Difficulty Level 1

Raspberry Pi Basics: Installing The Latest Version of Raspbian onto a SD Card

Installing Raspbian To An SD Card

Welcome back to another installment of The Workbench . In this episode I walk you through the process of installing the latest version of Raspbian onto an SD card for use with a Raspberry Pi. This is the first episode in a series of videos in which I cover the basics of getting a Raspberry Pi up and running from scratch. The series will serve as a foundation to future Raspberry Pi project videos that I'll be creating soon.  [node:read-more:link]

Use NirCMD To Change Default Audio Device in Windows on Startup

Use NirCMD to reset your PC's default audio device on startup.

For the last seven months or so, I have been having issues with my main PC resetting its default audio device to my headset when I reboot. I am told that this issue stems from something in the Windows 10 registry being updated when I installed the drivers for a USB headset several months ago. I have been unable to track down the registry entry that is causing this issue, so I decided to write a simple bash script to set my default audio device to my surround sound speakers after my PC starts up. To do this, I used a program called NirCMD to help automate this easier. Join me after the jump for a full video tutorial on how to automate this process on your windows-based PC as well.  [node:read-more:link]

DIY Meade 505 Telescope to PC Cable

DIY Telescope Control Cable LXD-55

Most of my readers here will be surprised to learn that I am an avid amateur astronomer. I spend every chance I get under the stars taking in the amazing views that can be seen from my 10" Meade LXD-55 Schmidt Newtonian. With my background in photography, it should come as no surprise that I have shifted more into astrophotography than visual observing. My imaging sessions are usually conducted with two of my best friends at a private observatory owned by one of them . The observatory is nice but it is located about 35-40 minutes from me and thus I do not get out there as much as I would like to. So over the last couple of months I have been gearing up my scope for imaging. One of the first task I had to tackle was building a cable that would allow me to control my telescope from my PC, and that is what today's tutorial is all about.  [node:read-more:link]

Reading PC Fan RPM with an Arduino

Reading PC Fan RPM and Waterpump RPM with Arduino

Today we are going to learn how to read the RPM of a PC Fan. This also works well for the Water Pumps used in PC Water Cooling as well as any dc pump or fan that has a rotation sense wire. This is accomplished by counting the falling edge of the square wave generated by the  Hall effect sensor that is located inside the fan or pump. All we have to do is use the arduino to do is count that data, do some math for us, and output the converted data onto an LCD Screen. Lets get started!  [node:read-more:link]

Reading and Displaying Temperature with an Arduino

Reading Temperature with an Arduino

Today we are going to walk you through the process of reading temperature with your Arduino and displaying it on a  16x2 character parallel LCD. This set up has many uses including displayign temperatures during home brewing, fish tanks, PC Temperature display etc. The code will scale nicely and it is so simple that a 5 year old can do it. So lets get started!  [node:read-more:link]

Tutorial: Cheap 9 Component Theremin

Cheap 9 component Theremin

This morning I woke up very early. Nothing was on TV, the interwebs were boring me and I was not in a mood to play a video game. So I sat down at my workbench and decided to make a theremin. I remember as a child a neighbor having a tube theremin that produced those eerie high pitched notes of classic b grade horror movies. When ever we would visit their home for a cook out or party I would play with the theremin every chance I got. To me, it was the coolest noise maker ever. The fact that I could manipulate the tone and pitch of the sound with out touching anything together was simply awesome. So with a theremin project in mind I jumped back on the web and a quick search yielded me this pocket theremin project from Popular Science. It is comprised of just 9 components, all of which I had on hand. So with the schematic chosen I sat down and bread-boarded my first theremin. [node:read-more:link]