Andy Morris has solved an aggravating problem. You can get a remote control for tower fans, but they’re too noisy for the bedroom. Propeller fans are nice and quiet, but they don’t come with remotes. So Andy devised a propeller fan remote control that does not require line-of-sight, which makes it easier to use in the dark.
The gadget comes with off/on, three fan speeds, and multicolored LEDs to indicate the fan’s speed. As a bonus, it beeps to indicate that the fan got your message.
The design is well thought out and I have no doubt the gadget works as described, but it's a lot of labor to build. There are cheap commercial radio-controlled (300 MHz) appliance switches on the market that would at least turn the fan on and off. There are also 3-speed models using phase angle controllers for ceiling fans. I have one that cost <$20 and works just fine. There's no reason it wouldn't control a table fan just as well. All one would have to do is install it in a suitable box.
I also like to build stuff but generally do so when there is no economical solution already available.
Ever wanted to see light beyond what's detectable by the human eye? You can with DOLPi - a homemade Raspberry Pi-based polarization camera. You can even use it to detect unseen objects like landmines, IEDs, pollutants, and maybe even UFOs.
A Design News contributor takes on the challenge of building an old-fashioned metric clock that uses French Revolutionary time, which divides the day into decimal units, and shows you how to build your own.
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