New Drobo has Firewire support, old model drops in price


Data Robotics has released an updated Drobo with two Firewire ports and an updated processor, allowing for faster data transfer and daisy chaining multiple Drobos. The new models of this storage and backup device also features a quieter and larger case fan. The case itself has been modified slightly but to great effect, looking sleeker than ever. Sadly, they still start at $500 without any hard drives.

One nice side effect to the announcement of the new Drobos is the price drop for the old ones. Starting at $350, these still make great storage solutions, and hanging on to $150 isn’t bad either. Still, if the idea of buy anything for this purpose curls your toes, build your own network attached storage.

Xbox 360 and LCD HDTV rolled into one


What happens when you take a little [Ben Heck] ingenuity, a little Lian Li utility, an Xbox 360 and an LCD HDTV and mix it all together? You get the Microvision 360, a combination LCD HDTV and Xbox 360.

The mod is not particularly complex. The Microvision 360’s creator [PvP_LostKnight] only removed the working parts from the Xbox 360’s case and mounted them to the back of the TV. A few of the inputs of the TV had to be moved and rewired, and a repurposed and painted tupperware container was added to cover the Xbox 360 parts. Unfortunately, [PvP_LostKnight] did not post a writeup, and even added “The wiring for this is horrible, I would not recommend anyone trying this.”

Setting aside his recommendation for a moment, a few of the advantages to his design are improved airflow to the Xbox 360 and better space usage. What we’d like to see added more than anything is power integration, with a single button to turn on both and a single power source powering the TV and the Xbox. See the proof of concept video after the break, or more photos and comments at the read link.

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Live full motion video on a Peggy

[Windell] was stoked enough to send us [Jay]‘s sweet hack on [Windell]‘s Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories Peggy 2.0 kit. [Jay] added serial input and hacked quartz composer on his mac to light up all 625 LEDs with live motion video. If you were jealous of the Metalab’s giant LED display, now you can have your own – smaller and cheaper.

EMSL has recently supplemented this awesome device with their Arduino Library for Peggy 2.0. It is a program library that contains various animations and demonstrations of how to draw on a Peggy. Download and enjoy them as they are or tweak them to test out some of Peggy 2.0’s capabilities.

Custom modular control interfaces


Machinecollective.org is bringing rapid prototyping to every day artists and hackers. We’ve covered similar interfaces like the monome, MIDIbox, and Stribe. Machinecollective allows you to make your own input system using multiple blocks to get exactly what you want. The setup allows you to fit pretty much anything in a block that you can think of. They’re developing potentiometers, slide potentiometers, button grids, toggle switches, LCD’s, FSR/LDR’s, velocity sensitive pads, and touch screens.

Currently, they support software enviroments like: Processing, Max/MSP, VVVV, and Adobe Flash. That list will undoubtedly grow as the community plays with it. They envision the hardware connecting via MIDI, OSC, RS232, TCP/UDP, DMX, or USB.

They encourage others to design their own inputs. Community members can share modifications and designs, though there isn’t a forum or store yet. If you design a setup that you really like, they can even fabricate a single unit for you. Keep your eyes on this one, it could be a real hit.

A similar idea for general gadgetry can be seen over at Bug Labs. Starting with a base unit, you can add different input and output modules to create various useful functions. They currently offer GPS, a camera, a display, and motion sensing. Mix and match to make your dream gadget.

Pet photography and tracking


We’ve seen numerous products geared toward tracking the location and activities of your pets, two in the last month, but we feel sure you can make more functional devices than those you can purchase. Let’s look at a few and consider our options.

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Intervalometers and timelapse photography


Time lapse photography can seem out of reach for many of us who don’t have fancy cameras(or a hacked cannon point and shoot). We recently covered using a TI-83 as a timer, and now we’ve gathered a collection of DIY intervalometers to help you get clicking.

Up first, for those of you who don’t want to dismantle your camera, here are some mechanical ones that will work on any camera.

[Simplesimon] has done a fantastic job with this integrated system pictured above. He’s added an adjustable solenoid to click the shutter release. By including a second kit board to handle an RF remote, it has remote single shot capabilities too!

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Laser exposing PCB resist


[andre] sent in his first attempt at using a HD-DVD laser diode to expose photosensitive resist to create PC boards. We’ve been meaning to give this a shot with the ol’ Epilog laser cutter. For the test, he coated the board with some resist and hand exposed it with the laser. Finally, he etched it with some sodium hydroxide.

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