Artists create aesthetic problems and solve them. When an artist creates a problem which is technical in nature, but for which no commodified solution exists, a solution must be invented. This is the realm of "making". Making often represents novel unions of sensible phenomena, information, and dynamic objects. 

making blog

Photovoltaic module data plotting

Submitted by Ed_B on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 09:52

In my last post on the solar project, I described the next, penultimate step in synthesizing a group of solar powered devices. There needs to be done a group of actual physical tests of load capacity and charge time, compared against different combinations of light intensities, PV units, and electrical loads. The blockage in getting form here to there remains the lack of a data-loggiing/data-plotting tool to record and view the relationships around power in/out and time. After some thought about the problem and much digging around on the web, it's (hopefully) open source to the rescue!

Interrupt Service Routine Questions (Arduino)

Submitted by Josephk on Sat, 03/27/2010 - 11:33

I have been trying to figure out how to get my Arduino to do *a thing* at a rate that I have fairly precise and variable control over.  I believe that the best way to do this is with an interrupt service routine that can call a function x number of times per second.  The problem is, I can't seem to wrap my head around how to make this happen. Here is my specific example:


Bit masking for doing low level MCU programming

Submitted by Ed_B on Sun, 03/21/2010 - 21:28

This seemed timely, so I wrote it here.

A mask is a binary number specially constructed to help set or clear specific bits in a byte.
Masks are typically used to control hardware functions inside a microconttroller chip. This little writeup
introduces the idea of using masks to control digital i/o pins in an AVR chip. 

Definition of true and false when speaking about one "bit":
Logical false means 0. In hardware, it means a pin is low. To clear a bit is
to make it 0.

Logical true means 1. In hardware, true means a pin is high. To set a bit is to
make it 1. 

set a bit: make it 1
clear a bit: make it 0

Solar Solar Solar!

Submitted by Ed_B on Mon, 03/15/2010 - 01:40

I've been working on this solar power for art project. It's coming along nicely. The amount of information got too big to keep posting in the blog, so I made a web section to hold the work. It's here. I've noticed that the dippy little drop down menu sometimes doesn't work the first time. Is this a linux thing?

Solar Solar Solar!

and then....

Submitted by rdrink on Wed, 03/10/2010 - 22:44

Cottage Industry

Submitted by rdrink on Sat, 03/06/2010 - 09:05

I usually would be embarassed to re-post anything that the carries the Fox brand, however stumbling across this it seemed just topical enough to share


Solar Experiment

Submitted by ayu on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 17:03

Ultrasonic Transducers in a cool-mist humidifier / fogger

Submitted by mitchellfchan on Fri, 02/26/2010 - 14:40


So, I'm trying to make some mist. A friggin' lot of it! Now, I know that there are whole bunch of different humidifiers or fogger mechanisms that I can buy online, but building them myself offers the advantages of affordability (I'm going to need a whole bunch of those things) and of being able to customize the size/shape of themodules to fit inside a larger mechanism.

Of course, I have a couple problems.


Submitted by Ed_B on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 18:48

A student is interested in measuring the force of impact of a large, padded, blunt object on a human frame. Three ideas came to mind.

  • Force sensing resistors, FSR's
  • piezo film
  • accelerometers
Sparkfun SEN-09156 Sparkfun DEV-09267

Alternative energy revisited - SOLAR 1

Submitted by Ed_B on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 17:23

I'm working on a project to see what kind of solar experiments we can add to our curriculum. I'll be looking at different combinations of loads and supplies on my workbench. To make sensible comparisons between different device configurations, I need some baseline figures on available light in different environments. Here ia a bit of raw data that will be essential in comparing the behavior of different devices under different lighting conditions.

Light intensity measurements made with with a Sekonik Studio Deruxe II meter (Thanks, Anna). Outdoor measurements made noon, February 19, 2010 at Chicago, IL, 41.88 deg North. (Ed Bennett,

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