While many of my fellow students at Victoria University chose to do more meaningful Honours projects for their Engineering Bachelor like assisting stroke patients with an assistive device and demonstrating PLC capabilities by sorting M+M’s. I chose something a little less serious. On blogs such as Hack A Day, I had seen many hobbyist implementations of the LED Cube, a small three-dimensional matrix of LEDs controlled by some digital controller (usually a microcontroller), and I decided to see how big I could scale such a project. The largest implementation I had seen at this point was an 8x8x8 cube, but most being 4x4x4 or smaller. I chose to implement a 16x16x16 cube with Tri-colour (Red-Orange-Green) LEDs. The result can be seen in the image on the left. During the time of my project, I came across a company that built and sold LED Cubes with RGB colour up to a size of 32x32x32 but being proprietary, no plans of the device were available.
Domain purchased…. check. Content Management System installed… check. Default theme replaced… check. Some content…. ummmmmm?
Well firstly, welcome to No. 8 Hacks. Although a bit bare at the moment, this blog aims to demonstrate some of the cool projects myself and a few other engineering (and science) graduates have been working on. These projects will generally tend to fall under the areas of electronic and software engineering, yet we will in no way limit ourselves to just these categories.
So what about the name. What does No. 8 Hacks mean? Well ‘Hack’ in the engineering sense has many definitions, but I think Wikipedia sums it up best:
It includes building, rebuilding, modifying, and creating software (software cracking, demo scene) or electronic hardware (hardware hacking, modding)
And for those not familiar with New Zealand slang, No. 8, derived from Number 8 wire (a gauge of wire which was very popular in New Zealand many decades ago), is a term now used to describe kiwi ingenuity and self-sufficiency, making it an appropriate prefix to the site name.
I will be posting irregular updates on various projects along with some of my engineer friends and colleagues, some of whom are working full-time as engineers, others continuing with post grad studies.
Photo courtesy of Michael Jeans michaeljeans.co.nz