2020-02-28 (F) Weekly Summary

When some folks talk about neural nets on cell phones, they are talking about security risks or paranoia. In this case, the NN is processing its camera data to turn a microscope feed into crisp images. They built off existing Android software and created a valuable piece of lab-ready equipment.

The electric knife group discussed different conductive materials. The last knives used steel cable as conductors, which functioned, and they were durable but difficult to attach to a rubber blade. My approach was aluminum tape, which may not be the best choice since it is not flexible. When I bent the knife, the tape remained intact, but it wrinkled when released. Even if we severe the tape a short distance, the electricity will jump the gap.
Aluminum tape across the blade

As a group spread across the country, we needed to standardize on parts as soon as possible, and that meant learning what commercial products used so we could emulate, salvage, or reuse everything at our disposal. I picked an inexpensive yet intimidating flashlight and stripped it down to parts, and made a picture with all the parts clearly labeled. Doing this doesn't qualify as a proper teardown, but they are simple devices.
Parts of an inexpensive stun gun

Now that I had the essential parts, I started reassembling them for our purposes. The first contraption was a section of 3/4" PVC with end caps and a screw sticking out of one end. I planned to attach the rubber blade there in the future. There was no trouble getting the electrical parts working together.
PVC handle with button and high voltage parts

I played around with the spark generator and took a few interesting pictures while I tested the usability of the handle. The switch was cumbersome, and the whole thing was massive. Luckily, this was an early revision. Playing around with a portable spark generator and camera was fun.
Making a spark

Adding a rubber blade to the business end of a lag screw was probably a recipe for injury, so I experimented with the idea of using the same section of PVC for the handle and blade. I had a bent PVC scrap, and I stuffed it with a battery, high voltage generator, and a low-profile switch. I wouldn't call this much of a knife, but it was a convincing electric baton.
Stun baton

The rest of the summary posts have been arranged by date.
First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3
Completed projects from year 4
Completed projects from year 5
Completed projects from year 6

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