Your source for daily hacks

Published on: October 21, 2013 / Comments: None

Great idea — turn uav/drones into flying ghosts!

Looking for something fun to do this Halloween?  How about scaring the crap out of people everywhere.  Alton Porter has a pretty good setup for this.  It looks like adding a lightweight skull (either wire-frame or Styrofoam), some LED eyes, and some tattered cloth.  Just make sure you don’t interfere with the blades, nobody wants you to crash your quad!

This would be amazingly cool with a swarm of small drones.  Great idea.

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.


Published on: September 27, 2013 / Comments: None

DIY RF control system for R/C Vehicle using Arduino and nRF24L01

With the advance of affordable 3D Printers, the home brew R/C vehicle community is booming with people making and designing their own parts.  However, making your own RF controller is a different story.

Armed with a pair of Arduinos and nRF24L01 modules, Mujahed has a good start on one.  On the transmitter side he’s reading a joystick module with an Arduino Uno and transmitting with one of the nRF24L01 modules.  On the receiver side is another wireless module feeding an Arduino nano that is tied to a few servos.  Everything on the car side is running off of a standard r/c car style 1800mAH battery.

More info and wiring diagrams on Mujahed’s site. Check out the video after the break.


Published on: September 13, 2013 / Comments: None

Build a Tiny Laser Turret

Ranking up there in the category of possibly over engineered cat toys, is the TinyLaserTurret.  This will probably keep you _and_ fluffy entertained for at least a few hours.

The brains of the operation is an ATTiny85 microcontroller.  The unit is controlled by a Wii Nunchuck (using the WiiChuck adapter).  Pan & tilt are made available via servos.   Then there’s a 5v red laser module for that mysterious dot that fluffy can’t seem to ever catch.  Because of current requirements the laser is driven with a transistor.  Everything is mounted on a 3D Printed frame.



Published on: September 7, 2013 / Comments: 1

Home automation via heimcontrol.js on your Raspberry Pi and Arduino

DIY home automation seems to be a pretty big topic lately, I just wish they would all work together.  If these guys could work with the Souliss guys that would be awesome.  On to heimcontrol.js.  Instead of going the app + server route, heimcontrol.js is going responsive.  That’s platform agnostic html5+css3 that should look good on mobile devices, tablets and desktops.

Websockets is another technology that you don’t see widely used, but it allows your web browser to maintain a persistent connection to the server instead of polling (or even pulling data via ajax requests) so it can have super fast response times.  The main server runs off of the Raspberry Pi, with communication to an Arduino.  That gives you access to the gpio and peripherals the Pi has, plus all the cool things you can hack together with your Arduino.

Peeking at the code it looks like extending capabilities is pretty easy with their plug-in design.  If you’ve ever done any web development you should feel pretty safe as well.

More over at the heimcontrol.js site.

Published on: September 3, 2013 / Comments: None

Another Android remote controlling your Raspberry Pi

Previously I mentioned a similar project that used a python daemon to talk to an Android app to remotely control the Pi.  Well there’s always more than one way of doing things.  As with the other project, the implementation on this one is a little different.

First off you have your Android app (which is available on the Google Play store here).  Next you have the server piece (available here, with instructions and demonstrations) that runs on your Pi.  The Android app connects to the Pi via SSH (over WIFI usually) and executes the pre-configured actions that you have assigned to with your Android application.

It currently has the ability to control and monitor GPIO, talk via I2C, manage processes, and stream video via MJPEG.   According to the site they are busy adding more features such as XBMC support, and voice control.


Published on: August 12, 2013 / Comments: None

Making use of those unused buttons on your remote

On the 20 some-odd remotes I have around the house, I know there are a bunch of buttons on some of them that don’t do anything for my model of whatever it controls.  Badr noticed the same thing on his satellite receiver.  So he decided to give those extra buttons something to control.

Armed with a little IR transmission know-how, a 16f84a, a transistor array and some relays he added support for controlling his some lights and a fan.

He’s got a schematic and source code up here.