Systm #29: Viewer Questions, Comments and the great Lemon Battery Part Deux.

Posted in Mobile, Podcasts, Science on November 16, 2008

We've been stockpiling your comments and questions for a couple months... Alternative Hydrogen Generation. Potato Guns. You need a load to measure current. Building a Radar Jammer...

Lemon Batteries are Fickle:

Seriously. They are. Try building one strong enough to power a USB device.

You Need A Load To Measure Current

Clay... Robert... Brian... Robert... and quite a few other folks pointed out that the reason we had no current (ie Amperage) reading on the Great Organic Lemon Battery was our lack of having a load -ie some kind of resistance- attached to the battery.

We suck.

Alternative Hydrogen Generation:

We get a lot of emails about alternative ways to produce Hydrogen to power homes and vehicles. Please... send us info on products we can buy our build! We're curious, too, tho we want to make sure we don't turn our workshop into a mini-Hindenburg.

Radar Jamming:

"I would be really interested in an episode of radar jamming. Specifically police radar jamming." There's just one problem, (name withheld), our deep mistrust of prison, combined with it being a federal felony to possess, operate or sell a radar jammer in the US. And passive jammers just don't work, according to the experts.

Radar Detector Recco, Then?

Sure. Radar Roy at is pretty awesome for advice on which radar detector to buy.

Obey The Laws (of Power): Yes, We Over Simplified:

Dave wanted to help folks better understand calculating Volts, Amps, Watts and Ohms. We probably over-simplified. And, judging by the number of EE majors that wrote in, not to mention the furor in the forums, we sullied the whole concept. We apologize, but we think we got the basics across...

Thanks for the Motion Detecting Silly String!:

Props to Joey for that one! We're sad to announce he's moving on from Systm to try out some non-tech programming for a while.

MAME Questions:

Paul, a PDF file of the plans for our MAME cabinet are in the show notes for Episode 24 and Episode 25 You should definitely build one!

We're sure you can produce a version of linux that would automatically load and launch MAME and the GUI, Todd, that's pretty much what Brendan did in Windows! And, yes, you definately want it to power into the MAME GUI whenever you power up the cabinet.

Check out Lincade, a Linux distro being developed for MAME cabinets. Thanks Erik!

Our favorite arcade games back in the day, Adam? Sure, we'll tell ya!

ROV Group:

Interested in an ROV Group, Dave, after building your underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle? Check out the RobotROV Yahoo group! Thanks for the heads up, Rob!

Biodiesel vs. Food:

"Thanks for the Biodiesel episode. What concerns me is the lack of information on what impacts Biofuels will have on food production both in the United States and in 3rd world nations throughout the world." Great question, Don, but a little bit beyond our scope... we're prefer it -didn't- impact food production, or drive prices for food up. I'd check in with the National Biodiesel Board and see what they have to say.

120V Over Ethernet:

"You guys seem to enjoy playing with hefty amounts of voltage and discussing what damage they can do to the human body, but I'm curious to see just how much damage they can do to electronics. Check out the Etherkiller page fo find out what happens when your run 120V wall power thru an assortment of cables. Would be a pretty flashy way to kill a computer dead and proper." Logan, Patrick's wife is very very unhappy with you: Patrick and David love this site, and Patrick's trying to figure out which cable to use on a particular notebook...

UPS That Shuts Down Peripherals:

Our saving power episode? Mike says we should check out APC's new UPS, the Back-UPS ES 750 that automatically shuts off the power to peripherals if the computer goes in standby mode. Pretty cool idea, and at $99, pretty affordable. Thanks for the link to the ComputeWorld article on the ES 750.

Potato Guns:

"I've been wondering if you guys are considering doing an episode on potato guns. While it may seem a little to simple for you, I think you could take it to the next level, with maybe silencers, propane and actually a right and proper barrel length to chamber size." We love your confidence in us, Christopher, we love spud guns, and the idea of a propane fueled potato gun sounds amazing. We just need to take a road trip to another state, 'cause potato guns are highly illegal in California... or so we've been told. It might be only for residents under 16.

AVR 2313 Help:

Matt wants help with the programming the AVR 2313 Dave talked about in the AVR101 and Digg Button episodes for a school project. We'd start by asking polite questions on some of the AVR boards out on the 'net. You might also consider building an AVR 2313 project that already has its code sorted, like the Digg Button. The folks at Adafruit Industries have Digg button kits ready for you to build. It can help to follow a well documented project before you design one from scratch.

iPod Nano Baby Holder:

"As a fellow father of an infant (4 weeks old now) can you help me figure out a good way to mount a new iPod Nano onto a hat or something so I can watch Systm videos and hold a bottle at the same time? I don't think he likes it much when I rest the thing on his chest and get his hands all tangled up in the headphone wires." Adam, you need duct tape. ... tho a clip on baseball cap visor mount for an iPod Nano is tempting!

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Tags: Technologies, Hardware, USB, ipod, Systm, Revision3, Energy, MAME, Battery