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Book Review - Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 16 by Mark Frauenfelder

Category Book Review Mark Frauenfelder Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 16
A picture named M2

The DIY (Do It Yourself) movement is very much alive and well, and one periodical that carries the DIY banner is Make magazine.  I *really* liked Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 16 this month, as it touched on some projects that cover a subject I've always been fascinated with...  spying.  :)

Made on Earth
The First Picture Show
Making Make: Television
Cool Old Chemistry Sets
Junk Pedalers
The Make: Way Race Car
Star Bust
Kalavinka Bike Frames
Sparky 2: No Sellout
I, Robot
DIY: Outdoors, Circuits, Telephony, Home
Fun Idea Vending Machine
Upload: Digital Arts and Crafts
1+2+3: Alien Head Projector
Toys, Tricks, and Teasers
Workshop: Len Cullum
Maker's Calendar
Howtoons: Wooden Stilts
Aha! Puzzle This

While the theme for this issue was "spy-tech", that doesn't mean that you'll ONLY find DIY spy gadgets here.  Some of the articles, such as Cool Old Chemistry Sets, takes you back to the days when chemistry sets for kids had (gasp!) REAL LIVE CHEMICALS!  Of course, we know better now than to provide actual radioactive elements that they can play with (yes, that was a common feature in some sets).  The Make: Way Car Race was interesting in that it was a challenge to drive a race over two days (14 hours) using a car and parts that are no more expensive than $500.  In that situation, creativity rules.  But for me, the best part were the articles on how to build spy gadgets that are creative and mostly cheap.  For instance, there's the talking booby trap that issues a verbal warning when someone moves an item you have attached to it.  Made from a Radio Shack recording module mounted on a clothes pin, this looks like it'd be a kick to build (not to mention, to also use!)  There's the survival kit that's stored in an Altoids tin (very handy).  I'm planning on taking a shot at the flash drive hidden in a AA battery, as I have a spare flash drive or two I could sacrifice to this cause.  And my favorite...  installing a listening device in a hollowed-out book that can transmit to a receiver approximately 20 feet away.  I think I can find a book or two in my collection that would work...  :)

Make magazine is packed with stuff like this every month.  Some of the projects you'll find interesting but not practical, and some will just not be of any interest at all.  But when you get an issue like this that has a number of projects that pique your interest, it's like a treasure trove of fun and learning.  This was probably one of my favorite issues...

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Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

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