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Paul Spinrad

Paul Spinrad

Paul Spinrad is a broad-spectrum enthusiast, writer, maker, and dad who lives in San Francisco. He hatches schemes at http://investian.com.

Latest from Paul Spinrad

Using this simple technique, you can etch a design into a thin pane of clear plastic sheeting, then enclose the edges of the plastic with reflective tape and embed a battery-powered LED. The resulting design appears backlit and hovering in mid-air, with a laser-like textured glow that photographs cannot do... Read more »

Solar TV Remote

Powering a TV remote with the sun means you won’t have to buy batteries every six months to surf from your sofa. Low-voltage devices that use power only occasionally, like remotes, are good candidates for a solar-powered trickle-charge. Here’s how we modded our remote to live off of the sun,... Read more »

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MAKE's Paul Spinrad reports from last night's Pecha Kucha event in San Francisco. Read more »

The littleBits kit is like Lego for basic circuits. Each “bit” is a small circuit board that enables a single electronics component or electronic function, like a potentiometer, light sensor, LED, or motor. The bits snap together magnetically with edge connectors that are color-coded to indicate their general role within... Read more »

The Egg-Bot is an art robot designed by Bruce Shapiro that’s fun to watch as it draws intricate designs on eggs or any other round objects 3cm–10cm in diameter, including ornaments, golf balls, and light bulbs. You design the patterns in the free app Inkscape, and the bot draws them... Read more »

This kit is amazingly cool and easy to use. POV (persistence of vision) displays show words or patterns that seem to float in mid-air; if you’ve ever seen one, you know what a great effect it is. A line of LEDs flashes the Y component of what you’re displaying, and... Read more »

MAKE contributor John Iovine has been designing and improving affordable Geiger counters for decades. After Japan’s nuclear crisis last spring, his company was swamped with orders. Now they’re working on even better designs and DIY kits. This analog counter detects beta radiation above 36 kilo-electron volts (keV) and gamma above 7keV, signaling each... Read more »

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