Common halogen worklights are a good source of cheap lighting. I've been using them for some time for general work, photo and video lighting with daylight globes. They work well but they use a lot of power, get very hot and the globes don't have a great lifespan.
I've converted this one to accept a bayonet mount compact fluorescent. The 20w cool white globe that's installed still emits impressive light while running cooler and more efficiently.
I built this aquaponics system a year ago to grow fresh leafy veggies for the household. It consists of a 700 litre fibreglass pond inhabited by koi with two 50 litre gravel filled grow beds suspended above. If you've never encountered aquaponics before, it's a combination of aquaculture (fish keeping) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil). The water from the fish tank is pumped into the grow beds where the plants consume the nutrients. This removes waste from the water, cleaning it for the fish.
I was given this faulty Acer AL1913 LCD monitor a while back but was unable to repair it. The backlight was still functional but the LCD panel wouldn't display anything. Not wanting to throw it out I thought if I could manually switch the backlight on it could be converted to a decent lightbox.
This modification involves stripping the monitor down to the backlight and the inverter. This inverter takes the 16v DC coming from a powerpack and converts it to the AC supply required by the monitors fluorescent backlight.
I enjoy bringing out the old Atari 2600 for some classic Pacman or Missile Command but I can't play my copy of Breakout without a paddle controller. To solve this horrible dilemma I thought would be fun to make one since Atari hardware can be a bit difficult and expensive to get your hands on in Australia. Considering the circuitry is so basic, why build just a paddle when I can integrate multiple controllers into an epic combo. This design combines the joystick, paddle and keypad controllers into a single compact unit.
The controller consists of two sections. A combined joystick / paddle controller and a keypad. The former has a permanently attached cable as it's always used and the keypad portion has a removable cable. This controller works on the Atari Flashback as well. Take a look at this short video I made of the build process.
This generator converts the heat produced by the lamps flame into a small amount of electricity. I've been experimenting with generating electricity using various methods and wanted to play around with thermoelectric devices. A few Thermoelectric Coolers (TEC) have been collecting dust in my part drawers and it's time to put one to use.
Thermoelectric coolers operate by the peltier effect. When power is applied, one side gets hot and the other cold. This also works in reverse. If you heat the hot side while keeping the other side as cool as possible, electricity is produced. This TEC is rated at 12v DC 60W but they're not very efficient when used to generate power however you can still make enough juice to run small items.