Build a cutting laser from an old PC

[Drake Anthony] makes building a cutting laser from a PC look easy, and it seems like it actually is. Almost everything you need can be found in a dead desktop unit. The diode is pulled from a DVD writer (16x or faster), with the power supply unit, and heat sinks from the processor and GPU being used as well. You’ll also need a focusing lens (just a few dollars), some thermal glue, an LM317, a resistor, and a pair of protective goggles matching the laser diode’s wavelength.

He fits the diode into the lens, then glues the assembly into a hole drilled through the processor heat sink. A driver is built using the LM317 variable regulator, resistor, power supply, and the GPU heat sink to keep things cool. Check out the video after the break to see the laser cutting tape, burning plastic, and lighting matches. [Read more...]

Wii sensor bar projector

Having experienced quite a bit of trouble getting the Nintendo Wii remotes to work reliably with his home theater projector, [Sprite_TM] designed his own sensor bar replacement. If you’re not familiar, the Wii remotes have an infrared camera in the tip that sense two IR LEDs in the sensor bar that resides above or below your television. The problem is that if you’re too far away, the points of light are not where the remote expects them to be and the cursor will not perform as expected. Since this is a huge projected display it’s no surprise that the player is further away from the screen than the system was designed for.

[Sprite_TM's] solution was to build a projection system for the two IR points. The unit in the picture above is a driver circuit with two IR emitters mounted on a heat sink, each with its own reflector. The reflected beams are shined through a Fresnel lens and projected on the same wall as the TV image. The viewer will not be able to see this light as it’s in a longer wavelength than the visible spectrum. But the Wii remote performs beautifully now and the replacement sensor bar is happily mounted out of sight above the projector.

Macro lens for a Nexus One

[Thomas] tipped us off about a macro lens attachment for his Nexus One. As you’d expect, adding the lens helps the phone’s camera bring tiny details into focus. He re-purposed a lens from a pair of mini binoculars, using epoxy putty to make a mounting bracket. Now the last time we saw this putty used with a phone it was for a snap-in bracket that cradled the phone and included a lens adapter. Rather than go that route [Thomas] made use of the headphone jack just above the camera lens. An old headphone plug has been epoxied to the macro lens ring, holding it in place securely while remaining easily removable.

Using quality optics with a webcam

[Devon Croy] built a case to join a webcam sensor with a camera lens. The box is a PVC conduit box you’d find at a home center. He used JB Weld to attach four bolts to the back of the box. These are used to fine-tune the mounting plate for the webcam sensor to ensure it’s at the focal point of the lens. The lens connects through a couple of extension tubes to an adapter mounted in the center of the box’s cover plate. The setup above shows a macro lens that takes pretty good pictures.

If you need images of really tiny things you should look into a microscope adapter for your camera.

Guide to producing tilt-shift photography

[Bhautik] is back again with more tilt-shift photography.  This time, hes brought us a quite in depth guide to tilt-shift photography. He covers the technical side of how tilt-shift works, showing the differences in several methods. There is a breakdown of different cameras and ease of modification as well as links to several of his past projects. He even shows comparisons between instant tilt-shift Photoshop methods and the real thing, pointing out key things to look for to identify the real deal.

Building a SuperMacro lens

[Lozzless] has a steady hand and plenty of confidence in his hacking skills. The video above is worth watching for the full eight minutes. In it you’ll see him convert a lens into what he calls a SuperMacro lens with a working aperture. The process involves fashioning a connector ring from a lens cap, modifying an Electro-focus lens mount, and assembling the parts to do his bidding. We don’t have the photography background to fully understand what he’s doing here, but we can appreciate the process, and the results are shown at the end of the clip.

[Thanks TommyC]

Fisheye lens for your SLR

[Bhautik Joshi's] fisheye lens hack works well and looks OK too. It uses a door peephole from the hardware store as the fisheye and a slide projector lens to enlarge the image for proper sizing on the camera’s sensor. He included an EOS lens adapter so that it is easy to install and remove, then grabbed a soda can and some foam for the rest of the build. This will take those fun bendy pictures but don’t forget that you can correct for that in software if you wish.

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