Archive for the As Built Category

Augmented Kazoo

Posted in Art, Design, and Imaginary Existance, As Built on November 2, 2009 by xeracy

Well halloween has come and gone. I made a  Silly String Pumpkin as seen on Instructables via Hack-A-Day, but my servo motor died the day of halloween after all the stores had closed.  Needless to say, it was a sad halloween for hobby tech.

Anyhow, I got home from work today, and was playing with a toy kazoo shaped like a pumpkin (also had a bat, spider, and skeleton).


I figured it would be cool if the amount of control you had over the noisemaker could be translated into something like mouse movement for DJ scratching software, or something akin. I set to work desoldering the IR encoder from a usb mouse and adding leads for remote mounting. For a first pass, I used the  mouse hardware in lieu of an arduino build from scratch.


While holding the ir led and sensor in place on either side of the kazoo, i was able to control the vertical movement of my mouse, up and down. Unfortunatly, since hot-glueing the components together, it seems the mouse only goes down unless it is spinning quite fast. I understand that the encoder wheel from the mouse and the noise-making fan inside the kazoo have completely different timings, so i will next look into fixing that issue. Perhaps I can use the original mouse encoder wheel and a custom tube to make a version 2.0….    yeah, probably not.


Anyhow, heres a quick demo video of my project thus far.



The Banshee: Quick-Implementation Audio Rifle

Posted in As Built, Hacks, Mods, and Misjudgements with tags on May 11, 2009 by xeracy

I found a local store ( with bins and boxes full of loose electronics, old devices, overstock, crap, ancient electronics, and everything else your neighborhood RadioCrap doesn’t. On my first shopping spree today I found a small 110 db 12v siren.

After scrounging through some closets, I came across the perfect housing to weaponize my new screamer: an 18″ plastic margarita/frozen drink collector cup from Las Vegas. Its got a large base and 12″ of neck just about the size of the siren. The kicker is the neck of the container, which flares outward in a cone.

I cut up the base and using some zipties and a plastic cup, I mounted the Siren inside, butted up to an 8xAA Battery pack. I used a wooden clothespin and some wire to make a momentary contact switch and stuffed all the wires back inside.

The best feature is the long neck and flared neck which prevents the sound from having devastating effect on the operator.

I would post pics, but I dont think this one merits any really. Its a 10 minute throw-together.

10x SD Card

Posted in As Built with tags , , , , on September 4, 2008 by xeracy

Class Final Project: Create a prop of something impossible to acquire or create an object ten times its normal size.

My Project: 10 x  SD Card

10xSD Card

10xSD Card


  • 12″x48″x1/2″ Wood (poplar, a poor, yet workable choice)
  • Sheet Brass
  • Photo Paper (satin finish)
  • Spray paint (blue, white primer)
  • Wood Glue
  • Brass Wood Adhesive (no idea what I used, possibly spray stuff)


First off, let me just say ‘Thank You’ to whom ever needed a high def macro photo of the item I happened to choose. It makes creating a model much simpler. I took the macro image (actually more than 10x the size of the actual card) and scaled appropriately in AutoCad. It was easy to determine dimensions of most bits, as its was based in metric millimeters and was easy to  scale up. I layed out the front and back at 1:1 scale and plotted it out similarly.

Since I wanted to duplicate the fabrication of a real SD card, I planned on sandwiching two halves together. The front half features the label, on a slightly recessed plane, and a rounded linear groove along the bottom. The back has teeth along the top, to allow access to the contacts. There is also notches for the lock switch, etc.

Now, with templates and dimensions in hand, I began preparing the wood. I make the mistake of choosing too soft of a wood. Poplar, while it seemed appropriate, did not plane easily. I had a 3/4″ thick piece of lumber that I needed to plane down to one centimeter thick. I used a table saw with a datum blade to remove a good amount of thickness, but only 1/2″ strips at a time. The uneven finish i was left with was simple to sand down, but those faces would be on the inside of the card, so i didn’t bother doing a great job.

I used some light spray adhesive to attach the templates to the wood. A skill saw made cutting all the various angles and notches a breeze. At this point, it was beginning to look like an sd card.

My biggest hurdle was planing an 1/16 off the face where the label sits. I used a router table with a 3/4″ circular bit to remove the outer edges with the rounded corners. Then i used an electric hand sander and hand planer to lower the raised center. This was a bad choice, to say the least. I was using too dull of a blade on the planer and I had to constantly replace the sandpaper as it was getting worn down fast. Eventually I got a relatively flat surface that I could cover with the label later on.

Finally A 3/8″ rounded tip bit on the router was perfect for the rounded groove at the bottom of the card, finishing off all the cutting. Then I did a final sanding with a progressively finer grit.

I used a white base coat before a adding few coats of primary blue spray-paint. Then, I meticulously cut a stencil for the “Made In Taiwan” and Serial Number and used some gray paint to add it to the back.

I cut strips of sheet brass and used a metal/wood spray adhesive to attach them between the teeth on the back side. Finally, I used paper spay adhesive to affix the label to the face.

For my first real solo woodworking project, I consider this a major success, yet if I had to do it again, I defiantly would have made some better choices.


In reply to the comments… I just wanted to join this club with Disk Guy and CD Lady…

Disk GuyCD Lady