Hackaday Links: June 20, 2010

Nixie Voltmeter Clock

[Gmglickman] built a clock out of an old digital voltmeter. The Fluke 8300A came out in 1969 and is featured in their 60 years of innovation slideshow. What makes it a cool clock? The Voltmeter’s display is made up of Nixie tubes.

Easy optical encoder wheel generator

If you need to print out encoder wheels for your project there is an online tool you can use. It has almost any setting you would want to make a rotary encoder wheel.The black wheel can be used with old mouse parts and the checkered wheel with an optical sensor. [Thanks Bluewraith]

New CD without the CD

1-bit Symphony is a newly released album. It come in a CD jewel case but there’s no CD included. That’s because they’ve built a circuit to playback their music via a headphone jack. We didn’t see any info on what microcontroller was used, but we love the cleanliness of the design. This apparently isn’t the first time the artist has released an album like this either.[Thanks Juan]

Making a standard SIM work with the iPad

[Tony Million] used a standard SIM to reduce the monthly cost of using broadband on the iPad. This is the exact opposite of using the iPad SIM in an iPhone and requires that you cut down your standard SIM quite a lot. [Tony] did this because he imported his iPad to the UK from the United States and using AT&T wasn’t an option for him. [Thanks David]

16TB NAS is a thing of beauty

The Black Dwarf is a sixteen terabyte network attached storage device that looks more like a display counter for high-end hard drives. We’d usually think of this as a closet or basement dweller, but an item this gorgeously crafted deserves a place of honor in your home or office. Documenting the entire process was as complex as the build itself. We like seeing the time-lapse version. [Thanks Howard via Engadget]

31 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: June 20, 2010

  1. I’m trying to figure out the fifth component in that CD case. They appear to be a battery, on/off switch, microcontroller, button, mystery object, headphone jack. Is it a piezo-electric speaker?

    And if I wanted to create an encoder wheel, I’d probably write a Perl script to generate Postscript. Or just write it in PS directly.

  2. @Ian Tester
    I’m with kernelcode on this one. Not only does it look like a stereo pot, it corresponds pretty directly with the placement of the two pots (which are labeled as left and right volume) in the earlier design.

  3. @ Nomad

    I think its a skip button. There’s a diagram on the page for the previous release which labels the parts, and in that the only button is labelled as a skip button so I assume its the same

  4. @Nomad: Skip track was my guess. I think it is a 2 position switch (NO/NC) and when pressed loops back to the chip and goes to the next “track” in the program. Looks like one of the channels runs through the NC side.

  5. @Jeff

    Reminds me of a signature I saw in some forum:
    “The failure rate for hard drives is 100%. It’s not a matter of if, but when”

    I would almost rather order each hard drive from a different source (even if they are the exact same type/brand, different sources will have different mfg dates) so that if there is a bad batch, I don’t end up losing data due to multiple failures.

  6. On the NAS guys site, he says:

    “Of course a lot of these things I’m doing are quite expensive, so every little bit would help, and hopefully I’ll be able to keep getting things out to you guys. ” prefacing his “Make a Donation” button.

    He says this after describing a few of his projects about 24/7 P2P boxes.

    So apparently it’s ok for him to steal stuff left and right – but he doesn’t want you to steal HIS stuff.


  7. For the NSA guy site – I don’t see why we would mention that he is using the drive to file share with Bit Torrent. That would be a great way to loose a couple good sponsers. I think poly-carb bends a little easier with some heat as well. Just my 2 cents.

  8. The number of people who make the mistaken assumption that all torrents are riddled with illegal material is astounding (here and elsewhere). This is, quite simply, ignorance at its finest.

    Many fully-legitimate torrents exist and is one of the better ways for large file distribution. It wouldn’t have caught on with the warez crowd if that weren’t the case.

    Do you think its possible his sponsors (who at the very least are likely tech savvy) thought of this, and the fact that its highly likely the case?

    Do your homework before you call others out, people.

  9. For the NAS guy.

    1. LEARN TO WELD! So many boogers. Go get a MIG w/gas instead of using flux core. It will make your life a lot easier.

    2. I would have designed hot swap slots for the hdd’s. Now, if you have a failure, you have to take it offline to pull an hdd out.

    3. The pics and videos are great. Very fresh ideas to documenting tech.

    Other than that, I like the concept.

  10. @Prodigy

    Yeah, yeah, all Torrent users are saints – NOT.

    Want to know the difference? For LEGIT traffic, there are ALWAYS other ways to get that content. For ILLEGAL content – it’s the ONLY way to get it.

    So blather on about how Torrent abusers are all just misunderstood tech leaders.

    Every Network I control, Torrent traffic is blocked by a L7 filter – and you know what – not one user (not a single one) has complained that they can’t do their job with that filter in place.

    The sneaky ass bastard thieves on the other hand, wellllllll, they’re not so happy.

  11. @Vonskippy:

    There are plenty of legitimate uses of bittorrent that aren’t illegal, and aren’t replaceable with other protocols… Mind you, most of them aren’t things you’d do at work, so yeah, filtering it for a business environment sorta makes sense.

    The electricsheep screensaver gathers all its data over bittorrent.
    World of Warcraft, and other blizzard games download their updates over bittorrent… Not just blizzard, this is becoming more and more popular for game updates.
    Many paid-for movies and songs are available from bittorrent incorporated.
    Podcasts are frequently only available through bittorrent.
    Many musicians release their songs for sale via bittorrent, such as Nine Inch Nails.

    I for one, use torrents to download linux distributions whenever possible. I get 100kb/s downloading over http or ftp, whereas I get upwards of 2mb/s from a torrent.
    I recently downloaded some free high resolution satelite images of the earth (truemarble), and the only option was torrents.

    There are hundreds, if not thousands of legitimate uses for the protocol… Throttling or blocking it is like closing off an alley in a city because of junkies. Sure, you look at it and say it’s full of nothing but criminals, but if you look closely you’ll see that legitimate businesses use it to recieve packages. Don’t blame the alley, don’t blame the protocol, it’s merely a conduit.

    PS: No, bittorrent is NOT the *only* method to get pirated stuff, you can get it through usenet, ftp, irc dcc, gnutella/morpheus/limewire, kazaa/fasttrack, directconnect, imesh, ares, emule, etc, etc, etc, etc… There are *countless* protocols you can use for piracy.

  12. @Chris Muncy:

    I agree with you on the docking feature. I think that would just about make it ideal as a giant NAS. Still though, it has an undeniable industrial-esque beauty to it.


    You’re an idiot. I never said all torrent users are saints. In fact, I specifically mentioned that the warez crowd uses it because of its effectiveness.

    That said, a person with your apparent almighty understanding of computer networking should undoubtedly understand its implicit usefulness as a distribution medium.


    Well said, mate. Incidentally, I was directly referring to Linux distributions, in addition to acknowledging other distribution services using the protocol. I didn’t realize games were using it more often now, but I guess it makes sense. I’m sure it saves in bandwidth costs at the very least. Guess you learn something new every day.

  13. I reckon this idea could be used to build a real phyisical console for the Minimogue VA Moog-style synthesiser so it works just like the vintage instrument. I believe the sound generation component can be controlled via a DLL, so this arduino unit could drive that, and add a MIDI keyboard. Well that’s been a dream of mine, anyway :)

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