iBook wireless retrofit

[squishy] sent in his iBook refit project. Normally a laptop ressurection wouldn’t grab my attention, but the wireless card caught my eye. Because his ebay deal didn’t come with an airport card, he refitted it with a Senao 200mW wireless card. The card just fit – and with some dremel work on the antenna connector, it was plug and play under linux.

USB CNC controller

This one reminds me of a MAME arcade controller. This control panel is just the gravy on top of a very nice CNC conversion for a Sieg X2 mini mill. (Like mine.) [Hoss] used a Logitech attack 3 joystick and a philips PC game pad to provide the interface. Of course, the case was machined on the mill. The thread covering his conversion provides DXF diagrams of all the parts he used for his CNC conversion, as well as explanation diagrams. (If you need a decent DXF viewer/cad program, try Qcad in the ubuntu repositories.)

Bluetooth enabled… London Bridge

[Mike] sent in a different sort of hack – as part of the switched on London festival, these guys added bluetooth sensors to London Bridge. When a bluetooth enabled device is detected on the bridge, a blue ‘pixel’ will show up on the upper tower bridge. Once the device is detected at the other side of the bridge, the ‘pixel’ will move across the bridge at the same speed as the device did. You’ve got a few more days to check it out if you’re in the area.

Update: Just to be clear – the sensors are on the new London bridge, and the pixel/light appears along the top of Tower bridge. Sorry for the confustion, I haven’t been in London since 1995 or so. I mistakenly assumed that the lights were on the upper tower of the bridge.

Coilosapien: Rail gun on yer robot

It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything new on the robosapien front, but I’d say that a laser sighted rail gun for our favorite robots is worthy. From the video, it appears to have decent accuracy and a fair sized clip. It’s creator, [Marcus] says that he’ll have a tutorial up soon. Thanks to [Robert] for the tip. (Update: The tip says it’s a mini rail gun, so I’m not sure if it’s a rail gun or a coil gun.)

Keyboard contact repair

Here’s a little bit of a blast from the past, but I’d bet that many of us have encountered this problem. Keyboard contacts can wear out, be damaged by drink spills or that vat of acid you left by the TV. Automotive defroster repair paint should work – if have some handy. [eeun] documented a keyboard contact repair method using household aluminum foil and superglue.

Design Challenge: Hung Jury

We’re not really hung, but it is taking a while for us to decide just who get the title. While we decide, here’s a couple more entries remind you what it’s all about.

[Razvan] sent in this excellent entry. (I’m hosting it on my personal server since he didn’t have one)
The writeup could be a bit clearer, but the design is pretty sweet. It features a mega avr brain and a microchip ethernet controller with a software based USB interface. It’s a pretty intriguing design – lots of possibilities for ethernet controllable projects.

[Tom D] sent in this rolling codes garage door opener. This will step through all the garage door opener codes for garage doors made before 2003.

Remote control Lawn Mower

[Terry] sent in the first of his projects that he’s posted on his site. Having grown up in the midwestern US, I can’t even express how badly I wanted to build one of these puppies when I was a kid. His remote control lawnmower is essentially the bastard child of a three way between a R/C car, a wheelchair and the lawnmower. The radio is interfaced with the control box from a wheelchair, otherwise it’s a good welding project.

Nice work. I’ve one suggestion – a safety circuit that disables the mower if radio control is lost. There are a few devices designed just for R/C projects that’ll do the trick. (Update: ok, there’s a failsafe in the design but I wouldn’t call it optional!)