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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Weekend hacks: low-powered LEDs

I’m a suck­er for blink­ing lights. Everything I’m build­ing or is sit­ting in my note­book in vari­ous stages of think­ing about involves some sort of LED, EL pan­el or oth­er bright thing. So when I went to Bun­nings yes­ter­day (buy­ing lights for a dif­fer­ent pro­ject. ahem) and dis­covered small cheap bat­tery-powered light strings, I couldn’t […]

The Kerbal controller

This after­noon I gave a talk at the Open Hard­ware miniconf at linux.conf.au about the Kerbal Space Pro­gram hard­ware con­trol­ler build I’ve been work­ing on for the last little while. I’m pretty proud of this build, the talk was fun, and the crowd seemed to like it, so I’m pretty stoked this even­ing. :) For those inter­ested, here’s all of the […]

Overengineering a clock

Like pretty much every­one who ever pulled apart their Nin­tendo Game and Watch so they could beef it up with a speak­er and AA bat­tery hold­er scav­enged from a tran­sist­or radio (that thing was awe­some), I was out­raged when Ahmed was arres­ted. Luck­ily, now I’m an adult with some dis­pos­able income and a pen­chant for col­lect­ing […]

Rostok 3D Printer Build

I’ve put off start­ing a 3D print­er for a long time, mostly because I couldn’t think of any­thing par­tic­u­larly use­ful to do with it. But over the past year or so I’ve run off a few parts, and the list of things I’d like to have has got­ten longer. So for my birth­day a couple […]

Building an arduino-based video game controller

I play a lot of Kerbal Space Pro­gram because sand­box games in space is pretty much the greatest idea ever. So in an attempt to enhance the game and build some­thing pretty cool, I’ve spent the last sev­er­al months work­ing towards build­ing a con­sole to con­trol the game and dis­play tele­metry. My final design is going […]

Making laser-cut backlit control panels

Most of my cur­rent ardu­ino pro­jects have had pretty ad-hoc enclos­ures. You can go a long way with a Jiffy box and a Dremel. Then I bought an emboss­ing label maker to add some text to my boxes (and, OK, everything else — when you have an emboss­ing label maker everything starts to look like an unlabeled thing). […]

Prototyping nRF24L01+ modules on Arduino

I star­ted look­ing at the nRF24L01 chips while plan­ning a con­trol­ler for the sprink­ler in my back yard. They seemed like a pretty good option for low-cost, low-power wire­less Ardu­ino com­mu­nic­a­tion. They’re not per­fect, but when you can buy a 10-pack of mod­ules for twelve bucks on eBay it’s easy to settle for not per­fect. […]

UPnP/DLNA clients in Ubuntu 13.04

Stream­ing con­tent from a UPnP serv­er (in my case, the XBMC media centre in my lounge room) to an Ubuntu machine is fairly simple. But there didn’t seem to be any doc­u­ment­a­tion that I could find, and I ended up spend­ing a sur­pris­ing amount of time futz­ing around mak­ing it work. This is how I did […]

Hacking the Ikea DIODER in ten minutes flat

Last week I bought a set of DIODER lights from the Ikea down the road, pretty much on a whim. They’re not the cheapest way to buy RGB strip light­ing, but I did like the mod­u­lar design. And it’s remark­ably easy to modi­fy the con­trol­ler to drive the sys­tem with an ardu­ino. The sys­tem comes […]

Controlling external lighting with Arduino

The path to my front door is long and very poorly lit. There’s a sensor light moun­ted above it, but that’s nev­er worked and, liv­ing in a rent­al, get­ting it fixed has been a bit of a task. So I bought a roll of 3-wire LED rope light on eBay. Cable-tied it to the under­side […]