Vehicle information display hacks

We’ve had a few folks send us info about their vehicle display hacks after seeing [Will O'Brien's] motorcycle computer a few days ago.

On the left we have a display for an electric vehicle. [S1axter] is using a 4.3″ TFT screen to display charge information for each battery cell in the car. An ATmega88 collects the data and sends it to a breakout board with an LCD controller on it.

To the right is a display from a Formula Student project. a Matrix Orbital GLK19264-7T-1U LCD display provides a lot of real estate for displaying data. Right now [Alan] is still in the early prototyping stages, but the video after the break demonstrates the RPM readout using a function generator. It’s not shown in the video, but he tells us that he’s since tried it out with the engine and has a PIC 16f877 reading temperate data from the electronic control transmission sensors in addition to the RPM data.

Correction: Thanks to [j] for correcting our mistake. This is a Formula Student car.

[Read more...]

Mad machinist masterpieces

If a picture is worth 1000 words, by our count, [Ryan Commbes] has said 1.68×10^6 different things about his custom robot, airsoft, and monster truck builds. While we’re not ones to pick favorites, we agreed his Alpine TPG-1 (picture at the top) build is a step above the rest. Sadly, the forums with his build log doesn’t seem to be loading, but he says the basic process if you wanted to make your own is to gather pictures, measure, and create.

[Thanks Andrew]

Classic Canon AE-1 gets a digital upgrade

Shots of this Canon AE-1 camera-gone-digital have a lot of people scratching their heads. Originally there were a lot of “that’s been photoshopped” cries but the video after the break shows that it physically exists. This particular model of camera hasn’t been manufactured since 1984 so there’s little chance that the company’s bringing it back in a digital format. What we have here is a classic camera body with a modern point-and-shoot fit inside. This seems to be a PowerShot SD 870 IS and we’d guess the original lens has been replaced with a plate of glass so as not to affect the PowerShot’s focus, and the “AE-1 Program Digital” screen is probably just an image on the memory card.

We admire the clean mod work necessary to produce this hack.

[Read more...]

Custom PS3 controller: software emulation version

[Matlo] posted a tutorial that will walk you through setting up a six-axis controller emulator. In April he developed a hardware solution using the Teensy but this version just needs a Linux computer with a Bluetooth adapter. If you don’t mind adding a computer to the mix you can use any peripheral controller that will talk to Linux and then adjust the six-axis PS3 controller mapping accordingly.

Adding RAM to the Nexus One without soldering

Want 21 megabytes more ram in your Nexus One? [Coolbho3000] worked out a way to tweak the kernel and remap memory usage to free up some resources. That means this comes as a custom kernel image requiring no hardware alteration. Try it out and share your experiences in the comments. But if you don’t need more ram you can just upgrade to the most recent kernel.

[Thanks Juan]

Possibly the most beautiful piece of hardware

I’m going to break from the typical Hackaday article format for a moment. I’m smitten, captivated by this wondrous new discovery. Forgive my ignorance for having never seen one of these before, I didn’t go to school for electronics. For those, who like myself wondered, what is this beautiful glowing thing, it is a mercury arc valve rectifier.

This is not some chintzy attempt at neo victorian styling (steampunk if you absolutely must), this is an actual piece of electronics used in the field. Widely used to convert alternating current to direct current for railways and street cars, these could actually be found in the wild. There was a time, that opening a door in a power station would have presented you with this fantastic green and purple glowing orb, dripping mercury sparkling inside. If you are anything like me, you would most likely have been frozen in your tracks, convinced you were bearing witness magic.

[via Make]

When multimeters go boom

Ever wondered how expensive versus cheap multimeters hold up to abuse? [Dave] gives us a pretty good idea by, well, blowing them up. He’s using a capacitor bank to put roughly 4.2 KiloVolts into the poor little meters. If you absolutely must skip to the multimeters, go to about 5:00. You really will miss out on some good stuff though.

[via HackedGadgets]


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