Wait, you’re using a Dremel to cut PCBs?
Cutting copper-clad board or – horrors – depanelizing PCBs is a pain if you don’t have the right tool. Over at Hub City Labs they’re using a small, cheap metal shear & break. Bonus: it can cut and bend sheet metal, so the Hub City folks can also make enclosures.
Color Codes? Yes, Color Codes.
[Joe] sent in a cool utility he whipped up called resisto.rs. Plug in a resistor value, and it’ll spit out the 4-band, 5-band, and surface mount labels for that resistor value. Pretty neat.
Parallel ports may be a dying breed, but that didn’t stop [Electroalek] from putting together a VU meter that connects to his LPT port. It’s an extremely simple design; just connect some LEDs and resistors to the pins of a parallel port, and you can easily control them via software on a computer. Playing around with an LPT port used to be common knowledge, so we’re glad to see [Electroalek]’s work here.
The power is out, but Radio Shack is still open
[Jason] is stuck in New Jersey without power and needed a way to charge his phone. He whipped up a cell phone charger using an RC car battery and an LM317 voltage regulator. It’s an easy circuit to piece together, and judging from [Jason]’s picture will hopefully keep his cell phone charged until the power comes back on.
Shooting 50 Nerf darts all at once
If [Rob]’s project log is to be believed, it looks like they’re having a lot of fun over in the Sparkfun warehouse. They decided to have a full-scale Nerf gun war for a summer intern’s last day. [Rob] came up with a DIY Nerf shotgun that shoots 50 darts across the room, just waiting to be found sometime in the next decade.
There’s a great video of [Rob] firing the single barrel (yeah, they made a trident-shaped one as well) gun at well prepared but unsuspecting coworkers. Be sure to check out the comments of this post to see Hackaday readers frothing at the mouth because PVC pipe isn’t a pressure vessel guys. You’ll all surely die.
[TopCityGear] was trying out a piece of PVC as a blow gun barrel when he thought he’d try to give it a little more power than what his lungs could put out. What he came up with is this air-powered Nerf gun that definitely leaves a mark. The video after the break is a show-and-tell, a build log, and finally a demonstration of its power. He adds a nail to a Nerf dart and drives it through a board, then leaves a huge welt on his poor friends chest with a plain old foam dart. It reminds us of those riot guns that shoot bean bags.
The air is stored in that twelve-inch PVC reservoir. On the rear cap there’s a Schrader valve for pressurizing the tank with a compressor or even a bike pump. The grip is a gutted cordless drill whose battery doubles as the power source for the electric sprinkler valve which fires the gun. The screw fitting just in front of the hand grip lets him remove the barrel so that the projectile can be inserted.
This reminds us of that gun which shoots water-filled ping-pong balls.
Continue reading “How to build an extremely powerful nerf gun”
Industrial control robot band
Remember Animusic, a series of videos featuring computer-generated, highly implausible instruments? Intel made their own to demo their industrial control tech. From the looks of things, we’re putting money on a bunch of MIDI triggers bolted onto plastic panels; now it’s slightly less impressive and the reason we’re looking at xylophones on eBay right now.
[Jouni] sent in his quadrocopter build that was inspired by the Japanese spherebot we caught earlier this year. [Jouni] used a carbon fiber frame to prevent the copter from bumping into things. Other things bumping into it are another story entirely.
This is my gun. There are none like it, because I printed it.
[Landru] printed a Nerf gun on his 3D printer. The only non-printed parts are a few screws, springs and an o-ring. [Landru] promised to put the files up on Thingiverse, but we can’t find them.
Media center auto power on circuit
[Dizzy]’s media server doesn’t have an ‘AC power loss reset’ feature in its BIOS, and he can’t jumpstart the thing by shorting pins on the ATX power socket. He came up with a very clean, minimal solution to starting his server after a power loss. Nice job, [Diz].
Better run, better run, outrun my soldering gun
Alright, circuit board shoes probably aren’t that comfortable, or useful, but we did find a like to the works of [Steven Rodrig], an artist who works in the medium of PCBs. The recycled circuits don’t do anything, and that’s giving us a few ideas on how to improve a digital banana.
[Chris] thinks that using your brain to control your trigger finger is a passé way of operating a toy firearm. Instead, he’s using his mind to fire foam bullets at whatever he thinks needs to pretend-die. To read his will, he’s chosen the Neurosky MindWave, a device that we just looked at for servo control. That hack shows how to patch into the USB dongle that comes with the device, but [Chris] opted to use a BlueSMiRF module from Sparkfun to connect the headset to an Arduino via Bluetooth.
The rest of the hack involves modifying the gun for automatic firing. It’s a Nerf Stampede, which takes six D-cells to power the electrical firing system. [Chris] didn’t want to carry that weight around in the body of the weapon itself so he installed a port for external power and added a firing mechanism at the same time. It uses relays to complete the circuit normally operated by the trigger. Now logic-level signals have no problem dispensing justice from the brightly-colored device.
[Vik Olliver] adds a bit more power to what has traditionally been a store-bought toy by designing this printable dart gun. His design prints the follower in the track where it belongs, which means it’s not going to come loose unless the material itself fails. After printing you’ll need to clean up that track just a bit, and ream out the pivot holes for the trigger parts. Two pieces of filament are used as the axles for pivot points and can be melted in place after assembly. A third length of filament acts as a spring, making this a completely plastic gun. Well, not completely; a couple of strong rubber bands deliver the stored energy which sends the Nerf dart on its way. The design is parametric so you can adjust it for the dart dimensions of your choosing before printing begins.
If you still haven’t managed to boot-strap your own 3D printer don’t fret. You can always give this Nerf dart sniper rifle a try.
[Tony Blanch] built his own motion controller for playing House of the Dead. It should work with any shooter that follows the ‘rail’ type of game play (your character is not free walking, but moves along a set path beyond your control).
Two parts come together to make this happen. The first is the Nerf dart gun that you see above. The circuit board fitted into the top portion of the plastic housing is from a five-button wireless mouse. The buttons are used to sense trigger pulls from the player. The second portion of the controller is a Kinect. It has been set up to work with a Windows 7 machine. [Tony] used the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST) to bind and track the gun controller, moving the mouse cursor on the screen to match the movements of the weapon. Check out the video after the break to see how responsive this system is.
This is a very interesting departure from the gun controllers we’ve seen before.
Continue reading “Kinect, mouse, and nerf gun combine for House of the Dead”
[Ben Kokes] threw together a hardware package to capture data from a football. In the center of a Nerf football he made room for an accelerometer, gyroscope, and an electronic compass. All three can capture 3-axis data and, along with the LEDs ringing the circumference, they’ve controlled by an XMEGA192 microcontroller.
This makes us think back to a time when baseballs with a built-in speed sensor first hit the market… does this hack have mass marketing potential? Perhaps, but only if the $225 sensor price tag were greatly reduced. When we first started reading the description we hoped that [Ben] had coded an interpreter that would render 3D playback video from the data. He hasn’t done that, but from the data graphs he did assemble we don’t think that functionality is out of the question. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.