[George Foreman] seedling starter for kitchen herbs

Sometimes the best kitchen hacks aren’t about the best barbecue, the rarest steak, or the baconiest bacon. Sometimes you need a little color on your plate, son, so why not grow your own herbs in a [George Foreman] rotisserie greenhouse?

[Sam] first saw his barely used rotisserie as his friend was throwing it out. Like any good maker, he quickly snatched it up and began work on some modifications. After removing the fun bits like the motor, heating element, and timer, [Sam] installed two compact fluorescent light bulbs to start a few herbs off right.

Kitchen herb gardens are surprising common, so much so that entire forums are dedicated to the practice. [Sam] doesn’t have any soil in his seedling starter yet but when he does, we expect he’ll be harvesting a nice crop of basil, oregano or cilantro in the spring.

Of course, [Sam] could use his seed starter to grow more “unconventional” plants, but some of us have been kicked out of a dorm for growing a pomegranate seedling, so we’ll leave it at that.

A Tesla coil that delivers shocking candy

shocking-candy-tesla-coil

Even though Halloween was a week ago, we are still seeing plenty of cool stuff coming our way. Take for instance this Tesla coil that [JJ] sent us.

He got the idea to build a coil for his Halloween display about a week before the event, but he figured it would be easy enough to do since he had a lot of the parts on hand already. He originally started with some neon transformers and a primary/secondary pair he used in a previous Tesla coil build, but when things were fully assembled he wasn’t completely happy with the results.

He returned to the drawing board, winding a new primary/secondary coil pair, which performed much better. The rest of the coil was pieced together with random parts he procured at IKEA along with other items he had sitting around.

He donned a mad scientist’s outfit, and with a large set of grounded tongs acting as a Faraday cage he proceeded to electrocute trick or treaters’ candy with his Tesla coil, much to the delight of the neighborhood children.

Be sure to swing by his page to see more construction details, and for a sneak peek at the candy zapping process, check out the video below.

[Read more...]

A Simple Method for Expanding Arduino IO Capacity

Although there are other ways to do this, [Rod] has decided to write up his method of using two Arduinos and the I2C protocol to expand an Arduino’s IO capacity. As seen in the picture above, you’ll sacrifice 2 analog pins, but if you happen to need IO and have an extra Arduino lying around, this could really help. [Rod] also notes that this method could be used with many Arduino’s in parallel if the situation called for it. The code for this simple hack is included as well, so be sure to check out his site if you want to try this idea.

Some other solutions for extra IO would be to buy an Arduino Mega with 54 digital IO pins or the Muxshield which gives you 48 IO (and is stackable for other shields). An advantage of using the two Arduinos, is that if they are needed to be split in the future for different projects, this could be done. It’s good to have options for your IO needs as every hack is different.

Check out the video after the break to see everything being hooked up.

[Read more...]

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