SickSad

100W Torch

Various sources of cheap imported components have started stocking a 100W chip-on-board LED module for quite a reasonable price. With a few extra off the shelf modules it’s possible create a 8500 lumens portable torch capable of setting paper on fire at close range. Fuck. Yeah.

Beam Shots

This shot shows a side by side comparison of an unlit and lit scene with the camera settings kept the same between the photos.

Parts List

Most of the parts can be found in a number of places. I used DealExtreme & HobbyKing to source the majority of mine. Not included in this list is the price for the case as the cost of laser cutting parts can vary and i probably wouldn’t recommend copying it directly as it could probably do with a few tweaks.

Total : £55.05

The above choice of parts will give a run time of around 20mins. This can be extended by choosing a larger battery. I also chose a warm colored (3050K) LED, for photography or filming it might be better to go with one of the many 6500K 100W LED’s.

Circuit

The circuit for this is very straight forward. It’s just a matter of wiring up a couple of modules. The following image shows the circuit diagram.

Before wiring everything up it is a good idea to preset the step-up converter to a safe voltage. To do this connect a bench-top powers supply to the input of the module and a voltmeter to the output. Adjust the potentiometers on the board until the voltmeter reads roughly 30V (or a couple of volts below the rated voltage of your LED).

When wiring up the rest of the circuit make sure to use heavy gage wire for all the high current carrying wires, and make sure to not power everything on until the LED is firmly attached to the heat-sink. To do this i drilled and tapped some holes into the heat-sink matching the LED’s mounting holes, making sure to apply thermal paste before firmly bolting the LED down.

When everything is wired up power the LED and check the following:

  • No smoke/fire.
  • Fan is running.
  • Battery is not getting warm.
  • Heat-sink is not too hot to touch.

If everything is running OK remove the battery and run the circuit from a bench-top power supply. Place a multimeter across the LED’s terminals and slowly increase the voltage from the boost converter to just below the rated voltage of the LED. As you do this keep an eye on the current and voltage readings from your bench-top supply making sure that the total power (voltage x current) doesn’t exceed 100W. I run mine at around 60W~70W total power usage as there seemed to be diminishing returns in brightness above this.

Case

The case was modeled in LibreCAD & OpenSCAD. A collection of design files for the torch can be downloaded here.

My usual work-flow is to design the flat parts to be laser-cut in LibreCAD then import them into OpenSCAD and model any other parts in the design to make sure they all fit together in 3 dimensions.

Aluminum angle was used to protect the edges of the case and a number of small 3D printed L shaped brackets were used to hold the rear of the case on. In the following photo a set of bolts with wing-nuts glued on to them can be seen which screw into the L shaped brackets. These bolts allow the rear of the torch to bee asily open-able for re-charging the battery..

The last notable feature of the case is an unusual bracket for holding the heat-sink & LED onto the front of the torch. I went with this strange string fixing because it was the simplest reusable attachment i could come up with for all the awkward angles of the heat-sink.

Conclusion

For the time spent building this and the use I’ve had out of it this has been one of the best projects I’ve worked on. It brings the sun with you wherever you go.

Hack-A-Day AntiDuino

(Click here for GitHub repository & installation instructions)

Hack-A-Day is a great website, but as with many sites the comment section can be a sad place. Despite valliant efforts to improve it, it can be pretty ruthless especially if your development platform of choice is an Arduino.

To help combat this flow of negative vibes SickSad bring you the Hack-A-Day AntiDuino. A browser plugin and antitode for anyone sick of Arduinos. With three availble operating modes the AntiDuino plugin can tailor Hack-A-Days content to your personal level of Arduino hatred.

See No Evil

This mode replaces all images in posts tagged as “Arduino Hacks” with images of serious buisness people doing serious things. Becuase you are serious, super serious about not wanting to see Arduinos.

Hear No Evil

Arduino, arduino, arduino, arduino. Does just the word itself leave your fingers itching to lay down a scathing comment slamming the obviously noob hackers pathetic attempt at whatever the hell thing they just created? Well back away from the comments section because this mode is for you. Replace the word Arduino with one of your choosing. Recommended options include:

  • “noob-board”
  • “doo-hicky”
  • “thing-a-ma-bob”
  • “physical-manifestation-of-my-own-deep-seated-insecurity”

Speak No Evil

If non of the other options are enough and you’re still feeling a desperate urge to unleash a torrent of anti-Arduino bile in the comments sections, this is the nuclear option. It simply and elegantly removes any post from Hack-A-Day tagged “Arduino Hacks”.

Conclusion

There you go internet, you can stop moaning now. You’re Welcome.

The Internet of Things Will Nark You Out to the Government and Open a Shitty Jazz Bar Around the Corner

A while ago I heard a man from a government funded housing think-tank explain how in the future smart connected social housing could allow the government to actively monitor inhabitants. The proposed scope of connectedness ranged from tracking occupants movements within the house through wifi usage patterns (to check for over occupancy), to your bathroom scales automatically reducing rent based on government set health goals.

“People will like it” he said, “It let’s them know someone cares”.

The government is already proposing you hand over your personal details if you like to watch filth on the internet but selectively monitoring only the people in social housing set’s a dangerous precedent of privacy being the privilege of the rich, and not the right of everyone…. It’d clearly be much fairer if they just monitored everyone relentlessly…..oh wait .

Goverenments have a long established history of domestic spying but it’s only relativley recently that corporations have had the analytical power and access to increased levels of personal information (through internet shopping history, connected devices, reward cards and more) that they’ve been able to jump on the information gravy train.

Watch this sweaty man explain how he’s all up in your music genres deciding where to open a Jazz bar. (Skip to 2:56 to avoid the brain rotting QNX spam)

This vision of the future no doubt gives some market analyst a raging, sweaty p-value, but it also raises an interesting question. Will analysis like this result in the filter bubble effect leaking into physical spaces? How narrow will your world view become once all your devices are reporting personalization analytics all the time to companies that have both digital and physical influence over your surroundings. Tastes, opinions, and the neighborhoods should evolve and change over time, not become more entrenched. More importantly whats the audio equivalent of filling your amazon history full of 55 gallon barrels of lube and how do you spoof it for all the people in your immediate neighborhood to the blackberry servers ….the bars around here are gonna get weird.

As the internet becomes more prevalent in everyday devices we need a stronger understanding of what this means for personal privacy. We need the government to protect and fight for our digital rights and for them to gain an understanding of new technology at much faster pace (for fucks sake it’s 2014 and it’s only just become legal to rip a CD for personal use). Privacy protecting software and encryption can only go so far, and without financial backing it probably won’t fill the ever increasing gab between practical implementations and consumer demands for convenience. The irony being the companies best suited to developing these technologies are the ones who profit most from the lack of them.

The Internet of Things has so much more to offer than “market insights” or reporting the flab gained from that 3am shame kebab to the government, let’s not fuck it up too much before it’s had a proper time to blossom.

Cameron Speaks

The Tories attempted to remove their 2010 pre-election speeches and press releases from the internet. The robots.txt file got changed to politely ask any web scraping bots to forget any earlier copies of their website. This removed previous copies of their website from many internet archives such as the Wayback Machine. Fortunately the British Library has kept copies..

So, for your convenience, here’s an archive of all the speeches made by David Cameron pre-electon in plain text format.

But what to do with this archive? We decided to build a Markov chain driven Cameron-Bot that spouts nonsense speeches in a barking, authoritative, mechanical voice.

Because that’s what the world needs.

You’re welcome.

Note – We built this a good few months ago, just after the story about the speeches being removed broke, when maybe it would of been more culturally relevant, but never got around to blogging about it. But then again why believe a fucking thing we write.