It’s a great weekend to browse a few crowdfund sites for new projects. Here are three projects you should consider backing.
Modern cars are packed with electronics: engine diagnostics, dashboard panels, GPS units, satellite radio, cameras, sensors. Computers on wheels, basically. Simpler models might have a few dozen processors, whereas complex luxury vehicles can have well over 100. In order to allow the many diverse electronic units in the car to talk to each other, cars use a standard communication protocol called Controller Area Network Bus (shortened to CAN Bus).
As makers, we ask: how can we get inside this vast array of little car computers? The CANBus Triple – now funded on kickstarter – provides an answer. It’s an Arduino-compatible device with three CAN bus controllers. If you know how to install a car alarm, you can open up your car’s electronics to the CANBus Triple. For a $75 pledge, you will receive a first-run CANBus Triple from their campaign. Read more about it at the kickstarter.
Banana Jack Amps
I love projects like the Banana Jack Amps. I’m not sure how many modular amp systems I’ve run across. I don’t care. Audio is one of the most raw and sensory characterizations of electric signals. Audio modulation provides a fantastic template for analog electronics experimentation, and kits like Banana Jack Amps make it easy to see the inner workings.
The Banana Jack Amps kit includes several amp components encased in a plastic that can be connected with a set of banana cables. Each component is very simply constructed and the plastic is clear, so it’s easy to see what’s going on within your circuit.
I understand this project isn’t just for electronics experimentation. That’s just my angle. Makers with a music background will enjoy having a pure analog amp of a design they can call their own. The campaign promises additional components in the future. You can pick up a kit for $270 at the kickstarter campaign.
When you take photos with your smartphone, you are limited to the 2D plane of the ground. The 3D Pocketcopter opens up an entire new dimension for video and still photos to get awesome shots. It’s expected to be small enough to carry around in a pocket, which makes it perfect for capturing the impromptu perfect shot.
Right now you can reserve one for €69, or about $89, from the Indiegogo Campaign.