Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sound Activated Outet

The Clapper was a popular gadget in the 80's and 90's. It let you turn appliances on and off just by clapping. This can be pretty useful, but it has some limitations. First there is the problem of loud noises accidentally turning the lights off. Also, you can't control multiple outlets independently of each other.
So I decided to make programmable version of the Clapper using an Arduino microcontroller. The Arduino lets you set codes for each outlet. This eliminates false triggering and lets you control multiple outlets independently. Your lamp could be turned on and off with one clapping pattern and your fan could be controlled with another pattern.
The Arduino also lets you program how the outlets are turned on and off. For instance, if your internet router needs to be reset, you could program it to turn your internet router off for ten seconds and then turn it back on automatically. Or you could turn a heater on for a few minutes and automatically turn itself off.

For step by step instructions on how to build this project, check out the Instructable:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Useless Candle (A Candle That Blows Itself Out)

A while back, I saw "The Most Useless Machine" by Instructables user Frivolous Engineering. This is a machine whose only function is to turn itself off. When you flip the power switch to turn it on, an arm pops out of the box and turns the power switch back off.

I love the hilarious absurdity of this project. So I decided to make some "useless" devices of my own. In this project, I am going to share with you how to make a "Useless Candle." Whenever you light this candle, it automatically blows itself out.

This is done with a simple light sensor and a small air pump. When the sensor detects the increased light from the candle being lit, it turns on an air pump. The air pump pushes air through a tube that is mounted to the candle holder and blows the candle out.

For step by step instructions on how build this project, check out the Instructable: