The Skinny: DIY Thermal Imager, Planetary Map, and Phones

Hello Techs! In this edition of The Skinny we discuss cool new toys, DIY projects, and my lonely childhood.

RC Paper Airplane

It’s getting closer to Christmas and all the cool toys are rolling out or, better yet, flying out.

I remember the countless hours I spent on the playground as a kid making paper airplanes. My childhood self would have been blown away. My childhood self would have been so excited. My childhood self would have immediately shared it with all his imaginary friends. Sad.

Planetary Map

Looking for Uranus? Then you can find it at anytime with Astrarium.


Astrarium can show the angular position of any major planet from the year 1800 to 2050. It’s an Arduino based project and just looks sexy. Even if I didn’t know what it did, I’d probably hang it on a wall. It would have been a great little tool on those hot Georgia nights in high school, looking up at the stars, alone.

DIY Thermal Imager

Hack-a-day recently featured a DIY thermal imager that has me seriously impressed.

Having worked with thermal imagers, I’m impressed with the image that is being rendered with such rudimentary equipment. It’s a little slow, but you’re saving thousands of dollars. Well done sir.

DIY EMF Detector

While we are on the subject of DIY, I remembered seeing this video a couple years back before I even knew what an Arduino microcontroller was.

It has some interesting applications especially in the field of near field detection. I think there are many possibilities with the project. Several ideas come to mind:

  • Attenuation Control
  • Directional Antennas
  • Frequency Response Characteristics

I think there’s a lot to play with here.


Here’s a few more pieces of interest. If you’ve ever looked for ways to get ideas 3D printed, but don’t care to pay for a printer, 3D printing services are getting cheaper. This article shows some cost comparisons of different companies.

Finally, just because I can, PHONES!

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