Is It A Stupid Project If You Learn Something From The Process?

Fidget spinners — so hot right now!

[Ben Parnas], and co-conspirator in engineering inanity [Greg Daneault], brought to the recent Boston Stupid Hackathon in Cambridge, MA, their IoT-enabled Fidget Spinner…. spinner. A Spidget Finner. Yep, that’s correct: spin the smartphone, and the spinner follows suit. Stupid? Maybe, but for good reason.

Part satire on cloud tech, part learning experience, a curt eight hours of tinkering brought this grotesque, ESP32-based device to life. The ESP can the Arduino boot-loader, but you’ll want to use the ESP-IDF sdk, enabling broader use of the chip.

Creating an app that pulls data from the phone’s gyroscope, the duo set up the spinner-bot to access the WiFi and request packets of rotational data from the smartphone via a cloud-based server — the ‘spincloud.’ Both devices were enabled as clients to circumvent existing IoT services.

Continue reading “Is It A Stupid Project If You Learn Something From The Process?”

DIY Electroluminescent Wire, Russian Style

Our favorite Russian mad scientists, [Kreosan], have shocked us yet again with another terribly ill-advised, super bad idea. Home made EL wire that runs off of mains voltage.

From the picture it looks a lot like EL wire, doesn’t it? Well, it’s actually just a nickel chromium wire hooked up to the main AC supply in their…. uh, testing house? Doesn’t look like they live there, so we have to wonder why it still has power. Anyway, yeah, they made a restive load using the wire, and connected it directly to the panel. So besides the fire hazard, you could also get electrocuted!

For house decorations it’s a great way to warm the place up, and it might even help start a fire if you’re lucky!

Continue reading “DIY Electroluminescent Wire, Russian Style”

DIY SCUBA: Death on a stick

Sorry guys, I’ve got to comment on this one.

[tylin] sent in this “DIY SCUBA” youtube video. These guys used a home shop air compressor with a particle filter so they could “SCUBA dive”. This kid is lucky he didn’t die.

I guarantee there were impurities in the compressed air. A major concern here is carbon monoxide, among others. That filter they used is designed to reduce particles, not scrub out CO, CO2, etc. Hemoglobin loves CO even more than dear old O2, so he could have asphixiated or suffered from convulsions despite having an air supply.

He’s lucky he didn’t blow his lungs out. The second he took a remotely full breath off that hose, he started to float up. If he happened to hold his breath it would have ruptured his lungs and caused all sorts of nasty problems.

He wasn’t wearing a weight belt – furthering the risk of floating up when he took a breath. (in my experience about 90% of people are positively buoyant)
4)Nobody was in the water watching his back. If he’d suffered any complications, no-one was there to make sure he didn’t drown. (Think convulsions, black out, etc)

Sorry for the rant – but this is just effing stupid. Don’t try this crap, ever. I’m an advanced open water diver myself – get training and real equipment.

Update: The video was removed after reading my response to it. I went ahead and puled the youtube link since it’s useless.