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MAKE Newsletter

September 9, 2010

It's Citizen Science month at Make: Online! We're going to have some guest authors from several DIY science groups onboard and will be posting new science content and projects on the site. Stay tuned! We hope you had a fantastic summer and are ready to sail into an awesome fall. If you're having a hard time letting go of the fun in the sun, check out our MAKEcation coverage, in case you missed anything. — Gareth


CNC Bacteria Swarm Builds Tiny Pyramid

Even Better Fallout 3 Replica Weapons

Gaga's "Bad Romance" on Korg Synths

Under $300 Homemade Laminar Water Jet

Custom-Fit Earbud Headphones


In this Make: Project and video, our chief audio geek, Collin Cunningham, shows you how relatively easy it is to make a set of custom-fit molded earbud headphones using a special putty (Radians custom-fitted earplug kit) and the in-ear headphones of your choice. What you end up with may look like a couple of melted Easter Peeps, but you'll love the hi-fidelity, isolating sound you'll get as a result.

Make: Projects Electronics Area


Have you had a chance to check out our new projects library Make: Projects yet? We now have hundreds of projects, primers, and background pages on many different areas of making. The Electronics area , for instance, has 23 sub-topics so far and dozens of projects, covering such things as Arduino, circuits, ham radio, motors, and microcontrollers. And being a wiki, we need your help to build the site up and make it great. Got an expertise? A pet project? Come share what you know!

Technojunk Teardown Challenge

makecation_challenge185.jpgAs the last of our third-quarter MAKEcation series, we're running a Family Challenge. The contest is simple:

  • Gather the family 'round the technojunk, take something apart.
  • Put on your deerstalker cap (propeller beanie?), grab a magnifying glass, and catalog all of the parts.
  • Document the process and the parts you find. Take photos.
  • Brainstorm some cool stuff you can make with what you find.
  • Enter your docs and be eligible to win awesome prizes from Maker Shed!


Prizes, provided by Maker Shed, include:

Grand Prize (1):  Make: Electronics Toolkit
Second Prize (1):  Make: Circuit Breaker Leatherman tool (ES4)
Third Prize (1): 54-Piece Bit Driver Kit

See the announcement post and contest rules for more details.

Do-It-Yourself Lexicon


Explore the world of DIY through its tech terms, jargon, and slang. If you have any words you want to share, send them to me.  —Gareth

Collet — A type of "chuck" (clamp used to hold an object) that forms a collar around an object (such as a bit) and holds it in place when clamping pressure is applied. The tapered collar that holds Dremel bits in place is an example of a collet.

CRI (Color Rendering Index) — A quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reproduce the colors of various objects faithfully in comparison with an ideal or natural light source (Wikipedia). High values of CRI are desirable in situations, such as photography, where natural light reproduction is desired.

Manhattan-style Construction — A style of "ugly construction" circuit design, increasingly popular in hobby radio, which uses little cut-out copper pads glued to a ground plane.

OpenCV (Open Computer Vision) — An open-source, cross-platform computer vision library, focused on real-time image processing, originally developed by Intel.

OSM (OpenStreetMap) — A collaborative mapping project, created by Steve Coast, to assemble a free, editable, map of the world. More info here.

Upset Plastic — The melted plastic fasteners found in a lot of consumer electronics.