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News/Eclectic Items

Eclectic means "deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources".

The sections below list interesting projects and ideas that perhaps I will have time to undertake at some stage.

I'm interested in collaborating with individuals and or groups if there is something of particular interest - contact me using the Contacts Page and or leave a comment below.

A list of possible future electronics projects I will perhaps begin, listed in no particular order.

  • Engineers Multi Tool
    • This is currently based upon Arduino (but would be more flexible if based upon PIC parts directly) - objective is to create a portable device, having portable power, a basic display and circuitry to measure voltage, current, pulses, test components (Resistors, Capacitors, Transistors and more) and also be able to serve as a Serial Terminal, basic frequency generator, PWM and perhaps basic oscilloscope functions. There are a number of devices available relatively cheaply on ebay that do similar, but more FUN to "roll your own".
    • Reference: https://hackaday.io/project/6208-engineers-multi-tool
  • POV Displays
    • While perhaps not very useful as such, definitely very cool. There is a good example of a "propeller clock" that perhaps gives a useful end product, and not just a project for curiosity sake.
    • Reference: http://www.jameco.com/Jameco/workshop/MyStory/diy-led-propeller-clock.html
  • Energy Harvesting
    • No NOT "free" energy aka breaking the law of thermodynamics, but (also known as power harvesting or energy scavenging or ambient power) the process by which energy is derived from external sources (e.g., solar power, thermal energy, wind energy, salinity gradients, and kinetic energy, also known as ambient energy), captured, and stored for small, wireless autonomous devices, like those used in wearable electronics and wireless sensor networks. The commerically available IC's are expensive for the DIY'er, would be interesting to experiment with possible DIY approaches.
    • Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_harvesting
  • DIY sine wave inverter
    • An inverter from 12VDC to 240VAC would be very useful for solar powered projects. Commerical inverters very expensive. Many DIY inverter circuits use square wave or modified sine wave, which is "hard" on equipment supplied in this manner (and not suitable for "sensitive" equipment). A pure sine wave inverter DIY project not for the faint hearted however.
    • Reference: http://www.gohz.com/homemade-2000w-power-inverter-with-circuit-diagrams

A list of possible future projects I will perhaps begin, listed in no particular order.

  • Evaporative/Sputtering Metal Coatings
    • Gives the possibility of making flexible circuit substrates on a range of materials.
    • Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OEz_e9C4KM&list=UUivA7_KLKWo43tFcCkFvydw
  • DIY Nichrome Wire Acrylic Bending Table
    • This would be very useful in making more professional looking enclosures for electrical projects.
    • Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVEf7PfuKxo
  • Induction Heater
    • An important feature of the induction heating process is that the heat is generated inside the object itself, instead of by an external heat source via heat conduction. Thus objects can be heated very rapidly.
    • Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVYMLnXW9uo
  • Drones/Quadrotors
    • Just plain fun - but also would be interesting to see have far can go with DIY approach. Lots of scope for utilising 3-axis accelerometers, interfacing with old playstation controller, DIY radio (bluetooth for indoors, nRF24L01 outdoors), GPS, potentially CMOS camera's etc. Also, lots of fun/interest in the programming side of multiple small drones interacting with various forms of self-control algorithms.
    • Reference: http://www.instructables.com/id/PCB-Quadrotor-Brushless/

A list of whatever.

  • Orion's Arm Universe Project
    • Reading science fiction is fun, particularly fiction that has a lot of science (extrapolated, but still "feasible"). This online project is touted as the next step in the evolution of science fiction - good geeky fun, but can waste lots of time here.
    • Reference: http://www.orionsarm.com/xcms.php?r=oa-intro
  • DIY Gene and DNA editing (Biohacking)
    • Wow, this is really actually possible. Definitely another whole area of interest that combines many skills and gives opportunity for learning.
    • Reference: http://www.the-odin.com/
    • Reference: http://openpcr.org/
  • Rocketry
    • If I could work out where I could launch (and build/test without blowing up the house, more importantly, without getting in trouble with the wife) the DIY rocketry would be great fun (and again mixes a lot of interests from electronics through to machining).
    • Reference: http://www.diyrocketry.com//


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