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Ralph Lorenz

Ralph's Articles

The Amazing Frisbee Black Box or BASIC Stamp Frisbee
February 2004
Make an ultralight, easy-to-assemble, acceleration recorder that you can use to measure the dynamics of small vehicles.

September 2004
Be the envy of your colleagues with this über-nerd coffee mug that generates power from heat using the same energy converters that are used on deep space probes! Equipping a mug with thermoelectric energy converters and heatsinks will allow you to drive a small motor or other electrical device. You can even claim to be environmentally responsible by extracting useful work out of heat that would otherwise just go to waste.

The Solar Alternative
April 2005
A solar cell (sometimes called a photovoltaic cell) is basically a large diode. Just as a photodiode (or even, for that matter, a regular glass-walled diode like a 1N914) will produce a voltage when exposed to light, so will a solar cell.