66% or better

Programmable drum machine

This sequencer, called Drumssette, uses audio tape to churn out some beats. [Mike Walters] built this around a Tascam four track cassette recorder. The tape inside has a different drum sound on each of the tracks, with a corresponding row of red buttons. Pushing a button adds the drum sound to the loop on that beat. He’s using a series of digital logic gates to patch through the sounds as well as clocking the device from one of the tape’s tracks. It’s pretty  neat  to see the focus selector used in the video after the break to sync up the beginning of the repeated drum patterns. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen [Mike's] work. If you missed it last year take some time to review the Melloman.

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Update: Acrobatic quadcopters team up

We usually envision small wheeled robots when we thing about swarm robotics but these cooperative quadcopters make us think again. This is an extension of the same project that produced those impressive aerial acrobatics. It may not be as flashy, but watching groups of the four-rotored flyers grab onto and lift loads is quite impressive. There is also a shot of one dropping a 2×4 and immediately compensating for the loss of weight. We’re not certain, but it looks like team lifting doesn’t require the 20 high-speed camera rig that the acrobatics did. We’ve embedded the demonstration video after the break.

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A letter from Jason Calacanis, the owner of Hack a Day

HaD Community,

We’ve heard the feedback, death threats and *sigh*s regarding the more accessible “top X” posts we’ve published recently. we’re going to pause on these while we internally discuss the mission and goals of Hackaday.

For background, I came up with the name Hackaday while brainstorming a site for hacks with [Phillip Torrone], who was then working on a hack every two or three weeks for a new blog called Engadget which [Peter Rojas]  and I had founded. When we sold Weblogs Inc, the parent company of Engadget, Hackaday and 100 other blogs to AOL I pulled Hackaday out of the deal at the last-minute.

Why? Well, let’s just say that this dark overlord realized the dark overlords at the bigger Death Star (known as Time Warner) would not take kindly to having their set-top boxes and DVD players hacked. The head of legal department at said Death Star almost exploded when she read Hackaday.

Hackaday then existed in a shell company before I bought it from my former partners at weblogs inc. I did this, as opposed to selling it or shutting it down, because I know Hackaday is a unique place for a unique group of folks to share what they are working on.

My thinking has been “as long as I don’t lose too much money on this I’m fine with HaD just chugging along.” I’m happy to say that while I’ve lost a little money it’s not a lot (well, not happy, but not devastated. :-)

All that being said, I’d like to see Hackaday grow and expand its mission beyond “one hardware hack a day.” That’s why I asked the Hackaday crew to set up answers.hackaday.com and try out a Q&A forum for folks… which you guys seem to have embraced and used. It’s seems to be getting some traffic and is providing some utility.

What I’d like to see is for “classic hackaday” to expand into a place where a wider audience can learn and be inspired to hack *anything*.

So, if a casual internet users wants to rip their DVR apart and try upgrading the hard drive we should be the place they can learn how to do that. If they have a problem, they can ask a question here too.

If someone wants to jailbreak their iPhone or rip their iPad apart and embed it in the dashboard of their car they should be able to do that here.

… or if they want to learn some life hacks related to their Gmail account, we have a long article with the top 25 lifehacks for that.

So, my proposal to the community is to:

  1. a) Keep doing exactly what we’ve done an RSS feed called “classic”
  2. b) Expand the mission statement to something along the lines of “hack everything” (or maybe “hack anything” sounds more ambitious/fun?). Perhaps best said is: “hack everything, and inspire and help others to do that same.”

Thoughts? Feedback?

-Jason Calacanis

Android Development 101 – A tutorial Series

Android is the prime OS for developing applications in today for many reasons. The main reasons being that it is Open Source and Intuitive. In addition it uses Java for development, which is quite an easy language to get used to and develop in. This being said, a lot of you have great ideas for Android applications or applications in general but don’t know where to start. This series will take you behind the scenes and introduce you to the software that will be your best friend while developing for android. On this journey we will start with a “Hello World” and move on from there to create a database driven application with a touch and scroll interface. The final result will look something like this:

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Stretch-bike

This long bike is built for haulin’. After needing to find a truck to transport his welding equipment (ironically in order to build another bike) [Nick Johnson] decided it was time to make a two-wheeled cargo transport. He extended the frame in order to add a cradle in the front. Eventually there will be sides on that box but for now it works like a charm for transporting his groceries. With the long wheel-base this should be pretty stable as long as you balance your cargo. We’d certainly be more apt to try a ride on this rather than the double-decker death-trap from a few weeks ago.

Top 5 Twitter Clients For Android

With the growing popularity of the Android OS for smartphones, it has become a contender for the likes of Apple’s iPhone. With the rise of Android came the facet it revolves around; Open Source. Besides it revolving around being open sourced it also has deep roots with social media. There has been an outbreak of different Twitter applications for the Android devices, each with their ups and downs suited for different types of users ranging from the socialite to the power users of twitter. These are the top 5 Twitter clients for Android (A phone running Android 2.1 OS – Éclair – will be used but most of these will be compatible with 1.5 & 1.6 OS and will be stated if they are not available to all OS versions) :

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Make your own toner transfer paper

Who would have thought that some corn starch could be made into toner transfer paper? We’re not sure of the advantages (perhaps its cheaper?), but if you have a lot of time or just love to get sticky [Matthew Sager] shows the proper method for making the paper, printing, and then etching a PCB.

If you’re just getting started making PCBs, we recommend you check out these DIY circuit etching videos to get a better grasp on the printing and etching steps.