Name that Ware October 2011

The Ware for October 2011 is shown below.

Have fun!

33 Responses to “Name that Ware October 2011”

  1. Tom Keddie says:

    Point of sale scanner?

  2. Dan says:

    A cheap electronic stud finder

    • Dan says:

      The ‘mirror’ is press-fit in the brass shaft. A cheap coil of spring steel passes through a second slot in the shaft. The shaft presumably continues through. The device is clearly set up to measure small deflections in two directions, so this isn’t a weight scale. I suspect that the shaft is connected to an arm with a permanent magnet that
      deflects towards nails in studs. The travel of that arm is mechanically checked on the other side of the board and the foam rubber sponge damps the system when it is pulled away from the wall in the engaged state.

  3. Looks like a chilled mirror hygrometer (humidity sensor) to me.


  4. arargh says:

    A wild guess: a sensor of some kind, either pressure or temperature.

    • gpshead says:

      It looks a lot like a coiled bimetal temperature sensor behind the circuit board controlling the angle of the plate in the middle that will deflect more of the LEDs light to one of the two sensors.

      Or is the light flowing from the flat plates and the thing we’re assuming is an LED really a photo-diode?

      The optical smoke detector comments also match my initial thoughts.

      Combination smoke detector and heat sensor in one unit?

  5. Fergus says:

    An optical smoke detector / fire alarm?

  6. Henry says:

    New, low-cost Michelson-Morley interferometer. Rumour has it the iPhone 5 will be able to detect the luminiferous aether and measure the speed of the Earth in addition to the standard gyros, accels and mags.

  7. Travis says:

    Definitely a cheap form of angular sensor — sort of like a potentiometer, except it measures the offset from 0-degrees using the ratio of light between the photodetectors. Given the (apparent) limits in angular range, I’d wager it’s a super low-cost feedback mechanism for a DC motor (eg. a servo motor). Perhaps its from a toy?

  8. Travis says:

    LoL. It would be really funny if it was a “mechanical optoisolator”!

  9. Kevin says:

    Travis is right – it’s the position detector from a cheap Chinese knockoff of a Cambridge Technologies 6800HP galvanometer. I.e. a laser scanner used for laser shows.

  10. feroze says:

    Smoke detector?

  11. Paul Campbell says:

    I think it’s a thermal or humidity sensor (the coil in the back) – but it’s not a mirror, the two soldered objects to the left are light sensors (cadmium sulphide cells?) when the little barrier turns more of one or the other is exposed to the LED giving the angle

  12. DavidG says:

    A thermostat. Perhaps for controlling some sort of fridge, heater or aircon. As stated above it appears to have a bi-metal coil at the back which will allow light to pass between an led and to light sensors.

  13. Yohr says:

    Looks for me like a low cost but sensitive shock- /qualitative acceleration- sensor. The aluminum plate works as moveable mass and light-barrier between LED and photodiodes. The plate seems to be mechanically connected to the case by a spring at the bottom. It acts obviously not as mirror, because the surface seems to be coated partially with glue. The usage of two photodiode instead of one may take place for getting a differential signal out of the two diodes.

  14. Bob C. says:

    An electronic 3-position lock, like the kind found in elevators.

  15. Hernandi says:

    This is th position sensor of a galvonometer! Used maybe in laser projector or such devices.

  16. vokoyo says:









  17. Joe says:

    I agree with Bob C. To me, it looks like what is behind a lock cylinder, possibly in a car, for controlling the central locking. The metal pad in the middle turns around its axis for about 30 degrees in each direction, revealing light from the LED to none or either one of the LDRs seen on the left.
    In the “idle” position as shown in the picture, both LDRs get little or no light at all from the LED, so no command goes out.
    If the key is inserted and turned, the turn direction determines what LDR is hit, and this might again be interpreted as a command to either to lock or release all doors of the car.
    The idea to make this optical instead of mechanical seems reasonable to me as automotive equipment must work in a wide range of temperatures and humidity, plus for a long time without wearing off. A locking solution like this one might last for ages because there is virtually nothing in it that would break. Reliable and solid, yet cheap.

  18. arie says:

    an ancient optical mouse

  19. Nick says:

    No guess, but this is a fantastic set of varied conclusions people have come up with!

    Great choice of ware, bunnie.

  20. Barney says:

    This is the position detector for a galvanometer .
    From the looks of it it, it’s a cheapo chinese clone of a cambridge technologies 6800 series scanner.
    The square of sponge stops the shadow vane from getting damaged during the switch-on transients, and the spring ( visible through the slot in the PCB ) keeps the rotatory bearings ‘loaded’ for longer life, given that the axel never makes a full revolution.

  21. Investigador says:

    A position sensor?

  22. perhaps looks like a scanner or something like for detecting smoke.

  23. looks like a key and bolt? bank bolt opener? lol

  24. oh i mean vault lol

  25. Ryan Gibson says:

    Hey Mate,

    Great post. Really love the quality of your builds. Do you have an email I can grab you on? I have a few questions to ask you.



  26. marcan says:

    Aw man, the one time there’s a NTW made for me and I haven’t been following the blog lately. Hernandi and Barney beat me to it.

    It’s a cheap chinese position feedback sensor from a galvanometer. I know because I blew one of mine and took it apart :) (click on my name for some of my laser hacks).

    I’d take a stab at the particular model if it were identical to mine, but it doesn’t look like it is, though it’s very close. Mine’s a SCANLSP-30/PT-30K by SpaceLas or Phenix Technology, depending on which name the company feels like going by.

  27. marcan says:

    Since nobody has explained how it works yet, I’ll do so: the infrared LED shines on the vane, which partially blocks the light reaching the two photocells on the left. Depending on the angle of the vane, the amount of light falling on each photocell varies. The feedback loop takes the difference between both cells and uses it as input feedback to a servo loop. The output of the loop drives a single-coil stator (the two solder joints to the bottom right are where the coil is soldered from the other side), which applies torque to a thin permanent magnet rotor that is attached to the vane on one end, and to a small front-surface mirror on the other end. This forms a closed loop system, where the angle of the mirror is directly proportional to the input voltage to the servo controller.

    Since the rotor is thin, the mass is concentrated near the axis of rotation, and the rotational inertia is very low. This enables it to vibrate at high frequency, scanning a laser beam to draw an image on a target many times per second. Two galvanometers like this one are used for X-Y control. The amplifier has a bunch of adjustments to optimally tune the analog servo loop (servo gain, HF and LF damping, offset, position scale, etc.) which have to be adjusted for each particular galvanometer.

    The full assembly, seen mostly from the other side, looks like this:

    One of the projects on my TODO list is to replace the analog servo loop for one of these with a DSP controller that can perform more complex compensation and can also automatically adjust itself, with direct USB control. I’m pretty sure that I can squeeze some extra performance out of these cheap galvos that way, and lower the noise/creep.

  28. pikaluotto says:

    Outstanding information over again! Thanks=)

  29. I had many niggles finding out which machine is correct for me, i have gone through lots of machines before settling on the Fisher F75 which i am exceedingly pleased with, lots of the other guys in my group reckon that some machines are a bit too sensitive, but you get used to a good sensitive machine I think it means your missing less than so many other metal detectors . Very nice blog btw