Atmel microcontroler kits for Linux 
Friday, November 24, 2006, 11:10 PM - Electronics
Tuxgraphics.org distributes Atmel microcontroler kits with Linux software tools.

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Cheap waterproof digital video camera with recorder  
Friday, November 24, 2006, 02:49 PM - Electronics
My old buddy and Techno Toy Enthusiast Steve Crandall pointed me to this nice and cheap waterproof "action" camera from Oregon Scientific. For 130 bucks, it can record VGA-resolution video on a 2GB SD card. The camera is designed to be mounted on a helmet, but it could very well be mounted in a miniature flying contraption.

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IMU for 100 bucks 
Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 12:02 AM - Electronics
Sparkfun has a 5 degree of freedom Inertial Measurement Unit for a little over $110. It does Roll, Pitch, X, Y, and Z, not Yaw. Should be easy to build a UAV auto-pilot with one of these.

Perhaps one could add an altimeter based on this barometric pressure sensor, with a claimed 9cm resolution. One could also include a GPS using one of those modules.

Sparkfun has tons of cool sensors, electronic components, microcontrolers, and development kits for robotics and such.
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high-power laser from a DVD burner 
Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 11:42 PM - Electronics
Fun with Lasers is a nice page about how to get the high-power laser diode from a DVD burner. The power is roughly 200mW. Since a DVD burner is roughly $35, that's a whole lot cheaper than the $200/150mW Pulsar laser from Wicked Lasers.

A 200mW laser can burn through plastic. I wonder if this could be used to build a cheap CNC Laser machine to cut Depron.....
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