Salad Spinner Busts Some New Moves

Can you believe that [Tom Tilley]’s wife was just going to pawn off this perfectly good salad spinner on the thrift store when it’s so ripe for hacking? We couldn’t, either. Fortunately, he caught it just in time, right before dinner.

One of the coolest things a person can do that also tends to aid gameplay is to make a custom controller. [Tom] decided to make one for Bust-A-Move, a simple game where one shoots balls at bubbles in order to pop them. It looks like quite the fun little stress reducer. Anyway, a simple game deserves a simple controller, no? Yes.

As you’ll see in the build/demo video below, [Tom] started with a standard wireless mouse and hot-glued a cardboard origami creation to it. This goes upside-down inside the salad spinner and gets connected to the spinner part so that the entire origami moves in a circle. [Tom] then extended the left mouse button to a switch, which he affixed to the outside.

This controller re-uses a slightly modified mouse that [Tom] used in a previous Bust-A-Move controller. He is using a FreePIE script and vJoy in order to map mouse movements to the joystick inputs expected by the game. Watch [Tom] bust some moves after the break.

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Repairing A Broken Salad Spinner

Behold [Quinn’s] broken salad spinner, and just when lettuce and other garden produce are hitting their peak. We were surprised to find out that she was able to get the mechanism apart to fix the broken cord. We’re sick and tired of ultrasonically welded plastic enclosures that lock out the most well-intentioned repairman. But in [Quinn’s] case there were a few plastic plugs hiding the screws that keep the two pieces of the case together.

After diagnosing that the cause of the broken cord was a gnarly metal grommet, she removed the offender and sought a replacement cord. The first material she tried was some dental floss but unsurprisingly it only lasted through a few spins. Next on the road to repair was a shoelace which did a bit better but also ended up broken. But the discovery of some parachute cord did the trick in the end and now it’s good as new if not better!