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Hardware Hacking Science Build

DIY Air Quality Balloons 44

An anonymous reader writes "A few students at Carnegie Mellon University outfitted weather balloons with air quality sensors, resulting in huge glowing balloons that respond to surrounding air quality. Their Instructables page shows that pretty much anyone can make these using a PIC, a tri-colored LED, and some off-the-shelf air quality sensors (about $10 each): 'This Instructable will show you how to make giant, super cool, glowing balloons that react to surrounding air quality. Inside each balloon is a tri-colored LED. This LED reacts to data from an air quality sensor, turning green, yellow or red based on low, average, and high values.'"
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DIY Air Quality Balloons

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  • So... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Superdarion ( 1286310 ) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:16PM (#33171318)

    ... how long before we start seeing a bunch of UFO reports in the area?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:31PM (#33171384)

    Someone farted?

  • by oldspewey ( 1303305 ) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:48PM (#33171464)
    Poor air quality can usually be described as "there are way too many balloons up there."
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:59PM (#33171510) Journal
    By skipping all that "sensor" and "tri-color-LED" crap and just putting a red LED, a battery, and some sarin in my balloon....
  • by Itninja ( 937614 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @12:34AM (#33171670) Homepage

    Homer: Ready!

    Troy: First, patch the cracks in the slab using a latex patching compound and a patching trowel.

    Homer: [to Bart] Hand me my patching trowel, boy.[Bart shrugs.] Hmm.

    Troy: Now, do you have extruded poly-vinyl foam insulation?

    Homer: No.

    Troy: Good! Assemble the aluminum J-channel using self-burring screws. Install!

    Homer: What do I do for-

    Troy: After applying brushable coating to the panels...

    Homer: Wait a minute-

    Troy: You'll need some corrosion resistant metal stucco lath.

    Homer: Wait a minute!

    Troy: If you can't find metal stucco lath...

    Homer: Uh-huh?

    Troy: Use carbon-fibre stucco lath!

    Homer: Ohhhh!!

    Troy: Now parge the lath!

  • by zhong-guo ( 1872764 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @12:56AM (#33171724)
    you americans thing your so smarter with these stuffs. china is rolling you all, grow a brain. Balloons? china has superior sensors for this and you think this is for stealing this? Dust! we look behind and you fight everyone when we are winning and you do not know. so weak.
  • by jewishbaconzombies ( 1861376 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @02:47AM (#33171942)
    Aren't you supposed to be making plastic crap for us?

  • by jewishbaconzombies ( 1861376 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @03:36AM (#33172058)
    And they use LEDs. Don't forget the tri-colored LEDs. Because it's important to mention tri-colored LEDs whenever they're used. And they're using tri-colored LEDs. Which are LEDs that come in three colors.

    I'm going to stick my head in a microwave now.
  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:33AM (#33172242)

    get off my lawn

    don't you just hate the school holidays.

    Instructables is a classic Web 2.0 invention where the responses and comments are far more important than the content of the article. They are meant to be a "look at me, see how clever I am" showcase of stuff that 1 person made, but no-one else is ever expected to be able (or want) to replicate. While they could be helpful articles presented in a way that explains the principles, provides clear information about how to make things and is actually useful, in practice it's all about the flashy and colourful presentation.

    I fully expect that one of these days there will be an instructable article called "How we made a matchstick". First start off with a tree-trunk, then plane it down into 2 tons of sawdust and a piece of wood 2 inches long. Complete with videos of felling the tree, people playing in the pile of shavings and finally some spotty yoof holding a small sliver of wood. The article itself would then have hundreds of comments along the lines of "Dude, thatz sooooo coooool" and "Awesum"

  • by dangitman ( 862676 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @06:23AM (#33172386)

    Do you complain when people call a video blog a vlog as well?

    Yes I do, because "vlog" sounds stupid, and "blog" is already one of the stupidest words ever created. It takes real effort to come up with a word that sounds even worse than "blog."

Happiness is twin floppies.