Broadcast Engineer at BellMedia, Computer history buff, compulsive deprecated, disparate hardware hoarder, R/C, robots, arduino, RF, and everything in between.
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A Nixie Clock with Neon Bulb Logic

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nixie nixie This is an oldie, but oh, man is this ever good. It’s a Nixie clock made without a microcontroller. In fact, there aren’t any logic chips in this circuit, either. As far as we can tell, the logic in this clock is made with resistors, diodes, caps, and neon tubes.

The design of this is covered in the creator’s webpage. This clock was inspired by a few circuits found in a 1967 book Electronic Counting Circuitsby J.B. Dance. The theory of these circuits rely on the different voltages required to light a neon lamp (the striking voltage) versus the voltage required to stay lit (the maintaining voltage). If you’re exceptionally clever with some diodes and resistors, you can create a counting circuit with these lamps, and since it’s pretty easy to get the mains frequency, a neon logic clock starts looking like a relatively easy project.

This clock, like a lot of the author’s other work, is built dead bug style, and everything looks phenomenal. It looks like this clock is mounted to a plastic plate; a good thing, because something of this size would be very, very fragile.

Video below, thanks [jp] for sending this one in.


Filed under: classic hacks
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tekvax
7 hours ago
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Burlington, Ontario
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Finding a Shell in a Bose SoundTouch

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BOSE Bose, every salesperson’s favorite stereo manufacturer, has a line of WiFi connected systems available. It’s an impressively innovative product, able to connect to Internet Radio, Pandora, music libraries stored elsewhere on the network. A really great idea, and since this connects to a bunch of web services, you just know there’s a Linux shell in there somewhere. [Michael] found it.

The SoundTouch is actually rather easy to get into. The only real work to be done is connecting to port 17000, turning remote services on, and then connecting with telnet. The username is root.

The telnet service on port 17000 is actually pretty interesting, and we’re guessing this is what the SoundTouch iOS app uses for all its wizardry. [Michael] put a listing of the ‘help’ command up on pastebin, and it looks like there are commands for toggling GPIOs, futzing around with Pandora, and references to a Bluetooth module.

Interestingly, when [Michael] first suspected there could be Linux inside this box, he contacted Bose support for any information. He figured out how to get in on his own, before Bose emailed him back saying the information is proprietary in nature.


Filed under: digital audio hacks, linux hacks
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63 is a special number

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-7/4 is also special. Dr Holly Krieger from MIT explains dynamical sequences, prime divisors and special exceptions.
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Meet Fantastic Muppets Costumes

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Brady Gage of Monkey 5 Studios is seriously into costuming. His website lists his many projects, and they include everything from Bumblebee to a Batmobile to Muppets. Warning: it’s easy to lose a lot of time looking through all of his work. I was especially fascinated by the Muppet costumes he’s built because he’s made Animal, Miss Piggy, the Swedish Chef, Beaker, and Bunsen. The costumes all appear to be top notch. He uses materials such as foam, felt, bargain clothes, craft foam, and craft fur. He’s clearly resourceful.

The heads seem to all be built the same way: foam. He stacks and glues sheets of foam together to make a block and then carves out the head shapes by hand. He hollows the insides out and carves the face and adds details. For example, the Swedish Chef’s lips are pipe insulation. The foam is ultimately covered with felt.

Here are some more finished costume and work in progress photos:

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animal wip

miss piggy wip

swedish chef ip

See many more pictures by clicking on the links at Monkey 5 Studio’s project page.

via Kotaku, photos by Jerry Biehler and Brady Gage

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teletext40 · P100/1

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100-1

101-1
teletext40 · P100/1.

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Apollo, the Everything Board

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The best projects have a great story behind them, and the Apollo from Carbon Origins is no exception. A few years ago, the people at Carbon Origins were in school, working on a high power rocketry project.

Rocketry, of course, requires a ton of sensors in a very small and light package. The team built the precursor to Apollo, a board with a 9-axis IMU, GPS, temperature, pressure, humidity, light (UV and IR) sensors, WiFi, Bluetooth, SD card logging, a microphone, an OLED, and a trackball. This board understandably turned out to be really cool, and now it’s become the main focus of Carbon Origins.

There are more than a few ways to put together an ARM board with a bunch of sensors, and the Apollo is extremely well designed; all the LEDs are on PWM pins, as they should be, and there was a significant amount of time spent with thermal design. See that plated edge on the board? That’s for keeping the sensors cool.

The Apollo will eventually make its way to one of the crowdfunding sites, but we have no idea when that will happen. Carbon Origins is presenting at CES at the beginning of the year, so it’ll probably hit the Internet sometime around the beginning of next year. The retail price is expected to be somewhere around $200 – a little expensive, but not for what you’re getting.


Filed under: hardware, Microcontrollers
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