Hackaday Links: February 9th, 2013

Hobby electronics from 1982


[Lennart] came across one of his projects from several decades ago. It’s a twinkling star which blinks LEDs at different rates using some 7400 logic chips and RC timers.

Solder fume extractor


We’re still blowing the solder fumes away from us using our mouth, but this might inspire us to do otherwise. It’s a large PC fan mounted on a lamp goose neck. It clamps to the bench and is quite easy to position.

Ultrasonic liquid level measurement


Wanting a way to measure the liquid in these tanks without submerging a sensor, [JO3RI] turned to an Arduino and an ultrasonic rangefinder. His method even allows the level to be graphed as shown in his Instructible about the project.

Adding an ‘On’ light to save batteries


Dumpster diving yielded this electronic drum machine for [MS3FGX’s] daughter to play with. The problem is that pushing any of the buttons turns it on, it doesn’t have an auto-off, and there’s no way to know when it’s on. This is unacceptable since it runs on 5 AA batteries. His quick fix adds this green On LED. We wonder if he’ll improve upon this and add an auto-off feature?

CMOS Binary Clock


This is a portion of the guts of [Dennis’] CMOS Binary Clock project from the early 2000’s. He even built a nice case with a window for the LEDs which you can see are mounted perpendicular to the protoboard.

6 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: February 9th, 2013

  1. Ultrasonic level measurement is actually one of the methods used in real-life industry, and it’s cool to see it used by a hobbyist. It’s only good if you have a real clearly-defined water-air boundary, though.

  2. To suck away solder fumes, I use a fan from an old PC power supply, with part of the case still attached. The part that I’ve kept is the fan guard, so I don’t accidentally stick the tip of the soldering iron in the fan blades. The rest of the case I cut away, except a small lip that has been bent in a 90 degree angle, and acts as a stand. The fan sits on my desk behind the work piece, and sucks away the fumes.

  3. I use an electronic stud finder on my 1600l water tank. Hold the stud finder at the top of the tank (assuming it’s not full) and drag it down the tank the same way you’d use it against a wall and when it hits water the thing beeps. Does the trick!

  4. @ Drum Machine: Those first act drumpad things are pretty fun to mess with. The demo timer circuit on it is annoying as all get out as it is similar to the new Kawasaki/DSI breeds where it is mostly contained on the motherboard. Sometimes clipping the orange wire will kill the demo timer, sometimes not. There seems to be a feed to the dreaded black blob on some, but not others. Maybe a revision thing.
    I only say all of this because it is fresh from a recase I did recently with the peizo pads put into a cigar box lid and the original controls mounted in the base after some age painting. Ended up pretty cool and left matrixbit’s auction in 20 minutes. I love these because they often still use thru hole electronics and a juicy op amp to distort. Also ya can’t go wrong with an RC clock :)
    Just putting the triggers on the main speaker and letting them self trigger is pretty cool in its own right and sounds like a hidden track on old nin albums lol. Have fun and keep tinkering :)

  5. i was getting fed up with solder smoke n my face too, so I took a pot, a rumble motor from a broken ps3 ds3 controller and a power supply bought at the source(Im Canadian) and a few bits of cardboard and a LED to show where the smoke is. I wired it all together and now when I do work, it sucks the smoke away from me and into a used paper towel tube and out the window.

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