Nintendo never made a GameCube Mini, with the console’s form factor remaining the same until the eventual launch of the Wii in 2006. [Bringus Studios] decided to build one of his own instead.
The build began with a Revision C GameCube motherboard, which comes without the digital video port and the second serial port. It also comes with an integrated power supply on the motherboard which makes it much easier to slim down into a smaller form factor. The main space saving, though, came from removing the rarely-used ports on the bottom of the console and the DVD drive. The latter was replaced with PicoBoot, which allows ISOs to be loaded from an SD card.
Once trimmed down and fitted with a replacement cooling fan, the console then got a custom half-height 3D-printed case. It’s tidy and functional, but we’d love to see a more finished resin-printed version more accurately aping the traditional GameCube aesthetic.
If you want something even more portable, consider building a pocket-sized Wii. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Building A GameCube Mini Because Nintendo Never Did”
There was an interesting tidbit buried in a Computerphile video released last week (below the break), featuring professors [David Brailsford] and [Brian Kernighan] having a chat over coffee. Among other topics, they discuss the history and current state of various text processing tools. We learn that [Kernighan] has taken on a summer project of updating the AWK text processing language to handle UTF-8 text, an omission he admits is embarrassing in this day and age. He is also working on a second edition of The AWK Programming Language book, which hasn’t been updated since being first released in 1988.
[Brian Kernighan] is a legend in the world of Unix and computing, working at Bell Labs during the 70s where Unix and C were developed. Among the many accomplishments in his career, he is well-known as the co-author with [Dennis Ritchie] of The C Programming Language, first published in 1972 and still being used decades later, AWK mentioned above, and major updates to troff. More recently, he co-authored The Go Programming Language book in 2015.
If an updated UTF-8-capable AWK interests you, keep an eye on the AWK GitHub repository where [Kernighan] anticipates an update, once he wraps his head around git a little better. We’re happy to see [Brian] so active at 80 years old. If you want to learn more about those early days at Bell Labs, we reviewed [kernighan]’s very interesting
Continue reading “Coffee With Kernighan”
The sound produced by any given electric guitar is shaped not just by the instrument itself but by the amplifiers chosen to make that sound audible. Plenty of musicians swear by the warm sound of amplifiers with vacuum tube circuits, but they do have some limitations. [Collin] wanted to build a reactive load for using tube amps without generating a huge quantity of sound, and it resulted in an interesting project that also taught him a lot about inductors.
The reactive load is essentially a dummy load for the amplifier that replaces a speaker with something that won’t produce sound. Passive loads typically use resistor banks but since this one is active, it needs a very large inductor to handle the amount of current being produced by the amplifier. [Colin] has also built a headphone output into this load which allows it to output a much smaller quantity of sound to a headset while retaining the sound and feel of the amplifier tubes, and it additionally includes a widely-used tone control circuit as well.
There’s a lot going on in the design of the circuitry for this amplifier load, including a lot of research into low-frequency inductors that can handle a significant amount of current. [Collin] eventually ended up winding his own, but the path he took to it was long and winding. There’s a lot of other circuit theory discussed as well especially with regards to the Baxandall EQ that he built into it as well. And, if you’d like to learn more about tube amplifiers in general, take a look at this piece which notes one of the best stereo amps ever produced.
Camera sliders are a great way to get smooth, continuous panning shots. You can buy off the shelf or build yourself a motorized model pretty easily these days. However, [Shivam Dehinwal] came up with a hack that’s even simpler again.
The design uses a 3D-printed base which mounts the camera on top. Four wheels are installed underneath to allow the base to roll on smooth surfaces.
Inside the base, there’s a slot to install a Komelon Touch Lock measuring tape, with the tape’s auto-retract mechanism used to create the sliding function. Pressing the center disc on the measuring tape brakes the tape retract mechanism. The harder you press, the more it slows down.
In the slider, this is achieved with a screw-in puck that contacts the tape measure’s brake. Tighten the puck down, and the tape measure retracts very slowly, moving the slider at a crawl. Leave the puck loose, and the tape measure retracts more quickly for faster panning shots.
It’s a neat way to build a camera slider, of which we’ve seen many before in the past. It never needs batteries and adjustment is as easy as turning a screw. Sometimes the simple ways have their charms. Video after the break.
Continue reading “A Hacky Automatic Camera Slider Using No Motors”
If you’re a Hackaday reader, it’s a good bet you could figure out how to convert your bike to use an electric motor. But you might have more important things to do, so a start up company, Skarper, wants to help you with a conversion kit and the folks over at [autoevolution] took a closer look at how it works. The interesting part is that it transfers power from the motor to your wheels through a disc that substitutes for the bike’s disc brake. You can see a promotional video about the product from the company below.
Unlike some conversions, it looks like with this kit you can easily snap the assembly on the bike when you want it powered and take it off when you want it to function normally or if you want to take the electronic part inside with you.
The company claims that the 250-watt motor can to propel a bike to nearly 20 miles per hour. But we’re willing to bet you can’t go that fast and get the claimed 37-mile range. On the plus side, a 30-minute charge will net you another 12 miles and a full charge only takes 2.5 hours. The battery and motor weigh a bit more than 7 pounds. Obviously, you’ll need a bike that has disc brakes.
Cost? About $1,200, so it isn’t quite an impulse buy. Especially if you have the time and wherewithal to roll your own solution. For example, try a skateboard motor. Makes it easier, too, if you have a 3D printer.
Continue reading “Skarper E-Bike Conversion Kit Simplifies Electrifying Your Bike”
The Sun always shines in space, unless a pesky planet gets in the way. That’s more or less the essential thought behind space-based solar power (SBSP) as newly pitched by ESA’s director general, Josef Aschbacher on Twitter. Rather than putting photovoltatic solar panels on the Earth’s surface which has this annoying property of constantly rotating said panels away from the Sun during what is commonly referred to as ‘night’, the panels would be put stationary in space, unaffected by the Earth’s rotation and weather.
Although a simple idea, it necessitates the solving of a number of problems. The obvious first question is how to get these panels up in space, hundreds of kilometers from the Earth’s surface, to create a structure many times larger than the International Space Station. The next question is how to get the power back to Earth, followed by questions about safety, maintenance, transfer losses and the inevitable economics.
With organizations ranging from NASA to China’s Academy for Space Technology (CAST), to US institutions and others involved in SBSP projects, it would seem that these problems are at the very least deemed to be solvable. This raises the question of how ESA’s most recent proposal fits into this picture. Will Europe soon be powered from orbital solar panel arrays?
Continue reading “Space-Based Solar Power: Folly Or Stroke Of Genius?”
If you’re in the market for a telephoto lens, the available range of optics for your camera is limited only by the size of your bank account. So when [Pixels and Prisms] promises a telephoto for $13 USD it has to be worth a second look, right? Where’s the catch.
The lens has a 3D printed shell containing the optics, with associated focusing and aperture, and has a mount designed for Canon cameras to give a result with 163 mm focal length and f/2.5 . When a Canon lens costs many times more it’s evident that there is some compromise involved, and it comes in the lens system being very simple and comprised of off-the-shelf surplus lenses without the great effort put in by the manufacturer to correct distortion. The result is nonetheless a very creditable lens even if not the first choice for a paparazzo in pursuit of an errant politician.
The real interest for us in this open source project comes in it being something of an experimenter’s test bed for lenses. There’s no need to use the combination shown and the design can be readily adapted for other lenses, so spinning one’s own lens system becomes a real possibility. Plus it’s achieved the all-too-easy task of engaging a Hackaday writer’s time browsing the stock of the Surplus Shed.
We’ve featured a lot of lens projects over the years, but they more often take an existing camera lens as a starting point.