9 most popular of 2009

Happy New Year and happy hacking to all. We had a great time last year exploring the creativity in the hacks that make the Internet a better place. Below you’ll find the nine most popular posts of the year here at Hackaday. Now’s the time to get working on that great project you’ve had in mind. Let us know once you’ve pulled it off and maybe you’ll be on this list next year!

  1. Simple Xbox 360 rapid fire mod
  2. BackTrack 4 Beta released
  3. PSP 3000 firmware 5.03 hacked
  4. Black Hat 2009: Parking meter hacking
  5. How-to: USB remote control receiver
  6. PSP 3000 hacked
  7. Pandora’s battery (unbrick your PSP)
  8. Nintendo DS homebrew guide
  9. SheevaPlug, tiny linux server

More CNC goodness

[Jerry] retrofitted a Supermax Mill that he purchased from a friend. The main problem consisted of the original controller failing so he used some Pixie boards and a PC to get the system back up and running.

But thats not all. [Jerry] also retrofitted his Monarch lathe (yes, not a CNC, but are you really going to complain) by replacing the original Ward-Leanard motor generator with a 2 kW brushless AC servo.

The Harford HackerSpace group claims their CNC can kick any other CNC’s butt! Currently it lifts up to 65 pounds, but is still accurate enough to make ninja throwing stars. The only problem left is naming their CNC, any suggestions?

[Ciric] has finished up the hardware side of his CNC project. However the software is still being worked on, but because it is his own stepper control board it might take a while. The good news is the controller and software are planned to be released free.

Lightning Rod: keeps you safe from dirty Flashers

A new open source package called Lightning Rod will help to close security exploits in Adobe’s dirty Flash code. A presentation made at the 26th Chaos Communication Congress showed that the package does its job by reviewing incoming code before the browser executes it. Heise Online is reporting that this method can block over 20 different known attacks and can even be used to filter out malicious JPG attacks. As more vulnerabilities are discovered they can be added to Lightning Rod to close the breach. This amounts to a virus scanner for Flash code. It’s great to have this type of protection but why can’t Adobe handle its security problems?

[Photo Credit]

[Thanks das_coach]

FPGA keyboard synthesizer

This synthesizer relies solely on an FPGA for key detection and sound synthesis. [Chris] and [Joe] built it for their final project at Cornell. The hardware implementation includes velocity sensing for the keys. While at rest, each key contacts a strip of copper foil. A matching strip of foil contacts the key when it is depressed. The velocity data is extrapolated by detecting when a key leaves the rest state and arrives at the depressed state. Sound synthesis is handled in hardware using the Karplus-Strong string synthesis method.  If you want to hear what it sounds like, they’ve posted a video (MP4) that shows off the creation. It sounds like an electric piano to us, so mission accomplished.

Old equipment repository

[Swake] tipped us off about a collection of old equipment. The site is packed full of various hardware that was used for electrical and chemical testing, metering, and experimentation. You could use this to identify the dinosaurs found in backrooms of college science departments, or draw inspiration from it. The next time you’re laying out a panel, or working on a steampunk-ish project go to the source to achieve that vintage look. Some of these remind us of the control panel on [Steve Roberts'] bicycle.

Hey man, you seen my turntable around here?

It’s all fine and dandy to have a turntable that sounds great, but [Mike] wanted one that looks great too. He build the transparent record player above and loved it for a little while. When his interest in it waned he built another, then several more. They all have some element of transparency to them, and each is a work of art. Makes us wonder how often he needs to dust his house to keep them looking so good.

Is turntable technology too advanced for your tastes? You can stick with your Edison cylinder, we won’t make fun.

[Thanks John]

Making a rail gun (again!)

[Rp181] is at it again with version 2 of his rail gun project. The original did have some power with 18 400V 3900uf capacitors, but he’s ramped it up to now using 40! Reaching more than double the amount of joules of energy, 12kJ vs. the 5.6kJ! Some other changes include a new injector solenoid setup and revision 3 of his breakwire chronograph. Sadly, he doesn’t mention if this is as green as his first rail gun. Check out a video of just the injector firing and an animation explaining some new updates after the jump.

[Read more...]

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