Wipe On, Wipe Off: Make Your Own Rain Repellent

Once upon a time, we drove an old six-volt VW Beetle. One sad day, the wiper motor went out, and as this happened before the Internet heyday, there were no readily-available parts around that we were aware of. After briefly considering rubbing a potato on the windshield as prescribed by the old wives’ tale, we were quite grateful for the invention of Rain-X — a water-repelling chemical treatment for car windshields.

Boy would we have loved to know how to make it ourselves from readily-available chemicals. As you’ll see in the video below, it doesn’t take much more than dimethicone, sulfuric acid, and a cocktail of alcohols. [Terry] starts with dimethicone, which he activates with a healthy dose of concentrated sulfuric acid, done under the safety of an exhaust hood. After about 20 minutes on the stir mix-a-lot plate, [Terry] added ethanol and isopropyl alcohols. Finally, it was off to the garage with the mixture in a spray bottle.

After meticulously cleaning the windshield, [Terry] applied the solution in small areas and rubbed it in with a towel to create a thin bond between it and the glass. This creates a perfectly normal haze, which can be removed after a bit with a clean towel.

If you just love listening to your windshield wipers, at least make them move to a beat.

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Gorgeous Sunflower Macropad Will Grow On You

Once [Hide-key] saw the likes of the banana and corn macro pads, they knew they had to throw their hat in this strange and wonderful ring. Some family members suggested a sunflower, and off they went looking for inspiring images, finally settling on a more iconic and less realistic design which we think is quite beautiful.

This lovely little macro pad has seven keys hiding under those petals, with the eighth major petal concealing a XIAO RP2040 microcontroller. The rest of the major petals actuate a low-profile Kailh choc in — what else? — brown. Don’t worry, the middle isn’t a wasteland — there’s a low-profile rotary encoder underneath. Part of the reason this flower looks so great is that [Hide-key] started with SLA prints, but the paint choices are aces as well. If you’d like to grow your own sunflower, everything about this garden is open-source.

Oh yes, we totally covered the banana and the banana split, though we must have missed out on the corn. We hear that when you try it with butter, everything changes.

Via KBD #109

Arduino Synthesizer Uses Modified Slide Pots

There comes a point in every Arduino’s life where, if it’s lucky, it becomes a permanent fixture in a project. We can’t think of too many better forever homes for an Arduino than inside of a 3D-printed synthesizer such as this 17-key number by [ignargomez] et al.

While there are myriad ways to synthesizer, this one uses the tried-and-true method of FM synthesis courtesy of an Arduino Nano R3. In addition to the 17 keys, there are eight potentiometers here — four are used for FM synthesis control, and the other four are dedicated to attack/delay/sustain/release (ADSR) control of the sound envelope.

One of the interesting things here is that [ignargomez] and their team were short a few regular pots and modified a couple of slide pots for circular use — we wish there was more information on that. As a result, the 3D printed enclosure underwent several iterations. Be sure to check out the brief demo after the break.

Don’t have any spare Arduinos? The BBC Micro:bit likes to make noise, too.

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Triple Zone Clock Tells Time In Style

Although the cutoff for saying ‘Happy New Year’ is somewhere around today, there’s still plenty of time to reminisce about 2022 and all that we accomplished. Hackaday alum [Jeremy Cook] spent much of last year designing and building a triple-zone PCB clock, dubbed the 742 clock. It is called so because of all the 7-segments, and then 42 from the height in millimeters of each PCB. Also because it’s 24 backwards, and if we may be so bold, because 42.

If this looks familiar, it’s because we covered the single-panel version a few months ago. Much like that one, the triple time zone clock is controlled by a single Wemos D1 mini, and the other two panels are chained to the primary board. This version has a frame made of 20/20 extrusion with nice 3D printed caps on the ends to finish off the look.

As with the single-panel clock, this one uses bared-FR4 PCBs to diffuse the LEDs, and the effect looks really nice. We particularly like the capacitive corners that control the clock and the colors, which change throughout the day when left to their own devices. Be sure to check out the build video after the break.

Are you really into LEDs? Consider building a Berlin clock.

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Test Your Capacity For Circuit Sculpture With Flashing Lights

Have you tried your hand at circuit sculpture yet? Well, if you were waiting for the ideal first project with a great build video to go along with it, keep reading. [4dcircuitry]’s 555-based flashing circuit sculpture ticks all the go-for-it boxen for us — the component list is short, the final circuit looks cool, and well, there are blinkenlights.

Of course, it’s not quite a zero-entry project. Although [4dcircuitry] makes it look oh-so easy build it in the video below, they are using 1206 components and an SOIC-packaged 555 timer here. On the other hand, they start by smartly laying everything out on double-stick tape before applying flux and soldering. Then when it’s time to run the wires that no one wants to see, [4dcircuitry] carefully tweezers it from the tape and flips it over, re-using the tape do solder up the back side.

Don’t have the patience to solder 1206? All component sizes are beautiful, as evidenced by this amazing circuit sculpture clock.

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Hackaday Podcast 199: Ferrofluid Follies, Decentralized Chaos, And NTSC For You And Me

This week, Editor-in-Chief Elliot Williams and Assignments Editor Kristina Panos decided against using one of Kristina’s tin can microphones to record the podcast, though that might be a cool optional thing to do once (and then probably never again).

After a brief foray into the news that the Chaos Communications Congress will be decentralized once again this year, as COVID restrictions make planning this huge event a complete headache (among other notable symptoms), we discuss the news that the EU is demanding replaceable batteries in phones going forward.

After that, it’s time for another What’s That Sound results show, and despite repeated listens, Kristina fails to guess the thing. Even if she’d had an inkling as to what it was, she probably would have said ‘split-flap display’ instead of the proper answer, which is ‘flip-dot display’, as a few people responded. Finally, it’s on to the hacks, where we talk about uses for ferrofluid and decide that it’s one of those things that’s just for fun and should not be applied to the world as some sort of all-purpose whacking device.

Check out the links below if you want to follow along, and as always, tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!

And/or download it and listen offline.

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Logic Gate Game Is Fun AND Educational

How well do you know your logic gates? For their final submission for STEM Projects class, [BKriet] gamified the situation using a Raspberry Pi Pico, some blinkenlights, and a not-insignificant amount of 3D printing. The result is Name! That! Gate!, a fun and educational toy that [BKriet] ultimately donated back to the class (that’s a hot move in our book).

The objective of this game is to figure out which logic gate is being used to make the output shown on the screen, given A, B, and/or C as inputs. There are ten stages to the game, and each correct stage awards the player 14 points, for a perfect score of 140. Although a random gate is loaded for every stage, code ensures that no gate is ever repeated during a single game.

This project is completely open source, so the gate is wide open. Don’t have a 3D printer? Here’s a big set of PCB logic gates, but really, you can make logic gates out of almost anything.