Old Timey Photos with Glow-in-the-Dark Paint

Two days ago, I had this idea to make a photograph using glow-in-the-dark (GITD) paint. And since the glow fades relatively quickly, one would end up with an analogue SnapChat, or a Polaroid Fade-to-Black film. As it turns out, I have a can of Krylon Glowz paint that I had bought on a whim. I… Continue reading Old Timey Photos with Glow-in-the-Dark Paint

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The Great iPhone 6 Rollback

I followed up The Great MacBook Air Revival of the Summer of 2018 with an even more spectacular Great iPhone 6 Rollback Experiment. This was prompted by the announcement of the iPhone XS - in particular, that part where they announced the price of the new phone. I want to move back to the iOS… Continue reading The Great iPhone 6 Rollback

Equatorial Platform for Planetary Scope

The planetary scope has fast become my favorite scope to use, not least because this summer boasted, on some nights, up to 4 easily visible planets (Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars). Coupled with the DSCs, it was easy to find the planets at 133x, and bumping up to 240x when I felt like it. However, it… Continue reading Equatorial Platform for Planetary Scope

Digital Setting Circles Part 2 – Dual Encoder System

I had previously posted a blog on the Digital Setting Circle (DSC) I had built for my planetary scope. https://youtu.be/AwO1HkT6ov4 As I mentioned then, there is a lag in the altitude axis because of the averaging/smoothing algorithm needed to prevent the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU, i.e. accelerometer/gyro) from erroneously updating the pointing direction due to… Continue reading Digital Setting Circles Part 2 – Dual Encoder System

Remote-Controlled First-Person Driving

Years ago, I discovered Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System, which cost a whopping 300 bucks (and this was 20 years ago). It was an object of desire, especially after I read about the Exploration Mars expansion kit. Part of the charm of the kit is that it gives the option of building a somewhat functional… Continue reading Remote-Controlled First-Person Driving

Fixing a Broken Scale

A few years back, when i was going through a health-conscious phase, I bought a fancy Bosch scale (PPW3120/01) that could not only give you your weight, but also, by taking parameters like gender, height, and age, give you an estimate of your fat content. I liked it quite a bit, and despite costing more… Continue reading Fixing a Broken Scale

Adventures with the DIY Spectroscope

I've been playing with the spectroscope I built, and recently calibrated.  The next step is to figure out the response of the cameras. To do that, one simply compares the spectra we obtained against one that is professionally acquired. The absorption spikes have to be removed, and the spectrum smoothed. I did this for ASI224MC… Continue reading Adventures with the DIY Spectroscope

Stellar Spectroscopy

Unlike many of my fellow astronomers in Singapore, I don't have great interest in astrophotography. I've enjoyed astronomy in less conventional ways, such as video astronomy (which was how I got started) and building telescopes. One thing that I recently got interested in is stellar spectroscopy. Thus began this little project to decipher to composition… Continue reading Stellar Spectroscopy

Quick Note: 2012 MacBook Air Given New Lease of Life

I got a battery for my old MacBook Air for 60 bucks, and just installed it yesterday. In addition, I proceeded to delete some of the software that I no longer need on this computer, and now it has really been given a new lease of life! After being unplugged for 20 minutes, I still… Continue reading Quick Note: 2012 MacBook Air Given New Lease of Life

LEGO PegBoard!

Here at The Amateur Engineer world headquarters, we are in the business of sharing ideas to teach people how to hack and tinker. Naturally, as any good teacher would tell you, this work starts at home, and the Little Humans have to be inculcated with Engineering Values (whatever those are!). Recently, I brought my older… Continue reading LEGO PegBoard!