A wedding cake made out of LEDs

[Andrew] wanted to do something special for his wedding. Since he and his fiance [Missy] decided on a cupcake wedding cake, [Andrew] decided to wow his guests with an RGB LED cupcake holder.

The tiers of [Andrew] and [Missy]‘s cupcake holder are made of acrylic laser etched with a damask pattern. These tiers are supported by a cylinder embedded with RGB leds that provide edge lighting for the acrylic panels. The effect is a series of permutating lights that illuminate the cupcake holder with every imaginable color. On the top of the cupcake cake, there’s a great cake topper made of frosted and laser cut acrylic that has the same color fade effect as the cupcake holder.

On the electrical side of things, the cupcake holder has 44 LEDs on all it’s levels. FETs driven by a 40-pin PIC18F control all the LEDs and the whole piece is powered by a computer power supply.

It’s an awesome build, especially considering it was finished just days before the wedding. After the break, you can check out a few more videos showing off the beauty of [Andrew] and [Missy]‘s wedding cake.

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Building your own eye in the sky

His goal of one post a week for a year has past, but [Dino] keeps bringing his skills to bear on new projects. This time around he’s adding a wireless camera to an RC helicopter.

These radio controlled fliers (there are cheap ones that use IR control which is much less reliable) can be found for around $30-60. [Dino] already had a wireless camera to use, but adding it and a 9V battery is just too much weight to lift. After some testing he established that 2oz of payload is the upper limit. He began removing parts from the helicopter to achieve enough savings to lift both the camera and its battery. Along the way he discovered that removing the weights from the fly bar added a lot of maneuverability at the cost of a small stability loss.

Check out his project video embedded after the break. It’s not anywhere near the results of professional multi-rotor camera mounts, but it is cheap and fun!

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On-the-go tool wallet

Whether you’re off to the local Hackerspace, or headed to a friend’s house to lend a hand with the latest project it’s nice to have your favorite tools in a handy package. [Mário Saleiro] decided to take the concept one step further than a toolbox by making his own zipper wallet with cutouts for his favorite tools.

The enclosure is a CD wallet, but who carries those plastic discs around with them anymore? After removing the CD sleeves [Mário] positioned his tools — in this case a pen, angle cutters, and pliers — on one side of the case to make a template. The tracings were then used to cut out pieces from an exercise carpet (we think this is like a rubber yoga mat). The square was glued to the side of the wallet, and some elastic band was sewn in to hold them in place. On the other side is a small components bin, and a little box to hold a tiny multimeter.

[Thanks Nuno]

Building the backend of Internet controlled devices

[Adam] and [Jeremy] took on the challenge of designing a system that would make it easy to control appliances from the Internet. We’ve seen the concept many times before; it involves some method of switching mains power and connecting that mechanism to the Internet. This design is both well planned and nicely executed.

We’re always very interested in the power switching for a project like this. It’s good that an approved electrical box houses all of the high-voltage parts in the project. Here a GA8-2B02 solid state relay switches power between the incoming cord and the two outlets. We didn’t get a look in the box, but hopefully there’s a partition between those wires and the low-voltage control wiring which uses a standard 3.5 mm audio jack as an interconnect.

An ATmega644 drives the control signal for the relay. It’s connected via Ethernet cable to the Internet through the use of an ENC28J60 chip which takes care of LAN communications. This is essentially a light-weight web server that will be easy to adapt to receive commands from just about any web-connected sender.

[Thanks Bruce]

Hipster chandelier

This chandelier is something we’d expect to see on sale in the local gallery store. [Starkec] made it a couple of years back and we just love the look. The materials are pretty common, and you can throw it together in an afternoon.

The diffuser are made from clear glass soda bottles. After removing the labels and giving them a good cleaning, they were each set upside down and sprayed with some glass frosting spray. A four-conductor telephone wire serves both as the support for the bottle and electrical path for the RGB LED inside of each. The original screw cap for the bottles makes it a twist to install them after the soldering is done. There are two common color buses so that alternating colors can be shown at the same time. After seeing the video we think you’ll agree that the wiring scheme makes for some great animated effects.

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Turning a pedal-powered tractor into a Power Wheels

A while back, [Stefan] bought a pedal-powered tractor for his son. It was a fun toy, but what it really needed was an electric motor. After a fair bit of tinkering, [Stefan] turned a pedal-powered tractor into a battery-powered Power Wheels.

Before turning his son’s pedal tractor into a battery-powered ride, [Stefan] ordered a 250 Watt motor and a Pololu motor controller. After tearing out the pedal parts, the motor was attached to the tractor with a few bits of wood (giving the tractor running boards), and a bike chain was run between the rear axle and motor. A pair of small 12 Volt batteries provide all the power and a Hall effect sensor in the handlebars provides the throttle.

Right now, [Stefan] has his son’s new battery-powered tractor set to a top speed of 5 km/h, or just a little bit faster than walking speed. [Stefan] says the tractor has a top speed of about 15 km/h, or about 10 mph; much too fast for a kid’s toy. After the break there’s a video of the tractor rolling along, and [Stefan]‘s son having a great time.

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Mini Pinball MAME machine is small enough to fit in any game room

A huge collection of pinball machines in your basement is one of the crowing achievements of a geek, but what if you could have a huge library of physical pinball machines at you fingertips? [veriix] shared an imgur gallery in a reddit post documenting his wee little pinball machine he built from scratch.

Inside the pinball cabinet, there are two monitors. A 4:3 Samsung monitor serves as  the backglass for the machine while a 23″ HDTV provides the playfield. On the software side of things, [veriix] used PINMAME and Visual Pinball 9 running on an old motherboard he had lying around. The result is impressive. The HD monitor playfield provides the right perspective to fool [veriix]‘s brain into thinking he’s playing a real pinball machine.

We’ve seen PINMAME builds before, but those were encased in full-size pinball cabinets that took up far too much room. [veriix]‘s machine is much smaller, and perfect for the garage, den, basement, or anywhere you’d like to set up an awesome game room.

You can check out [veriix] playing his mini pinball machine after the break. Thanks [Johnny] for sending this one in.

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