Sadly, this pocket mp3 wav player doesn’t come close to the capabilities of even an iPod generation 1 yet, but you have to give [Owen] props for making it in less than 24 hours. The system consists of a Propeller MCU (cleverly wired to be swappable with “shields” similar to Arduino systems), SD card for song storage, and an LM386 for audio. While the setup is a little dull, and only plays through songs non stop with no controls whatsoever, it certainly is a good start in the right direction for a cheap and simple portable music player. Of course some planned changes are in the works, include an accelerometer (gesture based controls?), etched PCB, docking station, and a case. We’re surprised there is no form of screen planned, considering Owen appears to have a rather good handle on touch interfaces; perhaps he’s waiting for revision 3.
Today, it is not difficult to find all kinds of watches with LED displays. After [Paul]’s grandfather, a master horologist and pocket watch collector, passed away, he decided to retrofit a broken watch left to him with a custom LED face. Starting from scratch, he designed a PCB complete with 133 (hand soldered) LEDs, room for a temperature controlled oscillator for real time clock capabilites, a LiPo battery, and a cell phone vibrator to provide a simulated “second hand tick” feeling. The whole watch is powered by a PIC 16F946.
This is currently version 1, and he has already begun work on version 2. He plans on adding a more compact, lower power TCXO, automatic NTP syncing, and a USB port for charging and reprogramming. He has a number of detailed videos, and we have a demo video after the break.
Continue reading “LED Pocket Watch”
Reader [Mikey Sklar] told us about a review he wrote covering 3 different models of pocket multimeters. We’re sure that you’ve had the same experiences we have being the go-to-guy or got-to-gal for all things electrical. For our sort, having a multimeter on hand at all times has become an expectation.
[Mikey] looks at a model from ebay, Harbor Freight, and Radio Shack. Not surprisingly, the ebay offering doesn’t rate too well but does get the job done. We were surprised to read that he picked up the Cen-Tech model for about $10 at Harbor Freight. Although it may no longer be sold there (we haven’t checked) [Mikey] seems pretty happy with it so we’ll be on the lookout during our next tool-buying trip. We’re unfamiliar with the tiny Radio Shack 22-820 but we’ve always been happy with our larger 22-811. The 22-820 allows the probes to be folded up inside of the case cover for a truly pocketable package.
You can never have too many meters at your disposal and we’ll have to keep this article in mind the next time we’re shopping for another. Never used a multimeter before? Take a look at the tutorial [Mikey] linked to over at ladyada.