Hackaday HalloWing case

One of the goodies from the Hackaday Superconference was an Adafruit HalloWing. And I thought: surely a Jolly Wrencher case must be made for this skull-shaped circuit board! How has no one made of these yet?

So I remixed an existing clip-on case that fits the included battery (Thanks DoctorWhich!), added the Jolly Wrenches and printed it out. It came out pretty great. Though now I wish I had some black PLA.

Here’s a video showing it:

See also:

Tiny Servos as Continuous Rotation Gearmotors

I’ve been exploring various types of gearmotors. DC motors by themselves spin too fast and have low torque. Gearmotors are motors with a gearbox that slows down the high speed of the motor and produces higher torque. Most gearmotors are pretty expensive though. I want a really cheap, almost throw-away, source of gearmotors. It turns out cheap servos can be made into continuous rotation gearmotors.

Modding servos for continuous rotation is not a new hack. You can find many examples of it. You can even buy a nice continuous servo made by Parallax. But I wanted a micro servo version. I’ve been getting cheap servo motors from Hobby City, and they have several super-tiny servos for less than $4. The ones I use here are the Hextronic HXT500 available for $3.49 each.

Here’s how to modify one of those servos to make it into a tiny little gearmotor.
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Magic wands do exist, as gyro mice

ThingM‘s own Mike Kuniavsky was featured on BoingBoing today. Woot!

Mike spent some time getting a Gyration Air Mouse to work on Mac OS X as a gestural input device. The Gyration stuff is interesting because it’s based upon a two-axis gyroscope. It’s not accelerometer-based like some of the old game console controllers (or like the Sudden Motion Sensor in the new Mac laptops)

I got a few of those mice as well to experiment with, thinking it would be a cheap way to acquire a gyro, since dual-axis gyros are pretty pricey.

Except when you take it apart, it turns out the gyro is huge:

The gyroscope is the large silver cube. This is no MEMS device like all the other gyros, but some honking steampunk-like device that measures Coriolis effect using electromagnets.

I’m considering talking to Gyration about getting a few OEM samples of their gyro for non-mousing applications. Or maybe just get the datasheet from them and canabilize some Air Mouses.

ReadyNAS Rules

I recently obtained a ReadyNAS NV by Infrant, on the recommendation of my friend Ben Franco, who’s done much research on large disk arrays. The ReadyNAS pretty much rules. I think my long-standing storage woes may finally be over.

readynas status screen

It’s a dedicated Network Attached Storage (NAS) box that does RAID-0, RAID-1, RAID-5, or a proprietary combo of the three called “X-RAID”. X-RAID allows you to start with one disk, move to two, then three, then four, all without rebuilding the RAID or changing RAID levels.

Continue reading “ReadyNAS Rules”

Sony Ericsson P900 / T-mobile Redux

So after six weeks T-mobile was finally able to wrest control of my number from the cold dead hands of Cingular.
And thanks to MobileWhack’s P900 pages for
providing the correct settngs to get the P900 on the Net. It is very cool to be able to web surf, IM, and check
email anywhere I can get a cell connection.

T-Mobile unlocking after 3 months?

I read this on Slashdot, so it must be true:
T-Mobile will allow their phones to be unlocked after about three months of service. Just send email to simunlock@t-mobile.com with your name, phone number and IMEI number and they’ll hook you up.link