Last chance to enter The Hackaday Prize.

An AT-ATX: A Different Kind of Power Supply

FM48Q03HS8FVCVW.MEDIUM

[Jedii72] needed a power supply. A quick search online revealed many instructions for building one out of an old ATX power supply, but — he didn’t want just any kind of power supply — he wanted to build an AT-ATX.

He started with a vintage AT-AT toy from the 80’s, and then began cutting it into pieces. Hold for gasps of disbelief. Don’t worry though — it was in poor condition to start with, so it was never really considered a collectible. After cleaning over 30 years of grime and dirt off the toy, he gave it a fresh coat of jet black paint — not exactly canon, but it does look pretty awesome. You know, it would make a pretty awesome Sci-Fi contest entry, don’t you agree? [Read more...]

Open-Source Sentry Gun Plans Promise the Next Level of Office Warfare

FAxfsmc

We admit it, we were browsing Reddit when we found this beautifully hacked together Nerf Sentry turret. But are we ever glad we did — as it turns out, it is very similar to the totally awesome, open-source Project Sentry Gun.

We have actually covered a project that used that system before, but it looks like it has evolved a bit more since then. It’s just too cool not to share.

The system itself is quite simple and easy to build. You’re going to need three servo motors, an Arduino, a webcam, and assorted wires, nuts and bolts, etc etc. Grab a copy of the code, slap it all together, and you’re ready for business!

Just take a look at the following video of the Gladiator II Paintball Sentry Gun — we know you’re going to want to build one now.

[Read more...]

DIY Bell For Your Trains of Lionel

[Peter]‘s dad recently rekindled his love for Lionel trains and wanted a bell to keep the crossings safe for O gauge drivers and pedestrians. Using parts he had lying around and a doorbell from the hardware store, [Peter] concocted this DIY train crossing bell at his dad’s request.

The idea was to make the bell chime about once per second. To achieve this, [Peter] used a non-repeating electro-mechanical doorbell that emits a single note on continuous press. You could also roll your own bell with a spring-loaded solenoid and something bell-like for it to strike.

[Peter]‘s three-stage design uses a full-wave bridge rectifier to convert the AC from the train transformer to DC. He drops it to 5V and sends it through a 555 and some resistors to set the frequency and duty cycle. His output section translates the voltage back up to match the input desired by the doorbell.  [Peter] included a 1N4002 as a back EMF snubber to keep feedback from damaging the power MOSFET. Stick around for his demonstration video after the jump.

[Read more...]

Atomic Powered Robots and Records Played With Optics

mike

If you were a child of the 80’s or early 90’s you probably remember Magic Mike. He went by many names, but he always said the same thing “I am the atomic powered robot. Please give my best wishes to everybody!” [Oona's] version of Mike had been malfunctioning for a few years. He’d stopped talking! She decided he needed more input, so she disassembled Mike to reveal the flesh colored plastic box in the center of his chest. This talkbox was used as a sound module in several toys. Before the days of cheap digital playback devices, sounds were recorded in a decidedly analog fashion. [Oona] found that Mike’s voice and sound effects were recorded on a tiny phonograph record in his chest. The phonograph was spun up by an electric motor, but the playback and amplification system was all mechanical, consisting of a needle coupled to a small plastic loudspeaker. The system was very similar to the early phonograph designs.

Mike’s record contained two interwoven spiral tracks. Interwoven tracks is a technique that has been used before, albeit rarely on commercial albums. One track contained Mike’s voice, the other the sound of his laser gun. The track to be played would be chosen at random depending upon where the needle and record stopped after the previous play. The record completely sidetracked [Oona's] repair work. She decided to try to read the record optically. She started with a high resolution image (image link) of the record, and wrote some Perl code to interpolate a spiral around the grooves. The result was rather noisy, and contained quite a bit of crosstalk. [Oona] tried again with laser illumination using a Lego train set. Unfortunately the Lego train / laser system wasn’t smooth enough to get a good image. In the end she used a bit of Gimp magic and was able to pull better audio from her original image. We never did find out if she put poor Mike back together though.

[Read more...]

Dad-Built Rocket Control Module

Like a lot of parents, [justbennett]‘s kids like to play rocket and spaceship command. His kids’ imagination-assigned controls kept shifting from this LEGO to that banana to the dog’s tail, so [justbennett] did what he had to do: make this Dad-built rocket control module for them.

The module supports all of the vital sub-modules required for rocket and spaceship administration. There is a launch status indicator, an acceleration vector resonator (AVR), and a com-link. He used mostly parts on hand, and the Arduino count is zero. He built a NASA-grade Plexiglas enclosure to avoid juice box incidents. The two pieces are connected with aluminum angle bar so that he can make repairs or modifications.

The analogue joystick was a thrift store find. [Justbennett] wired the trigger and thumb buttons up as the AVR which activate a recycled PICAXE 08M project of his. The PICAXE senses the button pushes to flash an LED and play an ascending or descending tone. Long-pressing one button will result in an explosion noise as you might expect.

The launch status indicator is a potentiometer wired to a second PICAXE and three LEDs that light up in sequence. In the future, [justbennett] intends to add haptic feedback with a tiny vibration motor. The com-link packet messaging system is a Radio Shack recording module and two big, tempting buttons. The control module ships with a message from Star Command that explains the controls.

Robot Chameleon Teaches Little Girl About Camouflage

IMG_8407

[Markus] has been teaching his daughter about animals using a big old animal encyclopedia. A few days ago, they stumbled upon the chameleon, and when he tried to explain its camouflage abilities, she didn’t quite understand. So he decided to make her a pet color-changing chameleon robot. The best part is he built it during her nap!

It’s a fairly simple circuit consisting of an Arduino Uno, a TCS3200 color sensor with breakout board, a ping pong ball, some resistors, and an RGB LED. He plans on adding temperature sensing as well as a capacitive sensor for touch later on. So far, his daughter loves it and plays with it all the time. She’s starting to learn how some chameleons can change their skin color in order to camouflage — and she’s learning the names of some new colors too!

As always, there’s a demonstration video following the break.

[Read more...]

Decascrap: A Three Servo Decapod

IMG_2718

[Drewtoby] loves making robots. His latest project is a 10-legged bot called the Decascrap, which makes use of only 3 servos!

What we like most about this project is the leg mechanism [Drew] has cooked up. The legs are made of guitar picks hinged to what look like popsicle sticks. Each guitar pick has a hole punched in it which allows the servo rod to go through the legs. Strategically placed globs of hot glue on either side of each leg on the servo rod allows for the parallel motion during the actuation of the legs. A third servo tilts the bot back and forth as the legs are moved, allowing the bot to scuttle about.

Stick around after the break to see it tackle some rough terrain — well, actually it’s just a piece of uneven foam, but hey!

[Read more...]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 91,190 other followers