Archive for the ‘wireless’ Category

iPort turns iPad and iPod touch into in-wall touchscreens

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

iportwallmountedipad.jpg
Photos courtesy of The Unofficial Apple Weblog

With iPad, home automation would be much easier system to be installed and implemented – and the price would be more affordable.

iPort has introduced two new products in its Control Mount Series for the Apple iPad and iPod touch.  The CM2000 Control Mount for iPad and the iPort CM100 Control Mount for iPod touch both integrate the handheld Apple touchscreen products in an in-wall frame, transforming them into in-wall touchscreens for display of weather, news, stocks and many other preferred Apps.

The CM100 also transforms the iPod touch into an in-wall Internet radio source, and connects to any stereo or audio/video receiver.  Users can download their choice of any Internet radio apps available in the Apple App Store and play the audio back through any connected stereo system.
The CM2000 (US$499) and CM100 ($250) may be installed in either a vertical or horizontal orientation, depending on the functionality and design of the room.  When installed into the iPort, the iPad and iPod touch remain constantly charged.

Courtesy: The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Macsimum News

Arad Metering Technologies Conserves Water via Battery-Operated Drones

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

remote meter reader
Illustration by Chris Philpot

The word drone may sounds related to any contemporary sci-fi flicks, or images of attacks carried out remotely on hostile lands, or even your high-school biology teacher’s voice. We don’t expect a drone to help us save water, but that’s what Arad Metering Technologies intends to do. The Israeli company’s battery-operated drone is one of the novel tools it’s deploying to help consumers and companies conserve H2O — and to make money.

Such an idea would come out of Israel is no coincidence. The country is poor in water and rich in tech innovation, much of it born of constant military conflict. Israel pioneered the use of unmanned aerial vehicles after it lost many fighter jets in the 1973 war. But Arad’s drones don’t fight: They read data from the company’s patented water-meter system to detect leakage or, in irrigation systems, drought.

The World Bank estimates that water wastage costs utilities $14 billion a year worldwide; in developing countries, 200 million more people could be served by the water lost to leaks and theft. Arad CEO Dan Winter says this is largely a consequence of how the business works in places where water is cheap or untaxed: “You train people to abuse water because they pay very little.”

water-drone
Photos courtesy of Arad Technologies LTD

With this innovation, instead of meter reading – it can provide real time monitoring of water supply infrastructures. Its technology can find irregularities — a pipe failure, an unusually low flow rate, or a too-constant one that could indicate a leak — in a few hours, rather than every 60 days as with a typical meter reading.

Arad’s system is built around what looks like a standard meter. The difference is on the inside, where you’ll find 3G wireless technology, a microcontroller, and 20-year batteries. Every 11 to 30 seconds, the system transmits data, which can be picked up by a drone (best for quickly covering big distances in remote areas) or by a drive-by or fixed-base reader. The data are then analyzed by computer to gauge how much water has been consumed, how much was lost, and even where tampering may have taken place. As a result, companies can save both water and man hours.

The possibilities for Arad’s services go far beyond water should be covering abilities to monitor everything from municipal infrastructure, such as traffic lights, to security-camera networks — basically any complex system prone to localized failures and waste. Arad has its own way, to proof drones could be associated with saving, not destroying; life, not death.

Courtersy: Tree Hugger, Fast Company

Talking Tire Monitor detects traction & Tire Pressure

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

tire-pressure-monitoring

Some cars have tire pressure monitoring systems for a while now, but this new system from Schrader Electronics takes that useful concept into the future.

It’s not quite explained whether this wireless Talking Tire Monitoring System actually talks to you, but one way or another it notifies you when your tire pressure is low. But it’s a whole lot smarter than that, showing you how much tread is left on those tires, and even sensing slippery road conditions in real time, notifying you how much traction your tires are getting.

In other aspect, it also could help motorists significantly reduce their carbon tyreprint as vehicles with properly inflated tyres boast an improved fuel efficiency. In addition, underinflated tyres wear out quicker and need replacing more frequently.

Courtesy Guardian via  Dvice

Open source satellites

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

machineSat.jpg

After three years of research and one year of experience as a satellite engineer, Song Hojun has found that it is possible to launch and operate a personal satellite at a fairly reasonable price. In addition, he has for the past five years been exploring ways to integrate the concept of a personal satellite project into cultural contexts and into his artistic practice.

mpSatEvent.jpg
All the satellite-related systems (except for the rocket to launch it) are DIY programs — designed so that regular people may also have the chance of developing and eventually launching their own.

Song have presented this system and how it works at the Machine Project, Los Angeles on 2010, 25th April.

For the people who want to study or getting a clearer picture of the involving mechanisme, they can download Song’s book from Google Books here.

Courtesy: Open Source Satellite Initiative via Make

Do It Yourself a RFID immobiliser

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

rfid-car-immobiliser

This guy, [andrew_h] has put together this slick anti theft device for his car. This RFID immobiliser is used to keep the car engine from starts unless you swipe an RFID tag. Depending on how well you hide it, and how well the person stealing the car knows you, they would have no reason to suspect that they have to swipe the tag. Even if someone steals the car while it is already running, they won’t be able to re start the engine if they shut it off. Guys, you should try this one if you have any car to experiment with, or you have to steal a car to do this.. kidding! All steps, schematics and PCBs are available.

Available at Instructables.com via Hack A Day

How to decode infrared transmission

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

rc5-decoding-explained.jpg

Alright, here we’re going for chapter on Manchester Encoding. Brian J Hoskins did just that when building this RC5 decoder. This protocol is widely used in television remote controls. You use them on a daily basis, don’t you think it’s time you understood what’s going on? Check out his writeup and learn the dark art of invisible light communication. Or just skip the learning and follow this how-to.

courtesy: Hack a day

How to build your own RFID reader

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

DIY RFID

Do you have any idea on how easy it is to build your own RFID reader? Well, we stumbled upon some sites that’ll give you some clearer picture on how to make this thing happens. As pointed out by hackaday,

[Klulukasz] left a comment pointing to this DIY RFID reader that was a final project in 2006 for a class at Cornell University. It is well documented and includes not only a schematic and code, but an explanation of the design considerations used during the build. The project uses an ATmega32 and the parts list priced out at about $50 at the time. There were plenty of responses to theRFID spoofer post pointing out that there are readers available for $40, but we want the fun of building our own.

A bit more vague with the details but no less interesting is this other simple RFID reader design.

Courtesy: hackaday

Radio monitoring book re-released under a Creative Commons license

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

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Make contributor T.J. “Skip” Arey says:

Many of you know that, some time back, I authored a book called Radio Monitoring — A How To Guide. Originally published by Index Publishing Group and later released by Paladin Press, is had two very successful editions that sold for many years. This book has recently gone out of print but I am pleased to say that I have now released it on line (for FREE) via Creative Commons license. I admit that a few points are a bit dated but the book still has a lot to offer the beginner or even experienced radio hobbyist. You can download a copy thanks to the North American Shortwave Association (NASWA) who have consented to be the primary online source for distribution. The hobby has been good to me over the years. I am happy to give this book back to the radio community. Enjoy.

Courtesy: Naswa.net via Make

Public bus transportation notifier

Friday, April 16th, 2010

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Knuckles904 at Random Hacks of Boredom was tired of waiting for the bus. His town had installed GPS units on the buses so that riders could track their locations via the Internet so he knew there should be a way to avoid the wait while also never missing the bus. He developed a sketch for an Arduino to check the bus location and notify him when it was on its way.

This method saves him from leaving his computer running. It parses the text data from the public transportation website and updates both an LED display, as well as a Twitter feed. Now he can monitor several different bus lines via the hardware at home, or though a cell phone if he’s on the go.

This guy have done a useful tricks and provides some sources to make this project works. Well done!

Open Source Lion-Tracking Collars In the Works

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

liongps.jpg

Want to help save some lions in Kenya? Well, help these guys make some open source lion-tracking collars, complete with GPS and GSM on board.

Lions are not doing too well in Kenya, with only 2,000 or so left. Two groups called Lion Guardians and Living with Lions are dedicated to studying and saving the diminished lion population. In order to help them out, Justin Downs of Brooklyn’s GRND Lab built them a solar-powered treehouse last year. Now, he’s working on some of the aforementioned collars to help them track the lions.

He’s looking for donations on Kickstarter for the project now, so if your passions create a Venn diagram between open-source hardware and lions, well, here you go.

Source Kickstarter via Clay Shirky