we just GOTTA come up with a design challenge..

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bigkim100
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we just GOTTA come up with a design challenge..

Post by bigkim100 » Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:19 pm

Ok, I think its time for a design challenge that all of us could take part in...in other words inexpensive, uses common parts, and not so complicated as to befuddle guys like me, but not so simple that experienced guys will not want to be included. I attempted to get a challenge going for the longesat running led illuminator...which I thought would be practical, and inexpensive...but it sturred up little interest.
So , is a design challenge something y'all would like to do, and if so...what challenge would interest you.
:shock:
Kim..The man with the cute little girls name...and Frankensteins face and body.

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Smoke_Maker
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Post by Smoke_Maker » Sat Sep 09, 2006 5:54 pm

There is a bunch of toys I would like to have on my work bench.

1. One power supply on my bench with all the different voltage outputs, regulated, isolated, and three outputs of each voltage

2. Circuit efficiency meter, how much energy is my design wasting, watts in watts out.

3. Battery cycler for NiCad and small lead acid, how much capacity dose it really have.

4. Build a cheap SMT hot air gun.

5. Cheap photo tachometer.

I'm sure all this has been done, I just haven't done it.
Richard Furniss
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philba
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Post by philba » Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:24 pm

well, I don't need any fresh challenges but here are some instrument projects I've been noodling on for a while:
- recording voltmeter/ammeter. use USB or serial to report readings to PC for inclusion into a spreadsheet. When I'm testing/debugging a circuit, I want to be able to follow current draw especially. Also, I like to do test runs on finished projects over night and tracking them is key. The ammeter would have a current limit trigger that would connect to a power supply that could be shut off if the upper limit was set. (or maybe just a relay controlled power outlet. Probbly just a PIC like the 18F4550.
- programmable load. probably use mosfets. again, for testing projects. driven by a microcontroller. Again, USB.
- logic probe. somthing like this - http://members.cox.net/berniekm/super.html though I'm make some changes.

Dean Huster
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Post by Dean Huster » Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:09 pm

A length/distance measuring wheel (like accident investigators use) that will measure with the output in feet, inches and fractions of an inch to the nearest 1/8-inch, or to the nearest 1/16-inch if you want a better challange. I've done it to the nearest 1/8-inch using TTL, 1/2-inch-high 7-segment LEDs for the big units, little 1970s-vintage electronic calculator "bubble" LEDs for the fraction. Surely it would be a snap for you PIC guys where the bulk of your work would be simple software development.

Dean
Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).

R.I.P.

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Smoke_Maker
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Post by Smoke_Maker » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:57 pm

Here is a project I would like to build, a electronic roulette wheel. I belong to a dinner club and the 15 or so of us have had a hard time deciding where to go the following week for dinner. I was thinking of a box with 20 LED's each with a switches to bypass the LED's that are not in use or was last weeks choice, it would be "The decision maker". The bypass switches is what make this one different.

I have been kicking this idea around for a while and was thinking that I know a mechanic that needs a diagnostic tool like this, it's the way he thinks (what should I try next) :razz:

I did a quick search of Nuts and Volts web site and this Forum and found nothing close. This would be easy for a PIC (if you work with PIC's) but before I go there I would like to try it with discrete or logic parts.
Richard Furniss
is it suppose to smoke like that ?

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Chris Smith
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Post by Chris Smith » Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:59 pm

Try to determine distance using light and clock timers.

That will keep you busy.

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jollyrgr
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TV Jammer

Post by jollyrgr » Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:49 pm

Back when I was in high school (early 80s) most people had TVs with an OTA antenna on them and that was about it. No cable to speak of and the only satellite dishes were 10ft C-band. One of the high school electronics projects was a "TV Oscillator". (As a freshmen this was called a TV Jammer but by JR year it was a TV Oscillator.) This was a one transistor, several capacitor, several resistor, and a hand wound coil built on a circuit board about 1.5" by 1.5". Tuning was done by a trimmer capacitor (which tended to fail after repeated retunes). This gadget was fantastic! A short antenna was all that was needed for broadcast. Simply power on the unit and trim the capacitor. Since the circuit was VERY rich in harmonics you could wipe out the VHF channels and some UHF channels. Depending on how careful you tuned, the set would experience herringbone noise, loss of picture and sound, all the way to complete black screen. The oscillator fit nicely in a pocket and worked great from the sidewalk and could hit TVs several houses away.

Now cable and DBS satellite reign high thus RF jammers are all but useless. So along came remote control watches and "TV B GONE" devices. The high school kids of today are experienced with "Universal" remotes and trick their friends. But this requires extreme patience or a fore knowledge of the "marks" setup. The TV B GONE can do one thing change the power setting of a TV. Simply push the button and in about a minute every power code for just about every TV is executed. And it has a very limited range. (NOTE: TV-B-GONE will arouse store security. Especially when the one display shuts off several times and you are the only one watching. Much better when a wall of TVs in the store starts shutting down on a Sunday during football season. You have to fake being upset with the rest of the crowd when the set goes off otherwise you may become the suspect.)

I have the parts to boost the range of a TV-B-GONE but have not implemented the circuit; yet. I also plan on an improvement to the TV-B-GONE. Once the set is off, prevent the set from being turned on with a remote by sending random data and "screwing" with the circuitry.

What I propose is a newer more sinister method of TV mischief. Something, a gadget, with one switch for ON and OFF and possibly a simple tuner to vary the amount of annoyance. I have my ideas but have not done any tests. Theoretically it SHOULD work but I've not tried it. I don't want to mess with simply turning off the set; I want distorted pictures while allowing the menus to still function. And the part needed to make the beast work lurks in just about every single color TV there is and (because of the popularity in TVs) this device is in thousands upon thousands of other designs (simply because the part is available and CHEAP).

I don't want to give out my idea as I want to avoid "script kiddies" from copying the circuit and building their own. But my guess is the wheels are turning in the more experienced and they are rummaging through their junk box right now to get the parts ready. Not including shipping this could possibly be built for less than $5. Now I've gone and done it, I'll have to start testing....
No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. But billions of electrons, photons, and electromagnetic waves were terribly inconvenienced!

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Post by Gary » Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:11 pm

1. CNC or stepper motor projects would be welcome.

2. A distance meter project using a hack of the Stanley FatMax True Laser Measurer. To collect distances and output the numbers into a computer or USB cord or thumb drive. As an architect I got a fatmax device for about $100.00 and it works well enough up to 50 feet, but it uses a low power class of laser. It will supposidly measure up to 100 feet, but that requires a reflector and correct lighting levels. The more expensive ones by a german company, Leica, use a more powerful laser and have more features. Combining a stepper motor I was hoping to mount one on a tripod and measure distances all around. Another idea would be to mount on on a CNC router frame, and record the shape of objects in 3 dimensions and output the data into a Computer Aided Drafting package such as Autocad. This is a project in the 200$ or so range however. And the electronics and software could be the big holdup.

3. LED projects are always fun, and affordable. Maybe something as simple as a conversion of an old tail light to LED, a flashlight, grow lights, or sign.

4. Solar energy projects.

5. Electric vehicles

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philba
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Re: TV Jammer

Post by philba » Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:23 pm

jollyrgr wrote: Now cable and DBS satellite reign high thus RF jammers are all but useless. So along came remote control watches and "TV B GONE" devices. The high school kids of today are experienced with "Universal" remotes and trick their friends. But this requires extreme patience or a fore knowledge of the "marks" setup. The TV B GONE can do one thing change the power setting of a TV. Simply push the button and in about a minute every power code for just about every TV is executed. And it has a very limited range. (NOTE: TV-B-GONE will arouse store security. Especially when the one display shuts off several times and you are the only one watching. Much better when a wall of TVs in the store starts shutting down on a Sunday during football season. You have to fake being upset with the rest of the crowd when the set goes off otherwise you may become the suspect.)
be aware also that electronic cameras are sensitive to IR. Anyone watching a monitor (or reviewing a security tape) will see it.

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jollyrgr
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Re: TV Jammer

Post by jollyrgr » Fri Sep 15, 2006 4:03 pm

philba wrote:
jollyrgr wrote: {SNIP}
(NOTE: TV-B-GONE will arouse store security. Especially when the one display shuts off several times and you are the only one watching. Much better when a wall of TVs in the store starts shutting down on a Sunday during football season. You have to fake being upset with the rest of the crowd when the set goes off otherwise you may become the suspect.)
be aware also that electronic cameras are sensitive to IR. Anyone watching a monitor (or reviewing a security tape) will see it.
I think that this is what got them to watch me. There was this big screen TV with a DVD player connected to it. This was at a Sam's Club (big warehouse, members only type place for those that don't have one local) and this was right around "The Big Game" bowl (that sounds like soup) and the TV was displaying this DVD set of old football games. I'd stand in front of the TV watching then all of a sudden it turned off. Me at least 15 feet away. I'd come back later and set would be on. I'd watch the DVD a while and strange things happened; the set turned off again and I didn't touch it. This happened a number of times until they station two guys in front of the display.

Later I noticed no matter what aisle I was in the store, their'd be this goofy looking guy either on the other side of the rack from me or at the other end of the aisle. (If you can't blend into the crowd, you have no business being a "secret" security spy guy. This guy stood out like Dolly Parton in an all boys school.) I have no doubt that they reviewed the security cameras and noticed the same guy in front of the set every time it went off. And likely they noticed the blinky light in his hand sticking out between his fingers. The solid state cameras, I know, pick up IR light from remotes and such.
No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. But billions of electrons, photons, and electromagnetic waves were terribly inconvenienced!

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