Arduino controlled Espresso Machine

The arduino is really starting to become prevalent for hardware hacking. [Nash] used one to take control of his Gaggia espresso machine. (They’re really decent little machines) He popped in a LCD display, some solid state relays to control the pump and the heating element, and an AD595 to interface a K type thermocouple. It looks like an excellent hack, but for the love of god man – get a better grinder!

He describes the original mod here, and added a small gallery of internal shots here. From the latest comments, it looks like the guys are RepRap project are even interested in the thermocouple PID control that [Nash] implemented.

Holiday Hackit: Automated hard drive destruction

One of our recent posts took an interesting tangent: physical hard drive destruction. First, [wolf] wanted to use a 20ga shotgun shell on his hard drive. [brk] suggests an electromagnet applied to the drive while it’s still spinning. Everyone thought thermite might be interesting… Finally, [wolf] noted this commercial auto destruction drive that floods itself with an acid mist. I’ll suggest a few ideas and let you guys take it from there.

I’d suggest pneumatic injection of two part epoxy into the drive mechanism. Remove the top of the casing using the diy clean room method, add a port for the epoxy and use a cheap CO2 bike injector to force the liquid into the drive on demand.

So, got a better idea? Let’s hear it.

DIY iPod DAC modding

Red Wine audio offers the iMod – a service that modifies the DAC in 4th, 5th and 5.5th generation iPods. Despite requiring some fine work, the mod isn’t that difficult. [joneeboi] sent in his DIY DAC mod how-to, and even better, it’s suitable for 3rd gen and 1st gen Nanos. The audio signal is tapped directly after the DAC, and the SMD capacitors in the iPod are replaced with high end Black Gate capacitors. This is just the mod feed the best possible signal to your headphone amp

The JediPad AKA Uber-gyro-mouse

[Samu] sent in his freaking awesome JediPad mouse creation. It’s got seven touch-point style mouse buttions, as well as a pair of gryroscope sensors. Each touch-point has it’s own micro-controller and the signals are input to the computer via USB. He’s looking for help, so shoot him an email if you’re interested.

Check out his demo video after the break.

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Virtual Raid 5 internet storage

[wonder] sent in an interesting proof of concept how-to on setting up a virtual raid 5 drive that uses free ftp servers to store data. The technique is a bit round-about, but he says it works pretty decently. The shares are mounted under windows with netdrive, then raided by FreeNAS under VMware. I haven’t tried it myself, but I’d probably try to do the same thing, but use LUFS and do everything under one operating system.

Wiimote head tracking desktop VR display

If you thought [Johnny Lee] was done making us all buy Wiimotes, you were wrong. Now he’s back showing off a simple, but incredibly effective VR head tracker. He swapped out the LED’s on a pair of LED light safety glasses with a set of IR LEDs and used his PC/Wiimote combo to do the work. The demo is just fantastic. As usual, you can download the software from his project page.

Talcum powder print bot

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new print bot idea. [Kyle] sent in his groups final project at Georgia Tech. An ever so handy iRobot chassis, a dot matrix printer carriage and motorized drill bit in a funnel strategically dispenses talcum powder to print messages or images on the floor. Just think, one robot can write all over the floor and the other one can clean up afterward. How long until some sports geeks build a bigger one to deface a football before a big game?