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MIT student Timur Balbekov built this coffee can Doppler radar. Wanna build your own? MIT offers a free online guide telling you how. (Can anyone tell me what microcontroller Timur used?) [via Mr. Vacuum Tube]

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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  1. Looks like a Cypress PSoC. The board is identical to the Cypress CY8CKIT-050 PSoC 5 Development Kit I am holding in my hand. It was offered as part of a Cypress contest a year or two ago. Nice hardware and super easy to program with the Cypress Creator IDE.

  2. Tim Balbekov says:

    It’s actually a Cypress PSoC 3 — this was made for a final project for MIT’s microcomputer project lab (6.115). As part of the final project, all code needs to be written in 8051 assembly (C51). The Cypress part is an interesting choice for this application since it offers mixed-signal capability (ADCs and op-amps) directly on the chip, so minimal external part count is required.

  3. Tim Balbekov says:

    Here’s a PDF of the design report:

    http://web.mit.edu/balbekov/www/diy_coffee_can_radar.pdf

  4. [...] the piece DIY Coffee Can Radar, Tim Balbekov remarks: I travel frequently with carry-on and checked luggage full of electronics, [...]

  5. [...] the piece DIY Coffee Can Radar, Tim Balbekov remarks: I travel frequently with carry-on and checked luggage full of electronics, [...]

  6. […] While I’m a trifle puzzled how the kit could cost six hundred bucks, I love the idea of building a radar! It’s based off of Gregory Charvat’s coffee can radar project. […]

  7. […] While I’m a trifle puzzled how the kit could cost six hundred bucks, I love the idea of building a radar! It’s based off of Gregory Charvat’s coffee can radar project. […]