The Ultimate Altimeter

Last day of Butthouse!

OK. I signed up for an online Secret Santa thing with redditgifts, and my giftee was into RC planes and such. I made this Altimeter for him, and published how I made it. Check out the Instructable: http://tinyurl.com/UAInstructable

Also, you can vote for my post (top right corner of the post) if you think it is worthy. If I win we get free stuff!

Bye.

3D Printed Gear Cubes Flashback/Update

Remember when I posted this?

Photo Sep 26, 6 32 35 PMA gear-y cube (it doesn’t turn yet, but it will!)

I just returned to a similar design and decided to print that! The designer of this made a new version in which the pins are better designed for many different printers so they work better for everyone. Here is a video of the new and improved version:

Open Source: Sketchy but Awesome

First some definitions:

sketchy, adj., not thorough or detailed.

Most people take sketchy to describe, for example, a bad neighborhood — dark, shady, dangerous, etc. When I use the word “sketchy” I use it as its literal meaning: not thorough or detailed; unpolished; rough, etc. For example, this is sketchy:

The iPhone -5(A very early iPhone prototype)

This is not:

 

The iPhone 5(The iPhone 5)

So, speaking of phones, I made my own cell phone! Here is a picture:

cf81f411-3b07-4558-8e32-ccae7e0f7c77(It doesn’t have a case yet, but it’s coming!)

I saw this project in an issue of MAKE Magazine, and decided to do it. I needed a cheap, basic phone anyway for my visits to NYC. With the help of this guide, and a forum that goes along with it, I now have a fully functioning cell phone (it can do texts and calls, and store contacts–that’s about it).

It is ALL open source as well, so I can go into the code of the phone, and tweak anything I want. I’ve already added some new features such as a brightness indicator, and I’ve started on being able to save and view old text messages. While building it I learned that it is possible to solder surface mount components by hand (they are usually done with a machine and a large oven all at once). I had some challenges with soldering the speaker though, since it is a fragile part, and it was awkward to solder.

This phone is SUPER sketchy. It looks very home made at the moment, with all its parts out in the open, and it is not as reliable as a cell phone you could buy. In spite of this, it is still awesome. I can modify anything about the phone that bugs me and customize it to my liking!

The magpi is here!

Hello people!

The magpi is here! The Micro Arduino Gaming Platform Interface (magpi) has been released to Instructables, and the rest of the internet! My dad and I have been working on it for a while now – coding games, printing cases, designing hardware, etc. – and we wanted to get it out there!

You can see the instructable here: http://tinyurl.com/lu65w3r

If you’d like to take the time, you can vote for us in the Arduino contest (“Vote” button in the upper right hand corner). You will have to make an account. If we win we get free stuff!

Thanks!

MFS Gameteam Charges Ahead

Students at Manhattan Free School, a Free School in Manhattan, plan to create an arcade video game for the school.

Inspired by Killer Queen Arcade, a multiplayer arcade game featured at the Museum of the Moving Image, a parent at the school, Geva Patz, asked some of the students if they would like to make their own game, and was met by an uproarious enthusiasm.

On a Tuesday, the four people making the game sit in a chilly room. This is the first meeting of the group dubbed the “Gameteam.” They begin to throw out ideas and get a shape of what the game will be. One student takes notes. The room is buzzing with energy and by the end of 30 minutes, the Gameteam has pretty much designed the entire game. It will be an arcade game wit platforms. Four to six players will participate on two teams, controlling either aliens or astronauts. With goals to destroy the opponent’s base, kill the opposing team all at once, or capture a central Beacon, each team will embark on an epic journey to conquer a little bit more of the galaxy.

The group is powering ahead, already having done 85% of the artwork and 95% of the game design. Who knows what lies ahead in one school’s quest for a homemade arcade game.

Follow along with this story to hear more exciting updates from the MFS Gameteam.

Space Invaders on the Ceiling, and the Rise of Arcade Games

As soon as Geva, Timo, and Douglas came to Cloudhouse from MFS for a week, the spirit of making cool stuff was activated and a flurry of creation begun. The place was buzzing with activity and that made it seem so alive and happy that it got everyone making. Douglas started on his elaborate Rube Goldberg Machine, Timo coded games in BASIC, and Geva and I poured our  hours into an almost-bottomless pit of a project. We intended to cover the ceiling in a grid of RGB LEDs (LEDs that can light up almost any color).

3 days, 240 soldering joints, 320 wires stripped, 40 wires cut, 170 staples, 2 trips to the hardware store, 1 taken-apart PC, and 282 lines of code later, we had this:

This is a game of Space Invaders, played on a 4×10 pixel, 8×24 foot, full color screen, on the ceiling. More programs are to come, in the making is one that fades between different colors and shades, creating an ambient glow in the whole space.

Another interesting thing about the screen is how each pixel is really 3 LEDs in a row, so that the pixel your ship is in is actually 2 different colors.

On the topic of old video games, I recently enlisted Geva’s help to get MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) running on my computer, started dabbling in some classic games that my dad played when he was a kid like Marble Madness and Qix. Here’s a video of me playing Defender:

Post Script: I will now be posting a post every Thursday, starting after Christmas Break (I hope).