Archive for: electricity

The Lightning Guitar by ArcAttack

  • August 20, 2010 7:23 am

After seeing ArcAttack perform, I’m literally speechless. Let’s just say their performance is like something you’ve never see before. Before we get deep into it, we’ll start off with simple terms: These dudes play a guitar in which the actual harmonics are created by lightning arcs from two massive Tesla Coils. Yes. The little metal dude standing in between two giant Tesla coils is actually controlling ever bit of the sound from his super geeky guitar. Crazy shiat. Hop inside to get deeper into the madness and to see a few videos of it all in action, starting with their America’s Got Talent audition and ending with a bad ass cover of the Star Wars Imperial March…1,000,000 volts and all…

Watermelon + 10,000 volts = Good day!

  • August 2, 2010 7:08 am

Who doesn’t like geeky, Mythbusters-esque science bright and early on a Monday morning? I can’t think of anyone…can you? On that note, what would you say to injecting a lonely watermelon with over 10,000 volts of vaporizing electricity? “Bring it on!” I say.

…and bring it on they did. This watermelon has been served. Click on past for the video showcasing not one, not two, but five watermelons getting instantly vaporized. It’s all good not-so-clean fun in the name of science….

Save the planet one bike at a time: The USB Bike Generator

  • July 7, 2010 7:05 am


I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “Save the planet one *insert word here* at a time.” It’s a phrase commonly used by those who practice the way of life erring on the side of frugality, in order to preserve as much of this little blue marble that we have left. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. Though often times, being gadget/electronic junkies that we are, energy savings and “earth friendly” things tend to get tossed by the wayside. But there’s a way to make everyone happy — The USB Bike Generator.

The design is simple: A small generator is mounted to a bike and powered by the bike’s wheel. With each tire revolution, a small bit of electricity is created. Hook up a couple of receptacles (in this case 2 USB ports) and you’ve got yourself a small mobile gadget charger. I can’t think of a more useful device to place on your bike. For those who live in big cities where bike travel is more preferred to sitting in traffic in a car, I can see this making a big splash.

The build is easier than you might think. Head on on over to Instructables and give it a read. Your very own USB Bike Generator is this close…

The mother of all chargers — Army issued RAPS allows charging via raw power lines!

  • June 30, 2010 7:47 am

Those in the military already have that rough ‘n tough image about them. Their trained to withstand the toughest conditions with the smallest amount of resources. But in today’s increasingly electronic world, a pack full of gadgets cannot be escaped. So how exactly do you charge all of that mobile electronic gear on the battlefield were the sun, movement, and traditional wall outlets can’t provide any digital relief?

If your battlefield has live power lines, you simply take it! Above you is an image of the RAPS (Remote Auxiliary Power System). It’s evident by the simple shape of this device how it’s used — simply throw it over a power line where the barb pierces the power line’s insulation and the metal design shuttles bajillions of electrons down the wire. At the other end, a DC transformer and insulated adapter ensures all of that raw power is safely converted to something a little more manageable and easily harnessed by smaller electronic as to not fry the hell out of them (or the person standing near). Even cooler however is that the RAPS is supposedly safe to use even in heavy rain. (I’d hate to be the person testing that bullet point…)

It’s beyond cool. Civilians shouldn’t hold their breath for a consumer model anytime soon though. The last thing we need is senseless idiots running around, throwing metallic objects over power lines in efforts to nab a quick recharge.

Hop inside to see the RAPS in action…

Solar powered, clay roof tiles — Make a tree smile today.

  • June 21, 2010 7:33 am

If you’re looking to relieve some of the pressure off your wallet when it comes time to pay those monthly energy bills, what can you do? Turn off the lights, buy more energy efficient appliances, or live off the land in a tend in the woods? All are notable options. Though the last isn’t exactly everyone’s forte.

If none of those strike your fancy, you could always outfit your roof with some of these terracotta roofing tiles complete with built in solar panels. Dubbed the “Tegolasolare“, these clay tiles aim to make your energy bill more manageable and your energy footprint smaller overall.

The tiles themselves measure 46 x 46cm with the actual solar part of the tile clocking in at 29cm x 29cm. But even at that size and considering a roof full of tiles, you’re only looking at 3-5Kw of energy produced each day. In the grander scheme of things, 3-5Kw of “free energy” isn’t going to help you out much, as 3-5Kw is but a small portion of a typical person’s daily usage. But hey, every little bit counts, right?

The calculator of tomorrow, today! The water-powered calculator.

  • June 1, 2010 9:12 am

Batteries really haven’t changed much over the years, only going through a few big changes every few decades. Even still, they’re wholly inefficient and toxic to the planet. But a water powered calculator with some unique new age batteries could go a long way to making this planet happier…

“Powered by water?” — you say. Yes. It’s actually not that complicated. The batteries that power this calculator are simple capsules filled with water and interact with two electrodes, causing a chemical reaction which in turn produces the electrical juice we all crave so desperately.

The best part — when the batteries are dead (all the water evaporates eventually), simply refill with water and viola!

$10.99 and it’s yours. Step inside for the links…

Google Power Meter software and Current Cost hardware tag team the UK.

  • May 27, 2010 12:00 pm

I’m far from what you’d call your typical “tree hugger”. Though I certainly to care about my energy bill and how the army of gadgets I have lays siege to my outlets while I’m away. I currently don’t use any type of monitoring hardware or software. But after seeing the Current Cost + Google Power Meter duo, I’m seriously re-thinking my decision of going it alone. With the Current Cost energy meter in place, I could track my energy usage and post it — In real time! — online with Google Power Meter.

If I lived in the UK that is…

Free hot water power shower? Piezoelectricity says yes.

  • April 27, 2010 7:39 am

Is it really possible to obtain “free energy”. Out entire lives we are taught and witness firsthand that nothing is ever truly free. Someone, something, somewhere is always making up for “free” further on down the line. But a new piezoelectronic shower concept by Sebastian Jansson (Finnish designer), Fernanda PizĂ  (Mexico), Victor Stelmasuk (Brazil) and Natalie Weinmann (Germany) questions the very principles of the science we know today…

The “smart” power strip that tells you how much energy your suckin’ down…

  • April 9, 2010 1:50 pm

As we move more and more into energy awareness and actually caring about all the wattage we’re suckin’ down, sometimes we have to step back and think where to actually start. I mean, how can the average person quickly and easily tell how much energy they are consuming, gadget lovers in particular? Essentially you can’t. It’s more or less a crap shoot.

A new power strip concept by Fujitsu aims to change that. The unique aspect of this power strip is that it will actively (in real-time) measure each outlet/gadget’s power usage and send the information to software on your computer, detailing the dirty deeds. Connecting the power strip to the computer is done via USB.

If/when this “smart strip” comes to market, I don’t necessarily think it will garner a huge following right away. Rather, it will likely take years of other manufacturers implementing similar technology into their products in a sort of “global movement”.

But hey, every little bit counts, right? I’d even wager to say that a strip such as this smart strip is actually pretty sweet, especially for a gadget nerd like me. I’d certainly pick up a couple. Would you?

Hothardware