Mass Effect Rubber Band Gun a Beauty to Be-holster

This Halloween, crafting most of your props and replicas wont be as easy as hitting “print.” This Mass Effect M-6 Carnifex Rubber Band Gun is the exception, though, and it’s all thanks to the detailed efforts of [eggfooyoung]. Like many others in childhood, [eggfooyoung] dreamed of sporting his own rubber-band gun. Year’s later, he’s made that dream a reality, and one for many others as well.

rubber_band_gun_internals

Mechanically, rubber-band guns, especially semi-automatic ones, are a finely tuned escapade into complex levers and joints. [eggfooyoung] took it upon himself to learn from the best in the craft, in this case, YouTube user [RBGuns] who has posted designes for numerous rubber band weapons. Overall, the M-6 Carnifex is a triumph of shared knowledge, as it’s an iteration of [RBGun’s] M9 build. [eggfooyoung’s] documentation is also everything we’d love to see in a weekend project: design files [PDF], detailed pictures documenting the step-by-step gluing process, and resources to dig more deeply into building your own rubber band guns.

Filed under: laser hacks

Mass Effect Rubber Band Gun a Beauty to Be-holster

This Halloween, crafting most of your props and replicas wont be as easy as hitting “print.” This Mass Effect M-6 Carnifex Rubber Band Gun is the exception, though, and it’s all thanks to the detailed efforts of [eggfooyoung]. Like many others in childhood, [eggfooyoung] dreamed of sporting his own rubber-band gun. Year’s later, he’s made that dream a reality, and one for many others as well.

rubber_band_gun_internals

Mechanically, rubber-band guns, especially semi-automatic ones, are a finely tuned escapade into complex levers and joints. [eggfooyoung] took it upon himself to learn from the best in the craft, in this case, YouTube user [RBGuns] who has posted designes for numerous rubber band weapons. Overall, the M-6 Carnifex is a triumph of shared knowledge, as it’s an iteration of [RBGun’s] M9 build. [eggfooyoung’s] documentation is also everything we’d love to see in a weekend project: design files [PDF], detailed pictures documenting the step-by-step gluing process, and resources to dig more deeply into building your own rubber band guns.

Filed under: laser hacks

Hacklet 82 – Halloween Hacks 2015

Halloween is when the ghouls start haunting and the hackers start hacking. All hallows eve is the perfect holiday for eerie blinking LEDs, spooky audio oscillators, and wild animatronics. We had a double dose of Halloween hacks last year on the Hacklet. This year we’re bringing you even more of the best Halloween hacks on hackaday.io!

eyes1We start with [dougal] and Halloween Blinky Eyes. [Dougal] wanted to create the effect of creatures peeking at you from the dark corners of the room, and he’s certainly nailed it. A strip of WS2812 LEDs is the trick here. Pairs of LEDs light up, blink, and fade away like spooky eyes. The Strip is controlled by a Particle Core using Adafruit’s NeoPixel Library, though [Dougal] plans to move to the FastLed library. Everything is powered by a USB power pack. This hack isn’t much to look at with the lights on, so check out the video to see these eyes really shine!

 

witch1Next up is [controlmypad] with Blair the Witch Project. A normal trip to Home Depot turned paranormal when [controlmypad] spotted an awesome witch decoration. The free-standing mannequin had some basic animatronics and the all important manual trigger. [controlmypad] already had a discarded electric wheelchair. After replacing the chair batteries he modified it with a Sabertooth 2×32 Motor Controller and a standard radio control receiver. A spare channel was connected to Blair’s manual trigger. An aluminum tube joins the witch and the scooter. The hardest part of this hack was keeping Blair’s skirt out of the scooter wheels. Home Depot to the rescue! A simple hoop made of lawn edging plastic keeps the fabric and wheels apart.

 

tweet-trick

[Alex Cordonnier] and his team participated in Boilermake 2015, a 24 hour Hackathon at Purdue University. The fruit of their labor is Trick or Tweet, the tweeting Jack-o’-lantern. Yes folks, we now have the internet of gourds. Hiding inside Trick or Tweet is a Raspberry Pi and a Pi Camera. The pumpkin itself is also a giant capacitive touch switch. Touching the pumpkin triggers a count down after which Trick or Tweet snaps a photo. It then adds some spooky Halloween overlays, a pun or two, and throws the whole thing up on twitter @PumpkinPiPics. [Alex] hasn’t uploaded the code yet, but we’re guessing it consists of a few Python scripts. Pretty awesome for 24 hours of work!

 

hariSometimes Halloween hacks take on a life of their own. That’s exactly what happened when [Hari Wiguna] sat down with a few parts he ordered from China. Happy Halloween 2015 is the result. [Hari’s] order included some potentiometers, a two color OLED display, and some Arduino clones. In no time [Hari] had three pots wired up to the Arduino’s analog inputs. The OLED quickly followed, displaying graphics via the Arduino’s I2C bus. He really wanted a Jack-o’-lantern though. It took a bit more tweaking, but eventually [Hari] was successful. The first pot sets eye size.  The second controls eye rotation. The third pot changes the width of Jack’s mouth.
[Hari] has all the code for this hack up on his most recent project log.

Not spooked enough? If you want to see more Halloween projects, check out our newly updated Halloween hacks list! Did I miss your project? Don’t be shy, just drop me a message on Hackaday.io. That’s it for this week’s Hacklet; As always, see you next week. Same hack time, same hack channel, bringing you the best of Hackaday.io!

Filed under: Hackaday Columns, Holiday Hacks

Hacklet 82 – Halloween Hacks 2015

Halloween is when the ghouls start haunting and the hackers start hacking. All hallows eve is the perfect holiday for eerie blinking LEDs, spooky audio oscillators, and wild animatronics. We had a double dose of Halloween hacks last year on the Hacklet. This year we’re bringing you even more of the best Halloween hacks on hackaday.io!

eyes1We start with [dougal] and Halloween Blinky Eyes. [Dougal] wanted to create the effect of creatures peeking at you from the dark corners of the room, and he’s certainly nailed it. A strip of WS2812 LEDs is the trick here. Pairs of LEDs light up, blink, and fade away like spooky eyes. The Strip is controlled by a Particle Core using Adafruit’s NeoPixel Library, though [Dougal] plans to move to the FastLed library. Everything is powered by a USB power pack. This hack isn’t much to look at with the lights on, so check out the video to see these eyes really shine!

 

witch1Next up is [controlmypad] with Blair the Witch Project. A normal trip to Home Depot turned paranormal when [controlmypad] spotted an awesome witch decoration. The free-standing mannequin had some basic animatronics and the all important manual trigger. [controlmypad] already had a discarded electric wheelchair. After replacing the chair batteries he modified it with a Sabertooth 2×32 Motor Controller and a standard radio control receiver. A spare channel was connected to Blair’s manual trigger. An aluminum tube joins the witch and the scooter. The hardest part of this hack was keeping Blair’s skirt out of the scooter wheels. Home Depot to the rescue! A simple hoop made of lawn edging plastic keeps the fabric and wheels apart.

 

tweet-trick

[Alex Cordonnier] and his team participated in Boilermake 2015, a 24 hour Hackathon at Purdue University. The fruit of their labor is Trick or Tweet, the tweeting Jack-o’-lantern. Yes folks, we now have the internet of gourds. Hiding inside Trick or Tweet is a Raspberry Pi and a Pi Camera. The pumpkin itself is also a giant capacitive touch switch. Touching the pumpkin triggers a count down after which Trick or Tweet snaps a photo. It then adds some spooky Halloween overlays, a pun or two, and throws the whole thing up on twitter @PumpkinPiPics. [Alex] hasn’t uploaded the code yet, but we’re guessing it consists of a few Python scripts. Pretty awesome for 24 hours of work!

 

hariSometimes Halloween hacks take on a life of their own. That’s exactly what happened when [Hari Wiguna] sat down with a few parts he ordered from China. Happy Halloween 2015 is the result. [Hari’s] order included some potentiometers, a two color OLED display, and some Arduino clones. In no time [Hari] had three pots wired up to the Arduino’s analog inputs. The OLED quickly followed, displaying graphics via the Arduino’s I2C bus. He really wanted a Jack-o’-lantern though. It took a bit more tweaking, but eventually [Hari] was successful. The first pot sets eye size.  The second controls eye rotation. The third pot changes the width of Jack’s mouth.
[Hari] has all the code for this hack up on his most recent project log.

Not spooked enough? If you want to see more Halloween projects, check out our newly updated Halloween hacks list! Did I miss your project? Don’t be shy, just drop me a message on Hackaday.io. That’s it for this week’s Hacklet; As always, see you next week. Same hack time, same hack channel, bringing you the best of Hackaday.io!

Filed under: Hackaday Columns, Holiday Hacks

A Peek Under the Hood of the 741 Op-Amp

First introduced as an IC back in 1968, but with roots that go back to 1941, the 741 has been tweaked and optimized over the years and is arguably the canonical op-amp. [Ken Shirriff] decided to take a look inside everybody’s favorite op-amp, and ended up with some good-looking photomicrographs and a lot of background on the chip.

canRather than risk the boiling acid method commonly used to decap epoxy-potted ICs, [Ken] wisely chose a TO-99 can format to attack with a hacksaw. With the die laid bare for his microscope, he was able to locate all the major components and show how each is implemented in silicon. Particularly fascinating is the difference between the construction of NPN and PNP transistors, and the concept of “current mirrors” as constant current sources. And he even whipped up a handy interactive chip viewer – click on something in the die image and find out which component it is on the 741 schematic. Very nice.

We’ve seen lots of chip decappings before, including this reveal of TTL and CMOS logic chips. It’s nice to see the guts of the venerable 741 on display, though, and [Ken]’s tour is both a great primer for the newbie and a solid review for the older hands. Don’t miss the little slice of history he included at the end of the post.

Filed under: misc hacks, parts

A Peek Under the Hood of the 741 Op-Amp

First introduced as an IC back in 1968, but with roots that go back to 1941, the 741 has been tweaked and optimized over the years and is arguably the canonical op-amp. [Ken Shirriff] decided to take a look inside everybody’s favorite op-amp, and ended up with some good-looking photomicrographs and a lot of background on the chip.

canRather than risk the boiling acid method commonly used to decap epoxy-potted ICs, [Ken] wisely chose a TO-99 can format to attack with a hacksaw. With the die laid bare for his microscope, he was able to locate all the major components and show how each is implemented in silicon. Particularly fascinating is the difference between the construction of NPN and PNP transistors, and the concept of “current mirrors” as constant current sources. And he even whipped up a handy interactive chip viewer – click on something in the die image and find out which component it is on the 741 schematic. Very nice.

We’ve seen lots of chip decappings before, including this reveal of TTL and CMOS logic chips. It’s nice to see the guts of the venerable 741 on display, though, and [Ken]’s tour is both a great primer for the newbie and a solid review for the older hands. Don’t miss the little slice of history he included at the end of the post.

Filed under: misc hacks, parts

Vodafone says hackers broke into nearly 2,000 customer accounts this week

Pigeons fly past Vodafone branding outside a retail store in London November 12, 2013.


(Reuters) – Vodafone U.K. said on Saturday hackers had accessed the accounts of 1,827 of its customers this week, the second cyber attack on a British telecoms company this month.

The attackers had potentially gained access to the victims’ bank sort codes and the last four numbers of their bank accounts, along with their names and mobile telephone numbers, a Vodafone spokesman said.

“This incident was driven by criminals using email addresses and passwords acquired from an unknown source external to Vodafone,” he added in a statement.

Only a handful of those affected in the Thursday morning attack had seen any attempts to use
their data for fraudulent activity on their Vodafone accounts.

“No credit or debit card numbers or details were obtained. However, this information does leave these 1,827 customers open to fraud and might also leave them open to phishing attempts,” the spokesman said.

The company was contacting all those involved and that other customers need not be concerned, he said.

Last week broadband, TV, mobile and fixed-line service provider TalkTalk said it had been hacked, potentially putting the private details of its 4 million customers into the hands of criminals.

Less than 21,000 unique bank account numbers and sort codes had been accessed. Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with that attack.

(Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Vodafone says hackers broke into nearly 2,000 customer accounts this week

Pigeons fly past Vodafone branding outside a retail store in London November 12, 2013.


(Reuters) – Vodafone U.K. said on Saturday hackers had accessed the accounts of 1,827 of its customers this week, the second cyber attack on a British telecoms company this month.

The attackers had potentially gained access to the victims’ bank sort codes and the last four numbers of their bank accounts, along with their names and mobile telephone numbers, a Vodafone spokesman said.

“This incident was driven by criminals using email addresses and passwords acquired from an unknown source external to Vodafone,” he added in a statement.

Only a handful of those affected in the Thursday morning attack had seen any attempts to use
their data for fraudulent activity on their Vodafone accounts.

“No credit or debit card numbers or details were obtained. However, this information does leave these 1,827 customers open to fraud and might also leave them open to phishing attempts,” the spokesman said.

The company was contacting all those involved and that other customers need not be concerned, he said.

Last week broadband, TV, mobile and fixed-line service provider TalkTalk said it had been hacked, potentially putting the private details of its 4 million customers into the hands of criminals.

Less than 21,000 unique bank account numbers and sort codes had been accessed. Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with that attack.

(Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Smart ways brands can newsjack the election season

A still from Boston Market's chicken vs. turkey "Bowl Poll Campaign" video ad, run during the 2012 election season.


Earlier this week in Boulder, Colo., 11 Republican presidential hopefuls took their third shot on CNBC’s national stage of 13 million viewers to expand their support base with new campaign messages and tactics.

As we head deeper into election season, brand advertisers also have a high-stakes, high-reward opportunity to set themselves apart from their competitors by delivering relevant, timely messages to a captivated political audience. As we saw from the last presidential election season, brands such as JetBlue, Pizza Hut and PBS jumped in
with clever and entertaining campaigns that leveraged current events and effectively connected with consumers … but not without risk.

JetBlue's 2012 "Election Protection" campaign.

Above: JetBlue’s 2012 “Election Protection” campaign offered customers the chance to leave the country if their candidate lost the election.

With political ad spend projected to reach $11.4 billion this season, brands will have to work hard to rise above the noise. Here are some ways to stay focused and build a story that will further expand your base of brand enthusiasts and loyalists.

Pay Attention to Major Election Season ‘Mile Markers’ and Proactively Plan

For this season’s remaining 19 candidates, the presidential campaign represents a grueling, intricate labyrinth of paid and unpaid channels to engage various constituencies across 50 states. The venues range from local town halls in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and rallies in Mobile, Alabama, to national broadcast appearances on The Late Show or Meet the Press. And at any given moment, a candidate’s statement — a triumphant cry on income equality or a hiccup on religious beliefs — can go viral through social media and quickly gain national attention.

To identify the best opportunities for weighing in, brands
must be equally adept at navigating the political arena and savvy about the nuanced dynamics and merits of various paid and unpaid media channels. For example, Fox News’ telecast of the first Republican debate in August drew 23.9 million viewers (16% of homes with TV sets), making it the highest-rated presidential primary debate ever and among the most-viewed events in cable TV history. In contrast, digital media represents a powerful channel to reach millennials, an increasingly powerful constituency for candidates. As a result, each candidate has turned to social media channels (including relative political newcomers Instagram and Snaphat) to engage millennials on very specific issues such as student loans and healthcare.

Instead of taking a reactive approach (i.e., scrambling to come up with a clever idea once a milestone moment has gone viral), brands should take a proactive approach and organize ahead of time. To start, you should understand which candidates your brand is better positioned to play off of (positively or negatively). Next, you should game out topical responses and be ready for a candidate to use a trigger phrase or question at the next debate. Once you have established a clear approval chain, be ready to go when an opportune moment hits. If you can’t be timely, don’t bother.

Get Creative and Don’t Be Afraid to Poke Fun

7-Eleven's election cups from 2012.

Above: 7-Eleven’s election cups from 2012.

Image Credit: 7-Eleven

What does 7-Eleven have to do with the presidential election season? Normally, nothing. But in 2012, the company held its third ‘7-Election’ campaign, where customers could show support for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney by choosing a red or blue cup. By keeping tally and posting state-by-state results of cup choices on its site, 7-Eleven successfully “polled” 6
million consumers and garnered major media attention.

In another example, when Mitt Romney claimed that, despite his love for Big Bird, he would cut PBS funding if elected, PBS quickly purchased promoted tweets related to “Big Bird” searches on Twitter. As a result, it was able to drive traffic to its site and educate consumers about the value of PBS.

These campaigns illustrate how brands can develop creative campaigns that engage audiences by taking a lighthearted, entertaining approach. Again, if you can plug into a timely moment or trend, consumers will appreciate the context and relevance and respond with engagement.

Don’t Overdo it, and Don’t Be Tone Deaf

While the presidential election season presents significant opportunities to participate in a politically driven conversation, brands need to be strategic and selective about when to chime in. Brand-driven geo-political campaigns don’t always represent a good idea, as clothing
retailer Kenneth Cole now knows.

As you evaluate marketing opportunities, be sure to constantly question the potential merits of an investment and allocation of resources. Ask: Does this align with our brand? Does this campaign further our brands’ broader marketing goals and objectives? What KPIs will we track to evaluate effectiveness? Why is this important?

You should also remain acutely aware of the social conventions of the time, and constantly assess the risk versus rewards of pushing the marketing envelope. It’s one thing to make light of the ridiculousness of politics with benign memes; it’s another to poke at hot button issues that remain sensitive in today’s social fabric.

The primaries present a perfect time for brands to test and refine messaging with a smaller set of tuned-in voters. If you take advantage of these opportunities now, you will be able to deliver
relevant, on-message campaigns in the general election. By asking these kinds of questions ahead of time and staying focused, you will be able to rise above a crowded advertising landscape and continue blazing trails with engaging brand messages.

Michael Horn is SVP and Chief Analytics Officer at Resonate.

Smart ways brands can newsjack the election season

A still from Boston Market's chicken vs. turkey "Bowl Poll Campaign" video ad, run during the 2012 election season.


Earlier this week in Boulder, Colo., 11 Republican presidential hopefuls took their third shot on CNBC’s national stage of 13 million viewers to expand their support base with new campaign messages and tactics.

As we head deeper into election season, brand advertisers also have a high-stakes, high-reward opportunity to set themselves apart from their competitors by delivering relevant, timely messages to a captivated political audience. As we saw from the last presidential election season, brands such as JetBlue, Pizza Hut and PBS jumped in
with clever and entertaining campaigns that leveraged current events and effectively connected with consumers … but not without risk.

JetBlue's 2012 "Election Protection" campaign.

Above: JetBlue’s 2012 “Election Protection” campaign offered customers the chance to leave the country if their candidate lost the election.

With political ad spend projected to reach $11.4 billion this season, brands will have to work hard to rise above the noise. Here are some ways to stay focused and build a story that will further expand your base of brand enthusiasts and loyalists.

Pay Attention to Major Election Season ‘Mile Markers’ and Proactively Plan

For this season’s remaining 19 candidates, the presidential campaign represents a grueling, intricate labyrinth of paid and unpaid channels to engage various constituencies across 50 states. The venues range from local town halls in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and rallies in Mobile, Alabama, to national broadcast appearances on The Late Show or Meet the Press. And at any given moment, a candidate’s statement — a triumphant cry on income equality or a hiccup on religious beliefs — can go viral through social media and quickly gain national attention.

To identify the best opportunities for weighing in, brands
must be equally adept at navigating the political arena and savvy about the nuanced dynamics and merits of various paid and unpaid media channels. For example, Fox News’ telecast of the first Republican debate in August drew 23.9 million viewers (16% of homes with TV sets), making it the highest-rated presidential primary debate ever and among the most-viewed events in cable TV history. In contrast, digital media represents a powerful channel to reach millennials, an increasingly powerful constituency for candidates. As a result, each candidate has turned to social media channels (including relative political newcomers Instagram and Snaphat) to engage millennials on very specific issues such as student loans and healthcare.

Instead of taking a reactive approach (i.e., scrambling to come up with a clever idea once a milestone moment has gone viral), brands should take a proactive approach and organize ahead of time. To start, you should understand which candidates your brand is better positioned to play off of (positively or negatively). Next, you should game out topical responses and be ready for a candidate to use a trigger phrase or question at the next debate. Once you have established a clear approval chain, be ready to go when an opportune moment hits. If you can’t be timely, don’t bother.

Get Creative and Don’t Be Afraid to Poke Fun

7-Eleven's election cups from 2012.

Above: 7-Eleven’s election cups from 2012.

Image Credit: 7-Eleven

What does 7-Eleven have to do with the presidential election season? Normally, nothing. But in 2012, the company held its third ‘7-Election’ campaign, where customers could show support for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney by choosing a red or blue cup. By keeping tally and posting state-by-state results of cup choices on its site, 7-Eleven successfully “polled” 6
million consumers and garnered major media attention.

In another example, when Mitt Romney claimed that, despite his love for Big Bird, he would cut PBS funding if elected, PBS quickly purchased promoted tweets related to “Big Bird” searches on Twitter. As a result, it was able to drive traffic to its site and educate consumers about the value of PBS.

These campaigns illustrate how brands can develop creative campaigns that engage audiences by taking a lighthearted, entertaining approach. Again, if you can plug into a timely moment or trend, consumers will appreciate the context and relevance and respond with engagement.

Don’t Overdo it, and Don’t Be Tone Deaf

While the presidential election season presents significant opportunities to participate in a politically driven conversation, brands need to be strategic and selective about when to chime in. Brand-driven geo-political campaigns don’t always represent a good idea, as clothing
retailer Kenneth Cole now knows.

As you evaluate marketing opportunities, be sure to constantly question the potential merits of an investment and allocation of resources. Ask: Does this align with our brand? Does this campaign further our brands’ broader marketing goals and objectives? What KPIs will we track to evaluate effectiveness? Why is this important?

You should also remain acutely aware of the social conventions of the time, and constantly assess the risk versus rewards of pushing the marketing envelope. It’s one thing to make light of the ridiculousness of politics with benign memes; it’s another to poke at hot button issues that remain sensitive in today’s social fabric.

The primaries present a perfect time for brands to test and refine messaging with a smaller set of tuned-in voters. If you take advantage of these opportunities now, you will be able to deliver
relevant, on-message campaigns in the general election. By asking these kinds of questions ahead of time and staying focused, you will be able to rise above a crowded advertising landscape and continue blazing trails with engaging brand messages.

Michael Horn is SVP and Chief Analytics Officer at Resonate.