Astounding Steam Powered Robot Arm


What a cool application of steam power. The perfect super retro project!

Armatron was my favorite toy as a kid, it was made by Tandy, and sold through Radio Shack in the 80’s. It was made with ONE electric motor, with gears and clutches throughout the entire base and arm, controlled by 2 joysticks that engages and disengages gears for 6 degrees of movement (the joy stick each move in 2 axis, plus they twist for closing/opening of the jaw, and rotating of the hand). This complex machine is a marvel of engineering, the amazing control and ease to operation made this toy amazingly fun to play.

Steam Armatron –

Nuked Czech Live Remote


This may not have been the most advisable of artistic hacks ever done, but it did look pretty good. Nothing like watching the weather and all of a sudden you see a bright flash followed by a mushroom cloud! Who says the cold was is dead?

Members of ZTOHOVEN connected up to one of the stationary camera during TV weathercast and in real time broadcast their own shots, which showed nuclear exposion. Then the picture changed. Instead of the name of the locality (Black Mine) the website reference (now is overloaded) came up on the screen.

No nuclear weapons have been harmed in the making of this video clip.

[via boingboing]
CzechTek WebLog

Very Nice DIY Holga Camera Lens Mod

HOLGA 110mm portrait lens
Very very cool camera mod:

Don’t you wish you had a full Holga outfit with wide and long lenses? I did! So I made a holga with a portrait lens. This is a single-element, plastic, 110mm lens. It is all the things that make Holgas great: Non-anachromatic, non-aspheric, non-astigmatic, and even more pincushioning than the Holga 60mm.
Built using a $2.49 magnifying glass from Walgreens (lovingly extracted from its housing with a 1" wood chisel) and about $15 of plumbing supplies (counting the stuff I bought "just in case" but never used). The Holga shutter had to be replaced since the aperture was much too small. I had purchased a cheapo Metax shutter on ebay a couple of months ago for $20, thinking I’d put it on a pinhole camera. This is a much better use! (The pinhole shutter will remain a strip of electrical tape.)
The image on the lower right shows a wax paper "ground glass" view (rather out-of-focus) of the image through the lens.

HOLGA 110mm portrait lens on Flickr – Photo Sharing!
Photos from the camera

DIY – Glowing Crystal Lamp From a Light Bulb

I’m touched, it’s like seeing your child graduate. I have inspired others to follow and improve upon my works. After seeing my photo of the "neo-Victorian New Age Flemming like valve" on Flickr, Donald decided to hollow out a light bulb and build one of his own. Hats off for using a UV LED to excite the dye out of a highlighter marker! He also incorporated a Basic Stamp microcontroller in it so it has some nice flickering when it’s started. Watch the video to see what I mean.

[via brassgoggles]
I Make Projects

DIY Video Camera – The VanceCam VC25P

I like the idea of building something that fits your needs as opposed to going out and buying it. Building your own video camera is a little exteem but hey, I like that even more.

This is a one-of-a-kind "film-look" digital camcorder custom-built specifically to shoot the independent feature film, Cold Day in Hell. The camera module is based on a Hitachi HV-C20A/E, 1/2" format, 3 CCD industrial PAL camera with 700 lines of resolution.

I love the fact that they used a mechanical shutter in the camera. I bet the camera operator even got to yell ‘speed!’ when there were doing a take.

[via retrothing]
VanceCam VC25P Camcorder

Atari 2600 Joystick TV Remote Control

Alan over at Hacked Gadgets just told me about his latest project:

I wanted a simple remote that could be used to easily control the volume and mute the TV when the phone rings. I have replaced all of my remotes with a single Harmony 880 control which works great, but I wanted something a bit more cool to compliment it. Building the retro remote was fun and simple since the mini remote that I used was very easy to hack.

It looks pretty slick, and he even used a modern Atari Flashback case so no vintage 2600 controllers were harmed in the making of this project.

Atari 2600 Joystick TV Remote Control