Hack Your Crystal’s Frequency

[Drone] tipped us off about [Joachim]‘s efforts to alter a crystal’s frequency. Through a process called penning, a crystal’s resonant frequency is lowered by painting the crystal with an indelible ink marker. Our curiosity piqued, we went off  and found more information about penning crystals. It turns out this technique has been around for nearly as long as there have been amateur radio operators. Outside of your local oscillator, and radio jammer, how might you best use a hacked crystal?

Color a Sound

This is an interesting take on a music box. [Blair Neal] is using an overhead projector with a roll of transparency to make a synthesized music box. A camera watches the projected image and feeds data to Max/MSP to produce the sounds. Customization merely requires creative image analysis. In this case, different colored pens or different tracks can be assigned to a sound with the speed of the track based on how fast you wind the transparency spool.

More glove-based interfaces

You may remember seeing the golf glove air guitar hack last month. Here’s two more uses for gloves with sensors on them.

On the left is a glove interface with flex sensors on each digit as well as an accelerometer. The VEX module reads the sensors to detect sign language as a command set. A shake of the hand is picked up by an accelerometer to delineate between different command sets. See it controlling a little robot after the break. This comes from [Amnon Demri] who was also involved in the EMG prosthesis.

Straight out of Cornell we have the SudoGlove, seen on the right. [Jeremy Blum] and his fellow engineering students bring together a mess of different sensors, sourcing an Arduino and a XBee module to control a small RC car with added lights and a siren. There’s embedded video after the break. You may want to jump past the music video for the description that starts at about 3:52.

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FPS controller hacks getting easier

It used to be a major production to build a gun-form-factor FPS controller but commercial tech has adopted many of those traditional hacks over the years. Now, [Nirav Patel] is playing Cube with a Wii zapper and a SpacePoint. All that was really required to make this happen is a patch to Cube, the open source FPS.

[Nirav] has plans to make this controller wireless using a BeagleBoard. We’re wondering if there’s support for using the Wii motion plus? We’ve seen motion plus Arduino connectivity, as well as direct PC connectivity. The Wii remote already connects to Linux, what about pulling that data down from the Bluetooth connection? If you’ve done this, send us a tip about it.

TOBY: reel mower bot evolved

[Grayson Sigler] rolled out a new version of his robotic mower which he calls TOBY. The previous design added motors to a reel mower but he had trouble with traction. The new design is more of a utility robot platform that is used to tow the reel motor behind it. With better wheels, a much more stable base, and plenty of power this is a significant improvement.

His parts order came since we last checked in and he now has RC fully implemented. Check out the video after the break.

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Making a bluetooth SNES controller

[MODDEDbyBACTERIA] has posted this instructible on how to make a bluetooth SNES controller. The bulk of the parts come from a bluetooth MSI game pad, so this isn’t a scratch build, but the amount of modifications required definitely qualify this as a hack. We were quite surprised that he managed to stuff all of that back into the case as well as he did. Great job.