Tech Marinade
Uncovering Hidden Innovation in DIY Electronics
What Can You Learn From This Video About Automatic Audio Leveling?
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 6.28.2014 Hacks

Watching a video like this is a great way to not only learn how to build a circuit, but also see how the right tools make testing easier.

Youtube user w2aew explains the parts of a circuit used to attenuate an audio signal to a constant amplitude. For example, audio leveling is used in music production to minimize the range of volume of the track. In another case, audio leveling can level out the volume two tracks in your playlist so you don’t have to manually adjust the volume of your player. An overview of the more complicated concept of Dynamic Range Compression can be read at your favorite information source, Wikipedia.

I think it’s worth noting the use of the function generator and four-channel oscilloscope in the video. It’s really nice to be able to visualize the functionality different parts of your circuit, which will make finding problems that much easier.

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OpenKnit Makes Clothing Open-Source
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 4.15.2014 News

Fashion is becoming a more accessible art form as many are finding a liking to hand crafted clothing. Offering to bridge the gap between mass produced and hand crafted is OpenKnit, an open-source digital fabrication tool that allows users to create their own clothing from digital files.

This gives tailors the ease to try different designs and produce clothing to their liking. The open-source aspect of OpenKnit can help create a marketplace for these digital files. People can set up their own online boutiques without having to carry inventory; they can simply sell the digital files to customers with their own OpenKnit. Granted, that would require customers to have the system in place, but the seller could also easily have the clothing knit and sent off.

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Tutorial Roundup #6: DIY Holiday Gifts!
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 12.6.2013 Features

Need a gift idea but want something unique? How about homemade? It must be the personal touch that accompanies hand-crafted holiday presents that make them just a tad more special. Not to mention, as the maker, you might learn something in the process!

To foster this notion of creative gift giving, this week we have three tutorials for items that would make great gifts! Hopefully, they are the right balance of complexity and fun for both you as the creator and the lucky recipient. Feel free to build two so you can keep one for yourself!

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This is a nice Instructable that will test your Arduino, XBee, and Lego building skills. Instructables user sath02 will guide you through the process of making your very own remote controlled lego vehicle. Sath02’s design uses a microcontroller compatible with the Arduino IDE for ease of programming alongside a motordriver IC. On the computer side, he uses Processing to code a graphical controller on the PC. One of the cool things about this project is that it’s very customization. It seems almost needless to say that you could theoretically build any shaped car you wanted!

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The 5 Gifts You Can Give Your DIY Prodigies
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 12.3.2013 Holiday

This holiday season instead of fighting to get your kid the new console, why not try these DIY gifts? Help inspire creativity amongst your loved ones as these gifts teach engineering and construction. The possibilities are endless with many of these choices and can open up the door to becoming different toys with a little bit of creativity.

Elenco Electronics Snap Circuits Jr.

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Your kid can learn about circuit construction with this safe kit by Elenco Electronics. Having received the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval and numerous other awards, the Elenco Snap Circuits Jr. allows for over 100 different projects to be built. With the snapping feature of the parts, the kit also poses no risk from soldering or any other risks involved with circuit construction. This kit is perfect for the child that likes to tinker and make robots. The Elenco Electronics Snap Circuits Jr. can be purchased for $20.55.

Maker’s Toolbox

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And if you have a child that already wants to move into building robots, you can look to Maker’s Toolbox for two great options. You can purchase either the Scribbler or the Cardboard Proptractor kits. The Scribbler is an adorably jittery robot standing on four markers that can scribble around on a sheet of paper or whiteboard when activated. The Cardboard Proptractor is a robot that can be controlled. It uses two propellers that can move it forward and change its direction with the flip of a switch. If you want to know more, we wrote an article on Maker’s Toolbox earlier and you can check out their online store! The Scribbler can be purchased at $25.00 and the Cardboard Proptractor at $35.00.

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Electric Imp Powered Electrical Outlet Instructable
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 11.29.2013 Learn

FCO0W0XHMVJGVLQ.MEDIUM[1]Want to make a remote-controlled outlet?

Instructables user MidnightMaker needed a modern solution for controlling the new, hard-to-reach, florescent lights in his garage. First, he tried using a Stanley Remote Powered Outlet, but after three device failures, he needed a better solution. Like a true Maker, he decided to retrofit the Stanley outlet with his own circuit based around an Electric Imp.

The parts for the project will cost you about $80 plus shipping, more or less. It requires a little technical skill, some cutting, some soldering, and some coding. The instructions are detailed and well-written so it can be an enjoyable weekend project.

Read the instructable here.

Tutorial Roundup will return in full next week! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with Maker news.

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Tutorial Roundup 5
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 11.22.2013 Features

It’s time to heat up that soldering iron. This week we look at three tutorials to help you build your favorite project. Solder like a pro! Place surface mount parts at home! Build your own PCBs without the hassle of using a manufacturer! Hey, we know you can do it even if you didn’t know you could. That’s why we’re here.

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