Tiny bluetooth teardown


The folks at SparkFun were startled by how small USB bluetooth adapters had become so they split one open. They noted a few interesting design features. It has a small folded trace antenna on the board edge. The metal USB housing acts as the RF shield. The bluetooth IC is an AS3620QA. Now we wonder what those tiny Buffalo drives look like inside.

Related: Eye-Fi teardown, storage/WiFi in an SD card

Giant bulb VU meter


The latest Inventgeek project is a 12 outlet control box. They decided to demo it using a giant bulb based VU meter. The control box has 12 individual outlets hooked up to two layers of six solid state relays. [Jared] notes that SSRs can be very expensive, but he purchased his on eBay for ~$10 each. Wiring and installation on this project is incredibly clean and they plan on using the control box for future how-tos. The simple audio circuit used for the VU is based on the LM3915. You’ll find full plans on the site or you can watch the overview video embedded below.

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OmniDirectional Research Platform

[Shachar Geiger] sent in an interesting project that he worked on with [Tal Avivi] at the Bezalel academy in Jerusalem. They were given the task of designing a 1-person electrical urban vehicle. They took some cues from MIT’s Transology and designed the OmniDirectional Research Platform (ODRi). There’s a video of it embedded above. It can be driven using three different input styles: an accelerometer joystick, a traditional gamepad, or body mass shift. They started with an Arduino, but needed more I/O and had to switch to a Wiring board (this was before the Mega). The platform is built mostly from scrap. The accelerometers were placed in an old Microsoft Sidwinder. The standard joystick is from a Sega Mega Drive. The weight sensors are out of cheap home scales.