Open source logic analyzer

Hackaday alum [Ian Lesnet] has been working in cahoots with a dedicated team of developers to produce the OpenBench Logic Sniffer. This caseless logic analyzer can operate at 100MHz and sample 32 channels at once. Better yet, a digital oscilloscope add-on is in the works. The pre-order comes in at $45, that’s a lot of functionality for just a few greenbacks. We’ve embedded a demo video after the break that details installing and using this device under Ubuntu.

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112-LED coffee table

[Joe] tipped us off about his 112 LED coffee table. This 12-ups the LED matrix from Friday and 31-ups the Shiftbrite table. Driving this grid is an ATmega328 in i2c slave mode. It listens for display data from a second ATmega328 and uses that to set the array of TLC5940 driven LEDs appropriately. Separating the processing microcontroller from the display microcontroller allows for fast and smooth display changes that can be seen after the break. [Joe's] table exhibits exquisite cable management, clean code, and an amazing amount of flexibility. Maybe [Caleb Kraft] will finally pony up the dough and make this project for his own home.

[Joe] waited until he saw some other LED tables to send us a link to his hack. This is obviously an awesome project, one that we want to see just as much as our readers do.  So please, don’t wait for someone else to stumble upon your project, send us a tip once you’re done sharing the details.

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Extreme piano transplant

We always wondered what happens to ancient pianos when the internals can no longer be kept in a playable condition. [Jean Philippe Roch] gutted his elderly upright and fit a Korg Triton inside. After the break you can watch a few videos including a slide show of the work log.  [Jean] separates the Korg keyboard from its case and places it in the empty upright piano rank. He then mounts the Korg’s controls in the front panel and adds motorized control to reveal this hidden secret. The project is finished with speakers in the bottom portion of the upright and blue LED lighting effects.

The result is a pretty nice show-piece. It’s not as hacky as vocoding, but we really love the finished look.

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Fix 0LBA and BSY HDD errors

One of the worst moments almost every hacker has experienced is a hard drive inexplicably dieing. And of course, its at the most inopportune time and you’ve had no chance to backup!

Recently there has been an influx of Seagate hard drives (specifically the 2700.11s) kicking the bucket with firmware errors 0LBA and BSY. The good news is [Gradius2] has made guides to unbrick your drive without having to match serials.

The procedure is lengthy, complicated, can easily become expensive, and there is the possibility of losing your data so it’s not recommended if you’re only getting those pictures of Mr.Fluffykins back. In such a case, Thermite might be a bit better solution.

[Thanks Calvin]

Thwart robbers with an old smoke alarm.

[Anders] tipped us off about his hack that re-purposes a smoke alarm as a burglar alarm. Unfortunately, he came home in the middle of a burglary but wanted to be ready the next time someone tries to break in. By cleverly patching into the test button on an old smoke detector he created a circuit-trip alarm. One side of each piece of wire is secured to the frame and jam of a window. A paper clip completes the circuit by pinching the two bare conductors. If the window is opened the connection is lost and the alarm sounds.

We see a few problems with this system. First off, never hack your ONLY smoke detector, you are putting lives at risk by doing so. But [Anders] says he’ll have a replacement detector and since these things need to be replace every ten years or so, chances are you can find an old one kicking around. We’d recommend disguising the case so that people aren’t confused about it being a smoke detector. Secondly, he’s mounted the alarm right in the window frame so most likely an invader will just smash the thing to bits.

Anyway, it’s still an interesting reuse of these ubiquitous, and life-saving, devices.

Two input devices made with common items

Here’s two input devices you can easily build with materials you already have on hand.

To the left, [John] built a 3×3 keypad matrix from paper and tinfoil. The rows and columns are made up of strips of tin foil on the front and back layers of paper. The layers are separated by spongy double-stick tape. A ‘keypress’ results when the gap between the conductors is compressed with your finger.

In much the same way, [Dave Fletcher] built a touch potentiometer. He made two resistance plates by scribbling pencil lead on sheets of paper. When the two plates face each other, separated by the same type of foam tape as before, they can be pressed together to form a circuit with a variable resistance. This results in a crude version of the SparkFun softpot.

WRT54GL, meet Alice

When it comes to routers, there is one that is hacker’s favorite, the WRT54GL. But a slightly lesser known company, Pirelli with their “Alice Gate2 plus Wi-Fi”, seems to be a popular choice among our Italian friends.

[Esteban] has done everything from installing serial and parallel ports, to unlocking firmware while installing Debian. Our personal favorite is the creative wiring of an additional USB port, where he had to custom create a power circuit to run his webcam and external drive.

[Thanks Marco]

[Update: It would appear Roleo, Beghiaro, and Zibri did the actual grunt work at ilpuntotecnicoeadsl and Esteban simply wrote the guides. Thanks for your hard work and hacking skills guys!]

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