LED matrix shield starts with a very loud snap

We see a lot of LED matrix projects. They’re fun, and you can learn a lot of basic lessons during the build. But this one is out of the ordinary. [Rtty21] built an oddly sized, and sound controlled matrix shield for his Arduino. That’s it right there, the shield is the large chunk of protoboard but you can just see the Arduino peeking up over the top of it.

Now we say oddly sized because a 9×9 matrix doesn’t make much sense with an 8-bit micro controller. There’s no schematic but in the clip after the break he mentions that the columns and rows are driven by a decade counter and shift register and that’s what makes it possible to drive nine bits easily. Also of note on the board is that washer above and to the right of the matrix. It’s a touch-sensitive reset button. But the main control mechanism is a Clapper clone circuit. Just snap your fingers and it turns the project on or off. [Rtty21] based the design on this step-by-step sound input build.

Continue reading “LED matrix shield starts with a very loud snap”

Using incandescent bulbs to compensate for a slow start cfl

[Dick], like most of us, likes some pretty strong light in his workshop. He’s using CFL flood lamps to save a little energy. Unfortunately, he found that they gradually become brighter instead of that instant light he was accustomed to with his previous incandescent bulbs.

Not wanting to wait around for the lights to reach full power, but still wanting to save electricity, he devised a plan . He would install an incandescent bulb along side the others and fade it out slowly as the others became brighter. He acknowledges that he could have just put a 5 minute timer on it, but the transition would be abrupt and unpleasant. Instead, he built a circuit to get the exact result he wanted.

Just so you don’t miss it, the actual build is available to download at a link toward the bottom of the page.

[via HackedGadgets]

Hackerspace Intro: HeatSync Labs in Mesa Arizona

Following along with our request for hackerspace tours [Will] sent in this fantastic tour of HeatSync Labs in Mesa Arizona. This is exactly what we love to see. A quick tour, showing us who you are, where you are, what is going on, and what people have done. This place looks like a really well run hackerspace too. Lots of equipment ranging from soldering stations to wood shop, welding booth, laser cutter, 3d printing, 3d scanning, and hopefully (eventually) a fully functional electron microscope! Great job folks, if we’re ever in the area, we’ll be sure to stop by and see what you’ve got going on.

Check out the video tour after the break.

Continue reading “Hackerspace Intro: HeatSync Labs in Mesa Arizona”

Giant pink hexacopter is slightly safer than the rest

Check out this giant pink hexacopter.  We see tons of quad copters here, but their bigger brothers/sisters the hexacopters don’t visit very often. When they do though, they get all dressed up as you can see in the picture above. This prototype frame is meant to protect both the props, and the innocent bystanders as you inevitably veer into something you shouldn’t.  The frame is constructed mainly from carbon fiber and adds a total of about 1 Kg of weight to the copter. While it does fly, [AirvewLive] is looking for guidance on what prop/motor combo would yield more endurance. Anyone have some recommendations?

We know some of you will notice pretty quickly that he refers to this as a “ducted fan”. We realize it isn’t and we’ll forgive him this once because his build is so cool.

[thanks for the tip Mike]

ATiny powered Kinect fire cannons for dance Fx

[Paul] is at it again with some kinect controlled fire poofers. You may remember [Paul's] previous shenanigans with the gigantic hand made hydraulic flame-sailed pirate ship.  This time he is building a small flame poofer (possibly a series of poofers) for SOAK, a regional (unaffiliated) Burning Man style festival in Oregon.

Any one who remembers the build will recognize the brains of the new cannons, they are just the pirate ship’s custom ATiny board unceremoniously torn from their previous home and recycled for the new controller. This time though they have Kinect! The build seems to function much like the evil genius simulator by simply using a height threshold to activate each cannon, but [Paul] has plans for the new system. This hardware test uses the closed source OpenNI but will meet its full potential when it is reborn in SkelTrack, which was just released a few weeks ago. The cannons are going to go around a small single person dance floor, presumably with the Kinect nearby.

Check out the brief test video after the jump.

Continue reading “ATiny powered Kinect fire cannons for dance Fx”