Wimshurst Machines: High Voltage from the Gods

Wimshurst machine demo
Wimshurst machine demo

The Wimshurst machine is one of the oldest and best known electrostatic machines, consisting of its iconic two counter rotating disks and two Leyden jars. Most often you see someone hand cranking it, producing sparks, though we’ve seen it used for much more, including for powering a smoke precipitator for cleaning up smoke and even for powering a laser.

It works through an interesting sequence of events. Most explanations attempt to cram it all into one picture, requiring some major mental gymnastics to visualize. This often means people give up, resigned to assume these work through some mythical mechanics that defy a mortal’s ability to understand.

So instead, let’s do a step-by-step explanation.

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Klout Klok tracks your popularity, time

[Fabien Royer] has been playing around with Netduinos and he just came up with a really awesome project that will display the time and social media popularity. It’s a very nice build, and we’d guess that his social media influence is going to go up very shortly.

Klout is a service that connects to your Facebook or Twitter profile and tells you how much influence you have on a scale of 1 to 100 (possibly 10 to 100. see this). To build the Klout Klock [Fabian] used a Netduino Plus, a good choice because of the integrated ethernet port. The Netduino connects to the Klout API to either satiate vanity or admit prestige. The display is an adafruit TFT screen.

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