Hackaday Links: January 17th, 2013

Free-formed VFD clock

links-free-formed-vfd-clock [James] doesn’t need a circuit board or even some protoboard to get the job done. He free-formed all the circuits for his VFD clock. Right now this is the only project hosted on his blog so click around to see how he got to this point.

DIY LED traffic light

links-diy-traffic-light

Here’s a scratch-build traffic light which [Jarle] uses to display information about his server. If you’re unable to find your own storm damaged original this is a pretty easy way to build one.

FPGA space attack game

links-classic-shooter-running-on-fpga

This game is running on an FPGA, but it’s not written in HDL. Instead, [Johan] wrote the game in C to run on a soft processor loaded on the gate array.

Hourglass entropy

links-hour-glass-entropy

This is a fascinating idea for generating random numbers. [Gijs] is shining a laser onto a light dependent transistor. The beam of the laser is broken by the falling sand of an hourglass. This technique could be use as an entropy source for random number generation.

GPS clock source for a digital timepiece

links-gps-clock

It seems like massive overkill, but you can’t beat the time accuracy of using a GPS module as a clock source. We don’t expect that [Jay] kept the clock in one piece after finishing the project. It’s just a good way to practice decoding the GPS data.

Comments

  1. Quin says:

    It looks like the laser ‘entropy’ device isn’t. Some of the light is not reflecting from the sand, but from the walls of the timer. Without some compensation, it doesn’t look to be be securely random.

  2. asciimation says:

    I made a similar GPS clock a few years ago using a GPS module and a PIC to do the decoding. I stuck it an interesting yet impractical housing. It’s been running ever since on my mantelpiece and I do still use it to set all my other clocks to.

    http://www.asciimation.co.nz/bb/2008/11/05/sv-chronometer-%E2%80%93-a-gps-based-interactive-master-clock

    Simon

  3. donhamilton says:
  4. Tony says:

    I wonder if the traffic light thief: http://www.leonidastolias.com/Site/Light.html ever gave it back. Dude, you’re supposed to delete the entire page and wait until Google gets tired of caching it, not just remove the link.

    On an unrelated note he appears to have invented time-travel, at least that’s what his resume hints at.

    • signal7 says:

      Seriously don’t understand why everyone thinks that just because you have a traffic light it must be stolen. You can buy them online from several sources or locally from your highway department.

      This isn’t the first comment I’ve posted on the subject. Sometimes I think the editors don’t ever read any of the comments, so they propagate the same misinformation from one post to the next. I truly hope that isn’t the case, though.

  5. Love the laser entropy idea!

  6. ka1axy says:

    Or, you could just go to:

    http://www.trafficlights.com/default.htm

    and pick up the real thing, legally!
    (there are a number of these places on the web, no need to go foraging)

  7. Justin Shipe says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but couldn’t that tube clock give you one hell of a shock if you picked it up wrong?

  8. Laurens says:

    there should be a cheaper version of GPS time, some sort of module that only gets time from satellites and not position. It would be awesome if most alarm clocks could have that built-in!

  9. vonskippy says:

    Hmmm, lets see, would I like a huge clunky (and in my opinion, not living in a undergrad uni dorm, fugly) “traffic light” that shows three overly generic states of a complex device, or would I like a mobile web page and an android app that tells me IN DETAIL exactly what’s going on – and could include a simple go/no go status graphic at the top of the page for the mentally challenged moments?

    Tough choice – NOT.

    • Tom says:

      Personal choice? You said it yourself, what would “you” prefer? I’d rather be prompted to check my mobile web page app, rather than have to continually check it for problems.

      My personal one would be to have some sort of e-mail / text notification system, with a much more subtle form of a R/A/G indicator to show load, but again, that’s a personal thing. I can appreciate the novelty of using a real traffic light though ; o)

  10. Nicely put, With thanks!

  11. The standard unit for weighing gemstones is the carat.

    The added alloy is used to improve the luster, brightness
    and hardness of the silver.

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