Electric Window Motor Becomes Mini Chainsaw

This mini handheld chainsaw by [Make it Extreme] is based around an electric motor from a car door, the same ones used to raise and lower car windows. They are common salvage parts, and with the right modifications and a few spare chainsaw bits attached, it turns out that the motor is more than capable of enough zip to cut through a variety of wood. Add a cordless tool battery pack, and the portable mini handheld chainsaw is born.

What’s really remarkable about the build video (embedded below, after the break) is not simply that it shows the build process and somehow manages to make it all look easy. No, what’s truly remarkable is that in the video it is always clear what is happening, and all without a single word being spoken. There’s no narration, no watching someone talk, just a solid build and demonstration. The principle of “show, don’t tell” is definitely taken to heart, here.

So, how well does it work as a chainsaw? It seems to work quite well! [Make it Extreme] does feel that a chain with smaller teeth and a higher motor speed would probably be an improvement, but the unit as built certainly can cut. You can judge for yourself by watching the build video, embedded below.

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Electric Window Mechanism Into A Electric Screen Door

In many parts of the world leaving open a door or window is a good way to get a house full of bugs. Remembering to close doors behind them can be surprisingly hard for members of the human race, so the [DuctTape Mechanic] used the components from a car’s electric window to automate his sliding screen door.

After the excess pieces were cut off the rail, the motor and rail were mounted on top of the door frame. A long bolt is attached to the moving plate on the rail, which pushes on the pack of the door to close it. After closing, the mechanism returns to its open position, allowing the door to be opened by hand again. The motor is controlled by an Arduino running a very simple sketch, which senses if the door is closed with a microswitch and starts a 10 second countdown once opened. Two relays are used to create an H-bridge circuit to drive the motor in both directions.

It doesn’t look like there is any provision to detect if it is obstructed. A simple solution could be to make the push rod spring-loaded, so it can slide over the door if there is excessive resistance.

If you only want to let certain creatures into your house, we have no shortage of automated pet door for your hacking pleasure.

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Third Person Driving IRL

It’s a dream come true: remote control of a real car. Besides being a lot of fun, a life-size RC vehicle has some practical applications, like performing rescue operations or delivering supplies to dangerous areas. For [Carter], [Dave], [Ryan], and [Sean], the dream became reality in the span of 24 caffeine-and-chicken-finger-fueled hours during an Ohio State University hackathon. They dubbed the system MagiKarpet because it sits in place of the floor mat and runs on pixies.

The plan was to control the throttle, brake, and steering of a Chevy Cobalt using a PlayStation controller. For added fun, a camera mounted high above the back bumper would provide a third-person view, and this feed would be displayed on a monitor in the backseat. Everything is controlled by an Arduino Mega. A beefy linear actuator works the brake and is attached temporarily with a band of Shapelock that slips around the pedal. The throttle is pushed by a lever attached to a car window motor. Another motor connects to the steering wheel with cables that can turn it 90° left and right. Although the build was successful, they ran into a couple of issues. But what’s a hackathon experience without a few problems?

The linear actuator was jammed for about an hour after some early testing, but they got it unstuck. The PS controller was borked, so they had to roll their own joysticks. The school wouldn’t let them actually drive it around because of safety (killjoys but we get it), so they put it up on a jack to demonstrate it for the judges. They took second place, though we can’t imagine what would have beat this. Check out the complete build video after the break.

You might remember these guys from last year around this time. They took first place at the same hackathon with Robottermilk Puncakes, a app-controlled pancake machine. Now that you’re hungry for pancakes, feast your eyes on this endless one.

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