MAKE Volume 28 hits makers’ passion for play head-on with a 28-page special section devoted to Toys and Games, including a toy “pop-pop” steamboat made from a mint tin, an R/C helicopter eye-in-the-sky, and a classic video game console. You’ll also build a gravity-powered catapult, a plush toy that interacts with objects around it, and a machine that blows giant soap bubbles. Play time is a hallmark of more intelligent species — so go have some fun!
Coffee Table MAME Console
Emulate the raw fun of classic arcade games, wirelessly on your TV. (Page 48)
Check out the full Coffee Table MAME Console project build.
WT12 Breakout Board (for DIY Bluetooth Arcade Controller)
Build your own Arcade Controls wiki — good general resource
Game ROMs (public domain)
iPac Arcade Controller (not wireless)
Front End software (manage emulators and ROMs)
ERRATA: In Volume 28’s “Coffee Table MAME Console,” the arcade buttons can be OSBF-30 or OSBF-24. Also, quick disconnects are a nice upgrade from spade connectors: 0.187″ for joystick, and 0.110″ for buttons.
Build a toy steamer that runs only on heat and the water it’s floating in. (Page 70)
See how MAKE Labs engineering intern Daniel Spangler made a Copper Pipe Alcohol Lamp for the Pop-Pop Steamboat’s heat source, instead of a candle.
Get medieval with this portable, stowable, gravity-powered trebuchet. (Page 84)
Bill Gurstelle at Maker Faire Detroit with the Gravity Catapult
Gigantic Bubble Generator
Arduino-controlled Bubblebot blows enormous, undulating soap bubbles. (Page 94)
Check out the full Gigantic Bubble Generator project build.
Arcade Console Materials
- Plywood, 1/4”–3/8” thick (7mm–10mm or so), 3’×1’
- Pushbuttons, arcade style (OBSF) (2)
- Switch, toggle, with safety cover
- Joystick, arcade style, 4-way digital (i.e. on/off, rather than variably sensitive)
- I/O expander chip, 16-bit, MCP23017 Get the MCP23017-E/SP through-hole version rather than a surface-mount package.
- Connectors, female (aka jacks), RJ45 (Ethernet), with PCB mounting posts (2)
- Breakout boards, RJ45 (2)
- Cable, RJ45 (Ethernet), 6’
- Speaker, 1/4W
Bubble Mixture Materials
Note: Depending on the brands you use, you may need to experiment with quantities for your soap mix to achieve optimal bubble performance.
- Distilled water, 1 gallon (4 liters)
- Bubble solution, 1 gallon (3.2–4 liters) from a toyshop or online
- Dishwashing liquid, 14oz (400ml)
- Liquid glycerin, 14oz (400ml) available from some drug stores, natural foods stores, or online
ArcadeControllerTester] — zip file
BubbleBot_MAKE – zip file
RobotMarketplace — another good source for gearmotors
Wacky Noodles (optional, for decoration)
Making Your Own Frame
Tools and Materials
- Clamp or large clip (2)
- Saw, for wood
- Screwdriver, to match screws used
- 1×2 lumber (nominal), 3′ (5)
- Wood screws (10 or so), 1″
- Hinge (2), about 1.5″ long
- Wood screws (12), 1/2″ to attach hinges
- Wood glue
1. Screw and glue together two 3′-long sticks into an uneven X shape, making the cross at about 3/4 of the length.
2. Now do another pair. Make sure the two Xs come out as identical as possible to one another, for maximum stability. Don’t worry about excess wood. You can trim it off later.
3. Connect the two Xs with a horizontal stick, using both screws and glue.
4. Leave an extra 4-5″ sticking from one side, for the kit box housing the Arduino.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to dress it up (I used pool noodles) and add the giant bubble blowing workings.
Last (and favorite): the “Giant Stinson Beach Bubbles” clip that inspired this project
By David Harris
Make a plush toy that talks to other objects — and you. (Page 106)
Check out the project build.
Maker Shed RFID Teddy Bear Project Bundle
By Onyx Ashanti
Wearable, wireless control network adds movement to musical performance. (Page 116)
Code and Configuration
Beatjazz controller patches – multiple patches modularized
MIDI continuous controller assignments for configuring Pure Data – PDF
Fingering chart – PDF
All schematic files are in .fz format, created and viewable in the free Fritzing application.
Left hand unit – Fritzing breadboard view (PNG)
Right hand unit – Fritzing breadboard view (PNG)
Mouthpiece unit unit – Fritzing breadboard view (PNG)
Templates for Hand Cases
Digi X-CTU XBee programmer (Windows only)
Simple Van de Graaff Generator
By Adam Wolf
Shoot electrical sparks with a soda can, rubber band, and PVC pipe. (Page 124)
Check out the project build.
Plant Light Stand
Shed some light on a growing problem. (Page 132)
Check out the full Plant Light Stand project build, and collaborate.
Water Leak Detector
By Jeff Tregre
This simple circuit saved the day when an attic water heater failed.
Check out the full Water Leak Detector project build.