Hackaday links: October 24, 2010

Square Gears

This video demonstrates square gears and other oddly shaped cogs. We can’t think of a use but it’s interesting none-the-less. [via Tinkernology]

Cooking with Lasers

It’s late and you’ve been at the workbench for quite some time. But why go to the kitchen for a snack? Grab a couple of 1 watt lasers, hot glue a kernel of corn to a DC motor, and you’ll have popcorn in no time.

Calling this a simulator just doesn’t do it justice

Okay, so this link is a Lexus commercial. But it’s worth watching to see the footage of this driving simulator. Inside that pod is an actual automobile surrounded by a 360 degree screen. The room has a full x and y axis to move the pod (and the car) as you drive through the simulated world. It’s like someone gave a bunch of geeks an unlimited budget and say “go nuts”. [Thanks Luke]

What takes the most time in your hacking adventures?

Everyone whose spent some time in web design has run across the peculiar rendering bugs and workarounds associated with Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer Stole My Life aims to tabulate the collective time wasted from the lives of developers. We think it’s hilarious because spending the same amount of time meeting W3C standards and this problem would go away. But [Caleb] mentioned something interesting when he saw this site: What part of your hacking adventures wastes the most time? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Hackvision is build-your-own retro game

If you wanted to try your hand at programming some retro games Hackvision can jump-start the process. It is an Arduino-based game console in a controller format. You get four directional buttons and one function button. It has two RCA jacks for mono audio, and black and white video.

We’re happy to find that there’s information about game development that will help you follow along with the Space Invaders and Pong examples. The system uses the Arduino TVout library for video, which is robust and fairly easy to interact with. But once you see the game play in the video after the break it’ll be hard to resist building one of these. Don’t forget, this is Arduino based. If you already have an Arduino that uses an ATmega328 you just need to build the audio, video, and button circuits. [Read more...]

Lightsaber color selector

[George Hadley] developed a nice setup to control the color of a replica Lightsaber. A small PCB houses a PIC 18F2221 and three switching transistors for the colors. A powerful LED resides in the tip of the handle, lighting up the diffuser that makes up the blade. But our favorite part is the control scheme. He’s embedded a small RGB LED in the handle, giving feedback as to which color of light can currently be adjusted (red, green, or blue). One button scrolls through the colors and a slide potentiometer adjusts that them.

We wouldn’t go as far as calling this a Halloween prop, we think it’s better suited for serious replica builds. But it would make an amazing addition to the little one’s costume. See it in action after the break.

[Read more...]