Hackaday Links: February 23, 2014

hackaday-links-chain

You can pick up a tiny laser pointer on the cheap if you know where to look. But when it comes time to replace the multiple button cells that power it be prepared to clean our your wallet. [KB3WZZ] got around that with the cap from a ball-point pen. He drilled holes in the end plug of the pointer, and used wire and a plastic pen cap as a battery adapter. He’s powering it from USB, but now that you have wires exiting the case you can use any source you wish.

[Gerben] tipped us off about the trinket clone he built himself. It’s a tiny sliver of a PCB which he etched, populated with through-hole parts only, and finished off with some finger nail varnish to prevent shorting and corrosion. The solder-covered edge connector for USB was left unvarnished of course.

If you live in a college town you are probably quite used to seeing futon pads and frames on the curb waiting for the garbage collector. A little bit of ingenuity, and some added lumber, will turn a futon frame into a respectable shelving unit. [Thanks Martin]

Complicated bench equipment + good lighting + a great camera = an awesome teardown. This time around it’s the guts of a Keithly 2002 8.5 digit mulitimeter laid bare. [Thanks David]

Here’s a PCB laminator hack that is definitely worth a look. The original unit was acquired on eBay for about $25 and had a thermostat whose performance wasn’t optimal. A bit of alteration for the thickness of the substrate, and you’ll never hand iron a toner transfer board again! [Thanks William]

Last summer we heard about Scout, an ocean-going drone trying to cross the Atlantic. We just checked the live tracking and the craft is still at sea. But a much smaller 5ft vessel made it from New Jersey to Guernsey (an island between the UK and France) after traveling for about 14 months. [Thanks Rob]

Comments

  1. scorinth says:

    Looking at the Scout tracker page, it looks like the thing died a while ago and is now just a drifting hazard to shipping. Is that right?

    • birdmun says:

      The last I recall reading, they have no idea where it is or what happened to it. The pink(?) plot is the secondary radio they had to enable after the craft ceased reporting location data after some nasty weather. Unfortunately, the secondary radio only reported once every 12 hours and only speed and heading(?).

  2. Hirudinea says:

    The futon shelving is a good idea, if only because everyone is always giving them away for free on craigslist.

  3. Biomed says:

    The futon hack is high value around here, it’s a college town. That one is a real gem!

  4. garym53 says:

    Ok HackaDay I KNOW where Guernsey is but where the hell is New Jersey???

    Oh I wonder if New Jersey may have been named after the Island jersey which is also a channel island hmmm? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm???? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm??? Bloody hell – and you lot have the bomb…

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