Hackaday Links: December 7 2009


Ah the beauty of watching molten solder pull SMD components into place. Yeah, we’ve seen it before, but for some reason it never gets old.

The glory days of wardriving are certainly behind us but if you’re still hunting in certain areas for access points you can leave the laptop at home. A homebrew program called Road Dog can turn your PSP into a WiFi search device. You must be able to run custom code to use this app.


Ferrofluid is our friend. But having grown up watching the Terminator and Hellraiser movies we can’t help being a little creeped out by the effects seen in this movie.


Follow along with the NASA astronauts in this 20 minute HD tour of the international space station. It’s a cramped place to live but we can’t help thinking that it looks incredibly clean. After all, where would the dirt come from?

How are your woodworking skills?  Can you take a wooden block and turn it on a lathe until you have a lampshade 1/32″ thick? We’d love to see how these are made, but imagine the artist’s reaction when hours of labor are ruined by a minuscule amount of misplaced pressure on a carving tool. Patience, we’ll learn it some day!


This video from the past that is about the future of  travel does leave us wondering why our cars don’t have built-in radar for poor visibility? We’ve already realized the rear-view-mirror-tv-picture, but we’re going to need your help before the flying police/fire/ambulance-mobile is a common sight. Oh, the fun of seeing a high-tech push-button selector 3:30 into the video. Perhaps the touch-screen was a bit beyond the vision of the time.


Sometimes you have so many servants you need to find creative things for them to do. Only the most discriminating of the super-rich employ a person whose sole responsibility is to erase and redraw the hands of a clock each minute. This video is obviously a result of the global recession as the live time-keeper has been let go; a looping recording took his job!


Last time we checked in with [Marco Tempest] he was syncing video over multiple iPhones. Now he’s at it again with an augmented reality setup. A camera picks up some IR LEDs in a canvas and translates that into information for a video projector. We’d call this a trick, but it’s certainly not magic.

20 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: December 7 2009

  1. Holy crap. That NASA video has more unrecognizable acronyms and technical jargon than anything I’ve ever heard before. Those guys are surprisingly thorough in terms of recording where things are stowed. They need more space!

  2. In regards to the turned wood lampshade, from the maker’s site:

    The shades of these lamps are turned out of single pieces of varying woods from North Carolina, such as Southern Pine, Cherry and Maple. The wood of choice is the knot clusters in the Southern White Pine. The outer shape of the shade is turned first. After the outside shape is turned the wood is treated with two thick coats of epoxy. After this dries the inner side of the shade is turned. The thickness of the shades varies from 1/32 to 3/32 of an inch, depending upon the translucent properties of the particular wood and the final desired color of the glowing wood. The final thickness of the shade is achieved by turning the inside of the shade in the dark with the workpiece backlit. The glow of the wood thus provides a visual guide to attain this final thinness. The completed shade is then completely sealed in a shell of epoxy to give it stability and durability.

    Very clever!

  3. My god. good set of videos there, aside from the old hat ferro.

    I REEEEALLLY need that clock video. I used to run simple vids and animations i made for my desktop background using flash. Dunno if vista can do it, but imma gonna try.

  4. @DanielG

    Was the chip still alive after 2 hours of roasting it?

    Anyhow, you don’t need an oven to solder SMD parts, nor do you need expensive solder paste/other tools.
    A large tip, good solder and lots of flux is all you need to solder SSOPs, TQFP etc. There are even vids on youtube showing you how to do it.

  5. @DanielG

    If you put a small amount of solder on the tip properly flux up the pad and legs.. lots and lots of flux, you should have it all over the place,.. you should be able to just drag the iron on the legs and get almost zero bridges, which you can just wick up later. :)

  6. bah, and here I was thinking that the still shot for the ferrofluid vid was showing the fluid becoming that spiral shape. *That* would have been creepy. Once I saw that it was a spiral piece of metal, I thought, “what’s so spooky about that?”

  7. All that trouble to solder SMTs with solder paste and a toaster oven and you still have bridges on the IC.

    liquid flux, a good iron and a steady hand. That’s all you need. I removed and replaced an IC about 2 days ago with the same amount of pins, which took me about 2 mins. As already said, gently run the iron with solder on it across the pins and as long as you have everything clean and fluxed, it’ll do the job nicely.

    Show me a BGA reflow in a toaster oven and I’ll be impressed!

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