The XGS AVR 8-Bit system was developed to be a very competitive entry/midrange development kit for the Atmel ATmega644 AVR processor with 64K FLASH, 4K SRAM, and running at 28+ MIPs. The kit includes everything you need to get started developing applications on the very popular platform.
The Wee Blinky kit from the Maker Shed is an easy-to-solder two (2) LED blinker circuit. It comes with a 9V battery snap, but will work with almost any voltage from 3V to 12V. A 9V battery is required but not included. It’s tiny, it blinks, and it’s a great kit to hone your soldering skills since it’s cheap too!
Here is a geometric assembly challenge which you can try to make with wooden dowels or any other conveniently long cylinders. Each of these thirty aluminum rods touches ten others. The construction is rather tricky to accomplish even if you properly understand it as a compound of five interlocked tetrahedra. The rubber bands join the sticks into five groups of six, each a regular tetrahedron. The five tetrahedra stay together in a mass because of the way they are interwoven. If you manage to build your own copy, you’ll see it is very solid and it will look quite cool on your desk because of its symmetric regularity. But it is tricky to build because when it is partially complete, it is hard to know where to leave space for the remaining pieces.
Rolando Pontalti, of Trento, Italy, made this metal model and also made the pencils and O-rings version below. With pencils, five colors can be used to emphasize how the sticks are grouped into five tetrahedra. But the presence of erasers on just half of the ends means some symmetry must be lost.
See all of George Hart’s Math Monday columns
Programmer Dimitri Tishchenko builds geometric sculptures with supermagnets. Like, lots and lots of them. The eighty thumbnails on this page represent only about 10% of the shots in his frankly amazing Flickr set. [via Neatorama]
- Math Monday: Magnet constructions
- Time-lapse creation of a magnetic sculpture @Makezine.com blog
- DIY Magnet sculpture
- Nifty magnetic construction toy
Craig Smith (South Milwaukee, WI) writes:
With all of the junk I accumulated, I thought it would be neat to make a crystal radio as a low impact project in the evenings. I unwound the coated wire from a small useless 115V brushless motor that I almost tossed out several times, and wound it about 130 times on a piece of 1.25″ PVC. The clear coating got scraped off where the tuner slides back & forth. Then I made a (nicer that I intended) wood frame for the apparatus, as well as some darn nice scrap brass connection plates for the bolts and burr nuts.
A 40′ scrap wire antenna runs down my fence and into my basement to the slide tuner bar. A small wire also connects the tuner to the crystal pot. A good household ground and one of the earphone wires connects to one of the coil ends. Choose one or the other, one will be better than the other so stick with that one and ignore the other. The second earphone wire connects to the crystal pinpoint contact. To find the ‘sweet spot’ on the Galena (or Pyrite fools gold) crystal which acts as a diode, the contact needs to be positioned about the crystal to find the best spot. One can also just use a nice old glass Germanium diode instead. With a pair of amplified computer speakers instead of the crystal earphone, I can crank it up quite loud. Something about the warm mellow sound of AM radio makes a workshop feel like home.
BTW: For those who are unfamiliar with crystal radios like this, there is no external power source. The radio uses collected radio waves to power the unit.
More great projects from Craig Smith:
- X-wing mailbox
- Firefly Workshop
- How-To: Hack a Magic 8-Ball
- Flat-pack observatory roof prototype
- Piecing together a vintage Radio Shack 150-in-One kit
- Three-stage brush cleaner
This beautiful mash-up prop is reportedly by Jon Wollack of Almost Dark Productions. You can take your pick between the obligatory Empire quote with a 300 reference and the obligatory 300 quote with an Empire reference. Off the top of my head, I’d go with “I want them alive: No decapitations!” and “Tonight we dine in Cloud City!”, respectively.
Think you can do better? Let me know, below!
- How-To: Stormtrooper helmet from milk jugs
- Steampunk Stormtrooper, Boba Fett, and Princess Leia
- Bronze Boba Fett Pez dispenser
- Do-It-Yourself Star Wars Props
The 555 contest was conceived by Jeri Ellsworth and Chris Gammell in a conversation on Twitter, and now it’s going to happen.
This contest came about in mid-January 2011 on Twitter. Jeri began talking about 555 timers and excitement built up enough to start doing something about it! The organizers of the contest have no monetary interest, only interest in seeing new designs and creativity blossom. Vendors/sponsors did not prompt this contest, though they are helping organize and providing prizes. Really we’re just looking to have fun and see new designs, so be sure to submit yours!
Categories include art, complex/extreme, minimalistic, utility, and best in show. Can’t wait to see the cool entries!
In the summer of 2002, Heineken introduced its 24 oz. “mini keg” can in the US. Besides having twice the volume of a normal aluminum beverage can, the “mini keg’s” unusual design includes a number of ridges and rings that make it much more rigid. Sometime around 2004, so far as I can tell, ultralight backpacking enthusiasts began experimenting with using the new can design as a cooking pot.
The community has evolved the design of these cooking pots to a remarkable extent, and although there seem to be as many variations as there are builders, a few common features seem to be emerging:
- The top of the can is removed with a side-cutting can opener and preserved for use as a lid. The tab may be bent up to provide a handle, or a small knob may be attached.
- The side of the can is wound with 1/16″ fiberglass wick to provide an insulated gripping surface
- An elastic silicone wristband is stretched around the rim of the can for drinking comfort.
I’m sure to screw it up if I try to give any particular person credit for any of these ideas, but the embedded video overview from Minibulldesign Cult gives the best general overview of the idea I can find. And Rick of Wilderness Survival Forums has produced a good phototutorial describing the fiberglass winding process.
- How-To: Improved pocket stove
- Sweet penny stove
- Ultralight backpacking kitchen
- A better soda can stove
- Penny alcohol backpacking stove
Wheel aficionados, there are still a couple of days left to enter the MAKE Karts and Wheels contest. Got any projects that have wheels and can carry a person? Enter for your chance to get your project polished and published in MAKE Volume 26, the Karts and Wheels issue.
The rules are simple:
1. Come up with a cool, original go-kart or alt wheels project fitting the Volume 26 theme.
2. Document your build step-by-step with clear instructions and photos, then share it on Make: Projects.
3. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your Make: Projects entry when you’re done. Easy!
Check out the original post for more details and show us what you make. The deadline is 11:59 PDT on January 24, 2011.
If you’re looking for a way to fill up some of your after school time in the next few months, check out Google Science Fair. You can work solo or gather up a friend or two and set out to explore science and making while creating an online record of your project and process. You’ll be competing against teens worldwide, but hey, the prizes look worthwhile.
Aged out of the competition? You can help out a team of youth as a teacher or mentor.
Check out the Maker Shed for some great information resources and hardware that might help your project.
A 10-year-old Canadian girl will head back to school this month with a good case for some extra credit in science: She became the youngest person to discover a supernova during the holiday break. Kathryn Aurora Gray of Fredericton, New Brunswick, spotted the exploding star, dubbed supernova 2010lt, on Monday from an image taken on New Yearâ€™s Eve by a telescope belonging to amateur astronomer David Lane in Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia. The exploding star is in the galaxy UGC 3378 in the constellation of Camelopardalis. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) says Kathryn is the youngest person ever to discover a supernova.
If this sounds like fun to you – visit Galaxy Zoo and you could do this too!
Your task in this latest Galaxy Zoo project is to help us catch exploding stars â€“ supernovae. Data for the site is provided by an automatic survey in California, at the world-famous Palomar Observatory, and astronomers are ready to follow up on your best candidates at telescopes around the world.
Believe it or not humans are still better at picking out supernovae in photos than computers!