HDD actuated acoustical instrument

This is the multichord, a one-string musical instrument built by [Christopher Mitchell]. The string is a 20 pound mono-filament thread stretched between a wooden bridge and the read/write head of a hard drive. The idea is that the vibrations of the string are picked up and amplified acoustically by the sounding box that serves as the body of the instrument. The frequency of vibration (pitch) is changed by adjusting the tension of the string through the application of various voltages to the HDD head. A relief spring has been added to the head to take the resting tension off of it, making it a lot easier to fine-tune the settings for each note. A keyboard made of twelve buttons selects each different pitch as the string is plucked.

[Christopher] is continuing to post great hacks; we’ve seen a glove input and a giant VU meter from him in the past. Take a look at the multichord in action after the break.

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Nanotouch: a tiny AVR media thing

[Rossum] is at it again. This time, he has created a super tiny media device to get us drooling. You might recall him from the 8-bit device we showed you before. The Nanotouch is roughly the dimensions of a 96×64 OLED screen(slightly larger than a quarter), with about 1/3 to 1/2 of an inch of stuff packed behind it.  The screen itself is mounted atop 4 buttons. This allows you to depress the screen edges for navigation.  He does mention that this design needs a little work to prolong the life of the screen, but we really like the intuitive way of navigating.  At its heart is an ATmega32u4.

We thought his last version was fantastic, but this one has us enamored. He states he’ll publish schematics and code, as he did before. We just didn’t want to wait to share.

[thanks Joakim]

PS3 exploit released

You can now download the exploit package for the PlayStation 3. [Geohot] just posted the code you need to pull off the exploit we told you about on Sunday, making it available on a “silver platter” with just a bit of explanation on how it works. He’s located a critical portion of the memory to attack. By allocating it, pointing a whole bunch of code at those addresses, then deallocating it he causes many calls to invalid addresses. At the same time as those invalid calls he “glitches” the memory bus using a button on his FPGA board to hold it low for 40ns. This trips up the hypervisor security and somehow allows read/write access to that section of memory. Gentleman and Ladies, start your hacking. We wish you the best of luck!

[Thanks Phileas]

Building a bigger, better laser engraver

[Bart] built a giant laser etcher from scratch. One of his first test engravings included the Hackaday skull-and-wrenches on a polished granite floor tile (we love it when people do that). He used an XMOS controller and Mach3 CNC software to handle the device. With just two axes to worry about this seem like an easy project. The difficult bit is controlling, cooling, and focusing the laser.  Oh, and if you screw up, you could be blinded, burned or horribly maimed. But if you start from the beginning you’ll see that [Bart] knows what he’s doing.

Powering a switch via PoE

[Kajer] was doing some work with IP phones that use Power over Ethernet. While trying to get this to work with a network switch he decided to use PoE to power the switch itself. The best thing about this is he managed to shoehorn all of the necessary bits into the stock case. Those bits include a bridge rectifier, transistor, resistor, and a 5v power supply. Along the way he discovered he can now power the switch off of USB if he wishes.

Palm-sized Atari 2600

[The Longhorn Engineer] is working on a portable Atari 2600. Instead of taking the old gaming system and cramming it into a portable form factor he’s designed his own circuit board in a new-hardware initiative he calls Project Unity. The handheld will include everything you need to play, including video, audio, controller buttons, paddle control, and a cartridge connector. For the demonstration, embedded after the break, he’s using the Harmony Cartridge to store his Atari ROMs but do note that the system is designed to use cartridges rather than work solely as a game jukebox.

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Why aren’t we building our own printers?

We’ll ask it again, why aren’t we building our own printers? We’re building 3d printers, CNC mills, and hacking the ink cartridges on commercial printers. What does it really take to build say a 300 dpi black and white printer? Something that lets you clean and service the print head rather than throwing it out when the ink reservoir is empty?

Someone has set out to answer these question with the Openprinter project. If this interests you, join up and start the revolution. RepRap had simple beginnings and maybe it’s time to take the army of self-replicating 3D printers and use them to print parts for 2D printers that don’t drive us crazy.

[Photo credit]

[via LostScrews]

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