Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Album covers

This is not my good idea at all, but someone on Facebook have come up with a method for coming up with a realistic album cover. The rules are as follows:

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use Photoshop (or similar) to put it all together.

Lots of fun for very little work. Here are my results:

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Fat fingers=bad solder

So it has been a while since I have updated my progress on the glove. I'll sum it up in two points. 1)I now have all the components except for a hinge for the screen and the finger buttons. 2) I have broken the keypad due to my fat-fingered soldering attempts.

The keypad was so fiddly that the rather basic soldering iron I have wasn't accurate enough. Soon enough I had soldered the two contacts of the button together and then only had a penknife to try and scrape it off again. In short, 2 days of this process left the keypad knackered. This leaves me 2 problems. Firstly that I don't have another phone and I really liked the layout of this phone (it had crossheaded screws holding it all together and the clamshell design meant that I could have a separate mounted screen). Secondly I will prolly just do the same thing to the next phone I get so I need an alternative to soldering on the wires.

After a brief poke around the interwebs, I have found a number of things that might help. Ideally I want a conductive glue that I can dab on the wire and then hold in place on the keypad contact. Given that the wire will then have a big dollop of glue from a glue gun on it, I'm not worried about structural integrity, rather just a clean join.

Ideas on a postcard please.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

glove update

Okay, so I've just been shopping to buy various bits and pieces for the glove. I now have
- Copper wire (to reinforce structure)
- Leather gloves (army surplus)
- Leather cord (to tie finger sections to glove)
- Glue gun (to reinforce solder locations)
- A couple of test buttons of various sizes.
This area is still one of the biggest unknowns. Despite their need to be small, they must be robust along with any connections coming from them. They must also not rotate around the finger, else they would be useless.

Apart from the buttons, I now have everything to complete the project. One final worry is that I have lost the little microphone that Samsung decided to leave loose on the PCB and has now (hopefully) landed on my bedroom floor.

I have started soldering the wires to the keypad but this is being hampered by a) my ineptitude in soldering, b)the large and cumbersome soldering iron and C) the pcb is completely flat, so it is very hard to get a good solid solder on it. This is why I now have the glue gun to reinforce all soldering done.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Steam-punk glove - the device

The device I have found to use is the Samsung A300. This is partly because it is a clamshell with good, clear components, but also because I happen to have one lying around from back in the day.

I spent yesterday evening dismantling it and figuring out which bit did what. It looks like the battery will either remain in the rear housing along with the primary PCB, or I'll solder the contacts so that it can be placed elsewhere.

The positive is that because this is a clam shell it will stay nice and small and also will allow the screen to be positioned, perhaps using a brass hinge.

The next step will be to solder on a switch for one of the phone's keys. This will be the final proof of concept before I start buying components for it.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Steampunk phone glove

It's new invention time! well I say new, I've been fiddling around with this idea for a while, but only recently have I found a way to build it all.

I was re-invigerated to have another look at it following some amazing steampunk pics of computers being sent my way. For those of you not acquainted with the idea of steampunk, it is a nerdy dream that mixes victorian and gothic design and mechanics with the modern. Traditionally this would be steam powered robots driven by cogs or overthetop zepplins laden in gothic architecture. Basically its anything that is from the modern age but it works only using oldy-worldy technology. Of course it doesn't actually have to work, but it does at least look like it might work.

So back to my idea. I wanted to put a phone into a glove so that I could answer it in much the same way as a mime might pretend to talk into their hand i.e. with the microphone in the little finger and a speaker on the thumb. It then rather balooned into a fully functioning finger located keypad.

In anycase, I couldn't find a way of migrating the keypad from the circuit board so I gave up. I then found this:

Genius! Just solder wires straight on! I'm not going to try and draw it all yet, but I think I have the plan pretty clear in my head, so I'll attempt to explain it. The phone sits on the back of the hand, rotated so that the screen can be read normally. Buttons are push to make switches and placed on the back of each finger so that they can be operated by the thumb. Wires run from the buttons to the phone's keypad. The microphone and speaker are also rewired to sit on the thumb and little finger.

Finally the buttons have to be kept in place, so they sill sit on sections of a leather glove, reinforced with soldered copper. The phone itself sits on a leather pad which has two "watch" straps that go around the palm and wrist.

What could be simpler?!