Pair of aquarium builds are masterpieces inside and out

two-aquarium-builds

As you start to take in all that was involved with building these two aquariums it boggles the mind. At the time of writing the forum thread is 56 pages long and it’s not just filled up with the adoration of [Big Mr Tong's] fans. He did so much work that every page is packed with progress pictures that cover the range of topics: plumbing, electrical, mechanical, artistic…. wow!

The curse project was sparked by a friend giving him a couple of huge acrylic cylinders which were a perfect size for custom aquariums. [Tong] even had a couple of ideas in mind for underwater artwork to fill them with. One is a replica of statue ruins that give you the feeling that the tank is a piece of Atlantis capture for your own entertainment. The other is a fascinating replica of a plumbing stack. You know, the large cast-iron pipes that carry away waste? But these are actually PVC parts with modeling clay accents. They were broken, cut, melted, sanded, and who knows what else, to arrive at this look. The different aquariums feature different lighting techniques. There’s custom-made filter baffles. We could go on and on but we won’t so check out the link at the top for all the details.

In the end he went beyond the original cylinders and built his own square tank for the pipe design. It’s a steam-punk piece so there’s even analog dials to display the vital signs of the habitat.

Just looking to maintain a tank you already own? How about building an automatic chemical dispenser.

Building a steam punk style time and weather display

This is [Pierre Cauchois'] digital weather display. Since weather displays are ubiquitous in this day of smart phones in every pocket he went out of his way to give it a unique look. He started with a wooden voltmeter case, swapping the ancient display for a modern LCD screen.

He used Gadgeteer components for the retrofit. The images for the LCD are stored on an SD card and displayed on demand. Since the digital bezel will be the same no matter what the time or environmental conditions [Pierre] used the power of the .NET framework that drives the system. He made up an image using magenta for all of the dial openings. This way a sprite can be used just for the changing numbers, weather icon, and graphing area.

Looking at all that went into coding the project we think the Gadgeteer components are perfect for those that are well-versed in upper-level languages and don’t really want to deal with low-level microcontroller issues.

[Thanks George]

Steam-powered Rickrolling

This is a steam-powered record player; awesome. But wait, that’s not all. Watch the video after the break for about two and a half minutes and you’ll realize that it’s also a Rickroll. No, you’re not getting baited into clicking through to Rick Astley’s music video, the LP that’s playing on the turntable is a copy of “Never Gonna Give You Up”; all kinds of awesome.

This all started with a steam engine machined from a stainless steel bolt and a brass cylinder. It was tested using compressed air before building the boiler. But what’s a steam engine without a purpose? The problem with using a steam engine as a turntable motor is speed control. This is where we move to modern technology, using an Arduino to measure the RPM and adjust the steam engine using a servo motor.

The builder makes a comment that this sounds terrible, but considering it’s steam-powered we think it sounds just fine.

[Read more...]

Mechanical mustache envy

While this mechanical mustache isn’t made for a Halloween costume, it certainly looks like part of one. Copper clad, brass, cable, and a few other bits come together in a similar style to tension based hands; the piece is then worn much like a Mardi Gras mask. To complete the rustic “old tyme” look [John] was after, the copper was tarnished using the vapor from a vinegar and salt solution. The finished assembly is steam punk delicious, but we’re saddened by the lack of steam punk eye brows to complete the look (or steam punk mutton chops, or steam punk goatee, or…)

[via Boing Boing]

Don’t point that at me

Some things are made to look steam punk but others are steam punk. This example of the later is a camera made mostly of brass. The body has been soldered together with only a shutter and lens being purchased for the project. There is a viewfinder and separate range finder to determine the proper focus for pictures as this is not a single lens reflex.

It should be obvious by now that this is a film camera. It relies on the photographer to turn the winder until an arrow on the knob lines up with a mark on the body for proper alignment. If you set out to make one of these, perhaps you should also manufacture your own film for it.

[via Dvice]

Frankenstein has a thing for coin-op

steam_punk_mame

The amount of detail [Doug] put into his Dr. Frankenstein MAME cabinet is outrageous! Usually we’re more interested in the guts, but in this case the real story is the cabinet itself. Painted to resemble weathered metal, the effect of dripping water is visible on every rivet. There are illuminated portals on either side: one shows the monster, the other shows the bride and the good doctor. Sprinkled throughout the case are analog dials, lamps, and other laboratory bits. [Doug] tops off the design by concealing the power switch inside a book of Frankenstein’s lab notes which is tucked away behind the door beneath the controls. A lovely build for a creepy house.

[via Boing Boing and Steam Punk Workshop]

Related: Cocktail Cabinet, Mini Mame

Dekatron kitchen timer

tube

[Eschlaep] put together this beautiful kitchen timer using a dekatron. We see all kinds of tube projects, but dekatron projects are fairly rare. The over all aesthetic is quite nice, though we’d be tempted to find a way to protect that high voltage circuit.

[via the Hack a Day flickr pool]

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