Adalight: Ladyada’s ambilight

The latest and greatest ambilight clone, the Adalight, comes from the fruitful mind and cluttered workbench of the sometimes Hack A Day contributor [Phil Burgess].

We’ve seen a few clones of the Philips ambilight tech, but [Phil] knocked this one out of the park. The hardware is a string of 12mm RGB LEDs connected to the Arduino of your choosing. After attaching the LEDs to the rear of the TV using anything from, “laser-cut acrylic to nothing more than a pizza box,” it’s on to the software.

The Processing sketch performs a series of screen captures and averages the pixels around the perimeter of the screen. Reportedly, Carl Sagan’s Cosmos looks fantastic with the Adalight but there might be a better option.

[Phil] used 25 LEDs on his Adalight, more than the usual 6-10 we see on other Ambilight clones. Check out the video after the break to see the Adalight in action.

[Read more...]

Hackaday links: October 4, 2011

Playing Snake on a MIDI controller


While you’re waiting for your bandmates to finish arguing/making out/their beer, you can play Snake on your MIDI controller. Luis wrote a Snake game for an Akai APC40 controller. Everything is built with Processing and should provide a great distraction from (for?) your 14-year-old groupies.

Cheap & simple PCB holder


[Robert] sent in a tip for a very simple PCB holder. Take a neo magnet, embed it in oven-hardening modeling clay, and use it on a steel worktop. Check out the pics he sent in (1, 2). It’s too simple not to work.

Lose weight by running people over


[binaryhead] is using a stationary bicycle to play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. (Spanish, Google translate here). A pot and magnet/reed switch is connected to an Arduino that outputs keys to San Andreas. There’s no word on an ambulance simulator yet.

Giant Android tablet


[Martin Draskov] made a 23 inch Android tablet. He used off the shelf parts (multitouch monitor and a small PC) with the x86 Android port. There’s a video that doesn’t include Angry Birds. Sad, that.

T-shirt bleaching for the modern fabricator


With t-shirt bleaching, you can put a custom design on clothes without a screen printing setup. Reddit user [Admiral_Noosenbaum] used a CNC machine to make templates. Now if only we can find an .SGV file of Che Guevara. Video here.

Bluetooth communications for Android devices via Processing

[Oscar] shows us how to use a Processing sketch for Android to communicate with Bluetooth devices (translated). It turns out this is easier than you might think. Processing and Android are both closely related to Java, and you can just import the Android libraries that deal with Bluetooth within the Processing sketch. That makes it easy to enable the Bluetooth modem when the sketch is launched, and manages connecting with devices as well as sending and receiving data.

For this example [Oscar] is using an Arduino with a Bluetooth module as a test device. His sketch first shows what devices are available, then connects to the one you select from the list. The 11 lines of Arduino code transmit a value via the serial port, and listens back for a command to toggle the LED on pin 13. [Oscar] takes time in his tutorial to show us how each step of the Processing sketch is assembled, instead of only posting the finished code.

[Thanks Sara]

Highway based soundtrack recordings

[Urpo Lankinen] has a father who is a huge movie buff, and once you care deeply about something it begins appearing everywhere you look. While driving on a back-country road one day, [Urpo]‘s dad noticed that the shadows of the trees on the road looked like an optical film soundtrack, so it was up to the son to make it happen.

Early sound-on-film technologies like the RCA Photophone, and Movietone recorded audio onto the film stock with a variable area exposure. This exposure corresponds to the waveform of the audio signal. [Urpo] figured that his small digital video camera served the same purpose as the audio sensors inside the projector, so he put a piece of tissue paper over the lens and wound up with a video that was just frames of gray.

[Urpo] built an app in Processing that averages the pixels in each frame of the video. Of course, recording at 30 frames/second won’t produce any audio this way, so he modulated a triangle wave with this data in Audacity. In the end it really doesn’t sound like much, but it’s great to see such a geeky build.

We’d love to post the video after a break but [Urpo] doesn’t believe in YouTube embeds. We’ll honor his wishes, so you can check out the video here.

Mineable Minecraft block

At Hack A Day, we’re pretty big Minecraft fans so you can imagine our interest when we saw [Ben Purdy]‘s real-life Minecraft block. The build uses a projector system to display a block onto a cardboard box and reacts to being ‘mined’ just like in the game.

Block animation is handled by a piezo sensor, an Arduino and a Processing sketch. From earlier posts on [Ben's] blog, we’re going to guess that he used the keystone video projection library his own solution to map the Minecraft block onto the cardboard box. Animation is handled just as in Minecraft – overlaying the breaking animation onto the block and adding some particle effects.

We’ve seen a few Minecraft hacks before, like using it as a 3D design tool, and connecting your redstone CPU to the outside world. [Ben]‘s build follows in the tradition of its forebears and is something we really want to try out. Check out the demos after the break.

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All your I/O pins belong to ArduinoDashboard

arduino_dashboard

So if you’re knee deep in an Arduino-based project and you want to constantly monitor all of the micro’s pins, what’s the best way to go about it? [Jonathan Clark] from LVL1 in Louisville was looking to keep a closer eye on his board and whipped up an application he calls ArduinoDashboard.

Programmed in Processing, the application gives you a look at all of your Arduino board’s analog and digital pins in a simple to use display. All that’s required to run the application is a bit of code inserted at the top of your sketch, which can be called anywhere in your program’s loop. Once the code snipped is called, all of the board’s pins are read and the data is sent to your PC.

ArduinoDashboard is still very much in beta at the moment, but it looks to be stable enough for everyday use. [Jonathan] has plenty of improvements and new features in mind, so be sure to check back often to see what’s changed.

[via Adafruit Blog]

Controlling an infuriating game with an accelerometer

[Daniel] just made a motion controlled game controller to go with his infuriating game. Thankfully, [Daniel] posted the source for this game so first time players already know the level select codes.

The controller is based on an Arduino Uno with what looks to be a Sparkfun 2-axis accelerometer providing the tilt sensing. A similarly sourced half-inch force sensitive resistor and temperature sensor control the ‘jump pads’ in the game. A small vibrating pager motor strapped onto the controller as a rumble pack.

[Read more...]

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