Christmasqualizer Is The Next Light Switch Rave


[Kyle] was looking for a way to spice up his boring brick-wall dorm room. The Christmasqualizer he came up with brightens up his room and would make an awesome place for a rave.

The strings of lights in [Kyle]’s Christmasqualizer are off-the-shelf Christmas lights. A simple circuit for the 7-band equalizer was built following this article. The build uses an MSGEQ7 equalizer chip takes audio from any source. The volume level of the seven EQ bands are output to an Arduino over a serial connection.

After the EQ chip was connected to the Arduino, [Kyle] needed a way to switch the strings of Christmas lights on and off. A few solid state relays later, and he was in business.

All the code for the Christmasqualizer is up on github. The sketch is pretty simple – connect the EQ chip as per the article, then connect the relays to the output pins on the Arduino. It’s a fun and easy project that really livens up a dorm room.

Remote Controlled Glass Block LED Matrix


At Hive13, a Cincinnati-based hackerspace, they like to hack everything – even their bathroom. One of the bathroom’s walls faces the street, and is made up of thick glass privacy blocks. A few years ago, they thought it would be a cool idea to install an LED matrix to the back side of the glass wall to spruce things up a bit. After a couple of iterations, they finally had something they were happy to show off, but they wanted to make it even cooler.

While the the Arduino and ShiftBrite shield running the matrix could be controlled over a serial connection, they wanted to use the ProjectBlinkenlights tools to control things over the network. While that didn’t quite work out as planned, it wasn’t necessarily an exercise in futility. While Blinkenlights controls were out of the question, they were inspired to add OSC compatibility to the Processing sketch, which allows them to work the display with an app available for both Android and iOS devices.

The result is pretty slick, as you can see in the video below. Now all they need to do is get Tetris up and running!

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Halloween Hacks: A Haunted House Project For The Kids


If the kids have been bugging you to get started with your Halloween decorating, [Dale] from BasicMicro has a neat and interactive project that’s sure to satiate their thirst for ghoulish fun.

His wife was looking for some new decorations for this Halloween, so he took a quick trip to the craft store and found a DIY foam Haunted House kit. After convincing her to do the assembly, he outfitted the display with some Starlite RGB modules, which have all sorts of interesting lighting modes built in. When the lights are turned low, the house jumps to life, as you can see in the video below.

The construction and wiring are not an overly complex job, so it’s a great starting point for little minds and hands that are beginning to develop an interest in electronics. For those kids with a little bit of experience under their belts, the house could easily be modified to use servos to create swinging doors and shaking grave stones.

The limit is truly defined only by their imagination (and your electronics budget), so why not give it a try this weekend? We’d love to see what you and your budding hackers put together!

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Weekly Roundup 10/15/11

In case you missed them the first time around, here are our most popular posts from the past week.

Our most popular post of the week was one about a rocket that was built by the [Qu8k team] that was their entry for the Carmack Prize, which put up a purse of $10,000 for proof and a nice writeup about a rocket that can launch to at least 100,000 feet. The rocket that we posted about managed to launch to 121,000 feet!

Next, we had a post about another space-related project called KickSat where they are hoping to launch many single-circuit-board satellites into space.

Our third most popular post is about an octocopter built by the German effects company OMStudios to fly a RED Epic camera around and above film shoots because training large birds to do it just wasn’t working.

Next we had a post about how to build your own 23″ Android tablet. Now you can make *everyone* around you jealous of your mad Angry Birds skills.

Surprisingly, our previous hackaday-original post about how to put your logo into a QR code hit the top five list again.

Since we have previously featured the QR code post in our weekly roundup in the past, we’ll break the rules and give you another so that we are featuring five new posts for this week. At number six, we have a post about how to play dubstep live on real instruments.