Screwdrivers are simple devices with a simple purpose, and there is generally little fanfare involved with buying yourself a new set. We’ve never seen one marketed as an object of desire, but we have to admit that [Giaco] managed to do precisely that. He created the Kinetic Driver, a
fidget spinner precision screwdriver designed to use its rotational momentum to loosen and tighten screws.
The main difference between the Kinetic Driver and other screwdrivers is a big brass mass at the front end for high rotational inertia and a high-quality ceramic bearing at the back end for minimal drag. It uses 4 mm precision bits, so its utility will be limited to small screws, which makes it perfect for working on small electronics.
[Giaco] says the idea came after running a successful Kickstarter campaign for a utility knife, where he found that his favorite screwdriver for the many small screws was one with a fat metal body which allowed it to spin easily. In the video after the break, he gives an excellent insight into the development process. He started by creating a series of 3D printed prototypes to figure out the basic shape, before making the first metal prototype. [Giaco] also shows the importance of figuring out the order of operation for machining, which is often glossed over in other machining videos. Be sure to check out the beautiful launch video at 17:52. Continue reading “The Screwdriver You Don’t Need, But Probably Want”
[Rickysisodia] had a few dead ATmega128 chips laying around that he didn’t want to just throw away, so he decided to turn them into his own light-up fidget toy. The toy is in the form of a six-sided die so small that you can hang it on a keychain. He soldered an ATmega128 on each side of the cube and added a few dot circles to give his toy the look of a functional dice. We were pretty amazed by his impressive level of dexterity. Soldering those 0.8 mm-pitch leads together seems pretty tedious if you ask us.
Then he wired a simple, battery-powered tilt switch LED circuit on perfboard that he was able to sneakily place inside the cube. He used a mercury switch, which, as you may figure, uses a small amount of mercury to short two metal contacts inside the switch, completing the circuit and lighting the LED. We would suggest going with the non-mercury variety of tilt switches just to avoid any possible contamination. You know us, anything to mitigate unnecessary disasters is kind of a good route. But anyway, the die lights up a different color LED based on the orientation of the cube and it even blinks.
This is a pretty cool hack for wowing your friends at your next PCB art meet-up. We’ll probably put this in the electronics art category, so it doesn’t get lumped in with those other ever-beloved fidget toys.
Continue reading “Bringing Back The Fidget Toy Craze With The Magic Microcontroller Cube”
The persistence of vision (POV) optical illusion is pretty common in cheap toys nowadays, but how cool would it be to have your own programmable POV message board? German electronics grad student [Matej] has luckily created an open source fidget spinner with a fully customizable POV display that lets you share whatever thoughts you’d like fellow fidget spinning friends to know.
The displayed graphics don’t rely on rotation velocity, thanks to a solution that tracks the rotation angle. Unlike over POV devices, the POV fidget spinner displays the same graphics at higher and lower rotational speeds, which is useful considering the fidget spinner doesn’t automatically spin at the same rotational speed for every user. It also doesn’t require a constant speed for the image to be displayed correctly, unlike POV fans or clocks.
Continue reading “What’s Your Fidget Spinner Say?”
Fidget spinners were the hottest new craze at one point, but their 15 minutes of fame has well and truly passed. They’re great for fidgeting, and not a whole lot else. One of the main objectives around their use is to spin them as quickly as possible. After [Sushi Ramen] hurt himself after spinning one up with compressed air, however – a new and dangerous idea came to mind.
What you’re looking at is a fidget spinner sword, powered by compressed air. That alone is somewhat of a blessing, as it prevents this horrifying device from being easily man-portable. Through a breakneck build montage, we see almost fifty fidget spinners (in hyperchrome, no less) mounted to a shaft. The shaft is then attached to a hilt and a plastic line is artfully bent up to deliver compressed air at the pull of a trigger, causing the fidget spinners to rotate at moderate speed.
It’s true that the fidget spinners don’t receive a whole lot of torque from the compressed air and thus most of the damage is done purely by swinging the presumably quite heavy device at fragile glass objects. That said, with nothing ventured, nothing is gained, and we’re always glad to see research and development continuing in the fidget spinner space.
Looking for more effective ways to spin, and spin quickly? Check out this brushless motor setup. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Weaponized Fidget Spinners”
Your grandmother means well. But by the time she figures out something’s a fad, it is old news. So maybe you got a fidget spinner in your stocking this year. Beats coal. Before you regift it to your niece, you could repurpose it to be a motor. Technically, [B.Aswinth Raj] made a brushless motor, although it isn’t going to fly your quadcopter anytime soon, it is still a nice demonstrator.
You can see a video below. The idea is to put magnets on the spinner and use an electromagnet to impart energy into the spinner which is on a piece of threaded rod left over from your last 3D printer build. A hall effect sensor determines when to energize the electromagnet.
A brushed motor uses a spring-loaded brush to carry current through to the motor’s coils and keep the magnetic field oriented properly. A brushless motor works differently. There are several schemes that will work, but the one [Raj] uses is the most common. He adds fixed magnets on the rotor then uses an electromagnet to provide the correct push at the right time. A practical brushless motor will likely have more than one coil, though, and the controller has to do a particular sequence to move the rotor around the rotation.
If you want to see the insides of a real motor, we looked at how to rewind them earlier. If you’d rather repurpose your spinner to something more practical, you could always make some music.
Continue reading “Fidget Spinner Becomes A Brushless Motor; Remains Useless”
We’ve been frankly mystified at the popularity of fidget spinners. After all, we can flip an ink pen around just fine. However, [MakersBox] just sold us on what he calls the geek spinner. The fact that the spinner is actually a PCB and has parts on it, would probably have been cool enough. However, the spinner also has a persistence of vision LED set up and can display 12 characters of text as it spins. Because the board is simple and uses through hole components, it would be a great project for a budding young hacker. You can see a video below.
The instructions are geared towards someone attempting their first project, too. If you know how to solder and insert a DIP IC, you might find you’ll skim them, but it is pretty straightforward. The 8 LEDs on one side operate from an ATTiny CPU, which you can program with an Arduino. The spinner has a hall effect sensor and a magnet to figure out the index position of the spin — crucial for displaying text.
Although the board attempts to balance the components, the battery side is apparently a little heavy. The suggestion is to add some weight using some hardware or solder to that side. Speaking of solder, the bearing in the center solders to the PCB. That’s going to take a lot of heat, so maybe you can finally use Dad’s soldering gun that has been gathering dust under your bench.
We liked the polar graph provided to help you set up the code for your own messages. The text implies there is a picture of one of these graphs filled out, but we think he forgot to include that picture. However, it is clear enough how to use it, and it would make it very easy to make your own text or any design that the spinner could produce.
This isn’t the first POV spinner, by the way. [MakersBox] has a nice set of acknowledgments for projects he’s seen or borrowed from, but the other one he mentions uses surface mount. Granted, surface mount isn’t a problem for most people these days, but starting out, it might be nice to stick with a through-hole design. If you want a more useful spinner, you can always make some music.
Continue reading “Finally, A Fidget Spinner We Can Love”
Hackaday continues to embrace our implacable spinning overlords-of-the-heart.
[zazzazzero] posted a YouTube video showing him fidgeting one of those spinners that had been hooked up to a bass guitar pickup. It makes a rather awesome rumbling sound as the pickup registers the bearings rolling around, and when hooked up to a Digidelay effects pedal he moved it beyond the rumble to more of an industrial growl like a factory hum. He also got interesting sounds by tapping on the spinner with a screwdriver.
Then he switched up to using an iPad audio app called Shaper to modify the resulting sound far beyond what he had before, with more effects options available at the touch of a button. All of these sounds can be modulated into the analog synthesizer chain, making this spinner a for-reals musical instrument.
We’ve published more than a couple pieces on music hacking, including this ASDR envelope generator project and the Atom Smasher guitar pedal.
Continue reading “Fidget Spinner Shreds With Bass Guitar Pickup”