engineer-in-wonderland

Rooting around in the fascinating stuff at the bottom of a draw labelled 'Engineering - Junk Miscellaneous'. Delving amongst the delightful...

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Jewel-like open-frame dc-dc

Jewel-like open-frame dc-dc

Measuring only 15 x 14mm and 11mm high, Murata’s MTC1 series of 1W pcb-mount dc-dc converters is a welcome visual change from the little black cubes I have grown to expect.

I realise this is an artist’s impression, so it might not quite look like this…

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CanSats - cheap satellite design discipline for kids

CanSats - cheap satellite design discipline for kids

Our omniscient web editor drew my attention to CanSats – non-space proto-satellites intended to give young people a taste of design-for-space.

The size – 115 mm height and 66 mm diameter, to fit in a fizzy drinks can – was proposed for space flight by Bob Twiggs, or so…

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Direct sunlight to hydrogen recipe is a lot like solar cells.

Direct sunlight to hydrogen recipe is a lot like solar cells.

Apparently, tungsten diselenide can enable sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen without the intervention of a photovoltaic cell and electrolysis.

And researchers at the Swiss Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne have found a cheap way to integrate WSe2 into a solar cell that gives off hydrogen…

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Zolt: an ac-dc converter challenge

Zolt: an ac-dc converter challenge

Zolt of San Jose has set itself a tough design challenge – squeezing a 70W three output mains power supply into a package 76mm long and 33mm in diameter weighing 85g. Input range is 110 to 240Vac.

And the size includes the three output sockets and the mains plug – admittedly a…

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Be amazed at the graphics possible with an 8bit micro

Be amazed at the graphics possible with an 8bit micro

It is not often I get really excited about a product demonstration, but I was genuinely amazed at the fast-moving screen animation possible using an 8bit microcontroller and Glasgow-based FTDI’s novel graphics controller – called Eve.

So amazed was I, that I asked the guys to put together…

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At last, tumble dryer has a heat pump

At last, tumble dryer has a heat pump

I have never owned a tumble dryer because they are so rubbish for the environment.

And it has occurred to me that they would be less rubbish if they included some sort of heat-exchanger to both condense moisture from exhaust air and heat incoming air.

And lo, there was…

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Thanks to Neil and GPSvisualizer

Thanks to Neil and GPSvisualizer

I was struggling to turn a GPS plot into a .png file to form the basis of a map.

The purpose of the map is to show the positions of 150-odd safety signs around a running race I help organise.

And Neil replied to suggest I try GPSvisualizer.

It…

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Begging for SketchUp Make 2014

Why does it have to be so complicated?

I am going to have a go at 3D printing something, but to my dismay am struggling to get a version of SketchUp Make for my PC.

The PC has Windows Vista, and the latest version of SketchUp Make from Trimble will…

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