[Seb Lee-Delisle]’s NES lightgun gave us pause as the effect is so cool we couldn’t quite figure out how he was doing it at first. When he pulls the trigger there erupts the beam of light Sci Fi has trained us to expect, then it explodes in a precision sunburst of laserlight at the other end as smoke gently trails from the end of the barrel. This is a masterpiece of hardware and trickery.
The gun itself is a gutted Nintendo accessory. It looks like gun’s added bits consist of two LED strips, a laser module (cleverly centered with two round heatsinks), a vape module from an e-cigarette, a tiny blower, and a Teensy. When he pulls the trigger a cascade happens: green light runs down the side using the LEDs and the vape module forms a cloud of smoke in a burst pushed by the motor. Finally the laser fires as the LEDs finish their travel, creating the illusion.
More impressively, a camera, computer, and 4W Laser are waiting and watching. When they see the gun fire they estimate its position and angle. Then they draw a laser sunburst on the wall where the laser hits. Very cool! [Seb] is well known for doing incredible things with high-powered lasers. He gave a fantastic talk on his work during the Hackaday Belgrade conference in April. Check that out after the break.
[EssentialCraftsman] is relatively new to YouTube, but he’s already put out some impressive videos. We really enjoyed an episode dedicated to a fixture in his shop, his large custom blacksmith’s forge.
The forge is a custom cast vault of refractory that sits on a platter of fire bricks suspended on a heavy-duty rotating frame. Two forced air natural gas burner provide the heat. The frame is plasma CNC cut steel welded together.
A lot of technical challenges had to be solved. How does one hold a couple hundred pound piece of refractory in such a way that it can be lifted, especially when any steel parts exposed to the heat of the forge would become plastic and fail? When the forge turns off, how do you keep the hot air in the forge from rising into the blowers and melting them? There were many more.
We were really impressed by the polished final appearance of the forge, and the cleverness of its design. Everything is well thought out, and you can even increase the height of the forge by propping it up on more fire bricks. We hope [EssentialCraftsman] will continue to produce such high quality videos. We also enjoyed his episode on Anvils as well as a weirdly informative tirade on which shape of stake (round or square) to use when laying out concrete jobs. Videos after the break.
[Matthias Wandel] had something of a wasp problem so he built this trap to catch the pesky fliers. These look like Yellow jackets and they can build some huge nests (check out the picture of a 2-year old dwelling). We’ve experienced a large nest in the walls of an apartment and weren’t as clever at fixing the issue. [Matthias’] solution uses a 1/3 horsepower blower to snatch the wasps out of the air and retain them in the trap above. The trap sits on the blower with some insect netting as a filter, the hose acts as the inlet and is placed at the entrance to their lair. It took nine hours to fill this trap; we wonder where he chose to release them. Enemies of [Mr. Wandel] beware.
For those of us who are stuck in the middle of a cold and snowy winter, this project will seem like a stroke of genius. [Jimmy Bui] has put together this robotic pushing platform. While it is seen in the video (on the linked page) pushing a snow blower, it seems to be simply bolted on. This means it could push pretty much anything, such as a lawn mower. The platform itself looks like a common layout. He’s using the base of a motorized wheel chair, and some scavenged bits to protect the circuitry. He says that he built it after seeing elderly people having a hard time shoveling their driveways in his neighborhood. They don’t say if he loans it out to them now, but we suspect that he does.