Sparkfun Fiber Optic Fabric 3D Printed Light Box

Posted in Projects by Bill
31 Mar 2013

During the rapid design and development phase of all the geeky items we were creating for our wedding Sparkfun listed a new item on their website; a large fiber optic sheet. We bought one with the idea of integrating it into Mara’s dress but had to figure out a way to light it up. In the end we didn’t end up using it for the wedding, but I did come up with a way to create a powerful light source for it and I’m sharing it for others to use.

Share
9 Comments // Read more..

Our Geeky Wedding – DIY 3D Printed Geek Wedding Table Centerpieces

Posted in Projects, Wedding by Bill
24 Mar 2013

Well, I’m pleased to say the #GeekWedding was a success and I am now a married man. The 3 weeks leading up to our wedding turned into a hack-a-thon of custom DIY projects we’ll be posting about over the coming months. We are going to wait out the 5-8 weeks it will take to get our wedding pictures before we post about many of the projects, but for a few we have enough media on hand to post about now. First up is our DIY custom 3D printed wedding centerpieces.

Share
41 Comments // Read more..

The Elemental Illuminator

Posted in Projects by Bill
2 Feb 2013

A while ago my ‘Science Brother’ and good friend Dan told me about a project he was planing. He had an impressive element collection and wanted to build an equally impressive display for his collection. His design consisted of a large custom shelving unit shaped to look like a periodic table. Each shelf was made from a small piece of acrylic and he wanted to add LED edge lighting in the color of the element’s periodic group. He was content with just wiring all the shelves to remain constantly lit. I was able to convince him adding a control system to the design would add another level of awesomeness to his project. What follows is the design of the system I created for him and the result. To read more about Dan’s project outside of the control system, checkout his blog.

Share
4 Comments // Read more..

Our Geeky Wedding – DIY Electronic Wedding Invitations (DEWI)

Posted in Projects, Wedding by Bill
29 Jan 2013

Next up in the progress towards our ultimate geek wedding are the wedding invitations! Not content with plain old paper invitations my fiancée Mara and I smashed our geeky heads together to come up with a design that keeps with our circuits and swirls theme. We decided to be more literal, by putting actual circuits into our invitations! However, time spent on design, production and cost were a concern. We had to make about 50 invitations to be sent out to our guests.

Share
39 Comments // Read more..

Our Geeky Wedding – Electronic Wedding Wishing Well (eWWW)

Posted in Projects, Wedding by Bill
8 Oct 2012

This is the first (and probably only one before the big day) post regarding my upcoming geeky wedding. This was one of those last minute “How can we make this our own?” efforts we wanted done in time for our engagement party. Mara had bought a cheap cardboard ‘Wishing Well’ for the party and our wedding. It was cute, but bland and uniform. We wanted to make it into something original and something that matched our theme ‘Circuits and Swirls’. So we turned it into the ‘Electronic Wedding Wishing Well’.

Share
8 Comments // Read more..

Rebuilding Freeze Frame

Posted in Education Outreach, Projects by Bill
31 May 2012

As you may have seen already, I enjoy volunteering for the local Science Museum. This time I took on rebuilding one of my favorite exhibits, Freeze Frame. The exhibit is simple, guests stand in front of a photo sensitive wall while a flash activates to ingrain their silhouette in the wall for a few minutes. The museum had one that had long since died and the previous volunteers simply ripped out all the parts except the photo sensitive wall and added an LED on a pen to let patrons ‘write with light’. While interesting, it’s not the same awe inspiring effect as Freeze Frame, so I took it on myself to resurrect the original function. This is how I did it.

Share
36 Comments // Read more..

Repairing and Upgrading Laser Spirograph

Posted in Education Outreach, Projects by Bill
18 Feb 2012

My favorite local museum the Science and Discovery Center of Northwest Florida had broken exhibit that was collecting dust. They asked if I could fix it, and never one to back down from a challenge I set out to bring the Laser Spirograph back to life. What follows is how I fixed it and added options for new features!

Share
17 Comments // Read more..

DIY Ambient Sounds at the Museum

Posted in Education Outreach, Projects by Bill
10 Jan 2012

In my little town known for Spring Break, there is a little museum called the Science and Discovery Center of Northwest Florida. I grew up in museums and love teaching kids science, so of course I am on a first name basis with everyone at the Center. In fact I have started volunteering to make improvements and repair exhibits. They don’t have a big budget, in fact they only have 2-3 full time staff so any improvements or repairs has to be done on the cheap. This is how I added some much needed ambiance to two of the exhibit rooms without breaking the bank. I’ve documented what I did here so other non-profit museums can replicate the design.

Share
8 Comments // Read more..

Hacking My Car’s Headlights

Posted in Projects by Bill
10 Jan 2012

I have two loves. The first is my geeky fiancée, the second is my 2004 Volkswagon Passat TDI. Recently the headlights on my Passat have been yellowing and physically breaking down and it was time for new ones. Instead of buying OEM parts, I decided to pay a little more for an aftermarket brand (Spyder) with fancy LED ‘eyelids’ and HID low-beams that I added. I can’t resist things with pretty LEDs on them. But when I installed them I discovered they didn’t quite work they way I wanted…

Share
22 Comments // Read more..

Ana’s Perimeter Defense System; Configuring Xbees for Remote IO Reading

Posted in Projects, Tutorials by Bill
15 Dec 2011

A coworker of mine is soon retiring and moving to South Florida. Her new house has a screened in front porch and side gates for back yard access. The gates can’t be kept locked as the meter readers need access and her front porch is open. She came to me wanting to build a system that would alert her to anyone walking onto her porch or past her side gates and I was more then happy to help. In the process I figured out how to configure Xbees to use API mode and act like remote I/O modules, and have a tutorial to show you how to do it as well.

Share
31 Comments // Read more..
Page 2 of 512345