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Gardening made easy with a soil moisture meter

CMOS quad Schmitt makes gardening easy

Plant watcher ensures your plants won’t go thirsty This is the gadget green thumbs across the globe have been waiting for. Italian designer Flavio Dellepiane put together a plant watering watcher that flashes an LED at a low rate when the soil in the pot plant becomes too dry. Adjusting the 50k 10mm cermet trimmer allows the plant watering watcher ...

Richard had a flash of inspiration


Now he’s got the power to cut lightning down to size People have always been fascinated by the fury of the heavens. Electronics prodigy Richard Hodgkinson created a lightning distance timer so he would no longer have to manually calculate the approach or retreat of a thunderstorm. He recycled a 70 KHz crystal from an old device for the oscillator. ...

Jason was a member of the Finding Nemo fan club


Journeying 20,000 leagues under the sea, Jason built this underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) so he could explore the depths of his bath tub, swimming pool and beyond. Employing mostly off-the-shelf parts, the ROV is controlled via Visual Basic commands sent over an RS232 serial port. Powered by bilge pump motors and equipped with a video camera, the ROV was ...

Ken put an end to expensive car damage


Not satisfied with the low-tech method of suspending a tennis ball from a string, Ken Swanstrom devised a better garage locator device from a laser pointer. This simple circuit is powered by a 6V DC wall wort, adjusting the output to yield 3V DC as a substitute for battery power. A CdS cell “looks” at the garage door opener light ...

Some fridges are always alarmed


A fridge that’s alert for midnight snacks. When you’ve popped in your fridge alarm, getting peckish in the middle of the night and forgetting to close the door – along with escalating electricity bills – will be a thing of the past. Italian inventor Flavio Dellepiane has designed a 3V battery-powered fridge alarm that beeps if you leave the door ...

Hans knows the truth is out there

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 ...