How to create a home seismograph from scratch step by step

seismograph mark on paper

A seismograph or seismometer is a device that allows the measurement of movements of the earth’s surface, i.e. earthquakes or tremors of any kind. Generally, they are used to measure those produced by the movement of the tectonic or lithospheric plates, in order to carry out studies and predict possible earthquakes. The invention was created by the Scottish James David Forbes in 1842.

The instrument of that time was primitive, and consisted of a pendulum which, because of its mass, remained motionless due to inertia. While all other parts of the machine moved around it. The pendulum had a punch at its end and allowed writing on a roller of time-regulated paper. That way, when the ground vibrated, it was represented on that paper in the form of curves.

Read moreHow to create a home seismograph from scratch step by step

FPGA: all about these chips and their programming

Chip FPGA

The FPGAs have become more and more popular in recent times. Even for professional applications, these chips are often used, but also for DIY and makers who want to implement a discrete circuit within a chip with all the advantages that this implies. It is not cheap or easy to find a factory to send your layouts or patterns and have a custom chip made for you.

It is true that some foundries allow to make wafers or multiproject wafers to make chips for individuals or universities to test with them. These types of factories are, as I say, difficult to find, are usually abroad and do not come cheap. After some time, samples of your chips are sent to you at the agreed address, but they do not take care of testing them or making sure they work. It all depends on your design.

Read moreFPGA: all about these chips and their programming

L298N: motor control module for Arduino

l298n

There are many modules for Arduino or for use in DIY projects by makers. In the case of the L298N it is a module for motor control. With them you can use simple codes to program our Arduino board and be able to control DC motors in a simple and controlled way. Generally, this type of module is used more in robotics or in actuators using motors, although it can be used for many applications.

We have already introduced everything necessary about the ESP module, with ESP8266 chip, a module that allows to extend the capacities of the Arduino boards and other projects to have WiFi connectivity. These modules can not only be used alone, the good thing is that they can be combined. For example, we can use an ESP8266 for our prototype and the L298N, which would give us an engine that can be controlled over the Internet or wireless.

Read moreL298N: motor control module for Arduino

ESP8266: the WIFI module for Arduino

ESP8266

Arduino IDE and with a lot of possibilities. Little by little it was evolving, emerging new versions and editions of the board, as well as kits and complements like the famous shields and modules that extended the basic functionalities of these boards.

One of the complements that made a big step forward in the capabilities was the WiFi module, like the ESP8266, since it allowed the projects that were isolated until now to be connected to a network and thus be able to monitor or manage the project from the Internet anywhere in the planet. That’s why we are going to dedicate this guide to ESP8266, so you can know everything you really need…

Read moreESP8266: the WIFI module for Arduino

How to make a home laser cutter

laser cutting machine in action

We all know the possibilities of a laser cutter, and even more so when we like DIY. These types of laser cutters are quite expensive and sometimes only a professional can afford them and they will pay for themselves. However, there are ways to create your own laser cutter and this is what we are going to cover in this new guide. With it we can assemble our own and save a few euros, besides having fun and gain the satisfaction of having created ourselves.

The laser cutter can cut or carve marks on certain surfaces, which is quite practical for some projects. However, it is a machine that must be handled with care due to its dangerousness, so we must take the appropriate precautions to handle it, since we are using a tool that can generate problems if we do not respect the safety measures.

Read moreHow to make a home laser cutter

Arduino + relay module and rock & roll: mixing AC/DC

Logos AC/DC and Arduino

After our programming tutorial and first steps in Arduino, this time we bring you a practical guide to work with Arduino and a relay module, that is, to be able to control, through Arduino’s low voltage DC circuitry, a higher voltage AC system. That is, what seemed impossible with a simple Arduino board, such as controlling 220v loads, is now made possible with the relay module.

This will allow you to control devices connected to the power grid. And in order not to be too restrictive in terms of practices, I will try to explain it in a way that can be applied to any kind of project you can think of or modified in an easy way to do what you really want, since there are many very specific projects on the Internet that use an Arduino board and a relay module .

Read moreArduino + relay module and rock & roll: mixing AC/DC

Arduino programming tutorial

Logo de Arduino

Arduino is probably one of the most successful free software and hardware projects or platforms that have had the greatest impact on the DIY world. The community has created both open source software for the programming of the microcontroller boards, and different hardware boards also free to work with. Everything is licensed under the GNU GPL license so you can also create many add-ons and derivatives of them.

In fact, they have awakened an entire electronics industry with a multitude of add-ons, hats or shields with which you can extend the capabilities of your Arduino board beyond its basic functionalities that it implements as standard. Many kits have also been launched to start or carry out very specific projects, such as kits for robotics, kits for solar energy projects, starter kits, etc.

Read moreArduino programming tutorial

How to make a Geiger counter

 

home geiger counter

Three Milles Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, and even some on national territory such as the Coral-I reactor in Madrid or the Vandellos-I in Catalonia. There are many nuclear accidents that have occurred throughout history, and despite the terrible consequences, it seems that the issue of radiation continues to raise some attraction. But what few people know is that, every day, we are all exposed to natural radiation, both that which comes from outer space and that which comes from the minerals of the earth…

Well, if you want to measure the radiation around you, in this new guide we show you step by step the procedure of how you can build a Geiger counter, that is, a device capable of measuring radioactivity. Basically, it is a device that can measure particles that impact with the sensor, such as ionizing radiation, that’s why it’s called a counter, since it can count the number of impacts and therefore the radiation level of an object or place.

Read moreHow to make a Geiger counter

How to make a hammer of Thor or Mjolnir

Homemade Thor's Hammer

For those of you who like superhero comics, or are simply fond of Nordic mythology, in this tutorial we bring you the steps to ‘build your own Thor’s hammer’. Although you may know him from Mjolnir. If you have free time and you want to do DIY, you can create your own hammer with some “magic” features that will bring us the use of free hardware to implement, for example, magnetic attraction.

The truth is that there are several ways to do it, also several materials to work with, and even several diagrams of the circuitry or hardware that we will implement to have different functions for our home hammer. You already know that DIY is free, that you can introduce your own modifications in front of what we show you here, and that the limit is your imagination…

Read moreHow to make a hammer of Thor or Mjolnir

How to make your own bike speedometer with Arduino

Make your own speedometer
Make your own speedometer

Today, in the 21st century, virtually every vehicle comes with its own speedometer and odometer. This is true for cars, motorcycles, some e-Bikes, etc. In addition, there are also many applications in the different App Stores that will allow us to know how fast we are going and how many kilometers we are doing using the GPS of the mobile device. But what is the problem with these applications? They run on a device that is not always the cheapest. As in almost everything, a solution to the problem could be to ‘create our own speedometer‘.

Everyone knows what an iPhone costs. Personally I have one and for months I was afraid of falling off my bike, more for my phone than for myself. Now I go with a Garmin, but any device of this brand has a price of hundreds of euros, something that many users can not or want to spend. If we know what we are doing, sometimes the best option is for us to assemble our own hardware and in this article we will show you how to ‘build from scratch’ our own odometer.

Read moreHow to make your own bike speedometer with Arduino