Pong LED hat

pong led hat

[lain]’s newest wearable project features two 21×10 dot displays (front and back). The panels are constructed from 5×7 LED modules from HP. The display is driven by an AVR ATMEGA32L. The 21×10 matrix would require 31 wires, but lain implemented a shift register so only 4 wires are needed. The hat has a microphone so it can do beat detection and VU display. It can also scroll space invaders, play pong and show text. The batteries and control board are in the ear flaps. Lain keeps referring to this as the perfect summer season hat which I can’t understand since today it’s going to hit 101degF at my house.

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USB WiFi external antenna

usb wifi antenna

[ronobvious] purchased a Ralink based USB WiFi adapter for use with Aircrack-ng. It worked well so he decided to add an external antenna connector. The connector from Linx Technologies that he chose is really what makes this installation clean. It’s a card-edge design so you just slip it over the end and solder the pin and ground leg. He’s got a link to Tobias Hain’s similar mod and Tobias has a link to a another antenna project as well.

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Screwdriver RC car

screwdriver RC car

[don] built this RC car using two $10 cordless screwdrivers and a few parts from his bin. He cracked open the screwdrivers and relocated the switches to the outside. These micro-switches are activated using some servos and radio gear he had laying around. For as little time as it took to build, the car seems pretty serviceable. He mounted a camera to a turning servo so he could see the car’s perspective. The camera looks into the turn so it’s easier to drive the car than if it was in a fixed position.

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Automated Master Lock crackers

master lock cracker

[xander] sent in links to two machines designed to solve padlocks automatically. The first one just modified an old robot project since it already had the necessary stepper motor. The second one was built from scratch and includes a solenoid to test the lock. Both systems are just brute forcing the combination, but they do use some shortcuts. Even though locks have 60 numbers there is less than 20 actual divisions. Also, multiple final numbers can be tested without putting in the first two. With these two shortcuts there are approx. 400 passes. These machines can solve a lock in about 30 minutes. Of course we’ve shown before that any human can solve one in about 10 minutes.

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Team Hack-A-Day completes 25,000,000 points

25million points

It has been a while since I’ve mentioned our unofficial Folding@home team; that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped crushing the competition. We recently completed 25 million points and are ranked 32nd in the world. Pretty good for a team that only really got rolling last October. That much processing power would rank us as #91 in the Top 500 Supercomputers list. To join the team or just to celebrate, head over to the unofficial forums or stop by #hackaday on EFnet.

[thanks Tired2]

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How-to build your own CNC mill

cnc mill

Yes folks it’s true: You can build a computer controlled 3-axis circuit board mill from cutting boards, a pile of printer parts and a Dremel. My coworker [Will] has posted the third and final installment of his CNC machine build on Engadget. This project was launched when Will stumbled across plans for an incredibly elegant and cheap ($22~$30) 3-axis stepper motor controller that originally appeared in Nuts&Volts in 1994. It uses a discontinued UCN5804B chip, but he lists a source for them. Building the controller and scavenging stepper motors from old dot-matrix printers is covered in part 1. For the body of the machine Will chopped up a couple cheap 1/2″ thick cutting boards from Sam’s Club. The polyethlene probably isn’t as good as say Delrin but it wins out for availability. Steel rod from the hardware store is used for the linear slides. Part 2 covers the constructions of the first axis (the table) which rides on inch long nuts on threaded rod. Part 3 covers assembling the final two axes in the head and installing the Dremel’s flex head. Amazingly he nearly got the entire thing built in the span of two evenings.

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