Tech Tools

3 Things I Want to Make

When I was in college, my Computer Engineering partner, Mike, had built his own arcade unit. I thought the idea was so cool; I’ve always wanted to build my own. Since that microprocessors class we had, I haven’t done much with hardware; well, if you don’t count some projects with Lego Mindstorms.


Reggie the Roadster

In the midst of finishing old projects, I daydream of new ones. I suppose this is my Black Friday post, but instead of saving money by standing in lines, save money by DIY.

1. Water Carbonator

I really like sparkling water– buying bottles of water, not so much.

Total cost: $163.94. It’s a little more money up front than all but the most pricey Sodastream machines, but those $15 canister refills add up quickly. After a few months you’ll be saving money (ultimately, the system produces seltzer at three or four cents per liter—not bad!). You can also lower your initial spend on the CO2 tank by shopping eBay.

2. Steadicam

I actually want something small for my Cannon S95.

Nothing beats a Steadicam for capturing smooth video, but the commercially-available models can run for hundreds or thousands of dollars. But if you’re willing to do a little work, you can build your own for small camcorders and dSLRs for about $30-40.

3. Malletkat

This one will probably start happening before the others. The Malletkat costs thousands, but cheaper than it’s acoustic counter-part. In addition to being your own vibraphone, a Malletkat would service a lot of other percussive and electronic music needs.

My plan: Arduino, Multiplexers, and Piezoelectric Transducers. 3 octaves = 36 analog inputs + pedal.

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