Custom headphones solve wire tangles

One complaint we hear about often is ear-bud’s cables getting tangled within backpacks. [Andrew] was having this “spaghetti” wire problem, and also wanted to listen to his music with ear protection on – where ear-buds are usually uncomfortable. The latter problem is fixed by placing speakers inside of folding ear protectors, and the cable is managed with a 3.5mm disconnect.

For those who can’t make disconnect-able headphones but still suffer from tangled headphone wire, we recommend proper wrapping technique for your wire, and a small carrying pouch. With the combination of the two, we’ve never had a tangled cable.

Phasor A/V PAL demo uses ATmega88

Above is a new demo video called Phasor developed by [Lft]. It is run from an AVR ATmega88 and a few passive components, and the result is pretty amazing. [Lft] goes into detail about the tricks he used to get this up and running. The chip is clocked at 17.73447 MHz which is exactly four times the frequency of the PAL color carrier wave which allows him to fake a smooth signal. He also uses a timer trick to get the voltages that he needs. The work done here is beyond hardcore and quite frankly we can’t believe he managed to fit all of this into 8.5 KB of program space with just 1 KB or RAM. We wonder if there’s enough room there to add sound and color to the AVR Tetris project.

[Thanks Sprite_tm]

DPAC put your alarm clock to shame

DPAC, the Dynamically Programmable Alarm Clock, goes far beyond what you would expect an alarm clock to do, yet we find all of its features useful. You can see there are four buttons at the bottom that control the menu scrolling. The second from the left currently reads “Sync”, a feature that the clock uses every 10 minutes but can be forced manually. This will check your Google Calendar, schedule an alarm for the next event while factoring in driving distance, traffic, and weather conditions. It’s got an audio system for radio and iPod operation, but also includes some home automation options. Using the X10 communication protocol it can turn on lights, start the coffee maker, and open the blinds as part of a gentle wake-up cycle. All of this is configurable through the clock itself, or via the web interface. The prototyping was done on an Arduino but the final version uses an AVR ATmega324 along with a Roving Networks RN-134 WiFi module (datasheet) for connectivity. Check out the demonstration video that [Eric Gaertner] and his fellow developers filmed after the break.

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CPU as a heat sink

We’ve noticed that wireless routers pump out a bunch of heat. [Jernej Kranjec] wanted to make sure that he didn’t fry it once he started adding more load to his router using OpenWRT. What he came up with is the idea of using an old CPU as a passive heat sink. He applied a bit of thermal paste to the center and some super glue to the corners. You can see the finished product is an old AMD chip adhered “dead bug” style to the stock processor. We’d bet it’s not very efficient compared to an aluminum or copper heat sink, but it normally would have no help in shedding those extra degrees.

Motorcycle computer

Hackaday writer of yore [Will O'Brien] has been working on this hardware for his motorcycle. Speed, voltage, gear, and temperature data is displayed on a 16×2 character LCD. The speed is pulled from the bike itself and the gear is calculated by comparing engine RPM to wheel RPM. He’s using the popular DS1820 1-wire temp sensor along with an Arduino to pull everything together. At this point he estimates there’s about $50 worth of parts, but that can be reduced by etching a board and just using the necessary components.