Sunday, 2 March 2014
I may bring back this blog some time in the future, which is why I haven't deleted it yet.
In any case, I hope you enjoy the new content.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Smiles, the Teddy who plays Eric in Boominzer 2 gives his take on the film, but perhaps says a little too much!
Thursday, 14 January 2010
This is long overdue to announce this, but RSS is now available on Funnyhacks.com. Its the organce icon floating at the top right of every page. If you click it on the entry page, you'll get a feed of everything I do, or you can click it on the individual channels to get a feed of only that channel.
Funnyhacks.com is the place to go for everything I do now. This blog is no longer maintained.
Sunday, 15 February 2009
Funnyhacks.com is now up and brings together all the aspects of the show into one place.
I'll keep this blog here for a while for historyical purposes. Although Funnyhacks.com is now the place to go for everything Funnyhacks.
I hope to have RSS feeds on Funnyhacks.com withing the next 2 weeks.
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Epic footage on the cheap
Episode 3 shows some ways of getting some more difficult shots that can be quite expensive if you would normally use specialist equipment or hire aircraft.
This is an ongoing interest of mine, so there is likely to be lots of followup footage, especially in behind the hacks.
Video on youtube (I really recommend watching in HD if you have the bandwidth)
Choice of camera
I only briefly touched on this within the show, but it is really worth while getting a camera with no, or few moving parts. Things that stick out are also a bad idea. The nice thing is that the cameras with no moving parts are often the cheapest ones, so you just need to choose one which does video well.
I have personally used the Vivitar Vivcam 5010 and the Aiptek DV3500 (I believe this model name has been reused for a newer camera). Both of these cameras are cheap but do great video for their time. The Vivitar is what I'm still using for rough stuff. Note that although it is an advertised feature, I have never had the sound working in any form on the Vivitar. I suspect that is a fault.
Mounting the camera
I have two rules when mounting a camera:
If the thing crashes, the mounting must break, not the camera.
Firm usually gives a much better picture than sloppy.
Cloth tape (duct tape in New Zealand, Gaffa tape in the UK) works really well in many situations, since it's durable and very very sticky. Parcel tape has it's place. Mounting your expensive equipment is not it.
In the early days, I used rubber bands for everything. The idea was to use them as shock absorbers. I soon realised that while they were absorbing the shocks, they were also prolonging the length of time that the camera bounced for.
Behind the hacks
Don't forget to check out the new behind the hacks section. This will have lots of stuff that didn't make it into the show, and any ongoing material.
Friday, 19 December 2008
Radio Controlled models are a ton of fun, but sooner or later they end up auditioning for the trash can. This hack comes to the rescue to salvage all those great parts that are still good to convert an RC helicopter into an RC plane.
Most model shops stock pre-made wings. However if you are like me and would like to make your own, you may want to read a little more about how a wing works.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
I hadn't intended to put these notes up yet, but the video is getting a lot more interest, earlier than I expected, so I thought I should put up the extra material that should help you do it yourself. If you have any suggestions, please contact me on the email address below. But firtst, the intro:
Imagine your phone is ringing and you can't find it. Probably the last thing you want is for it to be quietly driving away from you. Well that's what this one does. The concept is: Take power directly from the battery and use the vibrator power as an input signal.
My biggest mistake was underspec'ing the transistor. “A motor can draw twice its specified current as it powers on”. Once I had a more powerful transistor I tested it and the motor twitched once, then all was quiet. This was a good bit of encouragement. Everything did what it was supposed to do. It just didn't last very long before something died.
The successful transistor was a tip3055
These transistors are pretty common (uk). Having said that, I can't find it at DSE (nz), so these will also serve you well:
2N3055 – Even more overkill than the one used in the video.
MJ15003 – Yet more overkill.
MJ15004 – Even more overkill still. Mwuhahahahaaaaaaa!
I've had lots of great feed back already, but if you see something that should be different, please let me know by commenting or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. One suggestion was that I should explain more about the transistor, ie how it works and how to use it. This is too much for the purposes of this episode, but there will be another opportunity in an up and coming episode. In the mean time, take a look at:
There is also a massive amount of info at:
I haven't read all the way through all of these links, but I have been looking for particular material in there which is likely to help you, and these links should be most of what you need.