Do you find yourself wishing for a dream machine or a Balloon Wi-Fi Antenna » Wire My House Efficiently »
system to solve a problem? Tell us about it. And if you I was thinking of trying to I would like MAKE to solve a
have a good solution to one of the challenges submit- use a kite or balloon for a Wi- problem for me: I would like
ted below, tell us about that, too. Send your stuff to Fi antenna. What I wanted to to know the best way to wire
email@example.com. We can’t print all of the solu- do was make it in the shape my house with a single wire
tions here, so make sure you check out our website, of the Testors’ Area 51 flying type that can provide high-
makezine.com/challenge, for even more solutions. saucer: galacticvoyager.com/ speed data and 12/5 DC volt
mod/area51/ icon.gif. power, in a single inexpen-
Any ideas on the legality sive plug. —Timothy Hirzel
of using a balloon for Wi-Fi
or any other valuable input Math Money Machine »
for attempting this project? I’d like to see someone
Thumb Keys » I loved the Cat 5 Cable Continuity —Todd Livingstone invent a “math money
thumb keys on my Kinesis Tester » I often build or machine” which spews out
Ergo keyboard. The thumb repair category 5 cables HTPC Control from coins when students solve
could hit six keys, including at home but do not have a Universal Remote » math questions on a USB
Ctl, Alt, Del, Home, End, Pg continuity tester. Most of I have a Home Theatre PC connected personal com-
Up, Pg Down, Space, Enter. the ones I have seen on the (HTPC) and would like to puter. A video explaining
The rest of the keyboard’s market cost more than $50. control it from a standard the concept is found at
features were superfluous Testers I have used in the TV universal remote control. mathmoneymachine.
to me. As I sit here with my past have 16 LEDs, 8 for each Is there a way to build/buy blogspot.com.
standard keyboard, I really of the RJ45 connectors. A an IR detector that can be —Phil Shapiro
wish I could have a thin strip push button moves the volt- configured from the PC to
of keys mounted right below age from pin 1 to pin 8 with recognize my remote’s Portable Dishwasher? »
the space key so I could put each push. The LED on the signals and to control i Tunes, I live in an apartment in
Ctl and Alt down there for source pin lights as well as Windows Media Player, Brooklyn with a tiny kitchen.
each thumb. the pin the signal arrives on, BSPlayer, Firefox, etc.? My girlfriend and I cook a lot,
I’d be really happy if I if the cable is built correctly. —Mike Parker but we always have a prob-
could hack some switches This seems like a simple lem with all the dishes we
right into the keyboard itself. challenge for someone who Time Expansion Bat have to clean by hand. I think
But I’d also settle for some knows what types of IC would Detector » Design/ there ought to be a portable
sort of USB interface that I help solve this problem. create a homemade “time dishwasher that I can stow
could configure as keyboard —Todd Edmands expansion” bat detector away under the sink when
keys in Linux. — very expensive to buy, not in use.
Seems to me like it should Dog Bark Stopper » but the best type to “see” If you like that one, I have
be really simple yet very, very I know they sell dog-barking the actual ultrasonic signal. another I thought up while
useful. Can anyone out there stoppers, and I have tried There are schematics/plans writing a treatment for a TV
help me with this? three different ones of varied available for “frequency divi- show: a specially configured
—Monty Zukowski price (up to $75) and inten- sion” detectors from scratch record player that plays digi-
sity. They are between 20-22 and hetrodyne detectors by tal files from vinyl records
Dull the Hum » I have a kHz in frequency. They work converting an old radio. I once (MP3 Phonograph).
resonance in my hot water if the dog is close by. saw an “idea” mooted for a —Steven Swiller
heating system that causes I need one that is more time division detector using
an annoying humming in one direct, such as a small a PIC, but it was not followed
part of the house whenever speaker placed in a tube to through. —C. Payne
the circulator pump is run- act like a rifle for direction.
ning. This type of noise would Would that be a project that
be very easy to null out using you would like to
the same type of system that undertake? —Jack Russ
is in the cheap noise-canceling
headphones. Chess Clock » For chess
The idea would be to mount lovers, the price of chess
a speaker driver on the pipe clocks is ridiculous. Surely,
and have the system cancel there is a low-cost solution
out the noise at the source. for those of us who would
I’m sure there would be many like to try Speed Chess and
similar applications. hone our skills for tourna-
—Christopher Johnson ment play. —John Bobo
Volume 02, May 2005. MAKE is published quarterly by O’Reilly Media, Inc. in the months of February,
May, August, and November. O’Reilly Media is located at 1005 Gravenstein Hwy North, Sebastopol, CA
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ANSWERS TO PREVIOUS CHALLENGES:
Super 8 Film to DVD » In Maker Challenge, Gary Peare
asked for a “really high-quality way to transfer old movies to digital at home.” In our contest, “Mach flott den
Schrott” (not translatable), see slashdot.org/article.
Kempelmann built a machine to transfer Super 8 films
to his PC picture by picture: www.heise.de/ct/machflott/
projekte/55840. It earned him the first prize.
Inexpensive Way to Track Pets » Falconers and model
rocketers use small transmitters. Here’s a discussion: