Friday, July 31, 2020

Hacked an Answering Machine

I found this old answering machine and originally thought it was a good find for just harvesting the 7-segment display. But as it sat around my work table it occurred to me it would be fun to use the display and buttons to insert a Simon game inside the case. I put it off because it seemed daunting but once I started on it yesterday it turned out to only take a day to put together.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Generative Art with TurtleArt

I made a series of drawings with the LogoTurtle a while back and I am revisiting the same idea of "exploded shapes" using Turtle Art. With this simple idea:

Friday, June 26, 2020

Melt Down HDPE Plastic for Projects

I've seen several videos showing how to melt down HDPE plastic containers and mold them into usable forms for projects. But I've been just skeptical enough about the safety of heating up plastic to not try it until just now. This technique made it somehow seem more doable with the addition of the press over simply heating in an oven, I think because it allows you to mush it into a blob and press out air bubbles more quickly.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Hacking Salvaged LED Displays (Part II)

Good news! I just found a discarded VCR with an LED display. That means it's time to salvage the display and make a project out of it. While the last post on 7-segment displays was a single digit, standard display, this one actually turns out to be 10-segment with non-numerical segments. So it will be an exercise in figuring out how a non-standard display works. In this post I will go over my process for hacking a display like this. If you're interested in doing this for a simple, standard 7-segment numerical display see this other post.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Hacking Salvaged LED Displays (Part 1)

You can buy many kinds of standard 7-segment displays, but I prefer hacking salvaged ones you can find in broken e-waste. True, it's easy to buy displays with integrated drivers that make them much easier to connect to a micro-controller and program, but more often than not I end up finding components and making up projects for them, rather than the other way around. In this post I'll show how I salvage a standard single digit 7-seg display, figure out the pinout, and make it do some fun things. In a following post I'll show how I do the same with a more complicated, non-standard, multi-digit salvaged display.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Teensy-Controlled Vacuum Fluorescent Display: Step-by-step

I'm recording in pictures the steps I'm taking to power and control this Yamaha Futaba vfd I removed from an old entertainment system.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Vacuum Fluorescent Display Coded in P5

I made a series of graphics with code on the theme of creating graphic representations of things around me that I find interesting to look at. I used P5 to create graphics and posted the series on Glitch. I was really excited on this one to capture the delicate architecture of the vacuum fluorescent display, which if you have been looking at this blog recently has become a fascination of mine. It was really satisfying to capture the tiny hexagonal grids above the anodes. I only wish I could replicate the glowing quality of the light.



Brooklyn Houses Coded in P5

I made a series of graphics with code on the theme of creating graphic representations of things around me that I find interesting to look at. I used P5 to create graphics and posted the series on Glitch. This was a really fun representation of a detailed scene simplified into simple colors and shapes.



Park Path Brick Mosaic Coded in P5

I made a series of graphics with code on the theme of creating graphic representations of things around me that I find interesting to look at. I used P5 to create graphics and posted the series on Glitch. This was a challenge to get right, but again I got to use the trig functions sin() and cos() to distribute the quad shapes around different radii. It looks more involved than it is because I just made one circle pattern and repeated it at different places with translation. It was great to be able to use the camera function to get the bricks to tilt away. Oh and this was not actually my picture, but sent in by my friend Josh!