Hackaday Links: August 3, 2012

Oh cool we’re famous

Last weekend, the Tech Team Radio Show over in Stoke-on-Trent interviewed our boss man [Caleb]. It’s a really wonderful interview, and I’m not saying that because [Caleb] signs my check. The entire show is up on Mixcloud and you can listen to the interview beginning at about 20 minutes. By the way, the guy who interviewed [Caleb] is now writing for us. Please welcome [Richard] to our motley crew.

Group buys are an awesome idea

We’ve seen Tindie, an Etsy for your electronics projects, a few times before. [emile] put up a blog post showing the impressive stats for the first month: $646 went to makers and nearly 29,000 unique pageviews. [emile] is working on a new project called Starter. This feature allows makers to gauge interest in their project and organize group buys for rare and esoteric components. We can’t wait to see this feature go live, and of course we’ll plug it when it does.

First Tindie, now fixie

[Adam] needed a way to store his bike, so he made a swinging wall mount for his fixie. The mount is bolted to a door frame and since it swings it’s never in the way.

The latest advances in blanket technology

During the opening ceremony for the Olympics, [schobi] saw some really cool light-up blankets. From this picture it really looks like these blankets are emitting light, but we have no idea how this was done. Does anyone have an idea on how this effect was produced?


[Craig] needed a way to mount PCBs that didn’t have any mounting holes. He came up with a laser cut Delrin clip and put the file up on Thingiverse.

24 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: August 3, 2012

  1. The blanket effect could be accomplished by taking huge EL panels and attach them to the blankets. Another approach is to create chemolumiescent gel and rub it into the blankets (there are actually some non toxic chemoluminescent substances on the market) or simply use photoshop!

    1. I thought of this as well, but after taking a close look at the picture it seems light is being emitted from the blanket and not the lamp post. The children on top of their blanket aren’t receiving light from the top, and there are some strange bright stripes on at least one blanket. Even if it was UV, you’d expect there to be *some* evidence of fluorescence not on the blanket.

      I’d put money on LED strips sewn into the blanket. That’s the easiest way to produce this effect, but I was hoping the real answer would be cooler.

    2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jul/29/olympic-hospital-beds-opening-ceremony-tunisia

      “The luminous beds made a special appearance during Danny Boyle’s tribute to the health service, spelling out the words “NHS” and “GOSH” – Great Ormond Street Hospital – in LED lights.

      A team of 15 volunteers will now spend three days removing LED bedding, batteries and wiring from all 320 showpieces – turning them into functioning hospital beds.”

      LED lighting, but now I want the specifics.

  2. I saw/paid close attention to the beds during the performance. At times, the light coming from the covers looked banded. It looked like LED light strips sewn in to the cover with a diffusing layer over top.

    1. My bet is white LED tape in the blanket and some layers to diffuse it.
      There were some big boxes on the underside of the beds, so plenty of room for lots of battery power

  3. I’ve seen flexible, light-emitting plastic sheets before, though I can’t seem to find the source online at the moment.

    It’s basically thin plastic fiber optic strands bonded together into a sheet and coupled to a light source at one end. The fibers are of varying lengths or notched on the side at random points to allow light to leak out. Very close up, you can see the individual point emitters, but further away it looks like a continuous light-emitting sheet.

  4. The internal of the blanket was visible on certain close-ups.
    The blankets were filled with an array of LED filled PCB squares. (3X3 LED on a square, on both sides)

    This is the blanket.
    Each O is a pcb.
    The column of I is a white power cord.

    |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
    |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
    |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
    |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
    |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
    |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
    |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |

    Mod edit: dude... <pre>.

  5. I can safely assure you that they used white LEDs in the blankets. Either as LED strips or individual modules. In closeup shots you could see some faint lines within the blankets, similar to how floor heating or solar heat panels are laid out: meaning that they either used a ton of individual modules connected with flat ribbon cables, or some 60-or-even-less-LEDs-per-meter, high brightness LED Strips. Seeing as they were taped right under the blankets, the actual blanket acted as a diffuser. Very smart idea. Haven’t seen it used before.

    Another thing I noticed at the olympics, which was very smart, was the LED ‘headrests’ on top of every single seat: this provided a stadium-wide low-res display. Fucking smart and awesome. I really have no clue how they could have controlled everything: it must have been some sort of crazy complex DMX system with 1000’s if not more, universes; or an entirely custom solution. Being a self proclaimed ‘LED expert’, whenever I saw something LED-related during the opening ceremony, my jaw dropped due to the unprecedented scale – it almost seemed like magic.

  6. Hmm… in the picture anyway there is no effect there that could not be done by just using a negative image. Everything black is white. The darker black, the brighter the white. The kids clothing, etc… would look just like that, too.

    Are you sure this wasn’t a negative image?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s