Shoulder mount for any camera

Whatever your reasons may be, if you’re going to be holding a camera for long periods of time this shoulder mount will both steady the image, and help save you some aches and pains. [Kyle Jason] built the rig seen above for just $20 by following this guide.

[Knoptop] published the guide about a year ago. It doesn’t make use of any special PVC connectors, so you’ll have no problem finding everything you need at the hardware store. Connectors used include 45 and 90 degree angles, straight pieces, and a PVC conduit box to serve as the mounting bracket. After cutting, dry fitting, and welding everything together the rig really benefits from a couple of coats of paint. Don’t forget the grip covers to make the thing easy to hold onto.

Don’t want to read the build guide? After the break you’ll find [Knoptop's] build video which is actually quite a fun eight minutes to watch.

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Doubling up on the USB supercap flashlight

[Antoine] wrote in to let us know that he soldiers on with his flashlight project. He’s doubled up on the supercaps and tripled the LEDs (translated).

The core concept has stayed the same since the original version. He wanted a flashlight that was small and used no batteries. This iteration came about as he looked at increasing the light output of the device. He’s switched to some warm-white LEDs which are easier on the eyes, but was unhappy with the charge life now that he’s using current at a faster rate. The solution, of course, is more potential from the capacitor. He’s now using two 10 Farad caps in parallel. We are a little skeptical about his capacitor theory and ended up using this lecture to defog the issue of parallel and series capacitance.

The upgraded hardware is right at home in that plastic egg like you’d find in a coin-op trinket vending machine. You’ll see there’s still a colored LED to warn when the charge is getting too low.

USB slingshot controller is for the birds

This USB slingshot controller really brought a smile to our faces. Part of it is the delightfully silly promo video you’ll find after the break. [Simon Ford] combined nature and technology to bring this USB-enabled slingshot into existence.

The frame itself is from a branch he found in the Epping Forrest of London. He whittled away the bark, and hollowed out an opening in at the base of the ‘Y’ to receive an accelerometer board. It has a pair of female pin headers to interface with the mbed seen in the image above. But the real hack here is the code he wrote to translate accelerometer data into appropriate mouse movements. His success in the area makes this translate the virtual world of Angry Birds in a visceral experience of killing things with a slingshot.

We’re suckers for this type of project. Two examples that pop into mind are these musical instrument hacks for Rock Band 2.

[Read more...]

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