Maker Project Lab
June 1, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: Project Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Making the Kitty Grabs Back Electric Go Kart

If you’ve never seen or heard of Power Racing Series, start here and come back. It looks like crazy fun, right? People take a second-hand kid’s ride-on car (or build one from scratch), turn them into full-on electric go karts, and race each other for fun and glory.

And every year at Maker Faire Bay Area, I’ve watched these racers from the sidelines, laughing and cheering and thinking to myself that someday I might just build and race a car of my own.

Season 8 Power Racing Series Trailer from Power Racing Series on Vimeo.

At the 2016 Maker Faire, freshly unemployed from my year as Make magazine’s Project Editor, I decided there was never going to be a better time to try building my own car.

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January 25, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Asus Tinker Board Challenges Raspberry Pi [Maker Update #18]

This week on Maker Update: the classic bristlebot gets an upgrade, Eagle CAD drops a bomb, ASUS takes on Raspberry Pi, musical domes, hacked Furbys, vape tech, and Chi-town gets a big ol’ Maker Faire.  

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July 28, 2016 0 Comments AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: Kits, News, Project Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tap Sensor Kit Blends Vintage Circuit With Fresh Design

Tap Sensor PCB with backlight
The Tap Sensor from Boldport. Photo by Donald Bell.

Boldport’s Tap Sensor project is a beautiful refresh of a project that first appeared in the premier issue of 1974’s Elektor magazine. The organic lines of the circuit board traces — a hallmark of Boldport’s design aesthetic — look right at home on this retro project, which is largely unchanged from the original ‘70s design.

The kit includes the bare board, a few stickers, a printed link to project information, and all of the electronic components you’ll need to complete the board. In order to functionally demonstrate the project you will also need three LEDs, a breadboard, some hookup wire, female-male header wires, and a 5v power supply. If you’ve completed Boldport’s Cordwood Puzzle project, you can also hook the Tap Sensor directly to it with some header wires and skip the breadboard and LEDs.

Boldport Tap Sensor Kit Contents
The Boldport Tap Sensor Kit comes with the beautiful custom PCB and all of the components you’ll need to complete the project. Photo courtesy of Boldport.

Because Boldport’s boards are so thoughtfully labeled on the underside with component outlines and reference numbers, the project basically revolves around correctly placing and soldering things, with bonus points for clean, tight work that can complement the beauty of the board.

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