Hackaday Links: June 17, 2012

Portal gag-video

These guys make your own video editing chops look just plain sad. They put together a video demonstrating the portal gun in real life.

Unleashing the beast

We have this problem all the time. The noise regulations were preventing [Massimiliano Rivetti] from letting the true voice of his Ferrari be heard. He hacked into the control system and can now adjust it via iPhone to roar with power. [Thanks Claudio via openPicus]

Music so bad you want to throw something

Here’s a novel way to include the worker bees in music selection around the office. A piezo element was attached to the back of a framed poster and when you throw something at it, the next track is played. We really loved the demo video for this one. [Thanks Calum via DontBelieveTheHype]

Acrylic frame for a CNC machine

[Jake] wrote in to show off his progress on a CNC build. He’s got a frame made of acrylic and some other materials. It’s not up and running yet, but what he’s got so far looks very nice.

Helo built for one

All we can think with this one-man helicopter is failure of those propellers. At least with an ultralight plane you can glide to a gentler crash-landing. [Thanks Filespace]

19 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: June 17, 2012

  1. Uh, you do realize helicopters can auto-rotate to land, right? It can be even safer than a plane, as it doesn’t need a landing strip – it can safely land on any flat surface larger than the diameter of the blades.

    1. They can’t autorotate if the blades fail and fall off, which is what Mike implied. Helicopter blades are a very high stress component and take a lot of engineering to minimize the possibility of failure.

      Additionally, landing a helicopter with autorotation is an extremely tricky procedure best attempted with instruments, precise blade pitch control, and a skilled pilot. You need to be able to flare at the last few seconds before touchdown or you’ll crash…either you flare too soon, then drop like a rock the rest of the way, or flare too late and hit too fast.

      Also, the safest autorotation landing procedure include a decent forward airspeed, it’s more difficult to land on an area as tiny as you suggest.

      1. I think a computer could do a much better job of it using sensors, and I think auto-land features are well within the realm of UAV guys hacking this stuff out. In fact, if they can do obstacle avoidance, it’ll be better than many pilots.

        However, if it’s anything like most aviation automation projects, they’ll end up breaking quite a few prototypes before they get the hang of it.

        Autorotation landings suck, but not as bad as slowing down the blades to the point they become decorative.

    2. The gen h4 uses fixed pitch blades. As such, it cannot autorotate in event of engine failure. Their primary safety is the use of 4 engines, It is capable of continued flight and controlled descent with the loss of any 1 of the engines. They also allow the option of a ballistic parachute pod to be added above the blades.

      1. To the contrary,the higher up you are the higher the chance of surviving an auto. In fact, if your combined altitude and airspeed are high enough (you don’t want to be under 200 feet but only going 5 mph, but if you are hovering at 10,000 ft you will be fine) you very likely will not even damage the airframe.

      2. Yeah, you have it backwards…

        If you’re at 3,000 feet and the engine craps out, you can put it down well enough to walk away, or at least be carried out on a litter, from the now useless wreckage of your helicopter.

        If you’re hovering within a certain zone (usually between 15′ and 350′) and going too slowly depending on make and model of helicopter, you’re gonna get hurt bad and/or killed no matter how good you are or how fast your reflexes are.

        PS – People vastly over-rate the ability of helicopters to maneuver slowly and hover close to the ground in confined areas. The rotor systems can create moving patterns of air that interfere with lift and stability.

  2. Change the tune poster is kinda lame… I’d just connect the piezo directly to microphone input of soundcard that is playing the tune. If it’s not enough you can even take some juice that is provided by microphone input to do some kind of pre-amping using some cheap IC.

    Then it’s just about few lines in BASH or C using aplay/arecord and controlling MPD. (BTW This can be running together on old router with $2 USB soundcard and OpenWRT)

      1. mike: guess you didn’t got my point. they also used computer for playing the tracks (no. AVR is not used for playback.) and i say that you don’t need avr for knock detection when you already have computer and soundcard with microphone input (which can be also used with piezo).

  3. Proving once again iPhone people are major dweebs, the Ferrari project is the dumbest thing I’ve read this year.

    I guess a plain old toggle switch didn’t match the interior.

    1. Totally agree!
      Although I do think that it’s pretty cool to create a wifi interface to your cars’ inner workings, but this is just… a bit too much.

      Also, if I noticed it correctly, the network is not encrypted, so everyone who’s in a traffic jam with you is able to hack your ferrari ;)

    2. But aren’t most hackers dweebs in some fashion or the other? Not like we all need to go out to buy an iPhone to control the noise abatement feature of our Ferraris.

      1. I like this idea for a remote starter.

        However, auto-start and manual transmissions don’t get along very well. This is a shame, as it would be nice to shake something other than a fist at enzio’s knock-off consumer model.

        PS – neighbor has a nice ’71 stingray, completely gone through, and the paint job would put a guy through his first year of law school. It also has power windows, a very annoying alarm and a remote starter.

        I walked up to look at it this weekend, and behold – the passenger seat had two enormous bags of adult diapers in it. I thought to myself: Oh, yeah, he’ll be crawling with chicks any day now.

        Sadly, they’ll be in nurses uniforms.

  4. One of the biggest mistakes with the helicopter is that the guy wears a helmet that keeps his ears open but doesn’t exploit that feature to wear some good mufflers over his ears. Now he’ll be deaf shortly I expect.

  5. I suspect that the use of the iPhone was for two reasons.
    1. Expandability to include multiple new features.
    2. They do not want it to be easy for an observer to notice that the car has been modified.

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