How to build a life-sized electronic game

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We’re very impressed with [Steve’s] Electronic Snowball Fight game. It consists of two life-sized players standing opposite of each other. Each can throw a snowball or duck, the object is to hit the other person and not get hit yourself. He’s utilized a lot of good building techniques that could be easily adapted to other types of game play. Continue reading “How to build a life-sized electronic game”

Tube amplifier in a PSU

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[Niclas] sent us his home made tube amplifier. For the case he used a computer power supply unit, took out the guts and replaced them with the amplifier board. He based this build off of an existing design but took a more minimalist approach. The wooden face plate has an on/off switch, an audio jack, and volume control. Apparently, the tubes are floating loose inside of the case. We’d recommend a more secure mounting method for these delicate parts.

Dot matrix clock on the way

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[Kevin] sent in his almost finished open source dot matrix clock. Sporting a hefty 40 x 16 display powered by a PIC 18F he has complete pixel by pixel control of the graphics. Combined with with a triple buffer he is at least able to output 15fps, with planned 30fps. While this has great potential for a clock, what about going further? Twitter updates, chat messages, weather updates, the current airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow; it will be tough to beat the competition without some more features. Either way, its an awesome project and we can’t wait to see it completed.

Controlling an R/C car with a pic16F84

[GuySoft] sent in this project. He doesn’t normally mess with electronics, but decided to give it a try. He chose a fairly complicated project to be his first, but seems extremely comfortable with it. This project was to control his R/C car with a pic16f84. That chip was chosen simply because it was the only one available at local stores. Though we’ve seen much more complicated projects in the past, he does a great job of showing exactly what has been done. He shares his thoughts and source code with us as well. He has express a little frustration about the closed source compiler he was using, so if anyone has any suggestions for him, he would probably appreciate it.  The funny part is that he mentions that people would just tell him to “get an AVR”. We think the readers here will probably be happy with how he pulled it off.

Homing pigeon email

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Yes, you read that correctly: electronic mail carried by birds. [Ferdinand] tipped us off to this story, which involves combining new and old methods in transferring data. The Unlimited Group, a firm in a remote section of South Africa, transfers loads of encrypted documents to a second office 50 miles away. A pricey broadband connection would take between 6 hours and two days to transfer a standard load (4GB) of data between these locations. On the other hand, Winston (seen above) can complete an equivalent flight within 45 minutes. A memory card is strapped to his leg, and using his wit and instinct, Winston finds his way home. For those without their calculators on hand, Winston’s bandwidth is between 7x and 63x faster than what they had before. If his flash card were to be upgraded to 16GB, that would be an instant fourfold increase on top of current gains. As [Mark] pointed out on the Daily Mail website, homing pigeons still need to be taken back to their departure point.

This solution still has its advantages over a courier: they are lower in cost, they work over longer hours, and have potentially faster delivery speeds. Multiple pigeons can be transported back at once, and released with data as needed.