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Project video at… For my son’s fourth birthday, we decided on a fire truck theme. We started the party with a tour of a fire station and then went back to the house for a firefighters’ obstacle course and the creation of several Duplo fire trucks (and of course,... Read more »

Automatic Garage Door Opener

This project combines a number of unrelated technologies to provide a small convenience. The essence of this project is to remotely actuate a switch connected to the garage door opener when a GPS-enabled smartphone enters a pre-defined geographical trigger zone. In addition to the motorized garage door opener, the following... Read more »

Digital TV Coat-Hanger Antenna

Television antennas are comprised of a series of metal rods cut to exact lengths and positioned so they receive a particular television frequency. The following design was invented in the 1960s by an engineer named Doyt Hoverman. It is particularly sensitive in the UHF frequency range, the same range used... Read more »

Texting Trapper Saved by a Faraday Cage


This is one of my favorite stories of an eleventh-hour save of a Maker Faire project. Makers Sophi Kravitz and Ollie Tanner built an 8′ bar graph that indicates the signal strength of nearby cell phones. It worked great at home, but not so much at the San Mateo Fairground:... Read more »


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