Blinking Blue- Powering a 3.7 volt LED from a 2.4 volt coin cell with a $0.02 charge pump

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Everyone loves blue LEDs and everyone loves coin cell batteries, but if you want to power a blue LED from a coin cell you will need some help. Here is a super-cheap and easy way add a to boost your LED voltage with only an additional capacitor & diode, and a little software.

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Capacitive Coupling Casestudy: Programming The Public Radio without removing it from its sealed shipping box

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You’ve probably heard about the refreshingly simple Public Radio (TPR). There is no tuning knob needed since your TPR magically knows your favorite station straight out of the box.

Like most magic, this illusion of simplicity involves a lot of work behind the scenes. Each TPR has to be custom programmed by hand, assembled, and then lovingly packed before being shipped to your door. If only there was a way to program an assembled TPR without opening the sealed box…

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How to keep comments relevant on your WordPress.com site

tldr; If you publish articles, you should moderate all comments and only publicly post ones that expand the info in the associated article. If you use wordpress.com, here is how you can set this up in less than 5 minutes using settings and a bit of CSS.

TFW the article is choc-full of high-density information, but the comments are page after page of “This is great!” and “What changes would I need to get this working on my my 1978 Chevy Tahoe with the special Darfur 18V option?” and “I English Not how make do it?“. The few useful comments are lost in the noise.

Don’t let this happen to your articles. Please. Here’s how to chaff-proof your wordpress.com site in 5 minutes…

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The Most Ironic Chinese Counterfeit Fail Ever

What do you do when you see a Chinese seller pop-up on Amazon selling a product for less than it costs just to make it? You order one and wait to see what comes!

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Can you figure out how anyone could sell and ship a non-copyable product for less than the manufactured cost? Oh, the sublime irony of what actually showed up!…

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A Quick Test for Crappy WS2812B Neopixels

TLDR; If you see ink flooding around the die when you touch a Sharpie to the face of a Neopixel, you should probably throw away the batch. Disturbing video example after the jump. 

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I recently found a huge lot of WS2812B Neopixels on Alibaba for $3/meter, which is about 1/2 the going rate in China and about 1/8th the price for similarly spec’ed strips on Adafruit. So I bought a lot (both meanings) of them. A NeoPixel is a NeoPixel, right? How bad could these NeoPixels be? Very bad, it turns out…

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