R/C PPM hacked

[Thomas Pfeifer] has taken the PPM signal produced by model aircraft wireless controllers, and with an ATMega8, converted the signal to act as a USB joystick. Which means you can now use a standard R/C remote control to fly model aircrafts on your computer. Of course now with PPM decoded you could also use the signal to control any electronic device. Like your mower, iPod, and we’ve even seen remote controlled pellet guns. Catch a video of [Thomas] flying a simulated quadrotor helicopter after the jump.

[Thanks Max]

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Wii Nunchuk train controls

While we’ve been told all of our lives Wiis and trains just don’t mix, they never said anything about Wii Nunchuks. One terribly abused joke later, [Ken] tipped us off about his Wii Nunchuk controlled train set.

By utilizing Digital Command Control (think pulse-width modulation) with an Arduino, he is able to have full control over the trains direction and speed. The other part of the equation is a Wii Nunchuk and adapter. The setup should be pretty self explanatory, but there is an Instructable for those that need more help.

Control your tree from anywhere

We honestly never thought we would see an internet controlled Christmas tree before, sure maybe a remote controlled claw or online soccer robots, but a tree? Regardless, team [Schwippy] did just that. 5 separate sets of lights are connected to 5 individual x10 modules. The x10s are listening over the household’s AC lines for commands from a server in the other room, with its own x10. At about 12$ a module, the project can get expensive quick, totalling over 200$ for [Schwippy’s] setup. Just to control a tree, but anything to spread the holiday cheer, right?
[Thanks Yon]

A different breed of camera controllers?

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We’ve covered almost every way possible to remotely control a camera setup, from lasers, to Lego, to doorbells, and even having a Nintendo DS run the show. But at the end of the day, what if you want something that’s small, simple, has amazing flexibility for future additions, and most importantly doesn’t take away your favorite game system. [Whiternoise] wrote up an extremely detailed guide on getting an AVR to control your camera. We like the clean look the final product has, and the large amount of possible add-ons is a major plus. What do you look for in a cheap multi-function wireless camera controller?

Modified RX7 dimmer control

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We were a little surprised when we learned the Mazda RX7’s high beams were controlled by ECU, compared to typical cars using just a toggle switch. Ubermodder [Trent Bruce] realized how much of a pain in the rear end this can be if the ECU ever burns out, meaning no brights. By using a D-Flip Flop setup in a toggle configuration, he is able to control his once lost high beams. He also points out that if you plan to do any other electronic modifications to the RX7, you should be sure to pay attention to the unusual ground switching and the other crazy wiring under the hood.

Motors and Microcontrollers 101

[Humberto] from NerdKits sends in the newest addition to their excellent collection of videos. This video goes over the basics of DC motor control with microcontrollers. They begin by showing nine experiments and observations that can be done by the average hacker with a multimeter, motor, LED, and jumperwire. Using the results from these they show how to model and calculate the properties of a motor. Lastly, it shows how to control a motor using PWM. They have supplemental text and demonstration code for an ATmega168 on their website.

Katamari controller

Remember those days, back in the arcade, where games with a unique control scheme also had a controller best suited for them? There were rolling balls, joysticks, dials, all sorts of inputs. Consoles have maily relied on their standard controllers, relegating alternative inputs to be strange collectors items. Some games just need a specialized controller though. For example, Katamari Damacy. [Kellbot] has made one that we think suits the game very well.