Category Archives: how-to

Spin Me Right Round, Baby: Generator Building Experiments for Mere Mortals

How many of you plan to build a wind-powered generator in the next year? Okay, both of you can put your hands down. Even if you don’t want to wind your coils manually, learning about the principles in an electric generator might spark your interest. There is a lot of …read more

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Posted in 3-phase, alternating current, alternative fuel, alternative power, current, dynamo, Educational, generation, generator, how-to, magnet, motor, power, three-phase, turbine, wind | Leave a comment

Preserved Lemons On A Hacker’s Budget

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” [Carl Sagan]. If you wish to make preserved lemons the same way as [Uri Tuchman], you have to start with that mentality. Video also below. The recipe for [Uri]’s preserved lemons involves two ingredients …read more

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Posted in container, cooking, cooking hacks, cutting board, how-to, kitchen, knife, on the cheap, preserved lemons, preserving | Leave a comment

A New KiCAD Tutorial Hits the Scene

KiCAD has a rightfully earned image problem regarding beginners. The shiny new version 5 has improved things (and we’re very excited for v6!) but the tool is a bit obtuse even when coming from a electronics design background, so we’re always excited to see new learning material. [Mike Watts] is …read more

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Posted in arm, ATSAMD, hardware, how-to, KiCAD, learning, Microcontrollers, tutorial | Leave a comment

Make Your Own SPL DB Meter With A Microphone And MCU

Measuring equipment such as SPL (Sound Pressure Level) decibel meters may seem daunting, but this article by [Shawon M. Shahryiar] shows that making your own need only have two essential ingredients: a microphone and a microcontroller. Obviously the microphone is for measuring the sound pressure level, and its output is …read more

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Posted in decibel meter, how-to, Microcontrollers, pic18, spl | Leave a comment

Getting MIDI Under Control

When [Mr. Sobolak] started his DIY Midi Fighter he already had experience with the MIDI protocol, and because it is only natural once you have mastered something to expand on the success and build something more impressive, more useful, and more button-y. He is far from rare in this regard. …read more

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Posted in controller, hardware, how-to, midi, music, musical hacks, neopixel, neopixel ring, protocol | Leave a comment

E-Book Reader Gets Page Turn Buttons, Is None The Wiser

Most e-book readers don’t have physical page turn buttons. Why? They just don’t. Virtual page turns are accomplished with a tap at a screen edge. Determined to reduce the awkwardness of one-handed use, [Sagar Vaze] modified a Kobo e-reader with two physical page turn buttons as a weekend project.

[Sagar] …read more

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Posted in e-book, e-ink, handhelds hacks, how-to, ir, kobo, multitouch hacks, reader, spoof, touch sensing | Leave a comment

A Baby Named DJ

Some of us are guilty of picking up questionable hardware from garage sales, fleamarkets, and well-meaning relatives. There is a balance between turning down a good investment and hoarding, and if we figure out how to tell the difference you will be the first to know. [Clem Mayer] may start …read more

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Posted in 555, 555 audio, 555 timer, analog audio, analog circuitry, circuit bending, drum machine, how-to, music, musical hacks, synthesizer | Leave a comment

He Comes To Bury Sensors, Not To Praise Them

[Adosia] has some interesting videos about their IoT platform controlling self-watering plant pots. However, the video that really caught our eye was the experience in sealing up sensors that are going to be out in the field. Even if you aren’t using the exact sensors, the techniques are useful.

We …read more

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Posted in heat shrink, how-to, potting, sealant, waterproofing, weatherproofing | Leave a comment

Repurposed Plastic Protects PCBs

An errant wire snipping across the wrong electrical pins spells the release of your magic smoke. Even if you are lucky, stray parts are the root of boundless malfunctions from disruptive to deadly. [TheRainHarvester] shares his trick for covering an Arduino Nano with some scrap plastic most of us have …read more

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Posted in case, cover, hardware, how-to, insulation, plastic, protection, recycle, resistant, reuse | Leave a comment

Hack my House: UL Certification and Turning the lights on with an ESP8266

It’s hard to imagine a smart house without smart lighting. Maybe it’s laziness, but the ability to turn a light on or off without walking over to the switch is a must-have, particularly once the lap is occupied by a sleeping infant. It’s tempting to just stuff a relay in …read more

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Posted in ESP8266, Hackaday Columns, home hacks, how-to, smart home, tasmota | Leave a comment