Web controlled watering can

Here’s a watering can and water vortex that are controlled with a webkit browser interface. The interface displays a drawing of the watering can on your browser. If you grab one of the handles on the circle around the image and move it, the can will rotate as well.

Okay, so this isn’t going to change the world and actually presents a fairly useless watering setup. But [Ben] seems to be a master of fabrication and that’s what we appreciate in this build. The watering can is solidly mounted and moves fluidly with seemingly little effort from the motor. He uses a spring to keep the rope loop taut, sourcing a castor wheel and automotive power-window motor to provide the motion. The hinged base on which the can sits has a potentiometer in it, used to measure the current position of the watering can. Remember these techniques as they’ll come in handy in your future builds.

There’s also a little bonus at the end of the video after the break. We wondered what [Ben] might use that power drill controller hack for. Looks like it makes an appearance in his water vortex work.

[Read more...]

Laser cutter doubles as a 3D printer

[Bart] figured out how to use his laser cutter as a 3D printer. We’ve checked in on his open source laser cutter in the past and we’re happy to see he’s now done with the build. But rather than stop there he took it a step further. For less than $200 he built an extruder head and added RepRap circuitry. You can see in the image above the laser tube is in the background and the extruder head with a line of black filament is mounted on the gantry. [Bart] has other plans for extensibility as well, including a knife cutter, a pen plotter, and a Dremel mount.

76 flaming trombones led the big parade

[Jonathan Crawford] is ready and willing to fire things up with his flaming trombone. A couple of years back his band teacher was going through the storage room triaging instruments. This trombone suffered from a bad case of red rot and would never function well again so [Jonathan] was able to get his hands on it and get to work.

He started by sanding down the instrument and painting it with high-temperature spray paint. Flexible copper tubing intended for an ice maker was used to relocate the propane outlet inside the bell of the instrument. A barbecue igniter, controlled with the player’s left thumb, lights the flame.

The torch that [Jonathan] is using would only allow a small amount of gaseous propane to come out the nozzle. He ended up drilling out the aperture, and using a short piece of vinyl tubing to bridge the gap between the nozzle and the supplementary copper tubing. At full blast this allows liquid propane to escape so be warned.

You can see him demonstrating this indoors in the video after the break. He mentioned to us that the first time he tried this out he set off the smoke detector. You’ve got to be careful when playing with fire, whether it’s a musical instrument, or a wearable flamethrower. So, you know, don’t try this at home. [Read more...]

RFID entry uses homemade electronic strike

[Fileark] built an RFID entry system that uses a pretty ingenious alternative to an electronic strike plate. An electronic strike is a rather expensive hinged plate that mounts in the door frame and catches the door latch. But this system opens a set of double doors. The door without the handle is fixed in place and has a normal strike plate. But it also has a deadbolt mounted in line with that plate. When the deadbolt is extended it is flush with the strike plate, pushing the latch from the door knob back and freeing the door to swing open. This is a bit hard to put into words so watch the video after the break to clear things up.

The system uses a cheap RFID package that provides a single signal line. This line connects to an old VCR motor which turns the deadbolt. Timing is provided by a 555 chip, and the deadbolt movement is limited by a couple of switches mounted along with the motor.

Now that the unlocking mechanism has been built it would be simple to use other authentication methods for unlocking the door, like a wristwatch-based proximity system.

[Read more...]

Password exploitation classes online

open sesame

Irongeek.com is hosting an online class on password exploitation. The event was a fundraiser called ShoeCon, but they are hosting the entire series for everyone to share. Not only are the videos there, but you can download the powerpoint slides as well. There is a massive amount of information here on various topics like Hashcat, OCLHashcat, Cain, SAMDump2, Nir’s Password Recovery Tools, Password Renew, Backtrack 4 R1, UBCD4Win. There’s so much info, they split it into 3 sections. The videos are fairly long, between 1 and 2.5 hours each. What might surprise people is the amount of time that google is actually one of the main tools.

These videos can be a fantastic resource for hobby hackers, IT admins, and security professionals.

Revive a DockStar and get so much more

[Firestorm_v1] has done a fabulous writeup on not only resurrecting his dead DockStar with JTAG, but also includes some handy techniques and useful information that could be used with other hardware and JTAG equipped devices.

The tutorial itself goes into the details of finding the JTAG, correctly identifying the ports and making an adapter cable. Then wiring a TIAO Parallel JTAG kit and finally the flash and upload of firmware to the deceased Dockstar to give it new life.

While the fun stops a little short, we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for [Firestorm_v1's] future plans involving these surprisingly useful (read: hackable) storage devices, “roving USB camera with WiFi” we hear?

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