Just when we thought there was nothing left to make into an infinity mirror, [Burls Art] goes and builds something that seems obvious now that it exists — an infinity mirror guitar. Check out the build video after the break, where [Burls Art] gets right to it without wasting any time.
He started by making a 3/4″ wood frame for the body and the one-piece neck and headstock. The acrylic on the top has two-way mirror film, and the back piece is painted with mirror paint to get the infinity effect going. [Burls Art] also fashioned acrylic boxes for the pickup and the electronics. Those are both buffed to be frosty, so the lights reflect nicely off of them.
There’s nothing super-fancy going on with the electronics, just some app-controlled RGB LEDs. We would love to see a version where the LEDs respond in real time to the music. The effect is still quite cool, so if you don’t want to watch the whole build, at least check out the demo at the end where [Burls Art] plays a riff. Never has a delay pedal been so appropriate.
If you’re not much of a luthier, don’t fret about not being able to make a cover version. We’ve seen plenty of infinity mirrors, but if you want something useful, whip up some infinity drink coasters.
Continue reading “Infinity Mirror Guitar Shreds Forever”
You’d be forgiven for assuming that a Tesla coil is some absurdly complex piece of high-voltage trickery. Clarke’s third law states that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, and lighting up a neon tube from across the room sure looks a lot like magic. But in his latest Plasma Channel video, [Jay Bowles] tries to set the record straight by demonstrating a see-through Tesla coil that leaves nothing to the imagination.
Of course, we haven’t yet mastered the technology required to produce transparent copper wire, so you can’t actually see through the primary and secondary coils themselves. But [Jay] did wind them on acrylic tubes to prove there aren’t any pixies hiding in there. The base of the coil is also made out of acrylic, which lets everyone see just how straightforward the whole thing is.
Beyond the coils, this build utilizes the DIY high-voltage power supply that [Jay] detailed a few months back. There’s also a bank of capacitors mounted to a small piece of acrylic, and a clever adjustable spark gap that’s made of little more than a few strategically placed pieces of copper pipe and an alligator clip. Beyond a few little details that might not be obvious at first glance, such as grounding the secondary coil to a layer of aluminum tape on the bottom of the base, it’s all right there in the open. No magic, just science.
[Jay] estimates this beauty can produce voltages in excess of 100,000 volts, and provides a demonstration of its capabilities in the video after the break. Unfortunately, before he could really put the new see-through coil through its paces, it took a tumble and was destroyed. A reminder that acrylic enclosures may be pretty, but they certainly aren’t invulnerable. With the value of hindsight, we’re sure the rebuilt version will be even better than the original.
If you’d rather not have your illusions shattered, we’ve seen plenty of complex Tesla coils to balance this one out. With witchcraft like PCB coils and SMD components, some of them still seem pretty magical.
Continue reading “This (mostly) Transparent Tesla Coil Shows It All”
The advantage of the irregularities in the Gregorian calendar combined with the seven-day week is that they provide a constant source of yearly revenue for the paper calendar industry. Long before sustainability became a trending topic, people invented reusable, perpetual calendars, but the non-digital versions of these are sometimes complicated tables that are hard to interpret. [andrei.erdei] created an automated perpetual calendar that is mostly hardware but uses some digital tricks to overcome these problems.
The calendar consists of sandwiched panels of smoked acrylic which are backlit by some strips of WS2812Bs. Although the panels could have been processed with a laser cutter, [andrei.erdei] used a CNC which gave him the possibility to mill some grooves in the back panel to hold the LED strips. The stencil for the numbers was simply printed out on paper and the background made opaque by printing several times over the same piece of paper. The electronics consist of an ESP8266 which takes the date from an NTP server and lights up the corresponding LEDs in different colors for weekdays and weekends.
The classic version of this type of perpetual calendar uses a sliding frame but we have also seen completely different versions based on moving gears.
Video after the break.
Continue reading “A Backlit Calendar For All Eternity”
E-waste is a gigantic problem, and it can seem impossible as a lone individual to make any kind of dent in it. But [akshar1101] is trying to do their part by looking past the defective aspects of broken, discarded electronics to draw out the possibilities of what’s left.
This friendly night light is made from the PCBs of four broken Nokia 5110 LCD modules. The screens were all toast, but the nice white LEDs that used to light them from the sides work just fine. [akshar1101] cleverly tied all the LED and GND lines together with single right-angle header pins. To power the LEDs, they wired up a JST receptacle to one of the PCBs and connected a 3.7 V lithium battery pack that sits underneath. [akshar1101] diffused the piercing white lights into a soft glow with two pieces of acrylic.
We love to see electronic components get saved from landfills, especially when they can be turned into something useful and beautiful. Something about the traces on these boards makes them visually interesting to us — it’s that little hiccup that interrupts otherwise parallel lines.
If all of your 5110 LCDs are in working order, you could spice one of them up with an RGB backlight.
This laser cut and LED illuminated version of the Minecraft logo created by [Geeksmithing] looks good enough to occupy a place of honor on any gamer’s shelf. But it’s not just decoration: it can also notify you about your Minecraft’s server status and tell you when players are online by way of its addressable LEDs.
In the first half of the video after the break, [Geeksmithing] shows how the logo itself was built by cutting out pieces of white and black acrylic on his laser cutter. When stacked up together, it creates an impressive 3D effect but also isolates each letter. With carefully aligned rows of RGB LEDs behind the stack, each individual letter can be lit in its own color (or not at all) without the light bleeding into either side.
Once he had a way of lighting up each letter individually, it was just a matter of writing some code for the Raspberry Pi that can do something useful with them. Notifying him when the server goes down is easy enough, just blink them all red. But the code [Geeksmithing] came up with also associates each letter with one of the friends he plays with, and lights them up when they go online. So at a glance he can not only tell how many friends are already in the game, but which ones they are. Naturally this means the display can only show the status of nine friends…but hey, that’s more than we have anyway.
We’ve been seeing people connect the real world to Minecraft in weird and wonderful ways for years now, and it doesn’t seem like there’s any sign of things slowing down. While we recognize the game isn’t for everyone, but you’ve got to respect the incredible creativity it’s inspired in young and old players alike.
Continue reading “RGB Minecraft Sign Isn’t Just For Looks”
Every day, it seems to get harder and harder to relax and unwind. A person can only take so many lava-hot showers before they start cutting into work time. Listening to music is a wonderful option, but it can be difficult to find something to listen to that’s soothing without being disruptive. So what else can we try? Oh yes, blinkenlights. Frosted, glowing blinkenlights that bathe the room in color. Ahhhh.
There’s something about those enclosures that completes these so well. [ChrisParkerTech] used Alder wood sprayed with clear coat, which gives them a delightfully clean mid-century look. We also dig the lack of ceiling and unfinished top edge, because it gives the leaking light a bit of infinity pool mystique.
Of course, these wouldn’t be much of a relaxation tool if you have to get up up from your couch, chair, or bean bag every time you want to adjust them. Each strip is connected to a Wemos D1 mini, so [Chris] can control them with his phone via WLED, or make Alexa do it. Check out the build video after the break.
If you really love LEDs, don’t leave home without them. Show the world how you feel with a stylish LED hat.
Continue reading “Color Your Workspace, Calm Your Mind”
People keep saying that time has lost all meaning now, but we’re still over here divvying up the days with hacks. Most of the hacks you see here are open source. But if you want something even more transparent to meter out the meaninglessness, we invite you to make one of these clearly awesome see-through clocks, which happens to be both.
A word of warning though — according to [GeekMomProjects], this is an incredibly fiddly build with tight tolerances everywhere that acrylic meets acrylic or an LED strip. We can see how it might be like forcing fragile puzzle pieces together. Since the whole thing is crystal clear acrylic, light is going to go everywhere.
[GeekMomProjects] cleverly blocked the escaping light by painstakingly applying non-conductive adhesive foil to the edges of all the smaller pieces. In spite of all that work, we think it would be worth it to have such a fantastic timepiece glowing away the hours somewhere in the house.
Electronically speaking, this beauty is pretty simple. The lights run off of an ItsyBitsy M4 Express, and the time is separately fetched with an ESP8266. [GeekMomProjects] had so much fun that she made one with seconds and one without. Check out their RGB dance routine after the break.
If you prefer your blinky 7-segment clocks a bit more utilitarian, here’s a clock made of shelves.
Continue reading “Edge-Lit 7-Segments Clock The New Normal”