Hackaday Links: January 16, 2012

Finally the 13-year-old on Battlefield 3 will get their comeuppance

[Shawn] sent in his fully adjustable auto-fire mod for an XBox360 controller. It’s pretty simple – just an ATtiny85 soldered to a button with a pot to adjust the rate and switch to turn it on and off. It could have been done with a 555, but this is good enough.

Now one for the PS3 bronies

[Capt-Nemo] loves and tolerates everyone so he modded his 60 Gig PS3 with a bunch of LEDs to display Rainbow Dash’s cutie mark. Yes, it’s from My Little Pony. Don’t judge us. Watch the demo video instead.

How do you organize resistors?

A while ago we saw a neat way to store resistors in a piece of foam with a grid according to the first and third color bands. [Greg] did it another way that just puts a label on a piece of foam. Can you think of a better way?

It’s not a synthesizer, but is it fake?

A lot of people have been sending in this video of [Stephen] turning his kitchen into a synthesizer. We’re thinking he turned a bunch of bowls and cans into an MPC / MIDI controller at best, or it was all done in post. We’ll let our readers duke it out in the comments.

Blinky things spinning very fast

A gracious Hack a Day reader sent in a mechanical television demo he found during late night intertube browsing. We know it’s from a 1992 episode of Computer Club that aired in Germany. It’s four rotating bars of 232 LEDs that will display a standard TV signal. We think it might be time for an RGB LED version of this. Any takers?

18 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: January 16, 2012

  1. as for the kitchen-synth-midi-thing,weather its a synth depends on your definition of synth. In my opinion, the whole thing could have been built fairly easily, especially if capacitive circuits were used on some of the components like the bowls.

  2. For a full color version of the TV look here:
    https://www.das-labor.org/wiki/Borg_Ventilator (german only, sorry)
    It is a fan outfitted with 244 RGB LEDs. It takes VGA input and uses an FPGA to convert the the data to the right format. I saw it live last year and talked to one of the designers, and they had some interessting aspects.
    For example they divided the LEDs up unto all 4 blades of the fan, to make sure it was balanced and then offset them very slightly to each other, to increase the resolution beyond the size of the LEDs.

  3. The PS3 mod is good but I think it belongs on a Wii. The resistor idea is simple but briliant, just don’t fall on it (OUCH!) and I love the mechanical TV and the Borg Ventilator is amazing, I have to get one for the summer! (A fan AND a “tv” what could be better?)

  4. On the resistor storage: Are there no worries about ESD?

    People tend to forget that resistors actually have maximum voltage ratings. I suspect that high-ohm resistors could potentially be damaged by static.

    I’m looking at a datasheet right now for an arbitrary brand of 1/8-watt metal film resistor. Max working voltage is 200 V. Note that static generally has to rise to the 2kV to 3kv range before you feel it in your fingers.

    In any event, a big sheet of static-inducing foam is probably not a good thing to have on the bench top when one is also working with cmos ICs.

    Just a thought…

    1. pi, those voltages are based on the breakdown voltage of the dielectric of the resistor. So no, resistors are not sensitive to ESD. Besides, how do you know that foam isn’t conductive?

    2. Working voltage isn’t the same as what they can survive as a short shock. Similarly they can be soldered at 470C for say 10 seconds, but would fail rapidly if used continuously at that temperature.

      The short answer is that static isn’t much of a worry here.

    3. As to using an AVR instead of a 555 I’m not sure it would work. The AVR probably has to tri-state it’s pin to simulate the button being released which a 555 doesn’t do. Plus the AVR needs fewer (no?) external components to work.

      For resistors I just use trays, but with colour labels showing the bands for a few different values that are mixed in to each one.

  5. Storing Parts: I started with lots of bins with dividers. Worked for years but took up a lot of space. Now, like lamer, all passive parts are stored in ‘snack’ size ziplocks with contents marked with sharpie, bags stored in shelf bins. Parts are easy to find, sort and store.

  6. With the Kitchen synth, I’m inclined to think it is real. He said that he’s using “amplified static electricity” So I’m inclined to think he’s using some sort of piezo circuit under each item.

  7. the synth doesn’t work the way it looks like it is. If it’s not all done it post, then it’s a pressure sensor under each item. The item’s he’s tapping all have very different electrical properties and tuning for capacitance to get any kind of repeatable result would be nearly impossible. My money is pressure sensor or on off switch bellow each item.

  8. The mechanical tv build is very cool, and outputs a nice, rectangular picture. However, it’s a rather involved build. As a starting point, I think the Nipkow disc method would prove a *lot* easier to work with. Middlesex University Teaching Resources evidently still sells a televisor kit for UK30 pounds. Mech tv discussion groups claim the kit usually needs some tweaking to function well:


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