Noise generator ported to run on small AVR, also Arduino compatible

Feeling a bit left out because he didn’t have a PICAXE on hand, [Rob Miles] decided to port the Luna Mod code so that it would work on an AVR chip. He chose to build his around an ATtiny45, but also mentions that this is Arduino compatible.

This case layout is a bit different from the original Make version, but we like this look just a bit better. It might not satisfy your need for that hipster looking enclosure, but the repurposed macadamia nut box looks seems it was built for this purpose. Take a look as the video after the break to see the final product and hear it spewing newly composed cacophony. [Rob] is sharing the sketch as a dropbox file but we’ve also included our own hosted link after the break in case is stops working.

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Old pachinko game tweaked to add a reward system

restored_gumball_vending_pachinko_machine

[Tim Higgins] picked up an old pachinko game at a garage sale for his wife, but it ended up sitting unused in the garage for a few years. When he finally dusted it off, he decided that he wanted to restore and build a nice cabinet for it, though he thought the idea was a bit lame.

He says he likes to use some sort of CPU in his projects, and even though it was overkill, he made it his goal to add some sort of microprocessor to the game. He didn’t want to ruin the original aesthetics of the machine, so he decided that he could use an Arduino to drive a rewards system for skilled pachinko players.

Using some PVC pipe, he built a treat hopper which is controlled by the Arduino. When the player wins, the microcontroller triggers a small hobby servo, which dispenses gumballs/candy/etc.

[Tim] says that his wife loved the gift, and he was quite pleased with how it came out as well. Hit up his blog for additional build details and be sure to check out the photo slideshow of the restoration that we have embedded below.

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Announcing Hack a Day Themes

High Voltage Theme graphic

Starting next Monday we be adding some themed posts into the mix. Every couple of weeks we will pick a new theme. Our first theme will be about hacks and projects involving high voltage.   Each day we will have a new post based on the current theme. To make this happen though, we need your help.  If you have been working on something that involves high voltage or you know someone who has, hit us up on the tip line.  If you have a cool high-voltage project but haven’t posted it online yet, take a look at this link where we show you some options.

Home automation systems easily hacked via the power grid

x10_home_automation_hacked

As home automation becomes more and more popular, hackers and security experts alike are turning their attention to these systems, to see just how (in)secure they are.

This week at DefCon, a pair of researchers demonstrated just how vulnerable home automation systems can be. Carrying out their research independently, [Kennedy] and [Rob Simon] came to the same conclusion – that manufacturers of this immature technology have barely spent any time or resources properly securing their wares.

The researchers built tools that focus on the X10 line of home automation products, but they also looked at ZWave, another commonly used protocol for home automation communications. They found that ZWare-based devices encrypted their conversations, but that the initial key exchange was done in the open, allowing any interested 3rd party to intercept the keys and decrypt the communications.

While you might initially assume that attacks are limited to the power lines within a single house, [Kennedy] says that the signals leak well beyond the confines of your home, and that he was able to intercept communications from 15 distinct systems in his neighborhood without leaving his house.

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