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This is a question Amazing Projects

We here at B3ta love it when a plan comes together. Tell us about incredible projects and stuff you've built by your own hand. Go on, gloat away.

Thanks to A Vagabond for the suggestion

(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:12)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

I'd forgotten this until I read Lumpbucket's project below (above?)
When I was about 14, I was into astronomy and computers (well, I had a 48k Spectrum anyway). In an astronomy magazine, there was an article about a virtual star atlas running on some awesome "proper" computer, and it even had the core of the code printed for all to learn.
I was so impressed with the idea that I decided to port the program to the spectrum. Adapting the code was the easy bit, as all of the difficult mathematical translations were in the example. It was a bit trickier with the graphics as the existing code was for a completely different renderer, but I managed.
What I hadn't thought through was the time it took to enter all of the data required for the stellar database (available from all good libraries). No scanners, OCR, or online (online? wtf was that in 1982?) facilities existed for me, so I had to enter the lot manually on the Speccy's rubber keyboard: Right ascension, declination, magnitude and colour for each of about 5000 stars. It took me about 4 weeks solid indoors, in the middle of my summer holidays, backing up to a tape every couple of hours or so. What a waste of sunshine!
It worked though, and I was immensely proud of my efforts - I could select any part of the sky and zoom in and out to my hearts content. It was no use to anyone, but I didn't care :)
I have no idea what happened to my tape, so it's all just a hazy memory now.
I also built a telescope at about the same time, which I still get out every now and a again, but I can't be arsed to write about it at the moment.
(, Wed 23 Nov 2011, 19:01, 2 replies)
When I was a young lad, I got an Oric Atmos. It was already obsolete,
but it was my very own computer, as opposed to the Acorn Electron which belonged to my parents. It wasn't brilliant, but I enjoyed it briefly before I got a C64 to replace it. Then I pretty much forgot all about it... until...

About 2 years ago, I decided I to have a look at the Oric again through emulation, and found that the best Oric emulator (Euphoric) was a more-or-less discontinued MS-DOS based affair written mostly in x86 assembler, and that there was a small group of Oric enthusiasts still writing games etc. for the machine, but resorting to running Euphoric inside a DOS emulator on their modern 64bit computers.

So I decided to write an Oric Atmos emulator, since it seemed like a nice programming exercise, and something to do on my daily train journeys to work. Just for the hell of it, I decided to write the whole thing from scratch; I didn't use existing code for anything, even though there are plenty of free emulators for things like 6502 CPUs, AY sound chips, or Western Digital 17xx floppy disk controllers out there.

Much to my own surprise, I succeeded.

Some other people have now contributed (mostly ports to other operating systems), but pretty much the entire emulation core is my own work from scratch.
(, Wed 23 Nov 2011, 18:14, 10 replies)
Little known that the now demised Ms. Winehouse
was paid bonuses by her tour manager for improvising on stage.

Amy's impro cheques.
(, Wed 23 Nov 2011, 17:45, 2 replies)
It's not a project yet...
...more a general idea for a project, but I'd like to start a company that I've been playing around with for a while. I think there's a gap in the diet food market for something aimed at helping recovering anorexics. It's a sensitive area, and that's why I think it's not really been focussed on yet, which is a shame, as these people need help. I think as long as it's tastefully done, it could be a winner both for me financially and for the people it's aimed at.

I've already got a brand name and tagline actually. I think 'Skinny Fields' sounds healthy and reputable for the brand, and the tagline 'Nothing tastes as good as...'
(, Wed 23 Nov 2011, 16:01, 18 replies)
Fatal flaw exposed
One of my chosen subjects at A-Level was Design Technology and each year we had to design, document and build an electronic device.

To add to the pressure, each device would also be entered into the Young Engineer of Britain Competition which culminated in a judging session in London.

The first year I'd developed a device that alerted the deaf that their kitchen appliances had completed their tasks (kettle boiled, microwave finished etc). It was a receiver and transmitter, the former housing a couple of flashing lights. Sounds shit, was shit.

Amazingly though the judges at the YEOB competition liked it enough to give me a commendation.

Having raised my own expectations, I really went to town the following year. The judges seemed to like inventions that were somehow linked to pressing social issues, so scanning the news I locked onto the growing concern of video game induced epileptic fits.

My amazing idea was to develop a circuit breaker that cut the power to the games console after a pre-determined time. Parents could then limit the time little Johnny spent on his Megadrive. You plugged the console into my device which in turn plugged into the mains. My device had a small display counting down the time before switch off so little Johnny could save his progress in time.

The teachers loved it, and felt sure I'd be well in the mix for the title that year. I started practicing my winner's speech.

The day of the judging started well enough. There's usually four judges who come to your stand to ask a few questions of your invention before retiring to consider the winner. The first three asked some fairly basic questions about epilepsy statistics and power regulation which i answered competently.

The final judge came by, took one look at the device and said: "What's to stop the kid from unplugging the console from your device the second the parent is out of sight?"

I didn't win.
(, Wed 23 Nov 2011, 14:17, 9 replies)
I'd tell you about the amazing patio I have...
But I only started it in May 2009, and it still looks like waste ground.

(, Wed 23 Nov 2011, 12:19, 3 replies)
Meat Puppets.

I once spent a month crafting a perfect effigy of Mohammad out of pork.

You'll forgive me if I don't post pictures of it though, I'm sure you understand.
(, Wed 23 Nov 2011, 10:54, 10 replies)
Challenged myself and got it sorted
I decided my project would be to find the least stimulating weekly b3ta question ever, one that was guaranteed to minimise not maximise participation, quell not stimulate. After lots of deliberation and testing I found the perfect one. But in order to excel in projetctland I took it one step further and got a A Vagabond to pretend it was hers.

(, Wed 23 Nov 2011, 7:38, 26 replies)
Mr Beanbag for AGA Amigas
Biggest project I ever did, still not quite finished after some 16 years in development (on and off)... immense Sonic the Hedgehog play-alike. You can download two playable demos from the website to run in UAE*.


I hope to finally release it in time for Christmas. There is barely anything left to do now, it's just getting round to doing it.

*Amiga Emulator
(, Tue 22 Nov 2011, 22:17, 4 replies)
I made AB feel good about himself cause he got mentioned by name in some of my posts.
Hope he's catching all those warm & fuzzies.
(, Tue 22 Nov 2011, 21:46, 18 replies)
This week I've made Ringofyre bleat on about me constantly without doing anything very much.

(, Tue 22 Nov 2011, 20:55, 12 replies)
Did some work with The Red Cross a few years ago
Helping out with various relief projects in some of the poorest areas of Africa. Really rewarding work, I can’t even begin to describe how great it feels to be making a difference, helping to improve people’s lives. One of the major projects that we had embarked on was the sinking of dozens of wells to ensure the locals could get fresh, clean water and help keep disease at bay. All of this was abandoned however in favour of my brilliant and completely original idea to build dozens of Pizza Huts instead, so that the kids could eat for free.
(, Tue 22 Nov 2011, 13:56, 5 replies)
chicken house...
I decided that it was time that I started replicating the good life in our back garden by getting some chickens. I planned, sawed, nailed, bled, nailed, bled, sawed, bled.........until I completed my project. It was a thing of beauty and the chickens were delighted with there new home. The project was completed by about August last year and we were looking froward to reaping the rewards with fresh eggs.

We had 5 chicks which were nearing laying age about November time and I went out every morning in the expectation of finding some eggs (it felt like when I was younger and tried growing something which resulted in having to check every five minutes in the expectation that something had sprouted!). We live in Scotland and, like the rest of the country, last winter was freezing. So cold in fact the local stoat population got VERY hungry, so hungry they killed all my chickens one day, in daylight, while I was at work.

Blood, sweat, tears in building a beautiful house for them and NOT ONE SINGLE EGG FOR MY TROUBLES!!!!
(, Tue 22 Nov 2011, 10:33, 14 replies)
Days off when the weather is shit....
I got into a conversation with a flatmate about how it would be nice to not be restricted to one meat and two veg for dinner. Surely the more meat the better right? The only time I can think of when it is socially acceptable to have more than one type of meat on your plate is at Christmas, when you have turkey (bland) and pigs in blankets (2 types of pork, or for the more adventurous beef sausage connoisseur would equate to a total of 3). So I bought lots of meat (okay, technically only 4 different animals but 5 types of meat), and spent the best part of a day making the best sausage ever. Pictures and text and shit here.
(, Tue 22 Nov 2011, 10:15, 14 replies)
In the 1980s my brother got saddle-sore when riding a horse.

Out of fraternal kindness, to ease the soreness, I put some lemon and moisturising cream in his pants.

That was produced ulay-zing bro kecks.

Yeah - I don't know why I bothered, either.
(, Tue 22 Nov 2011, 9:09, 26 replies)
A couple of months ago we put our oldest fluffty cat down.
She was old and losing her marbles - the vet's scientific opinion was that she was "going doolally".
17 going on 18, not a bad innings for a mankey old fluffty bitch!
Here she is a couple of years younger - oi44.tinypic.com/4vkaw1.jpg
It was an agonising decision for my missus & I but there was no question that Molly's quality of life was going downhill very rapidly.
My daughter & I constructed this to put over the place that we buried her in the front yard.
Sorry about the pic quality - a Nokia 6300 workphone leaves a lot to be desired.
Apologies - having worked in an high-care aged care facility with people with dementia recently, absolutely none. If I get that bad, please take me to the vets, snuggle me a lot and give me a couple of injections to send me off into the Great Sleep.
EDIT: As to the mediocrity - feel free to ask AB, Shambles, Janet, Turtle et al. what they've made recently.
(, Tue 22 Nov 2011, 9:03, 14 replies)
I once got asked to invent a device that could fire someone out of a plane at the speed of sound
I was so confident that my design would work that I said I'd be the first to test it if they paid my £10,000. It was the most tremendous rush of adrenalin I'd ever felt.
That really was an amazing, pro eject
(, Tue 22 Nov 2011, 6:01, Reply)
Steroid-induced feeding frenzy
Spent a morning in casualty enjoying morphine and dilaudid after pinching a nerve in my back.The fresh-faced attending prescribed a lot of things including a course of steroids. I don't like it but the searing pain in my back told me I needed it, so off I toddled with my psycho-inducing 'roids, paracetamol/codeine, and tacit approval to take whatever tramadol, muscle relaxers, and/or vicodin I had left from my previous attempts to mimic Quasimodo.

If you are not familiar with steroids, after a day or two, the appetite takes over. Being rather high on pain meds only increases the risk of creating a dangerous calorie-fest at every opportunity. By day 3, I had balanced the pain meds so that I could be more ambulatory, but this increased the danger of allowing me in the kitchen. I woke up from a dream-filled nap, craving sweets, jam and cake should do it.

Problem: no cake. I knew we had an old box of strawberry cake mix, and proceeded to mix up the batch. Did you know that nuking cake mix works a treat? 10 minutes, and the cake is no longer a lie!

The steroid-fueled rage also keeps my family at bay, and no one said a word as I puttered around, enjoying myself. Probably talking to myself, too, but it's all foggy now. Sort of measured the water and oil. Dried cranberries? With rum? Why not? (you're on narcotics, you daft drug-addled you!)! Fine, I'll cook it out, and won't add any fresh to the jam glaze!

I had brave daughter help me with the batter into the silicon bundt pan. Popped it in the micro, nuke for several minutes at 40% (definitely something wrong with the micro, it's too strong!). Took the cake out and nuked some strawberry jam, rum, butter, and sugar till it was glaze-like. Grabbed a fork, stabbed holes in the cake, brushed some glaze on the cake, let it soak in and around. Was this meeting my fantasies? Almost. My steroid-driven craving said I needed to turn it out, and glaze the top properly!

I turned out the cake... Onto a pie plate. So wrong, but it's what I could reach without more meds. I looked at it, this deep pink bundt cake, flecked with red bits and slightly wet at the edges... And had a mad giggle:

OMG I've made me a goatse cake!

As a testament to the strength of the steroids, note that it didn't stop me eating it. I glazed it... which made the goatse effect only worse, so I heavily dusted it with icing sugar. Then I sliced it to further mask the forbidden image, and to keep me from drizzling some fingers of melted chocolate on it and feeding it to my blissfully unaware family.

Apologies for not taking a photo of it. You really don't need it if you've seen the original, and if you have not seen the original, you really don't want to... Trust me on that.

Apologies for length, I'm down to two doses a day so I've more time on my hands with less control.
(, Tue 22 Nov 2011, 2:37, Reply)
Not so much amazing,
but I found some pictures of this pea:

I'm a cheapskate; I have no problem admitting it. I use servers and computer stuff salvaged from skips. That also makes me a bin raider and hoarder. I can't walk past a skip without delving in and sometimes I'll hawk my finds online and sometimes I’ll manufacture and bodge something. This is a tale of one such time.

I had a laptop that was a complete write off. I'd inherited it from someone else. The motherboard had a crack down the middle and there was no screen, having been torn clean off. The first stage was to get this working. Using my autism to great effect and invoking my rain man style soldering skills, the machine was soon working having been screwed to a piece of plastic and the keyboard DUCT-taped to the thing. As it came with a Vista OEM licence (befitting the time) that was transferred to another machine and the hard drive went with it. Enter fellow b3tan epicsnail and his knowledge of Linux distro's and in a flash, the thing was running from a memory stick, with an external monitor. The LCD monitor I had was itself another bodged contraption, and we wondered if this was stripped down and placed onto an old style overhead projector, would it project the image. Within minutes, I was on the phone to the primary schools in my area. I figured that with the advent of interactive white boards, at least one would have one going spare. Turns out the second school I rang were only too willing to help. That afternoon, the projector, and trolley were in my dining room and the LCD was placed over the top having been ripped away from the casing and back-screen. The contraption booted up and projected perfectly. It took a few minor alterations what with being backwards, out of focus and upside down, but we got there in the end. We strung up a bed sheet in my living room and experimented watching films, streaming videos from the server and joining in with pron films!

The project got a little out of hand after that I’ll confess. Custom boot screens, decals and permanent marker designs. We even went for an Apple style proprietary power supply design that involved a power cable made of a three pin plug at each end, requiring a "socket at each end" lead available seperately.
Not wanting to be accused of failing to keeping up with the latest technology, the next stage is the development of 3D. The broad plan is to build another one, find a source video with that has the left eye on the left and the right on the right. Then, using some sort of extended desktop arrangement, display the two images simultaneously and project through some sort of polarising filter and wearing glasses.

some more:
Note the insulating kitchen roll.
This one NSFW:
and the finale:
(, Tue 22 Nov 2011, 1:20, 10 replies)
Self funded figures
Im a 3D character modeler / illustrator, and i always fancied having a figure based on one of my models / characters. Now that 3D printing is more commonplace, i gave it a go. I had a prototype printed, then painted it myself. I was so pleased, i sent the 3D data to a chinese company and had 50 painted figures produced, which i am currently selling for £90, not including postage.

Check out the 3 Facebook albums called "Trixie figure" for an in-depth look at the production process:

Buy link on my blog:
(, Mon 21 Nov 2011, 22:05, 30 replies)
An early stained glass project.
One of the things that I really love in the cooler-but-still-warm weather is to sleep with the windows open. But since I live in a subdivision with neighbors directly across from me, having the curtains open presents a problem- they really don't want a clear view of what goes on in my bedroom, I'm sure.

So I decided to construct a set of privacy screens.

Here is the very start of it- a pile of brass cut to length and the MAPP gas/oxygen torch set I had to work with. (I've since gone to oxy-acetylene. Booya.)

This is one of the frames.

I then got a hoop bender and used it to make curved shapes out of thinner brass, and attached that too with silver solder (higher melting temperature than lead solder, so I didn't have to worry about melting things later). The result looks a bit like ribbon candy.

Next I started cutting out a large number of leaf shapes from colored glass, brown and red and green and yellow. I picked up a few leaves from the yard to use for templates, then cut them out with a glass bandsaw. I foiled the edges, put on a coat of solder, and did the same to slices of agate. Then came time for assembly. A closer look here.

And the final result? Not too bad, if I say so myself. I made one for each window. Now I can get the air through without having to worry about scarring the neighborhood children for life.
(, Mon 21 Nov 2011, 19:06, 15 replies)
My most amazing project
Was my ex-boyfriend.

It took me months to train him not to pish on the toilet seat, leave the seat down, the lid closed, to get him not to sulk when he insisted on coming out shopping with me for the day and I wanted to spend ages looking at shoes. It was an accomplishment!

I hope his current lady is happy with my hard work.
(, Mon 21 Nov 2011, 18:52, 35 replies)
When I read the theme this week
I thought I'd post up pictures of the compost bin I made one afternoon out of pallets with a lovely sliding hatch at the front to get the compost out.

But after seeing all the other projects on here I feel slighly less proud. :(
(, Mon 21 Nov 2011, 16:36, 13 replies)
I developed a device for sprinkling corn on the cobs all over Harlem.

(, Mon 21 Nov 2011, 13:56, 7 replies)
Probably the last thing I could call a 'project' I worked on
was a chair I made for my (then five year old) niece out of a few odds and ends of wood I had lying around the shed. I designed it myself and spent an enjoyable afternoon cutting the wood and painting it. It being one of the few things I've ever wood-worked, certainly the only thing I've ever made for her, I was very proud of it. In true five year old fashion by the time she got it home she was bored with it and has, to my knowledge, never even looked at it since. I think it's rotting in my sister's (niece's mum) garden now.

edit: fucking haphazardly-working 's' key, extra esses added to make 'her' a 'her'.
(, Mon 21 Nov 2011, 11:37, 2 replies)
Bombs Away

I, in common with all normal boys, spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make things blow up. This lead to many minor injuries. Burnt hands from match bombs, near enough deafened by the shotgun shell bomb, more burns from the burning molten sodium bomb and not forgetting premature defecation during the gas cylinder on bonfire incident.

At 18 years old, legally a man but very much still a boy, I had all my birthdays and Christmases in one when I went on a underwater demolitions course. The first bit of the course was to familiarise ourselves with various explosives and techniques on land before we took it below the waves. And by familiarise I mean play around with lots of explosives , blow stuff up and laugh quite a lot. I look back on the afternoon spent seeing who could blast debris the farthest out to sea as my finest moment.
(, Mon 21 Nov 2011, 11:05, 5 replies)
Back when I was about 14, I once built a hand-cranked
wanking machine out of Technics Lego.

It was a failure on several counts. The idea that "It's not me, therefore it must feel like someone else doing it" was immediately shattered because it didn't feel like someone else at all. Unless I was being given a terrible handjob off someone with a handful of Lego.
Also, because of the structure, I couldn't just use it like a Fleshlight, it had to comprise of three components which were assembled in situ. This meant that hairs kept getting trapped. I had to give up before I'd plucked my bollocks bare.
Finally, the laws of thermodynamics got in the way. Because it was manually operated, and notwithstanding any battery box and switches, I was putting more effort in than if I hadn't bothered.

I gave up, put my pants back on and adapted my creation into something that transported my cup of tea across my bedside cabinet.
(, Mon 21 Nov 2011, 10:04, 14 replies)
Working as an illegal alien
I did this: www.muenster.de/stadt/buecherei/kunst.html
and this: www.batteryparkcity.org/otterness.php4
(, Sun 20 Nov 2011, 23:39, 5 replies)
A little project at work, for the World Bank
From inquiry phone call to installation in five weeks:


Had quite a bit of help from my people on the shop floor, but designed the thing myself.
(, Sun 20 Nov 2011, 23:27, 15 replies)

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