SteamTV – Lost Knowledge follow-up

Fun & Games
SteamTV – Lost Knowledge follow-up

In poking around the InterTubes yesterday, looking for items related to my latest Lost Knowledge column, I happened upon Jake von Hildebrandt’s SteamTV project, which uses the Nipkow disk TV technology I included in the column. And a Jensen desktop steam engine for power! Really cool. Unfortunately, it appears that this project hasn’t been worked on since April ’07. Let’s hope he gets back to it at some point.

SteamTV Part 1 — first looks at my newest project

4 thoughts on “SteamTV – Lost Knowledge follow-up

  1. Jason DeFontes says:

    The artist Chris Burden did a piece in the 70’s called C.B.T.V. that used this tech.

  2. A says:

    This gave me an awesome idea, and when I learn a little bit more about mirco controllers and PWM, I will probably make it. Take an old hard drive (7200rpm ot 10krpm, maybe 5400rpm is I can’t pwm fast enough) and a really bright RGB LED and make a full color mechanical display, with a decent frame rate (I’d aim for either 60Hz or 24Hz) and maybe a decent resolution (320×240?). The biggest feasibility problem would be making the disc with the holes in the right spots and being the right size and be able to withstand 10k rpm without shattering. We’ll see if I ever figure something out.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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