Model rocket launches when fish bites the hook

Model rocket launches when fish bites the hook


Mayor Mike says:

This week, I outfitted my ice fishing sledge with a rattle-reel, a super-sketchy homebrew detonator (the trigger involves a guitar pick) and a launch pad. Now, I know when a fish bites because a rocket launches.

No one lost a hand today, but we did lose 2 rockets.

My Rocket-Wielding Blast-Off Ice Fishing Tip-Up/blockquote>

(Via Boing Boing.)

Floppy drive organ plays toccata

Floppy drive organ plays toccata

YouTube user FunToTheHead has created a working organ that uses finely tuned wheezing floppy drives to play rather impressive renditions of music. It’s not easy to sequence for four-note floppy-drive organs, but FunToTheHead has done a rather good job with Toccata and Fugue — a solid choice for any mad-science organ! I love that he’s got the blinkenlights synched with the music.

People have made floppy drives sing before, but this is my personal take on it.

Features two 3 1/2″ drives and two 5 1/4″ drives connected to a PIC18f14k50 microcontroller. It interfaces to any MIDI source via MIDI over USB. Straight MIDI would also be possible with an additional small circuit and some minor firmware changes. This initial version can respond to all 128 MIDI notes, and pitch bends +/- 2 semitones.

As it can produce only four simultaneous notes, and each drive has a different range and tonal characteristics, best results are obtained by arranging compositions by hand. However, it features two modes of operation: in one mode, MIDI channels 1 through 4 are played directly on floppy drives 1 through 4. In the other mode, all 16 MIDI channels are read, and notes are “intelligently” divvied out on a first-come, first-serve basis. “Note stealing” ensures that melody lines sound, but chords are often cut short. One or the other produces acceptable results for many unmodified MIDI files straight out of your favorite media player.

Phantom of the Floppera

So I built a musical instrument out of antiquated PC hardware… (Reddit)

(Thanks, Evan!)

(Via Boing Boing.)

Build a DIY Lightsaber

Build a DIY Lightsaber


Click pic to see all the steps involved

If you Google ‘lightsaber’, you’ll discover there’s a huge market in building and selling them. I’m waiting for the ‘real’ ones that can kill so that I can read about those on one side arguing that they should be regulated or banned since they’re obviously not protected by the 2nd Amendment and those on the other side using the phrase, “Lightsabers don’t kill people, people kill people!”


(Via Dvorak Uncensored.)

Steampunk bandwidth gauge

Steampunk bandwidth gauge

@Skytee made this gorgeous, Arduino-powered steampunk bandwidth gauge based on a similar project by Tom Igoe from Make Magazine: “I needed a linear scale from 0 through 100, saying Mbps, thus making it a TorrentMeter. I chose the logo of Dingfabrik as manufacturer logo, since that is where @PylonC and I disassembled the voltmeter when it arrived in the mail. And I needed it to look as old as the original, so I stained it. To do so, I just took a clean baking tray, filled it with black tea and slowly shoved in a sheet of paper sideways. That’s rather important to avoid having bubbles under the sheet, thus creating an even stain.”

TorrentMeter – A steampunk bandwidth meter

(Via Boing Boing.)