Public Lab Research note

Recap on a Thermal Flashlight Workshop from 12/18/2011

by rjstatic | | 3,820 views | 1 comments |

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On Sunday December 18, 2011, three eager workshop attendees and one workshop sansei (Jeffrey Warren) created 3 Thermal Flashlights based on the circuit design "Circuit diagram for simple thermal flashlight", designed by the sensei himself.

After about two hours of fiddling with capacitors, resistors, bread boards, LEDs, Arduinos, batteries, and various wires, we had three new prototypes up and running. To protect our Thermal Flashlights and help prevent the LED from being exposed directly to the camera (causes streaks of light when using a program like Glow Doodle to capture exposures), we carved out holes in our VHS cassette cases and placed our Thermal Flashlights inside of the casing.

After pointing our Thermal Flashlight at a few objects to confirm that the units were working, we decided to modify the default temperature range so we could take them outside in the 25 °F weather. I was impressed at how well the thermal flashlights worked outside in the cold. While the photo gives you a general idea of the temperatures the thermal flashlight was showing us, I don't think the photo really does the thermal flashlight the justice it deserves.


Thanks from the "sensei" :-)

As i mentioned in my post, i just redrew the diagram (with some minor changes) from one posted by "ad":

I couldn't figure out how she made hers or how to edit it, so I used Frizting to redraw it and posted the design files in my post. (they're listed at the bottom)

It'd be nice to be able to track revisions of a design (and associated files) more explicitly, (see some old ideas we had for this here: but it's kind of a tough problem to tackle. Would we ask each person to enter a series of links to referenced work, when they post? Maybe we could have the posting form suggest similar recent posts, based on keywords or tags?

In some ways we're going to have to put in extra effort to replicate some of the things software collaborators get "for free", i.e. every piece of code contributed has someone's name attached to it. But as long as we keep it easy to do, it'll be nice to see how many people come together around a given project.

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