Your source for daily hacks

Published on: October 29, 2013 / Comments: 1

There’s still time for these Halloween hacks!

Halloween isn’t over yet, there is still time to make something cool for Halloween.  Here’s a few to inspire you.

First up is Halloween Prank.  While not a completed project, this is a good base for Arduino powered scare tactics!  The build uses an Arduino, an Ultrasonic distance sensor, and a servo.  By detecting ‘someone coming to your door’ possibly, the servo is triggered.  In Jacob’s build the plan is to drop a bunch of spiders on people walking up.  That sounds like fun.  You could also make it actuate something to jump out at your unsuspecting victims.

Source code for Halloween Prank is available here on GitHub.  There are more pictures and a test video on Jacob’s site.

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Published on: October 17, 2013 / Comments: None

Animatronic Rats do the spooky dance – Ratsberri Pi

Found this one while looking around for more Halloween inspired hacks.  Hari picked up a bunch of rubber rats at the dollar store and decided to make a Halloween project out of it.

A Raspberry Pi connected to a Pi Cobbler breakout board, and a 16 channel i2c PWM servo controller puppet an array of rubber rats.  Everything is powered by a pair of hobby LiPo batteries and 5v regulators.   The rats eyes were swapped out for some bright red LED’s giving a pretty authentic haunted house look.

There’s still time to put something like this together before Halloween!

Published on: October 15, 2013 / Comments: None

The DECbox is a beautiful DEC VT100 terminal running from a beagle bone

When you think of emulators, you probably think of old video game emulators.  Well think further back to a text based gaming society like Zork.  Before GUI’s were established most computing was done via serial terminals.  And this project pays homage to that time.  The DECbox emulates a variety of vintage terminals, wrapped in a sexy vintage enclosure.

The brains of the DECbox runs off of a beagle bone with a special cape to break out all of the UARTs the processor has into serial ports.  On the software side its running multiple versions of SimH from the The Computer History Simulation Project.

If you are into retro computing, this is a really awesome project.  Collecting numerous vintage terminals can take up a lot of space, and a lot of that old hardware is broken now.  It’s great to see the project rebirth the feel of the vintage terminal for history preservation.

DECbox project link here, more info about the software install here.

Published on: October 11, 2013 / Comments: None

A Disney inspired Haunted Mansion portrait using Rapsberry Pi

If you’ve ever been to the Haunted Mansion at one of the Disney Parks, you remember lots of small spooky stuff going on.  One of the things they like to do in the Haunted Mansion is have these portraits that slowly change from regular people into ghouls and ghasts.   Brandon decided to craft one up himself.

Powering the portrait is a Raspberry Pi, with a 19″ LCD.  The whole thing is wrapped in a decorative IKEA frame, painted with a little patina to look antique.  On the face Brandon is using Gila Platinum Window film which makes the glass into a 2 way mirror.  Software wise it’s using a Raspberry Pi Video Looper.  And here is a link to the video loop of Master Gracy on YouTube, but you could probably make your own if you wanted to.

Check out Brandon’s web site for more details, and here is a PDF containing a BOM and a few more details.

Check out the video after the break;  Kind of creepy.

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Published on: October 10, 2013 / Comments: None

SPiBot r/c tank uses Raspberry Pi for recon surveillance

SPiBot is a remote control platform with tank-like tracks.  It’s a work in progress, but will be fitted with a rotatable camera, microphone, and distance sensors.  It is to be controlled via the web on either a phone, tablet, or laptop.

The base for the platform is a Raspberry Pi.  WiFi is used for communication.  The HTML interface is served up using nginx and PHP.  Motor control happens via PWM from the Pi to motor drivers.   Video and pictures will be done with some combination of raspivid, vlc, ffmpeg, and raspivid.

It looks like the project is pretty far a long, but not quite finished.  Hopefully the author has some pets he can terrorize when it’s finished.

Source code on GitHub, and the original project link here.  It’s not in English so here’s the google translate link.  Video of the control test after the break.

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Published on: October 9, 2013 / Comments: None

Spooky Halloween effects door using Raspberry Pi

Who doesn’t love Halloween?  Especially since most of us are on the other end now doing the scaring instead of being a scared kid snatching up candy.  Cabe wanted to create some pro haunted effects for himself and came up with a pretty cool project.

The build uses a 24″ LCD screen that is supposed to look like a window.  Behind the door are a bunch of solenoid’s controlling pneumatic piston’s that really bring the video to life, making you think something is on the other side trying to get out.  Everything is controlled by a Raspberry Pi, and it is triggered by a photoelectric beam sensor.  The code is written in good ol’ regular c and the video is played through OMXPlayer.

Check out the video demo after the break.  Source code, schematics, BOM and other details can be found on element14.

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Published on: October 3, 2013 / Comments: 2

Use the web to control an HDMI Switcher

Universal remote controls are a natural want.  I know I hate having 100 remotes for everything remote control.  So what do you do when you start getting used to using your phone as a remote (via web interfaces) ?  Well start converting your other stuff to be controlled via the web too!

Dalgibbard has an entertainment center using XBMC and a Raspberry Pi.  But the HDMI switcher uses an infra-red remote control.  So naturally Dalgibbard hacked the switcher to be controlled by a web interface on the Raspberry Pi.

The HDMI switcher is wired up to the Raspberry Pi via a relay and a few discrete components to the GPIO pins.  The pins are controlled by a python script that is executed by a web page using PHP and Apache.  Simple and efficient.

More pictures, schematic, source here.