If you’ve been on the Internet long enough to know about Hackaday, we’ll wager you’re familiar with the concept of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) — a tingling sensation in the scalp that’s said to be triggered by certain auditory stimuli. There are countless videos on YouTube that promise to give you “the tingles” using everything from feather dusters to overly starched shirts, but for us, the tool of choice is apparently a Lincoln Electric Magnum PRO 100SG spool gun in the hands of [Bob].
Admittedly we can’t promise the latest Making Stuff video will induce a euphoric physical sensation for all viewers, but at the very least, we think you’ll agree that watching [Bob] and his brother methodically welding together the twelve foot hull of what will eventually be a custom jet boat is strangely relaxing.
While we usually associate [Bob] with scratch builds, this time he’s actually working his way through a commercial kit. Sold by Jet Stream Adventure Boats, the kit includes the pre-cut aluminum panels that make up the hull, stringers, and top deck — niceties like a windshield and seats are offered as extras. The engine and jet drive need to be salvaged from an existing personal watercraft (PWC), but that will have to wait for a future video. For now, there’s a boat-load (get it?) of tack welding to be done.
The build process looks to go pretty smoothly, except for when they attempt to put the bow of the boat together. Unable to get the two side panels to meet properly, [Bob] eventually has to contact the manufacturer. After some back and forth, it turns out that a bit must have broken on the CNC when the hull panel went through, as a key cut was made nearly 8 inches (20 cm) too short. He was able to complete the cut with a jigsaw and continue on with the build, but we’re still scratching our heads at how this wasn’t caught before it got shipped out.
It won’t be the first homemade boat we’ve covered, but given [Bob]’s attention to detail, we’re particularly excited to see how this one develops in future videos. Especially since he’s foolishly bravely asked the commenters to come up with a name for his new craft.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is arguably the best known and most successful observatory in history, delivering unprecedented images that have tantalized the public and astronomers alike for more than 30 years. But even so, there’s nothing particularly special about Hubble. Ultimately it’s just a large optical telescope which has the benefit of being in space rather than on Earth’s surface. In fact, it’s long been believed that Hubble is not dissimilar from contemporary spy satellites operated by the National Reconnaissance Office — it’s just pointed in a different direction.
There are however some truly unique instruments in NASA’s observational arsenal, and though they might not have the name recognition of the Hubble or James Webb Space Telescopes, they still represent incredible feats of engineering. This is perhaps best exemplified by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), an airborne infrared telescope built into a retired airliner that is truly one-of-a-kind.
Unfortunately this unique aerial telescope also happens to be exceptionally expensive to operate; with an annual operating cost of approximately $85 million, it’s one of the agency’s most expensive ongoing astrophysics missions. After twelve years of observations, NASA and their partners at the German Aerospace Center have decided to end the SOFIA program after its current mission concludes in September.
With the telescope so close to making its final observations, it seems a good time to look back at this incredible program and why the US and German space centers decided it was time to put SOFIA back in the hangar.
Ever been frustrated that a software package was missing a feature you want? In the best-case scenario, the software would be open source and you could just tweak the code and rebuild. But in many cases, the software is closed-source. In the case of [Faster than lime], he found a SNES emulator (Snes9X) that didn’t support controllers to showcase the technique. So with a little bit of Rust, he wrote some code that could be injected into the emulator via DLL injection.
It’s a fantastic tutorial that shows the technique. He starts by creating a Rust project that uses the DLL-Syringe crate (the rust version of dependency management). This crate does much of the heavy lifting involved with injecting a DLL into a target process. The rest of the journey is an excellent process of going through the Windows documentation and implementing the features. The DLL just reads the controller and then sends the right input to the program. In the end, [Faster than lime] has a great injected DLL and we have a wonderful time learning about Rust and debugging in an injection environment!
[shoobs] relocated from Australia to Luxembourg, and was really missing the whole outdoor cooking scene that is apparently very common in those parts. Now living in a modest apartment building in the city, he had no easy way to recreate some of his favorite cooking methods — specifically that of Wok Hei (breath of a wok) — the art of Cantonese stir-frying which uses searing heat and a lot of flinging around of the food to mix it up with the burning oil. This results in a complex set of reactions utilizing smoking, caramelization, and Maillard reactions to produce the classic Cantonese smoky flavor. Not wanting an off-the-shelf solution [shoobs] took it on himself to build a balcony cooking station capable of the temperatures needed for Wok Hei, and documented it for our viewing pleasure.
The build started with sourcing a free-standing burner unit from Alibaba, which proved to be a little less powerful (at 30 kW) than ideal, but still sufficient. After locating a matching regulator and pressure gauge capable of the needed flow rate to feed the hungry burner, the next task was to construct a sturdy enough bench to mount it all. This was constructed from Douglas fir slabs, butt-jointed using a 3D printed drilling jig for ease of construction.
Using a flatbed scanner, the existing burner base was digitized in order to make a model suitable for laser-cutting a new mounting plate from steel. [Shoobs] isn’t lucky enough to have access to a metal-capable laser cutter — he sent his cad files off to a cutting service.
A second plate was mounted below with a sufficient gap above the bench to act as a heat shield. This keeps the wooden worktop safe from the heat. Whilst he was laser cutting steel, [shoobs] took the opportunity to design a few other custom parts to mount the regulator and other bits, because, why wouldn’t you? We reckon the end result is pretty nice, in a minimalist and understated way.