Tom Padula's solar-powered electric fireflies
are just one example of the kind of awesome homebrew tchotchke coming to the San Francisco Maker Faire this weekend. These things sound great: tinsy, solar-charged intermittent garden-blinkers that give you the fireflies you always wanted.
"The slightest breeze moves them around, and the motion combined with the light is mesmerizing," says Padula, who will be selling his digital lightning bugs for $10 apiece at the fifth annual Maker Faire Bay Area, which will be held this coming Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23, in San Mateo, California. The annual event, put on by O'Reilly Media, is a celebration of DIY culture, arts and crafts, and will likely draw more than 70,000 attendees, organizers say.
Maker Faire Preview: Electronic Fireflies to Light Up Your Backyard
Padula's fireflies weigh 0.2 ounces (7 grams) and are attached to an 18-inch monofilament line. Six solar panels charge NiMH batteries, and a microcontroller drives the LED. The units are dipped in epoxy for weather resistance.
"All the real work happens in the code, from determining ambient light level, to controlling the LED intensity and keeping track of how long the pattern has been active so as to turn off after two hours, like real fireflies do," says Padula.
Benji Edwards’s guide to preserving vintage electronics is a fascinating look into all the ways that even solid-state gear can go off in long-term storage: a lot of stuff (batteries, capacitors and even rubber) can leak viscous, electronics-destroying liquids; plastics break down in UV light; mold and corrosion eat your gear from within; spiders, crickets […]
Indiana U is selling off a huge lot of lab equipment, including these space-pod-looking gantries. Winning bidder is responsible for dismantling and shipping. “To give someone an idea of how large these are, there are two pits that they sit in. Each of the pits are 28’x35’x10′ deep.”
Vertu, the “luxury” cellphone maker whose handsets look like drug cartel handguns and are always comically obsolete, went out of business last month, reports the BBC. It is to auction off its inventory. Bids start at $26,000. Thuy Ong: The auctioneer, G J Wisdom & Co, says the phones are a mix of concept models […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional […]