A Bridge Made Of Aircraft Carriers Will Make [William Gibson] Proud

If you’ve ever visited the Puget Sound (the area in and around Seattle, Washington) one thing becomes clear very quickly; It’s not easy to get around when there’s water everywhere. Perhaps that’s why Washington State operates the largest ferry system in all of the U.S., carrying about 23 million passengers each year. It’s not uncommon here to drive (or walk) onto a ferry for a nice boat ride before getting to wherever you need to be.

Another thing the Puget Sound has is naval ship yards. The U.S. Navy has a strong presence here. It’s where many submarines and aircraft carriers come for regular maintenance, as well as decommissioned ships that are stripped of their top secrets parts and nuclear bits. At any given time there can be four or five “slightly used, previously owned” massive aircraft carriers that are that are considered to be in the “reserve fleet” (that is, they can be brought back into service in the case of war.) But usually after a few years pass, and a new carriers are built, the Pentagon will send the floating air field to be dismantled.

Well, someone put two and two together and came up with the idea to use them as a floating bridge – and it’s an interesting hack indeed. Currently the State of Washington is studying the idea, but hasn’t made any firm plans just yet. They have their eye set on a span of water that would need 2-3 aircraft carriers to cover, and that is near the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The massive size and over hangs of the ships will still allow for tidal moment, and for local sail boats and pleasure craft to pass between. The hope is that it will be both a traffic solution, and a tourist attraction; not to mention preserving 50 year old ships, that are in many cases, are part of naval history.

We’re not sure if such an idea is practical or not, but our inner Top Gun “Maverick” would love to see such a hack pulled off. And it’s really hard not to make the association with some of the locales imagined in [William Gibson’s] epic work. Will we see the should-be-science-fiction bridge become real? Ooooh how we hope so!

[via dailymail.co.uk]

Arduino And IR Remote Turn Off Raspberry Pi

With all of the cool features on the Raspberry Pi, it is somewhat notable that it lacks a power button. In a simple setup, the only way to cut power to the tiny computer is to physically remove the power cord. [Dalton63841] found that this was below his wife’s tolerance level for electronics, and built a simple remote control for his Raspberry Pi.

[Dalton63841] started this project by trying to use the UART TX pin, but this turned out to be a dead-end. He decided instead to use an Arduino to monitor the 3.3V power rail on the Pi. When the Pi is shut down in software, the Arduino can sense that the Pi isn’t on any more and disconnect the power. The remote control is used to turn the Pi on. The Arduino reads the IR code from a remote and simply powers up the Pi. This is a very simple and elegant solution that requires absolutely no software to be installed on the Raspberry Pi.

We know that this isn’t the most technically complex project we’ve ever featured, but it is a good beginner project for anyone just getting started with a Pi, Arduino, or using IR. Plus, this could be the perfect thing to pair up with a battery-backup Raspberry Pi shutdown device that allows it to power itself down in a controlled way when a power outage is sensed.