Like ridiculously large electromechanical devices? [Fran] took a tour of the Wanamaker Pipe Organ in Philly, the largest fully playable pipe organ in the world. The scale is tremendous – 28,000 pipes in 463 ranks spread out over five floors of a department store.
The Nintendo Entertainment System is well over thirty years old now, and still there are only about ten or so games that require the Nintendo Zapper, the light gun so primitive you can use a light bulb to beat Duck Hunt. Now there’s a new game: Super Russian Roulette. Yes, it’s Russian Roulette with the NES Zapper. It’s actually a very advanced game for the NES, using a lot of Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) for real audio in the game. Of course it’s also Russian Roulette with a gun that doesn’t look like a revolver, making this the perfect game to introduce young children to the wonders of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Video demo.
Tektronix has a new logo! It’s not as cool as the old CRT flying spaceman globe thingy logo, but at least it’s not awash with 90s era corporate industrial design motifs.
The new logo is finally a logo and not just a serif typeface with a red slash below it. In keeping with every new corporate branding in recent memory, the new typeface is a sans-serif with a few bits cut off here and there. Is it a good logo? I’m sure it tested well in focus groups. Sometimes art is more of a science than an art. A lot of people don’t get that.
[Philip] got a tattoo of the Hackaday Skull ‘n Wrenches. His job is mostly office work in long sleeves, so everything’s good. The original logo was drawn in Flash by [Phil Torrone] of Adafruit, and reworked into a slightly more modern file format by [Elliot]. Yes, a skull and wrenches is a biker symbol and can be found in the emblem for a few military divisions (mostly for armored support). The Hackaday logo is by far the most cartoonish of all of these Jolly Wrenchers.
We’ve seen perpetual motion machines on Kickstarter, and we’ve seen projects that may actually have some basis in reality. We’ve seen 12-year-olds put up a Kickstarter for a new gaming computer, and we’ve seen campaigns to build a bar in some random guy’s basement. There is only one project we haven’t seen on Kickstarter, until now: a campaign to build another crowdfunding platform. It is the Shortening of the Way.
You want a fail? This is a fail. [Chris] is working on a device that combines the familiar Arduino pinout with a CAN transceiver. A good idea, but if you build a PCB, you’re going to need traces. [Chris] sent his files off to our favorite purple board house and got back a sheet of copper laminate with holes in it. A good reminder to check your Gerbers before sending them off.
Live around Denver? There’s a hackerspace in Broomfield, Colorado that’s looking for a new space. They have a Kickstarter for the lease and they’re looking for some people to fill their space.
You kids out there with Pro Tools and Logic don’t know how good you have it. Back in the day, audio was recorded on magnetic tape with exacting mechanical devices called multitrack recorders. [Fran] fished her Otari 8-track recorder out of storage, and it’s a thing of beauty. Also out of storage is a 300 lb+ plate reverb.
The build consists of a couple small servos, a hacked up pen laser and an Arduino with some stored coordinates to draw out the image. As usual the first challenge is powering your external peripheral devices like servos. [Enrico] tackled this problem using 6 Ni-MH batteries and an LM2956 simple switcher power converter. The servos and Arduino get power directly from the battery pack and the Arduino controls the PWM signals to the servos as they trace out the stored coordinate data. The laser is connected to the servo assembly and is engaged and powered by an Arduino pin via an NPN transistor. He also incorporated a potentiometer to adjust the servo calibration point.
His first imported coordinate data generated from some Python script was not very successful. But later he used processing with an SVG file to process a click-made path the Arduino could use as map data to draw the Hack-a-Day logo. It requires a long exposure time to photograph the completed drawing in a dark room but the results are impressive.
It’s an excellent project where [Enrico] shares what he learned about using Servo.writeMicroseconds() instead of Servo.write() for performance along with several other tweaks. He also shared the BOM, Fritzing diagram, Processing Creator and Simulator tools and serial commands on GitHub. He wraps up with some options that he thinks would improve his device, and he requests any help others may want to provide for better performance. And if you want you could step it up a notch and create a laser video projector with an ATMega16 AVR microcontroller and some clever spinning tilted mirrors.
[Toymakers] shared another episode of The Rabbit Hole. In this episode they spend most of the time pawing through boxes of donated electronic goodness. What really sparked our interest in episode 044 starting at the 12:46 mark was their amazing new logo proposal for The Rabbit Hole Hackerspace. The logo looks a bit familiar and is indeed based partly on the Hack a Day logo, but this unique and awesome logo also sports the open source hardware gear as well as an evil looking punisher style rabbit.
Sure we might like it a bit more because of its resemblance to our logo; nonetheless this is a great-looking logo and perfect for their hackerspace. We hope they go with it, who doesn’t love evil rabbits? The background to the logo is also a barcode which when scanned takes you to The Rabbit Hole website. [Whiskers] also re-renders the logo to port over to their CarveWright CNC wood router to make up a 3D logo plaque, SWEET! You might remember we did get a glimpse of their table-top CNC router as a Hackaday Hackerspace Henchmen entry.
You can watch all of episode 044 after the break and don’t forget to comment below to let us know if you like their new proposed logo, we do. Maybe we will be reporting on a future “T-shirt campaign” :)
It’s no secret that we love to see project demos that pander to Hackaday. This often comes in the form of our page loaded on the screen in build photos, or creative use of our skull and wrenches logo. Now’s your chance to pander for a smidge of loot. [Phillip Torrone] offered up 20 of Adafruit’s new 5v Trinket boards as giveaways, and we can’t say no to getting free stuff in the hands of the readers.
So here’s the deal: Use the Hackaday logo on something. This can be just about anything. The images above show three examples made by Hackaday staff. There’s the logo built brick-by-brick on a Minecraft Survival server, a 3D version printed as a badge, and a somewhat squished version inside of a QR code. We will (seemingly arbitrarily) pick twenty winners from all of the submissions, but here’s a few guidelines to help you rise above:
Entries that explain what you did and how you accomplished it are more likely to be chosen as winners
This contest is over, thanks to all who sent in their work! Send your submission details to our tips line (don’t forget to say something like [Trinket Contest] in the title!). In order to receive a prize you must include your name, address, and email address (these will only be used by Adafruit to deliver the hardware and notify you when it has shipped). Get your entry in by Friday, November 1st in order to qualify. Obviously Hackaday, SupplyFrame, and Adafruit employees and their families aren’t eligible to win.
Children of the 80s may remember the Big Trak, a six-wheeled programmable toy designed to explore distant planets on the other side of the living room and the vast expanse of a two-car garage. The Big Trak was re-released a few years ago and [Nathan] took quite a shine to this improved version. He was so enthralled he decided to upgrade it even more to support the LOGO programming language.
The 30-year-old version of the Big Trak had a membrane keypad where commands such as ‘drive forward 5 units’ and ‘turn 90 degrees’ can be saved and run from memory. This is very similar to the LOGO programming language with and turtle graphics and nearly identical to the Roamer LOGO robot.
To control the Big Trak, [Nathan] upgraded the electronics to a ChipKit Uno and a BeagleBone. A LOGO interpreter written in Python and uploaded to the BeagleBone. After this, [Nathan] was nearly set. He did add a WiFi interface to control his Big Trak wirelessly, a nice touch we think.
You can check out [Nathan]’s twenty-minute build video where he goes through the entire process of upgrading his Big Trak after the break.
After writing this post on somone hacking QR codes, Hack A Day commenters came out in full force posting some really cool links about modifying QR codes to include a logo. I’ll fully admit I geeked out a little, but in the process I figured out some of the theory behind embedding logos in QR codes.
After getting my hands on the ISO 18004 specification for QR codes, I decided to try embedding the Hack A Day skull & wrenches inside a QR code. The tools I used were Photoshop, this QR code generator, and Microsoft Paint (I’ve never seen a program to edit individual pixels that has a better UI, so don’t laugh).