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  1. #1
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    Default Any need for new/different electronics?

    Hey folks,

    Given the amount of diverse experience in this forum and the assortment of technologies used, I wanted to understand if there is any form of electronics that people feel would be useful -- something that would help the day to day fabricator or hobbyist. Or something that is currently prohibitively expensive.

    Looking for a project to build up in my electronics lab, figured you all would have good input! If there is something popular I could start a project tracker page/thread and kick around some samples.

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    Time machine, need not move a full human, just say a small pallet load of goods to allow delivery 10 secounds after the customer orders the goods. Good news you will be able to charge as much as you want.

    Perpetual motion machines another good favourite, just be warned once you have made one and its been running for more than a week it just gets boring and some what annoying.

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    I built a dewpoint monitor for my paint booth. Way cheaper than an off the shelf product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnson88 View Post
    Hey folks,

    Given the amount of diverse experience in this forum and the assortment of technologies used, I wanted to understand if there is any form of electronics that people feel would be useful -- something that would help the day to day fabricator or hobbyist. Or something that is currently prohibitively expensive.
    Quantum computer perhaps?

    IBM Quantum Experience - Wikipedia

    Check out the cool folks I work with...

    Quantum Computing - IBM Q - US

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    Went looking at electronic parts today. Found four brand new tilt sensors accurate to +/- .003 degree. Have no idea what they cost, but I paid $1 for all four. Each one has a X and Y direction. They will just have to do. (LOL). Making a electronic level. The signal conditioning will be the project.

    717-4319-99 | TrueTILT Sensors - Fredericks Company
    Last edited by rons; 03-08-2018 at 08:42 PM.

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    A few years ago, it was pretty common to read of folks wanting a way to monitor lights-out machines for alarms, fire, progress, stoppage, etc. and text or notify by video details of the issue. It seems a 'universal minder' with a variety of triggering inputs, camera and maybe audio input & recording, and configurable text, email, live video feed, or whatever notification output (via cell, landline, IP) would be a handy box. Maybe it's a Bluetooth-enabled instrumentation input box, or something like that, feeding a surplus cell phone, allowing for programmed or manual remote E-stop. Needs to be more reliable than a standard computer subject to the whims of Microsoft update.

    The great thing about this is it's subject to extreme scope creep and no real consensus on a universal feature set. The perfect thing for a guy looking to spend some quality time in his electronics shop. And sadly, the name Shop Bot is already taken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnson88 View Post
    Hey folks,

    Given the amount of diverse experience in this forum and the assortment of technologies used, I wanted to understand if there is any form of electronics that people feel would be useful -- something that would help the day to day fabricator or hobbyist. Or something that is currently prohibitively expensive.

    Looking for a project to build up in my electronics lab, figured you all would have good input! If there is something popular I could start a project tracker page/thread and kick around some samples.
    Design a series of digital logic gates that have 3 states instead of the normal 2. Patent, start looking at huge yachts.

    metalmagpie

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    You could revisit bionics. Back in the 70's, they were catching on when Big Pharma stepped in and squashed it all. But it sure would be nice to be able to leap 100 yards at a time or bend a car in half with me bare hands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmagpie View Post
    Design a series of digital logic gates that have 3 states instead of the normal 2. Patent, start looking at huge yachts.

    metalmagpie
    Why would you have a practical need for that? I'm assuming that you mean something more than +,0,- which is already been done for years.

    The three states sort of violates the natural condition of the universe.

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    No it doesn't - have you never heard of 'hop, skip, and a jump'

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    Quote Originally Posted by rons View Post
    Went looking at electronic parts today. Found four brand new tilt sensors accurate to +/- .003 degree. Have no idea what they cost, but I paid $1 for all four. Each one has a X and Y direction. They will just have to do. (LOL). Making a electronic level. The signal conditioning will be the project.

    717-4319-99 | TrueTILT Sensors - Fredericks Company
    Might be less signal conditioning and electronics to use a simple accelerometer. They are common and cheap nowadays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewmawson View Post
    No it doesn't - have you never heard of 'hop, skip, and a jump'
    You could add run, dive, etc to your list to ad infinitum.

    I'm referring to the property of chirality, the handedness of the universe. This is why I'm questioning the usefulness of the concept.

    The universe has many characteristics that are naturally binary. The concept of three states would violate this natural pattern which would make the concept invalid.

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    A product locator kiosk for a store like Home Depot. Multilingual of course. You walk into the store and using text and visual aides you select your product. It gives you an aisle number where it is located. If you have multiple items it could give you a printout in receipt form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crossthread View Post
    A product locator kiosk for a store like Home Depot. Multilingual of course. You walk into the store and using text and visual aides you select your product. It gives you an aisle number where it is located. If you have multiple items it could give you a printout in receipt form.
    If you go to their website, and check inventory, they do give you location numbers in the store.

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    I will give you a serious one that I thought of when I retired about six or seven years ago but have never had the time to pursue.

    An electronic thermostat that:

    1. Has LARGE, easy to read display, Preferably LED. And the display/light stays on for more than a few seconds. The power comes from a transformer so there is little reason to be conservative about the minute amount that a thermostats display uses for the few minutes that are required to set it. In fact, in my case, the hall lights use far more current than a well lit thermostat display would. Keeping the display on for two or three minutes would cost less than a penny a month and in some situations would actually save money over the room lights. And the LCD screens with microscopic text are insane.

    2. Is easier to program and which can contain multiple programs for different seasons or other reasons. In this day of cheap memory, I see no reason why it couldn't store 10,000 programs OR MORE.

    3. This one is the kicker. Central AC units often fail due to a bad compressor. Compressors often fail in a way that they slowly increase their power consumption until it reaches a critical point where heat finally causes the final failure. A thermostat could monitor the power consumption (current) of the compressor and keep a record of it for years of use. It could monitor the present value vs. a weighted average that favors the early use of that compressor or other criteria from that data. Then it could give a warning when the compressor exceeds some preset percentage of that average value. That way a service call could be scheduled BEFORE the actual failure and the compressor may be saved for additional months/years of use. The data would only be erased when a new compressor is installed. Service points, which may result in a sudden decrease in power usage, in that history could be stored and utilized in the criteria used for the warning.

    4, Add a simple WiFi control so it can be monitored and controlled by any computer or device in the home. A program (app) for the homes computers or devices would make monitoring the compressor data a lot easier. Automatically log the data to the computer's memory, where it can be viewed and even printed; a graph would be the most useful way to display it.

    5. Low physical profile. It should stick out no more than 1/4" from the wall.

    The price goal should be WELL under $100, retail. I want 1% of the profits for the idea. Good luck with it.

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    Yea, but that should be in EVERY isle. And not require WiFi reception which may not work in the store, especially in the back isles.

    Talk to a monitor station. Tell it what you are looking for. It tells you what isle, with a map showing where you are and where it is; what the price is; and how many are on the shelf.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy2 View Post
    If you go to their website, and check inventory, they do give you location numbers in the store.

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    Another idea:

    Due to my back and legs, I have gotten to the point where I need to use the electric shopping carts in large stores. Keeping them charged is a real problem for these stores and they often run down while in use. A system is needed to keep them charged.

    Ideas:

    1. A FIFO (First In, First Out) rack which charges them and moves them along so the one at the head of the line has had the most charging time. It should not require plugging them in.

    2. A real power meter that shows the actual percentage of charge remaining, not just some kind of simple Voltage monitor. It should use the actual history of charging and discharging to calculate this. This is something that could be of great value on ANY cordless electric tool. It would have wide application if the price could be kept low enough. I can see a first generation meter made with a PIC style device that costs less than $5, including a digital display and a dedicated chip that would cost well under $1.

    3. A GPS system that "drives" them back to the charging station and connects them to it after the customer is finished with it. It would need to navigate the parking lot, dodging cars, pedestrians, and other obstacles. An alternate idea would be a GPS based alarm that notifies store personnel (parking lot crew) that one has been left in the parking lot or elsewhere so they can get it and bring it to the charging station. An additional advantage of either of these would be that they would help prevent rain damage to these carts.

    I have more ideas than time.


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