Controlling muscles with high intensity magnetic pulses


ben_krasnows_transcranial_magnetic_stimulation

We’re not quite sure what’s going on with our fellow hackers lately, but they all seem quite interested in finding inventive ways to scramble their brains. [Ben Krasnow] has put together a pair of videos detailing his experiments in transcranial magnetic stimulation, a process that looks like it would go quite nicely with the Brainwave Disruptor we showed you just yesterday.

Instead of building a coil gun with a set of supercapacitors he had on hand, [Ben] decided to build a magnetic coil that can be used to stimulate his brain through his skull. Once his capacitor bank is charged, a high current pulse is sent through the coil held against his head. This pulse generates a strong magnetic field in the coil, which in turn produces neuron stimulation in his primary motor cortex.

Be sure to watch both videos embedded below, as the first one mostly covers the theory behind his experiments, while the second video gives us the goods.

[Ben’s] day job involves working with professional grade TMS devices, so he has some experience with this technology. Before you try this on your own, be sure that you are doing this safely, because a misdirected pulse of 1700 volts to the head does not sound like a fun time at all.

[Read more...]

Shock yourself to better health!

cranial_electrotherapy_stimulation_rig

Flickr user [n Bryan] has been keeping busy lately, trying his hand at developing some cranial electrotherapy stimulation instruments for home use. While visions of [Peter Venkman] electrocuting hapless college students initially came to mind, this sort of therapy is not the same thing, nor as painful as what is depicted in the film.

Cranial electrotherapy stimulation relies on small currents which are pulsed along a patient’s skull at specific bioactive frequencies. It is believed that these treatments can have positive responses on the nervous system, and in fact has been approved by the FDA for certain ailments such as insomnia and anxiety. [n Bryan’s] rig is controlled by a PIC 16F88, which generates both the carrier and pre-programmed bioactive frequencies used in electrotherapy sessions.

As with all things that involve strapping electrodes to your head, take caution if you plan on replicating his work in any way, shape or form. With that said, we’d be willing to give it a shot.

[via BuildLounge]

Converting PWM to DC signaling for more precise fan control

pwm_to_dc_fan_control

[hedgehoginventions] wrote in to share a little modification he made to his video card in order to keep it from overheating during strenuous 3D tasks. Having swapped out the stock cooler on his Nvidia 9600GT graphics card, he found that it did not need to utilize the fan while doing mundane things like checking email, but that it still required extra air flow while playing games.

He figured he get the fan to shut off by tweaking the PWM signal, but he found that he could not get the duty cycle under 20% using software, which still caused the fan to run at all times. The circuit he built takes the PWM signal output by the card, cleaning it up before converting it to a corresponding DC voltage. The fan then runs at the same speed it would if driven directly by the PWM signal, though it can now turn off completely when not required.

It’s a nice way to do automatic fan control when you can’t otherwise get your GPU fan to shut off. Nice work!

Simple device answers questions just like your boss does

executive_decision_maker

Like many of us, [Bertho] has had plenty if interaction with “Executive” types who seem to make decisions randomly, and most certainly not based upon any sort of reason. As he was picking through parts bins at his local hackerspace, he thought it would be fun to build an “Executive Decision Maker”. The device he had in mind would answer questions at the push of a button, with the kind of randomness that could only be carefully honed through years of barking orders from a corner office.

Constructed from third-rate LEDs and old CMOS chips that were lying around, the operation of the device is quite simple. Much like a Magic 8 Ball, a question is posed, and as [Bertho] states, “The Executive Decision maker automatically tunes into the aether and the subconscious of the user” pressing the “Decide” button. The device then makes a judgement, relaying its answer to the user via an LED display.

We definitely got a good laugh out of this one, so be sure to check out the video after the break to see the Executive Decision Maker in action.

[Read more...]

Power Up with Knowledge

The LM317 is a favorite for many people who want quick, cheap, reliable and ajustable power. It only takes a few parts to set up and it does its job rather well. Sometimes though, you just need a power supply.While there are a million tutorials out there, not many go as in depth as [Phil] does in his 2 newest videos.

Covering everything from the wall outlet to the final output, [Phil] explains each part step by step, stating what it does and the math and formulas behind it all to produce quality results. He then goes over to a working model and reviews each part showing its real output on a oscilloscope, which is very handy if you do not have one yourself.

In the second video he takes that knowledge and builds it all up into a professional looking bench top model with LCD meter readout and varnished paper to complete the front look. If you’re looking to build your first bench supply or want a better grasp on what exactly is happening in the one you have now, you should join us after the break for these 2 quality productions.

[Read more...]

Hacking a better pressure cooker

This pressure cooker hack on [Dave Arnold]‘s great cooking blog was sent into us (thanks, [techartisan]!). Most pressure cooker recipes are written for pressure cookers that can go up to 15 PSI or 250° F / 121° C. At these temperatures, a lot of interesting chemistry happens in the food. The popular Cuisinart electric pressure cooker doesn’t reach these pressures and temperatures, so [Dave Arnold] set out to make his Cuisinart better.

After measuring the temperature with a thermocouple, [Dave] deduced that the Cuisinart cooker only reached 237° F and 9 PSI. After having a look at the electronics, he realized that adding a resistor to the temperature sensor circuit would give him the pressure he wanted. After soldering in a trim pot, everything went swimmingly and the cooker was able to reach 15 PSI.

[Dave] isn’t sure how his modifications will hold up – he doesn’t know how the cooker will hold up to overheating (and there are a few concerns about non-stick pressure cookers in the first place). That being said, it’s a great mod to get some more capabilities out of a Cuisinart.

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