Piddler Illustrates Aliasing And The Z-Transform

One of the problems about learning too much control system theory is that you start to realize almost everything is some sort of control system. That’s the case with [Fernando Zigunov]. After observing a Rayleigh-Plateau instability in his kitchen sink, he decided to build a little display piece that shows water apparently defying gravity that he calls The Piddler.

We’ve seen things like this before, of course. A coffee pump, a check valve, and a strobe lamp with a controller is all that it takes. What makes this project interesting is the over hour-long video lecture on the theory behind why this works and how it relates to aliasing and the z-transform. You can check out the video, below.

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THP Hacker Bio: Infinityis

thp-contestant-bio-infinityis

That profile picture is full of pure joy! Meet [infinityis], aka [David Hoelscher] — don’t worry, we’re not revealing his secret identity; he posted his real name on his profile page.

His entry for The Hackaday Prize is a functional show piece to greet guests when they step into his home. His Waterfall Wall will serve as a way to separate the living space from the entryway. The top portion of it is a water feature which will be edge-lit with LEDs whose color will be controlled wirelessly. The bottom part of the wall will provide some storage space.

Join us after the break to find out more about [David], and check out his THP video for a brief introduction to his Waterfall Wall.

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Computer Controlled Water Show

watershow

After seeing our recent post on Laminar Flow Nozzles, [Richard] decided to share with us his family’s summer project — a computer controlled water show (translated)!

The setup uses a Raspberry Pi at its core and a set of USB relay boards to turn the valves and lights on and off to the music. They wrote the program in Python and have posted it on their website to share.

They used common household solenoid valves because they are easy to control by relay, but unfortunately they are on/off only, so variable flow is not possible. A challenge they encountered was equalizing the water pressure — one to make sure the pump didn’t over heat when the fountains were off, and two, to equalize the height of each fountain stream. To solve this they used a pressure regulator for the pump, and organized the plumbing in such a way with additional control valves that the pressure differences were minimal.

The setup doesn’t sound like it cost that much, and now the family has their own music activated water fountain in their garden — how awesome is that! Stick around after the break to see it in action.

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Brawndo Drinking Fountain – It’s Got What Geeks Crave!

brawndo fountain

If you’re tired of drinking mere water, like from the toilet, then you should definitely install a Brawndo drinking fountain. Apparently, in addition to being what plants crave, geeks also enjoy this futuristic beverage.

As with many hacks, this fountain started out with a broken piece of equipment – a water fountain. After searching unsuccessfully for a new pushbutton valve [Dave] and [Craig] decided to use a solenoid valve instead. Logically, they decided that if a new valve was needed, some new features to go along with it were also needed. Along with this valve, a peristalsis pump was installed to add flavoring to the water if Brawndo was selected (as opposed to toilet water).

The hack was finished off with some nice decals and a switch plate. As you may have suspected, the Brawndo fountain was custom made for a makerspace.  In this case Kansas City’s own Hammerspace. Be sure to check them out if you’re in the area!