Saturday, November 14, 2009

VoIPing the iPod Touch

VoIPing the iPod Touch
How makers gave you the feature that Apple held back
Erica Sadun | Make Vol. 15- 2008 | Pdf | 2 pgs | 1 mb
It's a maker's dream: turn your homebrew ideas
into a concrete reality and then ship that product.
This dream came true for iPod hackers Dr. Marian
Kepesi, "Eok," and Samuel Vinson. They designed,
built, and shipped an iPod touch microphone and
developed VolP(voice over internet protocol) soft-
ware to place phone calls using that mic.

Last November, Kepesi was poking around on his
iPod Touch. A postdoc at Austria's Graz University
of Technology, he had previously worked with third-
generation iPods and was interested in the new
Touch line.

During his explorations, he discovered an impor-
tant fact about the iPod Touch's bottom connector
port: its line-in audio was active. Live pins meant
that the iPod Touch could connect to an external
audio source. It was compatible with recording or,
better yet, with VolP for talking over the internet.
VoIP compatibility was a long-standing goal of the
iPhone and iPod Touch hacker community.

The Penetrating Magnets Illusion

The Penetrating Magnets Illusion
"Magnets are fascinating things, and they behave in
unexpected ways. I will show you a little-known
property of magnets, which actually allows them to
pass through one another."
Donald Simanek | Make Vol. 15- 2008 | Pdf | 2 pgs | 1 mb
Back in 2004, I invented a physics toy using
magnets, one I hadn't seen described elsewhere.
So I called it Simanek's Penetrating Magnet Illusion.
It obeys Newton's laws, like the others, but why
should Newton get all the credit?

This toy is inexpensive and absurdly easy to build.
Find a dozen small, flat ceramic magnets, 1" diameter,
1/4" thick, with a 3/8" hole in the center. You can get
them at RadioShack or hardware stores. You don't
need a full dozen, but extras are good to have.

Great Balls of Fire!

Great Balls of Fire!
Keith Hammond | Make Vol. 16- 2008 | Pdf | 5 pgs | 2 mb
It's true: chemistry sets today don't measure up
to the classic kits that once scorched Formica
kitchen tables across the nation. But you can
still find respectable kits if you know where to look.
More importantly, anyone can make their own flam-
ing, fuming, booming DIY chemistry set as good as
those from the golden age - or better.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Amazing Seebeck Generator

The Amazing Seebeck Generator
Andrew Lewis | Make Vol. 15- 2008 | Pdf | 9 pgs | 3 mb
With no moving parts, this simple energy-recycling
generator scavenges waste heat from a candle and turns
it into usable electricity.

Peltier cells are flat devices that draw heat from one side
to the other through a thermoelectric principle called the
Peltier effect. The cells are commonly used to pump heat
away from CPUs or graphics cards, and are also found
in camping coolers and heaters. The Amazing Seebeck
Generator uses one of these devices in reverse, to turn a
heat differential into electricity, rather than using electricity to produce a heat differential.

Compressed Air Rocket

Compressed Air Rocket
Rick Schertle | Make Vol. 15- 2008 | Pdf | 13 pgs | 4 mb
Blow your friends away as you send this 25-cent
rocket hundreds of feet in the air. You can build this
easy launcher and rocket with common hardware store
items in an afternoon.

All the parts for this simple but impressive air rocket and
launcher are cheap and easy to find. Building it is a breeze
and the modifications are endless. It's legal in a big city,
reusable, clean, and can be launched even in high winds
on a small field.

Believe me, folks are quite taken by the 200- to 300-foot
flights fueled by 18 or so bicycle pumps of compressed air.
Whether you're launching on your own or with a whole
group of rocketeers, watch the crowds gather ... 3,2,1,
and away!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The iConveyor

The iConveyor
John Edgar Park | Make Vol. 15- 2008 | Pdf | 6 pgs | 2 mb
The iConveyor is a simple motorized conveyer
belt with an RFID (radio frequency identification)
reader under the belt. It lets you visit websites
or load applications on your computer by simply
dropping a chip in the belt. Each wooden chip
has an RFID tag attached to it. The reader picks
up the unique ID number of the tag and sends
the number to your personal computer, through
a cable. A computer program written for the
iConveyor looks up the name of the website or
application assigned to the ID number and loads it.

The Year People Learned to Fly

The Year People Learned to Fly
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the flight of the Gossamer Condor
Ben Shedd | Make Vol. 11- 2007 | Pdf | 3 pgs | 1 mb
One of the great home-built family maker projects
celebrated its 30th anniversary on Aug. 23, 2007:
the flight of the world's first truly successful
human-powered airplane, the Gossamer Condor.

The plane was designed and built by Dr. Paul B.
MacCready, along with his family and friends, on
weekends over a year's time in 1976-77. The goal
was to win the first Kremer Prize, a $100.000
reward for the first human-powered airplane that
could take off using human power, fly over a 10-foot
marker, make a complete left turn and right turn
around two pylons spaced half a mile apart, and
then fly over the 10-foot marker again at the end
of the mile-long flight.

Vortex Cannons

Vortex Cannons
Edwin Wise | Make Vol. 15- 2008 | Pdf | 9 pgs | 3 mb
A smoke ring, or vortex, is a beguiling thing to watch:
a coherent, moving structure made out of thin air. Here
are 3 cannons that can throw these "chunks of air"
across a room.

I'd been aware of vortex cannons for quite some time,
mostly as an interesting toy, and after I kept stumbling on
the concept while touring the web, I decided I had to build
my own. There's something fascinating about taking a
substance as ubiquitous and amorphous as air and trans-
forming it into a coherent and persistent structure, almost
like a crystal. I also hoped to find some use for my cannon,
perhaps to propel scents or give the touch of a ghost in
a haunted house.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Daughter's DNA

My Daughter's DNA
One father's search for the scientific answers
that no one seemed to have

Hugh Young Rienhoff Jr. | Make Vol. 15- 2008 | Pdf | 4 pgs | 2 mb
If you scrape the inside of your cheek
with a pop-sicle stick and mix it with a few homely
salts and a shot of grain alcohol, you'll see a
fluffy cloud of material floating in the glass.
It looks like cotton, but it's really the code of
you. DNA is deceptively ordinary-looking.

The human genome - the totality of each person's
genes within their body - is a vast chemical space
with 6.6 billion bits of DNA information that con-
stitutes genetically what we are as Homo sapiens.
In that vastness, it's easy for a single deviant bit of
DNA to hide. I suspected that. like many of those
with genetic conditions, my daughter also had a
single DNA base that was awry. Finding that variant
is like looking for a single person in a world of 6 billion
people. It's a near-impossible task unless you have
clues for where to look, for which genes might be
altered. Clues like this always begin with the patient.

Make Vol. 15- 2008: Music

Make Vol. 15- 2008: Music
Pdf | 40 pgs | 13 mb

Spin the Birdie

Spin the Birdie
Larry Cotton| Make Vol. 11- 2007 | Pdf | 11 pgs | 4 mb
Birds make lousy subjects for digital
photographs. They're fearful, fidgety,
and, well, flighty. But you can improve
your odds of getting awesome avian
photos by moving your camera closer
to the birds --- and you farther away.
And while you're at it, why not get
them to pose for you?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Evil Mouse Prank

Evil Mouse Prank
Control your co-worker's cursor!
John Edgar Park | Make Vol. 15- 2008 | Pdf | 2 pgs | 1 mb
Joe Bowers is sneaky, resourceful, and rotten to
the core. Whatever you do, don't get in a prank war
with him.

Returning to my desk from a coffee break. I sat
down, grabbed my mouse. and ... nothing. The
cursor was stuck to the left wall of my monitor.
I shook my mouse wildly. The cursor moved up
and down just fine. But when I jerked my mouse
viciously to the right, the cursor nudged a little,
then slammed back to its new favorite position,
clinging maddeningly to the leftmost pixel.

Blowing on the mouse's nether regions didn't help,
so my officemate, Hide Yosumi, took pity on me. "Do
you hear something?" he asked knowingly. There
was a high-pitched whine coming from behind my
workstation. I looked and saw that a strange mouse
was plugged in. Not just any mouse. A prank mouse.

Mister Jalopy's Urban Guerrilla Movie House

Mister Jalopy's Urban Guerrilla Movie House
Your own DIY drive-in
Mister Jalopy | Make Vol. 11- 2007 | Pdf | 11 pgs | 3 mb
Rather than lamenting the slow death of
drive-in theaters, I decided to build my
own, mount it on an adult tricycle, and
take the movies anywhere there's an AC
outlet. Vibrant online communities of DIY
projector enthusiasts have ironed out the
kinks and built the focal calculator soft-
ware tools, and they're building homebrew
machines with jaw-dropping results.

Swiveling Balcony Hoist

Swiveling Balcony Hoist
Take the sting out of a walk-up apartment by installing your own lifter
Matthew Russell | Make Vol. 11- 2007 | Pdf | 4 pgs | 1 mb
Apartment-style living has its
advantages, but getting a bicycle
off the balcony, through your
living area, and down several
flights of stairs just to go get
some exercise isn't one of them.

Carrying groceries up and taking
trash down several flights of stairs
isn't so much fun either, but you
can mitigate these pains by building
a swiveling hoist on your balcony.

The whole setup costs right
around $50, and takes only a
few hours from start to finish.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rock the Bike

Rock the Bike
Social biking with Fossil Fool and the Juice Pedale
Paul Spinrad | Make Vol. 11- 2007 | Pdf | 4 pgs | 1 mb
cruiser ride before, here's what happens. You and
your party gather someplace in town and maybe
have some beers and/or dinner. Then you ride. The
city and the night are yours. If you're lucky, one of
you is on a Soul Cycle, supplying the soundtrack.

Retro R/C Racer

Retro R/C Racer
Frank E. Yost | Make Vol. 11- 2007 | Pdf | 13 pgs | 4 mb
Using scrap sheet metal and pop rivets,
you can construct a model 1930s British
Midget racer that combines vintage "tether
car" styling with modern R/C capabilities.

Radio control (R/C) toys are fun, but their plastic bodies
are so obviously mass-produced. To create something
more interesting, I wanted to find a metal toy racer 10
inches or longer that I could transplant some R/C insides
into. I soon discovered that the best candidates were all
precious collectibles.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bend It Like Bach

Bend It Like Bach
Tim Kaiser's fabulously weird world of music
Karen K. Hanseb| Make Vol. 15- 2008 | Pdf | 5 pgs | 2 mb
When English soccer star David Beckham bends the
ball, the international sports world watches in awe. When
American musician Tim Kaiser bends a circuit, the audi-
ence listens just as intently, be it in an art or performance
space, or a bar, bookstore, or library.

MAKE, Volume 12 (page 14) introduced readers
to Tim Kaiser, but even people who've never
heard of him have probably heard his sounds.
These may emanate from the instruments
Kaiser himself creates and plays, such as
Bungee Drums made from concrete post forms
or the New Metal Violin made out of the battery
compartment of a minesweeper. Or they may
issue forth as distorted or modulated samples
from one of Kaiser's Atomic SonicFX Boxes in the
hands of other artists.

Among those emitting Kaiser sounds are
Duran Duran and film score producer BT (Brian
Transeau), who recently featured some of
Kaiser's instruments in his recording This
Binary Universe.

Make Vol. 15- 2008: Upload

Make Vol. 15- 2008: Upload
Pdf | 8 pgs | 3 mb

Stonemonkey Makes It Easier

Stonemonkey Makes It Easier
An electric motor linked to existing bicycle gears turns
any bike into a sell-your-car-already vehicle
Rick Polito | Make Vol. 11- 2007 | Pdf | 3 pgs | 1 mb
easy for you. But he does want to make it easier.

A bike-centric, car-less existence has always been
possible for strong people with strong feelings. but
with Fahmer's Stokemonkey kit, it gets easier. With
an electric motor linked to existing gears and an
Xtracycle hitchless trailer to extend the wheelbase
and cargospace, the Stokemonkey scenario turns
any bike into a sell-your-car-already electric vehicle.

Kitchen Floor Vacuum Former

Kitchen Floor Vacuum Former
Bob Knetzger | Make Vol. 11- 2007 | Pdf | 11 pgs | 3 mb
From take-out coffee lids to airplane
interior panels, vacuum-formed plastic
is everywhere. And for good reason:
vacuum forming makes light, durable,
and cool-looking 3D parts. Here's how
to cook some up in your kitchen.

Free VoIP

Free VoIP
Got broadband? Add phone service for $0/month
Dave Mathews | Make Vol. 11- 2007 | Pdf | 4 pgs | 1 mb
These days, many people don't even have landline-
based telephone service; they get all their calls on
their mobile and office phones. But once I settle in
at home, I want people to be able to call me on a
nice, comfortable cordless phone, even if it's Iost in
the couch. At home, the cordless battery is always
charged, and it doesn't matter if I'm in a fringe
mobile service area.

If you already have a broadband connection, you
can get a home phone without paying for POTS
(plain old telephone service) cra Vonage style
digital phone service. Here's now to do it the easier
way, without having to run your own private branch
exchange (PBX) Asterisk server.