Arc Attack Shows Off Tesla Backpack which is Certainly Not a Weapon

 

[Steve Ward] showed us his Tesla coil project which looks very much like a video game weapon. The hand-crafted masterpiece really packs a punch, able to throw off fat white arcs or a bit less threatening bolts of purple plasma. The video above is noisy and dark, but the look at the electronics in the backpack (holy huge capacitors batman!) and the quick functional demo are both more than worth posting. Unfortunately we didn’t get audio of the gun in action so you’ll have to image those sound effects.

The rig is powered by a 5Ah lithium battery which provides the 60V that gets boosted to 400V. The giant caps already mentioned store about 2k Joules (we love it how [Steve] can’t say that 2,000 Joule figure without beaming with joy). This project is the most advanced version of the prototype we saw a few years ago in Kansas. If you want to see more of what these guys are up to head over to their homepage.

Youthful Destruction at Maker Faire

 

Who didn’t get in trouble for taking things apart as a kid? The TakeItApart booth at the 2014 Maker Faire was among my favorite. It let anyone (especially the kids) grab a piece of electronics headed for recycling and crack it open just to see what is inside. The good news being that you didn’t need to be able to put it back together again since it’s just going to be ground up for its constituent materials anyway.

There’s something cathartic about watching a 7-year-old stabbing at a Walkman radio with a slotted screwdriver (those plastic cases are more robust than you might think). I asked if anyone had managed to slice open their hand back-to-the-future style in the process and thankfully the answer was no. But there was at least one instance of “free daycare” where the parents wandered off — there are plenty of distractions at MF — much to the chagrin of their progeny.

Seeing this made me think of this recent interview with [Bunnie Huang] in which he mentions taking chips out of their sockets on an Apple II when he was a kid. He would pull them and replace them backwards to see what effect it would have. Ha! If you have a similar childhood experience to share we’d love to hear about it in the comments. If you just want to see the guts of a bunch of stuff head of to TakeItApart.

World’s Smallest Comic Etched Onto a Human Hair

world's smallest comic

[Sébastien Bourdeauducq] had the idea to create the world’s smallest comic — so he assembled a team and was able to produce a comic strip where each panel is <20um across, etched on a human hair.

They used focused ion beam (FIB) etching, where a high-speed jet of matter is generated and blasted at a hair to etch the comic. Think of it kind of like a super focused laser beam. Check out the original microscopic imagery of it over on their GitHub.

The cool thing is they really just did this for fun — it’s purpose is to advertise the EHSM conference in Hamburg. The Exceptionally Hard(ware) & Soft(ware) Meeting is a massive gathering of the opensource and DIY hacking world. If you happen to live in Europe we’d recommend checking it out — just take a look at their conference talks they have lined up! The Maker Movement Meets Patent Law, Optics & Photonics with Lego Bricks, the Basics of Quantum Cryptograhy, the Principles of Mass Spectrometry… the list goes on!

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Find the Giant Jolly Wrencher at Maker Faire this Weekend

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Check it out, I made something really geeky for Maker Faire. If you’re going to be in San Mateo this weekend for Maker Faire Bay Area, watch for the floating Skull and Wrenches. I won’t be alone, and my compatriots and I will be loaded down with stuff to give away to those who ask for it. If you are hell-bent on finding us, just check this Twitter list as we’ll frequently be tweeting our locations and exploits.

Want to grab a beer with some other Hackaday folk? Even if you’re not attending the Faire, you can take part in the festivities. We’re descending on O’Neil’s Irish Pub on Saturday night. You might want to let us know you’re coming. You can show up unannounced, but we can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to squeeze into the 80-person-pub. If we have way too many hackers overflowing into the street we’ll probably split the party up and go bar hopping. The place is apparently right next to a train stop for your traveling convenience. We just hope to keep things tame enough to make it to Maker Faire again on Sunday morning, but we can’t guarantee that either ;-)

2014 Imagine RIT: an Innovation and Creativity Festival in Rochester, NY

Metal Imagine RIT Sign

Every year, the Rochester Institute of Technology hosts Imagine RIT, an innovation and creativity festival “that showcases the innovative and creative spirit of RIT students, faculty and staff.” The festival is free to the public and really brings the community together to celebrate technology, science, art, innovation, and creativity! We had the chance to attend this weekend and we had a blast looking at all of the engineering projects on display.

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This Weekend: Hackaday at the Southeast Vintage Computer Festival

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The Vintage Computer Festival hits Roswell, GA this weekend for the second year, packed with museum displays dating back to the Kenbak 1 and hobbyist vintage exhibits. The Apple Pop-Up museum is back as well, along with last year’s popular retro gaming area and a maker-styled kit building area. Here’s an album packed with images from last year’s festival, so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

You can check out the scheduled speakers and workshops here. While you’re there, look for the short, nerdy guy wearing a Hackaday shirt and I’ll be sure to throw some Hackaday stickers at you.

Midwest RepRap Festival: 3D Printed Waffles

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Hackaday is settling in with the action at the Midwest RepRap Festival in Goshen, Indiana. Already it’s turning out to be a great weekend; an hour after the doors opened at 6:00 pm on Friday, with a freight train blocking traffic for half the town, there were more than 100 people through the doors. I have since stopped counting.

As far as who’s here, Lulzbot, the guy behind the Smoothieboard, Ultimaker, [Josh] from MakerJuice, [Jo Prusa], [Nicholas Seward], creator of the RepRap Wally, Gus, and Simpson, and the folks from MakerHive and Maker’s Tool Works.

Everybody is having tons of fun and I’m currently giving away Hackaday T-shirts in return for a contribution to the beer fund. The real show starts Saturday morning with a waffle breakfast, talks from famous reprappers, and hours and hours of fun.

Pics of some cool stuff below, here are two live streams, videos of awesome stuff up tomorrow.

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