Portal Radio is why Valve needs to build hardware

We’ve seen Portal gun builds, a few cute turret replicas, and even a miniaturized version of GLaDOS, but [John]‘s Portal radio replica is the first physical version of this oft-forgotten Portal item.

Interestingly, the entire radio is made from scrap. The spheroid body shell is made from the foam insulation from a commercial freezer, carefully sculpted, Bondoed, and painted over the course of 300 hours. The radio guts are taken from an upcycled radio, and powered by either an internal battery or a wall wart DC adapter – perfect for carrying around a test chamber with a portal gun.

Right now, there’s an AM/FM receiver inside the radio along with an audio input so an iPod or such can be plugged in. While we would have loved to see a loop of theuptempo version Still Alive, we’re guessing [John] hasn’t found an easy way to do that with junked parts yet.

Check out [John]‘s build video after the break.

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Making model rocket motor igniters

[Stephan Jones] has an easy method for making your own model rocket engine igniter. The solid state motors used in this hobby consume one igniter with each electrically triggered launch. Whether you’re making your own motors or not, this construction technique should prohibit you from every buying an igniter again. The process involves bending some nichrome wire around a paper clip, adding some structural support to the leads using masking tape, and insulating the business end with a quick dip in paint.

Now would be a good time to send us your launchpad hacks. All we’ve seen so far is a launchpad for water rockets.

[via Make]

Mad machinist masterpieces

If a picture is worth 1000 words, by our count, [Ryan Commbes] has said 1.68×10^6 different things about his custom robot, airsoft, and monster truck builds. While we’re not ones to pick favorites, we agreed his Alpine TPG-1 (picture at the top) build is a step above the rest. Sadly, the forums with his build log doesn’t seem to be loading, but he says the basic process if you wanted to make your own is to gather pictures, measure, and create.

[Thanks Andrew]

Sukhoi Su-27 Jet build throws down

This no model, but a fully functioning RC jet. The Sukhoi Su-27 was the Soviet Union’s counterpart of the F15 and this 1/6.5 scaled version measures eleven feet long and is fully controllable. As if the 80-page build log wasn’t enough, the flight video after the break is nothing short of jaw-dropping. The test flights end in smooth landings but with all the time that went into the project that’s got to be nerve-wracking.

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Amazing chassis hacks

[Crabfu] pulled off some great chassis work on top of a remote control drivetrain. His most recent build turns the tiny traveler into a lunar rover complete with passenger and a communications array. For this he’s sourced the parts from a toy but boosted the realism with hand-painted details that leave us in awe. His previous project sourced the body from a model truck kit. Once again, it’s the paint work that makes us envious of his skills.

Both projects conceal a Losi 1/24 scale micro rock crawler that provides for some incredible locomotion. See video of both builds after the break.

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Double clutch transmission model

[Alan] did an extraordinary job building a computer controlled model gearbox. His project from several years back is based on a dual-clutch Direct Shift Gearbox that was developed for VW and Audi vehicles. His design uses a gear head motor to provide the locomotion to this transmission. Shifting is computer controlled through serial cable, with servo motors providing the physical motion to change gears. Seeing all these moving parts in the clip after the break might make you a bit dizzy.

This is some extreme model building. It reminds us of the guy who built that aluminum aircraft model that was all over the Internets in December.

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Desktop Decepticon repurposes cell phone

cell-phone-decipticon

We’ve got a few old cell phones sitting around and apart from salvaging the LCD screen we’re not quite sure what to do with them. [Gingerpete50] turned his into a desktop Decepticon figurine. This masterpiece is a delightful conversation piece and when he’s tired of it decorating his cubicle, we’re sure there will be plenty of people he can hand it down to. The figure doesn’t transform back into a cell phone and it uses a few extra parts he had on hand, but neither of these things bother us. What it does have is some articulated joints and a few LEDs that you can see above. We haven’t tried our hand at custom model building, but after seeing this you can be assured it’s on our list.