There’s a lot of data on magnetic media that will soon be lost forever, as floppies weren’t really made to sit in attics and basements for decades and still work. [Chris Evans] and [Phil Pemberton] needed to read some disks that reportedly contained source code for several BBC Micro games, including Repton 3. They turned to Greaseweazle, an interface board that can dump just about any kind of floppy disk if it is attached to the right drive. The problem is that Greaseweazle couldn’t read the disks due to CRC errors. Time to break out the oscilloscope and read the disk manually, which is what they did.
Greaseweazle provides a nice display of read sectors and shows timing coming from the floppy read head. The disk in question looked good with reasonably clean timing clocks except in the area of one sector. At that point, the clocks degenerated into noise. Looking on the disk, it was easy to see why. The actual media had a small dent in it.
Continue reading “Reading Floppies With An Oscilloscope”
[Kyle] came across a project which he thinks is “simply elegant”. If you don’t already have a PCB vice, here’s an easy way to build one of your own.
This one’s so good but alas it’s not a hack. Check out the slideshow tour at UC Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium. You get a really cool look at the hardware that makes the dome and projector such a great experience. [via Reddit]
Here’s a schematic and a couple of snapshots of [Trax’s] CAN bus hacking rig. He plans on doing a tutorial but decided to share this link after reading the first part of our own CAN hacking series.
These strings of LEDs bump to the tunes. [Alex] is using GrooveShark as a frequency analyzer, then pushing commands via Node.js to the Arduino controlling the lights. It’s all planned for the back porch during his Halloween party.
We remember drilling holes in the 3.5″ floppy discs (we even made a wood jig for this) to double their capacity. A similar blast from the past was to punch a notch in the larger 5.25″ versions to make them double-sided.
If you’re trying to learn about FFT [Ronald] highly recommends this website. We didn’t do too much poking around because it’s kind of strange. But if you do get sucked in and have fun with it leave a comment to let others know it’s worth their attention.
We suppose that using 39 Raspberry Pi boards and their camera modules isn’t the worst way to build a huge 3D model capture rig. The results certainly are impressive. [Thanks Wouter]
[Plasanator] adds a bit of safety to his Jacob’s Ladder by housing it in a familiar enclosure. It doesn’t take very many components to make one of these, but to get the high voltage you’ll need some type of coil. He’s using one from the electrical system of an old car, then building around it with a big 15mf 220V capacitor, a dimmer switch normally used in household wiring, terminal blocks, and some braising rod or coat hanger for the spark to traverse.
The video after the break shows this in operations, and we’d agree with [Plasanator] that this is a wonderful addition to your Halloween decor. Of course you want to keep fingers away from the dangerous bits and that’s where the enclosure and key lock come into play. Were not sure what he made the upright cylinder from, but the base is a blast from the past. Remember when one of those used to sit proudly on every desk as a tribute to how important the information you had on had really was?
Don’t want to play with high voltage like this? You can build a fake using EL wire.
Continue reading “Jacob’s Ladder Makes Itself At Home In A Floppy Disk Box”
[Iain Gildea] tipped us off about a drill-powered coffee grinder he made but it was the floppy-disc augmented reality display a few paragraphs down that caught our attention. He’s taken 36 white floppy discs, sprayed one side black, then mounted them each with a center pivot into a 6×6 grid. Through a convoluted system of pulleys and servo motors the display can be manipulated to produce augmented reality markers. After the break you can see the display itself, then the result of viewing it through a webcam.
We’re amused, but also scratching our heads. There must be an easier way, such as a light-up grid covered in dark plexi or something along those lines. But then again, it’s his hack and he can do what he wants… and he seems to have a thing for floppies.
Continue reading “Floppy Disk Augmented Reality Is A Head-scratcher”