Every couple months I get a tip about how to get unlimited calling for minimal money. They usually involve some less than elegant forwarding, but I figured I’d post one and hopefully be done with this topic. Here is [van12]’s version posted on Howard forums. First you need a cellphone plan that has free inbound/outbound calling to your home number. You use a home number from a VOIP provider that lets you forward inbound calls to your cellphone. By calling home you can use the VOIP providers cheap unlimited plan to make calls.
[UPDATE: HoFo seems to be blocking us with a registration page now]
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[Alex Hornstein] was bored one Saturday and decided to do something with the large pieces of scrap acrylic he had found. He built a cube and attached 15 RGB LED clusters along with 4 GB LED sticks. It takes 50W of power. The controller is built from ATmega48 and is controlled via serial commands over a wireless link from Spark Fun. You can find schematics, pictures, and video on his site, Art is Wrong.
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Seattle Airsoft has a great post on measuring BB velocity using a microphone. They use two pieces of paper separated by 10 feet with a microphone by each one. Audacity is their program of choice for recording. If you look at the waveform after firing you’ll see three distinct spikes: one from the firing mechanism and one from each paper strike. They compared the results from this method to those of an actual optical chronograph. The mic seemed to deviate far less.
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[Ladada2001] sent along a project link for building a VGA extension cable using CAT5. This particular project was for a projector with BNC connectors. This has been a particularly popular (and easy) topic in the past. We’ve seen an example from ElephantStaircase. The 5-in-1 cable featured in Make also had provisions for VGA. If you build one of these cables you should be able to get decent performance at 50 feet.
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Hacked Gadgets pointed out this great peltier based beverage cooler. It has a pulse width modulation based controller driving a 12V 80W peltier. Alan also pointed out Hack-A-Day reader Chris Garrison’s peltier beer cooler from last summer. The Defcon cooling contest from last year also featured a peltier based cooler.
[UPDATE: Afrotech’s Snapple Cooler or How to enhance your beverage with iron oxide. Thanks liam]
[UPDATE: PeltierBeer cooler first seen on Slashdot [thanks Wiki Multipla]. Mattt’s Peltier Beer Cooler on Bit-tech [thanks dougedey].
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[nickjohnson] has produced an incredibly silly laser wall clock. It was built to test out his PWM servo controller board. He created a wall poster featuring numbers 0-9, hour, minute, AM, PM. The controller points at each symbol in sequence to spell out the time. It changes position every second which creates a nice ticking sound. The clock may be goofy, but you should have a look at his parallel port controller since it’s designed to be simple and uses common components.
[matt] wrote me a couple weeks ago wondering how to build a robotic arm that can load and load/unload a CD or DVD from a drive. I told him about one built out of wood that I couldn’t find the link for. Matt wrote back to say he had found the Home built CD changer contraption. The design is pretty simple and uses gravity for downward movement, so you don’t have to worry about a motor slamming the head into the desk.
He also pointed out the one built by Ben out of Legos. He used it to rip his collection of CDs for his Squeezebox. You’ll remember his caller ID project from last week.
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