Flash trigger with programmable delay

Here’s a flash trigger with a programmable delay. These triggers are often used to capture quick events like a balloon popping. The technique takes place in a dark room with the shutter open. When the event is triggered the flash illuminates the scene and an image is captured. Because these require precise timing it has typically been a chore to synchronize the event, hence solutions like using a pressure plate.

This build, which centers around a PICAXE 08M, allows the photographer to use any trigger they desire, but adds a delay. The box above shows the apparatus set up for a 42 millisecond delay. So if you’re using the sound of the balloon pop as a trigger, you can hold the flash off until the event really gets going.

[Thanks Two Part Epoxy]

SD activity indicator for Wii

[DeadlyFoez] wanted to know when the SD card in his Nintendo Wii was in use. He built and indicator LED using a PICAXE 08M and added it next to the SD slot. He uses one pin of the microcontroller to monitor the voltage on one pin of the SD card slot. That pin has a specific value when the card is idle, which rises when it’s in use. He didn’t share the details of which pin he’s sampling, or what the magic number from his source code actually represents. But the concept should be enough of a start if you want to do this one yourself. Watch it go blink-ity-blink in the clip after the break.

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Cheap robotic hand

[Mazvydas] shares with us, his cheap robot hand. He was inspired by this project, where someone used an Arduino and a glove with some flex sensors to control a pre-made hand. He wanted to go a little more DIY though. He chose a picaxe microcontroller and constructed the hand himself out of twine, some plexi-glass, and some rubber hose. He does ultimately plan on adding glove control as well.

Unfortunately there’s no schematic or source code. Maybe if we ask really nicely he’ll share.

 

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Keyboard input for PlayStation

Anyone who has tried their hand at RPG Maker 1 (or any text input with a controller) knows how difficult it can be typing long paragraphs into the console. [Thutmose] is here to save the day with Kupid 1.0 (2.0 in production). A PICAXE takes ps/2 keyboard input and converts it to a series of d-pad button presses for PS1 and PS2 controllers, providing quick data entry compared to the previously monotonous task.

We’re happy to learn that the source code and hardware is released, meaning it has the potential to be easily adapted to any controller/console.

Force feedback for the Nintendo DS

This cool mod brings force feedback to the Nintendo DS. There’s a motor with an offset weight mounted inside the DS for vibration and some nice SMD LEDs plopped in there for good measure. The force feedback is being controlled via a picaxe mocrocontroller and triggered from the analog audio signal. While using the analog audio may not be the most precise method, he says that the results are pretty decent.

[Thanks Dan, via HacknMod]

PicAxe LEGO tank

[TomTheGeek] built a LEGO tank with a PicAxe controller. Locomotion is supplied by a Lego Power Function motor controller. He cut an LPF extension wire in half so that he could patch into the PWM signals without altering the motors themselves. You can make out the control circuitry and a small breadboard in the tank’s turret. [Tom] added a laser pointer to the tip of the barrel but we’d like to see an IR LED. The tank is controlled by a infrared remote control and adding TV-b-gone functionality to the toy would create something of a Rube Goldberg feature for turning off the tube. But alas, there’s no programming space left for that as the PicAxe 08M is limited to 256 bytes.

There’s a video after the break of this little demon tracking its way around the room. This is a nice addition to the other LEGO tank we saw a while back.

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The most complicated, and simplest binary clocks.

We were going to take a break from posting clocks. Really we were. This one came in the tip line today though, and we just couldn’t pass it up. [Alex] has built, what might be the most complicated clock we’ve seen. At least, it would appear that way initially. This Binary clock shows Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Days, and Months. He started with a picaxe, but eventually settled on an Mbed. Yes, he knows it is overkill, but it worked out pretty well.

As for the simplest, that came into our tip line as well. [Toby] sent this in, and agrees with us that it is hardly worthy of being called a hack. However, in light of the complicated one above, we didn’t see any harm in posting its opposite. Check it out after the break.

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