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Sean Ragan
Works at MAKE Magazine
Attended UT-Austin
Lives in Austin, TX
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Sean Ragan

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Not only did I get my first Popular Science byline in the March 2015 issue, I also got a coverline! =D

http://www.popsci.com/how-build-hovercraft-styrofoam-plates
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Congrats Sean!
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“Additive Synthesis of a Square Wave,” 2013. I prepared this illustration to accompany Jon Thompson’s Arduino sound synthesis article from MAKE Vol 35. It was published as Figure K. It shows how a more complex waveform (a square wave, in blue) can be synthesized as a sum of sine waves. The black wave is the fundamental, which has the same frequency as the synthesized wave, and the gray-valued waves are the various odd harmonics up to the 15th; lighter-valued waves are more attenuated and contribute less to the synthesized curve.

I used Google Sheets to compute the values of the various sine waves at 1,000 positions along one cycle, multiplied them by their attenuation factors, and added the results together at each point to produce the synthesized wave. Then I plotted the waves, right-clicked on the plot in my browser, and manually copy-pasted the SVG text of the curves from the raw HTML into a text editor. Then I saved the text file with a .SVG extension and imported it into Illustrator to tweak the colors and add the labels. A handy trick if you ever need to generate vector art from plotted data.
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Sean Ragan
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Invite all your friends to join Hitler in Hell!
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They don't make 'em like they used to.  This is a Crabtree model A15051 single-gang AC light switch, with cast iron body, that I recently scored on eBay. It was likely manufactured in the 30s, 40s, or 50s, and restored by the eBay seller. I wired it as a remote switch for my photo soft box.  Thing's built like a tank, beautiful to look at, feels great to the touch, and operates with a satisfying CLACK.  #retro #antique #electrical #brittania
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Make a fairly powerful linear actuator by twisting two strings together with a cheap pager motor. Love the simple genius of this idea.
A few years back I learned about an actuator that is surprisingly simple, has a high gear ratio, was known since ancient times, and can be produced with nothing more than a cheap hobby motor and some string. Crazy, right?! Up until recently I was barred from discussing the actuator due to NDAs ...
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I built this super-deluxe spud launcher back when I was working for MAKE, but I was too busy at the time to ever follow up and publish anything about it. I just recently dusted this gun off, tuned it up, and upgraded the firing system. Hope to post some sweet action shots/vids as soon as the weather breaks.

The whole point of the clear PVC design is that you can see the flame front propagate through the ignition chamber and down the barrel. It should be particularly spectacular at dusk/nighttime. Anybody in Austin got a high-speed video camera? :) #potatogun   #spudguns  
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Wish I could take credit for that! But no, I bought it pre-rifled from spudtech.com. They have a custom-designed machine for this purpose. :)
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Sean Ragan

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An ambitious BEAM-style project I developed but never published for MAKE's old Make: Projects platform. Good-looking but too complicated for most builders; there's a PDF available for curious clickers-through.
This is a Herbie-style BEAM photovore with a reversing relay. But instead of a bump switch, the “retreat” reflex is triggered by a sharp, loud sound like a clap. It was developed for MAKE’s RadioSh...
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The ridiculous saga of getting my (otherwise awesome) new Seek thermal imager to point the right direction: 
Possibly the best gift I received in 2014 was this Seek thermal add-on imager for my phone. Unfortunately, the device comes with a non-reversible micro-USB plug attached, and the single jack on my ...
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Yup. Still hot down here. 
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hi
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A young man at the prestigious Fessenden School in West Newton, Massachusetts, built a version of my 3D-printable dodecahedron speaker in translucent plastic and put color-changing LEDs inside! How cool is that? :) #LED #speaker #dodecahedron #3dprinting  
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That is, indeed cool.  Next up -- light beams coming from the edges/corners, and a rotation joint at the top -- for disco, ala '70's...
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Have him in circles
1,239 people
Farhan yudhy's profile photo
may moncayo's profile photo
hector saldana's profile photo
Mary Claire Dilks's profile photo
Kiran Akbar's profile photo
‫عصام امين‬‎'s profile photo
Anderson Macharia's profile photo
Amit Gupta's profile photo
Nick Weiner's profile photo
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Currently
Austin, TX
Previously
Richardson, TX
Work
Occupation
Technical Editor
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Mad
Employment
  • MAKE Magazine
    Technical Editor, present
Education
  • UT-Austin
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Gender
Male
Other names
Sean Michael Ragan