Color sensor gives the RGB values of anything

[Rick Osgood] wanted to build a color sensor that could be held up to any object to get RGB color values. He originally started with a photoresistor and a few LEDs, but couldn’t get that to work reliably. [Rick] finally completed his color sensor after finding a digital luminosity sensor on Adafruit, ending up with a pretty accurate piece of hardware to judge the color of something.

The idea behind the color sensor is to light up red, green, and blue LEDs and see how much light is reflected back from the object with a luminosity sensor. [Rick] chose an Arduino to do all the heavy lifting for the light sensor and activating the LEDs.

After a few tests [Rick] got his color sensor working, but it’s not up to par with what he had expected. This isn’t really a problem: the LEDs probably don’t have the same brightness and the luminosity sensor doesn’t respond evenly across the entire rainbow. Those things can always be fixed in software, though. It’s a nice project that could serve as part of a prototype for this color picker pen.

Beer mini-kegs turned into a cyclonic dust collector

[Darrell] made his own cyclonic dust separator which connects to a shop vac. We’re amused by his poke at Dyson’s marketing machine where he mentions that the ads say it took years to perfect those vacuum cleaners and he managed to put his together in a few hours…. from trash/recyclables no less!

Two mini-kegs are used as the separating vessel. The only other parts are some PVC plumbing fittings which help to direct the air and give him a way to attach the collector to the shop vac. The top keg is where all of the magic happens. Air and debris is sucked in through the hose coming in the side wall. A 45 degree elbow directs it downward and to the side, which starts the cyclonic action. The shop vac is attached to the tube in the top, with a cylinder extending into the keg. The spinning air must make a sharp turn to get into that cylinder; it’s at this point the debris drops out into the lower keg. See for yourself in the clip after the break.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen dust collectors that use this concept. [Darrell] pointed out this one made out of plastic cups, and this other made from a 5-gallon bucket.

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