Cheap SD card cradle

SD (Custom)

When utilizing an SD card in your projects, you would generally buy an SD card slot to wire in. Sometimes, you just don’t plan that far ahead, or maybe you just want to play with an SD a little bit to see what you think. [Kroden] shows us how to make a fairly simple and cheap SD card dock. The result is actually pretty impressive looking. He has simply bent some header pins and soldered them together to make a simple SD slot. It can even be adapted to a horizontal layout for more permanent use.

Teardown of the Barista

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iFixit has done a tear down on the symbolic do-it-yourself Espresso machine, the Starbucks Barista. Believe it or not, there is not a single circuit board in the works. There doesn’t seem to be much to the Barista; A few switches, some solenoids, a heater, and one way spring valve among other things. The assembly of the device is very simple. It is noted that in a pinch it may be torn down with a pair of pliers and washer; in place of a flat head screw driver. We have pondered the possibilities of this machine numerous times, while enjoying a cup of cappuccino. Though most conversations end at the bottom of the cup, many survive such as this Silvia PID looped expresso machine. The very name “Mecha turbo crazy coffee roaster” seems to encapsulate the effects of caffeine quite adequately.

The wake up machine

PT_2113 (Custom)

Meet the Wakeup Machine.  It is here to ensure that you are up and ready to go when the time comes. This machine will vibrate your bed, remove the sheets, make coffee, play music, even adjust the temperature in the room for optimal wake up experiences. We like the large heavy industrial look of it too, but after looking inside you’ll see it is only a prototype which could be made much smaller with its own pcb. This thing brings back fond memories of Rube Goldberg style alarm clocks from movies such as Pee-wee’s big adventure, Back To The Future, and even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. You can see some videos of the device on the page as well as download complete plans in pdf format. The did forget one feature though.

[via makezine]

WiFi spectrum analyzer

ez430 (Custom)

[Tim] noticed a 2.4Ghz WiFi spectrum analyzer on thinkgeek a while ago and got curious.  He knew that the spectrum analyzers with which he was familiar were giant expensive units, so he got curious what this little dongle was. It turns out, it really wasn’t much at all. Just a simple wireless receiver. He decided that rather than spending the $399 for one, he would toss one together using an Xbee. His total cost ended up at roughly $50 for basically the same unit. While he doesn’t give a schematic, you can download his source code on the site.