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The Junkdrawer

Failed, discontinued or finished projects that turned out to being a bad idea in the end. Only stuff that got at least partially build goes in here. Some stuff I stopped doing simply because I found out somebody else did it better already.

A lot of the truly bad 2am ideas thankfully never got this far.

Lets upgrade an old radio

The Idea:

Get an old valve Radio from the 50ies and replace its innards with modern stuff. Put an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi in there. Put the charts from the 1920ies until today on it and set it up that you can tune it to different years.

Build Status:

Got a radio, removed old crappy WTF-tronics (but kept the valves), added a PSU. Made a prototype interfaceboard for a rpi.

Why I gave up on it:

Lets upgrade a Desk with LEDs

The Idea:

add a "cool" looking grid of RGB leds to my glass desk. Have it signal incoming notifications and do cool color effects.

Build Status:

Why I gave up on it:

Lets build a Spider Robot

The Idea:

Build a Spider Robot using cheap analog servos and even cheaper Meccano from amazon.

Build Status:

Bought servos and Meccano; build the frame and mounted 6 Servos for the leg joints.

Why I gave up on it:

Lets build an active EEG electrode

The Idea:

Texas Instruments had a spiffy new Biomonitoring chip that amplifies bio-electrical signals (up to 8!) on one side and spits out SPI on the other. Why not build a cheap active electrode based on it - make it wireless and solar powered, too.

Build Status:

Sampled the chip - Ti send 1 chip. Made a PCB design for it and ordered the passive components.

Why I gave up on it:

Lets build a TES device

The Idea:

Zapping your brain with current looks fun - what could go wrong?

Build Status:

bough most of the parts and something to mount it on. A Styrofoam Hemisphere makes one Look like a member of the Pet Shop Boys as a Bonus.

Why I gave up on it:

Image: 2015-08/calf-carrier.jpg

Failed, discontinued or finished projects that turned out to being a bad idea in the end. Only stuff that got at least partially build goes in here. Some stuff I stopped doing simply because I found out somebody else did it better already.

A lot of the truly bad 2am ideas thankfully never got this far.

Lets upgrade an old radio

The Idea:

Get an old valve Radio from the 50ies and replace its innards with modern stuff. Put an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi in there. Put the charts from the 1920ies until today on it and set it up that you can tune it to different years.

Build Status:

Got a radio, removed old crappy WTF-tronics (but kept the valves), added a PSU. Made a prototype interfaceboard for a rpi.

Why I gave up on it:

  • all the music from before 1965 is either horrible or annoying or both.
  • most of the music from after 1965 is either horrible or annoying or both.
  • 70 year old mechanical electrical switches are unreliable.
  • the dials use variable capacitors I have no idea how to interface with.
  • I had no amplifier handy that could amplify the music from the rpi.
  • the rpi has a shitty _analog_ audio quality.

Lets upgrade a Desk with LEDs

The Idea:

add a "cool" looking grid of RGB leds to my glass desk. Have it signal incoming notifications and do cool color effects.

Build Status:

  • Hardware based on RGB Strip was 100% done.
  • including a spiffy slider-lock that clamped it in place under the desk
  • prototype software that lets you send png files to it via USB.

Why I gave up on it:

  • a light up table shows _every_single_goddamn_ spec of dirt.
  • A light-up glass table is _extremely_ distracting at night
  • My desk is always filled with crap blocking the view
  • I don't care that much about (Email) notifications

Lets build a Spider Robot

The Idea:

Build a Spider Robot using cheap analog servos and even cheaper Meccano from amazon.

Build Status:

Bought servos and Meccano; build the frame and mounted 6 Servos for the leg joints.

Why I gave up on it:

  • Meccano is surprisingly heavy
  • Analog servos jitter a lot
  • Its hard impossible to attach meccano to a servo without a custom head.

Lets build an active EEG electrode

The Idea:

Texas Instruments had a spiffy new Biomonitoring chip that amplifies bio-electrical signals (up to 8!) on one side and spits out SPI on the other. Why not build a cheap active electrode based on it - make it wireless and solar powered, too.

Build Status:

Sampled the chip - Ti send 1 chip. Made a PCB design for it and ordered the passive components.

Why I gave up on it:

  • the chip had too small a package size - I was unable to etch a PCB with traces for it that would have worked.
  • Ti only send 1 chip so I had only 1 try - replacements were unobtainium at the time - unless i needed 1000.
  • Energy harvesting from Solar indoors returns pitiful amounts of power

Lets build a TES device

The Idea:

Zapping your brain with current looks fun - what could go wrong?

Build Status:

bough most of the parts and something to mount it on. A Styrofoam Hemisphere makes one Look like a member of the Pet Shop Boys as a Bonus.

Why I gave up on it:

  • fear of death

Written by Falk on Sunday August 30, 2015

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