November 29, 2015

Ion Thruster

One of the cool projects I've worked on this summer was this Ionic Thruster. After seeing the original idea on Make Magazine by Alexander Reifsnyder, I was amazed to see it work so I decided to build my own version!
To make use of the tools I had available I decided to build the entire structure using 3D printing. This way not only would be a more simple build but it would also be easily replicable. I already did a full article about this project on eLab Hackerspace's blog, but I'm going to summarize it here anyway.

October 24, 2015

Restoring the Full Capacity of an SD Card

During my projects with single board computers with embedded Linux like the Raspberry Pi, the Beaglebone Black, pcDuino or the Cubieboard, often happens when I need to use and reuse SD cards to install Operating Systems into the boards. However, if later you want to use that same card as a normal storage unit, you might be surprised when you find out that a few MB or even GB are missing and worst, a simple formatting just won't fix the problem.
This happens because the card was formatted to be used with a Linux partition and Windows simply doesn't know how to deal with that. Fortunately there's a tool for that.

August 15, 2015

3D Printed DNA Lamp

A few months ago I was browsing online through some 3D models for 3D printing and I noticed there was some DNA strands that caught my attention. They looked nice, however they were not really ready for 3D printing, at least for most printers. Still, I was moving them around on the browser and I realized they created an amazing upwards and downwards effect when rotating them. I thought, if it looked that nice on my computer screen, it must be even more hypnotizing if it actually existed. Then this thought came to my mind: what if I would print a DNA strand, and put it over a rotating platform and make it a lamp? And thus, the idea for this project was born.
It was a good time to have this idea because, coincidently there was 3D printing contest happening on Instructables with some really nice prizes, so I thought about entering the contest with this project. Since I published a fully detailed tutorial of the entire project on Instructables, I won't get into details here. The files are available for download at My Mini Factory.

April 24, 2015

MSP430 BSL Rocket EMF Detector

A few months ago I received the MSP430-BSL Rocket from Texas Instruments Europe, as a prize for a Facebook contest. The Rocket is a low-cost programmer for MSP430 devices but since it has its own microcontroller, I thought it would be fun to use it for another application: an EMF detector!
Since it has a rocket shape, I had the idea to build a custom flame shaped PCB for the output LEDs, which I could plug through the 2x5 pins BSL connector.

February 21, 2015

Power over Ethernet Adapter

This was probably the simplest and yet one of the most successful projects I ever made. A Power over Ethernet or PoE Adapter, which allows the usage of Ethernet cable to transmit not only data but power as well for the network equipments.
There are 2 pairs of wires that are not used on UTP cables for communication on 10/100Mbps networks. So these adapters will allow you to use those wires for power transmission.