No matter how crude, home brew always has a better buzz...

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.

Cosmic Ray (Muon) 81 Pixel Hodoscope with Midi Sound

The raw audio output from the Cosmic Ray (Muon) 81 (9x9) Pixel Hodoscope was a little hard on the ears so in an attempt to make this more pleasant, I modified the 9 x 9 matrix output by dividing into a 3 x 3 output using triple input NAND gates (74LS10) then monitoring coincidence between the resulting 3 x 3 matrix using AND gates (74LS08) to convert it to 9 channels, in order to drive a hacked MIDI Korg Nanokey 2 MIDI controller.

electronics inside midiconvertor

Solid State Gamma Ray Detector

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.

Cosmic Ray (Muon) 81 (9x9) Pixel Hodoscope

This  cosmic ray  detector works by detecting  muons which are a by-product of cosmic rays hitting our atmosphere. It detects these muons using Geiger Muller tubes - the very same type of detector used in a Geiger counter to measure radiation. However, this detector uses 18 Geiger Muller tubes that are arranged in an XY array of 9 tubes oriented on an X-axis and 9 tubes on a Y-axis.

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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