Spokes? We Don’t Need No Stinking Spokes!

The Air Kraken is a bicycle for demon spawn. Well, that’s what it reminds us of anyway. [Gabriel Cain] took his inspiration from burning man and also had several reasons for building it, but the one that we just love to hear is ‘because I can’.

The over-grown tricycle built for two is more than just some bicycle frames welded together. [Gabriel] built the wheel set himself using some very interesting methods. We believe the hubs themselves are actually automobile rims drilled to accept eye bolts. Instead of rigid spokes, a network of steel cable keeps the rims, made from plastic culvert pipe, centered. For grip, mountain bike tires were cut into pieces and screwed onto the pipe parts. The whole shebang is steered using a ship’s wheel (not pictured above) to turn the small wheel located behind the two riders.

After the break we’ve embedded a video of the vehicle in motion. It is the second of three videos that have been posted so far, with the other two walking through how [Gabriel] solved the design challenges facing him during the build.

[Gabriel] sent us a link after seeing the quadbike post on Monday. Don’t keep your projects to yourself, make sure to send us a tip and we’ll make sure to keep posting about them.

Continue reading “Spokes? We Don’t Need No Stinking Spokes!”

Photo Hardware That Automatically Produces Rotating GIFs

[Fergus Kendall’s] company is making development and breakout boards targeting electronic hobbyists. As with any endeavor that involves selling something, they need marketing. It sounds like [Fergus] was put in charge of getting some nice animated 360 degree images of each component. Instead of going through the drudgery of snapping frames by hand in a stop-motion-style, he whipped up a rotating platform that does the work for him.

The brain of the operation is a Boobie Board, a microcontroller breakout board that is one of their products. It controls a stepper motor attached to the cardboard platform via a quartet of power transistors. [Fergus] mentions in passing that their digital camera didn’t have a connection for a shutter trigger attachment. But they modded it to make things work. There’s no detail on that part of the hack but we’d wager that they soldered a transistor to the contacts for the shutter button.

The stepper motor has 48 steps, so the hardware is programmed to take 48 pictures which become the frames of an animated GIF – embedded after the break – to show off the product.

Continue reading “Photo Hardware That Automatically Produces Rotating GIFs”

Twitter Notifier Lets Us Know How Awesome We Are


Let’s admit it, you’re just a little bit vain. Heck, we’re all just a little bit vain when you really think about it. Instructables user [pdxnat] was self-absorbed enough that he constructed an LED “mood light” that alerts him each time someone mentions his user name on Twitter.

The build is pretty simple, with most of the work being done on his PC. His Arduino is wired to a simple RGB LED that calmly cycles through various colors until someone mentions his name on Twitter. At that point, the client software running on his PC passes a message to the Arduino over a serial interface, causing it to wildly pulse the LED. Once it catches his eye, he stops the alert cycle with the press of the reset button, returning the LED to its previous state. As a bonus, he decided to write the Twitter-polling application in both Processing and Python, enabling fans of either language to easily replicate his work.

It’s a pretty cool idea, and it would be great to see someone expand it to include other online services to provide a greater overall feel for how awesome they really are.

Keep reading to see a quick video of the notifier in action.

Continue reading “Twitter Notifier Lets Us Know How Awesome We Are”