Torch Grid

A centrally-controlled grid of wind-sensitive tea candles.

Background

I wanted to make a light-art piece for my barren walls at home to impress unsuspecting female co-workers who happened to stop by.

What it does

It generally looks like a grid of typical electronic tea candles, until you induce a wind current by blowing across the grid. The wind makes the candles wig out in a semi-natural manner.

What it’s made of

Theory of operation

I pulled the main workings from a brilliant Cornell ECE project created by Philip Ching. I added a 16-bit PWM matrix driver to the equation so the main loop can be reasonably responsive, and wiring becomes far easier. PIC32s with a crypto engine contain a very cool hardware (True and Pseudo) Random Number Generator, “TRNG” and “PRNG” respectively which we use to do flickery for all torches in the grid.

Suggested reading: 

Conclusion

Fireplace

A heating system to keep me toasty in my slumber.

Background

I live in San Francisco. Naturally, the 4000W in-wall heater in my bedroom is placed such that I can’t use it. Also I have what used to be a fireplace in there.

So I stuffed an in-wall heater into the fireplace hole.

What it’s made of

What would be nice to have

What it does

I set the thermostat to a temperature and the heater maintains it during the frigid San Francisco summer.

Conclusion