Schedule

Schedule

Friday, March 6

1425668400 This Week in Law
1425679200 Before You Buy
1425686400 Tech News 2Night
1425690000 Padre's Corner

Saturday, March 7

1425754800 The Tech Guy

Sunday, March 8

1425837600 The Tech Guy
1425852000 This Week in Tech

Monday, March 9

1425920400 Tech News Today
1425924000 Triangulation
1425929400 iPad Today
1425936600 Coding 101
1425942000 Tech News 2Night

Tuesday, March 10

1426006800 Tech News Today
1426010400 MacBreak Weekly
1426019400 Security Now
1426028400 Tech News 2Night
1426032000 All About Android

Wednesday, March 11

1426087800 FLOSS Weekly
1426093200 Tech News Today
1426096800 Windows Weekly
1426104000 This Week in Google
1426114800 Tech News 2Night
1426116600 Android App Arena
1426122000 Ham Nation

Thursday, March 12

1426179600 Tech News Today
1426183200 Know How...
1426188600 Marketing Mavericks
1426194000 Home Theater Geeks
1426201200 Tech News 2Night
1426203000 The Giz Wiz

Friday, March 13

1426266000 Tech News Today
1426269600 This Week in Law
1426280400 Before You Buy
1426287600 Tech News 2Night
1426291200 Padre's Corner

Saturday, March 14

1426356000 The Tech Guy

Sunday, March 15

1426442400 The Tech Guy
1426456800 This Week in Tech

Monday, March 16

1426525200 Tech News Today
1426528800 Triangulation

Most Recent Episodes

This Week in Computer Hardware

NVIDIA Titan X, AMD Radeon R9 GPU, and HTC Vive VR Headset.

Home Theater Geeks

Paul Barton and PSB Imagine T3 Speakers.

Know How...

The Nissan GT-R LM Nismo is a Front Wheel Drive beast!

Tech News 2Night

How to fight back against online harrassment

The Giz Wiz

Mind control, Folkmanis Puppets, IO Hawk, and more!

Marketing Mavericks

Being the voice of a brand

Tech News Today

12.9 inch iPad delayed again

Ham Nation

George Thomas reports from the Orange Texas Hamfest.

This Week in Google

Hands On With The Samsung Galaxy S6 And S6 Edge

Android App Arena

App Dialer, Smart Launcher 2, WAYFARE, Flynx.

Know How... 70

Fun with Thermocouples and Organizing Your Ripped DVDs

November 21 2013

We're making power with thermocouples and it's time to organize your ripped DVD collection.

Making News

If you've ever wanted to make a Raspberry Pi computer, but thought it was too hard, there's a new Kickstarter project called "Kano." Its goal is to make the Raspberry Pi as simple as a Lego project. You learn to code games like Snake and Pong to get into coding as well.

In other Raspberry Pi news, Mathematica and Wolfram Language will be free for the Raspberry Pi. Those are super-powerful programs -- free is a great deal.

Making Power with FIRE!

In episode 65 we explained how the "Seebeck Effect" allows a thermocouple to turn heat into electricity. When two different types of metal are joined (via soldering, welding or clamping) a heat source will cause them to expand at different rates, generating a small electrical current. That same device can be used to move heat from one side of the junction to the other when an electrical field is applied to the thermocouple, using a principle known as the "Peltier Effect."

Combine many of these thermocouples into a single unit and you have a TEC or TEG. (Thermo Electric Cooler / Thermo Electric Generator). Both of these devices can take advantage of either the "Seebeck Effect" and the "Peltier Effect" to alternatively heat/cool or generate electricity from a heat source.

TEGs differ from TECs in that it can handle much higher temperatures than a TEC before failure.

Parts List

  • TEC (ThermoElectric Cooler) or TEG (ThermoElectric Generator)
  • Heat Spreader
  • Heat Sink/Heat Removal Device
  • Thermal Compound
  • Heat Source

Assembling your Power Generation Unit

  • Coat the TEC/Heat Sink/Heat Spreader with a THIN coat of thermal compound. This is to ensure efficient and EVEN transfer of heat from the heat spreader into the TEC/TEG, into the heat sink.
  • Mount your TEC/TEG between the heat spreader and the heat sink. You want an EVEN mounting, any gaps or uneven mounting will cause heat to build up in on part of the element, causing early failure of the unit.
  • Wire your TECs/TEGs in series or parallel. In series (negative to positive) your TECs/TEGs will add their voltage to the total voltage availible. Each TEC/TEG will generate ~1.5 volts and a few hundred ma. In parallel (positive to positive, negative to negative) your TECs/TEGs will increase the amperage availible. - Know your application before wiring!
  • Cool the "Cool Side" - The power generating capacity of a TEC/TEG assembly will depend on the "Delta T" - or difference in temperature between the hot side and the cold side. Try to make the cold side as cold as possible to maximize power generation.
  • Heat it up!

Organizing your ripped DVDs in Media Center

If you like having your DVD collection in your Media Center organized, you might want to try out MyMovies. It's a free plugin for Media Center that will pull in metadata for the DVDs you've ripped. MyMovies can even act as a database for your *shudder* offline DVDs.

We're going to stick to the DVDs you've ripped, though. (To find out how to rip your DVDs, check out Know How... 22.) Download MyMovies. You'll open the MyMovies Collection Management app on your Windows machine. From there you'll add your DVDs by hitting "Add Title" in the toolbar. Then select "Import Folders" and browse to your DVD folder. MyMovies will attempt to find the metadata for your video.

If MyMovies doesn't automatically find the correct data, you can find the title on IMDB. If you take a look at the URL of an IMDB title you'll see something like www.imdb.com/title/tt0103359 - you can input the "tt103359" number in MyMovies for identification. This is pretty useful for remakes. If you make changes to a title, make sure you hit "Save Title" on the bottom of the program to save your progress.

When you're done with importing all your information, make sure you backup your database. You'll thank yourself later.

Chrome Keyword Quicktip

Did you know that you could call up your favorite sites in Chrome using keywords? It's not a well known feature, but it's hidden in the Manage search engines pane.

Find a site you frequently visit and copy that URL (this tip makes the most sense for long domain names or Google Drive documents). Go into your Chrome Settings, then click "Manage search engines..." Then scroll all the way to the bottom of the list of search engines. You'll see three fields. Add a name for your favorite site in the "Add a new search engine." Put the URL in the "URL with %s in place." Then choose your keyword that will let you call the URL from the address bar. Hit done.

In our case, we wanted to load a Google Drive document. I gave it the keyword "hpx." Now, when I type "hpx" in the address bar, the website will load. In general, this can save you time since you don't have to remember long URLs and you don't have to find them in your bookmarks folder.

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