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]


  1. Navic says:

    Awesome rocket flight! The scale is amazing, great recovery! Sure was a large batch of propellant to make, lol.

  2. strider_mt2k says:

    Wow, that was sweet! ;)

    I hope they post my Radbot!
    99% industrial scrap:


  3. zool says:

    no wooden mouse or keyboard?
    maybe he can get a con-artist to make him one

  4. Marcus Quintilian says:

    the pc case is very similar to the Thermaltake Level 10 Case

  5. cmholm says:

    Regarding the neat wood pc case, you’re being reminded of the thermaltake level 10 chassis.

  6. JBot says:

    I didn’t much appreciate the old equipment ensemble…it really wasn’t very musical, which I’d find to be the defining point of that type of project.

    Search Youtube for “big ideas don’t get any james houston”; it was posted here a little over a year ago if I recall correctly. That’s this type of project, done well.

    I intend to put together something similar, but I haven’t had a chance yet.

  7. CutThroughStuffGuy says:

    Lego key typer is neat but would be neater if it could type any key. But there are plenty of easier ways of doing that – basically just make a programmable USB keyboard at that point.

    Or go solenoids on every key?

  8. Jake H says:

    You might want to put a warning on the Wooden PC link–there are some pretty NSFW thumbnails and ads on that site. Really slick project, though, and indeed impressive filing!

  9. Fabi says:

    Does somebody know the name of the “Mainboard” used on the Wooden PC?
    Direct2Pic: http://de.trinixy.ru/pics4/20100915/wooden_pc_case_09.jpg

  10. anon says:

    here is the build log for the wooden case…


  11. Whatnot says:

    You misspelled hell.

  12. Kozzy says:

    The second typing machine is still using a keyboard >.>

  13. M4CGYV3R says:

    I climbed one of those huge antenna towers (only 1000ft, no elevator though) with a friend who does that as his job. He does it nearly every day but once was plenty for me.

    Also, there was no question about the safety line. They were all religious about making sure they were clipped in on every section. The wind up there got up to nearly 35mph at times and you sure don’t want to only be attached with your grip for that.

  14. sneakypoo says:

    @Jake H: Not only NSFW, some pretty disturbing crap as well. I got disfigured babies in the face, nice…

  15. f8l_0e says:

    I don’t know how the build pics of the wooden computer ended up on a russian language site, but this guy is from North Florida. I recognized it as soon as I saw it. His website is http://www.slipperyskip.com. The computer is called level eleven because it is indeed inspired by the thermaltake chiller 10. It is a VIA pico or nano atx board in there I can’t remember which, but his website almost surely will say. His other stuff is just as amazing.

  16. kirov says:

    the communication tower video is disgusting; the tower itself must sway somewhat itself in addition to the high winds.

    reminds me of this story:


    where they climb and abandoned communications tower in the winter.

  17. Matt says:

    OSHA lets them free climb? OSHA doesn’t let me walk around the manufacturing floor of at the place I work where they assemble electronics without steel-toed shoes, yet there’s almost nothing that could fall on my toes. (“Ouch! I just dropped a spool of SMT resistors”)

  18. So why the hell would you send traffic to a site that stole my photos? Fix it, take it down or stand-by for a DMCA notice.

  19. Nick says:

    For that little typing machine… A mechanical spam machine, if you could have it press enter after typing.

  20. GZ says:

    I worked in tv for a while. The tower jobs are crazy dangerous. All it takes is one wrong bar being removed/repaired because the plans were wrong or someone did a bad job doing maintenance or construction and the whole thing comes crashing down.

    They have lots of safety regulations but in the end, human error, one cut corner, one mistake and the tower comes down.

    So glad it’s not my job.

  21. OK. I just sent a DMCA take down notice to WordPress.

  22. docodine says:


    the russians stole slipperyskip’s build log, please link to one of his real build logs

  23. MG says:

    So, who is Kelly Davio?? Has HaD been hacked?? :)

  24. MS3FGX says:

    Jeffrey Stephenson: Internet Sheriff

    Seriously, HaD publishes things based on reader submitted tips; somebody probably tipped them off to this Russian site after they found the images via Google Image Search. No way to know what the original source was until the creator (or at least somebody else who remembered seeing them) showed up. The link will get fixed once one of the editors sees this, though I would hope you have already contacted HaD staff directly before threatening them.

  25. DanAdamKOF says:

    I think I held my breath for that entire tower climb video.

  26. sneakypoo says:

    @Jeffrey Stephenson: Why are you sending it to WordPress? It was neither WordPress or HaD that reposted your pictures on that site. If you go after sites that link to other sites you should probably send one to Google as well… While I understand your feelings (had it happen to myself as well) you’re overreacting just a tad. You should’ve gotten in contact directly with the site and asked them politely first.

  27. I have asked HaD to fix this issue but they prefer to ignore me. I can’t stop HaD from sending people off to a scumbag pirate site but I can force WordPress to remove the photo associated with this article. It sucks that I have to play these kind of games.

    • Caleb Kraft says:

      Jeffrey Stephenson,
      I just got back from a trip and read through these comments. I’ve updated the link to your personal site. Let me know if there’s a better link, I may have missed it if you already posted it. Sorry for the delay. We weren’t ignoring you, there just wasn’t anyone here.

  28. Ben says:

    At first I’m thinking, “that’s not so bad, he’s climbing in a cage”, but then it switches to single bars sticking out the side. And when he finally gets to the top, what is there to fix up there?

    I think I’m going to be sick…

  29. Thanks Caleb. I really enjoy HaD. My work has been on here in the past (PSU PC). I was disappointed to see you giving credit for my work to an obviously fraudulent website. The HardOCP and bit-tech links mentioned in the above comments contain my full work log…with text!

  30. naxxfish says:

    Whooaaa kay. I got scared climbing to the top of a 50ft tower. And I’m not even scared of heights normally. Respect.

  31. Shawn Boutilier says:

    I am a tower climber, and I approve this message.

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