mbed and a few resistors runs console, VGA, and PS/2

[Jordan] writes in to show us a project he has been working on called MbedConsole. Living up its name [Jordan] has managed to run a 640×480 VGA output, PS/2 port and console all from the mbed itself. We really mean from an mbed only; no extra hardware is required aside from a few resistors and connectors, a VGA monitor and PS/2 keyboard. The code is open source and links are included in the blog. There are even instructions for including your own graphics.

There are a few things to tackle still, like SD card support. Currently the PS/2 keyboard lights for caps-lock are not functional. [Jordan] would love to know what else we’d see going on something like this, with 400k of flash and 20k RAM left there certainly is a bit of room for some interesting stuff. One of his main goals is to get rid of the C interface and port an interactive shell over that could do something like BASIC or Forth (to give it that retro environment feel). We have seen the mbed in a handful of projects, what do you think?

CNC Jacquard loom will weave anything

The Jacquard loom, invented in the early 1800s, used punched cards to manufacture relatively complex textiles such as damask and brocade. These punched cards were eventually used by census workers, mechanical calculators, early analog computers, the earliest digital computers, and even the humble Arduino.

That doesn’t mean the Jacquard loom was left in the 17th century, though. This one made it to the Open Hardware Summit in New York last week and it was so cool the organizers of the Maker Faire graciously found space for it.

The entire loom is controlled by computer – no punched cards required – and is build out of inexpensive aluminum extrusion. It can also make any two color graphic into a textile (yes, even the Hackaday logo). The loom wasn’t quite operational during the one day it spent at Maker Faire, but we’ve been promised updates in the future.

Ginormous Ultimaker can print slightly smaller Ultimakers

[bwattendorf] showed off his Gigimaker, a huge version of a Ultimaker at the Maker Faire this weekend.

It’s got a print area 2.5 feet square and 3.5 feet high. Currently, the team is using the machine to print off parts for smaller desktop-sized 3D printers, but theoretically this printer could be used to print life-sized companion cubes or full sized [Nefertiti] busts.

If you’d like to build your own giant Ultimaker, grab a few sheets of plywood and grab the git repo for the Gigimaker.

Rideable hexawalker is Chibikart’s kin

The folks from MIT made their way to the NYC Maker Faire, and of course brought a pair of Chibikarts. [Nancy Ouyang] wouldn’t allow those portable go karts take center stage at the MIT booth though; her Hexarideablepod (yes, that’s what she calls it) saw much more action from the kids clamoring to take something for a drive.

From the video above, [Nancy] shows off her six-legged, tennis ball-footed creation. The entire machine is powered by car batteries and is controlled via two joysticks in something resembling driving a tank Nope, it’s powered by A123 lipos and controlled with triggers taken from an electric drill.

As per [Nancy]‘s wishes, I must mention that this project was for MITERS, a.k.a. the people from MIT that came down to Maker Faire.

Proper video after the break. The Internet at Maker Faire is horrible, give me a break.

[Read more...]

Putting a workshop on your bike rack

As a member of the Repair Cafe in Maastricht, [Bertoa] sometimes needs to take a few tools out into the field to repair mechanical and electronic devices. His previous solution to the problem was a toolbox in the trunk of his car, but he knew he could come up with a more environmentally friendly solution. He created a portable workbench that fits right on his bike rack that is able to transport all the tools needed for light repairs using only a bike.

[Bertoa]‘s portable workbench is made up of two parts; each side has one small slide drawer perfect for storing screwdrivers and wrenches, as well as a second tilting drawer able to hold heavier items such as an electric drill.

The work surface joins the two sides of the workbench together and is able to fold out with the help of a piano hinge and a few brackets. The workbench is removable from the bike rack and is able to stand on its own (stowable) legs made of aluminum tubes.

Even though the portable workbench only weighs about 10kg, it’s able to support [Bertoa]‘s full body weight; a wonderful addition to any maker’s bicycle and a great solution to working on projects in the field.

Tiny OLED o-scope fits on a breadboard

With a surplus of 3D printers at this year’s Maker Faire, it’s really surprising to see the most talked about tool among the makers is a simple oscilloscope.

[Gabriel Anzziani]‘s Xprotolab is an extremely small oscilloscope, function generator, logic analyzer, and general 128×64 OLED display is the perfect addition to your next prototyping project. With its breadboard friendly format and USB output, it will dutifully serve as a 200kbps oscilloscope, 8 channel logic analyzer, or as seen in the video above, the perfect interface for a Wii Nunchuck or just a simple digital Etch-a-sketch.

In the video above the fold [Gabriel] shows off the functions of his tiny, if somewhat limited, OLED oscilloscope.

Giving graphing calculators a new life

[Christopher] at Cemetech, ever frequent HaD feature for his hacked up graphing calculators, made it to the NYC Maker Faire.

He already posted on his blog he was making the trip up to Maker Faire, but we were lucky enough to catch up with him. Two things: the name of his blog isn’t ‘cement tech’, but ‘chem tech.’ Apparently he hates it when it’s mispronounced.

Secondly, he’s been turning in the TI-83s for a Casio Prizm graphing calculator. In the video above he tells us he’s gotten a few homebrew games running on the Prizm, a Lua interpreter, and is currently working on digging around the operating system.