Monocle fixes webcam farsightedness

[Vik Oliver] came up with a webcam focus fix that is so quick and simple we never would have thought of it. He received the webcam as a gift and mounted on an articulated lamp so that it could easily be positioned around his projects. The problem is the camera lacks a focus adjustment so the close-up shots were blurry.

In what we consider a eureka moment, he sourced a pair of dollar store reading glasses to fix the optics. The glasses came with their own mounting bracket. He clipped them in half and wrapped the wire ear support around the camera body. Great hacks don’t have to be complicated, and we need to do a better job of looking at the dollar store for project parts!

Build your own lightweight flash tripod

[Peter Karlsson] is a commercial photographer who wanted some ultralight, portable supports for multiple flashes. What he came up with meets those goals; measuring 16 inches long when folded and weighing just 14 ounces. They set up just like a tent because they’re made from tent poles. Like the portable habitats, the tripods have bungee cords running through each section which holds them rigid but allows them to fold for transport. This is a great sister project to the flash synchronizer from yesterday. See the demo and the building instructions after the break.

[Read more...]

iPhone case rehabilitation

[Richard Cabrera's] iPhone was scratched from years of use. A big part of the appeal of Apple products is the dose of sexy that comes with them, so he set out to remedy this abomination. His iPhone case rehabilitation guide walks you through the miraculous transformation. One of the tools he uses is a headlight lens restoration kit from 3M because its polishing pads include graduated levels of grit for the transition from rough sanding to buffing. As you can see, the logo and text have been buffed off but that’s a small price to pay for what looks like a shiny new device.

LED and fan controller

Needing a front fan to keep his hard drive cool, [CalcProgrammer1] found he was unhappy with a single LED color for the fan. He swapped them out for a set of four RGB LEDs and whipped up his own controller board for the unit. It is based around an ATmega168 and patches into the COM2 header on the motherboard, providing a serial interface. [CalcProgrammer1] wrote a GUI to control fan speed, and individual LED color settings. You can take a look at and enthralling, edge-of-your-seat demonstration of how slider controls work after the break. Wouldn’t it be great if the HDD LED clock could be adapted to use a fan so that the front panel had a colorful analog dial on it? [Read more...]

Vacuum pick and place for SMD parts

[Pete] has written up this in depth how-to on building a vacuum pick and place from an aquarium pump and a pen. The pump conversion to vacuum is extremely simple, with a slight modification to a valve being all that is necessary. The pen is only slightly more involved, but still extremely simple. This entire project could be done in an evening for less than $30. If you’re doing a ton of SMD work, it could be a no-brainer.

[thanks Drone]