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William Ward built a fire alarm module to protect the shop’s laser cutter from any unauthorized thermal events. He designed it around an interesting UV sensor made by Hamamatsu, which uses a combination of the photoelectric effect and the gas multiplication effect to detect very small amounts of ultraviolet light. Future plans include adding a Twitter interface (of course!), and connecting it to a larger alarm system.

[via NYC Resistor]



  1. Colecoman1982 says:

    I’m always a little leery of home brewing equipment which has as it’s sole purpose saving people from serious injury and death. I work for a safety testing lab and have seen, first hand, the amount of work that goes into testing these things and that’s not even counting all the redundant testing done by the manufacturer during development or the QA testing done during production. There are certain things (usually things you are, directly, entrusting your life to) that I consider worth buying pre-made even if I have the know how to design my own.

    That said, the article implies that this is being used because it’s faster to respond to flames starting up that traditional smoke detectors. I’m assuming that they already have smoke detectors installed in their work space (as they tend to be required by building code). Since this is would most likely be used to augment the already existing standard in safety equipment without, hopefully, replacing it I don’t see a problem with it.

    On a technical note, this project is pretty cool and looks well made. Good job!

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