Modular Lampshade Project

I was wanting to make an interesting lampshade as a specal Christmas present this year. I set about searching Instructables for inspiration. I found a really interesting modular lampshade concept, which was originally designed by Holger Strøm in 1972 and called the IQlight. This used a repeated unit which was cut out of polypropylene using … more

Wind Empowerment Conference 2014

For the past week I have been at the 2nd Wind Empowerment conference in Athens. Wind Empowerment is a network of groups working on Small Wind Turbines, with a particular focus on the Hugh Piggott designed wind turbine. The conference was an inspiring mix of interesting presentations, hands-on workshops and social fun. Around 45 people … more

Design manufacturing at Nottingham University

I was asked to propose a few ideas for group projects on the product design and manufacturing engineering course at Nottingham University. I proposed a few projects and two of them were taken on by small groups. These projects have been designed and built over the course of a year and I went to see … more

RGB LED wireless light

Here is a post about what you can do in an afternoon or two with a whole load of electronics stuff lying around. I have had an red-green-blue (RGB) board from Big Clive or Phenoptix lying around for a while. I had developed an RGB LED controller for it, so I also had one of … more

Low Temperature LCD Displays

A couple of years ago I had accidentally purchased a batch of ‘low temperature’ 16 x 2 LCD displays. These do not work with the standard 5V supply as the contrast pin requires a negative voltage for the display to appear (around minus 1.6V seems to work well). This is a post on getting them … more

Using the Pi-LITEr

Having been to Derby Mini Maker Faire the previous day I had bought myself a very simple (and cheap) LED light add-on for the Raspberry Pi. This was called the Pi-LITEr. It is a plug-in PCB for the RPi GPIO (general purpose IO) pins. It has 8 LEDs on it. I have not played too … more

Reflow Oven Controller

This shows the build for a simple Arduino-based reflow oven controller. This converts a basic toaster oven into a temperature controlled reflow oven for making surface mount circuits. The temperature profile is read from a simple text file on an SD card. This makes changing the temperature profile very easy, without any new code to … more

Milling PCBs on a CNC

I have a small CNC machine which I mainly used for accurately drilling PCBs. I have done a few experiments on milling PCBs and also here (ie. taking a sheet of copper clad board and cutting away copper where it is not needed). I realised quite quickly that the bed of the CNC must be … more

I have created life!….

Ive been sorting out the workshop here and found a project that I started around 12 years ago. I thought I would finish it and make it do something fun. The project was an 8 x 8 LED grid. I used high brightness blue LEDs. I wanted it to display something interesting and varying. I … more

Bat Listener enclosure

I’ve been wanting to design a nice enclosure for the Bat Listener kit which I sell on-line and recently I found the time to build and test a prototype. I used laser-cut plywood and the slots and t-nut holder method, as shown here. I built in some additional segments to hold the battery and keep … more

Adaption project

Just to prove that I can be cultured and appreciate ‘the arts’, I thought I would post photos of an art project I have been involved with. Around two years ago I was asked to build the control system for an art installation called ‘Adaption’, by Becky and Katy Beinart. It has recently been installed … more

Graphing Data in Processing

Following on from my first forray into Processing, I needed to display some data in a simple graph, with time as the X axis and scaled data value as the Y axis. I thought I would post what I came up with here, as I think its quite nice (although perhaps not the best designed … more