Tinkering School

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Reverse Engineering: Toaster Re-Assembly

Reverse (Fall 2013)Sean Murray

We had the second law of thermodynamics working against us today. Toasters, like most matter, tend towards chaos. Order is unlikely. Taking toasters apart is pretty easy and very fun. Putting toasters back together is difficult.

But, still pretty fun.

Captain Toaster Head made a brief appearance to encourage the group. Ben was mysteriously absent at the moment.

 "This is a lot more parts than I remember!" -- Frances

We had brief discussions on how, exactly, a toaster uses heat generated by (electric resistance) to crisp bread Right before cleanup time, as well as short circuit safety and "bare minimum functionality"--a term to guide us to the simplest toaster possible.

Just before cleanup time, Kai and Earnest had successfully looped nickel-chromium wire around a fireproof mica sheet, and demonstrated that they'd built a complete circuit. At 1/10 the voltage, it worked great! 

It works! With a few calculations, we'll be able to plug it into a 120V wall outlet next week!

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