Repairing a broken RC ceiling fan

The ceiling fan in [Steve Vigneau's] bedroom started giving him trouble. It is normally operated using a remote control but that functionality had become pretty spotty. He cleaned the contacts on the remote but still had troubles that could only be fixed by power-cycling the fan itself. When it finally died he set out to repair the unit himself. Above you can see the controller board from the fan. It was a bit too complicated for [Steve] to troubleshoot so he figured why not just stop using the remote control and make it work with a couple of switches? A bit of research led him to some basic fan schematics that he used for a reference. He need to remove a couple of capacitors and wire them up with one switch for the fan and another for the light. Sure, there’s no settings for speed or direction, but [Steve] thinks he doesn’t need to change them and always has the option to add them in the future.

Cobbling together a CNC mill

[Howard Matthews] never throws anything away, and because of it he was able to build this CNC mill using parts that he already had on hand. He pulled stepper motors out of broken stage light, precision rod and bearings from old dot matrix printers, and other various bits from his junk bin. We’ve seen [Howie's] handi-work before, and this project is just as fun as his Land Rover’s replacement speedometer. Some highlights include manufacturing the nuts for the precision rod, and building a rail system for the bed of the machine. The latter looks a bit suspect, as any milling debris on the rails will cause you Z-axis problems, but now that he has bootstrapped a working mill perhaps he’ll machine an upgrade.

Update: Fixed the link, added video after the break.

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Teensy can school you at Guitar Hero

[Johnny Chung Lee] put together a system that is perfect at playing Guitar Hero. He’s using the PlayStation 2 version and, as you can see above he’s combined a controller connector and a Teensy microcontroller board to communicate with the console using its native SPI protocol. This custom guitar controller receives its signals via USB from a computer that is monitoring the video from the console and calculating the controller signals necessary for perfect gameplay. [Johnny] wrote an OpenCV program that monitors the video, removes the perspective from the virtual fretboard, and analyzes color and speed of the notes coming down the screen.

As you can see after the break it works like a charm. It’s fun from a programming standpoint, but if you want a hack you can actually play maybe you should build your own Banjo Hero.

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