Prototype This Premiers Tomorrow

Discovery Channel’s new show Prototype This premiers tomorrow night at 10e/p. Every week the team will construct a new piece of unique machinery. The schedule for the first six episodes has already been published.

  • Mind Controlled Car, October 15
  • Boxing Robots, October 22
  • Traffic Busting Truck, October 29
  • Get Up and Go, November 5
  • Waterslide Simulator, November 12
  • Six-Legged All Terrain Vehicle, November 19

We initially reported on the show in August because it featured Defcon badge designer [Joe Grand].

UPDATE: [Joe] will be posting all of his schematics, source code, development notes, etc.

Microcontroller-powered Missile Launch Controller

[Josef Jahn] has posted a detailed guide on building a microcontroller-based launch box. Constructed from an Atmel ATMega168 and powered by a 12V rechargable lead gel battery, the launch box is fully portable and includes a number of safety features. Going the extra mile on what could essentially be a simple push button launcher, he added three safety switches, a sixty second after-launch timer and a beautiful (not to mention rare) PLED display complete with dramatic status messages. Check out a video of the launcher in action after the break.

Continue reading “Microcontroller-powered Missile Launch Controller”

How-to: Make An E-paper Clock From Esquire Magazine

If you’ve never heard about electronic paper, crawl out from under that rock and read up on the Sony Reader and the Amazon Kindle. E-paper is a flexible display made of color-changing beads that mimic ink-on-paper for easy daylight reading. The revolutionary thing about e-paper is that after it’s set, it stays that way without additional power.

This sounds great in theory, but Esquire’s cover is the first time everybody can afford to hack an e-paper display. We took the cover into the Hack a Day lab to document, test, and hack. In the end, we recycled it into something useful that anyone can build. We’ve got all the details on how the display works and what it takes to use it in your own projects. Read about our e-paper clock hack below. Continue reading “How-to: Make An E-paper Clock From Esquire Magazine”

Wiimote Guitar Effects Control


[Rob Morris] sent us this video of his Wiimote based guitar effects. Similar to our post yesterday about using the Wiimote to control a synth, he is using changes in orientation to effect the sound. He starts off with simple pitch modulation, but later in the video he’s doing, uh, we’re not sure but its kind of cool.

FM Stereo Transmitter

Reader [Mike Y] responded to our “What are you working on?” post  with his stereo FM transmitter project. If you’ve ever used an FM transmitter for your portable audio, you know that even the best consumer level ones can be difficult to make sound decent.

He obtained an NS73M FM Transmitter module from Niigata Seimitsu Company, but it required a controller to handle pre-emphasis, modulation level, frequency, and power level. He decided on an Arduino which would also control his LCD.

His results were quite good, with decent range and superb audio quality. His total cost thus far is $35, but he still needs to put it in an enclosure. You can find complete schematics as well as source code and helpful tips on his site.  You may also want to check out the regulations on broadcasting(pdf) as well.