WitnessCam, super flashlight in top 10 gadgets

Coming in first this month was the Gadget master special featuring 7 designs that will make any house a safe and happy home.

Alberto Ricci Bitti’s award-winning design, the WitnessCam, came in a close second, providing a cheaper and more practical alternative to off-the-shelf surveillance systems.

Rounding out the top three was the super flashlight, when the humble family torch just isn’t enough.

Here are the 10 most popular Gadget masters for May.

Coming soon: keep an eye out for the 10 Most Popular Gadget masters ever!

1. 7 gadgets your home must have

In an age where the high street is saturated with expensive gadgets that bombard every consumer that wanders down it, clever electrical engineers know there’s always a better and cheaper way to make your home a better place to live, rest and play in. Here, Gadget master presents 7 DIY designs that your home can’t be without.

2. Keep your property where you can see it

Surveillance camera ensures your valuables aren’t part of the vanishing act. A safe home is a happy one, but many off-the-shelf surveillance cameras are too expensive or simply impractical. That’s why designer Alberto Ricci Bitti created an automated and inexpensive surveillance camera that uses a flash card as recording media. The camera only needs to be set up once so this award-winning design is sure to be the star of the show.

3. Super flashlight: When the humble torch just isn’t enough

Thanks to Electronics Weekly’s Technology Editor for sending us this gadget. The super flashlight, from the CandlePower forums, received rave reviews from visitors to the website. Link includes parts list and build instructions.

4. Pete decided to give his lamp a facelift

Making an ordinary lamp a work of art. Seeing great potential in a normal, off-the-shelf product, Pete Griffiths designed a circuit he popped into the lamp to give it a new lease of life. By driving the red, green and blue LEDS with varying pulse widths, the controller can generate up to 16 million colours using fades, strobe and static effects. Who says you can’t give the humble lamp a nip and tuck?

5. 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. When the fridge lamp illuminates, the alarm’s photo resistor lowers its resistance, the IC starts counting down and after a preset delay the piezoelectric buzzer beeps for 20 seconds.

6. Broken quartz clock hack produces Timebase generator

Made by Monkeys Editor Karen Field shares with us a unique spin on the good old quartz clock.

7. Paintball system exposed

Looking to paint the town red (or his friends at any rate), Nathan Loden devised this simple device to detect if the paintballs are travelling at a safe speed. Consisting of sensor circuitry and a microcontroller with a three digit, seven segment display driver, it detects the presence of absence of a ball by measuring the amount of IR energy striking the sensor, causing a voltage swing detectable by the micro.

8. Meet Andrew’s blast from the past

Back to the future. Sometimes the best way to take a step forward is to take a step back in time. So Andrew Smith designed a fully-functional toy oscilloscope, made out of parts he found in his junk box, such as the EF91, EF80 and EF184 valves. The whole system runs from a single regulated 12.6V DC supply, which can be derived from a “wall-wart” PSU. Doc Brown would be proud.

9. 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. Put your feet up this summer and let the watering watcher take the guess work out of your plant’s next drink.

10. How did we manage before the headlight alarm?

Never forget to turn your headlight off ever again! Most new cars already have a headlight alarm built in but there are still many cars out there without that feature. This circuit is cheap and easy to put together.

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