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Inside a 1940’s Spy Radio

The RCA CR-88 was a radio receiver made to work in top-secret government eavesdropping stations. As you might expect, these radios are top-of-the-line, performance-wise, at least when they are working correctly. [Mr. Carlson] has one on his bench, and we get to watch the show on his recent video that you can see below. Interestingly, [Mr. Carlson]...

Surgery on An LED To Preserve Vintage Aesthetics

[Chris Jones] recently found himself in a pickle. An indicator LED off an old piece of stereo equipment had failed. It was a strange rectangular type for which he could source no modern substitute. Using a different LED would ruin the aesthetic. Thus, what else was [Chris] to do, but attempt surgery on an LED! The first attempt was the simplest. [Chris]...

Ambient Display Tells You if Borealis is Coming to Town

For those times when you’d rather not get sucked down another internet rabbit hole when you really just wanted the weather, an ambient display can be great. [AlexanderK106] built a simple ambient display to know the probability the Northern Lights would visit his town. Starting with a NodeMCU featuring the ESP8266, [AlexanderK106] walks us through...

Hackaday Links: January 29, 2023

We’ve been told for ages that “the robots are coming for our jobs!” It’s true that we’ve seen robots capable of everything from bugger flipping to bricklaying being demonstrated, and that’s certainly alarming for anyone employed in such trades. But now it looks like AI has set its sights set on the white-collar world, with the announcement that ChatGPT...

Automatic On Air Light Prevents Distractions During Online Meetings

Remote working has become so normal that even important meetings are now routinely held online. But for those working from home there’s always the risk of pets or flatmates entering the room right when you’re in a heated argument with your boss or presenting your results to an important client. To overcome this problem, [Hans Scharler] designed a system...

Self-Watering Planters Reuse Household Jars

Self-watering planters are low-maintenance, and common DIY projects. What we like most about [Tommy]’s design is that it reuses empty jars to create self-watering planters. After all, jars are fantastic at reliably holding water, so why not put them to work? Incorporating jars as part of the design means fewer worries about leakage, but it also means...

Wireless MiniDisc Walkman Has Bluetooth Inside

For most people, MiniDisc is just one of countless media formats that became obsolete when music went online. Not so for MiniDisc enthusiasts, many of whom still use a MiniDisc deck at home and a MiniDisc Walkman on the go. Unfortunately, high-end headphones these days often come with Bluetooth connectivity only, necessitating the use of clunky signal...

Opening a Safe With a Stepper Motor and DIY Auto-Dialer

What do you do when you happen to come into possession of a safe of which the combination is lost to the sands of time? If you’re someone like [eNBeWe], you grab a stepper motor with driver module you had lying around gathering dust, an ESP8266 for the brains and a few other pieces to build your very own auto-dialer to crack that safe combination. The...

Illuminate Your Benched Things with this Death Stranding Lamp

[Pinkman] creates a smart RGB table lamp based off of the “Odradek device” robot arm from the video game “Death Stranding”. [Pinkman] adds a XIAO BLE nRF52840 Sense device, with Bluetooth support, microphone and TinyML capability. The nRF52840 is used to push data to the five WS2812 strips, one for each “blade” of the lamp, and also connects to a TTP223...

The Voice of ChatGPT Is Now On The Air

AIs can now apparently carry on a passable conversation, depending on what you classify as passable conversation. The quality of your local pub’s banter aside, an AI stuck in a text box doesn’t have much of a living quality. human. An AI that holds a conversation aloud, though, is another thing entirely. [William Franzin] has whipped up just that on...

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