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Solar Motor Controller Prototyping

Posted by Matthew Little on

Following on from our 'Solder Solar' we wanted a simple, low cost circuit that will use solar power to drive a motor. This post is a little bit of information about the design process, testing and the producing a circuit that does this. Problem We want to run a small motor using solar power. The problem is that the motor takes a high start-up and continuous running current. Generally a motor requires around 2-3 times the normal running current to start up. Solar PV panels are current limited and the current depends totally upon the sunlight falling on the solar panel....

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Soldering is Easy!

Posted by Matthew Little on

As all our kits need to be soldered together, we have been asked a number of times about soldering education and information. We usually point people to the excellent 'Soldering is Easy' comic produced by Mitch Altman, Andie Nordgren and Jeff Keyzer. This is a really great comic-book style introduction to basic soldering techniques. This guide is visual, easy to understand and open-source so can be spread and shared with everyone. There is a short guide available here: [powr-file-embed id=830011c5_1486907263] And a more in depth guide here: [powr-file-embed id=eaf2d70f_1486907524] We hope to include this guide with all of our kits...

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Bat Listener, Arduino and display!

Posted by Matthew Little on

Following on from our previous post on connecting the Bat Listener kit to and Arduino, here we show you how to add a small LCD screen to display frequency data and a 'sonograph'. Hopefully you have the Bat listener connected to the Arduino and are reading data onto the serial port. The next step is to add a small display so we can have a portable display of the most interesting data. What is a 'sonograph'? A sonograph (sometimes called a 'sonogram') is a graph of frequency against time. Displaying the frequency measured by the Bat Listener against time allows...

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Connecting the Bat Listener to an Arduino

Posted by Matthew Little on

If you would like to take your bat detecting further, the new version of our Bat Listener has output pads for connecting the output to an Arduino. This means we can measure the exact frequency and start to do more interesting things like recording the frequencies, displaying a 'sonograph' of the detected signal and record the number of bat detections. An Arduino is a small micro-controller which can be easily re-programmed to perform different functions. It can also be used as a link to receive data onto a computer. It is an open-source design with an open-source integrated development environment...

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EMF Detector Workshop @ Nottingham Hackspace

Posted by Matthew Little on

I recently ran a workshop building the EMF Detector kit at my local hackspace in Nottingham. This kit responds to electric and magnetic fields to produce weird sound-scapes of a hidden world of electro-magnetic noise.   We tested it on phones, power supplies and electrical fittings. Always good to run through kits and instructions as people build them - a few improvements highlighted, as always!

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