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Curiosity Killed the Cat (Just Call Me Mr. Curiosity)
Max’s Cool Beans  
11/25/2014   23 comments
Max desperately needs a cat deterrent, but how should this work? A 50,000V electric shock? Vaporization by high-powered lasers? Teleportation to another dimension?
The 10 Commandments of Electronics
Max’s Cool Beans  
11/24/2014   45 comments
Although these "commandments" are presented in a jocular manner, they also embody some useful advice.
Want to Present a Paper at ESC Boston 2015?
Max’s Cool Beans  
11/20/2014   9 comments
If you are interested in presenting a paper on the technical stage or at the Fantastical Theatre of Engineering Innovation, here's how to submit an abstract.
How Do You Scale/Score a Scoville?
Max’s Cool Beans  
11/19/2014   79 comments
How do you actually determine how hot a pepper is? What is a Scoville when it's at home, and how do we set about measuring one?
The Phoenard Arduino-Compatible Prototyping Gadget
Max’s Cool Beans  
11/18/2014   3 comments
Though it's based on the same eight-bit Atmel MCU as the Arduino Mega, the Phoenard boasts so much additional functionality that it makes your head spin.
Happy Dance Around a Volcano
Max’s Cool Beans  
11/13/2014   51 comments
Max is now the proud owner of a 50-year old Sirram Volcano Kettle, which is impervious to the wind and rain and therefore ideal for holidaying in England.
$400 Noise-Cancelling Headphones vs. $25 Earmuffs
Max’s Cool Beans  
11/11/2014   66 comments
How do $400 noise-cancelling headphones compare to $25 earmuffs in an airplane environment?
Vetinari Clock: Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tinkles
Max’s Cool Beans  
11/6/2014   61 comments
We've reached the stage where we have to decide what operating modes we wish to implement and which sounds we'll use to accompany and complement these modes.
Vetinari Clock: It's Crunch Time for Locking Down the Final Layout
Max’s Cool Beans  
11/3/2014   29 comments
Which option is preferable -- to have the two peaks of the ebony case horizontally aligned, or to have the two dips in the ebony aligned?
Analog Faceplate Design Decisions: Art or Science?
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/30/2014   137 comments
Creating industrial designs, like new faceplates for use in antique analog meters, is part art and part science.
Where Are the Ceramic Vacuum Tube Holders of Yesteryear?
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/28/2014   102 comments
One of the problems Max has left on the back-burner is how he's going to attach his giant vacuum tubes to the top of his Ultra-Macho Prognostication Engine.
Building a Pair of Animatronic Robot Eyes
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/27/2014   17 comments
In order to learn about servos, Max Maxfield decided to build a pair of animatronic robot eyes.
DIY Practical Joke Project Idea
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/25/2014   36 comments
DIY Practical Joke Project Idea: Having something like this lying around would certainly break up the monotony of one's visitors' days. Deploying it would almost be a public service when you come to think about it.
Are Today's Designs Bound by the Constraints of Yesteryear?
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/24/2014   37 comments
Are there instances of the way in which we design things today being bound by the constraints of yesteryear?
Vetinari Clock: Additional Possibilities
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/23/2014   41 comments
New layout possibilities continue to emerge for the front panel of Max's Vetinari Clock project, which is based on the use of antique analog meters.
Vetinari Clock: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions …
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/22/2014   56 comments
Many actions are proceeding apace, but decisions need to be made with regard to the layout of the front panel.
Energizing the Young Engineers of Tomorrow
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/21/2014   35 comments
Young Jacob is working on programming the Arduino to make his robot's eyes flash messages in Morse code. We may have an engineer in the making.
The Best of the Best Videos on YouTube
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/18/2014   7 comments
If you were compiling a list of the best of the best videos on YouTube, which ones would you choose?
Thought-Provoking Nugget of Knowledge: Island Universes
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/17/2014   22 comments
If galaxies were shrunk to the size of apples, how far apart do you think neighboring galaxies would be?
Clicking 'Yes' One Second Before Screaming 'Nooooo!'
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/16/2014   73 comments
It's bad enough if you lose your work due to a computer crash, but it's really frustrating when you are the instrument of your own doom.
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress & Malt Vinegar Is a Harsh Corrosive
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/14/2014   267 comments
Max's latest brass-aging experiments include the use of ammonia, Himalayan rock salt, English malt vinegar, and other substances of a dubious nature.
Priceless Nuggets of Knowledge Re Antique Analog Meters
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/10/2014   31 comments
Here is some extremely useful information for anyone interested in using analog meters -- both for hobby projects and for commercial systems.
The Solution to Your Analog Meter Woes
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/9/2014   24 comments
The folks at Instrument Meter Specialties are experts in anything and everything to do with antique and modern meters, including repairing and restoring the little beauties.
Free E-Book: Adam Taylor's MicroZed Chronicles
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/9/2014   13 comments
This free e-book teaches all about working with the Zynq SoC FPGA, all the way from the "Hello World" basics to asymmetric multiprocessing and the addition of several real-time operating systems (RTOSs).
What? You Missed ESC Brazil 2014? Check Out This Video!
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/8/2014   18 comments
Finally, Max's mother will be able to see a video of him 'strutting his stuff' on the conference stage.
Mega-Cool Transistor-Level Classic Chip Kits
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/7/2014   40 comments
In addition to being great to play with oneself, these kits provide an absolutely brilliant tool for teaching basic principles to newcomers to electronics.
Is There a Doctor Duino in the House?
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/6/2014   26 comments
While creating a set of animatronic robot eyes, Max realized he was out of 10KΩ potentiometers. If only there had been a Dr. Duino in the house.
Analog Meter Faceplate Solution for Vetinari Clock
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/3/2014   11 comments
Everything is starting to come together -- the materials for the box used to house the Vetinari Clock, the graphics for the new meter faceplates, and the process by which these faceplates will be created.
Looking at the World Through Rose-Tinted Prism Glasses
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/2/2014   18 comments
Have you ever wondered how the world would appear if you were to gaze at it through prism glasses?
Saddleback Sale – It's Happy Dance Time
Max’s Cool Beans  
10/1/2014   5 comments
The folks at Saddleback Leather are having a sale, and this is a great time to start stocking up on Christmas presents for one's nearest and dearest.
Feast Your Orbs on My Jiggly Exercise Machine
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/26/2014   108 comments
This isn't your mother's jiggly exercise machine. This new incarnation performs its wonders in a completely different way.
ScratchDuino Magnetic Robotics Kickstarter Project
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/25/2014   4 comments
The combination of easy-to-attach magnetic sensors with a graphical programming interface makes the ScratchDuino ideal for teaching younger kids about computers, robots, and programming.
iSilly People Should Not Use Wave for iOS8
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/24/2014   21 comments
The Wave hoax currently circulating online tells people they can charge their iPhones and iPads by placing them in a microwave oven.
Tiny Kickstarter MCU Board Provides 'Smart Fusion' for IoT Systems
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/23/2014   21 comments
The LPLC TOO is a tiny, low-power microcontroller board designed to act as intelligent glue logic on your next Internet of Things (IoT) project.
Some Days You're the Pigeon, Others You're the Statue
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/22/2014   61 comments
Are cities still commissioning new statues, or is this practice a thing of the past?
Steve Wozniak Reacts to Latest iPhone
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/19/2014   18 comments
Being presented with his very own iCups communications system certainly brightened Steve Wozniak's day.
10 Top Video Parodies on User Interfaces
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/18/2014   58 comments
There have been some interesting videos of "user interface parodies" over the years -- some that are "old chestnuts," some that deserve to be called "classics," and some that have only recently appeared on the scene.
Dr. Duino Diagnostic Shield Deduces Dilemmas in Arduino Shield Stacks
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/17/2014   13 comments
When sandwiched between an Arduino Uno and a shield -- or between two shields -- jumpers on the Dr. Duino can either pass signals between the boards above and below or route them to test points and other components.
Oh, No! My Antique Analog Meter Has Twitched Its Last
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/15/2014   42 comments
One of Max Maxfield's treasured analog meters has shrugged off this mortal coil. He's hoping a member of the EETimes community can point him toward a replacement.
Innovative Technique for Depicting PCBs Using Tiny Figurines
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/11/2014   24 comments
Alan Winstanley has been taking lots of photographs depicting a computer motherboard as a city populated with tiny figurines.
Enhancing Electronic Enterprises With Edison Emanations
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/10/2014   15 comments
Max Maxfield may take a look at those reproductions of vintage-style light bulbs known as Edison Bulbs to enhance the look and feel of his hobby projects.
Aging Brass: New Book Explains All
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/9/2014   16 comments
A new book -- Patina: 300+ Coloration Effects for Jewelers & Metalsmiths -- contains page after page of pictures and descriptions of the treatments that were used to get the effects you see.
RPiSoC: PSoC-Based Board Boosts Raspberry Pi's Capabilities
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/8/2014   6 comments
The RPiSoC, which is based on the PSoC 5LP, can be used to off-load a Raspberry Pi while also working with Arduino shields and Digilent Pmods.
Hamfests & Electronic Flea Markets: What's Not to Love?
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/5/2014   44 comments
Visiting a Hamfest started Max Maxfield on a series of electronic projects that show no signs of ending soon.
Aging Brass: The Secrets of the Ancients
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/4/2014   33 comments
The book Machinery's Shop Receipts boasts 600 useful compositions and formulas that will surely answer Max Maxfield's questions about aging and etching brass.
How to Fly Without Catching the Dreaded Lurgy?
Max’s Cool Beans  
9/2/2014   81 comments
On returning from his trip to Brazil, Max Maxfield was diagnosed with bronchitis, which he thinks he caught on the plane. Is there any way to prevent this?
Aging Brass: Cow Poop vs. Horse Doo-Doo
Max’s Cool Beans  
8/27/2014   55 comments
There are myriad ways to artificially age brass, including the use of salt, vinegar, ammonia, and temperature. The more daring among us may also consider cow and/or horse manure.
All Aboard for the EETimes Road Trip to the May 2015 Hamvention in Dayton, Ohio
Max’s Cool Beans  
8/25/2014   49 comments
In May 2015, a bunch of us (including wives, husbands, and significant others) are going to the biggest Hamfest in the world in Dayton, Ohio -- do you want to join us?
Creating New Faceplates for Antique Analog Meters
Max’s Cool Beans  
8/22/2014   103 comments
If you wish to use antique meters as part of your hobby projects, one task will be to replace the existing faceplate annotations, but what's the best way to do this?
Creating a Vetinari Clock Using Antique Analog Meters
Max’s Cool Beans  
8/20/2014   132 comments
Can you imagine a clock formed from old analog meters mounted in an antique-looking wooden box? Now imagine an interpretation of a Vetinari clock (the mind boggles).
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Max Maxfield

Curiosity Killed the Cat (Just Call Me Mr. Curiosity)
Max Maxfield
23 comments
My wife, Gina The Gorgeous, loves animals. She has two stupid dogs and two stupid cats. How stupid are they? Well, allow me to show you this video of the dogs that I made a couple of years ...

Martin Rowe

No 2014 Punkin Chunkin, What Will You Do?
Martin Rowe
Post a comment
American Thanksgiving is next week, and while some people watch (American) football all day, the real competition on TV has become Punkin Chunkin. But there will be no Punkin Chunkin on TV ...

Rich Quinnell

Making the Grade in Industrial Design
Rich Quinnell
13 comments
As every developer knows, there are the paper specifications for a product design, and then there are the real requirements. The paper specs are dry, bland, and rigidly numeric, making ...

Martin Rowe

Book Review: Controlling Radiated Emissions by Design
Martin Rowe
1 Comment
Controlling Radiated Emissions by Design, Third Edition, by Michel Mardiguian. Contributions by Donald L. Sweeney and Roger Swanberg. List price: $89.99 (e-book), $119 (hardcover).