Thor’s Hammer Build Recognizes Its Master’s Hand

electromagnetic-thors-hammerOnly those who have completely insulated themselves from modern pop culture will miss the meaning of a Mjolnir build. It is, of course, the mythical hammer wielded by Thor, and only Thor. It’s a question of being worthy; a question solved perfectly by this electromagnetic Mjolnir build.

Using an electromagnet is smart, right? Just plunk the thing down on something metal (that is itself super-heavy or well-anchored) and nobody will be able to pick it up. It starts to get more interesting when you add a fingerprint reader, allowing only Mjolnir’s Master to retrieve it from atop a manhole cover.

But for us the real genius in the build is that the hammer isn’t burning power from the four 12V batteries most of the time. All of the people in the video below could have picked up the hammer had they first nudged it off the metal plate with their foot. The build uses a capacitive touch-sensor to enable and disable the microwave over transformer used as the electromagnet. An engineering trick like this really separates the gods from the posers.

We hate to admit it, but this is probably a cooler build than the Telsa-Coil powered Mjolin that [Caleb] built a few years back. Still, his held up as the best for many years, and if you’re going to be displaced this really is a build worthy of the new title: coolest Mjolnir hack.

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High voltage Thor’s Hammer: Mjolnir at 80,000 volts

[Thor’s] hammer, Mjolnir, is pretty freaking awesome. It can only be picked up by [Thor], he can use it to fly, and probably the coolest part, it can summon lightning. After watching the first movie, and goofing around with the guys at ArcAttack, I had this idea that I could stuff a tiny tesla coil into a mjolnir and end up with a really cool prop.

At this point, I had to make a decision. I was either going to go portable and live with small arcs, or make this a stationary piece and hide a giant tesla coil in a base. It would have bigger arcs, but I couldn’t carry it around.  While I may re-visit the stationary version at some point, I ultimately decided I wanted to be able to wander around and play with this thing.

I had seen some videos of [Staci Elaan] showing off her battery-powered coils and I really liked her results. I figured, with her experience, she could probably do a better job than I could on getting the most bang out of a small package.  She was happy to be involved and delivered a small 12v powered coil for me to work with. I should also point out that the coils [Staci] makes are usually donated to educational groups. This woman is awesome.

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Prop Replica Tesseract Case Has Some Serious Tech Inside


[Dustin Evans] is a big fan of the recent Avengers movies — heck, we are too! So he decided to make this awesome Tesseract Case prop replica!

Tesser-what? A tesseract, or cubic prism is a geometric shape that is technically a four-dimensional hypercube — in the Avenger’s movie, it is an incredibly powerful and unstable alien energy source.

To make the replica, [Dustin] picked up a cheap aluminum tool case from the hardware store, took some measurements and began designing the inside of it using SketchUp. He’s crammed in an Arduino with a spectrum shield, a BlueSmirf Bluetooth modem, a Raspberry Pi, a 7″ LCD, speakers and an amp, a WiFi card for the Pi, and a few strips of Neopixels. It is running Raspbian with a stand-alone version of XBMC, which means using AllCast he can wirelessly control the box from a phone or tablet — now all he’s missing is a mini-generator that can put out a few million watts!

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Tesla Coil Auto-Winder

tesla winder

Tesla coils are awesome. But if you’ve ever built one, you know how tedious winding the secondary coil is. So [Krux] decided to build a machine to do it for him.

He’s currently working on his first Tesla coil — code-named Project Icarus — he doesn’t have all the logistics ironed out quite yet, but he’s been slowly collecting the components. What he does know is that he wants to use a 4.5″ secondary coil, using 22AWG magnet wire, meaning that’s a lot of turns! Since he’s also a member of a local hackerspace, he decided to make it a modular machine that can wind different sized coils for different sized projects.

Essentially, he’s built his own CNC lathe to accomplish this, well, missing one axis. There’s the main rotary axis, and a wire-guide that moves along it ensuring the coils are wrapped tightly without gaps. It’s an impressive build and you can tell he’s put a lot of thought into the design — He’s even got a semi-flexible 3D printed motor coupler on the wire-guide axis, to help mitigate quick acceleration! The main rotary axis is also driven by a 3D printed herringbone style gear — similar to the style used on Printrbot extruders. The rest of the build is made of plywood and pegboard — allowing for even larger coils to be wound by shuffling around the components. He’s even got a full featured command console with manual/automatic controls and an LCD giving feedback on the coil being wound!

Stick around after the break to see [Krux] explain the fascinating build, and to see a fun time-lapse of an 814-turn Tesla coil winding!

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Already impressive Wolverine claws now energized with high voltage


A few years back [James] built an utterly amazing set of Wolverine replica claws. They are held together by a bar that laces between his fingers so that when he’s gripping it you don’t see anything but the claws. Add to that the tail design which makes it look like they’re actually coming out of his skin and he’s made an amazing replica. But they’re also rather utilitarian as you can see in the demo/how-it-was-done video where he spears hay bails as they’re thrown at him from off camera. Machine shop fans are going to love learning how these were made.

More recently he decided to update the project after seeing our own Thor’s Hammer offering. He got down to business by salvaging a huge transformer from an old oil furnace. He has no idea what kind of voltage this thing puts out, but that doesn’t stop him from wiring it up to the pair of claws and letting the sparks fly. He even creates a Jacob’s Ladder effect by placing the claws at a narrow angle to each other.

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