hackaday.com Archives - 13 March 2013, Wednesday

  • Retrotechtacular: Mechanical targeting computers

    Retrotechtacular: Mechanical targeting computers

    hackaday.com 13 Mar '13, 11pm

    The device that these seamen are standing around is a US Navy targeting computer. It doesn’t use electricity, but relies on mechanical computing to adjust trajectories of the ship’s guns . Setting up to twenty-five different attributes by turning cranks and other input mechanisms lets...

  • Cloud support for fleets of 3D printers

    hackaday.com 13 Mar '13, 9pm

    More than ever, 3D printers are being used for small prototype and production runs, and the normal way of using a 3D printer with a single desktop app is becoming more and more out of date. [Zach 'Hoeken' Smith] has a solution to the frustration of printing out multiples of objects: i...

    1. ready-for-battle brainspl.at 14 Mar '13, 3pm
  • No-touch music player

    No-touch music player

    hackaday.com 13 Mar '13, 7pm

    We think the pair of cylinders sticking up through the top of this project enclosure will be recognized by most readers as the business end of an ultrasonic rangefinder. This is the only control interface which [Thomas] chose to use. Although he didn’t write very extensively about the...

  • Mailbox notifier texts when the letter carrier arrives

    Mailbox notifier texts when the letter carrier arrives

    hackaday.com 13 Mar '13, 5pm

    He’s using a Moteino, which is an Arduino clone of his own making. It’s tiny and features an RF module on the underside of the board which takes care of communicating with a base station inside the house. The module seen above rolls the microcontroller board up along with a 9V battery...

  • Remote control car that packs its own Beretta

    Remote control car that packs its own Beretta

    hackaday.com 13 Mar '13, 3pm

    He doesn’t have a blog post about the project, but you can find a couple of images and his build instructions after the break. The firearm has a motor attached to the trigger that allows it to be fired by tapping into one of the extra channels on the RC car’s PCB. But you won’t just b...

  • A clock that uses sixty RGB pixels

    A clock that uses sixty RGB pixels

    hackaday.com 13 Mar '13, 1pm

    Here’s a project inspired by a highly polished art piece. [Tobias] has been working on his own RGB LED clock which uses one light for each minute in an hour . He was inspired to start the project after seeing the Equinox clock . That one used a little PCB for each LED, and included an...

  • Briquette press for rocket stove fuel

    hackaday.com 13 Mar '13, 11am

    @aliveoneee: Even if wood is a little less efficient in terms of CO2 per kWh, it is better in the carbon scheme of things, because of where the carbon *came from*. Burning wood to produce energy is carbon neutral, because the carbon in wood came from the atmosphere to begin with, thro...

  • Hinged NES case hides an integrated LCD screen

    Hinged NES case hides an integrated LCD screen

    hackaday.com 13 Mar '13, 3am

    To our eye the NES looks completely unmodified when the case is closed. The cartridge slot still accepts games, but you don’t have to lower the frame into place once that cartridge has been inserted. The image above shows a ribbon cable connecting the top and bottom halves of the buil...

  • A clever solution for constantly locking workstations

    hackaday.com 13 Mar '13, 1am

    [Vasilis] works at CERN, and like any large organization that invented the World Wide Web, they take computer security pretty seriously. One ‘feature’ the IT staff implemented is locking the desktop whenever the screen saver runs. When [Vasilis] is in his office but not at his battles...

  • Playing MAME Games on a RGB Laser Projector

    Playing MAME Games on a RGB Laser Projector

    hackaday.com 12 Mar '13, 11pm

    The actuators he’s using are too slow and rounding off the corners. Looks like he’s gotten much farther than the two previous attempts at a LASER MAME. One important bit is correcting for distortion caused by projecting onto a flat surface. The old vector monitors avoided it by using ...

  • Making a Propane Tank Hank Drum

    hackaday.com 12 Mar '13, 9pm

    [Hank Drum], as explained here , is a steel drum-type instrument made out of a propane tank. The name comes from the [Hang] or [Hang Drum] which is significantly more expensive than that $40 or so an empty propane tank costs. Of course, you’ll have to do some work to get it to play be...

  • DEFCAD, the island of misfit objects

    DEFCAD, the island of misfit objects

    hackaday.com 12 Mar '13, 7pm

    For the last time, you cannot create an entire firearm with a 3D printer! You still need to use a steel barrel, bolt assembly, and other related parts. Meanwhile, I see there is a “we want freedom but will only snark on the internet for it” crowd, and then there are the gun owners. He...

  • “Hacking the Xbox” Released for Free in Honor of [Aaron Swartz]

    “Hacking the Xbox” Released for Free in Honor of [Aaron Swartz]

    hackaday.com 12 Mar '13, 5pm

    [Bunnie], the hardware hacker who first hacked into the original Xbox while at MIT, is releasing his book on the subject for free. The book was originally released in 2003, and delves into both the technical and legal aspects of hacking into the console. The book is being released alo...

  • Hackaday Links: March 12, 2013

    Hackaday Links: March 12, 2013

    hackaday.com 12 Mar '13, 3pm

    [Tom] didn’t need a buck-converter. Just remove the shunt resistor from the meter (you can even see it in the photo) to drop the range. Should give you something that works well (and very easily) with a transistor driver and 3 – 5V. Also, [Tom] should do some more research on VU meter...

  • Molding rubber for a pre-production prototype use a 3D printed model

    Molding rubber for a pre-production prototype use a 3D printed model

    hackaday.com 12 Mar '13, 1pm

    When you’re getting close to a production run the prototypes really need to hit the mark before pulling the trigger. [Bob's] still hard at work getting his scoreboard off the ground and his most recent endeavor was to find a way to prototype the rubber gasket without blowing his shoes...

  • Camera adapter for a microscope

    Camera adapter for a microscope

    hackaday.com 12 Mar '13, 11am

    The camera attachment can be seen attached to the right lens of the scope. It’s an old security camera which he already had on hand. The stock lens wasn’t going to bring the picture into focus, but he had some different optics on hand and one of them fit the bill perfectly. The rest o...

  • Two-wire serial backpack for GLCD screens

    Two-wire serial backpack for GLCD screens

    hackaday.com 12 Mar '13, 3am

    [Debraj] wrote in about his 2-wire serial backpack he developed for a Graphic LCD screen . It’s build on a hunk of protoboard and uses a pair of 595 shift registers to translate incoming serial data to the parallel interface which is used by the LCD screen. It takes more time to push ...

  • Non-resettable thermal fuse teardown

    Non-resettable thermal fuse teardown

    hackaday.com 12 Mar '13, 1am

    This component is a one-shot thermal fuse. When the body rises above the specified temperature the two leads stop conducting. They’re useful in applications like motors, where you want to make sure power is cut to an overheating piece of hardware before permanent damage happens. They’...

  • PCB stencils for $200

    PCB stencils for $200

    hackaday.com 11 Mar '13, 11pm

    There’s some really cool stuff to find if you wander around a Michaels craft shop or Hobby Lobby long enough. Recently, [Ben] picked up a craft cutter – a small vinyl cutter-like device meant for scrapbooking and other crafty endevours. He’s using this machine to create solder paste s...

  • One piece, 3D printed crossbow

    One piece, 3D printed crossbow

    hackaday.com 11 Mar '13, 9pm

    Centuries ago, craftsmen and smiths of all sort spent hundreds of hours crafting a crossbow. From the fine craftsmanship that went into making the bow to the impeccable smithing a windlass requires, a lot of effort went into building a machine of war. Since [Chris] has a 3D printer, h...

    1. ready-for-battle brainspl.at 14 Mar '13, 3pm
  • Hackerspace intro: HeatSync Labs

    Hackerspace intro: HeatSync Labs

    hackaday.com 11 Mar '13, 7pm

    [Todd Harrison] wrote in not with a project but with a video tour of his local hackerspace: HeatSync Labs in Mesa, Arizona. He took a camera along with him over the weekend to record what you can expect when visiting the space. You’ll find the tour embedded after the break. It starts ...

  • Building new, weird CPUs in FPGAs

    hackaday.com 11 Mar '13, 5pm

    The popularization of FPGAs for the hobbyist market means a lot more than custom LED controllers and clones of classic computer systems. FPGAs are also a great tool to experiment with computer architecture, creating new, weird, CPUs that don’t abide by the conventions the industry has...

  • Laser toting robot taunts house cat

    Laser toting robot taunts house cat

    hackaday.com 11 Mar '13, 3pm

    It’s no secret that cats have a weakness for the little red dot produced by a laser pointer. [Rodney] put that trait to work by automating the movement of a red laser pointer. After mounting it on a servo motor he got down to work programming an Arduino to move it in a playful manner....

  • Coffee pot aquarium keeps fish warm without cooking them (hopefully)

    Coffee pot aquarium keeps fish warm without cooking them (hopefully)

    hackaday.com 11 Mar '13, 1pm

    The two main components are already in place: a clear glass vessel for the water and a way to heat it. The real trick is to use the heating element to gently warm the water to the appropriate temperature. Perhaps the key piece of the project is that the device already had a timer that...

  • Launching a glider from space

    Launching a glider from space

    hackaday.com 10 Mar '13, 11pm

    The return vehicle is unpowered, but that shouldn’t be a problem as launching from a weather balloon will provide plenty of altitude for the flight. Because the temperature experienced in that part of the atmosphere is so cold [David] had to take several things into account. Obviously...

  • Makerbot shows off 3D scanner

    Makerbot shows off 3D scanner

    hackaday.com 10 Mar '13, 9pm

    Their “MakerBot Digitizer” is most likely based entirely on open source technology or readily available hardware that people have already been using for several years. And I’ll take some issue with the statement “the fact remains if you’re sourcing a 3D printer for a high school shop ...

  • Another salvo in the PIC vs. AVR holy war

    hackaday.com 10 Mar '13, 7pm

    I think the development environments and toolchains available for each platform are vital. I switched from PIC to AVR because AVR-GCC is a strong development option that lets me work on my preferred systems with no hassle — when I made the switch, the PIC dev tools were lackluster on ...

  • DIY Lighting Solutions

    DIY Lighting Solutions

    hackaday.com 10 Mar '13, 4pm

    With daylight savings time starting up, you might not have quite as much need for lighting, but this pair of hacks should keep everything well lit whether outside or indoors. Check out the videos of both in action after the break. The first lighting solution comes to us from [Ben]‘s Y...

  • Tracking a car like it were a computer mouse

    Tracking a car like it were a computer mouse

    hackaday.com 10 Mar '13, 3pm

    This is [Paul Mandel's] Ground-truth velocity sensor . That’s a fancy name for a device which tracks the movement of a vehicle by actually monitoring the ground its travelling over. This differs from simply measuring wheel rotation (which is how traditional odometers work) in that tho...

  • Android Development 101 – A tutorial Series - Hack a Day #android

    Android Development 101 – A tutorial Series

    hackaday.com 10 Mar '13, 12pm

    Android is the prime OS for developing applications in today for many reasons. The main reasons being that it is Open Source and Intuitive. In addition it uses Java for development, which is quite an easy language to get used to and develop in. This being said, a lot of you have great...