Have you ever wondered if you could fix your two broken LCD TVs by combining them? Neither had we, but [Redion] did, and the answer is yes, it can be done. Although it may sound like a serious kludge, the finished product actually looks quite nice from the view provided. On the other hand, we don’t know how the internals will hold up, but it apparently works well now.
For this hack, the working internals from a 32 inch Sony LCD TV with a broken display were combined with a 40 inch Sony LCD TV that had an undamaged display but fried internals. Although this would most likely not work for every TV out there, it’s still a pretty neat experiment. Many people would simply assume something like this would not work, and trash both TVs. We would suggest the new TV be named “Nomad”, just avoid wearing a red shirt around it.
Keep in mind with any TV hack, taking one apart can expose you to large capacitors that may or may not be charged and can be quite dangerous (they can stay charged for a long time). We don’t necessarily recommend duplicating anything here, but use extreme caution if attempting anything like this.
Putting microcontrollers in everything and tying appliances into the internet has become the DIYers’ bread and butter. There’s a ton of benefits from an Internet-enabled coffee maker, but actually building these projects takes a little bit of knowledge. Enter [Dave] and [John] with Twine – a little Internet enabled box that connects physical reality to the digital world.
The hardware inside a Twine is a small board that combines WiFi, an accelerometer and temperature sensor. The Twine is programmed ‘in the cloud’ with a simple if/then condition. A Twine will send you a text, email or tweet when the condition is met. For example, you could put a Twine on a door and program the accelerometer to text you when someone comes knocking.
Twine isn’t an entirely closed system; there’s a plug for additional sensors (moisture detection, for example), and the data from sensors can be pushed out to a server. You can pick up a twine for $100 from the Kickstarter; it’s a little rich for our blood, but we’re sure it’ll be a useful device.
[Alexandra Olivier] put up an art installation at Wellesley College that looks like a bunch of neurons built out of LEDs. The neurons are connected to a couple PIR sensors and ‘fire’ whenever movement is detected. The result is a lot like being inside a brain. Fitting, then, that the installation is called Social Synapses.
Last year’s big toy was always evil, though
Last year, [Andrew] had to fight the throngs of shoppers to get the must have toy of the season, a Zhu Zhu pet. Since these robotic hamster things have spent the last 11 months in the back of a closet, it seems reasonable to make them evil. They’re still not as evil as a demonic Furby….
So we call it a bifocal, right?
There’s an old photography trick for a really hacky macro setup – just turn the lens around. Well, what if you wanted automatic metering and flash control? Simple, just electrically reverse the lens. Bonus points for being able to use the lens regularly as well.
Control all the bands
Well here’s something cool: an all-in-one USB 315mhz, 433mhz, and 868mhz transceiver. What can you do with it? Well, [codeninja] can control the outdoor lights for two of his neighbors, open gates and doors, crash his weather station, and just about anything else in those bands. It’s pretty much like war driving for important stuff nobody cares about.
So this is our favorite holiday now
There’s a Dutch tradition to play Sinterklaas and make someone a present. [Jenor] decided to build an antique-looking DC voltmeter with a pair of vacuum tubes. The tubes don’t work anymore, but the heaters still provide a nice warm glow. It’s a bit large to be regularly used as a piece of test equipment, but it really does look awesome. Very steampunkey, and it’s the though that counts anyway.
What makes a project really exceptional? Part of it is a, ‘gee, that’s clever’ angle with a little bit of, ‘that’s actually possible.’ One thing the Hack a Day crew really appreciates is awesome enclosures. Altoids tins will get you far, but to step up to the big leagues you’ve got to bend some aluminum. Luckily, [Rupert] sent in a great tutorial on bending aluminum sheets for enclosures.
To make his press brake, [Rupert] scavenged a few pieces of 38mm bamboo worktop scraps. After assembling a few of these pieces with some hinges, he was ready to bend some aluminum.
One trick [Rupert] picked up is scoring the sheet metal on the inside of a future bend. For [Rupert]’s project, he sent his 3mm aluminum sheet through a table saw set to cut 1mm deep. Of course this should only be done with a blade designed for non-ferrous metals with as many carbide teeth as possible. Judging from [Rupert]’s homebuilt Hi-Fi that used this construction technique, the results are phenomenal.
After going to an SMD soldering workshop at the Stuttgart hackerspace ShackSpace, [Corvus] decided to be an over achiever and build a flight controller for his very own unmanned aerial vehicle.
The airplane itself is a regular store-bought foam contraption, and not terribly interesting in and of itself. Autonomous flight piques some interest, though. A custom flight controller PCB was designed and built by [Corvus] to work alongside a tiny STM32 Linux board. These two boards, combined with the OpenPilot project allow the plane to keep altitude, bearing, speed, and position in check autonomously. Telemetry between the ground station and vehicle is handled by UAVTalk and a ThinkPad.
In the video after the break, [Corvus] piloted the plane up to altitude, then directed it to fly 500 meters North and turn around. The result was an autonomous flight of over one kilometer. The next stage of the project is implementing some SLAM applications with optical path finding and obstacle avoidance.
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