GPS trackers are always interesting because they’re so versatile. Location-based services have exploded in the last couple of years, and are poised for more growth as we get further into the 2010’s. At the heart of all of these services is a GPS tracker, and a method of transmitting position data to a server, where a provider (or hacker) can do something useful with it.
GreenTerraFirma has some very cool links regarding DIY power generation and sustainability projects. This page deals exclusively with wind turbines, and posts several videos on how to make your own out of two 55 gallon drums. The project is dirt cheap if you can source parts well, and doesn’t take a lot of specialized tools either. The author machines gears out of some cheap cutting boards, but mentions that you can make an equivalent drive system out of belts and pulleys, which can be store-bought.
Filear.com posted a cool hack that can be done in an afternoon if you have the parts handy. The author built a DIY oscilloscope using an Arduino Pro Mini and the LCD from a Nokia 3310. The Arduino is wired up to sample from an ADC port and writes those values to the screen to create a waveform. Two potentiometers control the sampling speed and input voltage for approximate time and amplitude scaling just like the real thing.
Our friends over at Make magazine put together some awesome projects, and this is one of our favorites. Last year, hacker extraordinaire Matt Richardson released this Arduino project that will monitor your TV closed caption signal for a list of keywords and mute the television when it finds a match. From his description on Make’s site:
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little sick of hearing about the same people on TV over and over again. I came up with this Arduino-based solution to mute my TV so that I don’t have to hear about Donald Trump’s feud with whomever or Charlie Sheen’s most recent rant.
Dave has created a Christmas monster and one of the most complex and creative DIY ornaments we’ve seen. He started with a Christmas tree drawing, converted it to a PCB, and designed in 15 RGB LEDs to provide twinkling multicolored cheer during the holiday season.
“So what”, you say. “Let me search Instructables for you and hand you a list of 1,000 other DIY electronic decorations. Stupid EngBlaze”.
Not so fast, folks.