You know, not every solution needs to be complicated to be absolutely awesome. Take the humble clothespin, for example, two pieces of cleverly carved wood (or plastic; we won’t judge) and a spring. And yet, the service it provides is useful for many applications.
The same simple elegance is also present in [Anteneh]’s overgrazing shield. When sheep and other animals are allowed to eat the vegetation down to the soil, it leads to soil erosion if not kept in check with regular grazing location rotation. As it turns out, if you want to keep an animal from eating grass and plants down to the soil, just slip a leather harness over its neck with a piece of wood in the right place so it literally can’t graze any lower than the wood allows.
According to [Anteneh]’s prototype tests, it only takes a few seconds to fit the shield to the animal’s head and neck, and then they’re off to grazing to the prescribed depth. We think this is a great solution and hope to see it in wide use along with regular rotation.
Need a way to track your livestock? [Sean Boyce]’s experiments with subcutaneous pig tracking makes for a good read, but the reality of that system will probably have you looking for a simpler solution.
Wiring is one of those things that we’ve all had to do on a project, but probably didn’t give a lot of thought to. It’s often the last thing that happens during the build, and almost certainly doesn’t get approached with any kind of foresight. You look at the components you need to connect, dig through the parts bins until you find something that looks like it should fit, and tack it in with a blob of solder and perhaps some hot glue if you’re feeling really fancy. We’re all guilty of it from time to time, but Bradley Gawthrop is here to tell you there’s a better way.
If you’re hoping his talk from the 2017 Hackaday Superconference contains “One crazy trick” for turning your normal rat’s nest of wiring into a harness worthy of the Space Shuttle, sorry to disappoint. Bradley acknowledges it takes some extra planning and a couple specialized tools, but the end results speak for themselves. While his talk is a must-watch for anyone looking to master the arcane arts of electron corralling, his post-talk chat with Elliot Williams after the break is a great primer for the how and why of everyone’s least favorite part of building their own hardware.
Bradley will be at Supercon again this year. It’s one anecdote for the concentration of awesome people you find at the event. We’re now just two seeks away so go get your ticket and then join us after the break for the interview.
Continue reading “Bradley Gawthrop Loves Wiring And So Should You”
Have you ever wondered how far your dog actually runs when you take it to the park? You could be a standard consumer and purchase a GPS tracking collar for $100 or more, or you could follow [Becky Stern’s] lead and build your own simple but effective GPS tracking harness.
[Becky] used two FLORA modules for this project; The FLORA main board, and the FLORA GPS module. The FLORA main board is essentially a small, sewable Arduino board. The GPS module obviously provides the tracking capabilities, but also has built-in data logging functionality. This means that [Becky] didn’t need to add complexity with any special logging circuit. The GPS coordinates are logged in a raw format, but they can easily be pasted into Google Maps for viewing as demonstrated by [Becky] in the video after the break. The system uses the built-in LED on the FLORA main board to notify the user when the GPS has received a lock and that the program is running.
The whole system runs off of three AAA batteries which, according to [Becky], can provide several hours of tracking. She also installed a small coin cell battery for the GPS module. This provides reserve power for the GPS module so it can remember its previous location. This is not necessary, but it provides a benefit in that the GPS module can remember it’s most recent location and therefore discover its location much faster. Continue reading “Track Your Dog With This DIY GPS Harness”