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Author Topic: Geeky Project
Too Cool To Quit
SuperBlabberMouth!
Member # 2217

Icon 1 posted April 20, 2004 09:33      Profile for Too Cool To Quit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm looking for something to do in my free time, with a low budget (Dunno, bout 20-40 USD), that is sufficiently geeky... any suggestions? Preferably building something...

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Alright now, that's the last straw, I'm calling the ass taxidermist to tell him to stop making hats in your size RIGHT NOW.

Posts: 1097 | From: North Carolina | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stibbons
SuperBlabberMouth!
Member # 2515

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Icon 14 posted April 20, 2004 09:45      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This one! Cheap, intelectually stimulating, and highly useful [Wink]
Posts: 1141 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
crazyarlo
Geek
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Icon 4 posted April 20, 2004 10:00      Profile for crazyarlo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I guess a robot is out. WELL, with some scrounging, you may be able to pull it off!!!
Posts: 238 | From: Southern Ohio ... SURF OHIO, BABY! | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stibbons
SuperBlabberMouth!
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2004 10:09      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by crazyarlo:
I guess a robot is out. WELL, with some scrounging, you may be able to pull it off!!!

...and then you could run it via linux and get it to make the coffee [Razz]
Posts: 1141 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Too Cool To Quit
SuperBlabberMouth!
Member # 2217

Icon 1 posted April 20, 2004 11:12      Profile for Too Cool To Quit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not so lazy that I won't get up and make coffee...

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Alright now, that's the last straw, I'm calling the ass taxidermist to tell him to stop making hats in your size RIGHT NOW.

Posts: 1097 | From: North Carolina | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stibbons
SuperBlabberMouth!
Member # 2515

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Icon 12 posted April 20, 2004 11:38      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But think... you could have your computer do it!

That kinda explains why I can't get a girlfriend [Big Grin]

Posts: 1141 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stereo

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 748

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Icon 5 posted April 20, 2004 11:45      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One just poped out of my mind -

Everyone can make a little ham radio with a kit. (I have no idea how a ham-graded cristal would cost, though.) Now, what about going a step further, and create an auto-Morse writer/decoder: a little device that could take Morse code coming in and write it down on paper - either raw, or direct to letters. For the latter, I'd look into interfacing with an old electronic typewriter.

Could be cool. Or a waste of time. But it's still more geeky than making coffee. [Wink]

(Cross over from the freudian slip read thread - I first wrote "ham-rated cristal", then changed it to graded. [Neither are the exact word I'm looking for, but anyway.] If one mixes the two words, we get ham-grated cristal. I wonder how it'd taste in a sandwitch...)

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

Posts: 2289 | From: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
ooby
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2004 12:46      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I once saw directions on the web for building a robot out of a 3 1/2" floppy drive. Or you could build a tilden-esque robot with neural networks. You would only need a Schmitt Trigger and some caps, and some cheapo motors.

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"haven't you ever wondered if there's more to life than being really, really, rediculously good looking?"

Posts: 680 | From: South Jersey | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stibbons
SuperBlabberMouth!
Member # 2515

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Icon 7 posted April 20, 2004 12:46      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I read that as grated ham crystal [shake head] . Crystalline ham would be cool.

/me is thinking about mineral data for ham

That morse code thingy sounds groovy, but I just thought of a book I was reading in Borders the other day - Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks. Might be worth a look for your project

Posts: 1141 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2004 14:48      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
Now, what about going a step further, and create an auto-Morse writer/decoder: a little device that could take Morse code coming in and write it down on paper - either raw, or direct to letters. For the latter, I'd look into interfacing with an old electronic typewriter.

It would be an absolutely brilliant waste of time as in the era of satellite telephones etc, Morse code is no longer used by anyone ever anywhere now! Maybe you could modify the design for The ElectriClerk to create this artifact for the bewilderment of future archeologists.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2004 17:04      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In a related story, they've just made the first official change to the morse code in nearly a century.
Morse now has an '@' symbol.

Presumably this is to allow you to exchange emails with your fellow hams.

/me wonders whether the emails would look like this

..-. --.-- ... -.-. ..- --.-

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10669 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ivan
Alpha Geek
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2004 19:02      Profile for Ivan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, the emails would not look like

"FSCUQ"

that's an incredibly short email, maybe more like:

.-.. --- .-.. --- .-.. --- .-.. / .. / .--- ..- ... --... / .-- ....- ... - ...-- .-. ...-- -.. / .--. ....- .-. --... / ----- ..-. / .--- ----- ----- / .-.. .. ..-. ...-- / .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- / .--- ..- ... - / -.- .. -.. -.. .. -. --. .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .--- ..- ... - / -.- .. -.. -.. .. -. --. .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- -.. --- -. - / ... .... --- --- - / -- . / -..-. -- . / -.-. --- .-- . .-. ...

Posts: 269 | From: North Carolina | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sinn
Mini Geek
Member # 2111

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted April 20, 2004 19:59      Profile for Sinn     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Two words : "potato cannon"

5 feet of 3" pvc, an screw on end cap, an electric grill igniter, and a can of diesel engine starter fluid (as fuel). Throw a spud down the barrel, spray in the end cap, screw it on, click the button and watch that spud go!

Total cost $15-$25

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Sin is a dangerous toy in the hands of the virtuous. It should be left to the congenitally sinful, who know when to play with it and when to let it alone.

Posts: 64 | From: Kerhonkson, NY | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
-ct-
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 209

Icon 3 posted April 20, 2004 21:44      Profile for -ct-   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
here's an idea that'll cost less than $30


figure a way to get a Mac floppy drive to connect and tranfer data to a PC


i like the way it's motorized to suck in/eject the floppy - it'd be a GREAT mod

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Things are always darkest... just before you pull your head out of your butt, void where prohibited, keep away from flame, surcharge(s) may apply.

www.harddriveHELL.com and demoniclemon.com

Posts: 1906 | From: nowhere, man | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Gibbonboy
Geek
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2004 04:30      Profile for Gibbonboy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
It would be an absolutely brilliant waste of time as in the era of satellite telephones etc, Morse code is no longer used by anyone ever anywhere now!

Umm, then why do I have 3 CW keys hooked to my radios in my house? CW is still lots of fun. It's the same as being able to go to a restaurant and pick up whatever you want, but still occaisionally wanting to cook over an open fire, just some critter roasting on a stick. I have a small HF radio that weighs under 2 lbs with the key, batteries, and wire antenna. Fits into a small camera case. But it only does CW. Loads of fun.

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"It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here."

Posts: 155 | From: A Very Small Hole in the Forest | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
quantumfluff
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2004 06:11      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nixie Clocks are always fun
Posts: 2901 | From: 5 to 15 meters above sea level | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
ooby
Highlie
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Member Rated:
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2004 09:51      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sinn:
Two words : "potato cannon"

5 feet of 3" pvc, an screw on end cap, an electric grill igniter, and a can of diesel engine starter fluid (as fuel). Throw a spud down the barrel, spray in the end cap, screw it on, click the button and watch that spud go!

Total cost $15-$25

You don't need diesel, you can use the cheapest can of spray deoderant. Also, if you are going to build a potato gun, i'd suggest doing quite a bit of preliminary calculations to determine your barrel size. You can easily go less than $15 on that.

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"haven't you ever wondered if there's more to life than being really, really, rediculously good looking?"

Posts: 680 | From: South Jersey | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
ooby
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2004 09:54      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I heard that the FCC was either considering or had already removed morse code from the ham license exam.

I also don't think ham is the least expensive hobby. If you get into it, you are going to eventually buy lots of radio equipment.

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"haven't you ever wondered if there's more to life than being really, really, rediculously good looking?"

Posts: 680 | From: South Jersey | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Gibbonboy
Geek
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2004 11:19      Profile for Gibbonboy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The FCC hasn't removed Morse, yet. There are several license restructuring proposals up for public comment now, which means it'll be a while before they act on it, or even issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

It is an expensive hobby. But there is a lot of used equipment on the market, plus you could build your own. I build all of my own antennas, saves me money that can be used for other projects or hobbies.

Electronics kits from Velleman or Vectronics are pretty inexpensive, and there's enough selection to pick one that you'll be able to use. Plus, if you can understand how it works, you can extrapolate and customize the circuit.

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"It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here."

Posts: 155 | From: A Very Small Hole in the Forest | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
N9IWP
Geek
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2004 12:04      Profile for N9IWP     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mores hasn't been needed for VHF (technician) for quite a while. It is still neded for General and Extra (HF aka shortwave) priveledges. But it is only 5 words per minute (instead of 13 and 20 IIRC).

I got to Advanced the old fashioned way (13 WPM), upgraded to extra when the 20WPM requirement dropped.

Shame on you for not mentioning it, the code for "@" is .--.-. ("A" and "C" with no pause)

http://www.cjonline.com/stories/021704/pag_morsecode.shtml

Brian

Posts: 181 | From: Southeast MN | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Chesty
Assimilated
Member # 2460

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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2004 18:22      Profile for Chesty         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ooby:
quote:
Originally posted by Sinn:
Two words : "potato cannon"

5 feet of 3" pvc, an screw on end cap, an electric grill igniter, and a can of diesel engine starter fluid (as fuel). Throw a spud down the barrel, spray in the end cap, screw it on, click the button and watch that spud go!

Total cost $15-$25

You don't need diesel, you can use the cheapest can of spray deoderant. Also, if you are going to build a potato gun, i'd suggest doing quite a bit of preliminary calculations to determine your barrel size. You can easily go less than $15 on that.
You'll need one big potato to fill a 3" pipe! Maybe you could try 1.5" for about 4 feet with a one foot section of 3" as the breech. A cleanout cap allows you to unscrew the end after loading a turnip or whatever from the muzzle.

anyhow - this ain't very geeky - more of a redneck/greaser kind of project.

(coming from a redneck maried to a greaser)

Posts: 416 | From: The Beach | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Chesty
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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2004 18:31      Profile for Chesty         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maybe go to the local dump (or the dumpster behind a computer repair store)and get an old pc. turn it into a working server to host your site on how to not watch American Idol.

you can use Tiny Linux

Posts: 416 | From: The Beach | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged


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