Armageddon421's Hackingblog

Tag: music

My car.

by on Jan.15, 2011, under Projects

Well, first of all I have a 1995 Mercedes C200. 136PS. Nothing special about that.

Then I added some things, like for example a computer. And speakers. The cockpit looks like this:

The display is capable of a 640×480 resolution and is equipped with a touchscreen. I removed it from its original enclosure and built a custom wooden frame that fits exactly in-place. The screws are just there to attach the display to the frame, the whole contraption is just pressed in there. The radio above the display is mostly just for volume control. Additionally it has a bluetooth module which lets me use it as a hands-free phone system. Not even the internal amplifiers are used. Instead, I got two amplifiers in the rear, one for the subwoofer and another one for the four front speakers. The speakers were about 40€ per piece and came with the right frames for my car. I bought the subwoofer for a very low prive from a relative of mine.

Now to the really interesting part: The computer.

On the right hand side of the above picture you can see my EeeBox. It is just like those netbooks, the eeePcs from Asus, just without display, battery, keyboard and mouse. It is directly attached to the 12V from the car power supply. To controll it, I am using the touchscreen and a USB-Numpad.

The box is running on ArchLinux, I am using awesome as a window manager and XBMC is my media center.

Another cool feature are the webcams. At the moment only the front view is working. It is taking a picture every ten seconds and storing it into one folder for every journey. At home, I can create cool movies from those pictures. This is one of them:

At the moment, I am working at the second camera. There are some issues regarging USB-bandwidth limitations and missing MJPEG-compression. The goal is to take one picture per second per camera and have it directly saved as a movie. Another feature would be live-streaming into the internet via my cell phone’s broadband connection.

One of the most recent changes include adding a triple power outlet because the original one in the ashtray was covered up by the display. Since I could not quite reach the screws that were holding the ashtray, I just used some force to remove it. After a few seconds I was holding it in my hands. Now I could reach the wires I was after.

That’s all I have to say for now. I will post pictures of the subwoofer and amplifiers in the trunk as soon as I managed to clean up the wiring there.

Ideas and suggestions are always welcome. Have a wonderful day!

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Homemade wooden portal-CNC-mill

by on Jan.15, 2011, under Projects

About one and a half years ago I started a project together with a friend. Our goal was to be able to directly drill PCBs. The result was a relatively big portal-CNC-mill.

CNC from behind

The workpiece is moved along the X- and Y-Axis and the tool is providing the remaining Z-Axis. The three stepper-motors are controlled by an atmega32 microcontroller. All PCB’s on the rear of the device are made by the device itself. This was possible because at that time, most of the parts were just hacked together mid-air or on breadboards.

The mill is communicating with the PC via a simple USB-to-RS232 converter and is talking some strange custom protocol. On the PC-side I am running a very crude python-script that can basically just parse HPGL. I plan to rewrite everything in Java. This allows me to have a nice GUI and it makes keeping the code clean much easier.

Here you can see the mill in action. It is drilling the shackspace logo in acrylic glass.

Since we used stepper motors and stepper motors make noise, we can also have fun with them.

On those two pictures you can see the the device painting on a PCB with permanent ink. Notice the high precision of the drawn lines.

This is a snapshot while drilling the holes in a PCB.

This was one of our first attempts in two-sided PCB’s. As you can see, the alignment worked quite well. However, some of the signals lines dissolved during the etching process.

Feel free to comment and ask for more details. It is always hard to explain everything at once, so if you want to know something specific, just ask.

You will find more blogposts about the mill over at

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