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Homemade Gravity Light Doesn’t Last Long but Proves the Concept!

Hackaday - 5 hours 30 minก่อน

After being inspired by the Deciwatt Gravity light, [Steve Dufresne] decided he wanted to try making his own as a proof of concept.

The Gravity Light by Deciwatt is an innovative device designed for third world countries to help eliminate expensive lighting like kerosene lamps. It has a small weight on a pulley which can be lifted up in under 3 seconds. During its slow descent down the weight provides light for 25 minutes! It’s affordable, sustainable, and reliable. It’s also mechanically impressive, which is exactly why [Steve] decided to try making his own.

He’s using a single LED, a small DC motor, a few pieces of wood, an old bicycle wheel, some bicycle chain, and a few jugs of water. The water is connected to the chain which is looped over the smallest gear on the bike. The generator is then powered by a belt wrapping around the outside of the rim. This gives the motor enough speed to generate electricity for the LED. His current design only lasts for about 3 minutes, but he’s already working on the second iteration. Testing systems like this really give you an appreciation for the effort that must have gone into the real Gravity Light.

Stick around after the break to see it in action.


Filed under: misc hacks

Inkjet Transfers to Wood

Hackaday - 8 hours 30 minก่อน

You can’t feed a piece of wood through a stock inkjet printer, and if you could it’s likely the nature of the material would result in less than optimal prints. But [Steve Ramsey] has a tutorial on inkjet transfers to wood over on his YouTube Channel which is a simple two-step method that produces great results. We really love quick tips like this. Steve explains the entire technique while creating an example project – all in under 2 minutes of video. We don’t want to get your hopes up though – this method will only work on porous absorbent surfaces like bare wood, not on PC boards. We’ve featured some great Inject PCB resist methods here in the past though.

The transfer technique is dead simple. [Steve] uses the backing from a used sheet of inkjet labels (the shiny part that normally gets thrown away). He runs the backing sheet through his inkjet printer. Since plastic coated backing sheet isn’t porous, the ink doesn’t soak in and dry. He then presses the still wet page onto a piece of wood. The wet ink is instantly absorbed into the wood. A lacquer clear coat seals the image in and really make the colors pop. We’d like to see how this method would work with other porous materials, like fabrics (though the ink probably wouldn’t survive the washing machine).

Click past the break for another example of [Steve's] work, and two videos featuring the technique.


Filed under: misc hacks

The HellZXchreiber

Hackaday - 11 hours 30 minก่อน

Hellschreiber – German for ‘light pen’ – was developed in the 20s as a way to transmit text in a way that was much more robust than the teletypes of the time. These devices were used to great effect by the Germans in WWII, and later became popular with wire services and was used until the 80s. The fax machine then happened, and no one really cared about Hellschreiber, save for a few plucky amateur radio enthusiasts.

In the early 90s, a few of these amateur radio enthusiasts realized they could use their personal computers to communicate with this extremely simple protocol that’s also very resilient against interference and weak radio links. [Danjovic] is following in their footsteps by decoding Hellschreiber on an old ZX Spectrum clone.

[Danjovic] tested his code with the sound sample found in the Hallschreiber wiki article and some text generated by Fldigi. Everything works beautifully, an [Dan] can even change the intensity of the text with the volume control – a very useful feature should the HellZXchreiber ever make it out into the field.

Source and image files available for all you strange Speccy fans. Everyone else can check out the videos below.

 

 


Filed under: classic hacks

Frozen Instruments Played at Swedish Music Festival

Hackaday - 14 hours 30 minก่อน

[Tim Linhart] wanted to do something different for this Swedish music festival — so he decided to carve all the instruments by hand, out of ice.

The festival consists of seven bands playing very different musical styles, with over 40 concerts occurring during the festival. [Tim Linhart] has painstakingly carved each instrument from violins to cellos out of individual sheets of ice. He adds strings and fret-boards to complete each piece, and if the temperature goes above zero it’s game over. The concerts are held in a building made of ice to make sure this doesn’t happen.

And since they are built out of layers — he’s also thrown in some RGB LEDs to give the instruments a bit more pizzazz. They actually sound pretty good too!

[Tim] is kinder to his instruments than [Matz Robert Eriksson] was to his ice drums. For some other unconventional instruments, do you remember our controversial piece on Disarm? Turning guns into a mechanized orchestra! Typewriters make interesting instruments as well.

[Thanks Joshua!]


Filed under: musical hacks

The Hacklet #1

Hackaday - 15 hours 29 minก่อน

With the launch of hackaday.io, our project hosting site, we’ve seen quite a bit of interesting hacks flowing in. While we feature some of our favorite projects on the blog, we’ve decided it’s time to start a regular recap of what’s going on in the Hackaday Projects community. We call it The Hacklet, and the first issue is now available.

This installment starts off with information on our Sci-fi Contest and improvements to the Hackaday Projects site. We talk a bit about the various projects relating to the Mooltipass password manager being developed on Hackaday. The Mooltipass has its own project page, but there’s also separate projects for the low level firmware being developed. Next we look at a pair of NFC rings for unlocking Android devices, and finish off with advice on soldering tiny packages.

Check it out and let us know what you think. Our goal is to summarize some of the neat things going on in the community, and we’re always happy to get constructive feedback from the community itself. Or you can flame us… whichever you prefer.


Filed under: Hackaday Columns

A 3D Printed Cryptex

Hackaday - 17 hours 30 minก่อน

Once you’ve dialed in your 3D printer calibration settings, you enter the phase of printer ownership where you’re eager to show off what you can make, and you’re sure to impress with [pjensen's] 3d printed cryptex spinning around in your hands.

If you’re a regular reader of our 3D Printering column, then the behind-the-scenes screengrabs should look familiar: [pjensen] used Autodesk Inventor to sculpt the shapes, staring with the cryptex’s individual rings. After embossing the alphabet across each ring, [pjensen] adds slots into the inner loops for pins to slide through. An outer chamber holds the rings in place and prohibits access to the interior chamber, which is held in place on both sides by an end cap.

Lining up the rings to spell the correct word allows the inner chamber to slide free of the whole assembly, revealing whatever goodies may lie inside. You can follow [pjensen's] step-by-step guide to build your own cryptex, or just download his model and start printing.


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks

Lilbits (4-15-2014): Intel’s mobile struggles

Liliputing - 18 hours 30 minก่อน

With PC sales leveling off, Intel, Microsoft and other companies that have built enormous business around desktop and laptop computers are trying their hardest to make a dent in the newfangled mobile space… with mixed results. Intel reported its quarterly earnings today, and while the company beat estimates, revenue dropped a bit from the same […]

Lilbits (4-15-2014): Intel’s mobile struggles is a post from: Liliputing

Developed on Hackaday: Olivier’s Design Rundown

Hackaday - 19 hours 51 secก่อน

The Hackaday writers and readers are currently working hand-in-hand on an offline password keeper, the Mooltipass. A few days ago we presented Olivier’s design front PCB without even showing the rest of his creation (which was quite rude of us…). We also asked our readers for input on how we should design the front panel. In this new article we will therefore show you how the different pieces fit together in this very first (non-final) prototype… follow us after the break!

This is the bottom PCB, containing the main micro-controller, the Arduino headers and the FPC connector for the OLED screen. Finding low profile standard .1″ female connectors was one of our longest Google searches. The ones you can see above are pass-through connectors, which means that the pins can go through the PCB.

This is the CNC-milled prototype case. On the bottom you may notice two slots having a smaller depth to the other end, positioned right on top of the Arduino connectors. As previously mentioned in our Developed on Hackaday articles, we want to give the final users the ability to convert their secure password keeper into an Arduino platform. As you may have guessed, converting the Mooltipass will be as simple as cutting this thin plastic layer (see top of the picture) to access the Arduino headers and unlock the platform.

This is how the bottom PCB fits into the case. 4 screws can be used to keep everything in place. The large elevated plastic area serves as a flat surface for the smartcard:

The OLED screen then rests on the case’s sides:

Enough space is left behind the screen for the flex PCB to comfortably bend. Finally, the top board fits in the remaining space and the acrylic panel is put on top of the assembly:

As our last article stated, we obviously still have some things to perfect. In the meantime, we are going to hand solder a few prototypes and ship them out to our current developers.

Want to stay informed? You can join the official Mooltipass Google Group or follow us on Hackaday Projects.


Filed under: Featured, hardware

DIY 100W LED flashlight

dangerous prototype - 19 hours 30 minก่อน

In this video Julian Ilett demonstrates his DIY 100W LED flashlight:

I discovered that due to a lucky co-incidence of voltage and internal resistance, a 100W LED can be connected directly across the terminals of two 18V Nickel Cadmium power tool batteries. And that means you can build a 100 Watt (7,500 Lumens) flashlight for less than $10 (not including batteries).
Note: Don’t try this with other battery types – you’ll almost certainly fry the LED!

Via Hacked Gadgets.

Pipo unveils tablets powered by MediaTek, Rockchip processors

Liliputing - 20 hours 22 secก่อน

Chinese device maker Pipo is showing off its latest tablets and at least one new smartphone (with a tablet-sized screen) in Hong Kong this week. As expected, some of Pipo’s new tablets are powered by the new Rockchip’s RK3288 ARM Cortex-A17 quad-core processor. But several of the company’s new devices also feature MediaTek’s 8-core chip: […]

Pipo unveils tablets powered by MediaTek, Rockchip processors is a post from: Liliputing

Step Into the Ring with Fight Coach

Hackaday - 20 hours 30 minก่อน

 

As MMA continues to grow in popularity, the competition is getting tougher. There’s always someone else out there who’s training harder and longer than you are. So how do you get the advantage over your competitors? More push-ups? Sit-ups? Eat more vegetables? What about installing custom 2 by 1 inch, 5 gram PCB’s armed with an ATmega32U4, a MPU-6050 6 axis accelerometer and an RN-41 Bluetooth module into each of your gloves? Now that’s what we’re talking about.

[Vincent] and [Jooyoung] of Cornell joined their classmates in turning out another cool piece of electrical engineering. Fight Coach records data from the fighter’s gloves so that it can not only be analyzed to improve performance, but also interact with the fighter in real-time.  Though not quite as immersive as some fighter training techniques we’ve seen, Fight Coach might just give a fighter a slight edge in the ring.

Fight Coach offers 3 modes of training: Defense mode, Damage mode and Free-Training mode. As usual with Cornell projects, all code, schematics and a wealth of information on the project is just a click away. And stick around after the break for a video demonstration of Fight Coach.

 


Filed under: Microcontrollers, wearable hacks, wireless hacks

Laserworld CS-500RGY laser projector teardown

dangerous prototype - 21 hours 30 minก่อน

Jaanus did a teardown of a Laserworld CS-500RGY laser projector:

I got my hands on a Laserworld CS-500RGY laser projector. This is the smallest 500 mW one. It is a device that has three laser sources (red, red and green) and mirrors for moving laser pointer. It can be controlled by sound, DMX512 or ILDA interface. So, lets tear it down.

Now you can get Microsoft Office for $70 per year (or $7 per month)

Liliputing - 21 hours 43 minก่อน

As promised, Microsoft is now offering a cheaper option for Office 365 subscribers. Don’t want to pay $10 per month to use Office on up to 5 computers? Now for less than the cost of a Netflix subscription, you can get an Office 365 Personal account which lets you run Office on one PC or […]

Now you can get Microsoft Office for $70 per year (or $7 per month) is a post from: Liliputing

Review: building publicLab’s DIY spectroscopy kit

dangerous prototype - 22 hours 30 minก่อน


Rohit writes,

I made a Opensource Spectroscope using the publiclab’s kit. I was surprised to see the kind of accuracy you can get from these easy to make Spectroscopes. I probed around a lot of light sources like LEDs, Sunlight, Tubelights and Bulbs. With LEDs I was able to estimate the forward drop in a RGB Strip for the different colors very accurately. The spectrographs of Sunlight confirmed the presence of IR and UV. The bulb’s spectrograph showed that it emits large amount of IR.The Tubelights ones showed that it is designed to render light very close to sunlight.

Quite Amazing science from a very easy to make scope.

You can read Rohit’s description of the build and review on his Indian Tinker blog and also at Instructables.

Deals of the Day (4-15-2014)

Liliputing - 23 hours 15 minก่อน

Amazon is running a sale on Kindle Fire tablets, knocking about $20 to $40 off the price of a 7 or 8.9 inch tablet. But if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber you can save even more. While the Prime perk isn’t mentioned on the sales page, if you’re a Prime member and you add a […]

Deals of the Day (4-15-2014) is a post from: Liliputing

Retrotechtacular: The Cryotron Computer

Hackaday - 23 hours 29 minก่อน

Have you ever heard of a Cryotron Computer before? Of course not. Silicon killed the radio star: this is a story of competing technologies back in the day. The hand above holds the two competitors, the bulkiest one is obviously the vacuum tube, and the three-legged device is what became a household name. But to the right of that tube is another technological marvel that can also be combined into computing machines: the cryotron.

[Dudley Allen Buck] and his contributions to early computing are a tale of the possible alternate universe that could have been cryotrons instead of silicon transistors. Early on we find that the theory points to exotic superconductive materials, but we were delighted to find that in the conception and testing stages [Buck] was hacking. He made his first experimental electronic switches using dissimilar metals and dunking them in liquid helium. The devices were copper wire wrapped around a tantalum wire. The tantalum is the circuit path, the copper wire acts as the switch via a magnetic field that alters the resistance of the tantalum.

The name comes from the low temperature bath necessary to make the switches work properly. Miniaturization was the key as it always is; the example above is a relatively small example of the wire-wound version of the Cryotron, but the end goal was a process very familiar to us today. [Buck] was searching for the thin film fabrication techniques that would let him shoe horn 75,000 or more into one single computing platform. Guess who came knocking on his door during this period of his career? The NSA. The story gets even more interesting from there, but lest we rewrite the article we leave you with this: the technology may beat out silicon in the end. Currently it’s one of the cool kids on the block for those companies racing to the quantum computing finish line.

[Thanks Frederick]

Retrotechtacular is a weekly column featuring hacks, technology, and kitsch from ages of yore. Help keep it fresh by sending in your ideas for future installments.


Filed under: Hackaday Columns, Retrotechtacular

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

dangerous prototype - 23 hours 30 minก่อน

Every Tuesday we give away two coupons for the free PCB drawer via Twitter. This post was announced on Twitter, and in 24 hours we’ll send coupon codes to two random retweeters.

Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times a every week:

  • Hate Twitter and Facebook? Free PCB Sunday is the classic PCB giveaway. Catch it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

This is how Google’s Project Ara smartphones will look

Liliputing - อังคาร, 04/15/2014 - 23:29

Google’s Project Ara is an effort to build a modular smartphone platform. The company has developed a hardware design that involves a smartphone skeleton which can use a series of modules for everything from the processor to the display. If all goes according to plan, Google could begin shipping smartphone skeletons next year, and the […]

This is how Google’s Project Ara smartphones will look is a post from: Liliputing

Toshiba P55t 4K Ultra HD ultrabook launches April 22nd for $1500

Liliputing - อังคาร, 04/15/2014 - 22:30

One of the first laptops to feature a 3840 x 2160 pixel display is about to hit the streets. The Toshiba Satellite P55t features a 15.6 inch, 4K Ultra HD display and a starting price of $1500. It’ll be available in the United States starting April 22nd, 2014. The laptop has a 1TB hard drive, […]

Toshiba P55t 4K Ultra HD ultrabook launches April 22nd for $1500 is a post from: Liliputing

Is this Amazon’s smartphone (prototype)?

Liliputing - อังคาร, 04/15/2014 - 21:54

Amazon is reportedly planning to launch its first smartphone this summer. Now the folks at BGR have posted a few photos of what may be a prototype of Amazon’s phone. The most noticeable difference between this phone and other touchscreen smartphones are the little circles above and below the display. The Amazon phone is said to […]

Is this Amazon’s smartphone (prototype)? is a post from: Liliputing

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