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retro edition                         /___/ 
Now optimized for embedded devices!
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Improving a software defined radio with a few bits of wire

posted May 14th 2012 8:01am by
filed under: radio hacks

Impressed by the recent advances in the software defined radio scene, [Jason] picked up a $20 USB TV tuner dongle to check out his local airwaves. Unfortunately, the antenna included with the little USB dongle is terrible at receiving any signal other than broadcast TV. [Jason] wanted to improve his reception, so he got some wire and made his own discone antenna.

The discone antenna┬áis ideally suited for [Jason]‘s setup – properly constructed, it’s able to┬áreceive over the entire 64 to 1700 MHz band the RTL-SDR dongle is able to read. To construct his antenna, [Jason] checked out [VE3SQB]‘s list of antenna design programs, got the dimensions of his antenna, and set to work attaching wire to PVC pipe.

The antenna is a massive improvement over the stock antenna included with the TV tuner dongle. After mounting his discone at the far end of his back yard, [Jason] started picking up a few blips from the transponders of passing aircraft.

Flexi Knobs

posted Feb 19th 2010 9:55am by
filed under: multitouch hacks, peripherals hacks

These boxes, called Flexi Knobs, work like a wireless Atari paddle and mouse rolled into one. Each has a rotary encoder that can also be clicked like a button. On the inside is a wireless optical mouse which controls an on-screen cursor which matches the color of the knob. In the video after the break you can see these are being used as midi controls. Each cursor can be locked onto a virtual knob, giving it a physical interface. Because there are several units being used on one machine this creates something of an abstract multi-touch system. This would make a nice interface for other applications with a plethora of settings, like Blender.

Cheap ARM color LCD platform

posted Jul 18th 2008 7:36am by
filed under: classic hacks, handhelds hacks, home entertainment hacks, portable video hacks

Today, [sprite_tm] let us in on one of his pet projects. This is an inexpensive portable game platform runs about $50 and happens to use an ARM CPU and a 320×240 color LCD. Because it’s so cheap, he’s been working on reverse engineering the thing and there’s already a proof of concept homebrew version of Pong out for it.
Update: Yeah, yeah – title’s fixed.

Animatronic winged demon terrorizes local garage

posted Oct 16th 2009 6:13am by
filed under: home hacks


Halloween is on its way, and if you’re going to do it right, you’re going to overdo it right. A few days ago we showed you [Jake's] flying Crank Ghost, the idea is simple and creates lovely motion that is sure to scare some small children. But what if you want people leaving your little shop of horrors needing a new pair of pants? Meet the Animatronic Winged Demon by [Woody]. Very little info is given except for the touch screen controller, the central control system, and his unique use of a modular skeleton, but the project is very impressive none the less. If the demon doesn’t scare you, take a look at the miles of wires needed to control it. Check out a video after the break.

[via HackedGadgets]

Simple GPS setup for PSP

posted Jul 27th 2006 3:30am by
filed under: playstation hacks, psp hacks

psp gps

[deniska] is working on a real-time GPS map viewing application. The application will determine the location using this simple PSP GPS setup. Deniska modified the connector on a $100 Holux GPS unit so that it could be read through the PSP remote port. A test program that works in kernel mode is provided. Deniska notes that this will probably work with older (read: cheaper) Holux units as well.

[thanks Will]

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