Hackaday Links: December 16, 2011

Free-form Christmas ornament

Here’s [Rob]’s free form circuit that’s a Christmas ornament for geeks. It looks great, but sadly isn’t powered through a Christmas light strand. It’s just as cool as the skeletal Arduino we saw.

Prototyping with flowers

Well this is interesting: protoboard that’s specifically made to make SMD soldering easier. The guys at elecfreaks went through a lot of design iterations to make sure it works.

We’ll call it Buzz Beer

The days are getting longer and cabin fever will soon set in. Why not brew beer in your coffee maker? It’s an oldie but a goodie.

Christmas oscilloscope

With just an ATtiny and a little bit of  futzing around changing the coefficients of a partial differential equation, you too can have your very own oscilloscope Christmas tree. Don’t worry though, there are instructions on how to implement it with an Arduino as well. HaD’s own [Kevin] might be the one to beat, though.

So what exactly does a grip do?

You know what your home movies need? A camera crane, of course. You’ll be able to get some neat panning action going on, and maybe some shots you couldn’t do otherwise. Want a demo? Ok, here’s a guy on a unicycle.

Kequencer 2.0 is cheaper and easier to build — still awesome

[Rich Decibels] decibels received so much interest in his original sequencer build that he decided to make another one that was a bit easier and less expensive to replicate. The original design, called the Kequencer, featured a nicely finished look for the user interface. For the Keyquencer 2.0 he decided that adding a lid to the enclosure meant not spending quite as much for controls (nice looking knobs tend to increase the cost of potentiometers).

A rectangle of protoboard serves as the panel face for the device. It looks like he painted it black on top so that it doesn’t distract from the neatly organized parts layout. He used point-to-point wiring to make most of the hookups, but he did create a board layout which will help to guide you when the number of wires starts to get out of hand. This was made after the fact and he regrets not having it for the initial build. Check out the demonstration video embedded after the break to hear how the second iteration sounds.

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Printed circuit board minus the printed traces

Reader [Osgeld] is a board-layout ninja. He populated this 4×4 LED matrix board without having a layout plan to start with. Watch it develop in slideshow format to see the art work he performs. The display is driven by a shift-register and he’s included all the proper parts like resistors and transistors, yet he makes everything fit. Why is this amazing? He’s using uninsulated wire and not a single one of them crosses another wire. He’s physically designing a printed circuit board, routing the traces as he solders away. He’s built this to use with an Arduino shift register tutorial and our only question is where is the header to hook this board to a microcontroller?

Center speaker amp for an iPod


A few weeks ago we saw [Jaroslaw’s] universal credit card spoofer. Now he’s sent in a project that incorporates an amplifier into a center speaker for use with an iPod or any device with an audio jack.

The build has two main components; an LM4950 audio amplifier and a center channel speaker he picked up for $3 at Goodwill. The circuit used is straight from the datasheet and he’s provided the four necessary resistor values for you in his writeup. An old set of headphones was butchered for the audio connector and DC power can be provided by any 6-12V source.

The final circuit was built on some protoboard. The speaker housing has plenty of room to fit everything in for a nice finished look. Pretty simple, and except for the IC, this should be an easy salvage project for most folks.

How-To: Etch a single sided PCB

Making a PCB is very simple; it does not consume a lot of time and the results look professional. After reading this How-To and watching the step by step video, you will be able to make your own PCB in your workshop using just a few inexpensive materials.

Many people use protoboard and point-to-point wire everything, but needing multiple copies of the same circuit is the reason that forces many away from using protoboard. After making your first circuit board, you might not point-to-point wire anything again!

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