The BatBox: Portable power, polished and professional. Plus smoke!

batBox

About the size of a shoebox and stuffed with a compact battery/inverter combo, the BatBox packs a mean wallop at 480Wh. What else was [Bill Porter] supposed to do with his free time? He’s already mailed out electronic wedding invitations and built custom LED centerpieces for the reception. He and his wife [Mara] then made an appearance in a Sunday roundup tying the knot by soldering a circuit together. Surely the LED Tetris Tie would have been in the ceremony had it existed. This time, though, [Bill's] scrounged up some leftover electronics to put a realistic spin on a Minecraft favorite: the BatBox.

A pair of 18V high energy density batteries connect up to a 12V regulator, stepping them down to drive a 110VAC inverter. The BatBox also supplies 5V USB and 12VDC output for portable devices. Unfortunately, [Bill]‘s first inverter turned out to be a low-quality, voltage-spiking traitor; it managed to let the smoke out of his fish tank’s LED bar by roasting the power supply. Undeterred, [Bill] pressed on with a new, higher-quality inverter that sits on an acrylic shelf above the batteries. OpenBeam aluminum extrusion seals up the remainder of the enclosure, completing the BatBox with a frame that looks both appealing and durable.

0x10c becomes a community-developed game

0x10c

It’s official. [Notch], creator of Minecraft, has confirmed he’s shelved plans for 0x10c, the space-based block building and exploration MMO that features assembly programming as a core game component.

Over the last year or so since 0x10c was announced, a whole lot of programmers have picked up the in-game fictional CPU – the DCPU – by writing emulators and even emulating this CPU that only exists as a design document on an AVR. Needless to say, there are a lot of very skilled programmers that want this game to exist. Now, it seems, this community is forging ahead with this project without [Notch].

This is a truly massive undertaking by the community. Not only are the current plans to build an open world, procedurally generated, space-based MMO, it looks like these new developers will also be writing their own engine from scratch. If this were a commercial endeavour, it would require millions of dollars and many years to get to a rough alpha build, and the 0x10c community is doing this for free.

If you have experience in C++, OpenGL, and 3D game programming, the official signup thread is over on the 0x10c subreddit. Even if you’re not a programmer and only have experience in modeling, writing, your experience would be greatly appreciated.

Hackaday Links: Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

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Need to connect a male pinheader to male jumper wires? [Scoops] came up with a brilliant method using jumpers meant for dual-pin headers like on motherboards.

Atanua, a real-time logic simulator, was just upgraded for the first time in a few years. We’ve liked this one since way back. The changes mostly involve performance improvements.

You can see what’s inside of Google Glass without shelling out $1500 for your own hardware. [Thanks Itay]

Coding a Minecraft clone in x86 assembly is pretty impressive. We had to install nasm and qemu to get it to compile but it does work. If you don’t want to build the project just check out the demo video. There’s no sign of creepers but dig too deep and you’ll fall out of the world. [Thanks Dmitry]

Here’s a way to use multiple Google Drive accounts as a RAID array.

[Sick Sad] produced some really trippy photographs using long exposures with a laser line on a servo. The result is a photorealistic image of the subject (faces in this example) that looks like it was melted à la [Salvador Dalí]. If you’re just interested in using the laser for light painting check out Hackaday alum [Jeremy Cook's] work in that area.

And finally, two monitors are better than one. [Bryan] put his both together in portrait orientation using a laser-cut mounting bracket of his own design.

Android controlled Minecraft ores

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[Ryan] has a friend with a birthday coming up, and being inspired by ever 12-year-olds favorite game, he decided to make a Minecraft ore block with RGB LEDs. The block can change from diamonds to emeralds via commands send from an Android phone.

After a few false starts, [Ryan] eventually had his ore cube laser cut at Acess Space, a hackerspace-ish group in Sheffield. The box was constructed out of 3mm MDF, while the windows were laser cut out of frosted acrylic, while the stone pattern on the cube is one giant custom-made sticker.

With the tedious part of the build out of the way, [Ryan] set to work on the electronics. He used a PIC attached to a few very large RGB LEDs, and a Bluetooth module that allows him to connect his phone to an ore block. Dialing in the right colors took some work, but eventually, [Ryan] had an Android-controlled Minecraft ore block, able to transmutate between gold, iron, diamond, emerald, lapis, and redstone.

You can check out a video of [Ryan]‘s ore block in action after the break.

[Read more...]

Diamond Ore wall lamp brings Minecraft into your home

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We were surprised to see all of the Christmas gifts that revolved around Minecraft. Seems like there’s a lot of stuff for sale, but we still like the DIY spirit that comes with making your own. [Thacrudd] recently finished this project. It’s a wall lamp that looks like Minecraft’s diamond ore.

The enclosure is a wood box that used to contain chocolates. After studying the pixel art texture for the game’s diamond ore blocks he marked out the pattern and headed over to the scroll to rough them out before finishing with files and a rasp. Next came paint, which was sourced as a sample from the home store. This left him with one shade of gray, but the variations were easy to add by mixing it with white or black.

A strip of white LEDs gives the lamp its inner glow. The openings have been covered with blue acrylic which keep the dust out while providing the appropriate hue.

[via Reddit]

[CNLohr]‘s Microscope Slide Linux AVR Minecraft… thing

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We’ve been following [CNLohr]‘s process of creating an AVR-powered microscope slide running Linux and interfacing redstone circuits in Minecraft to real world electronic for a while now, but we’re really at a loss for words on how it works. Well, now there’s a video explaining everything you want to know about this amazingly complicated and overwrought thing.

The device is powered by an AVR microcontroller and Ethernet controller running [Fabrice Bellard]‘s JSLinux in a browser. [CNLohr] added a few bits to JSLinux allowing him map the x86 IO ports emulated inside JSLinux to the AVR’s IO ports. This allows him to query the status – both analog and digital – using just a browser. Very cool, but [CNLohr] can also run his Minecraft server optimized for 8-bit devices on this microscope slide server to create a bridge between real electronics and redstone circuits.

To sum up what’s going on here, [Bellard] created an x86 emulator in JavaScript, and put Linux on it. [CNLohr] is serving this from a microcontroller attached to a circuit built on a microscope slide so he can blink an LED from within Minecraft. It’s the most beautifully over engineered and useless thing we’ve ever seen, basically.

In the video after the break, you can see [CNLohr]‘s overly convoluted walk through of what’s going on with this microscope slide server. As a little bonus, you can also catch a glimpse of Hackaday at 00:20 in [CNLohr]‘s most visited / new tab thingy in Firefox. We’re honored, really.

[Read more...]

Playing with the Minecraft API and a Raspberry Pi

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It hasn’t been a week since Minecraft for the Raspberry Pi has been released, and already we’re seeing some cool builds that bridge our analog world with Minecraft voxel land. [Martin] got his hands on the Raspi version of Minecraft and decided to take advantage of the API Mojang threw into the build by making a huge analog block clock that keeps real world time in the Minecraft universe.

Basically, [Martin] created a small Python script that draws the face and hands of a clock in a Minecraft world. The Minecraft API comes with neat functions such as drawCircle, and drawLine, so making a real clock face is as simple as getting the system time and doing a bit of trig.

After the break you can check out [Martin]‘s Minecraft clock in action. If you’re running the Pi version of Minecraft, you can also get this running on your machine with the code on [Martin]‘s git.

[Read more...]

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