134 posts tagged with electronics.
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a box of worthless amazing crap

What $50 buys you at Huaqiangbei, the world’s most fascinating electronics market.
posted by DynamiteToast on Oct 14, 2016 - 61 comments

“You cannot really calculate the loss of consumer trust in money.”

A Bad Week for Samsung [The New York Times] “Samsung Electronics is killing its troubled Galaxy Note 7 [wiki] smartphone, a humbling about-face for the South Korean giant and its global brand. In an unprecedented move, the company will no longer produce or market the smartphones. The demise of the Galaxy Note 7 is a major setback for Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones. The premium device — with a 5.7-inch screen, curved contours and comparatively high price — won praise from consumers and reviewers, and was the company’s most ambitious effort yet to take on Apple for the high-end market.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 11, 2016 - 129 comments

The Fix Is Out

Manufacturers have made it increasingly difficult for individuals or independent repair people to fix electronics. A growing movement is fighting back. -- The Fight for the "Right to Repair"
posted by Room 641-A on Aug 8, 2016 - 49 comments

If you wish to make a computer from scratch...

The Megaprocessor is a 16-bit computer made almost entirely from discrete electronic components (individual transistors, diodes, resistors, capacitors and LEDs). When finished it will measure 14m wide x 2m tall. [more inside]
posted by Pong74LS on Apr 24, 2016 - 34 comments

scanlime: hacking hardware and software for art and human connections

Micah Elizabeth Scott, or scanlime, is an artist and engineer who focuses on "the boundaries between technology, society, and creative expression". Recently, she has taken from writing cool software like Zen Photon (previously) and constructing open source hardware to creating videos documenting some of her work. These videos offer insight not only into the "what'" and "how" of some of her projects, but also her thought process and dead ends, as well as guest appearances by her lovely cat. For example: coastermelt part 1 and part 2. Additionally, you can check out her art or read her technical blog. [more inside]
posted by yeahwhatever on Apr 14, 2016 - 10 comments

What's inside that £500 battery pack.

Markus Fuller dissects a battery pack for some high end Swiss stereo equipment. There are some pretty generic materials inside some pretty high priced electronic goods. A nerdy but strangely mesmerizing video. Follow up post.
posted by Bee'sWing on Feb 28, 2016 - 38 comments

Better to light a single candle than shred in the dark.

Behold the Candela Vibrophase, the world's first candle powered guitar effect. More details here. Brought to you by Metafilter's own (well, sort of) Zachary Vex.
posted by gamera on Feb 25, 2016 - 35 comments

Would have a better title, but I've got a lot of reading to do...

So anyway, here's about five million pages (many searchable) of 20th century magazines regarding things like recording, mastering, broadcasting and even microcomputers.
posted by pompomtom on Feb 1, 2016 - 16 comments

The Blue Glow

There were times when we practically lived at the Shark Tank. We’d be there for two weeks, spending most of the time living in the catwalks above the ice. We’d have all of our computers, work area, and everything up there... The initial test of the RF system was frankly scary. We saw that this repeater was bigger than we had hoped it would be. So rather than a half dollar buried in the puck, we were starting to think this was going to be a puck-shaped piece of electronics painted black. And that was scary to us.
First-Hand Recollections of the development of the FoxTrax hockey puck tracking system
posted by mannequito on Dec 23, 2015 - 12 comments

Why would you do this?

World's worst tablet computer.
posted by edeezy on Dec 5, 2015 - 73 comments

Mr. Oscilloscope Risin'

Break On Through by The Doors, played by vintage electronic equipment arranged by James Cochrane. Here's a version with vocals. [more inside]
posted by mattdidthat on Oct 7, 2015 - 17 comments

"He’s vowed never to take an invention to school again."

A 14 year old in Dallas builds a digital clock. He takes it to school to show his teacher. The school has him arrested. [more inside]
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts on Sep 15, 2015 - 709 comments

Queen West loses its learned gorilla

Active Surplus Electronics — purveyors of much surplus electronics, weird stuff, user of really quite sarcastic labels, home of Professor Banana, and Queen W fixture/oddity — is moving away at the end of the month.
posted by scruss on Sep 3, 2015 - 31 comments

“I need you alive. Who knows when this piece of shit will break again?"

Hacking the digital and social system: Voja Antonić on being a microcomputer enthusiast in Yugoslavia (via Hack A Day)
posted by GenericUser on Aug 3, 2015 - 7 comments

How Eddie Van Halen Hacks a Guitar

Eddie Van Halen describes early experiments with guitars, electronics, and home wiring in the quest for his famous tone. "I'm poking around, and all of a sudden I touch this huge blue thing and my God, it was like being punched in the chest by Mike Tyson."
posted by swift on May 21, 2015 - 37 comments

The Worst Place on Earth

A visit to Baotou Lake where rare earth minerals, used in "green" products and electronics, are processed. [more inside]
posted by readymade on Apr 3, 2015 - 24 comments

The Clock

Artist Gislain Benoit builds an incredible hand soldered clock. Ever curious what encompasses a digital watch? Now you can.
posted by KernalM on Feb 1, 2015 - 18 comments

"Mostly dead is still slightly alive"

"Re-Do Studio is a design studio founded by two friends Gaspard Tine-Beres and Tristan Kopp. They are dedicated to investigating alternative ways of production with the aim of shortening the cycle between the final consumer and the manufacturer." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 6, 2014 - 6 comments

Y'all just had to get one last shot in, didn't you?

A eulogy for RadioShack. With hopes for a turnaround plan fading, RadioShack will now join other stores in opening on Thanksgiving. Jon Bois (previously) looks back on his time working for "strange, craven, five thousand-fingered strip-mall monster from a forgotten age."
posted by zabuni on Nov 26, 2014 - 166 comments

The Machine

HP scaling memristor and photonic computing: "the device is essentially remembering 1s or 0s depending on which state it is in, multiplying its storage capacity. HP can build these chips with traditional semiconductor equipment and expects to be able to pack unprecedented amounts of memory—enough to store huge databases of pictures, files, and data—into a computer. In theory, that would remove the need for a conventional slow disk/fast memory system. With the Machine's main chips sitting on motherboards right next to the memristors, they can access any needed information almost instantly..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 16, 2014 - 66 comments

Pleasurable Troublemaker: Don't worry, it's totally SFW

"The wall-mounted keyholder has two hooks, one for your bike key, one for your car key. If you grab the bike key, you’re out the door and on your way. If you grab the car key, the machine drops the bike key on the floor, forcing you to stoop down and pick it up. At that point, you have both keys in your hand–effectively giving you a second chance to weigh your options.
posted by sio42 on Jun 6, 2014 - 64 comments

Lead-Free Solder - friend or foe?

Lead-Free Solder - friend or foe? In 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a report (pdf), in which it assessed the environmental impact of tin-lead vs lead-free solder. In July 2006, RoHS legislation banned the use of lead in electronic products destined for sale throughout Europe with a few exceptions.
But not everyone thinks this was a good idea:
  • Lead-free assembly is not better for the environment, it is worse. The additional tin mining required to produce high-purity tin alloys, plus the mining of other precious metals required to alloy with tin in substitution for lead is a poor trade for the use of existing lead, much of which comes from recycled products.
  • Lead-free assembly is less reliable than lead-based assembly. The E.U. environmental commission admits this point. That's why they grant exceptions for military and high-reliability applications that still use SnPb solder.
While lead may pose a greater public health problem than SAC solder (Tin–silver–copper), the latter uses noticeably more energy to produce than lead–tin solder. Tin Whiskers have also been identified as the cause of many military, health, industrial and satellite failures.
posted by Lanark on May 8, 2014 - 45 comments

Bigger than a breadboard II

Following on the heels of Phonebloks, a Google/Motorola formed a design group called Project Ara. The Verge recently interviewed Paul Eremenko, the project lead, about progress made towards modularization of mobile phone components, overcoming engineering issues, and the group assigning itself an ambitious timetable to succeed in delivering a sellable product within two years, or disbanding.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 25, 2014 - 18 comments

Brushed chrome details and a shag carrying case.

ALT/1977 is a series of advertising mock-ups which imagines modern products with the aesthetics and production of 1970s consumer electronics. Faux-wood paneling, angular fonts, and more orange than you can shake a stick at.
posted by codacorolla on Apr 17, 2014 - 60 comments

Drop it like it's hot

How to melt an aluminum slug (action heats up around the 2' mark) with a DIY induction heater (obl. wiki).
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 4, 2014 - 38 comments

7 Visionary Women Who Paved The Way For Electronic Music

7 Visionary Women Who Paved The Way For Electronic Music
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Mar 9, 2014 - 50 comments

boom-Shack-a-lacka-lacka boom (and bust)

American electronics chain Radio Shack's dismal sales are resulting in a plan to shutter as many as 1100 of its stores. But let's look back to a happier time for the company, starting with their first catalog in 1939 and continuing through the decades: a fascinating stroll down memory lane at the Archive of Radio Shack Catalogs.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 4, 2014 - 131 comments

littleBits + KORG Synth Kit

"The Synth Kit that just hit the market originated a year ago, at a TED conference where Bdeir and comedian/musician Reggie Watts met backstage after giving talks, and started discussing the idea of littleBits musical instruments."
posted by kliuless on Nov 13, 2013 - 47 comments

New Kindle feature: doesn't cause the plane's wings to fall off anymore!

Just in time for holiday travel, the FAA now approves use of portable electronic devices for the entire duration of your flight.
posted by phunniemee on Oct 31, 2013 - 94 comments


A two-year old and her homemade LED light suit Halloween costume [SLYT]
posted by Room 641-A on Oct 23, 2013 - 39 comments

Bigger than a breadboard

Phonebloks suggests a different way for dealing with obsolescent hardware, through modular design on a common base
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 10, 2013 - 53 comments

"Big waste country, the U.S."

To a Chinese Scrap-Metal Hunter, America's Trash Is Treasure: Johnson Zeng is a Chinese trader who travels across the U.S. in search of scrap metal. By his estimate, there are at least 100 others like him driving from scrap yard to scrap yard, right now, in search of what Americans won’t or can’t be bothered to recycle. His favorite product: wires, cables, and other kinds of copper. His purchases, millions of pounds of metal worth millions of dollars, will eventually be shipped to China. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 7, 2013 - 29 comments

Better, stronger, faster kidneys.

What do 3D printing, jelly, liver transplants, chainmail, dental fillings, ferrofluids, and the Six Million Dollar man have to tell us about our future? Materials scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik lets us know in this Royal Institution lecture.
posted by cthuljew on Mar 22, 2013 - 8 comments

There's something about paper

The je ne sais quoi of the tangible. SLYT
posted by Transl3y on Mar 14, 2013 - 17 comments

New from VIDEO Magazine, it's Electronic Games!

NEW from VIDEO Magazine, arising out of its popular "Arcade Alley" column, it's ELECTRONIC GAMES Magazine!(page of PDF links) Brought to you by editors Frank Laney Jr. and Bill Kunkel, and filled with all the latest news on programmable home console games, computer games (with special coverage for the new ATARI 800 system), stand-alone electronic devices and arcade gaming. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 7, 2013 - 37 comments

A TV made from TV remote controls

Chris Shen built a low-resolution video display called Infra using the infrared LEDs of an array of 625 remote controls. [more inside]
posted by exogenous on Jan 30, 2013 - 38 comments

Loading Noise...

Textures Processing... Loading Perlin Noise... Loading Worley Noise... Loading Terrain... Adding Pretty Lights... Enjoy the Refreshing Taste.
posted by lemuring on Jan 27, 2013 - 8 comments

CES 2013

The International Consumer Electronics Show has been hosted in some form or fashion since 1967. But with the absence of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, journalists are asking if the show is still relevant.
posted by zabuni on Jan 8, 2013 - 74 comments

Because because because

Why electronic devices are dangerous on planes.
posted by Artw on Dec 31, 2012 - 166 comments

DJ Focus

DJ Focus couldn't wait to get back to Sierra Leone. AKA Kelvin Doe, this young man makes beautiful, functional and very useful electronic devices out of trash found in his native Sierra Leone. It's not clear whether he or M.I.T. was more impressed after his visit there.
posted by not_that_epiphanius on Nov 22, 2012 - 6 comments

Three Ts and Gold

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission changed their rules to require companies to disclose if they use 'tantalum, tin, gold, or tungsten if those minerals are “necessary to the functionality or production of a product”' These are also known as 'conflict minerals.' The Deadly Tin Inside Your Smartphone, Businessweek [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 27, 2012 - 17 comments

Ben Krasnow builds neat things.

Ben Krasnow shows us how he built a small hybrid rocket engine. Ben makes a lot of other cool things too, like astronaut ice cream, a DIY scanning electron microscope, and why not, carbonated fruit slices.
posted by joechip on Sep 24, 2012 - 17 comments

The 555 Timer IC

The simple but powerful 555 timer IC can be rigged to produce a timed pulse or a square-waveform oscillation up to 68kHz. It later came in dual-timer (556), quad-timer (558), military-grade (SE555), and low-power (7555) configurations. Although it's largely obsolete in commercial electronics, it became beloved of amateurs wanting an easy and cheap way to make things buzz or blink. In memory of the recent passing of its inventor, Hans Camenzind, Make Magazine offers a retrospective of 555 contest winners. Here's a tutorial on chip function from instructables. How to build a toy piano. The morse code practice circuit. Miniature beeping circuit prank to baffle your friends and co-workers and a screaming altoids tin. (Previously on metafilter, the 555 footstool.)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos on Aug 22, 2012 - 44 comments

Descriptive Camera

Descriptive Camera, 2012 "The Descriptive Camera works a lot like a regular camera—point it at subject and press the shutter button to capture the scene. However, instead of producing an image, this prototype outputs a text description of the scene." [more inside]
posted by delmoi on Apr 25, 2012 - 51 comments

Crystal cMoy Freeform Headphone Amp

Making a crystal cMoy freeform headphone amp: 1 2 3 4!
posted by jjray on Apr 22, 2012 - 30 comments

The Electric Web Matrix

DIY Audio, DIY Electronics, DIY Guitar, DIY Synthesizers, DIY Recording. Fundamentals of audio. Optimize your Mac for audio. Build a music server. How vacuum tubes work. Tour a brass instrument factory. How to maintain your clarinet, trumpet, flute, saxophone, guitar. All this and much, much more at THE ELECTRIC WEB MATRIX.
posted by HumanComplex on Apr 12, 2012 - 17 comments

Witnessing the Badger

Theramin Badger Doesn't Give A Ooo-Eeee-Ooooo
from gadgetmaker/musician David Cranmer, aka Nervous Squirrel whose other projects include Brian the Penguin and the Programmable Musical Pig, seen in performance with the band Nine Owls in a Baguette. Because... well, why the owl not?
posted by oneswellfoop on Feb 25, 2012 - 13 comments

The art of the teardown

There are more than a few websites that take electronic products and document their disassembly. What makes Mike Harrison's YouTube videos stand out is that while doing a teardown he attempts to identify the components and subsystems of a product and explain why a product was made the way it was made. From something as simple as a CD stereo system to a Jumbotron panel. Mike's website has been discussed previously. [more inside]
posted by toftflin on Feb 9, 2012 - 12 comments

Ohm on the Range

Do you remember that silly 'Ohm on the Range' joke from electronics class? Well, OhmArt will satisfy your wildest dreams for this sort of joke.
posted by Confess, Fletch on Nov 11, 2011 - 15 comments

Handheld Games Museum

Handheld Games Museum
posted by Trurl on Aug 18, 2011 - 14 comments

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