Steampunk: RSS telegraph, keybard, etc.


[Jake von Slatt] has sent along a few of his projects, but his timing never quite coincides with mine. It’s about time I give this guy some coverage. His latest project was a pair telegraph sounders – he uses them to tap out RSS feeds from his linux box. The amateur radio code requirement in the US has been dropped, but this is probably a great way to practice your Morse code. His keyboard build is definitely one of the most original efforts I’ve seen.

Dual antenna fonera mod


Sometimes the simple hacks make me happy. [CyberZeroCool] sent in his lightly modded fonera router. He hijacked the antenna and pigtail from one of his bricked fonera’s. One hole and a bit of soldering later: dual antennas. Of course, we’ve no idea if he can even use them both, but if it’s possible, openwrt will save the day. Wireless bits can get expensive, so I’ve grown to like mods that don’t need them.

Bonus: XBox 360: Modified Gentoo for easier booting


[XanTium] passed this along to me, and did a nice job of writing it up. You’ll still need those old kernels, but here’s the scoop:

“A modified Gentoo LiveCD and new KingKong Shader Hack have been released for the Microsoft Xbox360 console that will allow you to boot Linux on your Xbox360 pretty easily! The new shader hack no longer requires a serial connection on your 360 and will load the XeLL bootloader directly from DVD. Once the bootloader ran you can insert the ‘Xenon’ modified Gentoo Minimal 2006.1 LiveCD and run Linux. As this hack uses the Hypervisor Vulnerability it will only work on Xbox360 consoles with kenrel 4532 or 4548 (downgrading is not possible at this moment as Microsoft blew-up eFuses in CPU to prevent kernel downgrades), to run the shader hack you’ll need the Xbox360 King Kong game (modified with thew new shader patch mentioned above) and to run this modifie d game disc you’ll need to flash the Xbox360 DVD-ROM drive with a modified firmware.”

Automated slide cleaning digitizer


We’ve seen some work on diy digitizers before, but the one that [LP Rondeau] sent in is pretty sweet. It automates the process by advancing a slide projector carriage, blowing the slide clean with compressed air, and activating shutter release from a single controller. The images in this case have been shot in RAW (with a digital rebel ), and the setup allows immediate user review of the images – not to mention using the laptop for storage of all those huge images. The results of the shot and post processing are pretty good.

Microscope reactive digital aquarium


[Amos] sent in the Living Interface. I call it a microscope reactive aquarium. A small light sensitive animal is inside a mini-aquarium on the scope plate. The wires are attached to lights at the edges to attract the animal. The position of the critter is reported via a digital aquarium. (looks like an empty aquarium combined with a projector. Aside from looking friggin cool, it has applications for measuring water toxicity by measuring the reaction time of the animal.

A while back, a friend of a friend supposedly used a USB microscopes to measure yeast activity in his beer brewing. If anyone runs across it, let me know.

Nokia LCD/PIC based thermometer


Apparently I’m on a nokia 3310 LCD kick. [Coniferous] submitted this nice little pic project/nokia LCD implimentation. It uses a DS18B20 temperature sensor, a PIC 12F629 and of course, nokia guts. (We’ve gotten enough of these that I’m starting to consider a Nokia LCD hacks category.) The parts count is really low – this could easily be encased

Checkpoint VPN to Mediacenter


[Sasha] sent along this video. It’s a rather long (8 minutes) log of converting a checkpoint firewall into a home media player. The one in the video just needed a PCI video card, a and a USB hub to become a normal (yet still 1U) machine. I’m not sure what CPU was in it, but it was enough to run XP.