About Me

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I previously worked on Virtual Reality and other hardware at Valve.  I currently work at Google[x].

Prior to starting at Valve, I built computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and joysticks that were designed to be used inside MRI machines.  My company, Mag Design and Engineering, sold these devices directly to researchers at academic institutions who used them to publish scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

After work, I spend time on many different types of projects that usually involve circuit design, machining, material selection, and general fabrication/hacking.  My favorite place to be is my home workshop.

ben dot krasnow at gmail




Monday, February 27, 2012

How a liquid lens works (electrowetting)

A liquid lens works by changing the shape of a water drop by creating an electrostatic field that pulls on the water molecules. I show how water can be affected by a high voltage supply and an electrostatically charged comb.

The process by which the droplet changes shape is known as electrowetting.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Projector HID arc light mounted into a desk lamp

I combined the High Intensity Discharge bulb and power supply from an old LCD with a desk lamp to create a 270W spotlight. I bypassed the power supply's interlocks and shorted an optocoupler to cause the power supply to always turn the lamp on when AC power is applied. I used an inline power switch to control the device. The desk lamp's existing wiring is able to withstand the high starting voltage of the HID lamp (probably a few KV). Once the arc strikes, the voltage is much lower and the current much higher.