Archive for the ‘Other Electronics Projects’ category

Solar Wind

December 7th, 2014

Checking my magnetometer today I found this beautiful record.  Last night the Earth entered a fast moving (~700 km/s according to ACE) stream of solar wind. The wind’s buffeting of the magnetosphere is visible as a sudden increase of the noise around 14:40 UTC.2014_12_07_12_00_00


Surprisingly strong magnetic storms

February 20th, 2014



The CME impacts from the last two days sparked a decent magnetic storm. The magnetometer has gone bananas! On Feb 20, at ~11:30 UTC it went off the scale – for first time in years.


Magnetic crochet from X3-class solar flare

November 5th, 2013
Magnetogram showing the crochet from the X3 solar flare from the AR1890 sunspot (Nov 5, 2013)

Magnetogram showing the crochet from the X3 solar flare from the AR1890 sunspot (Nov 5, 2013)

This is the first time my home-made magnetometer records a crochet. A geomagnetic crochet is caused by the increased ionization of the ionosphere due to by the X-rays from the flare.

Another magnetic storm

October 3rd, 2013
Magnetogram recording

Magnetic storm, Oct 2, 2013

Last night my DIY magnetometer recorded another very nice magnetic storm. The initial CME impact arrived just on schedule (as predicted by NASA), shortly before 2am UTC. You can also see the impact of a second CME front shortly after 4:30am UTC.

For real-time data, check this page.

Audio of a Mag 5.7 Earthquake

May 23rd, 2013

Today I managed to get a recording of a Mag 5.7 earthquake 206 miles (331 km) away. If you have headphones handy, put them on and listen to the sound of the earthquake. Headphones or good speakers are recommended because the frequencies are quite low.

The data comes as a side effect of the design of a home-made magnetometer I operate. When there is an earthquake nearby, the mirror starts swinging – this messes up the magnetometer record, but can be used to detect earthquakes quite far from here.

Magnetic Storm

September 3rd, 2012
Magnetogram from Sept 3, 2012

Magnetogram from Sept 3, 2012

Last night my magnetometer recorded a nice magnetic storm. It came as a bit of a surprise – it was much more intense than I was expecting from the size of the the coronal mass ejection (CME) that sparked it. The most interesting part of the storm also happened during the local night here, so I was able to get a nice and smooth record without much noise caused by things moving around.

[ Go to the magnetometer’s project page ] [ Real-time magnetogram data ]

DIY EKG machine

January 18th, 2011

Here comes is a neat little project – a DIY electrocardiogram (EKG, also sometimes ECG) machine. For all the hypochondriacs out there – “enjoy”!

[ Go to project ]

Animated LED Cylinder Project

December 27th, 2010
LED Cylinder Project

LED Cylinder Project

Here is a nice and colorful DIY for the holidays – a LED cylinder project. ATMEGA168-20PU microcontroller makes 95 RGB LEDs arranged in a 3D cylinder shape look really cool.

Go to project ]

Simple DIY Battery Tester

November 3rd, 2010
Battery Tester

Battery Tester

Almost everywhere I go I have my Garmin GPS with me – hiking, biking, or just driving around. And this thing eat batteries, so I use a lot of rechargeable ones.  Recently I got really tired of my attempts to keep track of which battery is full and which needs recharging, and which one doesn’t hold charge well and needs recycling, so I came up with this very simple battery tester.

It is nothing special, but it takes just a few hours to build and works just fine.

[ Go to project ]

Microcontroller Ethernet interface

October 25th, 2010
Microcontroller - Ethernet interface

Microcontroller - Ethernet interface card

When I post to this blog I try to alternate my posts – one post about something practical, another one for something cool (even if not particularly useful). It’s time for the practical post, so here comes the Ethernet Arduino compatible controller board. It’s a neat, relatively simple, and quite useful little gadget that can be used to bridge that gap that always bothers me – how to get the computer and microcontroller to talk to each other?  The good thing is you can just pull a network cable to the board and you can connect from anywhere on your home network, or even anywhere on the world.  With some tweaking I believe the project can be made to use Microchip PIC microcontroller too.

(Well, the easiest option for me is still the good old RS-232 interface, but with RS-232 you are pretty limited as to what is the maximum distance between your project and the computer.)

[ Go to project ]