July 30

PixelBrite: Programmable Pixel Light Panels

PixelBrite by LeoneLabs

I’m getting used to being in total awe of some of the creativity, innovation, and pure genius displayed by people all over the Internet. The Geek collective especially seems to be amply blessed in all three departments, and this Instructable inspired by the wonderful Close Encounters of the Third Kind, posted by LeoneLabs, is no exception.

Admittedly, this isn’t your easy-to-recreate kind of geekcraft. You’ll need to get your head around electronics, microcontrollers, a bit of code, and it looks like you’d need a fair bit of patience to do all of the optimising and stuff that LeoneLabs goes into in the later steps. The components and materials also cost in the region of $550, but when you look at the results (and there are more awesome images to drool over if you follow the link), it looks like $550 well spent!

Personally, I have nothing further than GCSE (10th grade) electronics knowledge, and probably even less experience wth microcontrollers. So I will just sit back and marvel at the greatness that is PixelBrite, and wish I had one. Or four.

June 22

A Barrel of Kong

ArcadeControls user griffindodd made this sweet Donkey Cong cocktail-style cabinet using a old wine barrel! Now, who’s ready to roll this bad boy around an abandoned construction site?

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“Every time friends or family see my builds they always say the same thing “Oh you should make these and sell them”, to which my answer is always the same “It’s just not worth the man hours for what I could charge”. With that being said there are people quite successfully making bar tops and selling them on a regular basis, and, I assume, turning a profit of some kind,” griffondodd wrote.

Here’s his breakdown of the project:
Costs so far
Used Oak Wine Barrel – $87.00
17″ 4:3 Monitor – $25.00 (Craigslist)
Craftymech SLG Scanline generator – $23
Power Strip – $6
Amplifier – $19
Power Socket – $5
4x PCB Feet – $2
Power Supply – $18
2x long shaft zippy sticks – $16
Jamma Wiring Harness – $10
4x Regular Buttons& Switch – $4
3x Player Start Buttons – $3
Speakers – $15
1/2″ Bevelled Glass – $84.00
Laminated Control Panel art – $38
Bezel Artwork – $22
Paint – $6
Stain – $13
Shipping to date – $19.00

Total Build Cost – $415

Hours Spent Total – Approx 20 hours
Sourcing/Ordering Parts – 2 Hours
Vector Artwork Barrel Top – 1 Hour
Wood cut templates – 1.5 hours
Build in general – 15 hours

March 4

Crobots by Nelly Pailloux Review

Hello Geek Crafters! Today I’m going to be telling you about the adorable Crobots by Nelly Pailloux.

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What is a Crobot you may be wondering. It’s a crocheted robot, naturally, which is an adorable idea. Of all of the cute robots, I chose Zombiebot. Because of course I did.

zombiebot

 

He only took about an evening to make and a total of maybe 20 cents. One ball of yarn would probably make you 3 zombiebots, so you could start a small army.

zombiebot2

I thought the pen spring for the popped out eye effect was wonderful. I added barley to the bottom of his body so that he would sit up on his own.

The instructions were simple, well-written and easy to follow. To be honest, that is a huge relief. Too many times I’ve tried to follow a pattern only to find it overly-complicated. Not with this though. I never had to second guess myself.

So if you’re looking to add some cuddly robots to your life, which, why wouldn’t you, pick up Crobots by Nelly Pailloux. It’s a unique and fun book that will definitely keep you busy.

March 3

Tutorial: Glowing USB Magic Potion

usb-mana-potion-on
You know those glowing potions you pick up in many fantasy video games (hopefully right before a boss fight)? This is a quick project that makes a glowing, USB-powered potion that looks great at your cubicle/desk/office and shows off your geekiness. Unfortunately, no matter what I tried, I could not take a picture that does this justice. It looks amazing in person though, trust me – it’s very blue and bright.

Backstory: when I first got my blue Scion xA, one of the first things I did was swapped out all the dash lights for blue LEDs and installed blue LEDs under the cupholders so it would make any translucent beverage container glow bright blue. When I saw these mana potions at ThinkGeek, I immediately thought those would look cool if they similarly glowed blue. So, this is how I did it…

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October 21

This scrapbook is bigger on the inside…

Dr. Who digital scrapbook kit by RetroDiva

Tracy Scherrer, aka RetroDiva, created this digital homage to Dr. Who. It includes digital scrapbook papers and elements to create all sorts of groovy Who-friendly paper crafts – don’t let the “scrapbooking” angle scare you away.

Perhaps this is just the kick in the pants you needed to host a Who-a-thon, so you can use this kit to create the invites? Or maybe you could use it to decoupage-decorate some canvas sneakers? Or maybe you know a big Who fan who needs a birthday card? What would you make with this kit?