Hackaday Links: January 17th, 2013

Free-formed VFD clock

links-free-formed-vfd-clock [James] doesn’t need a circuit board or even some protoboard to get the job done. He free-formed all the circuits for his VFD clock. Right now this is the only project hosted on his blog so click around to see how he got to this point.

DIY LED traffic light


Here’s a scratch-build traffic light which [Jarle] uses to display information about his server. If you’re unable to find your own storm damaged original this is a pretty easy way to build one.

FPGA space attack game


This game is running on an FPGA, but it’s not written in HDL. Instead, [Johan] wrote the game in C to run on a soft processor loaded on the gate array.

Hourglass entropy


This is a fascinating idea for generating random numbers. [Gijs] is shining a laser onto a light dependent transistor. The beam of the laser is broken by the falling sand of an hourglass. This technique could be use as an entropy source for random number generation.

GPS clock source for a digital timepiece


It seems like massive overkill, but you can’t beat the time accuracy of using a GPS module as a clock source. We don’t expect that [Jay] kept the clock in one piece after finishing the project. It’s just a good way to practice decoding the GPS data.

17 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: January 17th, 2013

  1. It looks like the laser ‘entropy’ device isn’t. Some of the light is not reflecting from the sand, but from the walls of the timer. Without some compensation, it doesn’t look to be be securely random.

    1. Hi, I’m the james with the clock. Sorry about the broken link, I’m running this on amazon web services, and the instance was in a weird state of not really working, so I rebooted it and now it works. A bit worrying how easily it broke though :(

    1. Seriously don’t understand why everyone thinks that just because you have a traffic light it must be stolen. You can buy them online from several sources or locally from your highway department.

      This isn’t the first comment I’ve posted on the subject. Sometimes I think the editors don’t ever read any of the comments, so they propagate the same misinformation from one post to the next. I truly hope that isn’t the case, though.

  2. there should be a cheaper version of GPS time, some sort of module that only gets time from satellites and not position. It would be awesome if most alarm clocks could have that built-in!

  3. Hmmm, lets see, would I like a huge clunky (and in my opinion, not living in a undergrad uni dorm, fugly) “traffic light” that shows three overly generic states of a complex device, or would I like a mobile web page and an android app that tells me IN DETAIL exactly what’s going on – and could include a simple go/no go status graphic at the top of the page for the mentally challenged moments?

    Tough choice – NOT.

    1. Personal choice? You said it yourself, what would “you” prefer? I’d rather be prompted to check my mobile web page app, rather than have to continually check it for problems.

      My personal one would be to have some sort of e-mail / text notification system, with a much more subtle form of a R/A/G indicator to show load, but again, that’s a personal thing. I can appreciate the novelty of using a real traffic light though ; o)

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