iPhone 3.1.3 unteathered jailbreak

A method to Jailbreak the new 3.1.3 iPhone rom is here and it does away with tethering. Tethering is the problem that arose from the blackra1n exploit requiring a computer to reboot the iPhone. Although we saw a hardware workaround for that, it’s much nicer to do away with the issue completely. The new exploit is called Spirit and we found the site was getting hammered earlier so you should check out the writeup over at Redmond Pie if you can’t get through with the link at the top.

[Thanks Xb0xGuru via iPhone Hacks]

Automated chicken coop door

Here’s a pretty cool implementation of an automated door, built for a chicken coop. The electronics are fairly standard, an Arduino and a used cordless drill. The end product will be not only wireless, but automated based off of ambient light as well.  We also found the locking mechanism quite elegant. He also supplied a link to another automated chicken coop door which has a decent writeup with schematics and such. Next, he’ll have to automate their feeding as well.

[Thanks Jeri]

VirtualBox beta runs Mac OS X

A new beta build of VirtualBox, Sun’s Oracle’s free x86 virtualization software, makes it possible to run Mac OS X as a guest operating system…no shenanigans or flaming hoops to jump through, just pop in the $30 retail Snow Leopard upgrade disc and go. This had previously only been possible with some awkward Hackintosh-style maneuvering, or using recent editions of commercial virtualization products.

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Wyvern quadcopter

[William Etter] and his classmates built a quadcopter as a class project. We love the details of these builds and they came through with some thorough documentation. Some highlights that we enjoyed were reading about ABS body design and construction, their analysis of two versus three blade propellers, and their breadboarded control mechanism. You can see their success in the most recent post, but we all know that trial and error plays a role in these builds so we’re glad they’ve shared a collection of crashes with us.

Can’t get enough of this four-rotor action? Check out this project of a similar design.

Remote control reel mower

Challenged by hot days and steep turf [Grayson Sigler] modified his reel mower to use electric motors. The end product will be radio controlled but he lacked the necessary parts to make it wireless right now. Not to be deterred, he used a wired controller for prototyping and testing that should be easily replaced once the parts arrive. Sadly, the grade of his yard causes the small wheels to slip so he tried inserting screws into the tread for added traction. The small mower lacks the weight and footprint that the Lawnbot400 enjoys. That being said, solar charging is one of the future goals so this build, which he named RoMOW, wins out on the green scale. We’ve included the prototype video after the break that shows the blades spinning away.

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Headphone tube preamp kit

If you’re curious about tube amps but don’t have a firm enough knowledge base to dive right in you might want to try a kit. [Mark Houston] reviewed one such kit and we enjoyed reading about his experiences. It comes with everything you need save soldering tools, an enclosure, and the final connectors ([Mark] used RCA connectors). There is a full schematic available and the assembly instructions take you through tube matching and using that piece of copper coil you see in the picture to wind your own inductor. Consider trying this primer before you jump into building a single tube, multiple tube, or an amplifier of your own design.

[Thanks Gio]