Christmas in September

We had a bit of an early christmas at the hackerspace.  We received many new and wonderful things to hack around with.  Here are just a few of them.


What could possibly be this expensive you say?  Someone paid almost half a million dollars for this in 1993.

Six-axis Joystick 1 Joystick Controller

Why it’s an awesome six-axis joystick and controller with encoding and feedback on every axis!  This is a joystick that was used to train astronauts to pilot the space shuttle while in space.  Truly an epic thing to have in a hackerspace.  I want to build a submersible and use this as the control mechanism.  I don’t know how they can justify charging $163k for the computer, it didn’t even come with a hard drive in it.  Instead, it boots of a floppy.  The joystick itself runs a cool $326k, pretty impressive.

Fire the laser 1 Fire the laser 2

We also got a Cyonics 2201 40mW Argon/Krypton laser!  I have always been fascinated with lasers so I have big plans for this thing.  Of course, the first thing we had to do when we got it was take it outside and try to blind someone.

Pretty Laser 1 Pretty Laser 2

Sorry for the horrible pictures, we haven’t quite grasped how to take a picture of a laser beam yet.  For now, we’re just making James blow smoke through the beam.  I think we may have put his eye out in the second one, but he’ll be ok.  Stereopsis is over-rated anyways.

Spectrum analyzer

We also received a working light spectrum analyzer.  The use of such a tool is well beyond my current level of experience.  I am told that this one is missing the camera but we have someone who thinks they might know where it is.  I’m sure I would be more excited about this if I knew what it could be used for.


The last item of note for now is a mini lathe.  We already have several people working towards converting this to a CNC lathe.  It would be pretty fun to be able to lathe my own rocket nozzles or gears.

That’s it for now.  We got a few other interested items, primarily a nice centrifuge (enriched uranium here I come!), a high voltage power supply and some vacuum equipment, but I don’t have any good pictures of that stuff yet.

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