Sometimes, pets need to be trained to stay away from certain things. Over at sump.org, his cats needed to be kept out of his room. He used their natural fear of water by creating the waterwall, a motion-sensing device that sprays water. The project is incredibly simple and uses very few components. It is based around an IR intrusion detector and a windshield washer pump. Although that worked well enough, he also hooked it up to his computer via the parallel port so that he could take pictures as the cats (or people) are sprayed. Although the project is old, it shows how few components are really needed to achieve this kind of behavior.
Related: Motion detecting cat toy
[Seth King] sent in his latest hack where he used an Arduino to regulate various aspects of a greenhouse. He has sensors for soil and air temperature as well as light and moisture. He built a custom circuit that uses relays to power fans, lights, and heaters. Using timers and the sensor data, the devices can be triggered to create the perfect environment for sprouts. He hopes to make the whole thing wireless by integrating XBees, but for now he ran a USB cord to his computer.
Related: Automatic grow light
[Miltron] dropped us a tip about his NES workbench. Knowing that when you get frustrated with whatever project you are beating your head against, you need an outlet, [Miltron] decided to build some relaxing NES fun into his workbench. He’s using a NES on a chip though any multi game-in-a-controller setup should work. He has gutted a PSone LCD and mounted it all together nicely so he can game at any moment. You might recall one of [Miltron]’s earlier projects, Das Uber Airsoft Turret. How long will it be before we see integrated LCDs into our toolbox lids or workbenches from the factory?
[Edo] wrote in to show us how he added RDS decoding to a radio made in 1957. RDS or Radio Data System is a protocol for data transmission. This allows date, time, artist info, and more to be broadcast along with the music. Its a nice feature that many new cars come with from the factory. [Edo] wanted to add it to his old radio though. He kept the radio stock looking, choosing to use an external LCD to display the data. He has posted the information on where to splice in to add this unit to pretty much any FM radio as well as posting the schematics and source code for the unit itself. Look at the very bottom of the page for the download link, its a bit hidden with the advertisements.