Light sensitive MIDI glove

The latest offering in glove-based noisemakers forsakes commonly used flex sensors in favor or photoresistors. [Bruno Ratnieks] is responsible for this musical glove and his methods will be very easy to recreate. He used an Arduino to interface with it while providing a USB connection to your audio software. The sensors themselves couldn’t be easier to throw together, with each photoresistor creating a voltage divider when combined with a fixed-value resistor. That’s all the hardware you need, and with some creative coding you can making it do much more than the effects heard in the video after the break.

Some will say that [Bruno] simply didn’t used enough duct tape with his project design. Be we liked how he wove the wiring into the mesh of these knit gloves to keep it firmly in place.

Continue reading “Light sensitive MIDI glove”

555 Cartoons

Drehkino is a Turntable Cinema that plays short (50 frames) looping animations from specially printed, disks, and is housed in a wooden frame similar to a record player. The paper disks are the frames of animation and an optical rotary encoder pattern, that pattern is picked up by a infrared pair scavenged from an old mouse. The signal is then passed onto a 555 timer configured as a Schmitt trigger that (indirectly) drives the led strobe light creating animation that is synced to the speed of the turn table.

That sounds all good and well, but it must be a big pain to split up an animation and calculate each frame’s position etc, well that is covered too by a couple scripts. Movie clips are sent though virtualdub to select what 50 frames you want, then are exported to individual images, an sh script then takes over and gawk is used to manipulate the data and create an ImageMagick (“CONVSCRIPT”) file. After you do the script dance you are left with a perfectly spaced wheel with encoder ready to print on standard paper in a PDF format.

Software and schematics included, with future improvements already in the works and its nifty, so its worth a check. This is an interesting take on the old zoetrope design.

Thermostat Controlled Plug Box

[Eric] has a problem with his new house, there was no heat in the attic space that had been converted into a loft. Facing no way to tap into the ductwork and wanting to use the space as a bedroom he did what most of us would, and just got a little space heater. Anyone who has lived with a space heater knows you have to be around to turn them on, and they usually dont have decent temperature control. These problems were quickly fixed by making a thermostat controlled plug box.

A quick trip to the hardware store resulted in a 2 gang metal junction box, faceplate with GFCI cutout, receptacle and a Honeywell baseboard heater thermostat. The thermostat is then wired to mains and its output connects to the receptacle.

He gives instructions on wiring which focuses on his parts, but you should follow the instructions to your specific thermostat, and error on the side of caution if working with mains current. The end story is a bedroom with a more constant temperature and doesn’t need a 3 hour burn to get there.

Speeding up a ThinkPad x41 via a SATA SSD conversion

[Marek Walther] uses a ThinkPad x41 tablet for business on a daily basis. Since he’s on the go with the device he figures that hardware failure is eventually going to strike and with that in mind he purchased a second unit – slightly broken – to fix as a backup. He had never been excited about the speed of the tablet so he set out to find improvements. One of the options was to replace the traditional hard drive with a solid state model (translated). But simply dropping in an SSD isn’t going to make things faster. That’s because the stock drive uses a PATA interface. After a bit of snooping [Marek] discovered that the motherboard has a SATA interface that has a bridge connecting to the PATA plug. By removing the bridge and soldering a SATA cable to the board he was able to improve performance while increasing storage capacity at the same time.

Eyelid shutter glasses: fake but still a hack

If you’ve been keeping up with our featured stories this year you’ll remember the post about using your own eyelids as 3D shutter glasses. Throngs of commenters called this one as fake and they were right. But we still enjoyed the experience… it’s more fun to be trolled when the trolls are skilled and idea is original. The perpetrators have released a follow-up video that shows how it was done. It’s not just an electronic trinket and some acting. There’s well executed post-production which maps out the area around this gentleman’s eyes and edits in the rhythmic blinking that made the farce somewhat believable. Check it out after the break.

Continue reading “Eyelid shutter glasses: fake but still a hack”