Go ahead, let the kids play with your digital camera… after some additions

Would you throw this camera around on pavement and trust that it wouldn’t get broken? We have a hard time believing it too, but that’s exactly what happens in the video after the break. The colorful add-ons are pieces of Sugru creatively positioned to help protect the camera. From what we’ve seen this adds quite a bit of shock absorption, letting the normally delicate hardware bounce and roll. After all, the stuff is made from Silicone.

It doesn’t look like the protection is meant to be removed from the camera, although we have seen Sugru used for that in the past so this method may be adaptable. A mistake was made during the project which prevented to battery compartment from being opened but it turns out you can peel the stuff of the camera later on, so this isn’t a completely permanent transformation.

We’d wager the camera component to be most concerned with is the LCD screen. We’ve got one that cracked without any plausible cause to point to. But if you’re just reinforcing the device to hand to your kids, who cares if the LCD doesn’t work? It kind of makes it like a film camera again if you have to take all the pictures and then wait to use a computer to “develop them”.

Don’t forget, if you don’t have Sugru on hand you can try mixing your own.

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Homebrew weather station plus a pan and tilt camera rig

[Sebastian] wrote in to share his web site, where he has a bunch of different electronics projects. After looking through them, we found a pair that we thought you might find interesting.

The first project is a homebrew weather monitoring station that [Sebastian] put together. He designed a weather shield, incorporating humidity, pressure and light sensors, along with digital I/O ports for monitoring an anemometer. The entire setup is powered using solar panels, and data is relayed to his computer via an Xbee.

The second item that caught our eye was a digital camera pan and tilt rig. The system was built using a Lynxmotion pan and tilt kit, which is controlled by an Arduino. The code he provides allows him to capture very large composite images without having to spend too much time “sewing” them together. While this second project mostly consists of schematics for a base plate and pan/tilt code, it struck us as something that could be very useful for any budding photographers looking to take panoramic shots.

All of the schematics and code for his projects are available on his site, so be sure to look around – you might find something interesting!

LED artwork disappears right before your eyes

take_a_picture_demo

If you walked into an art gallery and saw nothing but blank canvases lining the wall, you might be compelled to demand your money back, or assume that you had discovered the world’s laziest artist. If this gallery happened to be displaying work by [Brad Blucher and Kyle Clements] however, you would be mistaken.

These two artists have collaborated to create a series of works titled, “Take a Picture“. Each picture they have built is constructed to look like an empty canvas when viewed with the naked eye. If you were to take a picture of the canvas with your cell phone or digital camera however, a whole new world would open up in front of your eyes. Their artwork is constructed using infrared LEDs, which cannot be seen with the naked eye, but are visible to nearly any CMOS or CCD sensor on the market. The images range from simple smiley faces and objects to abstract geometric shapes.

It’s a very simple, yet novel approach, and we happen to think it’s pretty cool. The artists have not said what they have planned for this project in the future, but we’d love to see it expanded using larger LED arrays to display higher-resolution images, or even short movies.

Keep reading to see how they went about creating these works of art as well as a promo video demonstrating the effect.

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Remote camera trigger built from air freshener parts

Remote camera trigger assembled front view

[jcopro] took a look at a Glade automatic air freshener he had sitting around and couldn’t help but open it up to determine how the mechanism worked.  After taking it apart, he found that the automated system was comprised of a 3v motor, a series of gears, and a mechanical arm.  When actuated, this arm simply pressed the spray nozzle of the air freshener canister contained within the device.  After some consideration, he decided that the components would make a great remote trigger for his Casio point and shoot camera.  He fabricated a small plywood rig including both the camera and air freshener components, which was able to be mounted on a tripod.  [jcporo] also mentions that the air freshener has the ability to be triggered by a built-in timer.  Although the presets are locked at 9, 18, and 36 minutes, he suggests that a 555 timer could easily be used to add some custom timing intervals when wired to the manual trigger.  Be sure to check out his video of the remote trigger in action.

Nikon Coolpix S1000pj (teardown)

HAD_NCP

Earlier this year, Nikon released the Coolpix S1000pj, a 12 megapixel point and shoot with the usual features, including image stabilization, face recognition, etc. However, the S1000pj features a built in projector into the usual diminutive point and shoot footprint, and also comes with a remote for controlling the projector in display mode, or for remote shooting. iFixit has gotten a hold of the unit, and detailed the difficult teardown process, which included component desoldering to get the extremely compact system completely apart. It is also interesting to compare this setup to other stand alone pico-projectors we have covered.

Camera peltier cooler

ir

[Gary Honis] has been modifying his Canon Digital Rebel XSi in order to do astrophotography. He previously removed the IR filter and replaced it with a Baader UV-IR cut filter that lets most infrared light through. However, in order to reduce noise in the pictures, he had to cool the camera down. He based the project on a peltier cooler that he salvaged from a powered beverage cooler. He made a small aluminum box and insulated it with styrofoam to hold the camera body. The peltier cooler was then attached on the side. It takes just over an hour to cool the camera down to 40 degrees, but the shots come out a lot clearer.

[thanks adam]

Wireless portable USB tether

USB

[Pete] has put together a fairly simple writeup on building a wireless USB tether for your DSLR. He’s basically using a pair of USB wireless adapters and a battery pack. In his original version, he did some slight modification to the dock that powers the USB dongle, adding his own battery pack too. He notes that this whole project can be done without the effort he put into it, at a little more expense.  The only improvement we think would be nice would be a better way to package it to keep it out of the way while you shoot.

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