Elizabeth: When I was in grammar school, toothpicks had not yet been invented, but one of our teachers suggested that us boys build an American settler house. So, after school we went into the woods, chopped down some trees w/ our fathers' axes, and built a house. It was so well designed that the principal of the school moved his family into it!
what a lovely rainbow of responses to this application of excess from the cutesy to the crotchety. There are a galaxy of ways to build a jack in the box.
I had a comparable project when I started with an outdoor solar powered water pump that kept burning out because it was allowed to run dry.
By the time I'd come up with a circuit to detect water and protect the pump in the event of dry conditions, I had a 10 Ahr 6V lantern battery involved with all the overhead of weatherproofing that came with.
The final analysis was I really needed a thermal protection circuit on a 6Volt 80 mA, 1 foot lift 15 gal./hour submersible pump. Problem there was its operating temp. bordered on the seize temp.
Mind you, an $18 pump.
We bought more pumps and tried to pay closer attention to the water level.
Our 18 month-old great grandson came home from the office the other day, announcing that NASA had chosen him to write the code for the main booster ignition system for the new HEAVY-LIFT rocket which is going to propel some Argonauts to a distant galaxy. The chief software engineer at NASA said that our boy would have complete control over the project, and that he could choose any "efficient language" to program the system.
So!, being the smartie pants that he is, he's decided that he will program the code in ARAMAIC, which is a new language that he's been working on for about 3 weeks already. Before leaving his high chair after his mother gave him his afternoon bottle, he said that he would be retiring to his lab to finish work on the compiler. He expects ANSI to give it a final approval in about a week, at which time it will have received the formal certification, so it will be qualified under NASA administrative rules.
These two mailboxes are definitely neat! But why in the world waste time and effort using an Ardunio module to control them? A dual comparator chip and two transistors could simply duplicate the functions described, and do it with a lot less standby power consumption. Beside that, it would be a far more educational exercise.
Isn't that the truth, Mydesign?? I remember when my school project was to build an American settler house with toothpicks! We have come such a looooonnnng way from that. It's amazing how tech savvy kids are today. Sometimes a bit frightening, even!
These are great! And certainly more high tech than anything I ever did for Valentine's Day when I was a kid. What a creative and a wonderful way to teach your children about gadget-building while providing enjoyment at the same time.
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