Hardhack is a term referring to the modification, cannibalization or the combination of new and/or old technologies, methods or ideas to create something different, in order to solve a problem, to improve or make more affordable. The meaning of hack or hacking has changed in recent times and is now characterized as “the appropriate application of ingenuity and experience”. Whether it is the result of a quick-and-dirty fix or carefully crafted work the outcome is valued.

Cosmic Ray Pixel Hodoscope with generative graphics and music

My Cosmic Ray (Muon) Hodoscope now produces live generative graphics and music using an Arduino Mega and Ethernet Sheild over a network to a computer running software called Processing (PDE) and MaxMSP.

Capacitor Discharge Vortex Cannon

Vortex cannons are a device that fires doughnut-shaped air vortices. The vortices are able travelling several metres and can be visualised using smoke. Vortex cannons have been around for a long time from large weather cannons to everyday science toy.

Jacob's ladder (traveling arc generator)

Travelling Arc

A Jacob's ladder is a wonderful exotic-looking display of electric white, yellow, blue or purple arcs, which is often seen in films about mad scientists. As a boy I was always fascinated by these in science displays, and as they were often powered from mains electricity it also gave off a wonderful 100hz v,v,voop! busts of sound as well.

Please note: A traveling-arc device is very dangerous. The spark can burn through paper and plastic and start fires. Contact with the high-voltage conductors can be lethal even if the high voltage power supply originates from a battery.

Cosmic Ray (Muon) 18 Tube Drift Hodoscope

This project was an experiment to see if a multilayered array of Geiger–Müller Tubes (GMT) could track ionizing particles as they pass through.  The result is an interesting display demonstrating how cosmic rays travel down through the atmosphere at different angles.

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