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Issue 17,  May 2011- Page 1                                                                                                      Previous Issues     
  

Let's drop in on Wily and look over his shoulder at his latest project....

Hidden Panic Switch

Wily was eating lunch when he got a call from an alarm company.  They were installing more and more home alarm systems. Business was good.  But, a customer of theirs had an unusual request.  The homeowner wanted an invisible panic button. 

The alarm company owner described the device as an electronic switch which would be positioned behind a wall and activated when an adult human hand was pressed against the wall at that position.  Several such switches would be installed at key locations around the house.  The caller wanted to know if Wily could design something like that for them. 

Wily had some ideas how he might do this so he agreed to take on the project.....

con't page 7

Wily Widget,
the Lone Inventor
 with Gadget & Gizmo

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW is a....Garage Door Closer
Have you ever had this happen to you?  You open your garage door late in the afternoon.  Perhaps you are working on the front lawn or getting something out of the trunk of your car.  Then, the phone rings....
story con't on page 6
 
Solar Alkaline Battery Charger
By: David Johnson
                                                                                                            
I received an email the other day from a guy who was tired of replacing alkaline batteries every 2 months in his wireless weather station.  He wanted some way to draw energy from the sun, so he could keep the station running for a much longer time before the batteries had to be replaced....

   story con't on page 4

CFL Lamps with Day Night Switch      
I received an email from a man with a classic problem.  The guy indicated that he could not seem to get compact fluorescent lamps to last more than a few weeks in an outside porch light.  He wondered if I had a solution.  I asked a simple question.  Did the porch light have a day/night switch?  The answer was yes, it did.  Bingo! I told him that standard day/night switches will quickly kill standard CFL lamps.  The killer is the nature of the conventional day/night switches....

 story con't on page 3

Bad Chinese Steel Products

I was shopping at a local home improvement store a while back.  I was in the hardware aisle when I eavesdropped on a heated conversation between two men.  Each was a general building contractor and had their company’s name on their individual t-shirts. They were discussing the decline of the quality of the hardware in the store.  They were especially angry at the very poor products made of steel.  They said that the store was gradually replacing American made steel products with cheaper ones from China.....


story con't on page 5    

Solar Powered Laptop Computer
 

A while back I got an email from a writer who likes to work most of the day out in a large shed, some distance from his house.  According to the email, the shed has no power and the distance is so great that the guy said that running a long extension cord all the way out there was impractical.  So, the guy wanted to know what it would take to power his laptop computer and a small fluorescent lamp for 8 hours each day using solar power....

story con't on page 2 


May 2011     Issue 17

Page 1 Back
Envelope
Circuit
Diagnosis
Experimenter's
Corner
Good Idea
gone Badly
New Products Rants &
Raves
What the World
needs Now
Wily Widget


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