Your smartphone might be able to tell you what the weather is like outside, but you’d have to go outside yourself to really feel it. To do this from the comfort of your own bed, [Sagarrabanana] built a clock that lets you really feel the temperature. Video below with English subtitles.
It is basically a box with a solenoid inside to knock out the time, and a Peltier plate on top. Give the box two knocks, which are detected by a piezo element, and it will tell you the current time down to 15 minute increments in “bell tower” format. Give it three knocks, and the ESP8266 will fetch the ambient outside temperature from a cloud service and cool or heat the Peltier element to that temperature, using a H-bridge motor driver module. The code and design files are available on GitHub if you want to build your own.
All the components are housed inside an attractive 3D printed box with a machined wood top. Although we think this is a very interesting idea, we can’t help but suspect that it might be counterproductive for getting you out of bed on those cold winter mornings.
While alarm clocks are falling out of favor, they are still a popular build for hackers. We’ve covered one that looks like it came from a fallout shelter, and another with a very cool looking VFD display. Continue reading “Feel What The Temperature Is Like Outside Without Leaving Your Bed”
Maybe you’re not ready to take the leap into a full-on ergonomic split keyboard. That’s okay, that’s cool, that’s understandable. They’re weird! Especially ones like my Kinesis Advantage with the key bowls and such. But maybe your poor pinkies are starting to get tired and you’re ready to start using your thumbs for more than just the space bar. Or you want to be able to type ‘c’ properly, with your middle finger.
In that case, the TypeMatrix could be the keyboard for you. Or maybe for travel you, because it’s designed as a quasi-ergonomic, orthonormal layout travel keyboard to pair with your laptop, and as such it sits directly over a laptop keyboard without blocking the track pad. (How do people use those things, anyway?)
Of course, you could use this as a desktop keyboard as well, although it’s unfortunate that Control and Shift are stuck on the pinkies. More about that later.
When I saw this keyboard on eBay, I was attracted by two things: the layout, and the dedicated Dvorak light. (And, let’s be honest — the price was right.) I’ve always found myself generally turned off by chocolate bar-style ortholinear keebs because they’re so incredibly cramped, but this one seemed a more acceptable because of the slight split.
The first thing I noticed was the fantastic number pad integration. The different colored keycaps are a nice touch, because the gray makes the number pad stand out, and the red Delete is easy to find since Num Lock is squatting in the upper right corner. Why does Delete always feel like an afterthought on compact keebs? I also like the location of the arrows, and it makes me think of the AlphaSmart NEO layout. Unfortunately, it comes at the cost of burying the right hand Enter down in no-man’s land where you can’t exactly hit it blindly with great accuracy right away. If only you could swap Shift and Enter without messing up the number pad!
Continue reading “TypeMatrix EZ-Reach 2030 Is Better Than Your Laptop Keyboard”
A few years ago [Xabier Zubizarreta] got it into his head that he wanted to put a modern digital image sensor into a classic Super 8 camera, but he didn’t want to ruin a gorgeous piece of vintage hardware in the process. After a bit of research, he discovered an export version of the Avrora camera made for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow that could be had for cheap. Figuring nobody would miss a camera built with the utilitarian aesthetics you’d expect of a Soviet-era piece of consumer tech, he set off to cram a Raspberry Pi into its film compartment.
On the Hackaday.io page for this project, [Xabier] explains a bit about the optical properties that make this project challenging. Specifically, the miniature sensor used by the official Raspberry Pi camera module is far smaller than the 8 mm film the camera was designed for. So when the sensor placed at the appropriate focal length for the original film, the image will be cropped considerably. As you can see in the video below, this gives the impression of everything being filmed with a fairly tight zoom.
To perform this modification, [Xabier] first had to liberate the sensor of the Pi Camera from the original optics, and then carefully install it in proper position on the Avrora. To make sure he had it aligned, he watched a live feed from the camera while the epoxy holding the sensor down was curing. This allowed him to make slight adjustments before everything was solidified. With the sensor in place, he only had to stuff the Pi Zero and battery pack into the film compartment, and wire the original camera trigger to the GPIO pins so he could read it in software.
Considering the incredible amount of effort some photographers have put in to adapt their vintage cameras to digital, it’s refreshing to see such a straightforward approach. The resulting video might not be up to modern standards, but with projects like this, that’s sort of the point.
Continue reading “Soviet Super 8 Camera Hides Raspberry Pi Zero”
Everyone by now has probably seen the original — and best; fight us — installment of the Star Wars franchise, and likely the ASCII-art animation version of it that improves greatly on the film by eliminating all those distracting special effects, human actors, and the soundtrack. But what we haven’t had until now is a portable player for ASCIIWars, to enjoy the film in all its character-based glory while you’re on the go.
While this tribute to [Simon Jansen]’s amazing ASCII-art achievement might seem like a simple repackaging of the original, [Frank] actually had to go to some lengths to make this work. After getting [Simon]’s blessing, the build started with a WEMOS D1 Mini, a good platform for the project less for its wireless capabilities and more for its 4 MB of flash memory. A 240×360 TFT LCD display was selected to show the film; the scale of the display made most fonts hard to read, so [Frank] used Picopixel, a font designed for legibility on small screens. The animation file is stored on the SPIFFS file system on the D1’s flash memory, and a few lines of code parse it and send it to the display. The final touch is mounting the whole thing is an old slide viewer, which magnifies the display to make it a little easier to see.
As much as we applaud [Frank]’s tribute to [Simon]’s effort, there’s no reason to confine this to the Star Wars universe. If you read up on the history of ASCII art, which goes surprisingly far back, you might be inspired to render another classic film in ASCIImation and put it on a viewer like this. ASCII-Metropolis, anyone?
Continue reading “Enjoy An ASCII Version Of Star Wars In The Palm Of Your Hand For May The 4th”