Archive for the ‘Electronic toys’ Category

I am the coolest kid on the block

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

The DavidHasselhoff5 gang meet every Wednesday night at 10 PM at Burritoville to ride bikes and drink beer.  I’ve only been once before — last Halloween, in a little black dress.   Last night it was finally warm out, and I decided it was time to debut the Spoke POV.   This is a set of printed circuit boards that go in the bike wheel, and have a row of leds on each side that light up in a pattern that makes a picture when the wheel goes around.  You connect them with a USB cable to your computer and upload whatever pic you like, although there aren’t that many pixels, so simplicity is the key.  I put in a cat:

Cat for Spoke POV

Needless to say, it was an enormous hit with the other kids.  As a plus, I’m visible from space.

Yes, this is my midlife crisis.  It’s cheaper than a sportscar or a mistress.

Green Lantern Headlight

Monday, January 21st, 2008

A followup on yesterday’s post, in which Cabell wondered about the Green Lantern headlight. It’s actually cyan — I built it using directions from Instructables.com. The cyan LEDs have peak emission at about the same wavelength that your rod cells have peak sensitivity to, so it’s the most efficient night lighting.

The other day I was on my way to work and passed my colleague Jim Champine, who was out for his morning run. He yelled “Green Lantern” at me. Then it turned out that my department chair, Bill, was a huge Green Lantern fan as a kid and still knows the magic poem that he used to recharge the ring. Or whatever. My recollections of green lantern are pretty vague.

Anyway, here’s a video showing my bike (leaning against the back of my pickup truck) with new front and rear flashers and the Green Lantern headlight. I think you’ll agree that I’m visible.