POV Orb project

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a new twist on POV hardware. This time it’s ‘the Orb’ – comprised of a set of LEDs that rotate to form a sphere. Hopefully more docs are forthcoming. It looks like all the hardware except the motor is contained on the boards inside the sphere – maybe power is provided via the two ends of the spindle? The visuals are driven by a pic C18 with hall effect sensors to provide position readings.
Thanks to [phishinphree] for the tip.

Don’t forget – 6 more days to get in your Design Challenge entry. I’ve gotten some great stuff so far – it’s going to be tough to choose a winner.

Gesture laser pointer control

After I linked his basic laser pointer webcam interface the other day, [mnt] sent me this excellent demo of his gesture based laser pointer control. This one works alot like graffiti on the old palm pilots. My question? What does he make when he’s not sick?

Ben Heck’s Atari 800 Laptop

Ben’s been working on this one forever. This new version 2 Atari 800 laptop features a CF drive, a RS lcd, original Atari hardware and lots and lots of friggin soldering. That keyboard is hand wired, along with the CF adapter. Unlike the xbox 360 laptop, this one’s got Ni-MH batteries that are good for about an hour of play.

Ballast… overclocking

I started to put up this after the wash with the pentium heater. Of course, we had it already. (and it’s a fake to top it off) Sigh. There’s nothing like making yourself look like an idiot on friday night. The comments below are from my bungle, I’m not going to delete them.

Instead, I bring you an interesting thread on overclocking HID Metal Halide lamp ballasts over on the lumenlab forums. [arizonavideo] did some interesting experiments. A majority of the experiments involved changing capacitance values on transformer style ballasts. At one point he combined a 400 and 600 watt ballast in series to run a lamp at over 1000 watts. (it was rated for 400) He even smashed a bulb just so he could measure the arc tube.

pentium powered extra with friggin’ lasers

[Neil] sent along this one and I found this one highly amusing. The latest use for recycling those old cpus: overvolt them a bit with a USB cable and keep your coffee cup warm. Use them as dressing for heat generating resistors.

[nik] came up with a non-destructive way to mount an external wi-fi antenna to his thinkpad. I like it, but I think you need a double height PCMCIA slot to fit it – Maybe a slimmer version could be built for a powerbook/macbook.

[Hybrid] found some interesting diy LASER projects. Including a $10 air laser. Sweet.

[joek1010] noted some interesting webcam laser hacks. The laser tracing webcam has definite possibilities.

[dualbandit] found a similar twist, but this time a laser pointer is used to remote control a mediacenter.

In case you’ve been following it, my DIY HD projector build on Engadget is finished up with the final review. I’m pleased with the image quality, but I’ll probably be tweaking the lamp/reflector assembly a bit.

Oh, and if you were into exploiting vending machines and getting free coke, it looks like they’ve pushed out a firmware patch.

Remember, only 11 more days to get your entry in for the Design Challenge. Just check out the prizes if you need motivation.

Self parking lego mindstorms

er, [Hybrid] sent along this video of a lego mindstorm self parking car. I don’t think I’d want it parking next to my ride considering how much damage it did to the blocks. Man, I need to upgrade my legos. Sadly, this video just re-iterates one of the my problems with Youtube videos. Video posters tend to fail to provide links with more information about their projects/hacks. Via [techblog]
Update: [ralphn] found the car. It uses an ultrasonic sensor to find a space big enough to park in – when it does, it automatically parks.

Don’t forget, Prizes and glory await the winner of the Design Challenge. Just 12 days left to get em in.

Just a quick bonus hack: The giant altoids tin battery pack w/voltmeter. [Via Make]