Hackaday links: October 3, 2010

Sugar rocket

We’re told that this rocket is sugar powered. It’s quite a bit bigger than the homemade sugar motors we saw last week and it makes for quite a show. [Thanks Estqwerty]

Wooden PC construction

The finished look of this wooden PC case seems very familiar to us but we’re not sure we’ve seen pictures of the build process(updated link, sorry [Jeff]) before. There’s something extremely satisfying about how well its creator works with a file. [Thanks Anders]

Working on top

We never realized that this job existed, but if you repair communication towers it’s a heck of a climb to work. The video of a two-man crew climbing a 1600 foot tower is one of the most interesting we’ve seen this year. [via Blogging Protagonist]

Lego typing machine

[Dougal’s] typing machine types his name… over and over again. An interesting little piece of mechanical engineering, we’d have to think for a while to decide the best use for this little guy. [Thanks Chris]

Typing on a different type of keyboard

Here’s another typing machine but this time it’s not a keyboard and not purely mechanical. Pictured is one of the performers in an old equipment ensemble performing with whining stepper motors, speech synthesis, an other antiquated noise-makers. [Thanks Mike]


Millennium Falcon doll house

Sometimes all it takes is one idea. The shape of a cutting board found at a thrift store prompted [Paul] to build a Millenium Falcon doll house. In addition to the strangely shaped cutting board, a ring from a CD spindle and some wood slats divide the internals while PVC fittings complete the cockpit assembly. To really bring things alive for the kids [Lin] made a bunch of minifigs from hobby pegs. These exhibit her artistic skills as we think they’re better than most of the stuff you could buy in a store.

Kids really bring out the best in hacking. Looks like these children have been enjoying the spoils of hacker parents for a while, with a cardboard rocketship (beats any refrigerator box hands down), Pixie-Dust bottles using some small LED bits, and a doll bed that repurposes a wine rack.

[Thanks Joby]

Zinc sulfide glow power at home

Further solidifying her mad-scientist persona, [Jeri Ellsworth] is making glow powder with household chemicals. When we saw the title of the video we though it would be fun to try it ourselves, but the first few minutes scared that out of us.

To gather the raw materials she puts some pennies in a bench motor and files them into powder. From there it’s trial and error with different cleaners and tools to create just the right dangerous reaction to get the chemical properties she’s looking for.

Check out her experiments after the break. And if you find you’re wanting more, go back and take a look at her EL wire fabrication process.

Continue reading “Zinc sulfide glow power at home”

Chiptune instrument from NES

[Jarek Lupinski] wanted an instrument that would let him play chiptunes live, without a need for pre-programming a cartridge for playback during a concert. His preferred hardware is an original Nintendo Entertainment System because of its familiar nostalgic sound. After picking up a lot of 5 broken NES units he set out to build a midi-compliant device.

The five NES units he bought had nothing wrong with them other than the 70-pin cartridge connector. He fixed them all, then de-populated the board on one and tried to build out a circuit on a breadboard. After much trial and error, forum searching, and conversations with others who were familiar with the hardware he got the circuit working. He’s posted a schematic and had a board fabricated which takes the transplanted chips and transforms them into an instrument. Check out the test notes being played by an Arduino Mega after the break.

Continue reading “Chiptune instrument from NES”

Spinning POV clock done oh-so-right

[Kizo] built an extraordinary persistence of vision clock. The design uses a PC cooling fan to spin the propeller-like PCB. As it goes around, a hall effect sensor synchronizes the illumination of the LEDs to draw the display. Power for the rotating electronics is transferred wirelessly via a transformer on the base and coil on the spinning board. The final version uses an ATmega324 microcontroller running at 20 MHz and has an IR receiver for changing the settings. The 3000 lines of code bring a lot of bells and whistles, including a menu system with a huge amount of settings from tweaking the clock display, to font selection for scrolling messages. Take a look at the demo after the break. The double-sided board looks like it’s pretty difficult to etch at home, but as you can see from the forum post (translated), [Kizo] did a great job on this build from start to finish. Continue reading “Spinning POV clock done oh-so-right”