The 6th generation iPod nano makes a wonderful watch, but something milled out of aluminum doesn’t lend itself to more formal events. [Ted] liked the idea of an iPod nano watch, but wanted to kick things up a notch and fabricate an 18k gold iPod nano. It took 500 hours and $2500 in materials, but we’d say it’s worth it.
The new 18k gold enclosure for the watch was fabricated using the lost wax casting method. First, all the electronics and buttons were removed from the iPod, then a negative mold was made in silicone rubber. A positive wax mold was made with the silicon mold, and finally another negative mold – this time in plaster – was made by vaporizing the positive wax mold in a furnace.
[Ted] used two one-ounce coins as the source of gold for his nano enclosure, spun into the plaster mold. From there, it’s just a simple but tedious matter of cutting the sprues off, shaping, filing, buffing, and polishing. With a new leather strap, the iPod is reassembled in its new enclosure.
Wonderful work, and amazingly impressive from someone who doesn’t consider himself a jeweler.
We don’t see ourselves wearing these pendants around, but we still enjoyed taking a look at the design. These are just two from a wide range of offerings meant to be worn around and recharged by the sun. But a cloudy day won’t ruing the fun; they can be topped off via USB as well. Parts lists and schematics are included in the assembly Instructables for both the Owl and the Heart.
[Marty] and [Robin], a brother and sister developement/design team, were showing them off at the Sector67 hackerspace in Madison, WI. The single integrated circuit used in both is an OpAmp responsible for managing the blinking. The heart board has a calculator-style solar cell which charges that 0.5F supercap. The Owl has just a 0.022F coin-type capacitor and features a different style of solar harvester. The six components around the cap are each individual solar cells. [Marty] told us that they pump out a ton of juice in direct sunlight, outperforming the calculator-style cell. The opposite is true indoors. But as we’ve seen before, indoor solar harvesting is a tough game.
Need even more bling around your neck? Check out these LED matrix pendants.
It’s not Nixie cuff links yet, but we’re seeing a lot of potential for a few very classy accoutrements with [thouton]’s Nixie tube necklace.
The build was inspired by this much clunkier necklace that found its way onto the MAKE blog. Unlike the previous necklace, [thouton] used a much smaller Mullard ZM1021 indicator bulb. Instead of the normal 0-9 digits in a Nixie, this tube displays only
A V Ω + - % and
~, betraying its pedigree as part of the display from an ancient multimeter.
To power the bulb, [thouton] is using a single AA battery and a boost converter salvaged from a camera flash unit. All the circuitry is on a little piece of perfboard encased in a handsome aluminum tube. Power is delivered through two terminals with a bit of audio cable standing in as the chain of the necklace. We suppose this could be re-engineered to use a coin cell battery; although a coin cell doesn’t offer as many amp hours as a AA cell, [thouton] is confident the AA will last for a few days. A coin cell would be more than enough for a night on the town, though.
[Andrey] from RTFM has built himself a glowing LED pendant using only three parts and some simple code. The hack is not particularly complicated but [Andrey] provides some decent instructions on Pickaxe programming via an RS232 serial port and RGB LED control to produce the nice glowing effects. The pendant contains an RGB LED, a Pickaxe-08 microcontroller and a couple of button cell batteries. To cram everything inside the locket, [Andrey] had to grind down the LED and Pickaxe-08 to their minimum dimensions using a file.
All of the Basic code for the pendant is supplied on the project page and [Andrey] describes how he manages to PWM all three LED pins for the colour effects. The video after the break may be of interest to anyone who has not had a go at Picaxe programming before or for a beginner who wants to try out some new embedded devices without a big hit to the wallet.
Continue reading “Magic Locket”
Bot gives head to passersby
This free range robot was spotted at this year’s Kinetica Art Fair. You can place your hand above it and it will stop and pour you a beer. That’s if you consider 7/8 of a glass of head ‘a beer’.
Photo booth adds fun – consumes floor space
Face it, photo booths are fun, and if they’re free a lot of people will use them. This particular booth was built in some guy’s apartment, adding the fun but eating up floor space. But this would be a great build for your next group gathering, just like the Crushtoberfest. [via DVICE]
More human through-hole design
[Fridgehead] stuck and 5mm LED in his earlobe and then used a microcontroller to make it pulse. He’s got quite a mop and that’s where he hides the black controller pack. The next version should be RGB and the smallest surface mount packages he can solder. At least this isn’t disgusting like the LED nipple ring.
Chandelier your wife will never let you install
This 300 LED chandelier uses epoxy coated wires draped around the light ring to resemble a more traditional crystal light fixture. It’ll still be a hard sell if you want to hang this over the dinner table. [via Gizmodo]
A touch of copper
[Zombie84] built a prototype of a robot arm out of copper pipe. There’s not much info here, but you can see some wires in the wrist that appear to function as tendons. This reminds us of the characters from 9.
Apple Magic Mouse on Windows
Looks like some folks snooped around the latest Bluetooth update from Apple and managed to extract the Magic Mouse drivers. Now you can use them to take this complex peripheral for a spin on Windows. [Thanks Juan]
Component jewelry: From geeky to gross
[Nikolaus] made a pair of 300k Ohm earrings for his wife. That’s three Brown-Black-Yellow resistors per ear. It’s geeky but in a subtle way. Much more refined than the gross outcome of this other guy’s crass nipple experiments. Need to get the image of nipple-jewelry out of your head? [Nikolaus] has you covered with some 3d printed earrings.
Need your GPS data to be accurate within a centimeter? We don’t either but if you ever do, Real Time Kinematic GPS is what you need. Now you can build one yourself using the RTLIB package. This is based around the powerful and powerfully-inexpensive Beagleboard. [Thanks Jan]
It warmed up here a bit this week and things got slushy. Our Galoshes are nice and water-tight but [David’s] have a big hole in the side and are filled with a mini-keyboard. He’s chosen a rubber boot as the housing for a circuit-bending project. It’s a nice touch that the hidden keys are still playable through the flexible rubber.
[Ellindsey000] posted this neat little pendant to his flickr stream. We like the way it looks, and the fact that it is a functional circuit. The schematic is even pretty neat. We would maybe wear this, as a belt buckle or something. When we looked at this though, we thought it looked really familiar. Yeah, it kind of looks like the arc reactor from Iron Man, but what we thought of was this cool looking walker. As you could probably already tell, it’s the same person. Great job again [Ellindsey000], and thanks for posting the schemtaic.