Monthly Archives: October 2016

Home automation with cheap 433MHz plugs, a 1$ 433MHz transmitter, and a TP-Link TL-WR703N router – Nothing to see here …

Two years ago, I started playing around with cheap 433MHz plugs that can be found almost everywhere. At that time, I got several from different brands, from the well known Chacon

… from Digital Electronics & DIY |

An Inexpensive Smoke / Fog Generator – All

I have used any number of different methods of animation when building model railroads including movement, sound and light. I have not, however, used smoke… that is until now. The fairly recent advent of smokeless cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes, e-cigs or vapor cigarettes, has provided an opportunity for us to make small, inexpensive and quite impressive smoke machines. I have been doing some experiments and have come up with a fairly simple method to create a good bit of smoke that can be turned on or off at will. The smoke maker shown here is appropriate for creating smoking pumpkins on Halloween, getting a chimney to smoke on a Christmas diorama or to provide realistic smoke stack smoke from a factory on a model railroad. It could also be used to have smoke emanate from a burning building, car or airplane crash or a campfire. To turn an e-cigarette int

… from Digital Electronics & DIY |

Microsoft Research unveils E Ink sticky notes powered by office lighting

E Ink displays don’t require a lot of power, which is why devices like the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble NOOK eReaders can run for weeks at a time with relatively tiny batteries.

But a team of folks from Microsoft Research have developed a prototype for an E Ink device that you never have to plug in at all. That’s because it has a solar panel that can convert light into electricity… and it doesn’t even have to be sunlight.

This little gadget can draw all the power it needs from indoor office lighting. But it’s not really meant for reading eBooks.

Instead, the team has developed a small display that’s designed to be a sort of digital Post-it Note.

Just create a note on a PC or smartphone, send it to the screen via Bluetooth, and it’ll remain visible until you send a message to change the text or graphics on the screen.

The energy-harvesting situated display uses Bluetooth Low Energy and a low-resolution display, which is part of the reason you won’t want to do any serious reading with this gadget. But everything fits into a compact case with a sticky back, allowing you to adhere the ePaper screen to your desk, monitor, or any other place you might want to post a reminder.

It’s not clear if this technology will ever show up in a commercial product. But it’s certainly an interesting project that takes advantage of low-power, persistent display technology and solar charging.

via The Digital Reader and NewScientist

… from Digital Electronics & DIY |