There I Fixed It: A blog about hacking, poorly.

austinb-ipodmuffler is a site filled with dubious innovations. Some of them are cool, some of them are clever, and most of them are terrifying. Anyone who has ever stood in front of a broken household appliance with a roll of duct tape, one screw driver with a bit chipped off the flat part, and determination will laugh themselves silly browsing through this site. Maybe some of the ghetto hacks we covered before should be in this list.

[Thanks for the link Dad]

Homemade UAV


[Terence Bordelon] sent in his impressive UAV (Unmanned Arial Vehicle). The hack is a culmination of his other projects. It can be turned to fully automatic at the flip of a switch. It will fly itself to gps way points, land, and take off. The UAV has a range of 100km thanks to his home built RF Unit which runs on ham bands. The brains of the setup is his custom IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit). The unit is controlled by his ground station which either allows him to fly it normally or toggle through the various modes.  [Terrence] is also a game developer and has worked on many popular titles such as Zoo Tycoon 2 and Ratchet and Clank.

Word clock: tell the time with words


[drj113]  posts his cool word clock. After seeing a similar clock on an industrial design website, he set out to make his own version. He made custom pcbs with the toner-etch method. The front is a solid piece of copper clad board and the light shines through the etched areas. It’s powered by a PIC microcontroller and uses approximately 120 ultra bright LEDs. [drj113] has all of the circuit board diagrams, silkscreens, etch negatives, and code on the intructable so you can build your own.

Laser spiro made from junk


Sometimes we need someone like [FireMyLaser] to show us that you really don’t need things like custom PCB’s, expensive tools, or laser cutters to pull of a hack. His laser spiro subsists mostly of  toothpicks, hotglue, and determination. It is a two motor spiro with a base motor and a motor mounted in a  spinning cage. The cage gets power through brushes much like other projects we’ve covered. See a video of it in action after the break.
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snega2usb update: usb snes and sega cartridge reader

When we first posted [Matthias_H]‘s USB reader for SNES game carts, it was met with enthusiasm. The snega2usb allows you to play SNES and Sega games on your pc right off the cartridge. The latest revision is even more amazing than the first.  [Matthias] has added the ability to read Sega Genesis/Mega Drive cartridges as well as the ability to save games directly to the cartridge. The board has also been updated from the rats nest it used to be to a smart looking dual sided PCB. So far [Matthias] hasn’t had any trouble reading cartridges, even ones with the SuperFX chips. [Matthias] also launched a site for the project where the lastest information on its development can be found.  [Matthias] is getting close to a production version which will feature better firmware, console quality connectors and a shiny case.

Tiny GSM alarm system

We’ve covered this sort of thing before, but there is something to be said for the simplicity of this tiny GSM alarm system by [trax]. The alarm system is designed to send the owner a text message when a sensor is triggered. This alarm only works with Siemens phones, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find one.  The alarm is configured via a dip switch on the board and can also be armed and disarmed by text. The brains of this system is a PIC16F84A. The code and schematics are included at the bottom of the page.

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SpiderBot emulates spider-man

Spiderbot moves with four magnetic grapplers that it can launch, detach, and aim according to it’s path planning algorithm. While the robot is definitely not a final product and is quite a bit away from moving with the same grace and speed as our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, it is definitely one of the more interesting locomotion experiments out there. The video has some nice slow motion footage of the main mechanisms as well as screen captures of the path planning.

[Via BotJunkie]