Small Word Clock

This word clock has a lot of small steps that add up to a moderately difficult build. You’ll be building three circuit boards, possibly making (or modifying) a frame, soldering SMD parts and playing around with finicky die-cut stickers. However, the end result can be very satisfying. If you’re concerned... Read more »

Covert Listening Book

Connect a shirt pocket “amplified listener” hearing aid with an in-car FM transmitter, and you’ve got a wireless bug. Tuck them inside a hollowed-out book with the mic concealed by the dust cover, and you’ve got a covert listening device that you can leave lying around or on a shelf... Read more »

Lumia Lunchbox Laser

Back in the 1970s, my friend Wayne Gillis and I used to do light shows at science fiction conventions. We had the usual panoply of overhead, slide, and custom-made projectors, and a single, very expensive, helium-neon laser from Edmund Scientific. Calling ourselves Light Opera, and later, Illuminatus, we performed at... Read more »

Bottle Radio

Crystal radio technology has been around for many years. This “bottle radio” take on a crystal radio requires no power source, operates on the power from radio waves, and receives signal from a long wire antenna. As radio stations slowly move away from the AM band, the “window of opportunity”... Read more »

Infrared String Bass

In this project we’re going to take inspiration from Len Keeler’s original Elastic String Bass. We’ll pick it up (no pun intended) and run with it, adding multiple strings for different tonal qualities, etch our own printed circuit board (PCB), and of course, demonstrate the instrument. First we will breadboard... Read more »