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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Canon fd to eos inifinity focus

fd adapter-2

Adapters to mount older fd mount canon lenses onto the newer eos cameras have been around for a while. There are some problems to solve. Because of the focal length, the fd lens could no longer focus to inifity and lose brightness(an f-stop). Rodolfo Novak modded his canon 55mm f1.2 fd lens for the eos mount by removing some vital parts(the attachment ring and the aperture ring). ?Now that the lens was closer, both infinite focus and the f-stop are back.  He’s a bit short on the details, but it becomes clear if you look at an unmodified lens. Of course, to get the focus indicator working on a digital eos like my 350d, you need to add an af lens emulator circuit. If you don’t care about infinite focus, you could go a less invasive adapter.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hot air desoldering

Project parts aren’t cheap. Scrounging them from old hardware presents some challenges. Derek Anderson pointed us to this short but sweet how-to on hot-air desoldering using a heat gun from Home Depot. Looks like a great way to fill your parts bins.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

SMS Remote Control

sms remote

The Ericsson T10s outputs sms messages through its on-boared data connector when they are recieved. Serasidis Vasilis exploited this feature to build his own SMS remote control. His example provides on/off control of four devices. The hardest part was programming the Atmel to turn the 7 bit output from the phone into the 8 bits the Atmel expects.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

steerable cantenna

cantenna scanner

I almost passed over this one, since it’s another cantenna. With the software the Adrian wrote, it’s a fully functional directional wifi scanner. The system can pan and scan a region and visualize the results. Scan resolution can be varied, similar to a regular image scanner. It’s built from a pair of stepper motors ,a PIC on a SIMM stick with a serial interface.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006



The biggest hacker news of the weekend has to be Chumby being revealed. We heard whisperings of this at Defcon, but the device has finally been seen in the flesh at Foo Camp. Chumby is an open hardware flash player. That’s just a starting point though. Chumby is designed to be hacked. Even though they aren’t selling hardware yet, they’ve already posted full schematics and software notes (create an account to view). The device comes with a dongle for further expansion. Christine.net, Dyl World, and ScottJanousek all have posts covering the device. Friend of Hack-A-Day, bunnie did the hardware design and posted shots of the board on his blog. We’re planning on getting a good look at the device when Fabienne, Will, and I are at Toorcon in San Diego next month.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

portable XBox

portable xbox
This one’s late thanks to my cable modem. I don’t know how I feel about the color, but Dave built a nice portable XBox. He crammed the system along with (what looks like) a PSone screen and couple stacks of batteries inside the thing. He vacuum formed the case out of plastic over a plaster mold.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Bent NES visualizer

Circuit bending is becoming a regular around here. [emdy] sent in Phillip Stearns bent NES project. It’s modified to produce visual output based on sound input. I think that the bent Texas Instruments T199 is even more worthy. Nice.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mikey Sklar on The Daily Show

Yesterday’s The Daily Show (8-23-06) had a segment featuring friend of Hack-A-Day Mikey Sklar. You probably remember his projects: Making RFID proof pockets, embedding an RFID chip in his hand, and his current project the high-lighter, a trampoline controlled flame thrower. Mikey is on the road to Burning Man right now so he hasn’t seen the 2 minutes they got out of the 8.5 hours of filming. It can’t be all bad though: this screen cap is right before Samantha Bee unzips her pants and he got just as much screen time as Ray Kurzweil. You can download the torrent here. Mikey’s segment starts at 7 minutes; there is some more during the credits.

UPDATE: Dan Lane (also chipped) uploaded the short segment to YouTube. Video after the break.

Continue reading “Mikey Sklar on The Daily Show”

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tableless optical mouse

soap caught my attention. It’s on of those hacks that strikes me as well concieved - insert a wireless optical mouse inside a smooth plastic container and wrap it in fabric. The fabric covering becomes the mouse surface. (Just don’t attack me because the creator works for Billy.)
[Comments will be back soon.]

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

cd lamps, etc

We’re fond of Team Hack-A-Day, so I wanted to point out the AOL CD lamp that Team Hack-A-Day member Figgy built. CD lamps are a fairly popular project: If you don’t have a cold cathode, you could build a compact florescent version. I really like the clean look of Neil’s version. Russel Jone’s added an external power connector to his Antec case to power his lamp.

I wonder what will happen if I combine the power of the AOL cd tesla generator and the AOL CD throne...[Sorry about the lack of comments, They’ll be back ASAP.]

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

diy midi keyboard

Barry Carter put together a how to on building your own USB midi keyboard. He used the discontinued (read cheap) AN2131 developer board and a cheap toy keyboard. The keys are rewired with a diode based keyboard matrix that connects easily to the dev board. He rounds out the write up with some source code.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

nikon d200 gps adapter

d200 gps

Kevin Zeits sent in his diy Nikon d200 gps cable and hot shoe gps mount.
Nikon sells it for $150, but has a 3 to 6 month eta. Ok, it’s really just a ttl to rs-232 converter with proprietary connectors - but I love tagging photos with gps info. Now if only I could do this for my canon rebel xt. (It would take a firmware hack at the minimum) If you’re not blessed with a d200, check out gpsphotolinker.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

uv breadbox

The guys at invent geek posted their latest project. They… improved a breadbox. Their UV lamp mod actually kept their bread looking safe to eat up to 50% longer. (I just keep it in my fridge/freezer) We’ve covered their stuff before. My favorite is the vibrating lockpick.

[Yeah, we had a little outage today. The server should be happier now.]

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

ultrasonic 3d mouse

Shane brennan sent in his groups final CE/EE senior design project. fre3space is an ir, ultrasonic 3d mouse. Three towers take ultrasonic sound measurements to calculate the position of the mouse. button clicks are transmitted in ir. A fpga developers kit ties it all together and provides the usb interface. a simple opengl application demonstrates the 3d capabilities of the system (vs 2d of the desktop variety).

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Friday, August 18, 2006

SDI video-out mod

SDI (Serial Digital Interface) is a digital video over coax standard with up to 540Mbs of bandwidth. For now it’s only found on high-end a/v hardware. Retired broadcast engineer Robert Cobler hacked a SDI interface into his his satellite reciever and Danny Mavromatis did his DVD changer for the ultimate in digital video quality. Robert built the ‘Poor Mans SDI’ to show that SDI doesn’t need to be expensive. He interfaced a National CLC020 to the Bt865 video chip and added some logic hardware to impliment the required SAV/EAV signals. If you’ve got the right video chip(with the right clock), you can use the evaluation kit to make your own. Check out danny’s blog entry for a beautiful screen capture.
[Update: The DVD mod is by Danny Mavromatis - Robert wrote up the satellite mod on AVSforum - Thanks Scott]

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