This Space Saver Puts The Squeeze On Your Keys

MultiKey

Keys? Who needs them? Well, pretty much everyone. You can’t deny that there are some ridiculously crowded key chains out there. It’s clear that [Robb] wanted to hit the other side of that spectrum when he started working on his latest multi-key project.

The term “multi-key” may be a little misleading as there are more than just keys on this tool. In addition to the bike lock, locker, work and house keys, there is a USB drive, bottle opener, screw driver and a couple of Allen wrenches. The side frames started out as part of an Allen key combo set; one not of the highest quality.  The Allen keys started snapping off during use which left [Robb] with a set of otherwise useless side frames. These became the platform of which [Robb's] project is based. Adding a couple new bolts, nuts and a few modified keys got him the rest of the way there. A lot of thought went into which items to put into this tool and [Robb] explains his thought process in his step-by-step instructions.

The simple nature and potential for customizing makes this a great utilitarian DIY project. Although this may not be Janitor worthy, it will certainly consolidate some of the bulk in our pockets.

Key chain LCD as screen for a Dockstar

[Peter Gunn] added an LCD screen to his Dockstar. Now that we think of it, this really shouldn’t be all that hard since the Dockstar can run a Linux kernel and it has USB ports. [Peter] took inspiration from [Sprite_TM's] key chain LCD4Linux hack that we looked at many moons ago. He used a cheap Coby DP182 digital picture frame that can be picked up for less than $5 used. A bit of firmware hacking and LCD4Linux has no problem pushing images to the device via USB. [Peter's] setup refreshes the screen at one frame per second, but if all you need is a bit of feedback from the otherwise headless system this is a great solution.

[Thanks Mikka]

Digital View-Master

Who could forget the stereoscopic goodness of a View-Master? [Tuttle] put a modern flair on the classic optical device by adding two 1.5″ LCD screens. The screens replace the film disk of the original, showing slightly different images to produce a 3D effect. No word on a camera rig used to take the original images, but for our money this a great way to make something out of those useless key chain picture frames.

Doom on a picture key chain

Alright, so Doom isn’t actually running on the key chain itself, but rather a BifferBoard: a small 150MHz x86 containing ethernet, serial, and even USB with only one watt of power consumption! The project is to show how easy it is to program the BifferBoard and getting it talking to other hackable items – such as the picture key chain for a display. Doom does appear a bit slow, but [Biff] figures its do to how haphazardly it grabs keyboard input over SSH.

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