A very smart hack that can make your soldering experience so much easier. All it takes is a mechanical pencil.
Photoresistors are very common electronic components that works like a normal resistor in total darkness, but as soon as light is hitting it, it changes. Increase the amount of light and the change will increase as well. This phenomenon is commonly used to detect when a light beam is broken, turning them into a light controlled switch. But did you know that they can also be used to make music? In this video Make: magazine walks us through a simple build that results in an electronic slide-whistle! Basically you transform light into music, and if you don’t think that is a cool idea, then what is?!
Have you ever seen walls or ceilings with little tiny light spots on them, like stars in the sky, and though “I wish I could make that…”? Well you can! kipkay made this simple video in which he created this starry effect by using simple LED lights and fiber optic cable. In this case he made a frame for his computer monitor, but this technique is so general that you can apply it on almost everything. So why not make a cosmic picture, wall or even a ceiling? It’s simple, it’s cheap and most important of all, its gorgeous!
This is one of our favorite “Think outside the box” inventions! Who could dream that a toothbrush could be used as a propulsion device? Well the family behind the Evil Mad Scientist did! All you need is a toothbrush with slanted bristles, a button cell, foam tape and a vibrator motor from a pager och mobile phone. Add some tiny wires and some solder and you have the worlds simplest bot! What we find most fascinating about this bot is not that it moves around, but that it actually jumps at a forward angle. But since the jumps are so small and quick, your eye doesn’t see it.
This invention was so brilliant that even The Royal Society took notice and started their own investigation of this type of propulsion. You can find their scientific videos here. So if you were ever intimidated by the complexity of robotics, you should definitely watch this video and realize that is doesn’t need to be that hard. Just think, what cool new stuff could you make with this technique?
In this video, Dr. Ainissa Ramirez from Yale University talks about how tin objects can be completely destroyed by simply getting to cold. Temperature can have a serious impact on materials properties in general, but this is an extreme case. When pure tin gets to cold, it seems to destroy itself and leave a pile of gray dust behind. This phenomenon is called “Tin pest” and was a serious problem back in the day when many objects was made from it. But we also use a lot of tin in today’s products, all electronics are soldered using a metals containing tin for example. Now days the tin is mixed with other metals in order to avoid this problem, but it’s not foolproof. So if you want to make something out of tin, make sure it can stand the temperature.
To learn more about tin and tin pest, please visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin