Web-enabled LED pegboard

[Norm Santos] whipped up an LED light board that you can draw on through their web interface. We tried it out but unfortunately the live feed is currently offline. That doesn’t diminish our appreciation for the time-lapse build video after the break. Indeed it was a mountain of hot glueing and a couple of days of soldering. Our only beef is that for every LED on the board there are three empty peg holes. To us this is just begging to be augmented with blue, green, and white LEDs for a more spectacular result. What they have now encompases 350 LEDs managed by five microcontrollers, which took about two days to solder (for five people) and to hammer out some code. [Read more...]

More automated wire cutting

[MC] realized he had forgotten about an order for 2000 cut wires that was now due in a few days. Rather than dropping everything to complete the task, he whipped up this machine to cut the wires for him. A PIC 16F628 board drives a couple of battery-powered drill motors. One of them powers two lawnmower wheels for the feed, and the other turns a pin that squeezes the wire cutters. It’s not as advanced as the cutter/stripper from last year, but it gets the job done.

After the break you can see it does what is intended. The final product took about $80 and 12 hours of his time to build.  [MC's] planned improvements include more accurate wire measurement, plus an LCD and button based user interface.

[Read more...]

HOPE badge proximity sensor

The HOPE conference was last weekend and [Nathan] spent some time with fellow members of Makers Local 256 developing this badge proximity sensor. They took one of the HOPE badges, which have a radio on board for the tracking network, and wrote code for its MSP430 to detect other badges nearby. It uses a Geiger counter they brought with them as an enclosure, re-purposing the analog gauge to reflect the level of active radio signals in the area. You’ll find their demo clip embedded after the break.

If you managed to get your hands on one of these badges, don’t be shy about sharing your hacks. We want to see them.

[Read more...]

DS1307 breakout board

Adafruit’s got a handy breakout board for the DS1307 RTC available. This chip isn’t nearly as accurate as the DS3231 used in the Chronodot but it’s quite a bit cheaper. The breakout makes this easy to breadboard or plug into an Arduino and has everything you need; clock crystal, a backup battery, filtering capacitor, and pull-up resistors. Our favorite part is that Adafruit designs are open source so you can etch the board yourself if you checkout the files from their git repository. This will make a great addition to our prototyping hardware collection.

Incidentally, we were surprised to see the choice of 2.2k resistors for the I2C bus pull-ups. We were under the impression that 4.7k was a standard value here. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments.

[via Dangerous Prototypes]

Long arms required, electronic trombone

Sadly, the video above is the only information we were able to find on the “Double Slide Controller” trombone, built by composer Tomás Henriques. As well as, the instrument took first place in the Georgia Tech Center Guthman Musical Instruments Competition. Right in front of a Bluetooth bow for violins, and a circuit bending group from New York, and…wait; it beat out our favorite modified didgeridoo? Better luck next year.

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