Is it feasible to take apart, modify, and put back together again a hair dryer so that it works in reverse, that is, become a small vacuum? I assume I would have to make the blower work backwards to become a sucker, and I would have to direct debris into a little sack and away from the blower and power source. If I were going to do it, what would I do? How much work would it be? How ugly would it be, assuming rudimentary skills and a home workshop? If it's impossible-- why?
I would love some suggestions for science experiments with the Cambridge BrainBox electronics kit. [more inside]
I have some fancy new stereo speakers. I'd like to be as correct as possible when wiring them up, which has led to some possibly-unusual questions about speaker impedance. Halp! (Inside: Series or parallel?) [more inside]
It's generally advised to leave as much behind as possible when moving abroad, but my wife's employer is paying to have a decent amount of our household stuff transported from the US to the UK. And why would we want to waste money buying duplicate items if it isn't necessary and we probably won't be staying more than a couple years? So I'm trying to figure out which of our electronics and appliances might be made to work overseas. I am aware of the voltage difference and the line/mains frequency difference between the US and the UK and I'm considering buying one or two good-quality step-down voltage converters for things that aren't universal voltage compatible. But I have some questions that my Google research has not cleared up. [more inside]
We have a ton of devices with different chargers and I am looking for a clean charging station that will hide the cord clutter but still allow us to charge multiple devices (with varying connectors) at once. Any recommendations? [more inside]
I'd like a thin and light 1080p laptop. It does not need to be powerful, but it does need to be cheap. I'd like to spend about $300, but it must be under $500. The perfect machine would be something like a chromebook, but with a higher res screen than the ones I'm aware of. The resolution requirement trumps the thin and light requirements. [more inside]
I am playing with an animatronic toy I got from a thrift shop. Before I started trying to hack it, there was a rocker switch that when pressed in one direction, made the head turn left, and when pressed in the other direction, made the head turn right. I have hooked this up to my arduino by replacing the switch with transistors, but the head now will only turn right. Without knowing exactly how the circuit board inside the toy works, is there enough information to figure out what I'm doing wrong? [more inside]
I have an electric, piano-weighted keyboard that I want to learn how to play. I can't afford lessons right now. It has MIDI in and out connectors. Is there a hardware/software combo that will take that MIDI out connection, plug it into an Android or iOS tablet, and provide a more interactive teaching experience? [more inside]
Looking for the name of a company in Richmond, Virginia which makes electronics or radios and may or may not begin with the letter "C." [more inside]
More gift advice needed! For a 10-year-old science geek with advanced computer and electronics skills for his age, I am looking for cool electronics project kits. He has an Arduino starter kit and has worked with that a lot. He has some soldering skills. He's into digital audio at the moment. He also has a Mac laptop and an iPad, in case it's relevant. Looking for things in the $75-150 range.
How do I safely and (pretty) cheaply implement this one-off home electrics / electronics project? I have a low-wattage controller that will drive a high-wattage load having to do with the heating of water. I already have a GFCI extension cord that will stand between EVERYTHING and the wall outlet. The main complicating factor is that this is a single, custom-built thing so I need to use off the shelf pieces for a housing, etc. [more inside]
Are there AV home theatre receivers which do the following with input and output: [more inside]
Aside from the standard stops ( etsy, eBay, etc ) where should I be looking to find a breadbox-sized, working radio from the 1930s-40s? Ideally Bakelite but not a deal breaker. Ideally shipping from the U.S? A period shell over modern electronics/cords is fine.
When the heater in my place (convector) cycles off, my TV goes black for a second or two. I worry a lot about what this is doing to all of the electronics using outlets in the same wall as the convector. Do you think I need a UPS, and can you guide me through the process? Details inside! [more inside]
What are the downsides, or dangers to my TV, of putting my TV in a bay window? [more inside]
For a long time I've thought that it would be a fun project to put together an electric bicycle. However I've been stymied by the cost and questionable quality of the existing kits, and the complications and compromises of the various DIY methods that are out there online. I have some ideas for how to go about making a cheap and simple electric bike, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm nobody's idea of an engineer so I thought I'd run some things by y'all and see what insights you have. [more inside]
What are some books (or other resources) that would help me understand electricity and hobbyist electronics without a hydraulic metaphor? [more inside]
We have a foscam webcam with night vision and the works. We can access it via wifi on our phones and computers, but want a dedicated screen to use as a baby monitor. Portable and/or plug-in... what are our options? Thanks!
I have a 9v battery powered water leak detector (this one: http://www.glentronics.com/water_alarm.htm ). I'd like to open it up and replace the audible alarm with an led. How do I do that? [more inside]
This should be so simple. I bought an classic but broken 1950s console TV to turn into a bar. I pulled the tube and all the electronics, except the speaker. Now I want to add a small amplifier to which I can connect a smart phone or iPod and which will power the single speaker. I bought this neat little stereo amp, but it turns out you can't just mash the lefts and right outputs together and attach them to a speaker. So what do I need to do this? Difficulty level: No electronics experience of specialized tools.
What are these mounting holes called? Is there any kind of plate or bracket I could buy that would allow me to retrofit them onto a device that does not have them, without drilling into the device?
I have a costume helmet that I'd like to have a forced air ventilation system for. I would like a small, low power fan (maybe from a laptop or small computer?) that I can run on batteries. [more inside]
I'm looking for a travel bag that will hold the following: 15.6" laptop, 10" DVD player, 9" tablet, small camcorder, Kindle e-reader, mp3 player, various cords and power adapters. Any and all recommendations welcome. Bonus points if I can purchase it with 2-day shipping.
I have a Weller SP23 (23W) soldering iron which I've used for a couple of small through-hole kit projects. It's got a chisel tip which seems to have a ~4mm wide edge. I think I want a smaller chisel tip (maybe 2 mm) or maybe a new, versatile soldering iron. [more inside]
We have an alarm for a door that sounds constantly while the door is open. It is run from a 9v transformer that plugs into the wall and the circuit is triggered with magnets on the door. I would like to install volume control for the alarm. Is the correct device a potentiometer? If so, how do I select the correct one? Thanks!
Dig around on the internet and you'll find plenty of people saying that cell phones are unsafe, microwaves are unsafe, wifi is unsafe, cordless phones are unsafe... how to make sense of what's legitimate and what's crockpot paranoia? Has anyone any advice to put me at ease (or ill at ease)?
I teach Physics and I would love to have a large, easy-to-see digital timer that would allow me to time various demos (i.e. pendulum swinging, ball falling, etc). I've found basically exactly what I want, but it costs $460!! Can it be bought/built for cheaper? Requirements below the fold. [more inside]
What's the name of this circuit that I need to build or buy? [more inside]
In my previous question about photo/optical detectors I received a LOT of great advice and I'm back for more. [more inside]
Should I buy a TV off of Craigslist? [more inside]
It looks thusly. My issue is that, despite the fact that it was originally barely taped down at all, I am unable to successfully, reliably reattach it using the same method. ("it" in this case being the printed black strips on the left). I am reasonably sure that lack-of-contact is my problem, because if I physically hold the cable to the board, it will reliably work when I push a button. Best I can do is that sometimes, after putting it all back together for the Nth time, one button will work. Maybe other buttons on its side will work, maybe not. Maybe it'll work for a few presses and then quit. The cable looks fine, the board contacts look fine, no amount of scotch tape is helping me out here. How do I affix these suckers but good?
In a few days, I leave on a trip to New Zealand. New Zealand, apparently not being the most popular destination from SF or the US, in my online and storeside research, I have received no less than 6, often contradictory, combinations of answers to exactly what peripherals I need to have in order to charge my phone [though that most often will be trickle charging off of the laptop], run my laptop, and use my hair styling instruments [should I deem to do so.] I do not need to use them all simultaneously, but two at a time would be ideal, if not requisite at times. Can anyone explain to me exactly items I need to purchase and what that setup should look like in order to avoid frying my electronics? Thanks! FG
I'd like to hook up a small raspberry pi project to my apartment's doorbell. I've taken the case off to take a look at the wiring and it looks pretty simple, but I have some questions about it; apart from some breadboard experiments I'm an complete newbie to electronics. [more inside]
I've got some car parts I'm selling on eBay, and I need to hook them up to power in order to check a few things and make sure that they work. [more inside]
I've been building guitar pedal kits from buildyourownclone, and it's been great fun. I'm running out of pedals I want to make for myself, and am looking for other projects, like this stereo tube amp, and maybe this sous vide. Can you recommend more electronics projects (preferably kits, so I don't have to scrounge for parts) that are cool and look good at the end? [more inside]
I like songs that evoke images of circuitry, complexity, and digital processes. What are some songs and artists that convey this feeling? [more inside]
I want to use a timer (minimum on time is one minute) to turn on my coffee maker. The ON-OFF button on the coffee machine is a momentary contact push button which is read by a logic board. Can I use the (isolated) relay contacts on my timer to close that push button for one minute, the minimum on-time of my timer? [more inside]
Ever since the DVD age began, I've noticed that music and sound effects in movies are always WAY louder than the dialogue. It's really annoying. Will a properly configured surround sound system fix this? What is the right way to set up surround sound speakers? Are sound bars any good? [more inside]
I know pretty much nothing about the e-reader market right now, but I'm thinking about taking the plunge. Given my particular requirements, what is likely to be the best e-reader for me? [more inside]
What would be the best ways to secure multiple laptops, smartphones, cameras (physically, and also to catch thieves) in a "rustic" foreign country... keeping in mind I need to fit everything in luggage or fashion it out of raw materials in country. [more inside]
I'm trying to fix my phone. How do I deal with a very tiny, hard to get at screw with a stripped head? [more inside]
I've had this problem twice now: I purchase an electronic item from Amazon and when I call in for service under warranty, I'm told that their records show a different, much earlier purchase date. [more inside]
My rooted verizon galaxy nexus won't boot and I need help recovering it (more inside) [more inside]
I would like to purchase an off-brand tablet computer from a discount electronics website. I know nothing about components or specs or anything- the only info I have to go on is bigger number is good. Please help me. (sorry but this post got way too long, you've been warned.) [more inside]
I just bought an iPad 4, and (since I rarely spend this much on myself) I'm really paranoid about taking care of it. All the special snowflake details inside... [more inside]
I'm starting to mess around with electronics as a hobby and need to buy a soldering iron. But which one? Bonus question: a cheap, effective multimeter? [more inside]
I have a 1995 Toyota Corolla Conquest who's factory standard radio has just died (I think). It made a slight noise last night and cut out, and is now just flashing 01:00 on the clock with no buttons responding at all. I thought maybe the fuse had blown so I checked the radio fuse, but it doesn't look to have blown (something I suspected as a time keeps flashing on the display and I thought a blown fuse wouldn't allow any electronics to work). Also the cigarette lighter still works and that is connected/part of the radio fuse. [more inside]
I am making a prototype of a consumer electronic device, the final product will be housed in plastic. I want to get a case made for the prototype that will resemble the final product. The case design is nothing complicated, essentially a rectangular box with some rounded corners and some holes for buttons, etc. I have designed the look of the outside of the case in adobe illustrator (top, bottom, front, rear and side views). The case will have a top shell and a bottom shell that fit together. What is the best way to go about getting maybe 2 cases made for prototypes? I am thinking either cnc or 3d printing, but I don't know what the best route to making a 3d model is from adobe illustrator or anything...
My wonderful iPod, going on nine years now, seems to have finally gotten to the point where I can't fix it anymore. I've replaced the hard drive, battery, hard drive cable, and logic board, and yet all it does is turn on, show the Apple logo, and turn off, repeating over and over. What else could be wrong, and how can I fix it? This is a B&W 4th gen iPod, originally 40 GB.
I have a pair of Monster Inspiration. I'm trying to play Madness by Muse but if I plug the headphones completely into the iPod or computer, I can't hear the vocal parts at all. If the jack isn't completely in, then I can hear it perfectly. Why is this happening?? [more inside]