Wave Bubble portable RF Jammer

Hack-A-Day friend [Limor] AKA [ladyada] has been promising a portable RF jammer for a while. guess what she sent me for Christmas? The Wave-bubble is a self tuning RF jammer – good for around 20 feet of RF enforced peace. (It outputs .1-.3 watts) With a pair of less efficient antennas, it even fits inside a pack of cigarettes. She’ll never sell these because the FCC would come-a-knockin, but if you’ve got some major skills, you might be able to build one. (I’m going to believe her take on this, I’ve seen her work in person and it’s some damn fine stuff)

Merry Christmas! Get your Design Challenge entries in today!

Make your own CO2 laser

We all remember the diy cnc laser. In my quest to bring you guys fresh stuff, I found an interesting design [archived page](the author says he built his in the 80s) for a home-built CO2 laser. The dimensions are missing, but the design is pretty simple. If you like some textbook style reading, the hyperphysics server is your friend. I finally bought a mini mill to go with my lathe – this could make an interesting machining project. Get a mini-fridge compressor to for the vacuum source, and the gas is easily acquired from the local welding shop. I’d bet Surplus shed probably has some workable optics.

The 25th is the deadline for the Design Challenge. Don’t freak out, just get it submitted before I get up on the 26th, and I’ll call it good.

Gauss Pistol Redeux

Remember this? We hit it last year. [William] has been working hard, and made plenty of improvements. Aside from building it in black, he’s built a new model. He’s even hoping to release it as a kit in 2007. The latest version uses a PIC to fire the coils and manages the batteries, uses a pair of IR sensors to time the projectile, laser sighting and improved charging. It’s still only slightly more powerful than a CO2 BB gun, but one hell of an engineering challenge. Theoretically, these could be more powerful than traditional firearms, but power limitations keep them repressed like mid-evil peasants.

DIY ‘PS3 Sixaxis’ controller

[max] lets us know about this DIY ‘PS3 SIXAXIS’ style programmable controller. It’s a USB device that uses an accelerometer to provide an interactive human interface. They put one inside a model airplane and use it with a flight-sim. (I’d like to see them add some gyros to add some realistic resistance to the plane interface.)

Laser 3d scanning with a webcam

[Jan] noted that they’ve come up with an interesting, low cost method of 3d scanning over (Update: http://www.david-laserscanner.com/wiki) at the Institute for Robotics and Process Control. Once the software is calibrated with the preset background image, a laser line is run over the object (Just think about every sci-fi laser scanner you’ve ever seen) The software appears to measure the contour of the object by the breaks in the line as it’s passed over the object. Once a mesh of measurements is taken, the object can be reconstructed in the software. According to [Jan] “With Their technique they won the Main Prize of the “work group for Pattern recognition” this Year in Berlin.” Now, make it work under something besides windows and .NET.

Get your Design Challenge entries in! The 25th is rolling up on us quick!

Digital Camera IR Filter removal

We’ve run across the idea of IR filter removal in the past. [Tony Z] pointed out this nice little how-to on removing the IR filter from a Canon a540 or a530 digital camera. I’m pretty blase about gutting electronics, but even I get a bit nervous about opening up recent model digi-cams. It’s so easy easy to jam sensitive gears… (don’t ask) Aside from my bad mini-dv experiences, the sub-200 6 megapixel platforms could make some interesting projects.

You guys are rocking at the Design Challenge! Keep those entries coming.

DIY MP3 How-to

Just a quick note – my How-To on building your own MP3 player is up. It’s more of a build walk-through and a review of MAKE’s Daisy MP3 player kit.

In case you missed it, Ben Heck put up a How-to on making your own robotic hand. It’s more of an exercise in CAD design with the intent to cut the parts on a CNC machine. It’s a great view into Ben’s workflow. He used to torture er train graphic artists at some point, and he puts that experience to work in his designs. Speaking of which, you might dig his SCART video switcher.

I’ve got to say that I’m impressed with the effort I’ve seen so far on the Design Challenge. You’ve got five more days to get em in.

Before I forget, I need a good supplier of teflon/ptfe insulated wire (at a decent price). Suggestions?