website for more information: http://xinchejian.com

Topic by xinchejian  


Ideas for a Teleoperated Project

I want to make my first Instructable, and I would very much like to do a project that is teleoperated via the internet. I have strong web application and embedded software skills, so I am doing this to combine the two with a web control panel and whatever the project will be. However, my mechanical and electronic skills are lacking (yet not absent). Does anyone have an idea of what the physical end of the project should be (what should be controlled)? At first I was thinking about doing a remote controlled car, but that is not original enough. I am looking for ideas of things anyone that goes to the site can control, so something that would be OK to give control of to the public. Thanks for your help, I will give credit to whoever comes up with the idea.

Topic by mappum    |  last reply


Integrating Access Control System with Hackerspaces Passport and Membership Software

Jigsaw Renaissance are looking into integrating Nadine and Hackerspaces Passport with our door locks. If you are able to commit time to help us designing or building, please post to: Inscape Access Control System - If you are interested in the project, please go to the group and sign up. - There will be opportunities to work on embedded firmware, electronics, mechanics, encryption, and the membership software application. - You can then control whether to get each email separately or receive a digest once a day. About the project: This project will provide an electronic door access for our new building. The project will involve providing several badge readers (probably RFID), and door lock controllers as well as a car park induction loop. Finally there is a need for software that manages the keys and access privileges. This software must be easy to use as the building landlord will use it. -- Jigsaw Renaissance is a learning and making community, a collaborative community dedicated to collective education and creation. Our mission is to create an environment in which success, failure, and most of all discovery are celebrated. Our vision is that this environment will foster an enduring sense of wonder and a drive to effect change in ourselves, our communities, and the world. For more information about JR (www.jigsawrenaissance.org), please visit our wiki page at wiki.jigren.org/Starting_Classes or this page: www.element14.com/community/groups/jigsaw-renaissance/blog/2011/03/25/who-we-are Contact us, so we can chat about scheduling something cool together. Thanks!   Ultimate Regards, -- Budi Mulyo +1.206.571.8430

Topic by Wise Cricket    |  last reply


Help Needed, 3D Printing Via Electroplating

A few years ago I saw a 3D printer that printed using UV reactive resin and a DLP projector and I obviously started thinking about ways to make this for myself. Recently I have been entertaining the idea of repurposing the old CRT technology with phosphors that produce UV light to replace expensive DLP projectors but I couldn't think of an easy way to do that. I was fiddling with various ways of repurposing one of my old CRT monitors when I had a decent idea. Instead of converting electron beams into light to harden resin why don't we harness the electron beams for the purpose of electroplating! Instead of resin we could use an ion solution and build models out of metal! Of course we would still need to replace the phosphors embedded glass screen with a conductive plate to serve as a non-consumable anode. Unfortunately I do not have the time or resources to do this myself so I wanted to post this to the Instructables Community and see If anyone felt this was a worthwhile project.  Please let me know what you think of the idea! I would love to see this turn into an actual project.

Topic by gooeyideas    |  last reply


How small could you make a working computer?

I originally wrote this as a reply to rimar2000 in another forum.  It seems sufficiently interesting to warrant a separate discussion thread.How small could you make a fully-operational personal computer (say, something with the capability of a Netbook).  I think the technology already exists to make one the size of a deck of playing cards: Hundreds of GB of storage in something the size of a little MP3 player WiFi transceivers fit inside a standard USB "thumbdrive" casing Projected keyboards could be integrated (not a separate box) The same technology could make an RGB projected display A small footprint CPU (maybe with "embedded Linux") ought to be practicalWithout a big display, hard drive, etc., you don't need much power at 5V to drive everything.  A standard cellphone battery (say 3.7V, 1000 mAh) ought to be enough to run such a machine for a couple of days between charges.I'm not competent enough as an electronics engineer to prototype something like this, but it seems like a really great challenge for the DIY experts out there.  How small could you make a working PC using existing current technology?

Topic by kelseymh    |  last reply


Human finger model movements DC activated.

Hello good folk I have been working on some artificial finger extensions and retraction via a DC motor. An H-bridge is used which is connected to a dial switch. The tendons are braided fishing line. It has proven worthy during the prototype stage. The advantage of my design is that a single DC motor of servo can control movement and grasping of the entire finger. This design particularly excels when compared to the most advanced models at the moment.... The Shadow hand would be an example. Extremley capable yet the muscle collection to the rear of the hand makes their model obsoliete even before it was created. Much work needs to be done on their model to make it effective. I apologise for the pics (camera phone) as the detail leaves much to be desired. This is just a functional model of the unit, so it's not ment to look pretty. It only purpose is to serve as the concept base as I was trying to get the tendons/joint configuration worked out... You should notice the holes in each section, the tendon passes within the finger segments within a sheath embedded inside the epoxy segment. The tendon is only exposed at the joints which also need to be finished with a exterior protectant layer. I am posting these as an example of the funtioning finger. However I would like to post videos at a later date.

Topic by Lftndbt    |  last reply


Switching

I have five existing wall lights that are hard wired to a single switch, running on 230v a/c It's impossible to run alternate wiring as it's all embedded in the walls (which are three feet thick.)   I am going to convert each light to be dual-function, with (a) background candle-LEDs and (b) a couple of 5w LED spotlights Already I have acquired 12v LED drivers and step-down transformers (12v to 5V) for the candle LEDs.   What I wanted to figure out was some electronincs to allow me to control them all by using the existing in-wall wires and perhaps replacing the wall switch with a push-button switch. What I had in mind was to be able to achieve different functions sequentially, possibly using an IC like a 4017. However, I'm only a beginner at electronics, and I haven't been able to figure out a way to do it.   One sequencing that would be effective, commencing with an all-off situation, would be:   1st press = candle lights only on   2nd press = LED spotlights on (Candle bulbs remain on)   3rd press =  All off   Cycle then repeats.   If this proves to be impossible, I also considered the idea of short and long presses, which could trigger a timer for the long press to acomplish some switching   The power of 230v a/c will also be travelling down the same wires to give power to the 12v LED drivers in each lamp, so I'm actually talking about sequential presses on a 230v a/c circuit.

Topic by colinstcharles    |  last reply


ThinkGeek is looking for an Electrical Engineer Prototype Wizard

Become part of a dynamic group at ThinkGeek developing custom manufactured retail products. Your primary job will be to design and create electronics prototypes for possible future ThinkGeek products. We're looking for someone who can take a feasible concept and prototype a functional (though perhaps not beautiful) model in circuit board form. Have your own electronics based ideas to add to the ThinkGeek swirling maelstrom of custom product awesomeness? This is a big plus. In a nutshell, we're looking for someone who understands geek culture, loves to create interesting and amazing circuits and can thrive in a dynamic non-structured work environment.If building is in your blood and you want to help ThinkGeek create the coolest most unique geeky products around, then we have a great job for you! Please Keep in Mind!We have specific requirements for people applying for the Electrical Engineer Prototype Wizard position. Please read the How To Apply section below to make sure you apply correctly or your application will not be considered. You Should Have: - College degree or equivalentExpert experience designing and prototyping electronics for toys and gadgets from scratch - Be able to interface electronics via USB, be a wizard at ArduinoKnowledge and understanding of Bluetooth/WiFi interfaces is a plus - Highly detail oriented and organizedStrong understanding of technical capabilities of consumer products and pricing - Understanding of product style and ergonomicsKeen familiarity with popular tech culture (gaming, science, computers, internet culture, etc.) - Independently motivated with a strong work ethicExcellent person-to-person, communication & written skills - Travel abroad 2-3 times/year (China/Hong Kong/Japan)Strong spreadsheet and word processing skills. - Strong computer and internet use skills.Team oriented personality with only occasional bouts of solipsism. - Ability to grok ThinkGeek.An appreciation for Star Wars, good beer, robots, monkeys and sushi is a plus. This position is on site in our Fairfax, Virginia office only. No outsourcing or freelance positions for this job will be considered. Not even you Gandalf. Strongly Desired: - Experience building mechanical gadgets or other items besides circuitsProficiency with Adobe Illustrator - Great ideas for new electronics based products - A pet monkey... (although he may only visit the office on Sundays) How To Apply: ThinkGeek is a small, close-knit group of fun, weird, and enthusiastic people who run one of the most successful niche eCommerce sites on the Internets (IR #232). As part of Geeknet, a publicly held company, ThinkGeek employees receive an excellent benefits package while enjoying the fun of working in an exciting start-up environment in our Fairfax, Virginia office. Please note, this posting is for a permanent, full time position in our Fairfax, Virginia office. Only local applicants or those willing to relocate will be considered. No outsourcing or freelance positions for this job will be considered. Thanks for asking! In addition to your cover letter, resume and salary requirements please complete the following simple assignment. Failure to include everything, including the assignment will cause your application to not be considered. (no hard feelings, but we need to make sure you really want the job... ok?) Also, just a heads up that if we do decide to interview you we'll expect you to show up with some examples of circuit-based projects you've done in the past... gotcha? Electrical Engineer Prototype Wizard Assignment Please submit a list of at least six previous electronics projects you have created in the past. For each one include the following information: - Name of project - Photo of project or video link if available - What does this item do? - What is the most notable aspect of this item? - What technology was used to create this item? - Specifically what did YOU personally create on this item? This assignment can be part of your resume or cover letter. You can do it as plain text, PDF, or HTML. Photos can be embedded or links. We're not picky, just get it in there where we can see it. Please note that this assignment is at-will and we will not provide any monetary or other compensation to you for completing it. CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR THIS JOB

Topic by TyBot    |  last reply


Help with transformer spark (probably simple if you are knowledgeable on the subject)?

I am building this poster that is for a school project that is supposed to be about me so I decided to do it on electronics. One of the parts is a small spark that I am trying to make. The difficult thing is that I am trying to make it from a battery supply (whilst using a transformer) and that I am presenting it so the spark needs to be pretty visible and noisy. I had a wall power supply that took 120VAC and output 4VDC. I removed the output smoothing and rectifying circuitry so all I was left with was a transformer. I connected a 9v battery to what used to be the output through a pushbutton switch. Then I placed what used to be the 2 input wires (there is a center tap as well I think) close together. Upon clicking the pushbutton switch I get a spark of maybe 1mm. (the spark seems to jump when I open a previously closed switch rather than when I close it. Is there a way I can use a capacitor to get a more sustained charge? My results were faint in sound and visually. I need to present this to a room. Is there a way I can automate the switching process? I tried to use a ceramic resonator but I have little understanding of how those work since I have only used them in embedded electronics and would just align the proper pins. I am thinking about sing a 555 timer and tying the output to a transistor which would supply the transformer with 9VDC. Is there a way to get a spark from DC battery supply without a transformer? It seems like the transformer adds complication since it is made for AC. I am thinking about tying the output of my current setup (which produces a small spark) to the input of another transformer. Will this work? Will the spark become even more faint if I do this? Thanks, and I understand that I am working with HV at my own risk.

Question by seanroberts    |  last reply


Request: DIY LED Nightlight Outlet Cover

Hi all, I have been scouring the web and have yet to find what I am looking for.  I have seen a couple of different LED lights embedded in outlet covers and switchplates, but I need to do-it-myself because whoever cut the outlet holes in my house clearly had the shakes, and I want to convert the larger size custom covers I need to have LED lights especially for the kitchen and the bathrooms.  I also want to put them into covers that have unusual configurations, such as two outlets and a switch, etc. I have a few things I need.  (1) it cannot prevent full use of the outlet (I don't have any to spare)  (2) I need to be able to use amber lighting so as not to have the normal blue of standard white LED lighting wake me up, which should be easy enough.  (3) I would really love to be able to add them to GFCI outlets, too, but my understanding of how those work is limited. Any suggestions would be gratefully received.  I'm good with electronics right up until it involves building your own circuits, but my electrical skills pretty much top out at re-wiring a lamp, understanding how many amps it is safe to pull in a house circuit and how not to electrocute myself. I want to do this right, so it's stable long term and safe.  Again, thanks for any help, folks. -Lois

Topic by LoisBelle    |  last reply


How can I make a thermoelectric ipod charger using a mintyboost, a peltier, and lots of heat?

I recently found a article about a Japanese company creating a camp-fire ipod/phone charger. http://tes-ne.com/PDF/epan.pdf (not spam) It appears to use a peltier thermoelectric hooked up in reverse embedded in the layers of the bottom of the pot. And the black control box is either a joule thief or a circuit similar to a mintyboost. As it is so tiny I can not imagine it has a 7805 5v voltage regulator or other similar overly simple circuit. I thought why should I spend nearly $300 on something I can make for $10-$50? I have also noticed there is a thermoelectric powered lamp on this site. My question is this, does anyone see there being an issue if I modify the thermoelectric lamp project and instead hook it upto a mintyboost to charge a couple of rechargeable batteries. I am not sure what sort of amps lets say a 100w 12v peltier would put out when reversed. I have found one for $8.09 here. And if I did attempt this (and document it for an instructables), what might I need to do to modify the mintyboost to directly charge from the peltier? I know only very basic electronics, such as what every component on a mintyboost does. So this is basically a project to learn more about electronics. Should I simply follow a solar power mintyboost tutorial? I have a couple of ideas of how to create the temperature difference for my needs. I was thinking of buying a pack of sterno cans, so I can quickly produce the heat needed and charge my all-important ipod touch in an emergency "holy crap the entire electric grid was fried by a solar flare and I won't be able to charge it ever again" situation. And also experimenting with producing enough heat from direct sunlight using black materials and a "hotbox" (this method will come later as it takes more experimenting). Side note: This is not my only emergency ipod charging project I am putting together. I am also cannibalizing some garden solar chargers and their joulel thieves, but it's been done to death, and a thermoelectric charger is so much cooler is it not? .. or hotter..

Question by stakahashi  


Proposal for a Multitasking Robot

Greetings, I am a senior EE major at Polytechnic University. I spent most of my time working with robotics and electronics. I always wanted to enter one of these robots competitions but finding the time and funds was always the problem. Its really interesting that iRobot is deciding to sponser a few teams. After brainstorming I came up with a few robot ideas that I believed novel. Then I thought about it some more and came up with more ideas. Instead of narrowing them down I thought how great would it be if all of them could be made. That led me into designing an idea for an iRobot Butler that can do many tasks. The idea is to create a modular robot that has the ability to dock with its base station and perform multiple tasks with different specialized modules. The project I propose is to develop the modular autonomous docking system and several modular tools for the robot to utilize. These tools can be used for entertainment purposes or for human aid. Here are a few concepts 1) Mobile Music docking station and amplifier - You have a stereo system, great! Only down side is its always stationary so you have to blast it till the neighbors know the lyrics if you want to hear it everywhere in the house. With this kind of a docking station just come home plug it in and let the music follow you. 2) IRobot key fob (that thing that opens your car) - Why have robot if you can't command it when you need it. With a IRobot linked to some off the shelf electronics you could have it meet you in whatever room you are in. 3) Where's the remote? Who knows? But iRobot can help you out by using a embedded universal remote following the sony ir protocol. Just give iRobot a buzz and he could come in and change it to your liking. 4) Not so Clocky Alarm Clock - Clocky is a robotic alarm clock. It rolls off its nightstand, hides somewhere in the room and then starts to wake you by forcing you to find where it hid. With the modular IRobot when you go to sleep it can hook up with its Music docking station and do pretty much the same thing. 5) Life Alert System - Many of us have been hurt at times where we wished someone could come to our aid. If you are in a accident and unable to reach a phone, press on IRobot's key fob and him lock onto another tool which brings you a cordless phone module to call for aid. The Docking Station The docking station for the robotic butler could be tracked using the same method as the self charging station. In order to remove platforms or add them a servo would be placed on the iRobot which would lock or unlock the tray. To maintain electrical connection between the two trays an array of spring header pins could be used. There are many great robotic ideas out there for the iRobot however the expense for one robot to only do one thing is pretty great. In order to compensate for the overhead expenditure a multifunctional robot with inexpensive and optional tools is a possible solution to suit home needs. This way all of the design entries can be utilized. Regarding my qualifications, I taught for three years as a teaching assistant to a freshman engineering course. My most recent completed project is the development of a chemical model car experiment and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle design project for freshman engineering. Both of these projects underwent a rigourous amount of work and will be shown at the American Society of Engineering Education 2007 conference.

Topic by cooblades    |  last reply


Eric Wilhelm wins TR35 Innovation Award

Sharing your projects and ideas on Instructables is now officially a Big Idea. Eric just won the TR35 award for top innovators under 35 from MIT's Technology Review magazine for his work with Instructables; check out the press release below, and read about the other winners.I'm pretty psyched to be part of this site, as we're clearly doing something exciting and important -- it's especially neat to be an early adopter with the power to change the way society works.-- ChristyProject-Sharing Website Creator Named Top Young InnovatorSan Francisco, CA - August 19, 2008 -- Eric Wilhelm has been recognized by Technology Review magazine as one of the world's top innovators under the age of 35 for creating Instructables.com, the Internet's #1 project-sharing website.Instructables.com began as a way for Eric to document his engineering work and grad-school kitesurfing projects, and has evolved into a world-wide hub for documenting and sharing creative projects. The site's simple, elegant step-by-step format provides an intuitive platform that allows anyone to publish their project, complete with pictures, text, and embedded video.In a world of mass-produced culture, hand-making and personalizing is experiencing a resurgence, and people everywhere are reviving classic skills and technologies. Instructables is the hub of this movement, providing a social and interactive environment to demonstrate amazing projects and ideas. The site dramatically lowers the barrier to sharing projects, enabling crafters, modders, engineers, artists, cooks, bicyclists, and techies to gather and share their work freely, and where cross-pollination is actively encouraged."Everyone wants to be a creator, not just a consumer," Eric explains. "We bring passionate people together to learn from each other. Instructables makes it cool to be smart." Instructables is also a valuable educational resource. Parents and teachers rely on Instructables as a source of project ideas, and students maintain their personal portfolios at the site. By coupling old-fashioned tinkering with thoughtful discussion and long-distance collaboration, Instructables has begun to revolutionize learning and innovation.Eric Wilhelm and the other TR35 winners for 2008 will be featured in the September issue of Technology Review magazine and honored at the EmTech08 Conference. "The TR35 honors young innovators for accomplishments that are poised to have a dramatic impact on the world as we know it," said Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of Technology Review magazine, "We celebrate their success and look forward to their continued advancement of technology in their respective fields."About Eric Wilhelm:Eric earned his SB, SM, and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where he developed methods to print electronics and micro-electromechanical systems using nanoparticles. He co-founded Squid Labs, an innovation and design partnership, and a number of Squid Labs spin-off companies including Potenco, producing a human-powered generator for cell phones and laptops; Makani, an energy company seeking to harness high-altitude wind; OptiOpia, developing low-cost portable vision-testing and lens-fabricating devices; and Instructables, a collaborative how-to site that helps people document and share a process or skill. See Eric's How To Start A Business Instructable for the more detailed story.About Instructables.com:Instructables is the most popular Do It Yourself community on the Internet. Started in August 2005, Instructables provides accessible tools and publishing instructions to enable passionate, creative people to share their most innovative projects, recipes, ideas, and hacks. The site is currently home to over 14,000 projects covering such diverse areas as crafts, art, kids, electronics, pets, bikes, cars, robotics, green projects, and cooking.About Technology Review, Inc.:Technology Review, Inc., an independent media company owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the authority on the future of technology, identifying emerging technologies and analyzing their impact for leaders. Technology Review's media properties include Technology Review magazine, the oldest technology magazine in the world (founded in 1899); the daily news website TechnologyReview.com; and events such as the annual EmTech Conference at MIT. ContactsFor Instructables:Christy Canida, 510-931-5622press (at) instructables (dot) comFor Technology Review:Sarah Mees, 978-208-1499press (at) technologyreview (dot) com More news and press about Instructables here.

Topic by canida    |  last reply


Let us assemble power distribution switches at home together.

I am an electronic engineer in the field of power distribution switches. In recent days, I am prepared to make a project for power distribution switches at home together.  The project begins now: Home decoration, the concern of hydropower indispensable. The laying of the home circuit is a crucial link, the home distribution box installation involves the safety of home appliances. Therefore, I specifically summarise the home distribution box installation knowledge, as well as home distribution box wiring diagram to make the relevant finishing, for everyone to take precautions, the home distribution box has a clear understanding. Home distribution switch installation points 1, Household distribution switch sub-metal shell and plastic shell two, there are two kinds of mounted and concealed, the box must be intact. 2, The household distribution switch of the cabinet wiring assembly should be set up to zero line, to protect the ground wire, phase line, and to be intact, with good insulation. 3, The installation of air switch seat should be clean and there is enough space, should be installed in the dry, ventilated parts, and no obstruction, easy to use. Never install the distribution box in the box to prevent fire. 4, The household distribution switch should not be installed too high, the general installation of the elevation of 1.8 meters, in order to operate; into the distribution switch of the electric tube must be fixed with a lock nut. 5, If the household distribution switch to be open, the edge of the hole to be smooth, smooth, distribution box buried in the wall should be vertical, horizontal, edge left 5 to 6 mm gap, distribution box wiring Should be rules, neat, the terminal screws must be tightened. 6, The loop into the line must be sufficient length, no joints, after installation marked the name of the use of the circuit, the installation of household distribution box to be completed after the removal of the distribution box residue. How to assemble power distribution switches at home ? 1, The installation of electrical box, distribution box installed on the wall, should be used bolts (expansion bolts) fixed, bolt length is generally buried depth (75 ~ 150mm), the thickness of the box floor, nuts and washers Of the sum of the thickness, plus about 5mm of the "margin". For smaller distribution boxes, it is also possible to embed a good brick at the installation site (in the form of a distribution box or a panel mounting hole) and then use wood screws to secure the distribution box or power distribution board. 2, Dark assembly distribution box, distribution box embedded in the wall installation, in the wall when the hole should be reserved than the length and width of the distribution box about 20mm, the depth of the distribution of the thickness of the distribution box with the wall Plaster thickness. In the masonry distribution box, the box and the wall filled with concrete can be fixed to the box live 3, The distribution box should be installed firmly, horizontal and vertical, vertical deviation should not be greater than 3mm; concealed, the distribution box should be around the gap, the edge of the panel should be close to the wall, the box and the building, Part should be coated with anti-corrosion paint. 4, The distribution box installed in the spiral fuse, the power cord should be connected to the middle of the terminal contact, the load line should be connected to the threaded terminal. In this way, in the loading and unloading fuse will not be electric shock. Porcelain plug-in fuses should be mounted vertically. 5, The distribution box of AC, DC or different voltage levels of power, should have a clear sign. Lighting line, should be set to zero line (N line) and protect the zero line (PE line) bus, zero line and protection of the zero line should be connected to the bus, not twisted, should be numbered. 6, The wire leads to the panel, the panel line hole should be smooth without burrs, metal panels should be installed insulation protective cover. Metal shell distribution box shell must be reliable grounding (then zero). Ps: Excuse me if I was wrong in words or expressions as I am a green hand in the field of power distribution switches. I need continual learnings. What is your idea ? Do you agree with my ideas ? Any of your ideas would be highly appreciated. May someone would like to help ? thanks in advance.

Topic by maryzhu    |  last reply