Noise pollution tit for tat uses the Baha Boys as a weapon

Here [Matthew Br] explains the situation he’s in with the neighbors that share this wall of his apartment. When they listen to music they like it loud and so he gets to ‘enjoy’ the experience as well. But he can’t ignore it any longer, and has decided to use a sound volume detector to blast some tunes right back at them.

He taped a microphone to the wall and wired it up to his Arduino. It monitors incoming sound and, using an adjustable threshold, it will trigger when the neighbors are too loud. We think he was wise to include some time filtering that makes sure the loud noises are sustained and not just the result of someone bumping into the wall. When the system does detect loud music for a sustained period it triggers [Matthew's] own CD player to pump out Who Let the Dogs Out? by the Baha Boys. It will play for a period of time, then shut off to listen and see if the neighbors are still rowdy.

He documents an actual run in the latter half of the clip after the break. We sure hope he’s living in a building with just two units, otherwise this will drive the rest of the neighbors batty as well!

[Read more...]

Turning the red bull cannon to assault mode

Once we got our official entry into the red bull creation contest finished and submitted, we figured we might as well kick things up a notch just for giggles. We set up a firing range in the basement at Squidfoo and positioned “herbert”, a mannequin that was left over in the building from a previous tenant, in the sights.

We discovered two things:
1. it is hard to aim this thing precisely. We should have found a laser to affix to the barrel.
2. “Herbert” is the toughest mannequin in the universe. He barely had a chip on him even from point blank range!

[Read more...]

CNC Table Saw Jig

table saw jig

[Woodgears.ca] seems to be a wealth of clever hacks, and this CNC box joint jig is no exception.  Although one has to manually move the jig to make the actual cut, it still gives the user a lot of extra functionality. One only has to click the mouse button to advance the workpiece.  One drawback to using a table saw, even with this jig is that some internal parts still may have to be cut. Check out the video after the break to see this device in action, or skip to around 3:08 to see what hand operations still have to be done.

Besides just being a cool build, we loved the box-jointed project enclosure for the electronics. As this was made in 2003, it’s nice to see that the idea of “self-replication” (at least in part) didn’t start with the [Rep-Rap]. The 10 year old (as of 2003) Thinkpad notebook computer running QBasic in DOS is a nice “hacker” touch as is using 100 Watt light bulbs as power resistors. Pretty clever electronics, especially for someone that’s known more for his excellent woodworking skills than his obvious electrical engineering knowledge! [Read more...]

Start thinking 4th dimensionally with a time circuit tutorial

When [Phil Burgess] showed off a few I2C – controlled seven-segment displays on adafruit’s weekly vlog, the comments immediately turned to the time circuits featured in everyone’s second-favorite time machine, the Back to the Future DeLorean. The time circuits are now active, so now you can easily add a temporal display to your car well before a hover conversion.

[Phil] used these LED displays, conveniently controlled by a four-wire I2C bus. Although the displays are addressable independently, it’s only possible to assign each display to one of 8 I2C addresses. [Phil] figured out a neat way to control the 9 displays of the time circuit with the help of a 74HC138 3-to-8 line decoder.

The case was constructed out of clear acrylic lasercut in adafruit’s shop and spray painted with faux-metal paint. After installing the seven-segment displays, a Teensy, ChronoDot, and a few AA batteries finished up the build.

With any luck, the design files for the laser cut case should be available shortly, so get those I2C displays while they’re still in stock.

Dueling mechanical bulls

Do you have what it takes to stay on the mechanical bull longer than the next guy? Who cares! We want to know if you’ve got what it takes to build your own dueling mechanical bulls. After seeing the development stages in the video after the break we think you’ll agree that the construction part of the project is way more fun than the ‘sport’ that results. But still, we can’t watch the competition without beaming with delight too.

The project was developed by the Madagascar Institute, an Art Collective out of Brooklyn, New York. The scene displayed above is the installation at this year’s Google IO conference, where two contestants could battle it out on the same hardware, being driven the same way, at the same time. You can make out a sign on the wall in the background. It acts as the scoreboard with two red arrows, one of which will light up to identify the loser when they have been thrown from the bull.

If only this had been driven with a Bullduino… maybe next year.

[Read more...]

Automated system hopes to make manual road patching a thing of the past

automated-road-repair

You don’t necessarily have to live in a cold climate to experience how roads start to deteriorate once cracks begin forming in the asphalt surface. Even more frustrating than the potholes, dips, and road erosion is the snarled traffic that results from closing lanes to repair them. Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute have developed a way to detect and quickly fix these cracks with minimal human interaction, making the process a bit less painful than before.

The automatic road patcher resides on a trailer which is towed behind a service vehicle at 5 km/h. Cameras mounted near the front of the device detect cracks down to 3mm in width using an array of LED lights to guide the way. Once a fault has been detected, nozzles mounted under the trailer blast the road with liquid tar to seal the crack before it becomes a real problem.

The system seems to work reasonably well in the tests we’ve seen, and researchers are tweaking the processing software to make the rig even more effective before rolling it out on a wider scale.

[via Gizmodo]

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