I need someone to explain this to me.

Hackaday Links: January 24th, 2013

Raspberry Pi’s answer to the iMac

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If you always wanted a sweet looking all-in-one computer like an iMac, but without OSX this one’s for you. [Michael Davis] glued everything you need for a Raspberry Pi computer to the back of an LCD monitor.

Dancing Japanese robot shows high creepiness factor

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You’ve just got to see this one to believe it. Someone choreographed some seriously lifelike dance moves for this robot. [Thanks - via Dr. GIY's blog]

Helper script to install MSPGCC

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The repositories available to Ubuntu are nice, but if you want to get the newest version of the GCC toolchain for MSP430 microcontrollers you’re going to need to do the compilation yourself. [Jose] is trying to make the process a bit easier with this helper script which download and installs MSPGCC Uniarch.

Easy reset for WRT-54G routers

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The whole point of the router reset button being hard to press is so you don’t hit it by accident. But the difficulty of getting to it drove [Noah] crazy so he added his own easy to reach replacement.

Camera stabilization tips

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This is a public service to amateur videographers. You don’t need expensive equipment to make a video without nausea inducing shakes. Try out these simple camera stabilization tips. You can use a tripod as a counterweight, or a piece of 2×4 to give the point-and-shoot a dual grip.

Building your own Model A Raspberry Pi

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When the Model A Raspberry Pi is released in the coming weeks or months, you’ll have the opportunity to buy an even cheaper ARM Linux computer that will draw 1/3rd the power of the classic Model B. Some people just can’t wait a month to get their hands on it, so [Blair] decided to make his own.

The Model A Raspberry Pi is nearly the same as the Model B; the only things missing are an Ethernet port, a single USB port, and the associated chips required to drive these ports. In a brave bit of desoldering, [Blair] removed the Ethernet/USB controller with a butane torch.

In part two of [Blair]‘s adventures, he removed the Ethernet connector and replaced the two-high USB ports with a single port, greatly decreasing the height of the Raspberry Pi.

As of right now, this is just about the only way to get your hands on the lower power, more compact Raspberry Pi. We can’t wait, though, for the eventual tutorial of how to turn a Model A into a Model B. That’ll be an awesome demonstration of god-like soldering skills.

Wooden cargo bicycle

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This is a cargo bicycle made almost completely out of wood. [Niels] and three of his classmates built it at Wico Campus Tio, a science and technology school in Dorpsstraat, Belgium. There’s a lot to be impressed by in this build. Sure, the guys concede that not everything is wood. They used metal screws as well as hubs, a crank shaft, and gears from a bicycle (not seen in this image). But everything else was made from Beech or Padouk wood. This includes the leaf springs that help cushion the cargo box from the bumps in the road.

The box itself acts as the handlebars. You can see the bracket which holds one end of a dowel spanning the left side of the box. This image was taken before the seat and cranks were added, but once they’re in place the front axle will turn along with the box for steering.

You can get a good look at the finished bike in the video after the break. You’ll also find a link to the Power Point slides there. Since that presentation is in Dutch we translated the text and pasted it below.

[Read more...]

Brake drum and plumbing parts get you started with Blacksmithing

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If you’ve ever wanted to do some serious metal working you’re going to need a method of heating the stock. Here’s a build that combines a brake drum and some plumbing fittings into an entry-level forge. It’s a pretty cheap start to see if Blacksmithing is for you.

[Asuka] says that the parts cost him around $40. The brake drum was sourced from a local salvage yard for ten bucks. To that he added a shower floor drain plate to keep the fuel from falling into the air inlet. We have doubts about how long that thin metal screen will last once the coal really gets going, but heat rises to who knows? On the bottom of the drum he mounted a pipe flange with some nuts and bolts. Galvanized pipe fittings connect to this to inject air into the forge. Right now he’s using a compressor and some garden hose to fan the flames, but plans to get a fan from the auto salvage for a more permanent setup.

A note for beginners. Blacksmith work can be dangerous. We’d like to point you to this discussion thread about injuries.

Raspberry Pi becomes a Torrent box

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If you’re making a media server out of a Raspberry Pi, why not add an interface to the biggest torrent sites on the Internet? That’s what [Alan] did when he wanted an automated media downloader that can stream movies and TV shows to any device.

[Alan]‘s torrent box is basically a web app running on a Raspberry Pi. By accessing the Pi from the browser of a desktop or mobile device, he can search a collection of torrent sites and download just about everything to the Pi with a touch of a button. Once the files are downloaded, the Pi is able to move them to any directory, either locally or on a network, or just serve them up on a TV with a media player.

While we’re not endorsing  file sharing, we can’t think of a simpler way to set up a seedbox that draws a minuscule amount of power. It’s a great addition to any media server, and a great way to get the latest season of <<Linux Distribution>> streaming to your TV.

Stocker monitors the markets

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If you can’t help but spend the day checking in on your stock prices this ambient device can help you cope. It monitors how the trading is going and illuminates an LED as feedback. Here the Apple stock is trading up so the light is green. The video after the break shows other stocks trading down, causing it to switch to red.

An Arduino interfaces with the custom application via USB. For now it looks like the two colors are all it’s capable of but we think there’s a lot more potential. Some creative coding could use factors like how much the stock has moved, trading volume, volatility, or a plethora of other data to give feedback. We could see a spectrum of colors (like on a temperature map) used to improve the level of feedback. And if the market really tanks there’s always the ability to add flashing!

The diffuser for the project is quite interesting to us. [Ali Reza Kohani] made it from a leftover scrap of acrylic. The bubbled surface was created with a heat gun before bending the sheet into an arc.

[Read more...]

Hot air rework doubles as an herbal bag vaporizer

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This hot air rework station is being used for more than just soldering surface mount components. Since it has settings for temperature and airflow [BrokeHippieTech] figured it would work as a bag vaporizer. In the video after the break they show off the custom parts and then take it though and herbal blend bag fill.

The hot air station comes with several different tips. The smallest one was used to mount a vaporizer bowl using high-temperature JB Weld. On the output side of the bowl a metal stem was also affixed to interface with the mouthpiece of a vaporizer bag. The heat from the rework station brings the herbs just below the combustion point, releasing the active ingredients without including the harmful byproducts associated with smoking.

We’re putting this one under medical hacks because we hope it’s being used responsibly and legally. As with the last vaporizer build we looked at, we have concerns about what else the apparatus may be putting into the collected gases.

[Read more...]