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Comment: My short list (Score 1) 238

by Technician (#49828393) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Your Most Unusual Hardware Hack?

I added a transistor in line wirh the voltage reference on a 24 to 12 volt power supply. With a zener diode and resistor that progressively brought the output up with input between 22 and 28V, I made it into a solar charge controller for a 60 cell 240 Watt panel for the motorhome. It worked great and closely matched the panel peak power curve keeping the panel voltage high for any input power. It has been running trouble free for a couple years now.

Not electronics, but related. Converted disposable Freon tanks into high power t shirt cannons for an engineering challenge. www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Klxqav_6NM Free tanks counted as part of the bill of materials, where cost was part of the contest. I'm in the blue shirt with the initial prototype at the end of the video.

Salvaged a 0.001Mhz crystal osc to use in an electronics shop. Used it for a reference for adjusting tape decks for speed and wow and flutter. A free crystal audio reference was much better than a reference CD with a short tone track. It was mush more stable than any shop function generator we had at the time. In a pinch it doubled as a stable square wace source to use for TDR with a scope.

A Hall sensor from a broken PC fan coupled with a 9V battery and a couple LEDs made a quick magnet sensor to check relay states in equipment for quick troubleshooting. Coupled with a scope, doubled as a tach for brushless DC motors.There is more I can't think of at the moment.

Comment: Cable companies should offer value (Score 1) 137

Cable companies originally offered a larger seclection of channels which wre commercial free. I cut cable when they drove me nuts with time/life commercials and raised the reate from 12.95/mo. Haven't subscribed since. Netflix is eating their lunch for programming.

Comment: Re:why do people get this wrong? (Score 1) 74

by Technician (#49820145) Attached to: Cybersecurity and the Tylenol Murders

I guess I get the 3rd competing story for how it most likely happened..

A man poisoned his cronically ill wife and placed more poisoned pills on store shelves to produce the doubt he didn't murder his wife.

Who actually did the poisoning was not proven due to the number of cases.

"As the tampered-with bottles came from different factories, and the seven deaths had all occurred in the Chicago area, the possibility of sabotage during production was ruled out. Instead, the culprit was believed to have acquired bottles of Tylenol from various supermarkets and drug stores over a period of several weeks, added the cyanide to the capsules, then returned to the stores to place the bottles back on the shelves. In addition to the five bottles that led to the victims' deaths, three other tampered-with bottles were discovered."

Source Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

Comment: Re:call me skeptical (Score 1) 190

He's the one that made the claims. He said he did it, and then went to the FBI to explain how he did it. Other than finding the tampered box lid, all the "evidence" is in his claims.

I could knock a panel loose and then claim I hacked the in-flight entertainment system and made an airplane into a sperm whale and then a potted plant. That doesn't make it real, even if I showed them a box containing an infinite improbability drive. Funny thing about that, when most people see it, they see an empty box. How improbable.

Comment: Asteriod redirection (Score 0) 150

NASA already has the answer. Glitter filled Super Balls are the best thing for the job. As we all know, they are infused with magic energy. A 10kg payload traveling at 11.2 km/s could deflect an object the size of the moon.

It does have risks though. Once set in motion, the Super Balls would be set loose on the universe, potentially disrupting entire galaxies.

For the sake of the universe, I hope we never have to deploy such a weapon.

Comment: Re:Yo dawg, I heard you like keychains... (Score 1) 278

by Demolition (#49701789) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's On Your Keychain?
I also use a mini-carabiner to hold two keychains together. One is home-related and has a car key/alarm fob, house keys, gun safe key, and safe deposit box key. The other is work-related and has a truck key, office keys, gun safe key, firearm trigger lock keys, Leatherman Micra multi-tool, and an Inova LED squeeze light.

Depending on where I'm going, I unclip them and leave one or the other in the gun safe.

As for other stuff that I carry... Just the usual things like a wallet, cell phone, and a Leatherman multi-tool. On the job, I sometimes also have to carry a satellite phone, GPS, a shotgun, and various other tools.

Comment: Re:Battlefield Earth sucked (Score 1) 121

It depends on how the theoretical spaces work. You can have multiple things in the same space. Just where you're sitting, there is air, light, heat, radio waves, sound waves, gravity, probably a few neutrinos.

I just used "spaces" because I couldn't think of a more appropriate word.

+ - New MakerBot CEO Explains Layoffs, Store Closings and the Company's New Vision

Submitted by merbs
merbs writes: MakerBot Industries is the public face of 3D printing. And whenever the public face of a nascent, closely-watched consumer technology undergoes a serious customer relations crisis, closes all of its retail stores, and lays off 20 percent of its staff, the impact is prone to ripple beyond the fate of a single company. Jonathan Jaglom, in other words, may be tasked not just with reversing the fortunes of MakerBot, where he’s just been appointed CEO, but an entire industry.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy

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