Archive for May, 2010

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

Distributed earthquake monitoring using laptop accelerometers

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

laptopNPRquakecatcher

This is a kind of brilliant idea, since current trends of laptops manufactured with accelerometer sensors. And this would be a large peer-to-peer earthquake warning system. Sounds like SETI@home, but for collecting data instead of processing it. From NPR.org:

Newer models of laptops manufactured by companies like Apple and Lenovo contain accelerometers — motion sensors meant to detect whether the computer has been dropped. If the computer falls, the hard drive will automatically switch off to protect the user’s data.

“As soon as I knew there were these low-cost sensors inside these accelerometers, I thought it would be perfect to use them to network together and actually record earthquakes,” says geoscientist Elizabeth Cochran of the University of California, Riverside.

So a few years ago, Cochran got in touch with Jesse Lawrence, a colleague at Stanford. They whipped up a program called the Quake-Catcher Network. It’s a free download that runs silently in the background, collecting data from the computer’s accelerometer and waiting to detect an earthquake.

Laptop accelerometers aren’t as sensitive as professional-grade seismometers, so they can only pick up tremors of about magnitude 4.0 and above. But when a laptop does sense a tremor, it’ll ping the researchers’ server. “And when our server receives a bunch of those, we then say, ‘This is a likely earthquake,’ ” Lawrence says.

No accelerometer sensor but still want to participate? That won’t be any problem since you can purchase a USB sensor for use on your desktop computers. A lot of these, reportedly, are being installed in public schools.

Courtesy: 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

Build a 9-digit Pulse Counter for under $20

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

pulsecounter.jpg

Roughly, at $20 to build? This 9 digit pulse counter is an excellent example of home built tools. Josh, the builder found himself repairing a device and in need of a pulse counter. With the components cheaply available, he just built his own. He says that it has a few limitations, like display brightness, but overall it seems to do the job well. All the stuffs, steps and even PCB can be downloaded from his site at your own will.

Courtesy of Imsolidstate