Massive Etch A Sketch from TV screen

[Jeri] put together an absolutely massive Etch A Sketch for The FatMan and Circuit Girl show. She had removed the DLP chip from an HD rear projection TV and decided to repurpose the 52inch screen. The movement mechanism uses pulleys from screen doors with nylon lines. The two sets of lines are fed in a criss cross pattern so that the parallel lines move in the same direction. The lines move tent poles in the x and y which controls the movements of the golf tee stylus. It’s driven by two high torque motors from $9 Harbor Freight 18V drills. They tried several different powders, but ended up using aluminum powder from an original Etch A Sketch because it sticks to everything. It will eventually be hooked up for IRC bot control once they get a large enough h-bridge.

[via adafruit]

Antique phone doorbell

doorbell

[Bryan] sent in this cool doorbell he made out of an antique phone. After seeing similar phones for $150 to $399, he picked one up on ebay for $10. After some cleaning and polishing, it was looking fantastic, but fairly useless. At this point, he broke it open and started hacking to turn it into a wireless doorbell. He picked up a cheap wireless doorbell and proceeded to gut it. The transmitter side got an aesthetic overhaul, a big fancy button and nice LED in a 50′s style  were added. The receiver side got hacked up as well. It was incapable of pushing the required voltage to ring the phone’s bell, so he had to do some searching for a better circuit. Since his knowledge of electronics was limited, he was looking for something that could be plugged in and work without much modification. Eventually, he found the Silvercom AG1170-s5. At $7, he swiped it up quick. It may be a bit of overkill, but he’s using an arduino to trigger the whole thing when it receives the signal. You can download the Arduino sketch on the site.

Twittjr

twittjr

Got an IBM PCjr laying around? Why not turn it into a twitter browsing machine? [Alex Grant] did this for the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Creativity and Innovation festival. You can enter search terms into the Twittjr and it will display the top 3 results from twitter. Leave it alone for a minute and it will refresh on its own. To make this happen, the Twittjr is connecting to another computer that is utilizing the twitter API to make the searches. The results are then pushed back to the Twittjr for display. All of this is done via the original modem. While [Alex] takes a moment to explain what twitter is, we feel it might be better to explain what a modem is. You see, back when the PCjr was new, we really did communicate via an analog signal over the phone lines at roughly 300 baud.

[thanks Chris]