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Showing posts from July, 2010

My first instructable!

I'm a huge fan of DIY (in case you couldn't tell from this blog...), so naturally I love Instructables - a site with user-submitted how-to/DIY guides. There I saw a really neat "word clock" which is a clock that spells out the time in words rather than numbers, and thought it would make a cool present for my girlfriend at the time. I improvised on the design and came up with a neat glossy black finish, packaged inside an Ikea shadowbox. It turned out looking really cool: In the spirit of giving back, I wrote my first instructable so you can build your own clock just like this!

RFID door

--- A demo of how the RFID door mechanism works. Normally the RFID reader is facing outward so you can wave your ID on the outside of the door to unlock it. Last semester I was lucky enough to get an order through during Sparkfun's Free Day - $100 of free electronics - awesome! Among the things I got for free was the ID-12 RFID reader , a cute little RFID module that outputs the tag ID over a 9600 baud serial line. Naturally I needed to put it to good use, so when I was bored one night (avoiding psets) I set out to make my door unlock/open via RFID. The biggest obstacle was the mechanical actuation of unlocking the door. My door doesn't have a deadbolt, which means the knob itself has the locking mechanism built in. Ideally I would have installed an electric strike , but unfortunately the cutout in the steel door frame was too small to install one. I also briefly considered sticking some sort of motor inside the door frame that would push the latch open (since the in