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[Jared] posted the latest version of his remote control airsoft gun. The new one allows USB and R/C control. It’s got four seperate firing mechanisms, a laser and uses a pair of servos for motion… and lots of ammo. Whatever you do, don’t make fun of [Jared]. They’ll have video up on the site after a couple of days to save bandwidth.
(Just a note: embed youtube or netscape videos and you’ll have video and save your bandwidth.)
Want to take your SNES emulation to your friend’s house? [Chris] worked out a way to fit the important parts inside of an original Super Nintendo controller. He removed the case from a 4GB thumb drive as well as a USB hub. Using a RetroZone kit he gave the controller a USB interface. By soldering the thumb drive and RetroZone board directly to the hub he’s reduced the package down to just one cable. Everything fits inside the controller case and now when you plug it into the computer you can fire up the ROMs you copied from your original cartridges that are stored on the thumb drive.
Of course this isn’t limited to SNES emulation but the real question is can you boot from the thumb drive?
[Osgeld] takes on the classic VCR head jog wheel in this instructable. He has done a fantastic job not only in his build quality, but in the quality of the writeup. As he points out, the idea of using the head as a jog wheel isn’t new. His construction and build quality however have yielded a fantastic looking reliable device that we would be proud to have sitting on our desk.
As usual, the most interesting bits of the writeup are how he solved problems he encountered. For example, he’s using an optical mouse to detect the motion of the wheel. This requires that he print out a pattern to mount opposite the optical sensor. This sounds straight forward enough, but he found the results to be less than stellar. He documented his fix, basically reworking it in GIMP, so others can save some time. That is how tutorials should be. Great job [Osgeld].
When designing a circuit on the bench, sometimes things work far better than they do in real life. [Quinn Dunki] learned this lesson over the last few months as she struggled with one of her recent creations, the Dish-o-Tron 6000. We featured the Dish-o-Tron back in April, and at that point things seemed to be working out well for [Quinn]. As time passed however, she found the device to be an unreliable power hog. Aside from eating through a battery every few weeks, it kept spontaneously switching states from ‘Dirty’ to ‘Clean’ and back. It was time to take the Dish-o-Tron back to the bench for some debugging.
The random status flip from ‘Dirty’ to ‘Clean’ was a relatively easy fix, and required a small capacitor between the set pin and ground to eliminate the electrical noise that was tripping things up. She nailed down the spontaneous ‘Clean’ to ‘Dirty’ flip to a stuck tilt switch, which she swapped out for a mercury-based model, making things far more reliable. She solved her battery problems by wiring in a 12v wall wart, which might not be any more energy efficient, but it does save her from swapping out batteries all the time.
It’s always nice to see how projects evolve over time, and how the inevitable bugs are worked out of an initial design.
Arduino has just released an official ethernet shield. It’s based on the same WizNet W5100 chip that was used in the tiny ethernet board we covered earlier. The W5100 handles the full IP stack and can do TCP or UDP with four simultaneous sockets. The board has a power indicator plus six LEDs to debug the connection. It works with the standard ethernet library. The reset button resets the shield and the Arduino. The SD adapter is not currently supported by the Arduino software.