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0.3-1.5V LED Flashlight
Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008   •   Category: LED


It's a little wisp of a circuit that allows you to drive a blue or white LED from a low voltage. Normally, if you want to light up a blue or white LED you need to provide it with 3 - 3.5 V, like from a 3 V lithium coin cell. But a 1.5 V battery like a AA cell simply will not work. But using the Joule Thief, it works like a charm. Not only does it work with a brand new battery, but it works until the battery is nearly dead-- down to 0.3 V. That's well below the point where your other toys will tell you the battery is dead, so it can steal every last joule of energy from the battery (hence the name). To learn how to make one, watch the video, which is available in a variety of formats.


Build a charger for your iPod or MP3 player
Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008   •   Category: iPOD Hacks


Using the USB port on your computer to charge your playerís batteries is not always practical. What if you do not have a computer available at the time or if you do not want to power up a computer just for charging? Or what if you are travelling? Chargers for iPODs and MP3 players are available but they are expensive and you need separate models for charging at home and in the car. SILICON CHIPís new charger can be used virtually anywhere. While we call the unit a charger, it really is nothing more than a 5V supply that has a USB outlet. The actual charging circuit is incorporated within the iPOD or MP3 player itself, which only requires a 5V supply. As well as charging, this supply can run USB-powered accessories such as reading lights, fans and chargers, particularly for mobile phones.


Controlling Stepper Motor with a Parallel Port
Posted on Tuesday, April 8, 2008   •   Category: Stepper Motors


This is an easy to build stepper motor driver that will allow you to precisely control a unipolar stepper motor through your computer's parallel port. With a stepper motor you can build a lot of interesting gadgets such as robots, elevator, PCB drilling mill, camera panning system, automatic fish feeder, etc. If you have never worked with stepper motors before you will surely have a lot of fun with this project.


TDA7000 FM Receiver / TV Tuner / Aircraft Receiver
Posted on Tuesday, April 8, 2008   •   Category: FM Radio / Receivers


This simple one chip FM receiver / TV tuner will allow you to receive frequencies from 70 up to 120MHz. With this small receiver it is possible to pickup TV stations, entire 88 - 108MHz FM band, aircraft conversation and many other private transmissions. It is a perfect companion to any FM Transmitter especially if FM band in your area is very crowded. TDA7000 receiver offers very good sensitivity therefore it will even allow you to pickup weaker signals that cannot be heard on conventional FM receivers.


DIY Bench Power Supply
Posted on Tuesday, April 8, 2008   •   Category: Power Supplies


This is a bench power supply with regulated DC outputs -12V, -15V, +5V, +12V, +15V, and variable and one +35VDC unregulated output. I based this bench supply almost exclusively upon Andrew Kilpatrick's design. I did add a few things, but it's essentially the same and I am not writing here to claim any shred of originality. I spent somewhere around 80$ US on the project (including the GIANT transformer), which isn't bad compared with commercial supplies boasting similar features. Please note that I DID find a few minor errors in Kilpatrick's schematic, which have been fixed here. For details, read Kilpatrick's original page.


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