The blue board seen above is the guts of a product called the eeColor Color3. It was designed to act as a pass-through between your television and HDMI source device. It boasts the ability to adjust the color saturation to suit any viewing conditions. But [Taylor Killian] could care less about what the thing was made for, he tore it open and used the FPGA inside for his own purposes.
The obvious problem with this compared to a proper dev board is that the pins are not all broken out in a user-friendly way. But he got his hands on it for free after a mail-in-rebate (you might find one online for less than $10 if you’re lucky) and it’s got an Altera Cyclone IV chip with 30k (EP4CE30F23C6N) gates in it so he’s not complaining. The first project he took on with his new toy was to load up an open source Bitcoin mining program. The image above shows it grinding away at 15 megahashes per second while consuming only 2.5 watts. Not bad. Now he just needs to make a modular rack to hold a mining farm.
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing [PlatinumFungi] about this fantastic NES mod he did. This year is the 25th anniversary of the first Mega Man video game. Unhappy with the current celebratory actions of capcom, [PlatinumFungi] set out to create something he felt was worthy. He managed to pull that off pretty well.
The NES you can see in the video is fantastic looking. It has a beautiful shiny automotive finish, supplied by [Custom NES Guy] and a pixel perfect backlit Mega Man on top. Additional enhancements are stylized decals on the front of the game bay and matching labels on the sides and back. The cartridge is even illuminated while it is in place.
[x2jiggy] was given a non-functioning LCD monitor. He made a small effort to trouble-shoot its inability to display anything on the screen but couldn’t get it working again. When that failed he decided to repurpose it as light box instead of just sending it off for recycling.
Monitor manufacturers put in a lot of effort to make sure the back lights distribute brightness as evenly as possible and that will make this a pretty good light box. [x2jiggy] starts off the conversion by removing the case. While it was off he gave it a new coat of paint. The LCD panel, the PCB that drives it, and the light diffuser sheets were all removed, leaving just the backlight and inverter PCB. A bit of probing with the multimeter and he even found a place to connect a toggle switch to actuate the inverter’s power. You can see the silver switch he added to the bezel in the image above. The full build video is embedded after the break.
The Redbull Creation contest is underway and the entries into the first stage have been submitted. As a judge, it is my duty to watch every single one of these and cast my vote on who should continue to round two. I won’t be sharing my vote with you, but I thought you might enjoy watching the entries yourself! Remember that the rules for this round were simply “build something amazing using this box full of cool stuff we sent you.”.
I have to say that the entrants really kicked things up a notch this year. These projects are so amazing that choosing 3 to be the “most awesome” is proving quite difficult. I’d also like to take yet another opportunity to mention that we think that this is such a wonderful method of promotion. RedBull could be making sappy commercials about polar bears drinking their beverage, but instead, they are encouraging people to make AWESOME things(yes, they have commercials too). Other companies should take note, like Oreodid!
He calls it he Karma Controller. In this case, ‘Karma’ refers to ability to accumulate a large number of net up-votes on a Reddit post. The device features seven buttons which are all it takes to up and down vote, navigate up and down on the Reddit listings, toggle images, as well as open and close new tabs for the comments section. We’re wondering if it allows you to follow a link to the post source too?
One of the reasons that we’re featuring this is that it’s only [Will’s] second electronics project. If you’re still reluctant to get your hands dirty we hope this acts as inspiration. He started by building the first version on a hunk of protoboard. The Digispark microcontroller seen at the top reads from his button network and communicates with the computer via USB. Once the design was proven he had some help etching this circuit board which is version 2. He shows it off in the clip after the jump.
If you just want some buttons for voting you should take a look at this project which includes a 3D printed enclosure and button covers.