Assuming you don’t work at a major space agency, you probably don’t really need to know the exact location of the International Space Station at all times. If you’d like to know just because it’s cool, this lamp is for you.
The lamp is driven by a Wemos D1, which pulls in data on the space station’s current location from Open Notify. A stepper motor and servo motor serve to control a pan-tilt assembly, aiming a 405nm laser at the inside of a 3D printed globe to indicate the station’s position above Earth. As a nice touch, there’s also a ring of NeoPixel LEDs that are controlled to glow on the sunny side of the planet, too.
This is a fun project that makes it easy to know when to bust out your ham gear to chat to the team overhead, and would also make a great conversation starter. It’s not the first hardware ISS monitor we’ve seen, either! Video after the break.
Continue reading “Globe Lamp Tracks The ISS For You”
An important distinction between equipment used for caving, climbing, biking, and other outdoor activities is the level of stress that’s generally applied. For instance, while climbing helmets are built to withstand the impact of sharp rocks, they’re not made to protect a biker’s head from suddenly hitting the ground. Likewise, while camping headlamps may be able to survive a light rainfall, they’re probably not made to shine at the 800 lumens after being submerged underwater.
[LukeM] built himself a caving headlight, after being “fed up with what was available on the market”. While his project is a bit older, it’s still pretty helpful for any newer hobbyists looking to try their hand at building a custom headlamp. Many cavers have to carry around a few primary – one main light for general visibility and a secondary light for focusing on specific objects. These are typically worn on the helmet, attached somehow to prevent the light source from falling off mid-climb. From tricky operations, varying distances, cost, and ease of battery replacement, there are a number of reasons why a caver might want to build their own customizable head lamp.
The result is rugged, waterproof, reliable, bright enough to supplement flashes in caving photos and also dim enough for general use (30-700 lumens). It has options for wide and narrow beams, displays a neutral to warm color, and is relatively upgradeable without too much trouble. At the same time, it’s also fairly compact, with all of the components packed inside of a short section of 3″x2″ aluminum tubing, protected at the back and front by aluminum and acrylic backings. The LEDs used are four Cree XP-E R2 bin LEDs and a hipFlex driver from TaskLED with programmable settings for max output, thermal protection temperature, warning voltage, and lighting modes. I’m personally already smitten with the level of customizability of this build.
On top of all of that, it’s been cave tested and approved!
The humble lamp is a common build for a hacker looking to express themselves creatively. Often, nature can serve as an inspiration, as was the case for [Michael Pick]’s Storm Cloud. (Video, embedded below.)
Electronically, the build is straightforward, consisting of an Arduino Uno, an MP3 shield, and a string of WS2801 LEDs. These are driven slightly differently than the more-common WS2812B type, but Adafruit libraries make it easy for even the beginner. There’s also an RF keyfob fitted for remote control of the device, and a voice synth that serves as a user interface.
The video also covers the construction of the body of the lamp. Cardboard forms are created, then covered in tape to create a rough 3D ovaloid shape. This mold is then fiberglassed to create two shells, which are later joined together with bolts. This allows the LEDs and electronics to be neatly mounted inside. Spray adhesive is then used to affix what appears to be cotton wool or polyfill stuffing to the outside to create the cloud effect.
The final result is rather aesthetically pleasing. There’s the usual soft-glowing rainbows as you’d expect, but the real highlight is storm mode, which causes flickers of lighting to scatter across the surface of the cloud. The accompanying sound effects from the MP3 shield help add to the drama.
We’ve seen other takes on a cloud lamp before, too. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Storm Cloud Lamp Brings The Weather Inside”
Anyone who has travelled to distant mountain peaks has marvelled at the beauty of the natural, rugged terrain. [apoorvas15] is no different, and created a lamp that celebrated the awe of the largest mountain on earth.
When it comes to reproducing an accurate geometrical representation of the landscape, the easiest approach is to reach for some variety of CNC machinery. Here, a 3D printer is used to create a translucent shell replicating the mountain. A reverse shell is then laced on the bottom to create an effect akin to that of a reflection in a lake. The assembly was fitted with WS2812 LEDs run by an Arduino Nano, and suspended from a stainless steel frame for an attractive floating look.
It’s a great piece, one that would look suitably impressive on any desk or coffee table. The 3D printer has served many makers well when it comes to producing attractive home lighting. We’ve seen many great builds — from the 8-bit to the floral-inspired. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Mt Everest Lamp Recreates The Famous Peak”
3D printing is a great way to create complex geometric forms. However, it can be very slow, and parts may lack strength compared to other alternatives. There are other ways to take advantage of this technology however, as shown in the build of this tidy voronoi lamp.
The lamp is so-called for its voronoi-patterned base, named after the mathematical concept. 3D printing is used to create the base, which would be very difficult to create with traditional subtractive machining methods. A copper coil is then used to give the lamp some height, as well as act as protection for the filament bulb. Here, 3D printing helps out in a different way, being used to create a jig to allow the copper to be quickly wound into an accurate coil shape. The coil also serves to act as a conduit for the mains wiring, giving the lamp a neat finished appearance.
The project goes to show that even if 3D printing is appropriate to produce your final parts, it may be of help to create useful jigs or tools to get the job done. We’ve even seen similar applications before in the microcontroller space!
The Micro:bit is a very neat piece of hardware that, frankly, we don’t see enough of. Which made us all the more interested when [Manoj Nathwani] wrote in to tell us about the gorgeous 3D printed RGB LED lamp he created that uses the BBC-endorsed microcontroller to perform basic gesture detection. Purists will likely point out that an Arduino Pro Mini is tagging along to handle interfacing with the LEDs, but it’s still a good example of how quick you can get a project up and running with MicroPython on the Micro:bit.
[Manoj] used eight NeoPixel Sticks, a NeoPixel Ring, and a few scraps of perfboard to construct a three dimensional “bulb” to fill the void inside the printed diffuser. They’re chained together so all the elements appear as a single addressable strip, which made the rest of the project a bit easier to implement. It might not be pretty, but it gets the job done and it’s not like you’ll ever see it again once installed in the lamp anyway.
The Micro:bit and Arduino co-pilot live in the base of the lamp, and the single USB cable to provide power (and the ability to update the device’s firmware) is run out the bottom to give the whole thing a clean and professional look. For those wondering why the Arduino has tagged along, [Manoj] says he couldn’t get the NeoPixel libraries to play nicely with the Micro:bit so he’s using the Arduino essentially as a mediator.
Right now the only gesture that’s detected on the Micro:bit is a simple shake, which tells the Arduino to toggle the light show on and off. But in the future, [Manoj] plans to implement more complex gestures which will trigger different animations. As he explains in the blog post, gesture recognition with the Micro:bit is incredibly simple, so it should be easy to come up with a bunch of unique ways to interface with the lamp.
Color changing LED lamps are a favorite project of hackers, and we’ve seen examples built with everything from glass and copper to laser-cut pieces of wood and veneer. While you might prefer to skip the gesture control for an ESP8266 and UDP, we think this project is another strong entry into this popular genre.
Ramen comes in many forms, and whether you’re eating the 10 cent instant packets during the school year, or dining out at a fancy noodle bar, it’s a tasty meal either way. [ramenkingandi] has long been in love with the classic Japanese fare, and decided to create a homage to the dish – in lamp form.
The lamp build begins, somewhat unsurprisingly, with a lamp – but not how you’d think. A Walmart floor lamp is harvested for its lampshade, which approximates the dimensions of a typical ramen bowl. It’s then fitted with warm yellow LEDs to give it a pleasing glow. Polymer clay is used to create fake ramen ingredients – including noodles, pork, and choy sum. Jewelery wire is used to suspend the chopsticks in mid-air, before resin is poured into the bowl and the ingredients arranged on top. For a final touch, the bowl is painted with an artistic stripe to hide the electronics inside, and the lamp is complete.
It’s a great example of fake Japanese food, which is actually a huge industry in that part of the world. We’d love to have this lamp on display in our own home, fully expecting ramen consumption to increase considerably over time.
Lamps are a common feature around these parts – and some of them have even learned to leap.