NC Maker Faire 2012: Hackaweek Display


[Dino] has been featured here at [HAD] on many occasions, so I was excited to see some of his inventions in person and meet the man himself. [Dino] didn’t disappoint, bringing a display that included a working demonstration of his upcoming cover story for Make Magazine – an automatic doggie ball-thrower. Also there were some crazy musical instruments, what appeared to be a cylindrical oscilloscope display, and a robot rolling around with the thrown balls (and kids).

As seen in the video, one thing to remember if you’re displaying at a Faire, kids will definitely be there, and will interact with anything they can. This can be good or bad, so make sure you design your display, like [Hackaweek]’s to be the former. [Dino] also had a projector pointed at the wall playing some video. This made for a great attention-getter!  Check out the short videos below of his ball thrower in action and a view of the show from one of his robots! Continue reading “NC Maker Faire 2012: Hackaweek Display”

Guitar Pickup 101

[Dino Segovis] is at it again!  For this week’s installment of his “Hack A Week” series [Dino] is holding a guitar pickup winding 101.  Professional guitar pickups can cost hundreds of dollars, but are all essentially a permanent magnet wrapped in a bunch of wire. Using some cheap headphones, magnet wire, and a spare bolt [Dino] produces his own pickup and throws it in a one string blues guitar. This is a great beginner’s project as it involves only a few very easy to find parts and touches on some interesting concepts such as inductance and magnetic flux.

The premise is really simple:  Sandwich the headphone magnet between two plastic discs to make a spindle, hot glue a 1/4″ bolt to the spindle, connect to a power drill, and wind a few thousand loops of magnet wire onto the thing.  Hook your coil up to an amp and lay down a jam.

We might be tempted to add a counter to the rig using a reed switch connected to the “=” key of a cheap pocket calculator, and a magnet glued to the bolt.  We have also seen a more complicated automated spool winder but [Dino] is keeping it nice and simple.

Check out the video after the jump to hear [Dino] go all Seasick Steve on us.

Continue reading “Guitar Pickup 101”

Feel Like We Do With A Bass Guitar Talk Box


Hacker [Dino Segovis] wrote in to share the latest hack from his HackAWeek series, and this time around he has constructed a talk box for his bass guitar. Providing you are old enough, you probably remember when the talk box made its way into mainstream music, on the “Frampton Comes Alive” album.

The concept of a talk box is pretty simple. A small speaker is built into a sealed enclosure, which carries the sound from the musician’s guitar to his mouth via a plastic tube. The tube is placed in the musician’s mouth, near the microphone. When his mouth is moved, the sound from the guitar is modified and reflected into the microphone.

[Dino] built a similar system using his bass guitar and an amplifier hacked together from an old tape deck. He initially ran into problems with the sound not making it all the way up the tube due to the bass’ low frequency. He had an ‘Aha!’ moment and mounted the speaker on the mic rather than down on the floor, which seems to have fixed the issue.

Be sure to check out the video below to see his talk box in action.

Continue reading “Feel Like We Do With A Bass Guitar Talk Box”