Top 10 Gadget Masters of 2007

Which gadgets proved to the most popular, the most inspirational, the most talked about? The definitive list of this year’s most popular entries in the award-winning Gadget Master blog was chosen by you – the readers.

Without further ado, it’s our pleasure to present the Top 10 Gadget Masters of 2007.


1. Neuroti-Kart: Home-made electric go-kart
After extensive tinkering in his shed, ‘wires99’ created Neuroti-Kart, the home-made electric go-kart. His design goals were to make something ‘electric powered, quiet, fast, capable of doing donuts in my street’.

2. Hans knows the truth is out there
You never know what radio signals you might pick up if you just stop and listen. That’s why Hans built a simple and tiny receiver capable of detecting QRSS (extreme slow speed continuous wave) transmissions on a fixed frequency, such as 10.14MHz. The device is powered by a computer’s USB port and the audio output feeds into the PC’s sound card and it can hook straight into a laptop for top secret missions.

3. Chris knew the secret to a great martini
It’s in the blending. So he built a home-made blender, made entirely out of junk. The motor is from an old strimmer, the fuel cell is an old air line oiler that had no lid and leaked, the pistol grip throttle is a handle from a broken air drill and the drive gear system is an adaptation of various gears, housings, and machined adapters. The heart of the system is the electronic motor controls that turn a single speed motor into a variable speed motor – just perfect for blending a martini!

4. Can you turn a Pringles can into a WiFi antenna?
Apparently so. The jury’s still out as to whether these guys have way too much time on their hands, or if this is simply a case of viral marketing, but this duo seemed to have answered the age-old conundrum of what to do with that empty Pringles can lying around the house: just turn it into a WiFi antenna. As you do.

5. Guido knew the secret to a perfect cuppa
It’s all in the timing. So he designed a battery-powered tea timer with a built-in LED display that will brew a perfect cup of tea every time. Now the only thing you have to worry about is Tetley’s or Earl Grey?

6. How to build a rotating LED display
Alan Parekh designed a rotating LED display. His rotating LED display page contains more images and build instructions.

7. Build your own electronic distance meter~
From the Build Your Own Microcontroller Projects site – a very handy and comprehensive collection of electronic DIY projects – comes the electronic distance meter.

8. Charge your motorcycle battery
The motorcycle battery charger works with a steady current to 14.1V. When this level is reached, the current charge drops automatically to a safer 13.6V level and keeps charging at this slower rate until the LED lights up indicating that battery has been completely charged.

9. Clive had an engagingly surreal stage presence
Special effects designer Clive Mitchell’s electric match controller is intended for producing small-scale special effects like a confetti rainstorm. An electric match is a common device for firing pyrotechnics on stage – it works by passing a current through a thin nichrome wire, which in turn ignites a surrounding bit of pyro compound that fires the main effect. Clive’s device adds simple features like a firing button (a big red one, of course), a keyswitch for safety, and a test LED that shows when an active device is connected to the unit.

10. White LED driver provides 64-step logarithmic dimming
This circuit for the white LED driver drives as many as four white LEDs from a 3.3V source and adjusts the total LED current from 1 to 106 mA in 64 steps of 1 dB each.

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