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NFC Ring Lock Box

อาทิตย์, 08/10/2014 - 21:00

[Nairod785] wanted to build a lock box that would lock from the inside. He started with an inexpensive, plain wooden box. This kept the cost down but would also allow him to easily decorate the box later on using a wood burning tool.

To keep the box locked, he installed a simple latch on the inside. The latch is connected to a servo with string. When the servo rotates in one direction, it pulls the string and releases the latch. When the servo is rotated in the opposite direction, the latch closes and locks the box once again.

If you are going to have a locked box, then you are also going to need a key to open it. [Nairod785] used a ring with a built-in NFC tag, similar to the ring featured back in March. Inside of the box is a PN532 NFC module. The walls of the box were a little too thick for the reader to detect the ring, so [Nairod785] had to scratch the wall thickness down a bit. The NFC module is connected to an Arduino Nano. Communications are handled with I2C.

The NFC ring actually has two different NFC tags in it; one on each side. [Nairod785] had to program both of the tag ID’s into the Arduino to ensure that the ring would work no matter the orientation.

The system is powered by a small rechargeable 5V battery. [Nairod785] wired up a USB plug flush with the box wall so he can easily charge up the battery while the box is locked. It also allows him to reprogram the Arduino if he feels so inclined. There is also a power switch on the side to conserve energy.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks

The Berlin Cyberbeetle with Its Own TV

อาทิตย์, 08/10/2014 - 18:00

The evolution of the mere beetle has transformed from organic matter into robotic gears, circuits, and wires. This Cyberbeetle project was born during an open culture hackathon in Berlin throughout a few months time period. The event was called Coding for Vinci and was held from April into July 2014. The project used an Arduino and combined openly licensed biology related pictures and sounds from the museums in the area in a fun and playful way.

[Tomi] based the design on a gorgeous Chalcosoma atlas beetle species which was found in insect box scans that were taken from a nearby museum. The cool thing about this project is that the Cyberbeetle that [Tomi] created has its own hi-tech insect box with various special features. For instance, when the box was rotated on its side, small doors were revealed that when opened unveiled a tiny home theater system with a hi-definition flat screen, audio system and infrared communication. Inside the horn of the Cyberbeetle was an infrared receiver, which allowed the creature to interface with its TV program when it started. Music videos as well excited the robotic insect.

The project was awarded the “Funniest hack” prize during the hackathon. And a video of it can be seen after the break:

Filed under: robots hacks

Reverse Engineering a GPS Watch to Upload Custom Firmware

อาทิตย์, 08/10/2014 - 15:00


Sometimes GPS watches are too good to be left with their stock firmware. [Renaud] opened his Kalenji 300 GPS watch, reverse engineered it in order to upload his own custom firmware.

The first step was to sniff the serial traffic between the PC and the microcontroller when upgrading firmware to understand the protocol and commands used. [Renaud] then opened the watch, figured out what the different test points and components were. He used his buspirate with OpenOCD to extract the existing STM32F103 firmware. The firmware helped him find the proper value to store in a dedicated register for the boot loader to start.

By looking at the disassembly code he also found the SPI LCD initialization sequence and discovered that it uses a controller similar to the ST7571. He finally compiled his own program which uses the u8glib graphics library. Follow us after the break for the demonstration video.

Filed under: ARM, handhelds hacks, hardware, wearable hacks

3D Printed Virtual Reality Goggles

อาทิตย์, 08/10/2014 - 12:00

Oculus, as we know, was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, and now the VR community has been buzzing about trying to figure out what to do with all this newly accessible technology. And adding to the interest, the 2nd iteration of the development kits were released, causing a resurgence in virtual reality development as computer generated experiences started pouring out from of every corner of the world. But not everyone can afford the $350 USD price tag to purchase one of these devices, bringing out the need for Do-It-Yourself projects like these 3D printed wearable video goggles via Adafruit.

The design of this project is reminiscent of the VR2GO mobile viewer that came out of the MxR Lab (aka the research environment that spun out Palmer Lucky before he created Oculus). However, the hardware here is more robust and utilizes a 5.6″ display and 50mm aspheric lenses instead of a regular smart phone. The HD monitor is held within a 3D printed enclosure along with an Arduino Micro and 9-DOF motion sensor. The outer hood of the case is composed of a combination of PLA and Ninjaflex printing-filament, keeping the fame rigid while the area around the eyes remain flexible and comfortable. The faceplate is secured with a mounting bracket and a pair of aspheric lenses inside split the screen for stereoscopic video. Head straps were added allowing for the device to fit snugly on one’s face.

At the end of the tutorial, the instructions state that once everything is assembled, all that is required afterwards is to plug in a 9V power adapter and an HDMI cable sourcing video from somewhere else. This should get the console up and running; but it would be interesting to see if this design in the future can eliminate the wires and make this into a portable unit. Regardless of which, this project does a fantastic job at showing what it takes to create a homemade virtual reality device. And as you can see from the product list after the break, the price of the project fits under the $350 DK2 amount, helping to save some money while still providing a fun and educational experience.

Estimated Products List:

5.6″ Display – $149.95

9-DOF IMU Breakout – $39.95

Arduino Micro – $22.95

HDMI Cable – $4.95

50mm 5x Aspheric Lenses – $12.94 x 2 = $25.88

Total – $269.56 (not including taxes and shipping)

DK2 Price – $350.00

As you can see, these DIY VR goggles cost about one hundred US dollars less than the DK2, but perhaps there is a way to reduce the amount even further. Especially since the 3D printer and the filament is not accounted for. If you have any ideas on how to get this design, or a similar one, down into the $150 USD range, be sure to let us know in the comments section.

And check out this video that Adafruit made describing the project:

Filed under: Virtual Reality

Commodore 1530 Datasette gets a Digital Counter

อาทิตย์, 08/10/2014 - 09:00

Ah, the humble Commodore 1530 Datasette drive. It never enjoyed much popularity in the USA, but it was the standard for quite some time in Europe. [DerSchatten13] still uses and loves his 1530. When a co-worker showed him some 7-segment bubble LEDs, he knew what he had to do. Thus the 1530 digital counter (translated) was born.

[DerSchatten13] started out by building his design on a breadboard. He used every I/O pin on an ATtiny2313 to implement his circuit. Tape motion is detected by a home-made rotary encoder connected to the original mechanical counter’s belt drive. To keep the pin count down, [DerSchatten13] multiplexed the LEDs on the display.

Now came the hard part, tearing into the 1530 and removing the mechanical counter. [DerSchatten13] glued in some standoffs to hold the new PCB. After rebuilding the circuit on a piece of perfboard, he installed the new parts. The final result looks great on the inside. From the outside, one would be hard pressed to tell the digital counter wasn’t original equipment.

Operation of the digital counter is identical to the analog unit – with one exception. The clear button now serves double duty. Pressing and holding it saves the current count. Save mode is indicated by turning on the decimal point. If the user rewinds the tape, the counter will stop the motor when the saved count is reached. Cueing up that saved program just got a heck of a lot easier!

Thanks [Frank]!

Filed under: classic hacks

An Open Source 1MHz Abritrary Waveform Generator with an Awesome UI

อาทิตย์, 08/10/2014 - 06:00


[Herp] just shared a nice 1MHz Arbitrary Waveform Generator (right click -> translate to English as google translation links don’t work) with a well designed user interface. His platform is based around a PIC32, a TFT module with its touchscreen and the 75MHz AD9834 Direct Digital Synthesizer (DDS). Of course the latter could generate signals with frequencies up to 37.5MHz… but that’s only if two output points are good enough for you.

As you can see in the video embedded below, the ‘tiny dds’ can generate many different kinds of periodic signals and even ones that are directly drawn on the touchscreen. The offset and signal amplitude can be adjusted using several operational amplifiers after the DDS ouput and a separate SMA TTL output is available to use a PIC32 PWM signal. The platform can read WAV audio files stored on microSD cards and also has an analog input for signal monitoring. Follow us after the break for the video.


Filed under: handhelds hacks, hardware, Microcontrollers

DEFCON 22: Hack All the Things

อาทิตย์, 08/10/2014 - 03:00

This morning I went to a fantastic talk called Hack All the Things. It was presented by GTVHacker. If you don’t recognize the name, this is the group that hacked the GoogleTV. They haven’t stopped hacking since that success, and this talk is all about 20+ devices that they’ve recently pwned and are making the info public (that link still had oath when I checked but should soon be public).

The attacks they presented come in three flavors: UART, eMMC, and command injection bugs. I’m going to add the break now, but I’ll give a rundown of most of the device exploits they showed off. I found all amusing, and often comical.

UART Hacks

UART connections on a PCB are usually pretty easy to spot. Most often they are 3 or 4 pins in a line or a square. Since pretty much everything runs Linux so once you have a serial connect pwning the device is familiar. Let’s look at some hardware:

  • Epson Artisan 700/800 printer and the Belkin Wemo both have UART exploits.
  • Greenwave reality smart bulbs ship with open U-boot which will let you issue commands at boot up to open root shell access.
  • File transporter (cloud/nas; was a kickstarter by drobo). Buildroot-based. The UART header is actually populated on this!
  • Vizio CoStar LT (ISV-B11). At boot it looks for fs.sys on USB. Research discovered this is U-Boot file which the device is looking. Give it your own crafted U-boot image and you pwn the device.
  • Staples Connect: wifi, zigbee (UART) — short out pins 29 and 30 on the NAND chip corrupts the U-Boot at power-up and gives U-Boot access which is an easy avenue to opening a root console.
eMMC Hacks

eMMC is basically an SD card on a chip. If you can patch into the data lines you can own the data on the device and monitor transactions. Usually you get at the pins by soldering to nearby resistors. Here’s some devices pwned with this method:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Hisense Android TV (rebranded Google TV)
  • LG Smart Refrigerator (LFX31995ST)
  • Vizio Stmart TV (VF552VXT)
  • Sony BDP-S5100 (Blu-Ray)
  • LG BP 530 (Blu-Ray)
Injection attacks:

Whether you know the term or not you should already be familiar with injection attacks. This is best described as poorly implemented user interfaces; places you can enter text that don’t scrub for commands.

  • Motorola RAZR LTE Baseband (processor separate from Android). This is done over a USB network connection.
  • PogoPlug can be attacked with injection via web interface
  • Netgear Push2TV set-top box. You can interrupt the boot loader through the UART. You can also get into the root shell for a second or two during boot. You can even inject via the nickname of the box to run commands as root.
  • Ooma Telo router. ssh is already running (LAN only) but it is firewalled by default. You can inject a command via the web interface IPtables field to bring down that firewall. (default root password is !ooma123).
  • Netgear NTV200-100NAS. Everything on the box is signed. Another injection via web interface. Updates are downloaded over http. You can pull down an app, inject your symlink, and dump your own commands onto the device to open a root shell.
  • ASUS cube (Google TV). The team giving the talk put an app on the Play store to get root but Google pulled it down (apparently they don’t like apps that crack their precious hardware). You can use the built-in media app to inject through its SMB mounting feature.
Getting fun:
  • Summer Baby Zoom WiFi. “Secure” baby monitoring device according to their marketing. There is a hard coded username and password for uploading firmware. This can be injection attacked with a simple ‘curl’ command.
  • Samsung SmartCam. There is a LAN-accessible script that checks passwords but not for new users. This can be exploited to make the system think you’re adding a new user; when asked to set the password you’re actually resetting the root password.
The “holy crap you need to buy one of these” hardware was saved for last:

Wink Hub is an amazing piece of pwned tech. Fifty buck gets you a box billed as a gateway for your home devices. The board has six radios on it (WiFi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, 433MHz Lutron, and 433MHz Kidde). It will interface with multiple peripherals like door locks, smoke detectors, propane gauges, humidity/temperature/light sensing.

Pwn it like crazy. A command Injection bug is present in the code which runs a sudo command passing values in through POST variables. Theses are not escaped and make for an easy attack vector.

Filed under: cons, security hacks

Funky Looking Motor is Powered by Static Electricity

อาทิตย์, 08/10/2014 - 00:00

[Steven Dufresne] of Rimstar.org is at it again with another very functional science experiment. This week he’s showing us how he made a large electrostatic motor, also known as a Corona Motor.

A Corona motor makes use of a cool
phenomenon called the Corona discharge, which is the ionization of a fluid
(in this case, air) surrounding a conductor that is energized. He’s done other high voltage experiments that take advantage of this, like his Ion Wind propelled Star Trek Enterprise!

The motor works by using an even number of electrodes on the motor, each electrically charged; positive, negative, positive, negative, etc.

Because each electrode is the opposite charge, they want to repel each other — but since the cylinder is electrically insulated, the charges have no where to go — instead the cylinder begins to rotate as the charges attract back and forth — when a positive charge on the insulation meets a negatively charged electrode, the charge is removed by ionization (creating the corona effect), and the cycle continues. The direction of rotation is determined by the angle of the electrodes. The motor can get going pretty fast but doesn’t have that much torque or power.

For a full explanation of the project, check out [Steve's] explanation in the following video:

And how to make it!

This is actually [Steve's] second Corona motor, as he already designed a simpler one that is easier to build previously.

Filed under: how-to

More Pole Climbing Bots, Haul Antennas and Bikes

เสาร์, 08/09/2014 - 21:00

A few days ago we posted about a Pole Climbing Device. Since then we’ve gotten a few emails with tips about other pole climbers. We are going to talk about two of those here, they are completely different from each other and have completely different uses. Who knew there was such a variety of pole climber bots out there?

First up is this an antenna-wielding bot that climbs up poles in order to promote over the air communications. The system is called E-APS (Emergency Antenna Platform System) and is used by enthusiasts to turn any ol’ parking lot lamp post into an antenna tower. This particular machine has a large rectangular frame made from extruded aluminum. There are four wheels, two of which are driven by what appears to be a car power window motor. The weight of the antenna forces each set of two wheels to be pressed up against opposite sides of the pole, creating enough friction to not only support the unit but allow it to travel up and down the pole. There is not a lot of explanation about the build but there are a lot of detailed photos of the final product. We saw E-APS in action at MakerFaire New York 2013, and it was very impressive.

We’ve covered this next device before but it’s worth mentioning again. The project assumes that no bike lock is strong enough to deter the most persistent thief. Instead of locking your bike up and hoping for the best, this ‘theft preventer’ hikes your bike up out of the reach of would-be bike nabbers. So how do you get your bike down once it is up the pole? A remote control fob, of course.

There are 2 cool videos of these inventions after the break…..


Filed under: robots hacks

Twitching Fish Plays Pokemon Underwater

เสาร์, 08/09/2014 - 18:00

Over a matter of a few days, thousands of people were simultaneously watching this fish named [Grayson Hopper] float around a bowl of water as a webcam recorded its every move and translated the directions it took into a working gameplay of Pokemon Red. Each section of the tank was split into partitions, with each section acting like a button. So when the fish swam over a specific area, the main Pokemon character [Ash] was told where to go.

It was created during a hackNY hackathon within 24 hours when the fish started its journey in to the world of Pokemon. Already, a subreddit popped up documenting the adventure. Amazingly enough, [Grayson] chose Charmander as its starting Pokemon and has defeated its rival Squirtle.

This project was great for watching hours on end, especially at work, as the cute little fish went about its life unaware that it is becoming a popular internet star.

Check out the link above to stream the video. There is even a chat bar on the side, which allows anyone to jump into the fishy conversation. If the fish looks dead though, it’s probably just sleeping.

[Thanks for the tip Bailey!]

Also, Pokemon was reborn some vintage hardware recently which allows the player to game via the web. Check that out too!

Filed under: nintendo gameboy hacks

Arduino Gives Your Toilet Options

เสาร์, 08/09/2014 - 15:00

With the severe drought going on in California with no end in sight, [TVMiller] decided he could put an Arduino and a toilet together to try and save at least a few gallons of water per day. The invention fills a toilet to the minimum level, saving around two gallons per day for the average “user”.

A typical toilet functions by using gravity and moving water to create a vacuum, sucking the waste down and out of the toilet. As long as there is nothing, uh, solid in the bowl, the toilet will be able to function on the reduced amount of water. The Arduino cuts the flow of water off before the toilet fills up the entire way.

In the event that anyone -ahem- needs the toilet’s full capacity, there is a button connected to the Arduino that fills the reservoir to capacity. [TVMiller] notes that if 1,825 hackers installed this device on their toilets, we could save a million gallons of water per year and be well on our way to saving the planet.

The project site is full of more information and puns for your viewing pleasure. We might suggest that the “2” button would be very easy to integrate with the toilet terror level indicator as well.


Filed under: home hacks

Unorthodox GoPro Camera Rigs Produce Unreal Videos

เสาร์, 08/09/2014 - 12:00

For a workshop at the ECAL University of Art and Design in Switzerland, students were asked to come up with new unorthodox ways to capture video using a GoPro camera. The results are pretty awesome.

Lead by the Dutch designer [Roel Wouters], students in the Media & Interaction Design program worked together with Industrial Design students to create these fascinating camera rigs. From “the eye”, a water based stabilizing ball, to a silly bobble hat can be spun around the user, the results are super fun and unique to watch. The workshop was one week long and produced five different camera rigs as featured in the following video.

The video reminds us of this most excellent GoPro Slingshot that we featured last year! And if you’re not crazy about throwing your GoPro, you can always make a sliding time lapse rig, or even a panning mount to catch bad drivers on the road!

[via MAKE]

Filed under: digital cameras hacks

Estimating BB Gun Muzzle Velocity with a Voice Recorder and a Curtain

เสาร์, 08/09/2014 - 09:00

[Luke Wren] just wrote in to tell us about his new science blog called Wren’s Tech — it’s only a few days old, but he’s already got some pretty cool science experiments written up! Like how to estimate the muzzle velocity of a BB gun using just a voice recorder, and a curtain!

There are many different ways you could do this. One of the easiest is using a high-speed camera with a known grid or pattern as the background — like how Mythbusters does it. Unfortunately, high-speed cameras are usually out of reach for most hobbyists. [Luke] explains a rather cool system you can build with some electronics, whereby you have two thin wires a known distance apart — run current through both and use a circuit that can detect the interrupt as your projectile breaks the wires — or, you can use a voice recorder.

His method is by far the easiest and can be done by pretty much anyone. By using sound, you can record the shooting of the BB gun at a known distance into a curtain, or wall, or anything really. Take the sound clip and measure the time between the two sounds — the firing and the impact. It’s not perfectly accurate but it’s a pretty good estimation of the average speed of the projectile: 33.6-38.3m/s.

Unfortunately, that’s just the average — not muzzle velocity. By making a few assumptions about drag force and doing a few calculations, [Luke] was able to calculate the approximate muzzle velocity of 63m/s, with the kinetic energy of about 0.22 Joules. While that may seem fast, by the time the BB hits the curtain 4 meters away, it’ll have a mere 1/9th of its initial energy. Ouch.

Filed under: Cellphone Hacks

Wooden Case Sega Saturn Laptop

เสาร์, 08/09/2014 - 06:00

Remember the Sega Saturn? You know, that short-lived game system of the mid 90’s. Well, [c_mon] is still a fan and decided to make a portable version with a built in screen.

As you can see from the photos, the main case is made from wood, plywood to be exact. Several pieces of the plywood were cut out using a CNC Router and laminated together to achieve the full height needed to enclose the internal electronics. The finished case takes up a little less real estate than the original, however it is slightly taller.

You may recognize the screen as an old PSOne unit. The screen was taken part and housed in it’s own wooden enclosure which is hinged to the main case. The video is supplied to the screen by a composite output from the Saturn. There is no unique CD lid either, the screen functions as one when it is folded down. For sound there are a couple built in powered speakers that tap into the stock audio output.

To ad a little pizzazz, [c_mon] routed in a groove in the top to accept some EL wire. There are also some cool engravings in the wooden case, including the Saturn Automobile Manufacturer logo on the top of the screen lid…. whoops!


Filed under: laptops hacks

DEFCON 22: Badge Talk

เสาร์, 08/09/2014 - 03:00

I got a great seat on the main floor for the first big DEFCON 22 talk which is a welcome to the con and discussion of the badge hardware. [LosT], the creator of this year’s badge, started the discussion with a teaser about the badge… there’s a phone number hidden as part of the challenge. [LosT] took a call from someone chasing the puzzles. The guy was in the audience which was pretty fun.

The process of building a puzzle that can be solved at DEFCON is really tough. How do you make it just hard enough that it won’t get pwned right away but easy enough that a large number of attendees will be able to figure it out during the weekend? The answer is to build a secure system and introduce strategic flaws which will be the attack vectors for the attendees solving the badge challenge.

Of course the badge can be used as a development platform. The populated electronics on the board all have these nice little footprints which can be cut to disconnect them from the chip. The breakout headers on either side of the board allow you to connect headers for your own uses. Great idea!

The back of the lanyards have special characters on them too. This encourages community at the conference. To solve the puzzle you need to find others with different lanyards. Compare the glyphs and crack the code (so far I have no clue!!).

Know what I’m doing wrong? Have suggestions on where to go from here? I’ll be checking the comments!

Filed under: cons, hardware

Hacklet #10 Cryptography and Reverse Engineering

เสาร์, 08/09/2014 - 00:00

In honor of DEFCON, this week we’re looking at some cryptography and reverse engineering projects over at Hackaday.io Every hacker loves a hardware puzzle, and [Tom] has created a tool to make those puzzles. His Hardware Reverse Engineering Learning Platform consists of a shield with two ATmega328 chips and an I2C EEPROM. The two Atmel chips share a data bus and I2C lines. Right in the middle of all this is an ST Morpho connector, which allows an ST Nucleo board to act as a sniffer. The platform allows anyone to create a reverse engineering challenge! To successfully reverse engineer a board, it sure helps to have good tools. [coflynn] is giving that to us in spaces with The ChipWhisperer. ChipWhisperer is an open source security research platform. The heart of the system is a Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA. The FPGA allows very high speed operations for things like VCC and clock glitching. ChipWhisperer is an entire ecosystem of boards – from LNA blocks to field probes. The entire system is controlled from an easy to use GUI. The end result is a powerful tool for hardware attacks. On the Encryption side of the house, we start by keeping the Feds at bay. The [Sector67] hackerspace has collectively created NSA AWAY. NSA AWAY is a simple method of sending secure messages over an insecure medium – such as email. A one-time use pad is stored on two SD cards, which are used by two Android devices. The message sender uses an Android device to encrypt the message. On the receive side, the message can be decoded simply by pointing an android device’s camera at the encrypted data. So easy, even a grandparent could do it! Next up is [Josh's] Bury it under the noise floor. “Bury it” is an education for cryptography in general, and steganographic software in particular. [Josh] explains how to use AES-256 encryption, password hashing, and other common techniques. He then introduces steganography  by showing how to hide an encrypted message inside an image. Anyone who participated in Hackaday’s ARG build up to The Hackaday Prize will recognize this technique. [yago] gives us encrypted voice communications with his ZRTP Hardphone. The hardphone implements the ZRTP, a protocol for encrypted voice over IP communications. The protocol is implemented by a Raspberry Pi using a couple of USB sound cards. User interface is a 16×2 Line character LCD, a membrane keypad, and of course a phone handset. Don’t forget that you need to build two units,or  whoever you’re trying to call will  be rather confused!

Finally we have the Mooltipass. Developed right here on Hackaday by [Mathieu Stephan] and the community at large, Mooltipass is a secure password storage system. All your passwords can be stored fully AES-256 encrypted, with a Smart Card key. Under the hood, Mooltipass uses an Arduino compatible ATmega32U4 microcontroller. UI is through a OLED screen and touch controls.     That’s it for this week! Be sure to check out next week’s Hacklet, when we bring you more of the best from Hackaday.io!

Filed under: Hackaday Columns

Astronaut Or Astronot: Don’t Try To Record SQL Queries At DEFCON

ศุกร์, 08/08/2014 - 23:14

It’s Friday morning and time for another round of Astronaut Or Astronot, the little lottery thing where we’re giving away lots of dev boards, programmers, and an awesome meter to someone on hackaday.io if they have voted in the latest round of voting.

There’s no video this week because, you know, DEFCON, but the person randomly chosen did not vote. Too bad.

This means the voting will continue next week, same time. If you want a chance to get your grubby mitts on a bunch of awesome gear, vote. Do it now.

Filed under: The Hackaday Prize

iPad Finds New Home in Mac Classic

ศุกร์, 08/08/2014 - 21:00

Who of us out there don’t have a spare iPad and Mac Classic kicking around? If you are one of those lucky folks then this project is for you. [site hirac] has made a pretty neat stand for an iPad made out of a Mac Classic case (translated). It just happens that the screens of the Mac Classic and iPad are pretty darn close in size. Although the screen size is similar, the resolution is not. The original Macintosh Classic had a black and white screen with a resolution of 512 × 342 pixels. The iPad’s resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels has 450% more pixels than the original Mac.

To get the iPad to fit correctly, the case had to be significantly modified. First, all of the internals of the Mac were removed, leaving just an empty case. The front panel of the case was removed and a slot on the left side is made. This slot helps to allow the iPad to slide into the Mac. On the inside of the front panel quite a few of injection molded supports were trimmed away for clearance. A slot was also cut in the left side of the rear case half. When the case is re-assembled, the slots in the front and rear halves provide a large enough hole for the iPad to fit through. Oddly, there are some plastic features on the front panel that are at just the right height to hold the iPad in the ideal location to line up with the screen cutout in the case.

All the case mod details well documented, in case you are itching to build one. This is a pretty neat project already but if we had to make any suggestions, it would be to add a docking connector and some integrated speakers. As the project is now, the iPad runs off battery power and the iPad speakers are facing into the case.

Filed under: macs hacks

A Do-It-Yourself Air Conditioner with Evaporative Cooling 5 Gallon Bucket

ศุกร์, 08/08/2014 - 18:01

The people over at Gray Wolf Survival have this amazing little air conditioning project that is a perfect addition to any household that doesn’t have flowing air wafting through. It was created by [Figjam] for a trip to Burning Man, where all kinds of crazy ideas are bred in the hot dry heat of The Playa sun.

The design uses no ice, which is the cooling agent typical found in other DIY air conditioners. Those generally cut holes in the top of a cooler, put a fan on top to blow the air down across the ice. This is similar, but acts more like an evaporative cooler (not really a traditional air conditioner but it does the job).

It uses a LOT less energy than an air conditioner unit so there won’t be a need to increase the power capabilities of a simple system to work it, and it can reduce the temperature by up to 30 degrees as well as alleviate the dryness associated with living through a Burn. It runs off 12V DC so it can either use the solar panel or connect to a battery. It has a 12V power plug for this, and draws as little power as absolutely possible. Plus, it has the ability to easily connect to a larger water source so it won’t have to be continually refilled. These considerations make it very portable and perhaps backpackable as well.

[Figjam] took a 5 gallon bucket, wrapped the inside with two layers of swamp cooler matting, made a loop of hose above it connected to a submersible pump and ran a fan out the top with piping. Connecting it to a shelter is done with a vent hose.

Filed under: green hacks

Turning Street Sweeper Bristles into Lock Picking Tools…For Science!

ศุกร์, 08/08/2014 - 15:01

In between writing for Hackaday, most of us (if not all of us) like to design projects on our own, creating whatever might come to mind. I, for instance, enjoy experimenting with lock picking techniques at industrial, gritty, and real warehouses in Southern California learning how to utilize the resources there, turning spare parts into something completely different.

One such skill I learned is how easy it is to make lock picking sets from discarded scraps of metal. The documentation is found on a personal blog of mine called HackerTrips (we cover our own stuff sometimes). It contains several photos and descriptions of the process involved which I picked up thanks to a hackerspace in Fullerton where local makers dream up all kinds of interesting projects.

The project starts out by walking on the streets, which is a rarity these days. This is because the general modes of transportation now are either a car, a bus, a subway, a train, a bike, or a plane, which puts the attention on the destination at hand rather than peering into the fractures of the road. This means that a lot of the time, people don’t notice the hidden treasures found on the side of the street, including the street sweeper bristles that have been knocked off their edges.

They are usually uncovered within cracks of the concrete where the street machine sweepers gnaw their steel teeth from time to time on the disrupted seams of asphalt, leaving behind battered bits of metal, which are the perfect size for feeling their way into the pins of a lock. Once collected, the steel can be heated up, then promptly cooled in liquid, and fashioned into fingering picks or wavy rakes and tension wrenches. A simple bench grinder can be used to cut grooves in the spring steel into the necessary points, but a handheld file tool does the job too.

Other types of spare metal that are good for unlocking include blued steel fishing tape, stiffening bars that run down the sides of various wiper blades, handle wire from binder clips, and stationary paperclips converted into lock picks. However, the street sweeper approach is one of the most fascinating because it acts like an Easter egg hunt, giving the curious road walker a sense of accomplishment when handfuls of leftover material are transformed into eye-opening, lock picking tools.

Now with great power, comes great responsibility. I wouldn’t recommend going around town, picking every lock nearby, unless it’s for educational purposes…for science! Trust me, you don’t want to show this technique to the wrong person; they will freak out, or arrest you. But raising awareness that lock picking sets can be made with ordinary scraps of metal is a good thing.

Whether you embrace the skill, or are nervous of the consequences, all this project shows is that it can be done. Just a bit of ingenuity transforms a metal bristle that most people have no idea exists for use in an unexpected way.

Filed under: lockpicking hacks

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