Category Archives: DIY

Projects, tips, tricks, and inspiration for the Do It Yourself scientist.

Bending Beta Particles with Magnets

By George Dowell There are many different types of atomic and nuclear radiation. “Atomic” refers to the atom as a whole, but the commonly accepted definition of atomic reactions are those that originate in the electron shell area of the atom. “Nuclear” on the other hand is specific to the nucleus of an atom. Some radiation consists of particles of matter, betas and … Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, DIY, Magnetism, Nuclear, Physics | Leave a comment

“Earthrise” from the Moon, Animated

Another iconic (literally) moment was the capture of this photo, which came to define an entire new–there’s just no other way to say it–worldview. Continue reading…

Posted in Astronomy, DIY, General Interest, History of Science, Observation, Optics, Photography, Space | 1 Comment

Citizen Science Musings: The Scientific Art of Roger Hayward

Part of that story involves one of the lesser-known characters in that story, an extremely gifted artist and amateur scientist named Roger Hayward. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Citizen Science Musings, DIY, General Interest, History of Science, Invention, Machine Shop, Makers and Making, Physics, Publishing, Stories, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Giant Radio-Controlled Model Airbus

File this under “Freakin’ Cool.” Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Radio, Aviation, DIY, Engineering, Machine Shop, Stories | 1 Comment

Citizen Science Musings: Amateurs and Astronomy

Addressing the Peninsula Astronomical Society at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA.

The bottom line of my presentation was that this column began as an amateur astronomy column in 1928, and remained so for the next 24 years. During that time, it was the go-to place for new innovations in mirror grinding, telescope mounts, and all the thousands of details that lie along the way. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Citizen Science Musings, Community, DIY, Events, Instrumentation, Makers and Making, Observation, Publishing, Space, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Sky Temperature Sensor

The first sensor to go on my instrument platform may be an infrared sky temperature sensor. The sky temperature can be used to determine if the sky is clear or cloudy and when the sky is clear the temperature is a measure of the total column water vapor above the sensor. The sensor electronics consists of two modules from SparkFun Electronics,  an evaluation … Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Climate, DIY, Electronics, Experimentation, Imbedded Software, Instrumentation, Measurement, Programming, Sensors, Software, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Wanted: Raspberry Pi Columnist(s)

Image: PC Magazine

CSL is looking for one or more people who are conversant in using Raspberry Pi and other types of microcontrollers who would like to share their expertise and enthusiasm with our readers. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Community, Computer Science, CSL News, DIY, Electronics, Engineering, Instrumentation, Invention, Makers and Making, Open Science, Open Source, Publishing, Research Tools, Software, Tools | Leave a comment

Experimental Rocket #11 – Its Life & Death

Well, some days are better than others. We are always learning new things, but this process can sometimes present a challenge or two. And so it was with the ill-fated first flight of Experimental Rocket #11. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Rocketry, Best Practices, DIY, Engineering, Invention, Machine Shop, Makers and Making, Rocketry, Safety | Leave a comment

Instrument Platform

The sensors for my atmospheric observatory need to be mounted somewhere they can have unobstructed access to the sky and weather. The solution is a platform located away from buildings and trees. The platform is built using the same materials and construction that one would use to build a deck for a house. For the legs I buried four 12 foot treated posts … Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, DIY, Meteorology, Nature Study, Observation, Sensors | 1 Comment

A Simply Constructed Gas Generator

Figure 3. Completely assembled gas generator and wash bottle. (click image to enlarge)

Among the automatic gas generators on the market there are few within reach of the average experimenter. To meet this condition, Prof. C. D. Dilts has recently developed a generator which may be easily and cheaply constructed. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Chemistry, DIY, Experimentation, History of Science, Machine Shop, Makers and Making, Projects, Safety, Tools, Uncategorized | 1 Comment