Glowing mercury thyratrons: Inside a 1940s Teletype switching power supply

via Dangerous Prototypes

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Ken Shirriff take a look inside a bulky DC power supply REC-30 rectifier, how it works and contrast it with a MacBook power supply:

We recently started restoring a Teletype Model 19, a Navy communication system introduced in the 1940s.14 This Teletype was powered by a bulky DC power supply called the “REC-30 rectifier”. The power supply uses special mercury-vapor thyratron tubes, which give off an eerie blue glow in operation, as you can see below.
The power supply is interesting, since it is an early switching power supply. (I realize it’s controversial to call this a switching power supply, but I don’t see a good reason to exclude it.) While switching power supplies are ubiquitous now (due to cheap high-voltage transistors), they were unusual in the 1940s. The REC-30 is very large—over 100 pounds—compared to about 10 ounces for a MacBook power supply, demonstrating the amazing improvements in power supplies since the 1940s. In this blog post, I take a look inside the power supply, discuss how it works, and contrast it with a MacBook power supply.

See the full post on Ken Shirriff ‘s blog.

Science Fair shows brainy teenagers in National Geographic documentary #MakerEducation

via Adafruit:

The Washington Post reviews the new documentary Science Fair.

What happens when you put 1,700 of the world’s smartest teens together and ask them to show their scientific stuff?

You may get more than you bargained for.

“Science Fair,” a new documentary, follows teenagers through the highs and lows of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science competition.

The fair, at which young people compete for millions of dollars in prizes, is a hotbed of scientific research. It’s also a hothouse of competition and teenage angst, as the documentary shows.

The film follows nine teenagers seeking to change their lives through science. Among them: Kashfia, a young Muslim who feels out of place in her large South Dakota high school and dreams of escaping small-town life through science. Robbie, a West Virginia math whiz with terrible grades, who wants to meet other kids who share his niche interests. And Anjali from Louisville, who contends with helicopter parents as she navigates the weird world of competitive science.

Read more here and check out the trailer belo

 
 

23rd Annual Women of Color STEM Conference #MakerEducation

via Adafruit:

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23rd Annual Women of Color STEM Conference

Via US Black Engineer.

Join Women of Color magazine’s Science Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Conference Oct. 11 to 13.

The annual  STEM Conference hosts award ceremonies for women who create innovation and puts you in a position to realize your STEM career dreams.

You get exclusive training designed to move you forward in your career. You learn from top minds in the industry and collaborate with your peers.

Whether you’re a college graduate or a professional, you get countless networking opportunities. STEM mentors and role models help you find your footing in the industry. You connect with people who have been in your shoes.

Click here to register for the 2018 Women of Color STEM Conference and explore workshops, resources, and networking benefits

Save the Date:

OCTOBER 11-13, 2018
Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center Detroit, MI
Phone 313.568.8000

Read more.

 
 

App note: Extending I2C communication distance with the DS28E17

via Dangerous Prototypes

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App note from Maxim integrated about alternative method to extend I2C bus. Link here (PDF)

Systems are increasingly requiring greater distances for I2C buses. This article explains how the DS28E17 can be used to extend the distance of I2C devices while decreasing cost.

Hacking and 3D Printing the Future of Violins #MusicMonday

 

via CDM and Adafruit:

Violins: they’re often the first example people site when talking about traditional acoustic instruments. But using new pickup techniques and rapid prototyping, that could be about to change.

violinmakers.org is a community for this new kind of digital age luthier – a place to discuss 3D printing and magnetic pickup possibilities and electric violin fabrication, rather than gut strings and wood carving.

Community member Guy Sheffer spoke recently about why this matters. All that legacy of instrument building has perfected acoustic violins, but electric violins remain crude. As Guy writes: “The challenge is, that while modern instruments have been developing effects and new sounds, acoustic violins have been acoustic for the past 400 years.”

Drones to be Utilized in Antarctic Food Web Research #drone #droneday



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From KPBS:

“We study krill so we understand whether its trends and abundance are likely to be influenced by how much fishing effort we do, but also whether that fishing effort will impact the upper trophic levels like penguins and seals,” said Christian Reiss, a senior researcher at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla.

But packing up a research vessel and traveling to the bottom of the world takes time and money. Both are in short supply at a federal agency that is keeping a close eye on shrinking budgets.

That is why the Teledyne G3 Slocum drone is so attractive.

The eight-foot-long submersible can carry sophisticated acoustic devices that are high-tech fish finders. The autonomous machine can identify and measure how many krill there are when it encounters a swarm.

Read more


Welcome to drone day on the Adafruit blog. Every Monday we deliver the latest news, products and more from the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), quadcopter and drone communities. Drones can be used for video & photography (dronies), civil applications, policing, farming, firefighting, military and non-military security work, such as surveillance of pipelines. Previous posts can be found via the #drone tag and our drone / UAV categories.


via Adafruit

Labor Day 2018 @Adafuit #Holiday #LaborDay


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As we soak in the last rays of summer Adafruit would like to send a huge thank you to all the employees that make Adafruit what it is!

Today the team gets a day off in recognition of Labor Day. In the mantra of “Be excellent” Adafruit is always looking for ways to give workers more. We recently added a new paid day off for Election Day, and will keep looking for ways show gratitude and encouragement to the workforce!

Because of the great community and teamwork we are able to do what we do.

Thank you!


via Adafruit