Tesla coil built from trash

tesla coil

Greg Miller prides himself on his dumpster-diving ability. To encourage others to take up the terrestrial sport he developed this Tesla coil built entirely from trash (Coral cache link). The power supply is from a neon sign he found behind a frat house. The capacitor bank is constructed from high voltage caps found in televisions. The spark gap is a pair of 1/4 inch bolts. The primary coil  is formed on a lamp shade using a cord from a humidifier. The secondary coil is made from the wire of a microwave fan and a cardboard tube. The toroid, pictured above, is constructed from two stove eyes. The chokes are wire wrapped around ballpoint pens. He’s got some nice pictures of it in action plus a guide to what goodies you should salvage from consumer electronics.

[thanks Victor]

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Simon Christmas wreath

simon wreath

Alright, one last holiday hack before we finish out the year. Every Christmas Eve [ryan rose]’s family has a contest with a new theme. The challenge this year was to construct a Christmas wreath. Ryan decided to make a Simon Christmas wreath. He cut up a string of lights to produce the four separate color regions. He triggered the lights using an opti-isolator circuit and built buttons that look like presents. You can view his construction photos at Flickr and watch a video of it in action at YouTube.

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Couch bike

couch bike

Brent Curry had been planning on taking a trip and with previous adventures testing both his endurance and comfort, he decided to construct a new vehicle to for his travels. The couch bike has two independent gear trains and uses a tiller handle to control the front wheels. Brent and his Norwegian cohort Eivind used the bike to explore Maritime Canada. They only drew attention from the cops 3 times during their journey. They did have a little trouble with the couch being 7 inches wider than a Lincoln Navigator; when riding on paved bike trails they had to disassemble the bike to get around gates designed to prevent motor vehicles. The travelogue also mentions being forcibly dismounted only once, when Brent failed to grab both brakes at the same time.

[via Treehugger]

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Hack-A-Day Extra


From the photo above you can see the holidays have been treating me pretty well. [bugloaf] brought a bottle of pisco back from Peru for me. My parents mounted the laser-cut logo that [smouldering-dog] had sent me. They also gave me a copy of The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor. I should have it finished by Shmoocon, so if you see me there and ask for it, I’ll gladly give it up (since I don’t have any swag right now).

Team Hack-A-Day is still cranking away; turning in over 8 million points in 3.5 months. If you’re tired of your family you can always come idle in the #hackaday channel on Efnet.

More links after the jump.

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22C3 Day 00 and 01 Round Up

Today and yesterday’s 22C3 included tons of fun hacker stuff. Highlights from day 00 and 01 included a slew of topics from politics to hardcore geekery. We toured the CCC‘s annual hackfest to bring you the best of the new hacks.

We commence our tour with Hack-A-Day’s friend Dan “I Like Big Graphs and I Cannot Lie” Kaminsky. Dan presented yummy OpenGL graphics and DNS cache proof of the Sony Rootkit around the world. He also released Xovi, a tool which allows you to do network visualizations in realtime. Realtime: we dig it.

Next on to fun scanning of 3G wireless networks! The team of btk and ahzf presented a rather thorough intro to GPRS/UMTS packet theory (we use the term theory rather concretely here because packet loss and lag are rampant on cellphone based data networks all over the world). Slides for the talk in PDF format are here. They showed how to circumvent packet filtering / port filtering / data type filtering on data networks. This can be extremely useful when trying to run VoIP applications over a cellphone network since they are usually blocked.

Also of note was the talk on IrDA hotel system hacking presented by Major Malfunction. Which we mentioned when we were at Toorcon.

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Chaos Computer Club’s 22C3 Congress

Hack-A-Day is here at 22C3: Private Investigations, the Chaos Computer Club‘s annual hacker conference in snow covered Berlin, Germany. The CCC’s annual Congress is the European answer to Las Vegas located DEFCON. This 22nd annual conference has been lengthened from three days to four to be able to accommodate more talks.

We’ll be here all week reporting on the coolest hardware hack topics at the conference from talks to Blinkenlights. If you’re here, drop us a line in the comments!

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