Store update: Bags, Pads, and possibly badges.

Some new products have worked their way into our hands and are just waiting for some awesome Hack a Day logos to be put on them. We’ve added a couple bags, some huge mouse pads as well as normal ones, and we’re considering adding the Hack A Day badge. You’ve seen the badges before, when we took them to CES. [Devlin] estimates that the cost would be $25 each before shipping. We would like to get some feedback before he starts pumping these things out. How many of you want one?

200 mile RF transmitter (and high altitude balloon)

If there is one thing we like, it’s a fellow hacker so enthusiastic about his or her work that they write the article practically for us by including as much detail and information as possible.

In this two part hack, [Scott] wrote in to let us know not only about a high school built high altitude balloon, but also his $5 long range RF transmitter. The former is simply GPS and video data logged over the flight, but [Scott’s] specialty comes in the latter. A 74HC240 octal buffer is using to amplify the signal (Morse code) from an ATTiny44a with a 29MHz oscillator, producing a usable signal as far away as 200 miles.

It is low bandwidth, but if you’re looking for a simple transmitter in your project and need something with more power (and a smaller package), this might be the ticket.

Making Nixie tubes at home

[Aleksander Zawada] makes vacuum tubes in his home. One of the most challenging builds he has taken on is to produce a working Nixie tube. He describes the process in a PDF, covering his success and failure. It seems the hardest part is to get the tube filled with the proper gas, at the proper pressure, and firmly seal it. In the end he managed to make a tube with three digits (0, 1, and 2) that worked for about 700 hours before burning out.

[Aleksander] joins [Jeri Ellsworth] on the short list of hackers who can pull off extreme industrial manufacturing at home. Kudos.

[Thanks Duncan]

Air freshener hacking

In an effort to improve his marital standing [Tech B] hacked an air freshener to make it Internet controllable. The main component here is a Glade Sense and Spray. It cost him $7 and is meant to spray out some sweet smells when it senses motion in the room. The unit also has a manual spray button which he patched into with the help of a relay. From there some Arduino code and an IRC bot take over, letting him unleash freshness from anywhere he has IRC access.

When reading about this we were also thinking: “motion sensing circuitry available at local stores for just $7?”. We may have to conduct an investigation into the alternative usefulness of that package.

If you have another brand of automatic freshener around it should be just as easy to hack as this one was.

6809 computing

[Matthew Arnoff] built an 8-bit computer around the Motorola 6809 processor. He chose this processor because it seems there are a lot of Z80 builds out there and he wanted to try something different.

This actually packs quite a punch. He’s clocking the machine at 2 MHz with 512 KB of SRAM memory. Compact Flash that is FAT formatted provides mass storage. He’s using a serial connection for a user interface. After the break you can see his oscilloscope is used as the monitor. This was easy to accomplish by connecting the serial out to Terminalscope, one of his previous projects. Continue reading “6809 computing”