When a go-kart racer knows the density of dry air entering the engine, he can tune his carburetor's efficiency accordingly and maximize performance. The problem is weather is always changing. To avoid any guesswork, John Cashon built an on-board weather station for go-karts. It monitors three atmospheric parameters (barometric pressure, relative humidity, and temperature), does the required math, and displays the dry air density on a PDA for quick, on-the-fly carburetor adjustments.
Go-kart weather station parts list
Allied Part #
HIH-36010-002 humidity sensor
MPX4115A barometric pressure sensor
Trimming potentiometer 100 kOhm
Voltage regulator +5V
9V battery strap
Additional parts required: PalmOS PDA, OrbForms Designer (OrbWorks Inc.) DAQ-100 data acquisition card (Integrity Instruments), PDA serial cable prototype board, enclosure, 9V battery, various capacitors and resistors.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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