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Author Topic: What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?  (Read 5172 times)

Offline OldDragon

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When I was a child, my father worked for the Ordinance Survey and had a little gadget that could be put to his eye and that enabled him to see around corners. He called it his 'pop-eye', but I have never known what it was really called. It amused me greatly when little.

I also had a transistor (or something?) that could be hidden in a room where the adults were talking, and a radio turned into its frequency  so that I could listen in on the adult's talking after being sent to bed. What would that have been and how can I construct another to amuse my grandson with, please. He's only three, but seems fascinated by things like telephones and baby monitors. He has sleep apnoea, and has long since cottoned onto the idea that he can communicate with his dad via his monitoring devices. He thinks it is great fun to yell into it and wake his dad up on all sorts of wildly imaginative pretexts, or to tell quite fantastic stories through it. I'd love to create a little fun and magic for him, so that his voice would come out of a radio.

I've no idea yet whether he will follow the scientific or creative/artistic side of the family, but he does love gadgets, has a very inquisitive mind and nature, and asks lots of questions - often way beyond his years. (Lots and lots of questions that are way beyond me and nearly all beginning with a 'Why?' or a 'How?')

Yes, I know, my father had a very odd sense of humour and strange ideas when it came to toys suitable for kids, and likely little imagined the uses the kids might put them to, but to have one's dad read or tell a bedtime story over the radio, and perhaps when he was in the bath, was one to impress the other kids with at that time, and a great way to baffle one's mother. Very good fun too, and a good way to learn. (Even if things one might have preferred not to learn at such a young age. ;) )

Dad never did let me into those secrets, hence why I am asking here now.

Thanks.


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?
« Reply #1 on: 25/06/2008 08:01:25 »
Quote
When I was a child, my father worked for the Ordinance Survey and had a little gadget that could be put to his eye and that enabled him to see around corners. He called it his 'pop-eye', but I have never known what it was really called. It amused me greatly when little.

I remember those. I think they were just called periscopes. They used to be advertised in comics like The Beano and Dandy.

As for your radio transmitter, there should be plenty of sites on the internet that tell you how to build 1. I'll see if I can find any for you.

EDIT: Try this site
« Last Edit: 27/06/2008 22:22:17 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline RD

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What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?
« Reply #2 on: 25/06/2008 12:51:43 »
FM transmission will provide better sound quality than AM...
http://www.hobbyengineering.com/H1481.html
 
Quote
I'd love to create a little fun and magic for him, so that his voice would come out of a radio.

If the microphone and the radio receiver's loudspeaker are close,(0.1-5m approx), there will be a loud feedback squeal.

There are ready-made gadgets which transmit the music from an MP3 player to a FM radio. They are designed for in-car use so only have a maximum range of 5-10 meters. If you recorded your/his voice on the MP3 player you could replay it through any nearby FM radio with this gadget, (no feedback squeal either).
http://www.fmtransmitterworld.co.uk/products.php?category_name=All%20other%20MP3%20players&group_name=FM%20Transmitters&category_id=15&gclid=CK3eu_rIj5QCFQtvGgodbFMjgw

Bear in mind that for children who are familiar with baby-monitors and cordless phones,
their voice coming out of a radio will not be as impressive and magical as it was for you.
« Last Edit: 25/06/2008 13:23:34 by RD »
 

Offline RD

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What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?
« Reply #3 on: 25/06/2008 13:56:51 »
read or tell a bedtime story over the radio

You could record bedtime stories for your grandson onto a CD using your computer.

There are audio editing software packages: they are like a word processor but using sound samples,
so you can cut paste delete etc, so you don't have to tell the story perfectly in one take.

"Audacity" is a free audio editing software package ... http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

[Audacity even allows you to change the pitch without changing the speed (tempo);
useful for changing your voice to match the different characters, e.g. male].
« Last Edit: 25/06/2008 14:09:37 by RD »
 

Offline OldDragon

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What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?
« Reply #4 on: 25/06/2008 20:08:20 »
Thanks for this information. :) I think I'll have a chat with the chap in the local computer store and see what they might have available or be able to get in for me. It would need to have a decent range and to be able to be disguised in some way. The one I had was like a long, thin metal case and had paper stuck to it with bits of animal pictures on, so that it just looked like a kid's building block. One of a set where the other ones were homemade and of wood and similarly covered. One could turn them over and create four different, simple animal puzzle pictures that had been cut from old greetings cards. It was easy to tell which the 'bug' was because of the difference in weight. There wasn't an antennae visible at all.

I'm fairly sure Dad's 'pop-eye' wasn't from the Dandy or Beano, as it belonged to the Ordinance Survey and had to be returned when he retired, but a 'play' version would be great for my purpose of amusing the little one and fostering his interest and curiosity. He often spends time down at the allotments with his grandfather and numerous other older chaps, who tease him about all manner of things. In return, he has them going in a variety of ways, and isn't short of ideas or witty answers. For example, if told off running away, he'll just look up at you with an 'are you stupid?' expression and say something like... "I wasn't running away, I was walking away to see if the carrots have grown any taller since yesterday." Come to think of it, he could have great fun with a ruler or measuring tape! I can just imagine him telling one of the men, in a deadpan, serious voice, that their onions are 3cms smaller than someone else's and quite deliberately to generate rivalry - and he'd know exactly which of the men to try it on with, too. ::) He's not beyond examining someone's beans and announcing they need spraying for green, black or whitefly, and then convincing them that they must need new glasses if they can't see the bugs he can see! I don't know where he gets his ideas from sometimes.

He and his father (my son) may be moving in to live with me at some point over the next few months and, with a mind like he has already, my grandson's likely to need some extras to stimulate and satisfy his curiosity, else he'll be getting into mischief with my gadgets and things like the various sewing machines, which could be dangerous. Somehow I don't think a colouring book and crayons will work... Any ideas would be more than welcome, and at his age he is like a sponge, but doesn't start school full-time until September.
« Last Edit: 25/06/2008 20:11:53 by OldDragon »
 

Offline RD

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What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?
« Reply #5 on: 25/06/2008 20:38:51 »
Quote
Teaching Your Infant/Toddler/Preschooler to Use the Computer
by Sue Jenkins
 
Fun Websites to Get Your Child Using His Noodle

Introducing the Child to the Computer
A few months back I reviewed a Computer Learning toy that my mother had sent me for my son, who at the time was a little over 1 yrs old. Back then we installed the software, hooked the “child’s keyboard” onto the standard keyboard, and plopped my son down in front of the computer to see what would happen. The toy was interesting enough and held my son’s attention for a few minutes, but ultimately, even with repeated sessions, the program just wasn’t that fun to him. Ironically, the manufacturer of the program, Fisher-Price, has a website that offers free animation and interactive games for babies and children which my son tended to prefer much better than the at home toy. Over the past year, by playing around on the internet, my son has learned to recognize and press letters on the keyboard, move and click the mouse, and respond to directives given on interactive children’s websites. He nearly knew the alphabet and numbers 1-20 going in, but the computer has definitely reinforced his learning.

Finding Websites Your Child Will Actually Enjoy
Fisher-Price’s site was good, but limited in scope. That led my husband and me on a Quest to Find Good Websites for our son that would teach him things like songs, colors, numbers, shapes, and the alphabet. After much searching, we were really surprised at how many terrible websites there are out there and how few really do cater to the 1-3 yr old set. But we found a few that are GOOD and want to pass on our research to you, fellow parents. Below are some of our favorite findings...
http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/pub0009/lpmarticle.asp?id=523

Froggy catches flies ...
http://www.uptoten.com/kids/boowakwala-adventures-lake-flycatch.html

A naturist glove-puppet plays music ...
http://www.noggin.com/games/oobi/other/index.php?gameID=1
 
« Last Edit: 25/06/2008 21:24:00 by RD »
 

Offline OldDragon

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What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?
« Reply #6 on: 26/06/2008 04:48:35 »
I can see me having to rig up a computer of his own, for sure, as he's already caused chaos with mine, and when I turned my back for seconds to get him a drink from the kitchen! Working online from home and a curious toddler, do not go together well. ::) Buttons have to be pressed and switches switched, just to see what happens. :(

As long as a year ago he was telephoning me, so must either have hit the redial button after either his dad or my ex (because his calls came from both places) had called me, or he'd memorised the number. From here I once caught him speaking to someone on the phone, and it was only after I'd apologised to them that I thought to check and see where/what number he'd dialed. It was a stranger in Newcastle, so long distance, of course... Oh, and let's not talk about TV phone-ins or adverts for insurance quotes or directory enquiries, with their catchy slogans and easy to remember telephone numbers! (And yes, I HAVE had a police car at my door after a 999 call - and that was made on my mobile phone about a year ago and still connected to their emergency switchboard when they arrived! ::) By then my grandson had gone home, of course, and it certainly hadn't been a redial button press.) I must remember to take him along to the police station sometime and ask them to show him the cells and let him try out a pair of handcuffs for size...
 

Offline OldDragon

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What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?
« Reply #7 on: 26/06/2008 23:31:24 »
This is getting serious now, guys. The Mini-Mick-Taker has become fixated on the hydraulic system for my office chair now. He might not quite have the strength to operate the levers, but having told him today what they are, and how they work, and how it is very important that they are not fiddled with while his fat old crippled nanny is seated thereon, I now learn the HE is telling other people how his nan's levers are stuck and the hydraulics on her chair won't work! ::)

Please, put your thinking caps on and, if you were a budding, hands on, Einstein at 3 years of age and with a warped sense of humour, what would have kept you amused and out of mischief for hours?

At some point I'm going to end up with this kid living under the same roof as me, and I've spent 56 years in search of sanity, and suddenly feel as if I'm going backwards!

He doesn't want a toy carpetry set, he wants the equivalent of a chainsaw that works! He doesn't want a James Bond box of toy tricks, he wants to spy on his granddad and his cronies and to start the Wars of the Weeds!

He likes the real cause and effect stuff where he has the power to influence things, and when he asks 'How does it work?' what he really means is, 'Where's the trigger?' He can make his own mind up about the 'What do I shoot?'
He's getting obsessed now with having a water pistol as opposed to a cap gun, which only makes a noise! A water pistol gives him the power to cause an effect. (And with all the electrical equipment in here, I am getting genuinely scared!)  :o
« Last Edit: 26/06/2008 23:34:53 by OldDragon »
 

Offline OldDragon

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What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?
« Reply #8 on: 28/06/2008 03:28:13 »
I believe someone suggested an indoor helicopter, but changed their mind. (Think I would too!) Paper aeroplanes would be safer, so will have to show him how to make those. (Granny used to be a mean glider maker in her schooldays and even successfully landed one on the teacher's desk once when his back was turned... never did own up to that one. ;))

The horror's off to the airfield tomorrow, as my son and my brother are going flying in a light aircraft, and my sister-in-law has volunteered to look after 'you know who'... Yeah, right, at an airfield, with old planes and gadgets and things displayed and that can be viewed by the public. I hope she is armed with an aeronautical encyclopedia, 'cos she's gonna need one!

Before becoming an Ordinance Surveyor, my dad was in the RAF and was a navigator & radio operator. Could be that will run in the family? Let's face it, my great grandfather was a coachman, and all I ever wanted to do when I was a kid, was to work with horses... and look where that got me? ;) I swear it was the coal horse, Jimmy, trying to pull the coal cart into our house once, and when I was about two, that got me hooked on horses.

Saying that, one thing that did keep me amused, was a sink full of water and a handful of those little submarines that one filled with bicarbonate of soda, and that would sink then rise to the surface at various intervals... I wonder if they are still available on the market?

I have also started to gather up cotton reels to make some of those 'tanks' that were operated with an elastic band, and that my brother and I used to race on the back yard as kids. I think perhaps the old fellows down the allotments might join in with some tank racing, but surely there are ways to speed those up? I seem to recall inserting a thin  metal tube inside the reel to lessen friction on the elastic band, and polishing the candle wax and the end of the reel, too, to gain an advantage, as well as cutting notches in the edges of the reel. I also had a bigger version made from a tin can that used to fly along.

There must have been other similar toys that were easy to make and modify?
« Last Edit: 28/06/2008 03:29:52 by OldDragon »
 

Offline RD

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What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?
« Reply #9 on: 28/06/2008 15:35:50 »
I can see me having to rig up a computer of his own, for sure, as he's already caused chaos with mine, and when I turned my back for seconds to get him a drink from the kitchen! Working online from home and a curious toddler, do not go together well. ::) Buttons have to be pressed and switches switched, just to see what happens. :(


Games operated via a small cordless mouse could prevent a child damaging the computer.

The the display from the computer can be output to your television, diverting the child from the computer.
« Last Edit: 28/06/2008 15:38:11 by RD »
 

Offline OldDragon

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What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?
« Reply #10 on: 28/06/2008 22:55:13 »
Will bear that in mind, thanks... Will have to replace the TV first though, as mine blew up the other night! ;D (I was nowhere near it at the time, honestly, and it's been on the blink for a while - years old, as well. LOL)
 

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What are the correct names for these little gadgets, please?
« Reply #10 on: 28/06/2008 22:55:13 »

 

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