Category Archives: Project

Fixing the Variac

Actually there was nothing wrong with it. It didn’t really need “fixing”. A variac is a kind of variable AC transformer. They are very useful for testing AC loads because they can give a variable output voltage usually from 0 up to some value. This particular one can output from 0 to 250V and supply […]

Washing Machine = Patio Heater

Take the TOG test by selecting the correct answer. Q: Your washing machine dies and you get a new one. What do you do with the old one? 1. When your new one is delivered, let the delivery crew take the old one away. 2. Take the old one to your local WEEE recycling centre. […]

Hard Disk Fun

Having some fun with old hard disks…. by taking them apart of course 🙂 Pics here. There’s some interesting parts inside. Some fantastically strong magnets and an air core coil are used to position the heads. Stepper motors are long gone from hard drives! Might try some wireless charging experiments with the coil. The platters […]

Lego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 started

It takes time & certain amount of failed ideas to design anything. Ideas rarely come in a box, they require slow birth rather than rapid unpacking. STAGE 0.1 Idea B: “What would you build if I gave you a coin counter? I: ”Any purpose?” B: ”Yes, to make a machine so the visitors put money […]

Playing with the IMAX charger

Got an IMAX B6 mini charger to play with. Pics here. This charger will charge and discharge lots of different battery chemistries. We recently acquired some 6-volt lead acid sealed lead acid batteries….believed to be from a UPS. Two of them powered our buzzer game during the recent Dublin Maker. We’re using the discharge function […]

Vintage Electronics 2

Following the build of our 1978 Metal Detector, next up in our Vintage Electronics series will be a Digital Bicycle Speedometer.  In the March 1977 issue of Popular Electronics, they published an article for a digital speedometer complete with red LED displays. This will be a build from the original magazine which we have in […]