You don't wanna get hooked on this stuff!

A project log for Futurama's Jack dispenser

"Grab a Jack !"

pierreppierrep 04/28/2014 at 21:180 Comments

Hey we finally finished the Jack Dispenser! 

We first had to finish the painting and add the final paint layer to give it the perfect touch. Next was to glue the plama ball circuit into the water sprayer, we wanted it to be the closer from the plasma ball to ensure the cable's contact in it. We then had to solder all of the speakers cables (4 one-end jack connector) the auxiliary input (one 3.5mm to 6.35mm jack). We used a jack to RCA adapter to plug the Raspberry Pi straight into the amplifier.

After assembling the 3-floor structure, well... We had to disassemble it because the leadscrews were too tall. So, after re-cutting the leadscrews and re-assembling the inner structure we were ready for the big final : put the plasma ball on the top the the Jack Dispenser and turn it on with some kickass guitar sounds. The results can be seen on the videos in the details of our project. Check it out!

It is complete ! Well...

...Not exactly. We still have to improve some of the features to enhance the user's experience a bit more as it is quite essential. So even if it is tagged complete as the Jack Dispenser is now fully funtionnal, things like the WebUI still need to be improved, for example we're actually thinking of a replacement for lighttpd in order not to go through the whole server configuration and its use with PHP. We'd like to find a server that could be directly implemented in the package, so if you think of one that could fit our need, tell us in the commentary section!

What about your amplifier ?

Nothing yet. The plane must have gone lost somewhere in the bermuda triangle as we still have no news or even the ability to track the package. We somehow hope to receive it in the week or even the next one but we can't know. We'll update the pictures and cabling of the amplifier as soon as we receive it so stay tuned for some more cool stuff! For the moment, all we have is an amplifier we borrowed to a friend.

What your project could be used for ?

We tried to make generic scripts that would be reusable in others projects. We already have some ideas on how to re-use our whc-switch in others projects like the "HackerBoy" which would basically be a Hacked GameBoy containing a rasberry Pi. It would of course be powered by a little battery. The HackerBoy would actually use the screen and buttons to control the Rasberry Pi and use command line softwares and utility. As it would be a connected GameBoy, it should be able to make a lots of cool things like our Jack Dispenser.

minidlna-autoconfig is now on the AUR and accessible by everyone. We think that some people are fighting to get a simple but working configuration for minidlna and we are distributing these scripts just for them. We will add an entry to the ArchLinux Wiki to make it more popular and see if it can help people.

We also created the "Share Your Profits License" you should take a look on, it is a just-borned license, but it'll be finalized soon and everything we coded for the Jack Dispenser is now distributed under it!

The Jack Dispenser, version 2 ?

After seeing the announcement of the new form-factor for the Raspberry Pi, we had some thoughts about making a new version of the Jack-dispenser, with custom PCB and fully integrated 4 channel audio amplifier (maybe a custom amplifier with some STA540 or alike amplifier). We will probably try to do a better structure, perhaps using fiberglass.

Briefly, we will try to keep this project alive ! Stay tuned for others updates and demonstrations !