During the gilded age, oil magnates, entrepreneurs, and robber barons would have a ticker tape machine in their study. This machine would print stock and commodity prices and chart these men’s assets climbing higher and higher. A lot has changed in 100 years, as now [Adam] can be kept apprised of what @KimKardashian, @BarackObama and @stephenfry ate for breakfast with his Twittertape machine.
Interestingly, [Adam]’s build didn’t start off as a tarnished lump of 100-year-old brass; he built his beautiful ticker machine out of old clock movements he picked up on eBay. Even though the shiny part of the build only holds the roll of paper, it’s still a wonderful build. Right now the machine is connected to Ethernet, but he’s planning on adding WiFi and a few batteries for a completely wireless build.
Unlike the other ticker tape machine we saw this week, [Adam] did away with the loud clashing of gears and solenoids found in 100-year-old ticker machines. This ticker machine prints on cash register receipt paper and a very small thermal printer in the base. Although [Adam]’s build doesn’t sound like two robots trading blows, there’s no ink needed and no danger of the letter wheel becoming misaligned and misspelling everything.
Check out [Adam]’s build in action after the break.
Continue reading “Twittertape machine keeps track of your social media stock.”
While [Oryx] is down with social media like Facebook and Twitter, there are times when he wants to share things with people he is hanging out with in the real world. Sure, he could always email his friends links to the latest video of a cat doing something totally hilarious, but he wanted something a bit more tangible.
He had a small thermal printer from SparkFun kicking around, and thought it would be the ideal medium for sharing things with others. He sat down and put together a bit of code that allows him to interface the printer with his computer, generating QR codes from his web browser with the simple click of a button. Now, when he wants to pass something along to a friend, he can quickly print out a label bearing both a QR code and URL for easy access later on.
All in all it’s an interesting idea, though we would be curious to see what would happen if we handed our non-techie friends a printed QR code.
What could be better than a low-res black and white photograph printed instantly on paper that will yellow and crumple over time? Wow, we really need to work on our sales pitch. But all kidding aside, we love the idea that [Niklas Roy] came up with in order to build this thermal printing camera.
His Picasa album has two snapshots of the hardware. He’s using an LM1881 for video sync separation just like he did with his PING project. From there an ATmega8 microcontroller grabs each column from the image and prints it using the thermal printer. It looks like everything runs on a 9V battery which is nice for portability (although we still never got our hands on that rechargeable 9V we’ve been meaning to pick up). Perhaps just as impressive is that [Niklas] got this up and running with about 400 lines of code. Nice!
Of course you’ll want to see this in action so we’ve placed a video clip after the break. Just like old-timey cameras it looks like you’re going to need to sit still until the image is done printing.
Continue reading “Your snapshot on a thermal printed receipt, instantly!”
[Manuel] built his own thermal printer based around an Arduino. We’re a bit confused about the parts, his webpage specifies an EFA-1019HW2 print head but the bill of materials on his github shows EPT-1019W2. We can’t find a source for either product number, but we did find similar thermal line printers for as low as $32.00. The controller boards on the other hand look to be around $150 so building your own is a definite win. [Manuel’s] version can print 96 points and has a font set that prints 32 characters per line. Check out the video after the break and let us know if the noise of the print head is a deal killer for you.
Continue reading “Arduino based thermal printer”