3D printed Kindle page turner

kindlePageTurner

The slim page turn buttons on a Kindle may serve as an elegant, out-of-the-way design for a generation raised with and saturated by technology. For older folks and the disabled, however, those buttons can be a pain. [XenonJohn] fired up his 3D printer to find a solution, building this Kindle page turner. The Kindle slides in from the top while two flappy paddles offer a larger, unmissable target to replace the usual thin page-turn buttons. [XenonJohn] designed the levers to function with only a light touch, and included “bump stops” underneath the levers to absorb excess force from any harsh, accidental smacks.

Construction is simple and straightforward: print pieces, clean pieces, put pieces together. The levers attach via 3D printed hinges, which [XenonJohn] glued to keep in place. The relevant 3D files are available at the link above, and stick around after the break for a quick video of the paddles flipping some pages. [XenonJohn] is no stranger to Hackaday; take a look at his Google Glass alternative, “Beady-i.” Also check out the Frankenkindle, one of the inspirations for [XenonJohn’s] project which required a much more invasive process for getting at the page turning buttons.

Continue reading “3D printed Kindle page turner”

Arduino-based temp control via SMS

smsTempController

As connected as we are, reliable and affordable internet is still a luxury in the far reaches. [kohleick’s] country home is not just remote; with temperatures dropping to -30C in the winter, it’s practically Arctic. His solution for controlling the thermostat from afar was to take advantage of the GSM network and implement a SMS-based heater controller. The unit typically operates in “antifreeze mode,” but sending a simple text message prior to visiting causes the heater to kick it up to a more comfortable setting for your arrival. Daily logs report the system’s status, and an alert will trigger when temperatures fall below a set limit, thus indicating potential faults with the heater.

The build uses a Freeduino paired with an external GSM modem for communication and an LCD to display current status and menus, which users access via three buttons on the side of the picture frame. [kohleick] connected two temperature sensors: one directly to the Freeduino’s shield and a second outside the house. After the temperature sensors detect deviance from the set point, or upon SMS instruction, the Freeduino will crank up the heat through a 5V relay attached to the home’s boiler. Head over to the Instructables page linked above for a bill of materials, schematics, and the code. The Siemens GSM modem in this build is nothing to worry about, but be careful if you try to reproduce this project with an Arduino GSM shield, or your house might really heat up.

Zero gravity (sort of) on a budget

zeroGravRoom

At $250,000, Virgin Galactic is probably out of most people’s price range; even reduced gravity flights run $5k. You may be in luck, though, as [Justin] and his friends have built a spinning room for $350 (Warning: loud noise @ beginning) that can turn your world upside down. The video provides a time-lapse of the build, but you’ll probably want to skip ahead 5 minutes in for the real fun.

It may not be anti-gravity, but holding onto furniture to keep from flying into the ceiling looks pretty entertaining. The room works like the fairground favorite “Gravitron” ride turned sideways. 2 forklifts support a massive wooden cube, which includes familiar features from home: drywall, flooring, and some furniture. [Justin] managed to borrow two car wheels, which he mounted in the middle of the walls on opposing sides of the cube. Two casters support each rim, and the forklifts hold the casters just high enough to allow a few friends to manually sling everything around.

Continue reading “Zero gravity (sort of) on a budget”

3D Printering: Advances in 3D printing at Maker Faire

printering

mould

Needless to say, the World Maker Faire had a ton of 3D printers. It’s really becoming an obligatory fixture of any booth, whether you’re Microsoft announcing to the world Windows 8 now supports 3D printer drivers (don’t ask), or you just have a Makerbot Replicator on your table for some street cred.

Even the 3D Printing section of the faire wasn’t without a lot of what we’ve all seen before. Yes, the RepRap Morgan and Simpson made a showing, but 3D printing to most people attending the faire is just plastic trinkets, Minecraft figures, and single-thickness vases and jars.

Deep in the outskirts of the faire, right by the Porta Potties and a generator, one booth showed everyone how 3D printing should be done. It was AS220 Labs‘ table, and they’re doing their best to make 3D printers more than just printing out owl sculptures and plastic octopodes.

Continue reading “3D Printering: Advances in 3D printing at Maker Faire”

World Maker Faire 2013 Roundup

They built a shed using only this tool

Handibot

One of the more interesting structures at WMF was a garden shed made entirely out of plywood cut with the Handibot. It’s a handheld luggable CNC router that allows you to place the machine over a work piece, punch some settings into the software, and cut mortises, CNC engravings, and just about any other shape you can imagine.

The Handibot recently finished a very successful Kickstarter, and from the looks of it they have a really great tool on their hands. They managed to carve a few Hackaday logos in the floor of their shed, but we forgot to film that. It was a busy day.

Future Crew and a 1930s teletype Model 15 Teletype

Scope

Being from the area, NYC Resistor, the Brooklyn-based hackerspace just had to make a showing. Some of the smaller project they brought with them is Space Rocks, an Asteroids clone played on an old, slowly dying oscilloscope. They also had a Minitel terminal made for the US market, which was just weird.

Their big, impressive project for the Maker Faire was Future Crew a Starship/TARDIS bridge simulation game that pits five players against a common enemy: time itself.

Each station has a certain task, such as advancing the timeline on an old video edit console, playing a short ditty on a toy electronic piano, and reading what a Model 15 Teletype was printing out. All these stations are connected to a Raspberry Pi, and the game looks really fun, provided all the players know what’s going on.

Now we know what Make does with their networking hardware

For anyone who visited Maker Faire, you may have noticed your iDevice’s current location was in San Mateo, CA. I noticed this when my MacBook’s time was set for Pacific time, and a few other people who were there early on Saturday told me their iPhones were doing the same thing.

Apparently, shipping a bunch of WiFi routers across the country (along with a bunch of PA gear and other ephemera) is cheaper than buying two sets and warehousing them. This was mildly interesting and we’re now accepting proposals to figure out how quickly Apple/Google/Whatever’s database can be updated with the correct information. Deadline for applications is before the next SFO Maker Faire.

Phone Trucks Around the World

2600

Like most years, 2600 made a showing with their reclaimed Bell service van, ‘Free Kevin’ bumper sticker included. They had a ton of swag including a few old HOPE badges, current and back issues, t-shirts, Department of Hopeland Security passports and stickers.

The 2600 van did give us a few ideas should Hackaday ever need a booth for Maker Faires and other shows. Anyone up for building a heart-shaped bed?

Crowdsourcing plastic model kits

laser

Flexiscale, the company that crowdsources and crowdfunds model kits, made a showing at the World Maker Faire. We’ve seen their work before, but this time we got to touch base with [Chris Thorpe] and get a handle on the future of user-requested model kits.

Right now there are over one hundred proposals for what Flexiscale should do next. They’re mostly narrow gauge railroad locomotives and rolling stock, but [Chris] tells me they’re looking to branch out into larger projects including American locomotives as well as planes, ships, and buildings. This is a really, really cool project, and if you’re into models at all, you should at least be aware of what Flexiscale is trying to do.

If you have an idea of what Flexiscale should do next, write up a proposal. I made one for the PRR GG1 electric locomotive, and if enough people support it, [Chris] will scan an engine and make a kit.

Adding Automatic Power-On to a Linksys NAS

auto-power-up-for-linksys-NAS

We feel [Jim’s] pain in having to physically press the power button to boot his Network Attached Storage device after a power outage. If you live in an area with frequent brief but annoying power blinks it wouldn’t take long to brew up your own solution. Here you can see the ATtiny45 that he added for the auto-boot.

Aside from having to go upstairs in order to reboot the machine there is also a compulsory disk check that his Linksys NAS200 performs before files are available on the network. You can see that he used an 8-pin socket which lets him remove the chip for programming. The socket gets a ground connection from the shielding of the USB port, it pulls 5V off of the linear regulator right next to it, and the green wire connects to the power button’s conductor.

The sketch compiled for the chip starts a ten second timer are power up. When the timer goes off it pulls the pin low and then high, simulating a button press. In hobby electronics it’s a common problem that we have to invent issues to use as the next project. So it’s nice to see a real life application like this one.