Thermosonic wedge bonding

hot

In the past, if we’ve been doing smd soldering, we’ve used pretty basic hot plates. This project takes that idea a bit further.  Since [kc6qhp] will be using parts that aren’t conducive to soldering, he has to use wire bonding. After locating a fairly cheap wire bonding machine and microscope, he built the heated stage to fit perfectly with his other tools.  You’ll notice that he has machined a lip around the heat plate for small custom C-clamps as well as made it adjustable height. Very nice work [kc6qhp].

Portable Wii

portablewii

Not content with Nintendo’s current portable video game offerings, fifteen year old hardware hacker [Xteaphn] (pronounced “Steven”) has come up with a series of hardware modifications to make a battery-operated Wii console. The hacked console features a folding laptop-like screen, which apparently includes the IR emitters necessary to make the Wiimote operate properly, as well as a set of tiny stereo speakers. To show how tiny the modified console is, [Xteaphn] provides size comparisons with thirteen- and fifteen-inch laptops as well as with a classic Nintendo Game Boy. The only potential hindrance to its long-term durability, as best as we can tell from the video, is that the battery pack and its associated connecting wires hang crudely off the back of the console like a sort of electric colostomy bag.

Check out [Xteaphn]‘s YouTube video after the break.

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Sweat bot

sweatbot

The future is here ladies and gentlemen,  robots are truly making our lives better.  The grueling job of sweating into clothing has been taken over by the latest in technology: the sweat bot. With water heated fake skin, and robotic sweat glands, this machine works tirelessly to test clothing. While emulating walking or jogging, it sweats into the clothing. This helps in the design of more breathable and sweat resistant fabrics. Though we know it is just a machine, choosing to put the water hoses through its face was just plain creepy.

[via BotJunkie]

Ferric chloride etching chemistry

etch

[ladyada] has republished an interesting snippet from the synthDIY mailing list. [David Dixon] discusses the actual chemistry behind ferric chloride based home circuit board etching. He concludes that ferric chloride is essentially a ‘one-shot’ oxidant. It can’t be regenerated and can be difficult to dispose of properly. The use of acidified copper chloride is a much better path and becomes more effective with each use, as long as you keep it aerated and top up the acidity from time to time. This etchant solution is actually the result of initially using hydrogen peroxide as an oxidant along with muriatic acid. You can see us using this solution in our etching how-to and while creating the board for our RGB lock. For more information on using hydrogen peroxide, check out [Adam Seychell]‘s guide and this Instructable.

Aside: [ladyada] has added the receiver code to the Wattcher project page.

Besmoke – fluid dynamics

Besmoke is a fluid dynamics engine. It is compatible with any multitouch system, as well as the accelerometer in an iPhone. It also accepts audio input. The audio input can turn it into a fancy music visualizer that would even work with live or acoustic music. Different frequencies cause fluid to be injected from different “emitters”. There’s great info on his page, including the papers that he based this off of. We’ve covered [Eric]‘s work before with his election party light system.

Autofocus assist light

afassist

[Aki]‘s Nikon D2H did not come with an autofocus assist light.  His other cameras have them, and he likes the feature, so he decided to hack one into his D2H. He wired into the AF system, so that his LED gets voltage when the shutter release is pressed half way. The circuit needs refinement though, he found that the light was staying on during shutter release and affecting his light metering. You can see the hack in action after the break.
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Parts: AT keyboard

atkeyboard

Last week we introduced a new version of the Bus Pirate universal serial interface tool. The last firmware update included an AT keyboard decoder library for both hardware versions.

There’s a ton of old AT keyboards making their way to the landfill. We’ll show you how to recycle one as an input device for your next project.

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