Hackaday Links: Sunday, July 7th, 2013

hackaday-links-chain

IR control for your home theater doesn’t have to look ugly. [Rhys Goodwin] put his IR blasters inside his audio equipment.

Steam powered windshield wiper. Need we say more?

An assembled version of the FaceDancer is now available for purchase. This is a man-in-the-middle USB tool developed by [Travis Goodspeed]. When [S.A.] sent us the tip he mentioned that the board is a pain to hand solder if you’re making your own; this is an moderately affordable alternative.

[Aaron] makes it easy for audiophiles to listen to Soundcloud on their Sonos hardware.

We’ve heard of fuzzy clocks — they only give you a general sense of time. Here’s a fuzzy thermometer that uses the vocal stylings of [Freddie Mercury] to get a general feel for how hot it is.

While you’re still laughing, this most useless machine taunts you in more ways than one. It uses audio clips and theatrics to vary the way in which it shuts itself off. [Thanks Itay and David]

Modern CNC techniques make short work of prototyping for the Ford Motor Company. [Thank Wybren via SlashGear]

Comments

  1. jnwatts says:

    That’s one of the coolest delta CNC machines I’ve ever seen! I wonder if it could be duplicated in the DIY realm, perhaps with sheets of plastic, or much thinner steel? (I presume alumunium isn’t ductile enough as a replacement for steel)

  2. notdave says:

    Internalizing the IR flasher is a neat hack, particularly when you have a distributed IR solution (or something with an RF link to/from the remote and base station like the Monster AVL300/Harmony 890). It helps to give you much high accuracy in long macros and when you lack line of sight to the gear in question.

    One suggestion I’ve found to be most practical when outfitting your devices is to simply drill a hole to fit a 3.5mm female mono (or stereo) connector to the back of the device, so that your setup is still modular/easy to tear down or extend the cable length. Simply plug in the cable sending the IR signal, this makes more sense when you have a distribution system as i mentioned earlier, where the distro side has female 3.5mm audio connectors too. When you have many devices, this also helps later when invariably you need to have it talk to multiple devices (think adding a googletv/slingbox/tivo-like device that wants to control your components via IR for you, simple to support, add an off the shelf 3.5mm audio splitter!

    Every component in my rack (minus the PS3 and Wii for lack of IR) has this modification performed. AVR already had native input, both bluray players (one specifically for Region B, one for everything else), HD-DVD player, XBMC X86 PC, and Xbox 360. In another room with a similar setup, Ive augmented an HDMI switch, Sony SMP-N200, bluray player, sony vcr and a second 360 with the same modification, all working very well.

    I suppose i have quite a bit of information on the process of teardown and gotchas for these specific devices but I always felt like anyone who wanted or understood why they might want to do this is perfectly capable of doing it themselves.

    For my next hack i want to add IR power on and off to non-native IR PS3 and Wii via a device like the XERC2, which sites on the standby voltage rail and then activates the momenetary power button key press for you based on a discrete IR code. http:// diy.sickmods .net/Our_Products/XERC_2/About/

    • fartface says:

      Sadly it’s a hack that most of us in the AV world have used for over 30 years now. It’s not new in any way and is considered a common practice.

      What kills me is that device makers are too dumb to just put an IR 1/8th inch jack on the back of every device. It’s 2013, they really need to get some engineers in these companies that know what they are doing.

      • notdave says:

        Agreed. Especially if there is no motion toward a new and widely accepted and supported protocol/solution for future devices. IR will be around for a long long time to come.

  3. Trav says:

    That really is an impressive useless box. The best one I’ve seen yet.

  4. HC says:

    What is it about Vimeo that attracts people with non-useful hacks and a need to demonstrate how “deep” they are through the exact same minimalistic and barely-usable website design employed by every artist on earth?

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