Getting your RV or trailer parked nice and level is key to getting a good night’s sleep. Traditional methods involve bubble levels and trial and error, but [MJCulross] wanted something better. Enter the Teensy RV Leveling Helper.
The device uses an accelerometer to detect the pitch and roll angles of the RV. It then displays these on a small screen, and performs calculations on how much the RV must be raised at each corner to bring it level. The RV’s width and wheelbase can be entered via a simple touchscreen interface to ensure the calculations are correct. There’s also a trailer mode which calculates three-point leveling figures for the wheels and the hitch, as opposed to the four-wheeled RV mode.
The result is that the correct leveling blocks can be selected first time when parking up the RV or trailer. It’s a lot less tedious than the usual method of parking, leveling, checking, and then leveling again.
We don’t see a lot of camper hacks around here, but we’ve noticed a new trend towards lightweight cycle campers in recent years. If you’ve found your own nifty hacks for your home on the open road, don’t hesitate to let us know!
When it comes to mechanical keyboards, there’s no end to the amount of customization that can be done. The size and layout of the keyboard is the first thing to figure out, and then switches, keycaps, and then a bunch of other customizations inside the keyboard like the mounting plate and whether or not to add foam strips and other sound- and vibration-deadening features. Of course some prefer to go the other direction with it as well, omitting the foam and installing keys with a more noticeable click, and still others go even further than that by building a separate machine to make their keyboard activity as disruptive as it could possibly be.
This started as a joke among [ac2ev] and some coworkers, who were already teasing about the distinct sound of the mechanical keyboard. This machine, based on a Teensy microcontroller, sits between any USB keyboard and its host computer, intercepting keystrokes and using a small solenoid to tap on a block of wood every time a keystroke is detected. There’s also a bell inside that rings when the enter key is pressed, similar to the return carriage notification for typewriters, and as an additional touch an audio amplifier with attached speaker plays the Mario power-up sound whenever the caps lock key is pressed.
The Coleco Adam is one of the great might-have-beens of the 8-bit home computer era, with an impressive bundle and on-paper spec let down by bugs, hardware issues, and poor availability. It’s something of a footnote today but it seems Coleco did get something right as it had a great keyboard. [Nick Bild] has one, and he’s brought it into the 21st century with a USB interface.
The interfacing is courtesy of a Teensy microcontroller board as in so many other keyboard projects, but what makes this extra-interesting is the way the Coleco keyboard speaks to the world. Instead of merely being a matrix peripheral as were so many of its contemporaries, Coleco created their own custom serial bus for Adam desktop peripherals called AdamNet, and thus the keyboard contains its own 6801 microcontroller to perform the interfacing. The Teensy then is a USB-to-AdamNet interface, and could we’re guessing be made to talk to other Coleco peripherals if they exist.
You can see the keyboard in action below the break, and as you can see it fits quite nicely into 2023. We’ve not featured much about the Adam before here at Hackaday, but the ColecoVision console which sits at its heart has even seen a new version.
[Joren] recently did some work as part of an electronic music heritage project, and restored an 80s-era NeXTcube workstation complete with vintage sound card, setting it up with a copy of MAX, a graphical music programming environment. But there was one piece missing: MIDI. [Joren] didn’t let that stop him, and successfully created hardware to allow MIDI input and output.
Interestingly, the soundcard for the NeXTcube has an RS-422 serial port and some 8-pin mini DIN connectors. They are not compatible with standard MIDI signals, but they’re not far off, either.
Ever wondered how to approach making your own digital guitar effects pedal? [Steven Hazel] and a friend have done exactly that, using an Adafruit Feather M4 Express board and a Teensy Audio Adapter board together to create a DIY programmable digital unit that looks ready to drop into an enclosure and get put right to work in the studio or on the stage.
[Steven] also made a custom PCB to mount everything, including all the right connectors, but the device can be up and running with not much more than the two main parts and a breadboard.
On the inside, the Adafruit Feather M4 Express board works with the audio board over I2S, a standard for sending serial digital audio between chips. Working with the audio itself is done with the Teensy Audio Library, providing a fantastic array of easy-to-use functions for processing and manipulating digital audio streams.
AI-powered chatbots are pretty cool, but most still require you to type your question on a keyboard and read an answer from a screen. It doesn’t have to be like that, of course: with a few standard tools, you can turn a chatbot into a machine that literally chats, as [Hoani Bryson] did. He decided to make a standalone voice-operated ChatGPT client that you can actually sit next to and have a conversation with.
The base of the project is a USB speaker, to which [Hoani] added a Raspberry Pi, a Teensy, a two-line LCD and a big red button. When you press the button, the Pi listens to your speech and converts it to text using the OpenAI voice transcription feature. It then sends the resulting text to ChatGPT through its API and waits for its response, which it turns into sound again through the eSpeak speech synthesizer. The LCD, driven by the Teensy, shows the current status of the machine and also provides live subtitles while the machine is talking.
To spice up the AI box’s appearance, [Hoani] also added an LED ring which shows a spectrogram of the audio being generated. This small addition really makes the thing come alive, turning it into what looks like a classic Sci-Fi movie prop. Except that this one’s real, of course – we are actually living in the future, with human-like AI all around us.
All code, mostly written in Go, is freely available on [Hoani]’s GitHub page. It also includes a separate audio processing library called toot that [Hoani] wrote to help him interface with the micophone and do spectral analysis. Anyone with basic electronic skills can now build their own AI companion and talk to it – something that ham radio operators have been doing for a while.
The original Nintendo Game Boy is a stout piece of hardware in a solid plastic enclosure. [Raphael Stäbler] recreated the popular handheld on a breadboard instead, in a fully-functional way, to boot.
[Raphael]’s build doesn’t rely on a real Game Boy CPU or components. Instead it’s emulated with the aid of a Teensy 4.1 microcontroller. [Raphael] coded up an emulator from scratch, instruction by instruction, something he’s documented on his own blog. The Teensy is placed on a breadboard, and hooked up with a series of 8 buttons to serve as the controls. Audio output is via a LM386 acting as a simple audio amp, hooked up with an original Game Boy speaker for more authentic sound. Display is thanks to a FT81x display driver running a small LCD. Games are loaded via an SD card formatted in the FAT32 file system.
While it’s not as ergonomic as the original Nintendo console, it works, and works well! It’s an impressive project to see the Game Boy recreated from scratch inside a powerful microcontroller. We’ve seen other projects go to similar lengths before. Video after the break.