October 14, 2013 /
When you hear the term Tricorder, you might think of Star Trek but I assure you, this is no toy prop. Keeping with the same concept of the Tricorder used on the TV show the Tricorder is about reading data, _lots_ of data. And that is what the Tricorder project aims to do, develop handheld devices that are fitted with lots of diverse sensors in order to observe them.
So far the project has produced a few different versions. The Mark 1, the Mark 2, etc. They are currently working on the Mark 5. Each version is pretty different from the other, and they all contain a wide variety of sensors such as atmospheric temperature, humidity, pressure and electromagnetic field, color, infra-red. And the obvious like GPS. They’re even working on developing their own sensors like this 3d printable mini spectrometer.
The project is open, and there are tons of pictures, and schematics on the tricorderproject’s web site.
October 8, 2013 /
Daniel has a curiosity that most hackers like him share. And let’s face it, we like to take stuff apart. Some time ago, Daniel seen a previous teardown of the NEST thermostat by the ifixit guys. Inside there is an 802.15.4 radio transceiver that isn’t mentioned anywhere in the documentation this radio is commonly used in zigbee/xbee/mesh networks.
Daniel even went as far as to ask them what the radio was for, and got stonewalled. So Daniel decided to do his own teardown and probe at the inner workings of the thermostat even further. One of the goals was to see if the 802.15.4 radio was ever used without them saying so.
He notes at the end that the NEST guys have announced some new products like a smoke detector, and they have in the specs the 802.15.4 radio so it makes sense that the radio is there for future upgrades for the other devices to be able to talk, but I recommend watching the teardown video, it’s long but entertaining.
Check out the video after the break. Also more info over at Daniel’s site.
October 7, 2013 /
Taking a ploy from the upcoming TouchID feature the new iPhone will have, Grant was inspired to make this really neat toy box for his son’s toy car collection.
You would think getting a fingerprint reader would be the most difficult part, but apparently Adafruit has ‘em for sale! So Grant got a fingerprint reader, a hobby servo, pushbutton, and some batteries and hooked it up to an Arduino UNO.
Looks like a fun project, especially for something like a jewelry box.
Check out the source code and other details on Grant’s site.
Check out the video after the break.
October 7, 2013 /
Halloween is a great time for makers, we get to make all kinds of cool costumes and spooky things. Sometimes we get to play with fire. Well at least Chris Lee does. This flaming pumpkin is enough to keep them pesky kids from toilet-papering your house, or catching it on fire after they do.
The pumpkin is triggered by an Android phone, talking to a RFU-328 radio and Arduino. The Arduino triggers 2 relays, 1 to activate a furnace igniter, the other activates a solenoid that releases the flow of gas. The spray mechanism comes from an AirWick room spray and is filled with butane.
Chris made a comment about maybe converting this to shoot silly string out during actual Halloween, either way it’s a cool project.