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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 infor­ma­tion […]

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 […]

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 […]