Bluetooth handset hacks

Cramming Bluetooth headset circuitry into an analog telephone body has become an extremely popular hack. With declines in the prices of these headsets, and older telephones being seen as storage-room-clutter this hack is just waiting for you to get started. Join us after the break for a look at what others have already accomplished.

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Clocks that only a geek could love

Alpha-Geek Clock

Oh this one’s good! This clock has a built-in WWVB receiver to make sure the time is always accurate. But with just one LED as the display we wish you good luck when reading it! A whole bunch of info (time, day, year, etc) is blinked out in binary encoded decimal. [Thanks Tymm]

Standard Time

Manual labor. This clock is an art installation in Rotterdam. In the video you can see that workers changed the segments of a four-digit display every minute over a twenty-four hour period. Since they filmed it we’d expect the ability to turn this into a video clock like the one we saw last week. [Thanks David]

International Clock

Low-tech but highly creative. The instructional video uses basic geometry and the workings from a cheap clock to craft an international clock. There are twelve labels corresponding to different time zones. Put the zone you want up and read the clock as normal. [via Red Ferrett Journal]

Princess and the Pea

There are few who will agree to have an air tank as part of an alarm clock. The Princess and the Pea concept uses compressed air to inflate an exercise ball in between the mattress and the box spring. Watch this video to see how it will roll you out of bed if the hissing air sound didn’t wake you first. At least it’s more gentle than the pneumatic alarm clock from last June. [via Neatorama]

Roundup: simple hacks


Here’s a collection of simple hacks you can do in between larger projects. After the break we’ll look at converting an iPod from hard drive storage to Compact Flash, build an LED desk lamp using LEGO and USB power for charging, and use an Arduino shield to add network control at the touch of a button.

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Hacky Thanksgiving


Friends, pilgrims, send us your hacks. Most especially, your Thanksgiving hacks. We had a wonderful time over the past six weeks collecting and highlighting your Halloween props and now it’s on to the next holiday. Did you build your own deep fried turkey rig with some special features? How about that pie making robot you built for last year’s celebration?  Can’t live without your twittering cornucopia? Document it and send it to our tip line! All Thanksgiving themed hacks will be considered but only the well documented and creative entries will be featured.

If you just joined us, here’s a roundup of the Halloween Props we encountered this year:

disclaimer: boiling oil is dangerous, that’s why it used to be used for torture. Always consider your own safety!

[Turkey photo source]

Maple beats up Arduino, takes its shields


The Atmega168 at the heart of every Arduino is an eminently capable chip; its ilk have been seen working as a basic web server, playing back digital audio, even generating TV signals. But as projects continue to grow in sophistication, reality rears its ugly head: Arduino can handle any one of these tasks very well, but it often requires squeezing every last instruction cycle or bit of memory in the device. Even the ’368 chip and the Arduino Mega are stopgap measures. Sooner or later, you have to graduate to long trousers—move up to a more capable microcontroller platform—an uncomfortable change usually involving a hefty investment in new hardware and an intimidating learning curve. Leaf Labs’ Maple aims to change all that…
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Various Cantenna builds


Here is a classic project used to increase wireless signal strength. Cantennas focus using a waveguide very much like a magnifying glass focuses light. [Robert] made a Natural Light beer cantenna, pictured in the upper left. His approach used three beer cans, a paper towel holder, and a shower curtain rod. On the tipline, he noted a signal boost from 11Mbps to 54Mbps. This is certainly something we can hack together if our room lacks adequate signal. Read about parabolic and seeking versions after the break.

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