Parts: 0.1uF decoupling capacitors

Most ICs need to be decoupled from their power supply, usually with a 0.1uF capacitor between each power pin and ground. Decoupling is usually used to remove noise and to smooth power fluctuations. Every project will need a few decoupling capacitors; our mini web server project has three ICs that require a total of 11. This can be an expensive part to buy in singles, so it’s crucial to stock up online. Read more about our favorite bulk through-hole and surface mount decoupling capacitors after the break. [Read more...]

Hack your rear projection TV to be bigger

Want to get a bigger tv but can’t afford it? If you Have a rear projection TV, why not just get a bigger screen? That’s exactly what was done here. They dismantled the old TV, mounted it and enclosed it theater style, with curtains. They then mounted a new screen in front of it and voala, bigger TV. He doesn’t talk about how much brightness was lost, but there had to be some. The final picture looks great.

[thanks BonMul]

The pinnacle of modern robotics: Bar2D2

[Jamie Price] directed us to this photostream of the build for Bar2D2. Though it isn’t the first bartender bot we’ve covered. It very well could be the best executed.  Bar2D2 can travel around the party dispensing bottles of beer, shots, and even cans. The construction looks fantastic. You can follow along in the photostream from the very beginning.  It is currently radio controlled and can party for about 8 hours per charge.  The next planned upgrade is a system that allows you to choose a mixed drink from a database and Bar2D2 will mix it up.

As you can see from the pictures, Bar2D2 is the life of the party, attracting pretty girls and cheesy sci-fi tv pirate astronauts too.

A remote controlled RGB light bulb lamp

RGB just got a lot brighter by using 3x60Watt flood lights instead of an LED. The bulbs are driven via TRIACs and the whole thing uses a remote control to change the levels of the three bulbs. It is also able to store these levels for later recall. The IR receiver was taken from a dead TV set along with its remote control, or a universal remote set to a Phillips TV can be used. The source code and schematic for this project are available.

Control Media Center with programmable IR receiver

This IR receiver based on ATtiny13 microcontroller is used to control a Media Center box via a remote. The circuit is powered by 20 pin ATX connector pin 9 “+5VSB” because it is the only pin that is powered when the computer is off, or in standby. The receiver is programmed to accept the codes from the remote by holding down the switch while pressing the remote button. The circuit can use “Girder” or “PC remote control” as controlling software on the Media Center.

DIY vertical axis wind turbine

This vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) uses five 3” PVC pipes cut in half for blades rotating on three kids bicycle wheels to spin an Ametek 38 volt motor or a wind blue alternator. The whole thing spins in a frame that is a 12 feet high and 2 foot square box that is able to sit on his deck. In total it cost him about $125 plus time, a bit more if you use the wind blue alternator.

Video of the vertical turbine in action after the break.
[Read more...]

Upgrading the Cisco PIX 506E


[Albert] read the Cisco PIX Wiki, and discovered that the motherboard of the PIX 506E is the same as the PIX 525, which has a 600Mhz Coppermine Pentium III CPU. So he took his Cisco PIX 506E and upgraded it by swapping out the Celeron 300Mhz, with a Pentium III 600Mhz and populating the second PC100 RAM slot inside. The system only shows 448Mhz instead of 600Mhz, but it does recognize the PIII, and there are no problems.  The CPU load has dropped to 0% after the CPU swap, and RAM upgrade.

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