Nixie tachometer

A Nixie tachometer is new to us. We’ve seen tons of various displays, but not a tachometer. After having extensive annoyances with the factory ignition timing system in his totally awesome Holden Gemini, [Brett] installed a MegaJolt electronic ignition system. To top things off and add that extra bit of flair, he built a nixie tachometer to sit on his dash. Not only does it have the numeric read out, you can see a nixie “bar graph” on top as well. Skip to about 2:30 if you want to go right to the action. You can download the Arduino code from the forum post.

(the) FIRST Robotics competition

What weighs 120 pounds, can fly at you near 20mph, score soccer balls, climb 90inch tall towers and more all while remotely controlled? If you said a robot from this years FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, competition congrats you’ve won one internet.

This past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (March 25-27 respectively) the Oklahoma FIRST regional competition took place. Once again I, HaD writer [Jakob] was lucky enough to not only attend, but compete! Check out our full breakdown after the jump. Continue reading “(the) FIRST Robotics competition”

Analog tape playing glove

The magnetic tape found in audio cassettes can be fun to play with. This installation, called Signal to Noise, relocates the heads from cassette players to the tips of your fingers in the form of a glove. An accompanying wall has vertical strips of tape which you run your fingertips along in order to play back the stored audio. Get the speed right and you can make out what’s on the tapes. Move back and forth and you’ll be scratching like the worst of DJs.

If this were teamed up with a Melloman it would make for quite a performance. See and hear this curious device after the break.

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Add USB playback to some European LG televisions

Here’s a pretty simple hack to enable playback from a USB drive on LG televisions. It only works on European hardware, the LH, LF, and some LU models. The hack consists of downgrading the firmware to version 3.15, then navigating through some service menus.

It’s not quite as hardcore as the Samsung firmware hacking, but the added functionality is really great.

[Thanks Jeton]

DTMF and SelCall signal generator

[Rogal] wrote a cell phone application called ToneTool that generates audio tone sequences. It can be used to output DTMF and SelCall sequences which are used by telephone systems and radio-telecommunication hardware. The software is written in J2ME so if you have a cell phone that can run Java apps it will probably work for you. This is like a digital-age Blue-box in everyone’s pocket. But we don’t think there’s too much opportunity for the mayhem seen with the original phone phreaking.

See him generating and sending DTMF commands over an Echolink network in the video after the break.

Continue reading “DTMF and SelCall signal generator”

Microchip’s PIC development for iPhone and iPod

It seems a bit late to the party, but Microchip has just announced a family of PIC development boards for Apple products. The three offerings include a digital audio development kit, 8-bit accessory development and charging kit, and a 16-bit accessory development and charging kit for iPhone or iPod.

We’ve seen a lot of homebrew Apple addons that use microcontrollers. This not only takes the hardware interface to the next level, it does it with Apple’s blessing. But somehow that doesn’t seem like quite as much fun.

[Thanks Juan]

Trash heap projector

Being hackers, sometimes we just want to hack something together, not engineer it. This projector is a great example. Made mostly out of cardboard and duct tape (or duck tape if you prefer). He picked up a 12v LED array, a cheap fresnel lens, an LCD from a “back up monitor” and a focusing lens taken from a magnifying glass. Sure, we’ve seen better, much better. But seeing an¬†evenings worth¬†of feverish wire twisting and taping is always pleasant. It may look pretty dim in the video, it may be as well, but keep in mind that it is common for them to appear much brighter in person or if shot with a night setting on a digital camera.