Friday I want a Ball Pit Extra


[rmunroe] of the notorious xkcd made his own ball pit. I’m now completely, totally jealous.

[-] sent in this Commadore 64 Guitar Hero project.

[Jock] sent in this uh, marriage of a Wiimote and a rocking horse. It’s actually a great idea if you’ve got a kid and some duct tape handy.

[warthox] sent in this XBox 360 tilt controller project. These have been popping up a bit, but you might like this one. The board is all surface mount, and was routed to make the prototype. I kind-of like the surface pads that were used to mount the wires to avoid doing thru hole mounts.

We’ve been digging the EeePC – [Paul] wrote up his tricks to get Ubuntu working on the thing.

[Jock] sent in this huge set of music hacks. Mostly circuit bent, but they make for interesting reading.

DIY SCUBA tank boost pump (for mixing gases)


No love for that sweet old NES controller? Fine, here’s a bonus hack for you. This home-built boost pump is designed to take in a volume of gas (like oxygen) and compress it with a hydraulic style air powered cylinder to raise the pressure. With the increased pressure, the O2 can be added to a SCUBA tank that contains high pressure air to create what’s known as NITROX. The idea is to increase the percentage of Oxygen in order to reduce Nitrogen absorbtion in the blood – increasing a divers safe time at depth underwater.
The compression cylinder is built entirely of brass with Sirvon seals. The drive cylinder and 2:1 lever produces 3,000 lbs of pressure on the pump cylinder, all from 120psi of pressure from a standard shop air compressor.

NES inside a controller with cartridge compatibility


[Tony] sent in this Nintendo hack. It’s a fully functioning NES with Composite output inside an old school controller. On the back it’s got a cartridge connector, so you can play normal games, there’s a port for a second player/light gun, and for extra bling, the Nintendo logo is backlit. To pull it off, he stuffed a Super Joy III – A.K.A. famiclone inside the controller, did a marathon of soldering for the cartridge connector, and used the now unused controller wires to carry the video and second controller signals.

Yes, this has been around for a while, but I dig it.

Mic preamp in an iPod touch dock connector


[Marian] sent in his sweet little Mic preamp that he built for his iPod touch. He built the circuit on the legs of a TLC272 OP-Amp with SMD components. The whole thing actually fits inside the cover of a standard iPod dock connector.
Bonus: [tnkgrl] added a USB bluetooth adapter to her eeePC after her circuit tracing efforts.

Pen size Polonium detector


[cartufer] sent in this sweet little Polonium detector. It’s fundamentally similar to the Geiger counter the other day, but the circuit is simpler by several orders of magnitude. No exotic parts for this one, just some basic metal working skills. (This might be handy when I visit my in-laws.) The page is loaded with several ion detection designs, from simple to very complex.

Python Web based serial control

[Benjamin] sent in his efforts to use Python to provide a web interface for his Aurdino. Python is usually pretty easy to manipulate, so it might be just the thing for someone looking to add a web control to a project with an open serial interface.

If you’ve got a hack you want to share, use the tips line.

Google as a password cracker


Usually we’re into hardware hacks, but once in a while I run across something that’s just too good. [Steven]‘s blog was cracked a while back, and while he was doing forensics, he was trying to crack the md5 hashed password for the unauthorized account. Eventually he slapped the hash into Google, and guess that it was ‘Anthony’ based on the results that came up. Thanks to [gr] for pointing it out.
(Yes, I know it was on Slashdot a few days ago, but I don’t care.)

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