DIY Orb Display Puts The Earth In Your Hands


[Nirav] liked the idea of having his own personal Earth at the tip of his fingers, and since that’s not happening any time soon, he decided to build the next best thing. Sure, he could have simply gone out and purchased a globe, but there is no fun in that. Instead, he shows us how he put together an interactive spherical display that won’t break the bank.

The sphere uses a Microvision SHOWWX to drive its display, which projects an image inside of a frosted glass light fixture. The pico projector gets some help from a 180° fisheye lens along the way, enabling the picture to be stretched across the entire inner surface of the globe.

[Nirav] used his 3D extruder to build a base for the globe, which attaches to the projector via a printed mounting plate. A GorillaPod was used to keep things upright while he dusted off his trigonometry skills in order to figure out how to get the image just right.

We think that he did a great job – it definitely looks to be on par (albeit a bit smaller) than the eye of Sauron globe we saw a while back. We can’t wait to see a video of this thing in action once it’s completely finished!

Programming The Kinect To Work With Android

The Kinect has been hacked for many purposes, but this Android implementation tutorial is the first we’ve heard of it being used on a mobile phone platform. Although not a finished product at this point, [Raymond’s] tutorial is a good starting point for those wanting to experiment with fusing these two technologies.

The Kinect programming for this tutorial has been done with the Tegra Ventana development kit for Android 3.0. An Ubuntu-Linux installation is used, but this technique should be portable to any Linux system according to the author.

The procedure given is pretty straightforward, and the author even provides an example of the results in a video after the break. It’s interesting to note that, when connected, the Kinect is seen as two devices, “Xbox NUI Camera” and “Xbox NUI audio”. We look forward to new hacks to come out for this device, possibly using this set of tools. Continue reading “Programming The Kinect To Work With Android”

3D Printed Turtle Shell Racers Bring Mario Kart To Life


Every once in awhile a project comes along that makes us say, this is why we want a 3D printer!”

[Skimbal] is pretty well known in 3D printing circles for the incredibly detailed designs he has put out in the past. This time around, his focus is on motoring, Mario Kart style.

His Turtle Shell Racers are ripped right out of the Mario Kart series of games, and are built in the form of the multi-colored turtle shells with which most of us have a love/hate relationship. Constructed atop cheap RC trucks, the Shell Racers require 20-some odd printed parts apiece, but looking at the final results we think the time and money spent would be well worth it.

After watching the videos below, we think you’ll agree that these things look like a blast to play with. The Shell Racers were actually so impressive that they managed to land [Skimbal] a permanent gig with MakerBot Industries.

If you want to try making a set of your own, there are extensively detailed build instructions and all the STL files you can shake a stick at over at Thingiverse.

Continue reading “3D Printed Turtle Shell Racers Bring Mario Kart To Life”

[Scott] Made A Single-chip Hellschreiber On Earth

[Scott Harden] is drilling teeth by day and designing radios that send secret messages by night. He’s set his sights on the Hellschreiber protocol which was used by the Germans in World War II along with their Enigma encryption system. The protocol is a viable alternative for transmitting and receiving code in environments with too much background noise for other communication systems.

His goal was to develop his own transmitter using just one microcontroller. He picked an ATmega48 and coupled it with a 40 MHz crystal oscillator. [Scott] mentions that there is no other hardware necessary, but static messages stored in an array so you’d need some other hardware to push your own characters through via the chip’s UART or otherwise. The AVR sends messages by converting the data into audio using PWM. That signal is fed into the crystal oscillator, which produces an amplitude modulated signal (AM) that can then be transmitted.

Check out his video after the break for a demonstration. He’s decoding the transmitted data using a free program called Ham Radio Deluxe.

Continue reading “[Scott] Made A Single-chip Hellschreiber On Earth”

Electrographic Enlarging Sketchifier Does Your Drawing For You


Back in the 80’s, there used to be a kid’s toy that would allow you to replicate an image by tracing a pre-drawn picture in one panel, while a mechanical arm laid down ink in another. We’d be hard-pressed to remember what the thing was called, but this Electrographic Enlarging Sketchifier would be a wonderful modern day stand-in.

flickr user [Imajilon] constructed this cool motorized pantograph out of tongue depressors, rivets, foam core board, and a handful of electronic components. Despite its bargain basement bill of materials, this thing is pretty darn cool. An optical sensor “views” an image and drives a simple FET circuit, replicating the picture automatically using an electrically driven pen mechanism.

Looking through her flickr stream, we thought the results were quite impressive. She does plan on making a second version of the Sketchifier with a smaller light sensitive area, which should allow her to resolve even smaller features of the source drawing.

[via BuildLounge]

Video – Turning Good Gnomes Evil

Image of gnomes with glowing eyes

In this video [Jack] will show you how to take a garden gnome and a solar light to create a FrankenGnome that is sure to creep out your friends and neighbors. This Hackaday original video is the first in a new series of videos that we will now be posting on a weekly basis.

You’ll notice a few symbols at the beginning of these videos. These symbols are there to help you understand what the video is all about. In the upper left corner, we have the skill level. These will range from 1 for very basic projects to 4 for highly advanced projects. The upper right corner breaks the video into two categories. The first category is ‘feature adding’. In these videos we will be taking off-the-shelf items and modifying them to do something new. The other category is ‘skill building’. In these, we will be exploring different topics in depth. At first, the skill building videos will be mostly about electronics and software. In the future when we have excavated more room in Hackaday Headquarters, located deep beneath a mountain in remote [REDACTED], we will start doing videos showing you topics with a more mechanical nature. The other icons represent the major skills involved in the project.

Check out the video after the break.

Continue reading “Video – Turning Good Gnomes Evil”

Sound Activated Flash For High Speed Photography

High speed video is everywhere these days, but the cameras and necessary equipment is a bit out of reach for a hobbyist. [Bassam] found a compromise and came up with a way to shoot high-speed photographs using a sound triggered flash.

Continue reading “Sound Activated Flash For High Speed Photography”