Aux stereo receiver controls


[Bob van loosen] added a remote learning circuit made from a PIC 16F84A to his Onkyo receiver – which happens to have remote buttons and a ttl control link for external devices. The PIC listens to the remote link on the receiver. By grounding a pin, it will learn the next remote command that’s received. In this case, he uses it to swap the left/right front/rear signals to gain proper speaker orientation when he switches between his TV and Computer. This would make an entertaining external dongle if you combined it with a smoke generator…

Soldering iron indicator mod


At first glance, [sprite_tm]s weller mod seemed a bit trivial. In reality, it’s like art with analog electronics. He wanted to add an indicator light for the heating element. To pull it off, he built a funky diode capacitor circuit to create a pseudo-regulated DC voltage, then used a zener diode, a potentiometer and a transistor to make a simple voltage switch that activates a transistor driven LED.

Line following wheel chair


[Niklas Roy] sent in probably one of the largest line following robots ever built. The Gallerydrive project is used to move visitors around an art gallery. It can follow either a black or white line. It also has a touchscreen display for displaying information about the art which is read from RFID tags. Niklas has a full diary of the build on his site with everything you need to build your own.

DIY Beamer control


I was poking around the lumenlab forums and ran across this nice little project. It’s designed specifically for diy projectors. I settled for a simple thermal switch for my cooling, but this provides temperature monitoring/protection, dual fan control, lamp hour counter, serial interface and optional LCD controls. Everything you need to build your own is there, but it’s mostly in german.

Now I’m outta here – I’m going scuba diving.

Laser beam modding


The laser community forums have a nice primer on basic laser effects. [Steve] thought I’d really be interested in this sweet prototype dual laser saber. It’s a custom piece that uses a wicked laser pointer (You can use any laser, but those happen to be damn powerful) and a polycarbonate blade(tube/rod) to create the hallowed light saber effect. (Now I know what I want for christmas.) Mcmaster-carr carries polycarbonate rod and tube if you want to make your own,

DIY altimeter extra


Last year a friend of mine was kind enough to watch me jump out of a perfectly good airplane. While pondering that incredible adrinaline rush, I thought it was time for an altimeter hacking extra. (Don’t answer your phone for at least 12 hours after the jump or you might accidentally tell your mom…. Even if you’re 30 and in another state, you’ll probably get yelled at.)

The 2004 KAP rig on this page caught my eye. It features a small dongle that logs altimeter data when the shutter is activated on the camera. Schematics are in the pdf. The rest of the setups are pretty freakin’ impressive too.

Of course, there’s the classic model rocket altimeter project. If you’d prefer to leave off the cost of a basic stamp, try the more recently updated recording altimeter. It’s got a nice low parts count.

If you want something a bit more versatile, check out this RF transmitting altimeter. It’s still in progress, but it’s getting a thorough writeup as it progresses.

We’ve seen them before, but I’d be remiss not to mention a GPS data logger. (I took my old garmin foretrex on my skydive, but didn’t have a decent signal until I was out of the plane.

If someone finds a diy audible altimeter, let me know.

ToorCon Seattle Beta


I’m attending ToorCon Seattle Beta this weekend. Today was a single track made up of 20 minute talks. ToorCon is really best in breed when it comes to hacker conferences. Highlights follow:

Beetle, from the Shmoo, opened the conference with WiFight Club. Of course, by me mentioning that, you’re officially in WiFight Club. This will eventually become a competition that is summarized best with the phrase: “Faraday Cage Match”. He mentioned interesting projects like GNU Radio and others. I really want to see where this goes. It looks like a lot of fun.

Rodney Thayer’s talk on credit cards boiled down to this: everyone worries about internet security when doing online transactions, but that doesn’t really matter since the credit card company security policies are garbage.

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