Kindle 3 powers this diy LED light

ePaper displays are easy on the eyes because there’s no flickering backlight to put strain on them. This is great until you’re trying to read in a dim environment. Of course Amazon will sell you a backlight that’s powered from the reader itself if you’re willing to pay. [Txoof] thought the price was a bit too high so he built his own version.

There are two pockets in the top of the Kindle reader for hooks to grab onto. Each has an electrical contact in it and together they provide about 4V of power. To patch into that source [Txoof] cut his own hooks from brass stock and mounted them onto a piece of basswood. He then cut and bent a hood from more of the brass stock to house the LEDs. A series of three of the white diodes draw their power from the hooks and shine onto to the display. As you can see this works just fine, but could benefit from just the right diffuser.

Steampunk CD player

This custom CD-player enclosure may not be your style, but you can’t deny that the fabrication techniques are top-notch (translated). This starts with a portable CD player and a set of amplified speakers. A brass plate serves as the base for the electronics, with the CD player internals mounted from the underside. The brass dome that covers the spinning disk also started as a sheet of metal, with quite a bit of work (translated) going into shaping and smoothing to achieve these results. The base and speaker boxes exhibit some fine woodworking, and there’s even additional electronics for lights, control buttons, and to drive the two analog meters. A lot of thought went into each component of this build and that’s how you put together a masterpiece.

[Thanks Polossatik]

DIY vaporizer

Here’s a DIY vaporizer build. It uses a 30 watt Radio Shack soldering iron as a heat source that is regulated with a common dimmer switch. This is done by removing the soldering tip and replacing it with threaded rod attached to a brass pipe fitting assembly. This is housed inside of a Mason jar with a copper pipe for air intake and another for output. Not surprisingly the creator tipped us off anonymously, saying that this a “smoking accessory”. A bit of searching and we came across this Wikipedia article about a Volcano Vaporizer which sheds light on what one is used for.

We don’t condone using illicit substances. But even more so, we’re skeptical about breathing through this thing because of the warning that [Anon] included about noxious vapors put off by the epoxy putty when it heats up. Still, it’s an interesting build so we though we’d share.

Mechanical mustache envy

While this mechanical mustache isn’t made for a Halloween costume, it certainly looks like part of one. Copper clad, brass, cable, and a few other bits come together in a similar style to tension based hands; the piece is then worn much like a Mardi Gras mask. To complete the rustic “old tyme” look [John] was after, the copper was tarnished using the vapor from a vinegar and salt solution. The finished assembly is steam punk delicious, but we’re saddened by the lack of steam punk eye brows to complete the look (or steam punk mutton chops, or steam punk goatee, or…)

[via Boing Boing]

Google maps wristlet navigator

This on-wrist navigation system uses Google Maps and something called… paper. This is a throwback to scroll-based directions from the 1920’s and 30’s that [Simon] built. He soldered a couple of brass tubes to a brass back plate, then added sides and a face crystal. Now he prints out step by step direction from the popular mapping website and winds them onto scrolls. We’re not sure that we’d take the time to do this, but hey, at least the screen resolution is fantastic and you don’t have to worry about battery life.

Don’t point that at me

Some things are made to look steam punk but others are steam punk. This example of the later is a camera made mostly of brass. The body has been soldered together with only a shutter and lens being purchased for the project. There is a viewfinder and separate range finder to determine the proper focus for pictures as this is not a single lens reflex.

It should be obvious by now that this is a film camera. It relies on the photographer to turn the winder until an arrow on the knob lines up with a mark on the body for proper alignment. If you set out to make one of these, perhaps you should also manufacture your own film for it.

[via Dvice]

Hackaday Links: Sunday November 22

Hacklab’s laser cutter got the customary musical treatment. You can see it play the theme from mario brothers here. It’s nothing new to us, but we still enjoy seeing it done.

Ever been curious how a pole transformer is made? Quench that curiosity with this educational video. [via HackedGadets]

Here’s a quasi humanoid robot that is designed to be your workout trainer. He’ll show you the exercises, give you motivational and encouraging pep talks and even play games with you. We think the idea sounds good, but in execution, he flails his arms and randomly says creepy insincere sounding things like “I’m having  fun. I could play this game all day long. I’m having too much fun.” That’s just creepy.

[Mr. Nelson] got sick of walking all the way down the hall just to see if there was anyone in the bathroom. His solution was to build this massively overdone indicator light system. It uses a proximity sensor located in each bathroom to determine occupied status and has a fantastic industrial look.

If you’ve ever wanted to get into 3d photography you’ll be pleased to see this writeup on how to build a simple rig and compile the images for different viewing methods.

We were amazed by these beautifully crafted brass machines. The one in this video is solar powered and seems to run pretty smoothly. Not bad for something that was all hand crafted from sheets of brass.

Be careful with this one folks. This video shows how to melt a beer bottle in your microwave. We’re not sure why you would want to, but we sure enjoyed watching it happen. Maybe that’s reason enough.