Geopolitics is a funny thing. Decades can go by with little concern, only for old grudges to suddenly boil to the surface and get the sabers a-rattlin’. When those sabers happen to be nuclear weapons, it can be enough to have you mulling the value of a bomb shelter in your own backyard.
Yes, every time the world takes a turn for the worse, we start contemplating what we’d do in the event of a nuclear attack. It’s already common knowledge that stout reinforced concrete buildings offer more protection than other flimsier structures. However, a new study has used computer modelling to highlight the best places to hide within such a building to maximise your chances of survival.
Continue reading “New Study Tells Us Where To Hide When The Nukes Are Coming” →
A hacker is somebody who’s always thinking creatively to solve problems, usually using what they have on hand. Sometimes that means using a 555 to build a CPU, and other times it means using a dead flashlight to start a fire. In the video below the break, [Kelly] shows us a series of hacks you can use while camping in the woods for a night to keep you warm, dry, and well fed!
[Kelly] started his camping trip not in the woods, but rather at a local thrift store. Instead of packing along hundreds of dollars in gear, his aim was to keep costs low. Very low. With some searching he was able to find a blanket, cooking utensils, rope, knife, tarp, and several other camp necessities for just $25.
A good campfire is a necessity of course, and [Kelly]’s full of great ways to start a fire even if all you have is a lighter with no butane or an old flashlight with dead batteries. The purpose of the video is to show how anyone can get their bush craft on even when all they have is a few dollars and a little know-how, which he generously shares. And after watching, we’re sure you’ll agree that he met his mark.
Will you raid the local second hand store before your next camping trip? After seeing this video, you just might! And while you’re there, make sure to grab the things you’ll need to make your own camping-friendly French press so you have some good coffee while you’re out camping in your… uh… Corolla?
Continue reading “Camping For $25: Thrift Store Hacks To Keep Cozy” →
In the cyberdeck world, some designs are meant to evoke a cyberpunk vibe, an aesthetic that’s more lighthearted than serious. Some cyberdecks, though, are a little more serious about hardening their designs against adverse conditions. That’s where something like the ARK-io SurvivalDeck comes into play.
Granted, there does seem to be at least a little lightheartedness at play with the aptly named [techno-recluse]’s design. It’s intended to be an “Apocalypse Repository of Knowledge”, which may be stretching the point a bit. But it does contain an impressive amount of tech — wide-band software defined radio (SDR) covering HF to UHF, GPS module, a sensor for air pressure, temperature, and humidity, and a Raspberry Pi 3B running Kali Linux. Everything is housed in a waterproof ammo can; a 3D printed bezel holds an LCD touchscreen and a satisfying array of controls, displays and ports. The lid of the ammo can holds a keyboard, which was either custom-made to precisely fit the lid or was an incredibly lucky find.
There’s a lot to like about this build, but our favorite part is the external dipole for receiving NOAA weather satellite imagery. The ability to monitor everything from the ham bands to local public service channels is a nice touch too. And we have no complaints about the aesthetics or build quality either. This reminds us of an earlier cyberdeck with a similar vibe, but with a more civilian flavor.
Thanks to [Kate] for the tip.
[via Tom’s Hardware]
Hose clamps have been around as long as we’ve been using flexible hoses. Usually, a clamp consists of a slotted metal strap, and a screw for tightening. Most of us know how quickly they slip when you want to add a bit more torque, or the frustration of not having the right size. Fortunately [Max Egorov] reminded us of DIY wire clamps (video after the break), an excellent alternative that is very effective, covers an infinite size range and is easy to make with a simple tool.
The wire clamp is in effect a doubled girth hitch, that is pulled tight with the ends bent over to keep the tension. [Max] shows you how to easily make your own clamper tool with basic tools and a few bits of steel. Making it as ornate as his one is definitely not required. You can also buy a commercial tool that is sold under the name ClampTite, which uses a leadscrew type design.
To achieve a tight seal with a hose clamp, the main requirement is constant pressure around its entire circumference. These wire clamps do this very well and are popular among aircraft mechanics, since flying in a plane with a leaky coolant or fuel hose could shorten your lifespan a bit. [Max] also demonstrates a variety of other uses for these including fixing tool handles and even building a ladder.
We love simple but effective tools like this, and we’ll definitely be adding one to our toolbox. Have you used these before? Let us know in the comments!
There is (almost) never such a thing as too many tools, and making your own is very satisfying. We’ve seen people build an outfit a complete carpentry workshop using plywood, and build sheet metal press brake with no welding.
Thanks [Keith O] for the tip!
Continue reading “Perfect Wire Hose Clamps With A Simple DIY Tool” →
Let’s imagine that you’ve spent most of your life indoors tinkering with electronic gadgets and that you don’t have a lot of practical survival experience. Since you’re currently reading Hackaday, it shouldn’t be much of a stretch for you. Let’s further imagine that our entire civilization gets upended by an ecological disaster, nuclear war, invaders from Zeta Reticuli, that sort of thing. What do you do?
If you’re [Evan Meaney], you might start by retrieving the Crash Recovery Device from its EMP shielded storage nook. This mobile digital library is designed to serve as a backup copy of all the information we’d lose in a post-Internet world. It holds detailed geological maps, a library of survival manuals, agriculture guides, and should you get bored, the entirety of Wikipedia.
Of course, having all that information in a digital format is no good if you can’t access it. Rather than designing a device from scratch, [Evan] based his rugged command center on the Raspberry Pi Recovery Kit by [Jay Doscher].
He deleted the more esoteric components such as the mil-spec connectors on the front panel, and improved the ability to switch between different power sources with a capacitor bank big enough to smooth out any momentary interruptions. There’s also added circuitry so the device can be run on a wider range of voltages, allowing the use of whatever batteries or power sources can be scrounged up. [Evan] even thought to use automotive style fuses that could be pilfered from abandoned vehicles if necessary.
We know what you’re probably thinking; a better way to hone your survival skills and prepare for a disaster would be to just go camping a few times a year. Fair enough. But if you’re a city dweller who might not have the option, it’s hard to argue that you wouldn’t be better off having a mobile repository of survival information to consult should you need it. Doubly so if it looks this cool.
Continue reading “Surviving The Apocalypse With A Briefcase Full Of Pi” →
The best type of power outage is no power outage, but they will inevitably happen. When they do, a hacker with a house full of stuff and a head full of ideas is often the person of the hour. Or the day, or perhaps the week, should the outage last long past the fun little adventure phase and become a nuisance or even an outright emergency.
Such was the position that [FFcossag] found himself in at the beginning of January, when a freak storm knocked out power to his community on a remote island in the middle of the Baltic Sea. [FFcossag] documented his attempts to survive the eight-day outage in vlog form, and although each entry is fairly long, there’s a lot to be learned from his ordeal. His main asset was a wood cook stove in the basement of the house, which served as his heat source. He used a car radiator and a small water pump to get some heat upstairs – a battery bank provided the power for that, at least for a while. The system evolved over the outage and became surprisingly good at keeping the upstairs warm.
The power eventually came back on, but to add insult to injury, almost as soon as it did, the ground-source heat pump in the house went on the fritz. A little sleuthing revealed an open power resistor in the heat pump control panel, but without a replacement on hand, [FFcossag] improvised. Parts from a 30-year-old TV transmitter were close at hand, including a nice handful of power resistors. A small parallel network gave the correct value and the heat pump came back online.
All in all, it was a long, cold week for [FFcossag], but he probably fared better than his neighbors. Want to be as prepared for your next outage? Check out [Jenny]’s comprehensive guide.
Continue reading “Adventures In Power Outage Hacking” →
[Scott] created an LED candle in preparation for the big mac daddy storm (storms?) coming through. Like millions of other people in Florida, he was stuck at home with his roommates when an oncoming hurricane headed their way. Worrying about blundering about in the dark when the power inevitably went out, they set off to gather up all of the candles they had lying around. Realizing the monstrous pile of candles and matches looked more and more like a death wish, the decision was made to create a makeshift light out of what components they had on hand. Now, not having access to any outside sources for parts means that you are going to have a bare bones model.
That being said, this straightforward light only takes a couple of seconds to put together. Jury rig a couple of AA or AAA batteries up, then slap on a resistor, LED, and jumper to get that sucker running. Wrap electrical tape around the whole thing, or even try duct tape, whatever gets the job done. A little paper hat on top of it will diffuse the light and bada bing, bada boom, you’re all done. Generally though, soldering directly onto a battery is not a wise idea. So, if you want to get fancy, perhaps a better alternative is to have a battery casing as shown below.
This LED candle is a clear option if your home isn’t a micro warehouse for electronic components (apparently it is frowned upon to clog up your garage for projects), and you have limited time. However, if you have a number of extra minutes lying around before your windows blow in, see if you can top the brightest flashlight ever made (thus far). Continue reading “Need A Night-Light?” →