Back To The Future Prop Can Tell When It Hits 88 MPH

Obviously, the most iconic piece of fictional hardware from the Back to the Future films is Doc Brown’s DeLorean DMC-12 time machine. But we’d have to agree with [Jason Altice] of CodeMakesItGo that the second-most memorable gadget is the modified Futaba remote control used to control the DeLorean from a distance. Now, thanks to his detailed build guide, you can build your own version of the time machine’s controller — complete with working speed readout.

Now to be clear, [Jason] isn’t claiming that his build is particularly screen accurate. It turns out that the actual transmitter used for the prop in the film, the Futaba PCM FP-T8SGA-P, has become difficult to find and expensive. But he argues that to the casual observer, most vintage Futaba transmitters are a close enough match visually. The more important part is recreating the extra gear Doc Brown bolted onto his version. Continue reading “Back To The Future Prop Can Tell When It Hits 88 MPH”

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Hackaday Links: February 20, 2022

Sounds like somebody had a really bad day at work, as Western Digital reports that “factory contamination” caused a batch of flash memory chips to be spoiled. How much, you ask? Oh, only about 7 billion gigabytes! For those of you fond of SI prefixes, that’s 7 exabytes of storage; to put that into perspective, it’s seven times what Google used for Gmail storage in 2012, and enough to store approximately 1.69 trillion copies of Project Gutenberg’s ASCII King James Version Bible. Very few details were available other than the unspecified contamination of two factories, but this stands poised to cause problems with everything from flash drives to phones to SSDs, and will probably only worsen the ongoing chip shortage. And while we hate to be cynical, it’ll probably be prudent to watch out for any “too good to be true” deals on memory that pop up on eBay and Ali in the coming months.

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Flux capacitor PCB

Back To The Future We Go With This Flux Capacitor PCB Badge

[Arnov] is a huge fan of the Back to the Future franchise, so he wanted some memorabilia from the movie to decorate his work area. Official memorabilia from successful movie franchises can be pretty expensive, so [Arnov] opted to make something himself instead, creating his own flux capacitor PCB badge.Doc Flux Capacitor Schematic from Back to the Future

Fortunately, [Arnov’s] design isn’t as complicated as Doc’s was from the movie (pictured on the right), so it should be a lot easier to replicate. We have a simple LED circuit driven by an 8205S MOSFET and controlled by an ATtiny microcontroller. There’s a small diode for auto-switching between USB and battery power as well as a few current limiting resistors for the LEDs. Fortunately, [Arnov’s] project only requires 0.017 W to power, so no plutonium nuclear reactor is necessary and you can easily power it with a standard coin cell battery or with a USB. That’s quite a relief.

As with many of [Arnov’s] projects, the beauty in its design lies in the detail he places on the PCB layout. In this case, the layout is a bit easier than some of his other work needing only to arrange the blinking LEDs in a “Y” shape to mirror the flux capacitor seen in the movies. He also adds a bit of detail to the silkscreen to help complete the aesthetic.

We think this is worth adding to your PCB badge collection.

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Tiny DeLorean Made From Lighters Is A Total Gas

There’s making stuff out of trash, and then there’s mind-blowing stuff like this: a DeLorean built from four disposable cigarette lighters and various other bits and bobs like wire sheathing and cotton bud sticks. If it weren’t for the video evidence embedded below, we would have never believed that [Ank Creative] or anyone else could have turned boxy acrylic into the fastback time machine we all know and love.

Is the back window the most important detail? Maybe.

[Ank Creative] seems to have wasted no parts of the lighters, and even saved themselves a bit of trouble by using curved scraps to make the wheel wells. After installing the windshield, we certainly didn’t expect them to saw the thing in half, but how else are they going to put in the little seats and the steering column when the gull-wing doors aren’t real?

This build is all about unbelievable craftsmanship and deft but daring use of hand tools. Although this totally qualifies as an open source how-to video, you’d have to be quite the sorcerer to pull this one off. Zoom past the break (if you haven’t already) and check out this amazing build.

Disposable lighters are dirt cheap, but they get the job done and you can always see how much gas is left in the tank. On the other hand, a refillable lighter is just that, and if you build it yourself, you can make it actuate like a cap gun.

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IPad, Not Flux Capacitor, Brings DeLorean Back To The Future

Add a flux capacitor and a Mr. Fusion to a DeLorean and it becomes a time machine. But without those, a DeLorean is just a car. A 35-year old car at that, and thus lacking even the most basic modern amenities. No GPS, no Bluetooth — not even remote locks for the gullwing doors!

To fix that, [TheKingofDub] decided to deck his DeLorean out with an iPad dash computer that upgrades the cockpit experience, and we have to say we’re impressed by the results. Luckily, the space occupied by the original stereo and dash vents in the center console is the perfect size for an iPad mini, even with the Lightning cable and audio extension cable attached. A Bluetooth relay module is used to interface to the doors, windows, trunk, garage door remote, and outdoor temperature sensor. A WiFi backup camera frames the rear license plate. Custom software ties everything together with OEM-looking icons and a big GPS speedometer. The build looks great, adds functionality, and should make road trips a little easier.

When [TheKingofDub] finally gets sick of people complaining about where the BTTF guts are, maybe he can add a flux capacitor and time circuits.

[via r/electronics]

Golf Cart Delorean

Quick Marty! We Have To Go Back, With The Golf Cart!

Talk about an awesome project. [Lucas Evanochko] was commissioned to build this totally rad Delorean style golf Cart for Red Deer College’s 30th annual Golf Tournament.

According to him, it’s been about 600 hours in the making – and they only started building it in July. This past week was its big unveiling, and it has had an overwhelmingly positive response so far!

They started with one of the club’s golf carts and modified it heavily, relying on the automotive expertise of [David Keykants] and [John Perrin] to turn it into the aw-worthy time machine it is today.  It has a 7” tablet built right into the dash to play music and use the Fluxy88 Time Circuits app. A big array of arcade buttons hooked up to an Adafruit Audio FX board play various sound bites from the movie, including the theme music!

All the accessories are powered off of a separate 12V system from the main 48V drive line. Oh and the Flux Capacitor? It’s controlled by a Trinket Pro. Check it out after the break. We love the detail that went into this!

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Measuring Car Engine RPM Via The Cigarette Lighter

delorean

Sometimes we forget how many things we can do with a simple oscilloscope. In this video [Ben] uses one that Tektronix lent him to measure his DeLorean engine RPM. By checking the car main ~12V voltage one may notice that the voltage spikes occurring are directly related to the engine speed, as they are created by the inductive kicks from the ignition coils. Obviously the multiplication you have to do to get the RPMs from the number of spikes per second depends on your engine configuration (flat 4, v6…).

The method that [Ben] used was to search for high amplitude spikes on the (AC coupled) car 12V Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to get a reliable measurement given the many electrical noise sources present in his car. At the end of his video, he however mentioned that it could still be possible to get a good measurement with a simple voltage comparator and a high enough voltage reference.

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