VFX Technology


VFX Technology is a Technology in which imagery is created or manipulated outside the context of a live action shot.
Almost all Hollywood filmmakers and graphics designer uses this technology.In future VFX Technology has lot of scopes.There are lot of software for VFX designing
most of the software are user friendly.
some of common softwares used in VFX are Adobe After affect ,Hitfilm, Autodesk etc.


Technology moves at breakneck speed, and we now have more power in our pockets than we had in our homes in the 1990s. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a fascinating concept of science fiction for decades, but many researchers think we’re finally getting close to making AI a reality. NPR notes that in the last few years, scientists have made breakthroughs in “machine learning,” using neural networks, which mimic the processes of real neurons.

This is a type of “deep learning” that allows machines to process information for themselves on a very sophisticated level, allowing them to perform complex functions like facial recognition. Big data is speeding up the AI development process, and we may be seeing more integration of AI technology in our everyday lives relatively soon. While much of this technology is still fairly rudimentary at the moment, we can expect sophisticated AI to one day significantly impact our everyday lives. Here are 6 ways AI might affect us in the future.

1. Automated Transportation

We’re already seeing the beginnings of self-driving cars, though the vehicles are currently required to have a driver present at the wheel for safety. Despite these exciting developments, the technology isn’t perfect yet, and it will take a while for public acceptance to bring automated cars into widespread use. Google began testing a self-driving car in 2012, and since then, the U.S. Department of Transportation has released definitions of different levels of automation, with Google’s car classified as the first level down from full automation. Other transportation methods are closer to full automation, such as buses and trains.

2. Cyborg Technology

One of the main limitations of being human is simply our own bodies—and brains. Researcher Shimon Whiteson thinks that in the future, we will be able to augment ourselves with computers and enhance many of our own natural abilities. Though many of these possible cyborg enhancements would be added for convenience, others might serve a more practical purpose. Yoky Matsuka of Nest believes that AI will become useful for people with amputated limbs, as the brain will be able to communicate with a robotic limb to give the patient more control. This kind of cyborg technology would significantly reduce the limitations that amputees deal with on a daily basis.

3. Taking over dangerous jobs

Robots are already taking over some of the most hazardous jobs available, including bomb defusing. These robots aren’t quite robots yet, according to the BBC. They are technically drones, being used as the physical counterpart for defusing bombs, but requiring a human to control them, rather than using AI. Whatever their classification, they have saved thousands of lives by taking over one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. As technology improves, we will likely see more AI integration to help these machines function.

Other jobs are also being reconsidered for robot integration. Welding, well known for producing toxic substances, intense heat, and earsplitting noise, can now be outsourced to robots in most cases. Robot Worx explains that robotic welding cells are already in use, and have safety features in place to help prevent human workers from fumes and other bodily harm.

4. Solving climate change

Solving climate change might seem like a tall order from a robot, but as Stuart Russell explains, machines have more access to data than one person ever could—storing a mind-boggling number of statistics. Using big data, AI could one day identify trends and use that information to come up with solutions to the world’s biggest problems.

5. Robot as friends

Who wouldn’t want a friend like C-3PO? At this stage, most robots are still emotionless and it’s hard to picture a robot you could relate to. However, a company in Japan has made the first big steps toward a robot companion—one who can understand and feel emotions. Introduced in 2014, “Pepper” the companion robot went on sale in 2015, with all 1,000 initial units selling out within a minute. The robot was programmed to read human emotions, develop its own emotions, and help its human friends stay happy. Pepper goes on sale in the U.S. in 2016, and more sophisticated friendly robots are sure to follow.

6. Improved elder care

For many seniors, everyday life is a struggle, and many have to hire outside help to manage their care, or rely on family members. AI is at a stage where replacing this need isn’t too far off, says Matthew Taylor, computer scientist at Washington State University. “Home” robots could help seniors with everyday tasks and allow them to stay independent and in their homes for as long as possible, which improves their overall well-being.

Although we don’t know the exact future, it is quite evident that interacting with AI will soon become an everyday activity. These interactions will clearly help our society evolve, particularly in regards to automated transportation, cyborgs, handling dangerous duties, solving climate change, friendships and improving the care of our elders. Beyond these six impacts, there are even more ways that AI technology can influence our future, and this very fact has professionals across multiple industries extremely excited for the ever-burgeoning future of artificial intelligence.

Designs on the Future

Mapping out a future for integrated circuits and computing is paramount. One option for advancing chip performance is the use of different materials, Chudzik says. For instance, researchers are experimenting with cobalt to replace tungsten and copper in order to increase the volume of the wires, and studying alternative materials for silicon. These include Ge, SiGE and III-V materials such as gallium arsenide and gallium indium arsenide. However, these materials present performance and scaling challenges and, even if those problems can be addressed, they would produce only incremental gains that would tap out in the not-too-distant future.

Faced with the end of Moore’s Law, researchers are also focusing attention on new and sometimes entirely different approaches. One of the most promising options is stacking components and scaling from today’s 2D ICs to 3D designs, possibly by using nanowires. “By moving into the third dimension and stacking memory and logic, we can create far more function per unit volume,” Rabaey explains. Yet, for now, 3D chip designs also run into challenges, particularly in terms of cooling. The devices have less surface volume as engineers stack components. As a result, “You suddenly have to do processing at a lower temperature or you damage the lower layers,” he notes.

Consequently, a layered 3D design, at least for now, requires a fundamentally different architecture. “Suddenly, in order to gain denser connectivity, the traditional approach of having the memory and processor separated doesn’t make sense. You have to rethink the way you do computation,” Rabaey explains. It’s not an entirely abstract proposition. “The advantages that some applications tap into—particularly machine learning and deep learning, which require dense integration of memory and logic—go away.” Adding to the challenge: a 3D design increases the risk of failures within the chip. “Producing a chip that functions with 100% integrity is impossible. The system must be fail-tolerant and deal with errors,” he adds.

Regardless of the approach and the combination of technologies, researchers are ultimately left with no perfect option. Barring a radical breakthrough, they must rethink the fundamental way in which computing and processing take place.

Conte says two possibilities exist beyond pursuing the current technology direction.

One is to make radical changes, but limit these changes to those that happen “under the covers” in the microarchitecture. In a sense, this is what took place in 1995, except “today we need to use more radical approaches,” he says. For servers and high-performance computing, for example, ultra-low-temperature superconducting is being advanced as one possible solution. At present, the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is investing heavily in this approach within its Cryogenic Computing Complexity (C3) program. These non-traditional logic gates are made in small scale, at a size roughly 200 times larger than today’s transistors.

Another is to “bite the bullet and change the programming model,” Conte says. Although numerous ideas and concepts have been forwarded, most center on creating fixed-function (non-programmable) accelerators for critical parts of important programs. “The advantage is that when you remove programmability, you eliminate all the energy consumed in fetching and decoding instructions.” Another possibility—and one that is already taking shape—is to move computation away from the CPU and toward the actual data. Essentially, memory-centric architectures, which are in development in the lab, could muscle up processing without any improvements in chips.

Finally, researchers are exploring completely different ways to compute, including neuromorphic and quantum models that rely on non-Von-Neumann brain-inspired methods and quantum computing. Rabaey says processors are already heading in this direction. As deep learning and cognitive computing emerge, GPU stacks are increasingly used to accelerate performance at the same or lower energy cost as traditional CPUs. Likewise, mobile chips and the Internet of Things bring entirely different processing requirements into play. “In some cases, this changes the paradigm to lower processing requirements on the system but having devices everywhere. We may see billions or trillions of devices that integrate computation and communication with sensing, analytics, and other tasks.”

In fact, as visual processing, big data analytics, cryptography, AR/VR, and other advanced technologies evolve, it is likely researchers will marry various approaches to produce boutique chips that best fit the particular device and situation. Concludes Conte: “The future is rooted in diversity and building devices to meet the needs of the computer architectures that have the most promise.”

The Incredible Shrinking Transistor

The history of semiconductors and Moore’s Law follows a long and somewhat meandering path. Conte, a professor at the schools of computer science and engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, points out that computing has not always been tied to shrinking transistors. “The phenomenon is only about three decades old,” he points out. Prior to the 1970s, high-performance computers, such as the CRAY-1, were built using discrete emitter-coupled logic-based components. “It wasn’t really until the mid-1980s that the performance and cost of microprocessors started to eclipse these technologies,” he notes.

At that point, engineers developing high-performance systems began to gravitate toward Moore’s Law and adopt a focus on microprocessors. However, the big returns did not last long. By the mid-1990s, “The delays in the wires on-chip outpaced the delays due to transistor speeds,” Conte explains. This created a “wire-delay wall” that engineers circumvented by using parallelism behind the scenes. Simply put: the technology extracted and executed instructions in parallel, but independent, groups. This was known as the “superscalar era,” and the Intel Pentium Pro microprocessor, while not the first system to use this method, demonstrated the success of this approach.

Around the mid-2000s, engineers hit a power wall. Because the power in CMOS transistors is proportional to the operating frequency, when the power density reached 200W/cm2, cooling became imperative. “You can cool the system, but the cost of cooling something hotter than 150 watts resembles a step function, because 150 watts is about the limit for relatively inexpensive forced-air cooling technology,” Conte explains. The bottom line? Energy consumption and performance would not scale in the same way. “We had been hiding the problem from programmers. But now we couldn’t do that with CMOS,” he adds.

No longer could engineers pack more transistors onto a wafer with the same gains. This eventually led to reducing the frequency of the processor core and introducing multicore processors. Still, the problem didn’t go away. As transistors became smaller—hitting approximately 65nm in 2006 —performance and economic gains continued to subside, and as nodes dropped to 22nm and 14nm, the problem grew worse.

What is more, all of this has contributed to fabrication facilities becoming incredibly expensive to build, and semiconductors becoming far more expensive to manufacture. Today, there are only four major semiconductor manufacturers globally: Intel, TSMC, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung. That is down from nearly two dozen two decades ago.

To be sure, the semiconductor industry is approaching the physical limitations of CMOS transistors. Although alternative technologies are now in the research and development stage—including carbon nanotubes and tunneling field effect transistors (TFETs)—there is no evidence these next-gen technologies will actually pay off in a major way. Even if they do usher in further performance gains, they can at best stretch Moore’s Law by a generation or two.

The Future of Semiconductors

Over the last half-century, as computing has advanced by leaps and bounds, one thing has remained fairly static: Moore’s Law.

For more than 50 years, this concept has provided a predictable framework for semiconductor development. It has helped computer manufacturers and many other companies focus their research and plan for the future.

However, there are signs that Moore’s Law is reaching the end of its practical path. Although the IC industry will continue to produce smaller and faster transistors over the next few years, these systems cannot operate at optimal frequencies due to heat dissipation issues. This has “brought the rate of progress in computing performance to a snail’s pace,” wrote IEEE fellows Thomas M. Conte and Paolo A. Gargini in a 2015 IEEE-RC-ITRS report, On the Foundation of the New Computing Industry Beyond 2020.

Yet, the challenges do not stop there. There is also the fact that researchers cannot continually miniaturize chip designs; at some point over the next several years, current two-dimensional ICs will reach a practical size limit. Although researchers are experimenting with new materials and designs—some radically different—there currently is no clear path to progress. In 2015, Gordon Moore predicted the law that bears his name will wither within a decade. The IEEE-RC-ITRS report noted: “A new way of computing is urgently needed.”

As a result, the semiconductor industry is in a state of flux. There is a growing recognition that research and development must incorporate new circuitry designs and rely on entirely different methods to scale up computing power further. “For many years, engineers didn’t have to work all that hard to scale up performance and functionality,” observes Jan Rabaey, professor and EE Division Chair in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at the University of California, Berkeley. “As we reach physical limitations with current technologies, things are about to get a lot more difficult.”


Pioneer UAV Inc.

United States Navy, United States Marine Corps

Sachs SF-350 gasoline engine, 26 horsepower

Max design gross take-off: 416 pounds (188.69 kg).

110 knots

15,000 ft

The RQ-2A represents one of the U.S. Navy’s first unmanned surveillance drones to enter the fleet. Originally designed jointly by the Israeli companies AAI Corp. and Israeli Aircraft Industries, the Navy adapted the original design for shipboard operation deploying from recently-recommissioned battleships in the 1980s. The UAV was later adopted by the Marine Corps for ground-based operations.

The Pioneer UAV system performs a wide variety of reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and battle damage assessment missions. The low radar cross section, low infrared signature and remote control versatility provides a degree of cover for the aircraft. Pioneer provides the tactical commander with real-time images of the battlefield or target.

In the 1980s, U.S. military operations in Grenada, Lebanon, and Libya identified a need for an on-call, inexpensive, unmanned, over-the-horizon targeting, reconnaissance, and battle damage assessment (BDA) capability for local commanders. As a result, in July 1985, the Secretary of the Navy directed the expeditious acquisition of UAV systems for fleet operations using nondevelopmental technology. A competitive fly-off was conducted and two Pioneer systems were procured in December 1985 for testing during 1986. Initial system delivery was made in July 1986 and subsequently deployed on the battleship USS Iowa (BB 61) in December 1986.

During 1987, three additional systems were delivered to the Marine Corps where they were operationally deployed on board LHA-class vessels as well as with several land-based units. Pioneer has operated in many theaters including the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Yugoslavia and Somalia. Marine Corps Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadrons deployed to Iraq in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom and currently support Marine operations in Iraq. The Pioneer is launched using rocket-assisted takeoff or pneumatic rails and is recovered by net at sea or by landing ashore on a 200-by-75-meter unimproved field. The Pioneer carries a payload of 65-100 pounds — including an electro-optical and infrared camera — and can patrol for more than five hours. Control of the RQ-2B can be handed off from control station to control station, thereby increasing the vehicle’s range and allowing launch from one site and recovery at another. With a ManPackable Receiving Station, Pioneer provides portable, payload imagery to forward deployed Marines. Pioneer has flown other payloads including an acoustic-wave vapor sensor and a hyperspectral imagery sensor.

Desert Shield/Storm Anecdote: The surrender of Iraqi troops to an unmanned aerial vehicle did actually happen. All of the UAV units at various times had individuals or groups attempt to signal the Pioneer, possibly to indicate willingness to surrender. However, the most famous incident occurred when USS Missouri (BB 63), using her Pioneer to spot 16 inch gunfire, devastated the defenses of Faylaka Island off the coast near Kuwait City. Shortly thereafter, while still over the horizon and invisible to the defenders, the USS Wisconsin (BB 64) sent her Pioneer over the island at low altitude.

When the UAV came over the island, the defenders heard the obnoxious sound of the two-cycle engine since the air vehicle was intentionally flown low to let the Iraqis know that they were being targeted. Recognizing that with the “vulture” overhead, there would soon be more of those 2,000-pound naval gunfire rounds landing on their positions with the same accuracy, the Iraqis made the right choice and, using handkerchiefs, undershirts, and bedsheets, they signaled their desire to surrender. Imagine the consternation of the Pioneer aircrew who called the commanding officer of Wisconsin and asked plaintively, “Sir, they want to surrender, what should I do with them?”

The RQ-2A Pioneer is operated by four Naval aircraft squadrons: VMU-1 & VMU-2 (USMC) and VC-6 and Training Wing Six (USN). The VC-6 system at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland, supports software changes, hardware acceptance, test and evaluation of potential payloads and technology developments to meet future UAV requirements. Training Wing Six at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Florida trains all Navy and Marine Corps Pioneer operators and maintainers.


In this instructable, I will be teaching the basics of multiplexing 7 segment displays using an Arduino and a couple of shift registers. This project is well suited for displaying numerical information or if you want to control a bunch of LEDs. For beginners, like me, I had no clue on how to tackle this project. But after trial and error and blood, sweat, and tears, I can say that I have a better understanding of multiplexing and how best to implement it on an Arduino.

First off, what is multiplexing? What about Charlieplexing? Any differences?
Actually, they are they same… Charlieplexing just takes multiplexing to a higher level. Both are techniques used to not only reduce the number of microcontroller pins needed, but also to reduce the power requirements substantially. However, at the cost of time and/or brightness.

In multiplexing, an entire digit or row of LEDs are shown at one time. After some time, the whole digit or row is turned off and the next digit/row is turned on, etc… Simple!

However, Charlieplexing is a bit more complicated in that it goes deeper than multiplexing. Instead of turning on a whole digit or row, a single segment or individual LED is turned on/off. After some time, the segment/LED is turned off and the next segment/individual LED is turned on, etc… After cycling through a digit/row, the process repeats with the next digit/row. So, if you’re charlieplexing a 7-segment, you would consume a max of 20mA vs 160mA in multiplexing since only 1 segment is on at a time. The severe downside is that it takes longer to display information and brightness is reduced because the program needs to cycle through all the 7 segments + decimal or each LED first before moving to the next digit or row. You will also notice a slight flicker as you chain more displays/LEDs.

Look above for a comparison on multiplexing and charlieplexing. Notice how charlieplexing requires more time to display a number?

Before you tackle your multiplexing project, you must lay everything out–research as much as you can. Otherwise, you will end up wasting time, money, and pulling your hair out of frustration.


Best accelerometer buy here

Many different sensory devices are used to determine the position and orientation of an object. The most common of these sensors are the gyroscope and the accelerometer. Though similar in purpose, they measure different things. When combined into a single device, they can create a very powerful array of information.

What is a gyroscope?

A gyroscope is a device that uses Earth’s gravity to help determine orientation. Its design consists of a freely-rotating disk called a rotor, mounted onto a spinning axis in the center of a larger and more stable wheel. As the axis turns, the rotor remains stationary to indicate the central gravitational pull, and thus which way is “down.”

What is an accelerometer?

An accelerometer is a compact device designed to measure non-gravitational acceleration. When the object it’s integrated into goes from a standstill to any velocity, the accelerometer is designed to respond to the vibrations associated with such movement. It uses microscopic crystals that go under stress when vibrations occur, and from that stress a voltage is generated to create a reading on any acceleration. Accelerometers are important components to devices that track fitness and other measurements in the quantified self movement. Continue reading



Have you ever needed a 12 volt power supply that can supply maximum 1 amp? But trying to buy one from the store is a little too expensive?

Well, you can make a 12 volt power supply very cheaply and easily!

Step 1: Things that you will need…


Things that you will need to make this power supply is…

  • Piece of protoboard
  • Four 1N4001 diodes
  • LM7812 regulator
  • Transformer that has an output of 14v – 35v AC with an output current between 100mA to 1A, depending how much power you will need.
  • 1000uF – 4700uF capacitor
  • 1uF capacitor
  • Two 100nF capacitors
  • Jumper wires (I used some plain wire as jumper wires)
  • Heatsink (optional)

Step 2: And the tools…

Also you will need the tools to make this power supply…

    • Soldering iron
    • Wire cutters
    • Wire strippers
    • A thing you can cut protoboard tracks.
    • Hot glue (To hold components down and make the power supply physically strong and sturdy.)
    • And some other tools that you might find helpful.

Okay, I think that is about it, lets get to work!

Step 3: Schematic and others…


Picture of Schematic and others...
If you want a 5 volt power supply, just simply replace the LM7812 to a LM7805 regulator.
Datasheet for LM78XX

If you are going to pull out about 1 amp from this power supply, you will need a heatsink for the regulator, otherwise it will generate very high temperatures and possibly burn out…
However, if you are just going to pull out a few hundred milliamps (lower than 500mA) from it, you won’t need a heatsink for the regulator, but it may get a little bit warm.

Also, here’s the schematic…
I also add in an LED to make sure the power supply is working. You can add in an LED if you want.

Step 4: Make it!


Make sure you get good solder joints and no solder bridges, otherwise your power supply won’t work!

Step 5: Test it!


After you had built your power supply, test it with your multimeter to make sure they are no solder bridges.

After you tested it, put it in a plastic box or something to protect you from shocks.
But do not operate the power supply like I did, it is very dangerous because of the mains voltage on the transformer, you or somebody will get badly shocked!

My power supply has 11.73v output, not too bad, I don’t need it to be exactly 12v…

Step 6: Done…



Source : Instructables



A loudspeaker playing a clip of President Barack Obama talking about 3-D printing in his State of the Union speech might not seem so remarkable—except that the loudspeaker represents one of the first 3-D printed consumer electronic devices in the world.

The 3-D printed loudspeaker is more expensive, took longer to make, and is of a lower quality than a typical mass-produced speaker, said Hod Lipson, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University. But he described his lab’s demonstration to IEEE Spectrum as providing a “glimpse of the future” by showing that 3-D printing technology can eventually create all the necessary components of electronic devices:

“The real challenge is one of material science: Can we make a series of inks that can serve as conductors, semiconductors, sensors, actuators, and power. These inks have to have good performance and be mutually compatible. We’re not there yet, but I think its well within reach—we’ll see a variety of platforms well within the next 5 years.”

Most 3-D printers usually build objects layer-by-layer from a single “passive” material such as plastic. But researchers have been testing how to use 3-D printing to squirt out conductive inks that can form the building blocks of integrated systems such as electronic devices.

The Cornell project—headed by mechanical engineering graduate students Apoorva Kiran and Robert MacCurdy—used two of the lab’s homegrown Fab@Home printers to create the 3-D printed loudspeaker parts. One printer made the plastic cone and base of the loudspeaker. The second printer laid down the wires on the cone and created a magnet inside the plastic base. (The team swapped out the second printer’s ink cartridge from conductor to magnet ink between printing runs.)

Silver ink provided the conductive material for the wire. For the magnet, Kiran enlisted the help of Samanvaya Srivastava, a graduate student in chemical and biomolecular engineering, to develop a strontium ferrite blend. Two Cornell undergraduates, Jeremy Blum and Elise Yang, also worked on the project.

The 3-D printed loudspeaker didn’t come out all in one piece—researchers manually moved the parts between the two printers and then snapped the cone and base together to complete the device. But Lipson says the complete loudspeaker could be printed on a single 3-D printer if the printer had multiple deposition tools capable of squirting out the different materials needed for the plastic, wires and magnet. Such printers could already be developed within labs in a month or so from a technical standpoint, but thebusiness demand is not there yet with 3-D printed electronics still in their infancy.

Lipson previously worked with former Cornell graduate students, Evan Malone and Matthew Alonso, to create a 3-D printed version of a working telegraph modeled on the Vail Register—the famous machine that Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail used to send the first Morse code telegraph in 1844. By comparison, the 3-D printed loudspeaker represents a relatively modern example of a commercial electronic device.

Once 3-D printing gets the hang of making electromagnetic systems, the technology could open the door for new customizable shapes and optimized performance for specific electronic devices—features that mass manufacturing can’t offer. Lipson described the idea of creating 3-D printed headsets, microphones, and other devices custom-made.

Eventually, 3-D printing could also revolutionize the manufacturing of robots. Lipson’s lab envisions using 3-D printers to build robots with “embedded wires and batteries shaped like limbs,” as well as all the other necessary components of robotic technology.

“We hope to be able to develop working electromagnetic motors in the future which would be the cornerstone upon which printed robots could be built,” said Robert MacCurdy, one of the Cornell graduate students heading the 3-D printed speaker project.


One day in 1994, seven world-leading technology companies sat down and created a new standard for connecting computer peripherals. By “one day,” of course I mean, “over the span of several months.” But all technicalities aside, the standard that they laid down became the Universal Serial Bus, or USB for short.

Today, USB is truly a ‘Universal’ standard and you’d be hard-pressed to find an electronic device that doesn’t have a USB port of one kind or another. But how do you know which USB cable will fit your device? Hopefully this buying guide will help you find the cable that you need for your next project.

What Does USB Do?

USB cables replace the huge variety of connectors that used to be standard for computer peripherals: Parallel ports, DB9 Serial, keyboard and mouse ports, joystick and midi ports… Really, it was getting out of hand. USB simplifies the process of installing and replacing hardware by making all communications adhere to a serial standard which takes place on a twisted pair data cable and identifies the device that’s connected. When you add the power and ground connections, you’re left with a simple 4-conductor cable that’s inexpensive to make and easy to stow.

500px-USB_half Continue reading


We had earlier in 2 different posts discussed about a variable power supply using LM 317. But in this post we discuss clearly about the working and designing of the LM 317 power supply in detailed.

Block Diagram

This circuit, like all voltage regulators  must  follow the same general block diagram


Here, we have got an input high voltage AC going into a transformer which usually steps down the high voltage AC from mains to low voltage AC required for our application. The following bridge rectifier and a smoothing capacitor to convert AC voltage into unregulated DC voltage. But this voltage will change according to varying load and input stability. This unregulated DC voltage is fed into a voltage regulator which will keep a constant output voltage and suppresses unregulated voltage ripples. Now this voltage can be fed into our load.

Firstly let us discuss about the need for the smoothing capacitance.As you know  the out put of the bridge rectifier will be as follows


As you can see, although the waveform can be considered to be a DC voltage since the output polarity does not invert itself, the large ripples Continue reading



In a masterful publicity stunt, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced on 60 Minutes — on the night before Cyber Monday — that his company has been working on a drone service that will deliver items under 5 pounds, and within ten miles of an Amazon fulfillment center, in under 30 minutes..

This is definitely exciting, but exactly how much does Amazon have to accomplish between now and Jeff’s launch goal of 2015? Getting the FAA onboard will be hard enough, but what about actually getting shipments out safely, when that time finally comes? Is this even possible, or simply a publicity stunt by the e-commerce giant? They’re definitely not the first to think about doing this. Matternet has been working on bringing drone-supported shipping to areas of the world where roads aren’t common, or structurally sound enough, to handle everyday deliveries. CEO Andreas Raptopoulos talked about his vision at May’s Hardware Innovation Workshop.

If Amazon is really going for it, here are the main challenges and some of my thoughts on how Amazon will handle them:


Probably the easiest to deal with. Amazon says they’re shooting for 30 minute deliveries, which I’m assuming means 30 minutes from take-off to landing, not order to landing. Jeff says they will deliver to within 10 miles of an Amazon Fulfillment Center, which is doable if the octocopter can go at least 20mph. The challenge here is giving them enough battery power to survive the trip to the customer and back home. Carrying that much weight at that speed for up to an hour is going to require some heavy batteries. Continue reading


Build a motion-sensing alarm with a PIR sensor and an Arduino microcontroller.

In this simple project, we’ll build a motion-sensing alarm using a PIR (passive infrared) sensor and an Arduino microcontroller. This is a great way to learn the basics of using digital input (from the sensor) and output (in this case, to a noisy buzzer) on your Arduino.

This alarm is handy for booby traps and practical jokes, and it’s just what you’ll need to detect a zombie invasion! Plus, it’s all built on a breadboard, so no soldering required!

Step #1: Gather your parts.



  • This project requires just a few parts, and because you’re using a solderless breadboard and pre-cut jumper wires, you won’t need any tools at all — except your computer and USB cable to connect the Arduino.

Step #2: Wire the Arduino to the breadboard.

JHRErPeVwx4oQRk6 Continue reading



I bet some of you had the same problem. I was working on this circuit on breadboard and I found out I do not have means to power that circuit. Batteries are too expensive for testing one circuit. In the end I was able to build small power supply that solved my problems.

Many times we can build PSU with small amount of elements. That is the story in this case. I upgraded PSU that already have 12 V output to 9 V with help of linear voltage regulator.

Be careful and cautious while proceeding with any project.

Step 1: Parts and materials.



– low voltage connector
– 2 pins connector
– cooling element with nut and bolt and with isolating foil (foil is optional)
– piece of black and red wire and two pins
– 7809 voltage regulator
– 470 uF capacitor and 100 nF capacitor
– PSU with output between 12 and 16 V Continue reading


Whether it’s an electronic novice or an expert professional, a power supply unit is required by everybody in the field. It is the basic source of power that may be required for various electronic procedures, right from powering intricate electronic circuits to the robust electromechanical devices like motors, relays etc.
A power supply unit is a must for every electrical and electronic work bench and it’s available in a variety of shapes and sizes in the market and also in the form of schematics to us.
These may be built using discrete components like transistors, resistors etc. or incorporating a single chip for the active functions. No matter what the type may be, a power supply unit should incorporate the following features to become a universal and reliable with its nature:
  • It should be fully and continuously variable with its voltage and current outputs.
  • Variable current feature can be taken as an optional feature because it’s not an absolute requirement with a power supply, unless the usage is in the range of critical evaluations.
  • The voltage produced should be perfectly regulated.

IC 317 Power Supply, Simplest Continue reading



Every project needs a power supply. As 3.3volt logic replaces 5volt systems, we’re reaching for the LM317 adjustable voltage regulator , rather than the classic 7805 . We’ve found four different hobbyist-friendly packages for different situations.

A simple voltage divider  (R1,R2) sets the LM317 output between 1.25volts and 37volts; use this handy LM317 calculator  to find resistor values. The regulator does its best to maintain 1.25volts on the adjust pin (ADJ), and converts any excess voltage to heat. Not all packages are the same. Choose a part that can supply enough current for your project, but make sure the package has sufficient heat dissipation properties  to burn off the difference between the input and output voltages.

Voltage regulator

Schematic of LM317 in a typical voltage regulator configuration, including decoupling capacitors to address input noise and output transients.

The LM317 has three pins: Input, output, and adjustment. The device is conceptually an op amp (with a relatively high output current capacity). The inverting input of the amp is the adjustment pin, while the non-inverting input is set by an internal bandgap voltage referencewhich produces a stable reference voltage of 1.25V. Continue reading



think that it is safe to say that most of the people who make (big or small) electronics-projects have a pc or laptop in theire hobbycorner and a lot of projects need 5V for IC’s or microcontrollers. So using power from a USB cable isn’t that farfetched and lets face it: a lot of devices around us use a USB-connection to get their power or to charge their batteries.

 About USB-connectors and power

3 Continue reading


A well designed and variable power supply for electronics hobbyists and DIY’ers is a must, you don’t want to spend a huge amount of money in batteries [On the long run]. A variable power supply can come in handy for testing and powering  any project you are building. The mentioned power supply ranges from 1.25V – 37V @ 1.5A using the famous LM317 voltage regulator. LM317T is a very famous IC and easily available in the market comes with 3 pins, supporting input voltage is from 3 volt to 40 volt DC and delivers a stable output between 1.25 volt to 37 volt DC.


Whether you are watching it on television or searching for it on Pinterest, chances are you have admired a few Do It Yourself (DIY) projects recently. Have you taken it a step further and actually completed a DIY project? There are three key reasons why the trend of DIY projects is so popular.


The first reason that people want to try a DIY project is usually because it sounds like fun. You learn a new skill and the end result will be just what you are looking for. Since Halloween is just around the corner you may be thinking: “Should I go searching for the perfect costume or should I try to design and sew it myself?” Not everyone would have an interest and natural ability in making their own costume so learning to sew would seem like fun. Chances are you are artistic and enjoy ways to tangibly express that creativity. Now imagine taking it one step further and Continue reading



Touch screens are so ubiquitous that physical keyboards are becoming a thing of the past, at least for mobile devices. Now imagine if the capability of touch spread from the display to the entire device, allowing control by gently pressing on any part of the phone, or even making any household item into a touch-sensitive interface with your computer.

Anything solid vibrates a specific way when it’s hit physically with another object or with sound waves. The characteristic is called resonance. For example, when you tap on a crystal glass, it vibrates at a certain frequency, producing a ring. If you hit it with sound waves — for example, the ambient background noise in a room — it vibrates at a different frequency. Grip the glass while it rings, and the sound stops. Continue reading


For a device created to save lives, the household smoke detector sure takes a lot of heat for being annoying: the false alarms when the cookies get burned, the incessant beeping when the battery needs changing and all those times standing on wobbly chairs while trying to find minuscule buttons.

dnews-files-2013-10-nest-smoke-alarm-gallery-670-jpg Continue reading


As your embedded project grows in scope and complexity, power consumption becomes an ever more apparent issue. As power consumption increases, components like linear voltage regulators can heat up during normal operation. Some heat is okay, however when things get too hot, the performance of the linear regulator suffers.

How much is too much?

A good rule of thumb for voltage regulators is if the outer case becomes uncomfortable to the touch, then the part needs to have an efficient way to transfer the heat to another medium. A good way to do this is to add a heat sink as shown below.

breadboard Continue reading



This is a quick how-to explaining everything you need to get started using your Flexiforce Pressure Sensor.  This example uses the 25lb version, but the concepts learned apply to all the Flex sensors.



Necessary hardware to follow this guide:

  • Arduino UNO or other Arduino compatible board
  • Flexiforce Pressure Sensor
  • Breadboard
  • M/M Jumper Wires
  • 1 MegaOhm Resistor  Continue reading


Capacitors Galore

Capacitors are one of the most common elements found in electronics, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and values. There are also many different methods to manufacture a capacitor. As a result, capacitors have a wide array of properties that make some capacitor types better for specific situations. I would like to take three of the most common capacitors – ceramic, electrolytic, and tantalum – and examine their abilities to handle reverse and over-voltage situations. Note: several capacitors were harmed in the making of this post.


Ceramic Capacitors

The most common capacitor is the multi-layer ceramic capacitor (MLCC). These are found on almost every piece of electronics, often in small, surface-mount variants. Ceramic capacitors are produced from alternating laye Continue reading


Power factor is a measure of how effectively you are using electricity. Various types of power are at work to provide us with electrical energy. Here is what each one is doing.

Working Power – the “true” or “real” power used in all electrical appliances to perform the work of heating, lighting, motion, etc. We express this as kW or kilowatts. Common types of resistive loads are electric heating and lighting.

An inductive load, like a motor, compressor or ballast, also requires Reactive Power to generate and sustain a magnetic field in order to operate. We call this non-working power kVAR’s, or kilovolt-amperes-reactive.

Every home and business has both resistive and inductive loads. The ratio between these two types of loads becomes important as you add more inductive equipment. Working power and reactive power make up Apparent Power, which is called kVA, kilovolt-amperes. We determine apparent power using the formula, kVA2 = kV*A.

Going one step further, Power Factor (PF) is the ratio of working power to apparent power, or the formula PF = kW / kVA. A high PF benefits both the customer and utility, while a low PF indicates poor utilization of electrical power.  Continue reading


Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is technology that allows machines to identify an object without touching it, even without a clear line of sight. Furthermore, this technology can be used to identify several objects simultaneously. RFID can be found everywhere these days – anything from your cat to your car contains RFID technology. This post will cover how RFID works, some practical uses, and maybe even some example code for reading RFID data.



What is RFID?

RFID is a sort of umbrella term used to describe technology that uses radio waves to communicate. Generally, the data stored is in the form of a serial number. Many RFID tags, contain a 32-bit hexadecimal number. At its heart, the RFID card contains an antenna attached to a microchip. When the chip is properly powered, it transmits the serial number through the antenna, which is then read and decoded. Continue reading


Pin-wise functioning of IC555 timer

Pin-1, GROUND: It is the GROUND PIN of the IC. The negative terminal of DC power supply or battery is connected to this pin. Here note that IC555 works always on single rail power supply and NEVER on dual power supply, unlike operational amplifiers.

Also note that this pin should be connected directly to ground and NOT through any resistor or capacitor. If done so, the IC will not function properly and may heat up and get damaged. This happens because all the semiconductor blocks inside the IC will be raised by certain amount of stray voltage and will damage the IC. Refer the block diagram of the IC for more details. For more details read elaborate collection of FAQ on this IC.


Pin-2, TRIGGER It is known as TRIGGER PIN. As the name suggests in triggers i.e. starts the timing cycle of the IC. It is connected to the inverting input terminal of  trigger comparator inside the IC. As this pin is connected to inverting input terminal, it accepts negative voltage pulse to trigger the timing cycle. So it triggers when the voltage at this pin LESS THAN 1/3 of the supply voltage (Vcc). Continue reading


Pulse width modulation is a fancy term for describing a type of digital signal. Pulse width modulation is used in a variety of applications including sophisticated control circuitry. A common way we use them is to control dimming of RGB LEDs or to control the direction of a servo motor. We can accomplish a range of results in both applications because pulse width modulation allows us to vary how much time the signal is high in an analog fashion. While the signal can only be high (usually 5V) or low (ground) at any time, we can change the proportion of time the signal is high compared to when it is low over a consistent time interval.


Robotic claw controlled by a servo motor using Pulse Width Modulation

Duty Cycle

When the signal is high, we call this “on time”. To describe the amount of “on time” , we use the concept of duty cycle. Duty cycle is measured in percentage. The percentage duty cycle specifically describes the percentage of time a digital signal is on over an interval or period of time. This period is the inverse of the frequency of the waveform.

If a digital signal spends half of the time on and the other half off, we would say the digital signal has a duty cycle of 50% and resembles an ideal square wave. If the percentage is higher than 50%, the digital signal spends more time in the high state than the low state and vice versa if the duty cycle is less than 50%. Here is a graph that illustrates these three scenarios:

512e869bce395fbc64000002 Continue reading



LED Light Bars are a super-easy way to add some extra-bright and colorful illumination to your project. Each Light Bar is essentially a set of three super-bright 5050-size LEDs. They’re offered in a variety of colors including white, red, blue, and green.


While these bars are very simple devices, they do have a few quirks when it comes to using them. Like the fact that their nominal operating voltage is 12V. In this tutorial we’ll go over some of the important specifications of these LED Light Bars. Then we’ll dive into some example circuits that can help you get the most of these nifty little LED assemblies.

Hardware Overview

A glance at the LED Bars will reveal that there’s not a whole lot required to interface with them. There are two pairs of wire pigtails coming off the sides, labeled ‘+’ and ‘-’. The darker-gray wire connects to the ‘+’ pin, and the white wire connects to ‘-’ on both sides.

52430b2d757b7f65438b4569 Continue reading


Limiting current into an LED is very important. An LED behaves very differently to a resistor in circuit. Resistors behave linearly according to Ohm’s law: V = IR. For example, increase the voltage across a resistor, the current will increase proportionally, as long as the resistor’s value stays the same. Simple enough. LEDs do not behave in this way. They behave as a diode with a characteristic I-V curve that is different than a resistor.

For example, there is a specification for diodes called the characteristic (or recommended) forward voltage (usually between 1.5-4V for LEDs). You must reach the characteristic forward voltage to turn ‘on’ the diode or LED, but as you exceed the characteristic forward voltage, the LED’s resistance quickly drops off. Therefore, the LED will begin to draw a bunch of current and in some cases, burn out. A resistor is used in series with the LED to keep the current at a specific level called the characteristic (or recommended) forward current.

image1 Continue reading


Microcontrollers are a ton of fun. Once I got hooked, there was no

turning back. Initially playing with sensors and LCDs, I quickly discovered the limits to what a microcontroller could control. A microcontroller’s GPIO (general purpose input/output) pins cannot handle higher power requirements. An LED was easy enough, but large power items such as light bulbs, toaster ovens, and blenders required more sneaky circuitry. Something sneaky called a relay:



In this tutorial we will discuss a small relay board to control the power to a normal AC outlet using 5VDC control.

All the usual warnings apply: Main voltage (120VAC or 220VAC) can kill you. This project, done incorrectly, could certainly burn down your house. Do not work on or solder to any part of a project while it is plugged into the wall – just unplug it!

You can get the Eagle files for the control board here. The control board is composed of a relay along with a NPN transistor and LED. Continue reading


More and more these days, I am meeting people who have built complex, impressive, and clever electronic projects, and, when I ask, I’m surprised to find out that they have no formal engineering or technical education. Now, I’m not surprised because I don’t believe that electronics can’t be learned outside of a university, a good deal of my job is to try to teachelectronics outside a university. I’m surprised because, more often than not, this impressive project will include a design element, component, or concept that I doubt I ever would have been exposed to had I not attended college. How do people learn a complex subject, like say, fourth-order filters, on their own time? I am always blown away by the fact that people have mastered concepts, on their own, that I had never even heard of, let alone attempted to study, before I had the dreadful feeling of finding out that it was one of my required college courses.

Where are these people getting this information?! How did they manage to find such a (sometimes) very dry subject and keep themselves engaged long enough to master it? I ask these questions because I’m jealous. I’m jealous of artists and designers that were exposed to this field at a young age. I’m especially jealous of those lucky people who manage to find just the right book, or mentor, or resource to teach them and keep them engaged in a subject that, in college, I paid a boatload of money for someone to teach me. Continue reading




When it comes to grafting electronics onto skin, John Rogers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign churns out epidermic tech at a seemingly fevered pitch. Perhaps his latest creation will make sure he doesn’t overheat.

Along with a team of researchers from the U.S., China, and Singapore, Rogers has designed an extremely pliable patch that, when applied to the skin, can accurately measure skin temperatureand Continue reading



Why use a relay with an Arduino board?

Individual applications will vary, but in short – a relay allows our relatively low voltage Arduino to easily control higher power circuits. A relay accomplishes this by using the 5V outputted from an Arduino pin to energize an electromagnet which in turn closes an internal, physical switch attached to the aforementioned higher power circuit. You can actually hear the switch *click* closed on even small relays – just like the big ones on street corners used for traffic signals. Continue reading


relay is an electrically operated switch. Many relays use an electromagnet to operate a switching mechanism mechanically, but other operating principles are also used. Relays are used where it is necessary to control a circuit by a low-power signal (with complete electrical isolation between control and controlled circuits), or where several circuits must be controlled by one signal. The first relays were used in long distance telegraph circuits, repeating the signal coming in from one circuit and re-transmitting it to another. Relays were used extensively in telephone exchanges and early computers to perform logical operations.


htsybluxcykpudib Continue reading




At the end of this instructable you will be able to detect your car as it approaches the wall inside your garage, signalling you that the car is inside far enough so you can close the door.
Most car sensors will use a microprocessor to help calculate the distance of an approaching car when entering the garage.

The main component and the challenge was to use a 555 timer as the driving “brains” of the project. So here we go: Continue reading




Lets now start of with a new series – “Hobby DIY Electronics” which contains small projects to start for beginners, robotics and much more. Enjoy the series of upcoming posts and do leave your experiences and messages in the comments section below.




Making Bibberbeests with kids is a HUGE success at schools, parties and festivals

Now what is more fun than a Bibberbeest? A remote controlled bibberbeest, using a standard audio/video RC?
So what I needed was a receiver circuit for a standard TV RC that can switch on and off a Bibberbeest’s motor, working on 3 Volts max.

At first I was tempted to go the microcontroller way, But in my eternal search to keep things simple, I eventually decided to use a hardware-only circuit: Just eight parts on a 2,5 x 4 cm board (1″ x 1,5″).
After some trial and error I used this IR toggle switch diagram (with slight mods) around a 555 timer chip by member BIC, which works quite well.

Step 1: Tools and materials

F6LAMNYHKVKM5UV.LARGE Continue reading


Recently I wanted to replace a rechargeable battery pack from a RC car. I tried getting a rechargeable battery pack similar to the original one but that didn’t last even half the period the original one had lasted. So I had to find out an economical way of getting batteries replaced.

Instead of taking a chance on another unreliable replacement battery pack, I decided to look inside the existing one. The plastic shell consists of two parts held together with transparent tape that is easily removed with a razor blade. Inside, there are three industrial tabbed cells of the same length and diameter of consumer AAA cells, without the bump on the positive terminal.


Given the identical cell size, it distresses me that the  manufacturer didn’t simply mold a AAA battery holder into the handset. This consumer-friendly feature would have allowed the end user to replace the individual cells using off-the-shelf consumer batteries. The idealist assumes this is a safety feature to prevent errant installation of alkaline cells or mixed chemistries that might catch on fire when recharged from the base. Continue reading


When a vehicle is driven on the highway at night, it is required that light beam should be of high density and should illuminate the road at a distance sufficiently ahead. However, when a vehicle coming in the opposite direction approaches the vehicle with a high-beam headlight, driver of that vehicle will experience a glare, which may blind him. This dazzle effect is one of the major problems faced by a driver in night driving. To avoid this impermanent blindness, a separate filament is usually fitted in the “dual-filament” headlight bulb in a position such that light beam from this second filament is deflected both down and sideways so that the driver of the oncoming car is not blinded. In practice, one mechanical dimmer switch is used by the driver to manually select high (bright) or low (dim) headlight beam. However, this is an awkward task for the driver especially during peak traffics.



Our project “Adaptive Lighting System for Automobiles” is a smart solution for safe and convenient night driving without the intense dazzling effect and aftermaths. Adaptive Lighting System for Automobiles needs no manual Continue reading


This simple, wearable circuit uses an operational amplifier (or “op-amp”) chip to convert sound into light. An LM324 op-amp and a transistor boost input from a mini condenser microphone to light a series of LEDs. Watch it blink to the beat of your favorite music.


Components Required

  • Battery, 9V (1)
  • Solder, lead-free (1)
  • Battery snap, 9V (1)
  • Hookup wire, 22 gauge, multiple colors (1)
  • PC board, grid style, with 371 holes (1)
  • Resistor assortment, 500 piece (1)
  • Transistor, NPN, 2N4401 (1)
  • Microphone condenser element (1
  • Capacitor, 0.1 µF ceramic (100 nF, capacitor code 104) (1)
  • Capacitor, 1.0µF non-polarized electrolytic (capacitor code 105) (1)
  • Op-Amp chip, Quad, LM324 (1)
  • LED 5mm (1)

Step #1: Gather the parts


  • The electret microphone element is polarized, so be careful not to reverse the connections. The ground leg is the one with the 3 silver traces running to the case (second photo).
  • To identify resistor values from their color codes, you can use this online calculator.
  • The LM324 chip has four op-amps, but this circuit only requires two of them. Continue reading




LDR-based automatic lights  flicker due to the change in light  intensity at dawn and dusk.  So compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)  are unsuitable in such circuits as flickering may damage the electronic  circuits within these lamps. The circuit  described here can solve the problem  and switch on the lamp instantly when  the light intensity decreases below a  preset level. The circuit uses popular timer IC  NE555 (IC1) as a Schmitt trigger to give  the bistable action.

The set and reset  functions of the comparators within  the NE555 are used to give the instantaneous action. The upper threshold  comparator of IC1 trips at 2/3Vcc,  while the lower trigger comparator  trips at 1/3Vcc. The inputs of both the threshold comparator and the trigger  comparator of NE555 (pins 6 and 2) are tied together and connected to the  voltage divider formed by LDR1 and  VR1. The voltage across LDR1 depends  on the light intensity. Continue reading




Some of the mosquito repellents available in the market use a toxic liquid to generate poisonous vapours in order to repel mosquitoes out of the room. Due to the continuous release of poisonous vapours into the room, after midnight the natural balance of the air composition for good health reaches or exceeds the critical level. Mostly, these vapours attack the brain through lungs and exert an anesthetic effect on mosquitoes as well as other living beings by small or greater percentage. Long exposure to these toxic vapours may cause neurological or related problems.

Here is a circuit that automatically switches on and off the mosquito repellent after preset time interval, thus controlling the release of toxic vapours into the room. Continue reading



You’re being tracked and not necessarily anonymously. A study last March from researchers at MIT’s Media Lab showed that so-called “anonymized” cell phone data is not so anonymous. The researchers were able to extract specific location information for individuals carrying phones with GPS and location services on. If this concerns you, you might want to keep an eye on New York-based artist and technologist Adam Harvey, who just launched a Kickstarter program to develop phone pockets that shield your phone’s cellular, Wi-Fi, and GPS signals.

According to PopSci, the slip cover is based on the technology behind the electric field-blocking Faraday cage, which protects electrical equipment from lightning strikes. Like the cage, the Off Pocket contains a metal fiber mesh that blocks the wireless signals (frequencies between 800MHz and 2.4 GHz) Continue reading



I am a big fan of garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores. They are great places to find used parts and materials for your next project. But one problem that I often run into is not being able to test battery powered electronics to see if they work. Because there are so many different combinations of batteries that are used in portable electronics, it isn’t really practical to carry around batteries for testing. One device may need 6 AA’s and another may require 4 D’s. So I came up with this simple pocket-sized variable power supply. It can plug into either a 9V battery or a 12V battery pack. You can then adjust the output voltage to match the device that you want to test and attach the output wires to the end terminals on the device’s battery connectors. This lets you power the device long enough to see if it works.


  • 8-Position DIP Switch
  • 220 ohm Resistor
  • 1 µF Capacitor
  • 0.1 µF Capacitor
  • LM317 Adjustable Voltage Regulator
  • 2 x Alligator Clip Wires
  • Perf Board
  • 9V Battery Connector
  • 270 ohm Resistor (preferably 1/8 watt) (7)
  • Soldering Iron and Solder


Step #1: Materials



  • LM317 Adjustable Voltage Regulator, 0.1 µF Capacitor, 1 µF Capacitor, 220 ohm Resistor, 7 x 270 ohm Resistor (preferably 1/8 watt), 8-Position DIP Switch, Perf Board, 9V Battery Connector, 2 x Alligator Clip Wires, Continue reading



It’s easy to build up a “junk box” of items you can use to build projects seen in just about any-thing you can imagine.

Many of my articles take advantage of found components, often picked out of trash bins. Just because an electronic device has failed at its original task doesn’t mean it can’t perform other tasks. Castoffs can be recovered and the parts repurposed in countless ways.

Recently, my trash-picking adventures turned up a discarded laser printer. I set about finding what wonders were waiting beneath the plastic covers.


My first discovery was the main circuit board. Once I stripped the heat shields off, I found over 50 nonproprietary electronic parts, including capacitors, resistors, voltage regulators, transistors, transformers, coils, and integrated circuits. Jackpot! A couple of boards like this, and you’re on your way to building a backup supply of parts for future projects. A second, smaller PC board also yielded numerous useful components. Continue reading




Click the picture to view the MINI ROVER in action

Ever wanted to explore your house from a pet’s perspective, here’s the Mini Rover Surveillance bot which is going to do exactly that.


Step #1: Strip down the car.


  • Using Scientific Toys’ EZTEC-branded 1:17 scale Chevy Silverado R/C car as a camera platform. This toy is cheap, hacker-friendly, and works astoundingly well for the price.
  • First, detach the truck body shell from the chassis by removing 3 screws: 2 on top, in the truck bed, and 1 from below, between the front wheels.
  • Now, open the electronics compartment by removing 4 screws, as shown, and lifting the plastic cover gently up and off. The floppy wire antenna, which is threaded through a hole in the cover, should slip out the bottom as you do this.

Step #2: Install the chassis standoffs.



  • Position the video camera mounting base on the car’s electronics compartment cover, as shown. Use the base as a template to drill 3 matching 5/32″-diameter holes in the electronics compartment cover.
  • TIP: You may find it easier to operate the drill through the baseplate if you remove the camera mount ball joint at the top of the stem first. Simply turn the wingscrew all the way out and the whole assembly will come off.
  • Turn the electronics compartment cover over, and attach three 10cm standoffs on the top side of the compartment cover using the screws that come with the standoffs. Continue reading




The incandescent lamp provided inside the refrigerators glows whenever we open the door. It suffers from several disadvantages like:

1. Being a single light source, located in the upper corner, light does not spread uniformly. Only upper shelves get good light and the lower shelves are in darkness because of the shadows of food items kept.

2. Ironically, the lamp generates heat in the space which we are trying to cool, thus making the compressor work for longer duration.

3. During power outages, there is no illumination inside the fridge, when it is most needed.

The above problems could be overcome by using a distributed array of LEDs with battery back-up, which provides shadow less light and cool operation.



Fig. 1: Rows of LEDs placed in PVC channels


Fig. 2: Orientation of LEDs and the arrows indicating the direction of light from LEDs

Two columns of six white LEDs in each row (2×6 array of white LEDs) are made using white PVC channels. The length of the channel equals the height of the cooling compartment of the fridge. The LEDs are placed such that each shelf has two LEDs located at the top corner. These channels are placed in the left- and right-hand corners inside the fridge as shown in Fig. 1. Continue reading



This easy-to-build electronic alarm will remind you of an impotant task after a preset time. It is particularly useful for housewives and busy professionals. All you have to do is set the time in minute swith the help of two thumbwheel switches (S3 and S4) and press and release start switch. Precisely after the time set by you is over, there is an audio as well as visual indication to remind you that the time you set has elapsed. The gadget is portable and operates off a 9V battery.

At the heart of this circuit are two counter ICs CD4029 (IC4 and IC5). These are programmable up/down 4bit binary/decade counters belonging to CMOS family of digital integrated circuits. The information present on them is fed to inputs P0 through P3 in parallel. It is loaded into the counter when the PL input is high, independent of the clock pulse input. In this circuit, IC4 and IC5 count in up/down mode when the up/down input is high/low. These have been wired as 4-bit binary counters in countdown mode with B/D input low. The counter advances by one count on every low-to-high transition of the clock pulse. Continue reading

Solar-Powered Laptop Lasts 10 Hours on a Charge


What if it only took two hours out in the sun supply your laptop with 10 hours of battery life? That’s what the Ubuntu-driven laptop aims to do, according to the folks over at WeWi Telecommunications Inc.

The Sol, a rugged-looking laptop with built-in foldable solar panels, is designed for use in the military, education and developing countries where electricity is scarce. The Canada-based makers behind the Sol claim that the device can run directly off solar energy or can harness the sun’s rays to charge the laptop’s battery in under two hours. Once fully charged, the battery is expected to last between eight and 10 hours.

Packing mid-range specs, the Sol comes with a 1.86GHz dual-core Intel Atom D2500 processor with 2GB of RAM upgradeable to 4GB, a 320GB SATA HDD from Seagate, GMA3600 graphics, a 13.3-inch LCD screen with a 1366 x 768 resolution, and a 3-megapixel camera. It also features a USB 2.0 port, an audio jack, HDMI, Ethernet and SD card ports like most standard laptops. Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth will come built-in to the Sol, and it will be available in 3G and 4G LTE configurations as well. The Sol will run for $350 but you can also snag a waterproof edition for $400, and its slated to launch in Ghana, Africa first. Continue reading

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