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Showing posts from December, 2015

An iron rod...

An iron rod being placed on the outside of a building from the highest part continued down into the moist earth, in any direction strait or crooked, following the form of the roof or other parts of the building, will receive the lightning at its upper end, attracting it so as to prevent it's striking any other part; and, affording it a good conveyance into the earth, will prevent its damaging any part of the building. -- Benjamin Franklin

Project: Pico Paso Kit - Light Controlled Analog Noise Machine

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We attended the 2015 Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, California back in June 2015.  It was a day filled with amazement and wonderful creativity.  It was one big show and tell event.

As you would expect, there were plenty of great kits for sale and we picked up a few including the Pico Paso by Bleep Labs.  The Pico Paso kit is a light controlled analog noise machine and is based on the Atari Punk Synth concept.  It is powered by a 9V battery.

Kit assembly was straightforward with only a small number of components in the circuitry.  The Pico Paso kit is suitable for beginner builders.  The only trouble we had during soldering was when we inadvertently installed the audio jack on the wrong side of the board.  A quick desoldering followed by a reinstallation of the jack on the proper side of the board resolved the issue.  It does indeed help to follow the kit instructions as this was plainly explained.


This is a fun little kit to build and play with after construction.  We fed the 1/4&…

So your dog has been skunked?

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Northern California is home to one of the most beautifully groomed skunk populations anywhere.  The skunks here tend to be big, healthy, and beautiful with long shiny black coats.  They prance around the area with confidence and poise of runway models (yes, exactly like Pepi Le Pew).



 Northern Californian skunks go wherever they please which includes fenced in backyards occupied by big dogs.  Apparently their defense makes them fearless.  Perhaps they just enjoy spreading a little holiday joy to their canine friends.

There is nothing quite like discovering at midnight that your dog has had a close encounter of the 1st kind with a skunk.  Fresh noxious skunk fumes are breathtaking.  The odor is a cross between a hot sulfuric fumarole and burning rubber tires.  It is such a strong chemical odor that it doesn't immediately smell like a skunk.  9 out 10 Northern California pet owners prefer the delicate scent of a volcanic bubbling hot sulphuric acid fumarole to that of a freshly skun…

Maxwell's theory...

Maxwell's theory is Maxwell's system of equations. -- Heinrich Hertz

Always been ahead of my time...

It seems that I have always been ahead of my time. I had to wait nineteen years before Niagara was harnessed by my system, fifteen years before the basic inventions for wireless which I gave to the world in 1893 were applied universally. -- Nikola Tesla



Funny Magnets

Q: What did the male magnet say to the female magnet?
A: From your backside, I thought you were repulsive. However, after seeing you from the front, I find you rather attractive.