Laser-cut puzzle box

One of our fondest memories from the 1980’s is watching Magnum P.I. on television. Higgins, Magnum’s employer, had a puzzle box that Magnum could never figure out how to open. Now you can laser cut a puzzle box for yourself and recreate some scenes from television’s glory days.

The design for the box pictured above is not new. The plans for the Cubey 2 project have been around for a while but relied on your mad-woodworking-skills to turn out the pieces. Since we’re not great with a chisel we were happy to see vector graphic and encapsulated postscript files to robotically aid in production. Once the puzzle parts have been assembled a facade is adhered onto each side to hide the pieces. This means you can go for Higgins’ traditional puzzle-box look or sport the hellraiser.

Powder coating at home

[j_tenkely] wanted to do his own powder coat painting at home so he built everything he needed, including a coating booth and baking oven. The oven is double walled and built around a frame of steel building studs. Electric oven elements are controlled by a digital control panel and thermostat.

A spray booth is fashioned from a large storage bin. The powder coat gun used in this setup is a commercial project. But don’t fret, this is something you can build rather than buy.

[Thanks goat]

Qube, not an Arduino clone

What allows the everyday user to tinker with microcontrollers, IO, interrupts, serial communication, and even analog readings? How about individual modules that add the ability to communicate over bluetooth or add LCD support? If you were thinking Arduino, you would be wrong. It’s actually [Nilok’s] Qube, which at first seems like another Arduino clone however the Qube is based on PIC – not AVR. Another difference is the sweet black anodized case the Qube is planned to be put in.

While all this seems amazing at first, there is of course a catch – it looks like the first models are pre-order only for staunching price of $70! Sorry, but Arduino wins at half the cost.

Regardless, [Nilok] has documented the entire process and it’s amazing to read through; he even includes some guides on solder paste and bootloading USB. And who knows, maybe he’ll release open source. His site seems a little slow, we recommend the Google Cache.

RFID emulator

[Alexander] built an RFID emulator. It uses a wire coil (not pictured here) and an ATmega8 to represent any tag that is EM4001 compliant. This iteration requires connection to a computer to send the tag ID information to the microcontroller. In the video after the break it looks like he’s using a DIY RFID reader to test this. If the two were combined, cutting out the need for a computer, he would have an RFID spoofer on his hands.

Continue reading “RFID emulator”

Arduino security with frickin’ laser

[over9k] used his Arduino to set up a laser trip wire. The laser is mounted along side the Arduino, reflects off of a mirror, and shines on a photoresistor that interfaces via a voltage divider. The signal from the voltage divider is monitored for a change when the laser beam is broken. [over9k] set things up so that a webcam snaps a picture of the intruder and Twitters the event for easy notification. Video after the break walks through each of these steps.

This build is a bit rough around the edges but unlike other laser trip wires this keeps all the electronics in one place. The laser interface could be a bit more eloquent, and we’re wondering just how much current it is pulling off of the Arduino pins. But if you’re bored and have this stuff on hand it will be fun to play around with it. Continue reading “Arduino security with frickin’ laser”