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Ron Newton

Ron's Articles

Build a Simple Inexpensive Ballistic Chronograph
March 2017
This ballistic chronograph can be used to measure all kinds of fun things like the speed of a pea shot from a straw, the muzzle velocity of a Nerf® gun, or maybe even the speed of a Hot Wheels® car in mid-jump!

GPS Unit for Tracking Coffee
November 2015
In this day and age of electronics, you can practically track everything. So, why not apply that to the quality of the coffee sitting in the pot?

Build a Wireless Freezer Alarm
June 2015
With the cost of food constantly rising, you don’t want to risk losing anything to an undetected malfunction. Keep this alarm handy to alert you if your freezer goes on the fritz.

No-Nonsense Homebrew Annunciator
February 2015
This handy little circuit for “announcing” news or messages is an ideal project for beginners since it’s all through-hole parts.

Make These Unique Xmas Earrings
December 2014
If an LED Christmas tree is simply not enough bling this year, then you’ll want to whip up a bunch of these sparkly earring sets to make things even more festive. Plus, they make great gifts.

Build the 3D Christmas LED Tree
December 2014
Brighten things up this holiday season with your own home-built LED tree.

Three-Axis Hockey Puck Accelerometer Data Logger
November 2014
Accelerometers can be used in many applications, and this unique device is no exception — especially when it’s combined with our poor man’s seismometer from a previous issue.

Build an Inexpensive 12 volt/ 12 amp Modern Digital Solar Charge Controller
March 2014
This reader-requested solar controller for charging 12 volt lead-acid batteries is very simple to build and will help keep your batteries in tip-topped off shape.

Build the Wireless Super Detector
October 2013
This project started out with a singular focus and grew into a multi-purpose circuit with all kinds of sensors for detection and alarm applications.

Build An Emergency Radiation Monitor Alarm
July 2013
This easy-to-build device makes a perfect addition to an emergency preparedness kit.

A Recording Radiation Counter
March 2013
Are you exposed? Build this unit to detect and display levels of radiation, plus you can record months of data to keep track of just how toxic areas may be or become.

King Tut’s Pyramid Gravimeter
January 2013
Use this novel assembly to determine the gravity of most any situation.

Build the Poor Man’s Seismograph
May 2012
A PIC-based, DIY seismograph that uses old school pendulum technology.

Build a Miniature Color Organ
August 2011
Create your own light show with colored LEDs that flash to the beat of your favorite music.

Build a Sorting Counter
July 2011
This simple project features a tally mode and a differential mode so you can count on it for a variety of uses.

Wizard Dueling Wands
December 2010
Your kids will think you’re a wiz when they’re able to recreate their own Deathly Hallows with these unique dueling wands.

Is Your Garage Door Open?
November 2010
You’ll never have to wonder again with this handy device.

Build the Shazam!!
October 2010
Light up the eyes of trick-or-treaters this year with lightning bolts and thunder claps which are hidden within a photo frame.

Wireless Trailer Taillights
July 2010
Build a set of wireless taillights that you can use on any trailer.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll Vibration Monitor
June 2010
There's a whole lotta shaking goin' on, and now you can keep track of it.

Build This Indoor Shooting Range
May 2010
Now you can do target practice in the privacy of your home using photon bullets with your own gun.

The ReFUSEable Box
September 2009
This project was built for field troubleshooting and replaces blown fuses until the problem is solved. By dialing in the amperage, you can preset the drop-out point in the place of a fuse (200 mA – 5 amps). It is also known as a programmable relay. It displays the active AC or DC amperage being drawn when in the circuit.

THE ELECTRONIC SNIFFER
September 2004
My wife and I were taking our morning constitutional walk up the hill when I noticed the smell. The wind was from the south. “Do you smell that?” “What?” she said, “I don’t smell anything.” “Our neighbor must be gluing some PVC pipe or fiberglassing something.” I didn’t think much more about it, but the smell continued off and on for the next couple of weeks...

The Digital Energy Saver
October 2004
One of the most common problems I encounter is leaving my soldering iron on, only to discover days later that I have ruined a good tip and wasted energy. I have a mechanical timer in my machine shop for a small air compressor.

Don’t Blow A Fuse!
August 2006
As a retired clinical chemist, bio-engineer with a PhD in experience, one of privileges I have is being sent all over the world with expenses paid. I’m a teaching consultant for both government and non-government organizations, but I often act as a repair technician. (Tough job, but someone has to do it!) If you fix it, you are a hero. If you don’t, no one seems to care as no one else has been able to fix it either. It’s a win-win situation. And you meet a great number of nice people...

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