You’ve probably heard of Arthur C. Clarke’s third law, suggesting that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Taking this literally and in the best possible way, [Allen Pan] of [Sufficiently Advanced] is using readily available technology to simulate magical wizarding duels in the fashion of Harry Potter.
Entitled the Wizard Analogue No-Magic Dueling Simulator — or W.A.N.D.S. for short — is a slightly more interactive version of laser tag. It’s especially engaging because your body is on the line. A Raspberry Pi using Google’s speech recognition service listens for the spell names and — remember, pronunciation is key — fires off the spell from an infrared LED tipped wand. Each duelist has five spells at their disposal, but their accuracy is up to you.
Once your opponent’s receiver registers a hit, an Arduino triggers transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) devices which sends pulses to various regions on the body to simulate the spell’s effect. What’s a few electrical shocks between wizards, eh?
As a defense from the constant barrage, the spell Protego — aimed at one’s own sensor — grants a few seconds immunity; however all spells have a built-in cool-down to prevent their abuse and an LED on the wand indicates when they’re ready to be used.
Continue reading “A Shocking Wizard Duel”
If you solemnly swear that you are up to no good, and you happen to spend most of your time in Manhattan below the mid-90s, then you will appreciate this Raspberry Pi-based Manhattan Marauder’s Map.
Not that a Harry Potter-themed map was necessarily [GawkyFuse]’s intention when creating this interesting build; it’s just that the old-time print of Manhattan — it shows Welfare Island in the East River, which was renamed Roosevelt Island in 1971 — lends a nice vintage feel to the build. Printed on plain paper, the map overlays a 64×32-LED matrix, which is driven by a matrix HAT riding atop the Pi 3.
[GawkyFuse] uses the OwnTracks app on his and his wife’s iPhone to report their locations back to CloudMQTT. The Pi subscribes to the broker and updates his location in red and her location in blue as they move about the city; a romantic touch is showing a single purple dot when they’re together. There’s no word on what’s displayed when either leaves the map area, but the 2048-pixel display offers a lot of possibilities.
We’ve seen a Weasley clock or two around these parts before, but strangely no Marauder’s Maps like this one. Although this Austrian tram-tracking map comes pretty close to [GawkyFuse]’s nice design.
Here’s a hack centered around something a lot of people have sitting around: a PS/2 keyboard. [serdef] turned a Harry Potter-edition PS/2 into a combination synth keyboard and drum machine and has a nice write-up about it on Hackaday.io.
For communication, he tore up a PS/2 to USB cable to get a female mini DIN connector and wired it to the Nano. He’s using a Dreamblaster S1 synth module to generate sounds, and that sits on a synth shield along with the Nano. The synth can be powered from either the USB or a 9-volt.
Keymapping is done with the Teensy PS/2 keyboard library. [serdef] reused a bunch of code from his bicycle drummer project which also employed the Dreamblaster S1. [serdef] is continually adding features to this project, like a pot for resonance control which lets him shape the waveform like an analog synth. He has posted some handy PS/2 integration code, his synth code, and a KiCad schematic. Demo videos are waiting for you across the link. Continue reading “PS/2 Synth Will Knock You Off Your Broom”
The location clock found in the Harry Potter books makes for a really fun hack. Of course there’s no magic involved, just a set of hardware to monitor your phone’s GPS and a clock face to display it.
[Alastair Barber] finished building the clock at the end of last year as a Christmas gift. The display seen above uses an old mantelpiece clock to give it a finished look. He replace the clock face with a print out of the various locations known to the system and added a servo motor to drive the single hand. His hardware choices were based on what he already had on hand and what could be acquired cheaply. The an all-in-one package combines a Raspberry Pi board with a USB broadband modem to ensure that it has a persistent network connection (we’ve seen this done using WiFi in the past). The RPi checks a cellphone’s GPS data, compares it to a list of common places, then pushes commands to the Arduino which controls the clock hand’s servo motor. It’s a roundabout way of doing things but we imagine everything will get reused when the novelty of the gift wears off.
Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not we think you’ll enjoy this Deathly Hallows clock. The body is modeled after the triangle, circle, and line that make up the symbol that played a prominent role when concluding the fantasy novel series. A bit of motion and a couple handfuls of LEDs are what allow it to display the time of day.
[Yeenasty] started by building the triangular surround out of wood. In the center he added a circular veneer which was partitioned into twelve chambers. These indicate the hour and are illuminated one at a time from midnight until noon. Once all of the LEDs are switched on (as seen above) they are then extinguish one at a time from noon until midnight. [Yeenasty] mentions that this means the clock isn’t overly bright during the night-time hours.
Minutes are displayed by the wooden slat in the middle of the ring of LEDs. Here it’s showing 30 minutes after the hour because it is vertical and the bottom red LED is lit. The hand is mounted on a 180 degree servo so when it has made half of a rotation the hand backtracks 29 minutes and the LED at the other end is illuminated to continue progress around the face of the clock.
Hackaday reader [Kieran] volunteers at an outdoor haunted house attraction called the “Disenchanted Forest”. Attendees are lead through the haunted forest by a volunteer, who helps keep everyone on the predetermined trail. The trail is usually lit by small LED fixtures that the group constructed, but the organizers wanted to make the lights more interactive this time around.
A fellow organizer gave [Kieran] a [Harry Potter] Magic Candle, which allows him to light the toy with the wave of his IR-enabled wand. He was told to “make it do something cool”, so he took a closer look at it to determine how everything worked.
Using an Arduino clone and some borrowed IR code he was able to get the wand to work with the forest’s trail lighting, but there was a lot of lag between waving the wand and triggering the light. Taking a second stab at it, [Kieran] was able to replicate the IR protocol used by the toy, speeding things up and increasing the wand’s range considerably. Now, the tour guides can light and extinguish the trail lighting with a simple flick of the wrist.
Take a look at the video below to see how things worked out for [Kieran], and be sure to swing by his site for more details if you have the urge to modify your Magic Candle.
Continue reading “Hacking a “magic wand” to remotely control light displays”
[Sean_Carney] build this clock that tells the weather instead of the time. The two hands display the current conditions and the temperature. Forty below zero seems amazingly cold if you’re on the Fahrenheit scale but [Sean’s] from Winnipeg so he’s operating on the Celsius side of things.
Two servos move the hands to match the data scraped off of the Internet. An Arduino does the scraping with the help of an Ethernet shield. This reminds us of the Harry Potter clock that tells a persons location.