Build your own tornado machine

tornado machine

This looks like a pretty cool toy to build. At the top of the cylinder is a fan that removes air from the center column of the device creating a low pressure zone. This air is then blown back into the cylinder to feed the rotation. Besides the regular construction supplies you’ll need a squirrel cage fan and speed control. The most expensive part of this project is the mist generator. The nice thing is, you can construct the entire device and make sure it’s functioning before you dump money into the mister. I saw a really large one of these last year at NCAR in Boulder, CO. It was pretty cool, but naturally I was there to see the Cray-1A [via]. Lately we’ve been creating our own path of destruction so we’re hosting the pdf which was originally found at weather-photography.com.

[thanks seesoe]

[Read more...]

hackaday lazy afternoons

Lazy Afternoons

wow. i’ll get some links in today dont worry, but the one thing I wanna talk about is the meetups that took place yesterday. philadelphia’s turnout was outstanding. about 30 people came altogether. i’m really glad you all came! we had 4 camcorders going, all kinds of gadgetry, we had lengthy discussions on all subjects and the meeting lasted until 10:45pm! we took it over to Qdoba for some grub around 9pm so it was a great time. troy, juan, and others, be sure to e-mail me about the video you guys got. and if you got pics, e-mail me about it.

seriously though. I was blown away. mad props to byron for coming down 6 hours from boston. yes. boston. that’s dedication. to all philly people: we’ll be moving the meetings to an indoor place though so we can have access to the net, electricity, and no 30mph winds hampering our voices. all and all i’m happy to declare the first hackaday meetings a total success. they will continue to be weekly on thursday nights. this way it doesnt interfere with people’s fridays or weekends. plus, if you have school or whatever, who cares. just come! some people only stayed about 30 minutes and we’re glad they came! so you should too.

we’re also proud to announce a few other things meeting related! we’re getting stickers made to give out to you guys (yes, we’ll be shipping them out to other meeting members in other areas). i’ll also be whipping up some limited edition t-shirts to give out. not a lot at all. they’ll most likely be given out for special reasons. maybe best hack of the month sent in or something. we’ll also be implementing meetup.com to help us organize better and get more people to come. awesome huh? the last great bit of news right now is that eliot and I will be going to las vegas, nv for defcon 13
this year! 3 unrelentless days of hackaday journalism in your face! so that should be really awesome. we’re totally hyped about it and you already know we’ll have the best coverage around.

Hackaday Philadelphia 01
(this is only SOME of the people that came!)

the meetings also opened up tons of new ideas, sharing, and hacks for everyone. it went exactly as planned. it was a very social event. people talked and shared ideas about things and taught us some cool things as well. a lot of us made new friends too i’m sure. special thanks to cary for coming up with idea after idea after idea (and this scary link)! they were all thought out very well. we’ll be sure to start posting all meetings every thursday morning for the hackaday meetups thread. so be sure to get meetings organized and information ready for me to post. send your info in through the tips section if you have a meeting setup so i get it for sure. even if its 5 people, its 5 people who are there to talk and discuss about hacks and what not. eventually i might even try some conference calls and what not. it should be really fun and i can assure you the next podcast will rock so hard. here’s some unedited video from juan (thanks!) in WMV format. Only 20mb.

and props of course for the ride home brandon.

Now, before I keep going on and on, let’s get some fresh grilled links inside you:
DIYParts – A free marketplace for computer parts! The best idea yet! [xytec]
i thought everyone knew about this, but i was wrong. be sure to check out systm! the new online show with kevin rose from techtv/g4tv. it’s really cool and well done!
kevin’s reference tool. a great circuitry tool. [nerd256]
my absolute favorite hack so far (maybe). atari 2600 web server!!! [yuppicide]
great widget hack for wikipedia and mac fans. wikipedia rocks. [grep]
how-to install a modchip in a gamecube! you have a right to backups! (thought i dunno where you’re getting those small discs or how you’re burning them.) [crumpster]
laptops are passe. the walltop however… [chris]
area 51 via google maps. i love how you cant zoom in all the way. really creepy. [jet]
remember people! get your meeting spots in. we only ask that you allow anyone to come and join in and participate and that it be on thursday so they all link up (thursdays EST, kenya has an exception!). Plus, if the meetings in Chile and Denmark go down, we’ll have hackaday meetings in over 5 countries! Wow! Keep being the best readers ever!

note: if you’re having a meeting, send it to me via e-mail or the TIPS form. this way, every thursday I can post it and everyone will be able to see it instead of digging through comments, this includes updates too (I’m looking at you roanoke, va)

[Read more...]