Wigglegrams are those weird animated pictures you’ve seen that seem to generate a 3D-like effect. [scealux] had built lenses to take such pictures before, but wanted to take things to the next level. Enter the Wigglegram Lens, version 2.
In building a new lens for the Open Sauce ’23 event, [scealux] wanted to get variable aperture working, while also improving focus speed. The lens was also intended for use with a Sony A7R3. Unlike his previous effort, this lens would only work on the full-frame Sony FE mount cameras.
The lens uses a bevy of 3D printed parts, along with plastic lenses salvaged from old disposable cameras. When assembled, it takes three photos simultaneously on one single frame. They can then be reassembled into a Wigglegram by post-processing on a computer. The results are grainy and rough, but yet somehow compelling.
When the PlayStation VR2 headset was released, people wondered whether it would be possible to get the headset to work as a PC VR headset. That would mean being able to plug it into a PC and have it work as a VR headset, instead of it only working on a PS5 as Sony intended.
Enthusiasts were initially skeptical and at times despondent about the prospects, but developer [iVRy]’s efforts recently had a breakthrough. A PC-compatible VR2 is looking more likely to happen.
So far [iVRy] is claiming they have 6 DOF SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping), Prox sensor, and stereo camera data.
Most of the juicy bits are paywalled behind [iVRy]’s Patreon. We’re hoping the jailbreak process will eventually be open-sourced.
As Tom Nardi mentioned in this week’s podcast, the Northeast US is pretty apocalyptically socked in with smoke from wildfires in Canada. It’s what we here in Idaho call “August,” so we have plenty of sympathy for what they’re going through out there. People are turning to technology to ease their breathing burden, with reports that Tesla drivers are activating the “Bioweapon Defense Mode” of their car’s HVAC system. We had no idea this mode existed, honestly, and it sounds pretty cool — the cabin air system apparently shuts off outside air intake and runs the fan at full speed to keep the cabin under positive pressure, forcing particulates — or, you know, anthrax — to stay outside. We understand there’s a HEPA filter in the mix too, which probably does a nice job of cleaning up the air in the cabin. It’s a clever idea, and hats off to Tesla for including this mode, although perhaps the name is a little silly. Here’s hoping it’s not one of those subscription services that can get turned off at a moment’s notice, though.
One particularly intriguing detail is the custom tool [Araki] uses to hold the headset at various stages of the disassembly, which is visible in the picture above. It looks 3D-printed and carefully designed, and while we’re not sure what it’s made from, it does have a strong resemblance to certain high-temperature SLA resins. Those cure into hard, glassy, off-yellow translucent prints like what we see here.
As for the controller, we get a good look at a deeply interesting assembly Sony calls their “adaptive trigger”. What’s so clever about it? Not only can it cause the user to feel a variable amount of resistance when pulling the trigger, it can even actively push back against one’s finger, and the way it works is simple and effective. It is pretty much the same as what is in the PS5 controller, so to find out all about how it works, check out our PS5 controller teardown coverage.
The headset and controller teardown videos are embedded just below. Did anything in them catch your interest? Know of any other companies doing their own teardowns? Let us know in the comments!
Something odd is afoot in the mountains around Salt Lake City, Utah, at least according to local media reports of remote radio installations that have been popping up for at least the past year. The installations consist of a large-ish solar panel, a weatherproof box full of batteries — and presumably other electronics, including radios — and a mast bearing at least one antenna. Local officials aren’t quite sure who these remote setups belong to or what they’re intended to do, but the installations obviously represent a huge investment in resources.
The one featured in the story was located near the summit of Twin Peaks, which is about 11,000 feet (3,300 meters) in elevation, which with that much gear was probably a hell of a hike. Plus, the owner took great pains to make sure the site would withstand the weather, with antenna mast guy wires that must have required lugging a pretty big drill up with them. There aren’t any photos of the radios in the enclosure, but one photo shows a 900-MHz LORA antenna, while another shows what appears to be a panel antenna, perhaps pointing toward another site. So maybe a LORA mesh network? Some comments in the Twitter thread show most people are convinced this is a Helium crypto mining rig, but the Helium Explorer doesn’t show any hotspots listed in that area. Either way, the owners are out of luck, since their gear is being removed if it’s on public land.
According to [Venn Stone], technical producer over at LinuxGameCast, the Sony a5000 is still a solid option for those looking to shoot 1080p video despite being released back in 2014. But while the camera is lightweight and affordable, it does have some annoying quirks — namely an overlay on the HDMI output (as seen in the image above) that can’t be turned off using the camera’s normal configuration menu. But as it so happens, using some open source tools and the venerable telnet, you can actually log into the camera’s operating system and fiddle with its settings directly.
As explained in the write-up, the first step is to install Sony-PMCA-RE, a cross-platform suite of tools developed for reverse engineering and modifying Sony cameras. With the camera connected via USB, this will allow you to install a program on the camera called Open Memories Tweak. This unlocks some developer options on the camera, such as spawning a telnet server on its WiFi interface.
With the a5000 connected to your wireless network, you point your telnet client to its IP address and will be greeted by a BusyBox interface that should be familiar to anyone who’s played with embedded Linux gadgets. The final step is to invoke the proper command, bk.elf w 0x01070a47 00, which sets the specific address of the camera’s configuration file to zero. This permanently disables the HDMI overlay, though it can be reversed by running the command again and setting the byte back to 01.
As you might expect, the Sony-PMCA-RE package is capable of quite a bit more than just unlocking a telnet server. While it might not be as powerful as a firmware modification such as Magic Lantern for Canon’s hardware, those looking for a hackable camera that won’t break the bank might want to check out the project’s documentation to see what else is possible.
Whether you’re shooting video or photos, having a camera remote can really improve your productivity. No longer do you have to run back to the camera to press its tiny buttons! [Frank Zhao] is a Sony user, so decided to whip up a custom remote using the ESP32 for his Alpha camera, adding special features along the way.
The build communicates with the camera over WiFi, but can fall back to Infrared if there’s an issue with the radio link. It’s built around the M5StickC, which is a pre-built device featuring an ESP32 and a small display in a handheld form factor. It let him build the remote in half the size of the official Sony device. With limited buttons on board, though, he relies on the IMU to control many advanced features with motion gestures.
The remote enables a bunch of functionality that Sony didn’t bake into its cameras from the factory. There’s a sound-activated shutter release, dual shutter mode, and several timer-based tools including astrophotography modes. There’s also a big knob you can add for focus pulls, and a mode to reset the auto-focus when you’re frustrated that it isn’t working properly. Some of the features work better than others, as sometimes, the camera doesn’t respond to commands quickly enough. Regardless, it’s pretty neat that [Frank] has unlocked so much extra functionality with his custom $20 remote.