[Todd] sent in his Hack-o’-lantern just a bit late for Halloween. He did a good job of working with the logo considering the difficulty it poses for pumpkin carving.  We would have been proud to have that on our porch for the kids to steal and smash in the road. Since others in the past have also done Hack a Day pumpkins, maybe this will spawn a Hack a Day pumpkin carving contest next year. If he had enough time to get the green LED working, it would have been that much sweeter; everything is better with electronics.

CNC pumpkin carving

How do hardware geeks carve pumpkins?  With giant home made CNC mills, that’s how. Using the open source CNC kit from Lumenlab.com, they converted a photograph into g-code, then fed it to the machine. After about 20 minutes of pumpkin drilling, they had this beautiful jack-o’-lantern. We are definitely jealous. Keep up the good work Lumenlab.

Flameless jack-o’-lantern with an ATtiny13

[aballen] wanted to light the jack-o’-lantern this year with something that didn’t actually require fire. After searching for a project that was cheap and yielded decent results, he ended up just making his own. This project utilizes an ATtiny13 and two LEDs, red and orange.  The overall build is quick and simple with some very basic code for the flickering. If you really want it more enclosed, there is this similar project using a cheap electric candle. Of course, not everyone has the time or desire to make one that is this realistic. You could always just go the easy way, no microcontroller required.

Why limit it to just lighting up your pumpkin though? Lets take a stroll through Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories hallways and see the Snap O Lantern or the dark detecting pumpkin and the Cyclonolantern.

Happy Halloween Extra

Happy Halloween! I’m in the mood for an extra, and I’ve got some stuff that’s been turning to zombies from the tipline.
Pictured above is a nice simple LED pumpkin sent in by [John]- perfect for the hacker with less than stellar art skills.
Let’s not forget [mastershake]s Hack-A-Day pumpkin from last year. Where’s the THAD pumpkin you promised? [Wolfgang] sent in these mini pumpkin bots – they look like toys, but they’re made from XBox parts and radio control cars.
Last year Max sent in his talking Halloween basket. (I always wanted to strap that voice module to a co-workers chair…)
[Brandon] built a budget (~$150) guitar hero controller out of a Gibson Epoch guitar from target.
This scanner cam has been around for a while, but I admire how he keeps fine tuning and tweaking the design. Thanks to [Loopymind] for passing it along.
I keep getting emails telling me that Google Earth has a flight simulator. Yes. We all know about it.