With the 4th of July around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to give a controller wrap up and show you how to make some ignitors. Last year we covered a microcontroller based fireworks launcher. If you like the idea of a controller but don’t want to run all the wire, we have the wireless fireworks controller. Adding a little twist to the wireless scene are cell phone triggered fireworks. Maybe controllers are not your cup of tea, you could try to microwave your fireworks. After the break we show you how to make ignitors from a diode and a match.
Continue reading “Firework ignitors and controllers roundup”
Pre Insiders has reported that the Pre’s Mojo SDK has been leaked to the internet. Palm was planning an early access program, eventually releasing the SDK by the end of the summer, but this leak has accelerated the process. They are posting several download links, including torrents, but they warn developers to use the tools wisely.
Related: Palm Pre teardown
Already, both Rapid repair and ifixit have torn down the new iPhone 3G S, and phonewreck has provided some analysis. The new CPU runs twice as fast at 600 MHz and supports 720p video. They also found that the new 3 megapixel camera took better photos. Surprisingly, despite apple’s claims that the new phone has significantly better battery life, the battery itself has only 6% more capacity. Overall, not much has changed.
[Related iPhone 3G under the hood]
The newly released Palm Pre has been torn down by both Rapid Repair and iFixit. They note the easy to use interface, but the slide out keyboard makes for weird transitions. There’s nothing surprising on the hardware side except capacitive screen and LCD come as a single unit and would have to be replaced together if either fails.
UPDATE: phoneWreck’s analysis
The new Palm Pre cellphone has a “media sync” feature which lets the device sync with iTunes in a fashion identical to an iPod. Last week [Jon Lech Johansen] speculated that this was not done in cooperation with Apple and that Palm was spoofing the iPod’s USB controller. This was confirmed today when a tipster sent him a screenshot of what the device reports in both standard and media sync modes. The Palm Pre reports its Product ID as iPod and Vendor ID as Apple with a few other changes. [Jon] notes that it doesn’t change the root USB node, so Apple should be able to block this behavior with an iTunes update. With Palm already pulling tricks like this presumably through software we wonder if this will become a full-on arms race.
We love keeping track of new interaction technologies and this new touchscreen by Stantum looks especially promising. Engadget shot a hands-on video with it at the Mobile World Conference. It’s a resistive screen, so it can be used with both fingers and styluses (unlike capacitive screens). It’s sensitive enough that you could use a brush too. The screen supports any number of multitouch points and does pressure sensing based on the size of the detected fingertip. The touch detection is actually more accurate than the screen can display. Stantum is hoping mobile manufactures will pick up their input framework for inclusion in new devices. The resistive touchscreen was built to Stantum’s specifications (it won’t work with current phones), but they say it wouldn’t be hard to go into mass production.
[Mr. Hasselhoff] is using a disposable cell phone to trigger his fireworks. He has wired into the speaker leads for the speaker phone. When the phone rings, the current sets off a thyristor allowing for a battery pack to be discharged into a rocket fuse. These fuses heat up and ignite, so you can use them to light fireworks fuses pretty easily. This is pretty simple and cheap, considering the price of the cell phone was only $10. His next idea was to have it recognize dial tones and set individual fuses off, but that would require a microcontroller and a much more complex hack. At that point, you might as well just build a fully fledged wireless fireworks launching system and possibly add rocket launching abilities too.