Sodastream machines are a fun way to turn tap water into carbonated water. However, the canisters are expensive and generally require a trip to the store to get a replacement. Lifehacker has a workaround that may make life easier for the bubble-addicted set.
The trick is simple: simply buy a larger bottle of CO2, and hook it up to the Sodastream in place of the regular cartridge. CO2 can be bought in large cylinders at a far cheaper rate than Sodastream will charge you for their proprietary canisters. All you need is a local supplier of food-grade CO2 in cylinders, and you can visit them when you need a refill or swap.
There are several caveats, though, which the comment section dicussed when we featured a similar hack before. Getting an extra-large CO2 canister can pose a risk to life if there’s a leak. Alarms may not save you as the heavy gas has a tendency to lurk low to the ground. You should also consider using a regulator to lower the pressure from your large canister to something closer to the levels the Sodastream machine is built to withstand. Beyond that, you want to ensure you’re using food-grade CO2. Don’t go bubbling cheap welding gas through your water if you want to live a long and healthy life.
It’s a neat hack, it’s just one that requires you to practice proper gas safety at all times. Reports are that a cylinder costing less than $200 can last you for several years though, with ultra-cheap refills, so it may indeed be worth the hassle! Go forth and bubble, friends.
Everyone loves a good bubble machine. These oddly satisfying novelty items have brought children and adults mindless entertainment since their inception. [8BitsAndAByte] had the same thought, but wanted to give their bubble machine a taste of the IoT-age.
First, they modified an off-the-shelf bubble machine with a Raspberry Pi and relay module. The Pi can easily trigger the bubbling mechanism by controlling power to the machine using the relay. Seems simple enough. The part of this project that might be a bit more unfamiliar to you is controlling the robot over the internet using remo.tv.
Remo.tv is a robot controller platform that’s both free and open-source, and we’ve seen [8BitsAndAByte] take advantage of this web controller before. Seems like they’re really getting the hang of it. Their writeup links to a detailed setup guide for configuring the Pi, so hopefully, that’s not too much trouble.
Couple the IoT setup with a Pi camera and you’ve got a live stream that’s admittedly oddly satisfying to watch with or without the bubbles.
Continue reading “The Internet Of Bubble Machines” →
Despite the title, this isn’t a tale of conversing with Michael Jackson’s chimp. Rather, it is about [KyungYun]’s machine that transforms speech into whimsical bubbles. While the speech control is novel, we were more fascinated with how the mechanism uses a system of strings to blow bubbles, along with the workmanship to make the device portable.
The rate of fire isn’t that great, so the bubbles appear to simply get larger the longer you talk. Essentially, the device increases the size of the iris — the part that blows the bubble — until you pause speaking. Then it burps out a bubble.
Continue reading “Talking With Bubbles” →
[Fmilburn] was having fun with his grandkids, playing around with a small Radio Shack solar panel, some supercapacitors and a Zener diode when the kids eventually moved on to blowing bubbles with their grandmother. To regain their interest he got an inexpensive battery powered, soap Bubble Blaster and converted it to run on the solar panel and supercapacitors instead.
His write-up is a pretty fun read, walking through his process, including an oscilloscope measurement showing how the capacitors’ voltage drops from 5.26 V to 3.5 V when the trigger is pressed, and interestingly, slowly recovers until it’s released a second later, when it then rises back to 4.5 V. He’s even included how he worked out of the panel’s maximum power point (MPP), which is what he was doing when the kids were first lured away to blow soap bubbles. But we’re sure Hackaday readers aren’t as easily distracted.
The resulting Solar Powered Bubble Blaster works quite well. At a starting voltage of 5.23 V, it runs for 15 seconds and then takes only a minute to recharge. Charged batteries would have had a longer runtime but take longer to recharge, an important point when trying to keep kids interested. See it in action in the video below.
Want to instead fill your neighborhood with soap bubbles? Check out this 14,000 BPM (Bubbles Per Minute) 3D printed soap bubble machine. Or maybe something more relaxed is your speed.
Continue reading “Hacking A Solar Bubble Blaster With Grandkids” →
If you ever wanted to make an occasion festive with bubbles, [Sandeep_UNO] may have the project for you. As you can see in the video below (and, yes, it should have the phone rotated and it doesn’t), his Arduino uses a servo motor to dip a bubble wand into soap solution and then pulls it in front of a fan. The entire operation repeats over and over again.
There’s not a lot of detail and no code that we could find, but honestly, if you know how to drive a servo motor from an Arduino, the rest is pretty easy to figure out. Look closely at the motion of the robot. What is often accomplished with a spinning wheel of bubble wands and a constant fan becomes much more interesting when applied intermittently. The lazy cadence is what you expect to see from human operation and that adds something to the effect.
We’ve seen faster bubble blowers, but they were not so simple. We’ve even looked at other bubble-blowing robots. If you want to find out more about servo motors in general, our own [Richard Bauguley] has what you need to know.
Continue reading “Arduino Absentmindedly Blows Bubbles” →
[GordonKirkwood] needs soap bubbles. Big soap bubbles. Why does he need soap bubbles? Because – soap bubbles!
Actually, [Gordon] is a photographer, and he wants to capture candid moments and fleeting expressions. What better way to inspire wonder and amazement than to be able to produce a giant soap bubble on demand? And what better way to do it than with an intricate, computer controlled giant bubble machine?
[Gordon’s] inspiration for the bubble producing mechanism comes from the end effector of the Canadarm robotic Space Shuttle arm, which used a cable-grapple design to snare and secure payloads. [Gordon] uses a similar principle to interweave bubble juice-soaked strings and pull them apart in a plane to form a soap film. A puff of wind or a quick shot from a fan inflates and launches the bubble, which the mechanism can pinch off for precise control of size.
The amount of work [Gordon] put into the machine is impressive. His Instructables post is incredibly detailed and goes into not only his build but also his design process and prototyping, the science of soap bubble instruments, and even a nod to the work of other pioneering bubble enthusiasts. And he thoughtfully includes a recipe for professional-grade bubble juice, with a secret ingredient that may surprise you.
You say your bubble-producing needs run more toward quantity than quality? Try using the juice in this homemade bubble robot.
Continue reading “World’s Greatest Bubble Machine Born Of Space Program” →
[Gordon Kirkwood’s] focus as a photographer is in capturing ephemeral phenomena, that is, things that are exhilarating to see but also fleeting. In the pursuit of documenting such blips of beauty found in the natural word, he has taken on engineering the circumstance through which they occur by means of technology.
One of the amazing mechanical creations he’s constructed to aid in his photography is a large computer controlled, bubble blower. A few stepper motors work to dilate three segments of soap-soaked rope engaged at 120 degree angles to create a triangular aperture. When the aperture closes, the segments overlap slightly, covering themselves with a consistent coating of suds. When the segments stretch apart, a fan blows a current of air towards the center, pushing the sheath of fluid into ginormous glimmering orbs which he uses as the focal point in some of his photographs.
More currently, [Gordon] has been developing a body of work that involves zapping botanical subject matter with a quarter-million volts from a portable arc producing device he’s created and capturing the reaction with an ultra low-tech camera (the kind with the bellow and sheet you hide under while exposing the film). Using a method all his own, the shots recorded on large format film are claimed to turn out with even more clarity than any current digital camera in use today. [Gordon] has launched a crowd funding campaign to support a pilgrimage to the majestic island of Hawaii, where he’ll use his lightning producing apparatus on ten different specimens of tropical plant life so that he can record the outcome with his tried and proven technique. (see below an artsy shot of his lightning summoner)
Sometimes Kickstarter isn’t so much about commercialism as it is starting a dialogue with the world and beginning a personal adventure. May the journey lead to new inventions and larger, more ambitious projects! Oh yeah- the bubble blowing machine is a must-see in action. Wicked cool:
Continue reading “Ephemeral Photographs Staged With Artful Inventions” →