DIY Ultra Wideband Impulse Synthetic Aperture Radar And A MakerBot

Originally posted on Hackaday:

state

What could possibly be better than printing out a few low-resolution voxels on a MakerBot? A whole lot of things, but how about getting those voxels with your own synthetic aperture radar? That’s what [Gregory Charvat] has been up to, and he’s documented the entire process for us.

The build began with an ultra wideband impulse radar we saw a while ago. The radar is built from scraps [Greg] picked up on eBay, and is able to image a scene in the time domain, creating nice linear sweeps on a MATLAB plot when [Greg] runs in front of the horns.

With an impulse radar under his belt, [Greg] moved up the technological ladder to something that can produce vaguely intelligible images with his setup. The synthetic aperture radar made from putting his radar horns on the carriage of a garage door opener. The horns slowly scan back and forth along the linear rail…

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Roman Headgear Looks Less Silly With Lots of Blinky

Originally posted on Hackaday:

centurion-project

Look, it’s not Steam-Punk because the period is way out of whack. And we’ve never seen ourselves as “that guy” at the party. But it would be pretty hard to develop The Centurion Project and not take the thing to every festive gathering you could possibly attend. This sound-reactive helm compels party-going in a toga-nouveau sort of way.

[Roman] tells us that it started as a movie prop. The first build step was to remove the plume from the top of it. The replacement — seven meters worth of addressable RGB LEDS — looks just enough like an epic mohawk to elicit visions of the punk rock show, with the reactive patterns to make it Daft. The unexpected comes with the FFT generated audio visualizations. They’re grounded on the top side of each of the LED strips. Most would call that upside-down but it ends up being the defining factor in…

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Help Us Translate WordPress.com

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

When you’re with friends and family, you probably speak in your native language.

Here at WordPress.com, we think of all of you as our family, but we have yet to master all 105 languages into which WordPress.com is translated.

To address this, we’re happy to announce a major effort to improve the quality of our translations.

We’ve deployed a brand new tool, In-Page Translation, to allow you to participate more easily in the translation process — you’re part of the family, after all.

In-Page Translation Tool

Here’s how it works:

  1. On any WordPress.com dashboard screen or blog with its language set to something other than English, hover over your name and avatar on the Admin Bar.
  2. Click “Translate WordPress.com” link.
  3. A new sidebar with translation tools will appear on the left.
  4. Choose one of the rows, enter your translation, and hit “Submit.”
  5. Your suggestion is now sent to GlotPress.

Submitted translations will…

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Retrotechtacular: ROTOPARK is a Futuristic Parking Structure from 40 Years Ago

Originally posted on Hackaday:

retrotechtacular-rotopark

Pictured above is a functioning model of an automated underground parking structure which was built and used, but obviously it never caught on widely. That makes us a bit sad, as it removes the need to find an empty parking spot every time you use the garage; and having a robot park your car for you seems very future-y.

The gist of the ROTOPARK system is a carousel and elevator system for parking cars. just drive into a single-stall garage at ground level, take your ticket, and walk out the people-hole. The garage stall floor is a sled which moves down an elevator (shown as blue stalls on the left half of the image) to be stored away in the rotating carousels of cars.

Obviously mechanical failure is a huge issue here. What if the elevator breaks? Also, at times of high traffic we think getting your vehicle back out of…

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Dual Port RAM Teaches an Old NES New Tricks

Originally posted on Hackaday:

nesDPR

[Andrew] is developing a game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Emulators are great for this, but [Andy] loves running on the real iron. To help, he’s created a dual port RAM interface for his NES. As the name implies, a dual port RAM is a memory with two separate data and address buses. The Cypress Semiconductor CY7C136 [Andy] used also includes arbitration logic to ensure that both ports don’t attempt to access the same memory cell and cause data corruption. In [Andy's] case the NES was on one side, oblivious to the new hardware. On the other side of the dual port RAM, [Andy] installed an ATmega164 running his own custom firmware.

The new hardware gives [Andy] a live view of what’s going on in the NES’s memory. He added a live memory view/edit screen similar to the FCEUX emulator. The window runs on a PC while the game itself is running…

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Tell Time and Blink an LED on Your Wrist with WatchDuino

Originally posted on Hackaday:

Watchduino Open Source Watch

Is your hipster wrist having a hard time waiting for the debut of the iWatch? There’s a new open hardware/software project out that could help calm your nerves. The WatchDuino is exactly what it sounds like, an Arduino-based wrist watch.

The component list is short and inexpensive. The meat and potatoes consist of an ATMega328, crystal, Nokia LCD screen and LiPo battery. The USB-rechargeable battery lasts about a week before needing to be such. Besides presenting the Time and Date in both analog or digital formats (as you would expect) there is an alarm and timer. Additionally, there are 2 games, Pong and Snake. Any lack of features is made up for the fact that the software is open and can be modified and added to by the community. We’re sure the development of this watch will be quick and significant.

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Huge RGB Ring Light Clock

Originally posted on Hackaday:

ring

After several months of work, [Greg] has completed one of the most polished LED clocks we’ve ever seen. It’s based on the WS2812 RGB LEDs, with an interesting PCB that allowed [Greg] to make a huge board without spending a lot of money.

The board is made of five interlocking segments, held together with the connections for power and data. Four of these boards contain only LEDs, but the fifth controller board is loaded up with an MSP430 microcontroller, a few capsense pads for a 1-D touch controller, and programming headers.

Finishing up the soldering, [Greg] had a beautiful LED ring light capable of being programmed as a clock, but no enclosure. A normal plastic case simply wouldn’t do, so [Greg] decided to try something he’d never done before: casting the PCB inside a block of resin.

A circular mold was made out of a piece of MDF and…

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