Poor man’s thermographic camera

thermographic camera

Using an IR thermometer, there are two ways to go about building a thermographic camera. The first uses a pan and tilt head. Scan lines are emulated, as a computer controls panning from left to right, taking a temperature sample from each step. Vertical resolution is accomplished by tilting. Another method uses a web cam attached to the thermometer. The thermometer’s laser pointer is captured with temperature annotations, as the computer records the field of view. We think the best outcome can be found with a combination of both methods. The video embedded below demonstrates the results. This would be a good addition to the Autonomous paintball sentry.

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Firework ignitors and controllers roundup

fireworks ignitor

With the 4th of July around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to give a controller wrap up and show you how to make some ignitors. Last year we covered a microcontroller based fireworks launcher. If you like the idea of a controller but don’t want to run all the wire, we have the wireless fireworks controller. Adding a little twist to the wireless scene are cell phone triggered fireworks. Maybe controllers are not your cup of tea, you could try to microwave your fireworks. After the break we show you how to make ignitors from a diode and a match.

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First hovering ornithopter NAV

DARPA has awarded an extension to AeroVironment for their work on the Nano Air Vehicle project.  The prototype seen above, called Mercury, is an ornithopter which means it flaps it’s wings. It is the first to show controlled hovering. Look closely, there’s no rudder or tail. Mercury uses the two wings for both lift and control. Ornithopters themselves aren’t new, we’ve even covered them before. Usually they use the flapping wings for propulson and a tail to steer as they travel like an airplane. We would really love to see some detail shots of Mercury.

[via slashdot]

Twittering keylogger

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[Kyle McDonald] sent in his latest project, a software keylogger that twitters what you type. He wrote it using C++ and OpenFrameworks. It logs each keystroke, then it posts to twitter 140 characters at a time. To protect himself, he set up a whitelist of private strings like passwords and credit card numbers that would be stripped before posting. If the twypewriter followed him, his keystrokes could be recreated.

[thanks Kyle]

Mixed voltage interfacing with the Bus Pirate

oc.470.iii

Most of the parts we use operate at 3.3volts, but we still run into a lot of old 5volt stuff, and an occasional 2.5volt or 1.8volt part. This post explains how to use the Bus Pirate’s open collector pin mode to interface with parts at different voltages.

We’ve got more details and some example scenarios below the break. Yup, this is another Bus Pirate post. It’ll all be over soon though, because there’s a few days left to get your own Bus Pirate for $30, fully assembled and shipped worldwide.

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The Snow clock

snow_clock

Snow days are great, but generally you still have to wake up to find out if it is a snow day. [insingertech] decided to make a system to solve this problem. He made an alarm clock that would automatically de activate if school is cancelled. What a pleasant surprise it would be to just wake up and find that you had been allowed to sleep in. It is using an Arduino and a python script to control the state of the alarm based off of an online school closing announcement. You can download the software from the instructable.