Moolodeon electric accordion

[Lee] wanted an electric Melodeon to use with his band. A Melodeon is a chromatic accordion and there are people who already make electric versions but they are a little too expensive for him. Instead, he bought a toy accordion and added electronics to it.

After being thwarted by forgotten PIC skills of yore, he went with an Arduino as the controller. Two pressure sensors are used to detect the squeezing and pulling of the instrument’s bellows. His did some solid work. The video above uses 8-bit sounds like we’re used to from video games and the one after the break sources more traditional accordion sounds.

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New Year’s party favor?

[Infernoz] built a POV display to help ring in the new year. There is a low component count; an ATtiny26, DIP switch, power switch, CR2032 battery and holder, pin header, 8 LEDs, and a pull-up resistor. The board is single sided without any jumpers that we can see. He’s moving the display by swinging it on a rope but the PCB is the perfect shape to attach to a fan. We love these blinky displays and if you’ve got some parts this makes a great party favor for New Year’s Eve. Check out the video after the break.

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Lightdrawing Robot

Long exposure “light drawing” photography has become pretty popular lately. We see images pop up all the time that look pretty cool. [Nils] wasn’t feeling particularly artistic himself, so he made a robot to do the hard work for him. he can program patterns in, and it will replay them by changing the color of the light on top while it drives around. Though it may lack a little of the fluidity of the hand made images, it can probably make up for it with complexity. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this style of photography mixed with robotics, though this one seems fairly more flexible. Tune in after the break to see a video of it in action.

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Industrial CNC controller retrofit

[Jerry] had a beefy CNC lathe whose controller wouldn’t respond. He cracked open the case and found a large scorch mark surrounding one of the servo controllers. Rather than just replace the IC and still be stuck with a 23-year-old controller he decided to retrofit the machine with modern controls.

The journey from a brick of steel to an incredible machine is fascinating. Using a combination of commercially available boards like the ModIO controller and custom-built circuits, he cleaned up control signals and give life to the lights on the original faceplate. The machine is now working beautifully with a new monitor, automatic oiling, and wireless connectivity.

Star Trek submarine

You can try to be unimpressed. You can attempt to feign disinterest. But even the most casual Star Trek fan will get giddy watching this model submarine in action.  Apparently there is a group that builds under water R/C vehicles from static models. It’s not Star Trek exclusively either, we saw some anime vehicles as well as a modern-day shuttle replica.

[via Makezine]

Five updates for the Steadicam

[YB2Normal] has updated his steadicam 5 times! For those that remember the original, it allowed indie film makers to create smooth and steady video. Version 2 implemented a new gimbal based on a throttle linkage in cars. Version 3 allowed the user to easily adjust angles and weights to prevent accidentally knocking the assembly. Version 4 seems to have disappeared. And finally, version 5 updates the gimbal again using a Traxxas U-joint and redistributes the weight. What should come next? We think a handle, holding onto a threaded bolt can’t be good for your hands.

[Thanks Update]

XeXLoader reminds us of Xbox glory days

The newest version of XeXLoader boasts a pretty slick GUI. This is a homebrew loader for the Xbox 360. Don’t get your hopes up, it requires an older kernel and you’re not getting on Xbox Live if you do this hack.

But think back to when the original Xbox was first hacked. Watching the XeXLoader (after the break) sends us back to the days of EvolutionX. Sure there wasn’t much that could be done in those early days (other than pirate games), but that slowly changed with the hard work of a lot of developers. XBMC came out of those first steps and became the greatest media software ever to grace your television. The GUI work here may be more beginning steps in another great community-driven legacy.

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