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Issue 12,  October 2010- Page 1                                                                                                      Previous Issues     
  

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

Musical Chairs

Wily was reading one of his science magazines when he got a call from a company who puts together various interactive systems for museums around the country.  They were given the challenge by their client to design a musical chair game for small children at a museum in a big city.

They experimented with various pressure switches and strain gages to detect when a child was sitting in the chair but they couldnít seem to find anything that worked consistently.  Could Wily help?   Wily listened to the companies requirements and thought that a capacitance method would work.  After gathering some more information he agreed to take on the project

The company already had the computerized system all designed and tested.  They only needed Wilyís help with the childís fanny detection. The sensor needed to detect when small children where seated in small wood chairs......

                                                                       con't page 7

Wily Widget,
the Lone Inventor
 with Gadget & Gizmo

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW is a....Hot Car Cooler
It has been hot this summer.  The wife and I are planning to move to Texas. During the move we will have to do a lot of driving with my two Beagles in the back seat of my van.  There will be times when we will have to leave the dogs in the car for perhaps 30 minutes at a time.  But, how do I keep them cool, when the car is baking in the sun?....
                                                                                                                                                     story con't on page 6
New Products 2009
New product announcements are made nearly every day.  I subscribe to many trade journals and each is filled with hundreds of flashy advertisements.  But, only a few of those product ads catch my eye.  Since Iím a circuit designer, I especially like those components that trigger many new application ideas in my mind.  Sometimes it is the smallest products that are the most useful.  I often discovered new products in surplus electronic catalogs.  The surplus companies often buy up stock that came from companies that went out of business.  Bad marketing or bad management may have killed a perfectly good product idea.  Their loss can be your gain if you can spot the bargain.                               
Low Power AM Transmitter
By: David Johnson
                                                                                                            
A while back, I got an email from someone who drove around in a restored 1960s car.  He wanted to be able to leave the old carís original AM radio intact but he wanted to play music from his Ipod MP3 player through the carís radio.....

   story con't on page 4

        Wrong Capacitor Selection
I received a frantic call from a company who could not figure out why one of their products was not working properly.  The circuit was a fairly simple motor controller which pulsed a motor in either a clockwise or a counterclockwise direction.  The motor movement opened and closed a small fluid valve, which was part of complex industrial system.....

 story con't on page 3

Solar Powered Car Vent
The other day, I saw an ad for a solar powered vent for my car.  The device was advertised to help keep the inside of a car cooler by pushing out the hot stale air and drawing in cooler air through the carís own air vents.  I bought one of these devices to see if it might work.  What a joke.  This thing just does not move enough air. When placed out in the sun, I could almost feel a bit of wind coming from it. But, in theory, the concept may have some validity....

story con't on page 5    


October 2010     Issue 12

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


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