Constrained builds are often the most fun. Throw an artificial limit into the mix, like time limiting your effort or restricting yourself to what’s on hand, and there’s no telling what will happen.
[bitluni] actually chose both of those constraints for this ping pong ball LED video display, and the results are pretty cool, even if the journey was a little rough. It seems like using sheet steel for the support of his 15 x 20 Neopixel display was a mistake, at least in hindsight. A CNC router would probably have made the job of drilling 300 holes quite a bit easier, but when all you have is a hand drill and a time limit, you soldier on. Six strings of Neopixels fill the holes, a largish power supply provides the 18 or so amps needed, and an Arduino knock-off controls the display. The ping pong ball diffusers are a nice touch, even if punching holes in them cost [bitluni] a soldering iron tip or two. The display is shown in action in the video below, mostly with scrolling text. If we may make a modest suggestion, a game of Pong on a ping pong ball display might be fun.
[bitluni] says that the display is on its way to Maker Faire Berlin this weekend, so stop by and say hi. Maybe he’ll have some of his other cool builds too, like his Sony Watchman Game Boy mashup, or the electric scooter of questionable legality.
Continue reading “A Ping Pong Ball LED Video Wall”
The Evolution Control Committee has been doing live mashup performances for many years and recently upgraded their hardware. Inspired by [Johnny Lee]’s Wiimote whiteboard, they built a rear projection display they could use during performances. It displays a dense collection of samples in Ableton Live. On each of the performer’s hands is an IR LED mounted to a thimble. By touching the thumb to the forefinger, the LED turns on. Two Wiimotes watch for these IR flashes to trigger mouse clicks. [TradeMark G] found the Ableton display too complex to navigate quickly and accurately with a mouse; this new display make things much easier and enjoyable.
[via Laughing Squid]
We love hacks that give new life to old gadgets, and [edwardianpug]’s YouTube Terminal certainly fits the bill by putting new hardware inside a Super 8 film editor.
[edwardianpug] could have relegated this classy-looking piece of A/V history to a shelf for display, but instead she decided to refresh its components so it could display any YouTube video instead of just one strip of film at a time. The Boost-Box keeps the retrofuturistic theme going by using the terminal to search for and play videos via Ytfzf.
The original screen has been replaced by an 800×600 LCD, and the yellow USB cord gives a nice splash of color to connect the ortholinear keyboard to the device. Lest you think that this “ruined” a working piece of retro-tech, [edwardianpug] says that 20 minutes would get this device back to watching old movies.
Are you looking for more modern and retro mashups? Check out these Dice Towers Built In Beautiful Retro Cases, a Vacuum Tube and Microcontroller Ham Transmitter, or this Cyberdeck in a Retro Speaker.
Continue reading “Super 8 Film Editor Reborn As A YouTube Terminal”
How do the potatoes in that sack keep from sprouting on their long trip from the field to the produce section? Why don’t the apples spoil? To an extent, the answer lies in varying amounts of irradiation. Though it sounds awful, irradiation reduces microbial contamination, which improves shelf life. Most people can choose to take it or leave it, but in some countries, they aren’t overly concerned about the irradiation dosages found in, say, animal feed. So where does that leave non-vegetarians?
If that line of thinking makes you want to Hulk out, you’re not alone. [kutluhan_aktar] decided to build an IoT food irradiation detector in an effort to help small businesses make educated choices about the feed they give to their animals. The device predicts irradiation dosage level using a combination of the food’s weight, color, and emitted ionizing radiation after being exposed to sunlight for an appreciable amount of time. Using this information, [kutluhan_aktar] trained a neural network running on a Beetle ESP32-C3 to detect the dosage and display relevant info on a transparent OLED screen. Primarily, the device predicts whether the dosage falls into the Regulated, Unsafe, or just plain Hazardous category.
[kutluhan_aktar] lets this baby loose on some uncooked pasta in the short demo video after the break. The macaroni is spread across a load cell to detect the weight, while [kutluhan_aktar] uses a handheld sensor to determine the color.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen AI on the Hackaday menu. Remember when we tried those AI-created recipes?
Aerodox Flies on Wireless Wings
[Simon Merrett] didn’t know anything about keyboards when he started this project, but he didn’t let that stop him. [Simon] did what any of us would do — figure out what you like, learn enough to be dangerous, and then start fiddling around, taking all that inspiration and making a mashup of influences that suits your needs.
The Aerodox design became a cross between the ErgoDox‘s key layout and the logic and communication of the Redox Wireless, itself a reduced-size version of the ErgoDox. Interestingly, [Simon] chose the ErgoDox’s dimensions and spacing, and not those of the Redox. Like a lot of people out there, I found the ErgoDox to be too big for my hands, mostly in that the thumb cluster is too far away from the mainland. It’s nice to see that it suits some people, though.
[Simon] worked up a custom hot-swap footprint that makes the board reversible, much like the ErgoDox. Each half has an NRF51822 for a brain, and there’s a third one that acts as a receiver. This external NRF board is connected over UART to an Arduino Pro Micro, which acts as the USB HID and runs QMK. It’s an interesting journey for sure, so go dig into the logs.
Continue reading “Keebin’ With Kristina: The One With The Curved Typewriter”
It wasn’t that long ago that if you had an optical microscope in your electronics shop, you had a very well-supplied shop indeed. Today, though, a microscope is almost a necessity since parts have shrunk to flyspeck-size. [Maker Mashup] recently picked up an AD409 and posted a video review of the device that you can see below.
The microscope in question has a 10-inch screen so it is a step up from the usual cheap microscope we’ve seen on a lot of benches. Of course, that size comes at a price. The going rate for a new on is about $400.
Continue reading “AD409 Microscope Review”
They say the best things in life are free, but we would loudly argue that a dollar can go a long way, too. It all depends on what you do with it. When [lonesoulsurfer] saw this busted-up handheld racing game at the junk store, he fell in love with the lines of the case and gladly forked over a buck in order to give it a new life as a wicked little sound-bending machine with dancing LEDs.
Here’s how it works: [lonesoulsurfer] records a few seconds of whatever into the mic with the looping function switched off, then turns it back on to start the fun. He can vary the pitch with the speed controller pot, or add in some echo and reverb. Once the sound is dialed in, he works the pause button on the left to make melodies by stopping and restarting the loop, or just pausing it momentarily depending on the switch setting.
The electronics are a mashup of modules mixed with a custom PCB that combines the recording module with an LM386 amplifier and holds the coolest part of this build — those LEDs that dance to the music behind the toy’s original lenticular screen. Like most of [lonesoulsurfer]’s builds, it’s powered by an old cell phone battery that’s buck-boosted to 5 V. Check out the build and bleep-bloop video after the break.
Lenticular lenses are all kinds of fun. Get one that’s big enough, and you can use it to disappear for a while.
Continue reading “Racing Game Crashes Into Its Next Life As A Sound Bender”