Monday, May 18, 2015

Designing Circuit Board Layouts with Photoshop



The last step in building a new electronics project is to solder all the components onto a circuit board. You can use something as simple as a perf board or you can go all out and etch your own custom circuit board. Whatever you use, you need to figure out how the parts will be arranged on the board.

There are a number of programs that you can download to help you design a circuit board layout (examples: 123D, EAGLE Light and PCB Artist). But you can also use everyday programs such as photo editors that you might already have on your computer. So today I am going to show you a simple way that you can use programs like Photoshop to design a circuit board layout.

For step by step instructions on how to complete this project, check out the Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Design-Circuit-Boards-Using-Photoshop/

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Automatic Race Timer



Racing is a lot of fun. But if you want to compare the results of multiple races, you need be able to accurately record the finishing times of each one. To do this, I designed a timer circuit that will automatically record the finishing times.

Two light sensors are mounted on a track. The first one is positioned just in front of the starting line. The second is located at the finish line. When the car crosses the first sensor, it starts the timer. Then when the car crosses the second sensor, it stops the timer. This lets you automatically record the finishing time of each car.

The system that I built is tailored to toy car races (such as pinewood derby or CO2 Dragsters), but it can easily be adapted for other kinds of races.

For step by step instructions on how to build this project, check out the Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Automatic-Race-Timer/

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wind Powered Music Box



Wind chimes are a great way to improve the atmosphere of a garden. But I wanted to see if I could find a way to make the wind play a melody instead of just random notes. So I designed a simple wind powered music box. Now whenever the wind blows, it plays a whole song.

For step by step instructions on how to make this project, check out the Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Wind-Powered-Music-Box/

Monday, April 20, 2015

Motion Activated Gun Turret



In this project I am going to show you how to use motorized nerf guns and water guns to make automated gun turrets that you can use to shoot your friends.

The gun is controlled with an Infrared Motion Sensor and an Arduino microcontroller. The motion sensor detects when someone walks in front of the gun. The Arduino then activates a relay that is connected to the trigger and fires the gun. You can set it up in a hall or in a doorway and it will shoot anyone who walks by. This is a fun way to prank your friends.

For step by step instructions on how to build this project, check out the Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Motion-Activated-Gun-Turret/

Monday, April 13, 2015

Recycle Plastic Bags Into Usable Plastic Sheets



Plastic bags are something that we all have lying around. Most of these bags can be recycled. You can even recycle them yourself at home. In this project I am going to show you how to fuse plastic bags together to make thick sheets of plastic that you can use in your craft projects.

For step by step instructions for this project, check out the Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Recycle-Plastic-Bags-Into-Usable-Plastic-Sheets/

Monday, April 6, 2015

Power Washer Art



Spring is finally here. That means it is time to power wash the sidewalks. But there is no reason why you can't have some fun in the process. In this project, I am going to show you several ways that you can draw pictures on sidewalks and buildings using a pressure washer.

For step by step instructions for this project, check out the Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Power-Washer-Art/

Monday, March 30, 2015

Emergency Lighting System



Many people keep a supply of candles and flashlights on hand for when the power goes out. But you still have to find your way around in the dark to get them. In situations like this, it might be helpful to have some kind of emergency lighting system that would automatically turn on when the power goes out.

So in this project, I am going to show you how to build a DIY emergency lighting system that will do just that.

For step by step instructions for this project, check out the Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Emergency-Lighting-System/