Double dose of iPhone camera hacks

Why take an iPhone, a slim device that already takes decent photographs and add several macro magnifying lenses? For [Mathijs], simply because he could, But now he can take some awesome macro pictures.

[Bhautik] (maker of the tilt-shift Plungercam) took the concept further. With some more trademark plumbing supplies and a lot of duct tape, secured an interchangeable SLR lense assembly to the back of his iPhone.

Check out some photos from both setups after the break. [Read more...]

Slide digitizer

Remember slide shows? The ones that used a carousel projector and real slides? [Brian] wanted to bring his slides into the digital age but was spending far too much time scanning in the 35mm relics. He set to work and built a rapid slide digitizer using a projector, a DSLR, and a microcontroller.

His system centers around an AVR microprocessor, the ATtiny2313. Some DIP switches are used to set the number of slides to be scanned, and the timing for synchronizing the projector and the camera. Using two relays, the cable release for the DSLR and the remote advance pins on the slide projector are connected to the AVR. [Brian] used a macro lens and sets the focus, exposure, and f-stop manual. Once everything looks good the touch of a button quickly steps through the entire carousel at about 1 slide per second. A small video of the process is embedded after the break and his writeup has some comparison photos between a slide scanner and this setup.

[Read more...]

Destroying optical media

We got a tip about a USB CD destroyer. We found its methods amusing as it just scratches the CD as seen above on the left. If you really have data security issues, perhaps something more than scratched plastic should be used. There are a lot of paper shredders that can also shred CDs, what about taking that shredder with the burnt out motor and turning it into a hand-cranked shredder that doubles as a CD killer?

Got a lot of optical media that needs to go? These folks developed the chain-gun of CD shredding with an automatic feed. This consists of a CD shredder and a slew of discs connected with packing tape. As seen in the video after the break, the shredder advances and the next disk is pulled into its jaws.

Microwave has been a popular bringer of death for disc media. The light show and resulting chaotic art (above on the right and after the break) are what make this interesting, but it’s pretty hard on the much-loved kitchen appliance. What we’re really looking for is a way to force a CD/DVD writer to overwrite data. The fact that burnt discs, rather than factory pressed versions, are what normally need to be disposed of makes this a hack waiting to happen. Why isn’t this a standard hardware feature of all drives, and can it be implemented in software?

There’s always the low-tech snap, scratch, or mangle methods. We usually just scratch the foil off the top of the disc.

[Read more...]

McLVDT: a straw-based sensor

We saw [Kevin's] home-built Linear Variable Differential Transformer in a YouTube video last week and wanted to know more. We’re in luck, he agreed to share all the details as well as a bunch of information on these sensors. An LVDT is used to measure distance along a straight path. Unlike a linear optical encoder, this method uses measurements of inductance between two electrical coils to judge the distance.

[Kevin] used some magnet wire wrapped around two straws of different diameter to fabricate his sensor. A signal generator is connected to the primary coil and the resulting signal induced in the secondary coil is measured to reveal the change in physical position. Check out the video after the break to see the results.

It’s not hard to get your hands on a McDonald’s straw (hence the name ‘Mc’LVDT), a smaller inner straw, and a few feet of magnet wire. This will be a fun one to try when those dark winter days start to get to you.

[Read more...]

Joystick controlled alarm clock

While it may sound like a dirty joke, turning off the alarm clock with a wiggle of your joystick is entirely possible here. [Sean] was inspired by the light gun alarm clock featured in Make magazine a while back and decided to build something similar. Instead of going the light gun route, he chose to use a joystick. You set the time on the clock using the joystick and the fire button works as a snooze button. Though it currently doesn’t have a snooze-waggle feature, it could without too much effort.

[Sean]‘s server is small. He notes in his comments that he can’t handle the traffic from us. This is why we had to find it our selves instead of him submitting it. Tsk Tsk. To help, we have included the few other pictures of his build after the break. If you really want to overload his poor little server, you’ll find the link to his site here, instead of at the beginning of the article.

[Read more...]

Minimalistic Circuit Design

[David Terrill], whose exploits we have covered before, has shared with us his techniques for building circuits without a prototype or bread board. [David] managed to incorporate a Dual D flip-flop at the heart of the circuit, as well as an impressive number of transistors, diodes, and other passive components. Unfortunately, the circuit diagram is a little low resolution to really make out the real function, but based on the components, our best guess is a two-output blinking circuit. Maybe for an encore, someone out there will build a circuit built entirely around a battery so that it can be a self-contained system.

Let us know if you have a better copy of this schematic, or a guess at what the circuit does!

Control your tree from anywhere

We honestly never thought we would see an internet controlled Christmas tree before, sure maybe a remote controlled claw or online soccer robots, but a tree? Regardless, team [Schwippy] did just that. 5 separate sets of lights are connected to 5 individual x10 modules. The x10s are listening over the household’s AC lines for commands from a server in the other room, with its own x10. At about 12$ a module, the project can get expensive quick, totalling over 200$ for [Schwippy's] setup. Just to control a tree, but anything to spread the holiday cheer, right?
[Thanks Yon]

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