Monthly Archives: February 2017

How Does Ladder Logic Work?

Over the last 30 years, there has been a significant evolvement of ladder logic for industrial controllers. It now supports advanced functionality that includes data acquisition, networking, data manipulation, motion control, and process control. Designers starting a new control system are faced with many basic functions this tried-and-trusted language needs to perform, and it does so, almost effortlessly. Object Detection Detecting the presence of an object is one of the most pervasive functions Read more [...]

A Raspberry Pi Computer in an Altoids Tin

Although Altoids, a brand of breath mints, has its origin in the UK, it is less widely available there than it is in the US. The mints come packaged within a distinctive tin case, which people commonly reuse for different purposes, mainly as a container for small household items such as sewing materials, coins, paper clips, among many other items. DIY enthusiasts often find the tins eminently suitable to contain electronic projects. For instance, Texas Instruments makes the BeagleBones, a single Read more [...]

PiFM: A Pirate Radio with the Raspberry Pi

The popular single board computer, the Raspberry Pi (RBPi), can work as a radio transmitter as well. Using a simple hack, you can turn your RBPi into a powerful FM transmitter with adequate range to cover a bike parade, high school ball game, silent disco, DIY drive-in movie, or even your entire home. However, the broadcast frequency covered by the RBPi is rather large—one to 250 MHz, and there is a possibility this will interfere with government bands. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the transmissions Read more [...]

Colorful Images from Electron Microscopy

Almost everyone treats Christmas as the time to get away from regular work. Surprisingly, there are exceptions, such as Roger Tsien. This late biochemist would do an extra two weeks of uninterrupted research in his lab during Christmas. In one of his sojourns, he gifted the world the first electron micrographs—in color. His method used to create them will dramatically advance cell imaging. Scientists use Electron Microscopy (EM) for magnifying objects up to 10 million times their original size. Read more [...]