Category Archives: Electronics

Lighting retrofit

I just finished a kitchen lighting retrofit so I thought I would share some of the things I learned. Our kitchen had four 40W T12 fluorescent bulbs when we moved in and by the time two of bulbs stopped working … Continue reading

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Building the Custom LED Vanity

For this build we are making a wall-mounted vanity mirror with about a 2000K to 8000K color temperature range.  White LEDs are available in this range but they typically achieve the color temperature target using special composition and density of … Continue reading

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Supercharged pedicure

Luckily, these guys run on DC power!  With a little fancy contact rigging and a DC power supply, I’ve got a custom tools with stable, configurable power.  Thanks, Electronics!

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Abella, enclosed

Although Abella used to live in a shoebox, now the electronic musical instrument has been fully soldered and packaged in a project box.  The prototype is complete!

abella_annotated.png Continue reading

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Household thermal imaging

I am now the proud owner of a Seek Thermal infrared camera!  Let’s play a game: it’s called “guess the subject of this photo”!

Taken with SM-G920T, Android 5.0.2 Continue reading

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Computer upgrade

Merry Christmas to me! It’s time for a motherboard upgrade. Here are the components I selected:

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USB toggle switch extension

Last week I found myself in need of a USB toggle switch.  Such a device would allow me to toggle the power on a USB device without having to unplug it.  It is true – I suffer from a disorder that requires me to construct a USB switch rather than simply unplug my devices.

This simple device uses a USB extension cord and a slide switch connected to the +5V power line (the red wire).  If you happen to have a device  [such as an external video card] that requires to be reset every few days, simply toggle the switch when a reset is needed.

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Upgrade halogen->LED

We have two 300W halogen flood lamps in the house, but I decided it was time for an LED upgrade.  I selected the Cree 18W (90W equivalent) flood lamp as the replacement.  I wanted to keep the 6ft tall lamp stand and dimmer, but remove the halogen housing, thermal runaway circuit and reflectors.

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$50 electronics test bench

I’ve been having a hard time finding oscilloscopes and adjustable power supplies in the “hobbyist” price range, but I think I have cobbled together a solution.

A few key components:

  • Power supply from old PC
    • Make sure to short the correct pins to trick the power supply into turning on.  This is usually green to black.
    • yellow-black is 12 V
    • red-black is 5 V
    • orange-black is 3.3 V
    • If you want other voltages, well..  time to built a buck-boost circuit!
  • Gabotronics Xprotolab mini oscilloscope
    • 2MHz sampling
    • 8 bits resolution
    • $50 (the best part)

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Pitch to Color

Here is the color wheel used by my electronic instrument, Abella. When the music box is playing “C”, the pitch display appears yellow. Middle “C” is set at 262 Hz, high “C” at 523, and low “C” at 131 Hz, and each is displayed yellow. The remaining notes occupy a RGB-CMY color space.

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