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HEXA Chromebook Pi Bay Trail Chrome OS laptop hits Canada

Liliputing - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 22:00

The HEXA Chromebook Pi is an 11.6 inch laptop with an Intel Bay Trail processor, a fanless design, and Google’s Chrome operating system. It’s now available in Canada for $275. On paper the system seems a lot like the Asus C200 Chromebook I reviewed recently. It has the same processor and both models feature passive […]

HEXA Chromebook Pi Bay Trail Chrome OS laptop hits Canada is a post from: Liliputing

HP Pavilion 10z laptop with AMD Mullins chip now available for $250

Liliputing - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 21:15

One of the first portable computers sporting an AMD “Mullins” chip is now available. The HP Pavilion 10z is a small laptop with a touchscreen display and an AMD E1 Micro-6200T processor. It’s available from HP for $250. AMD’s Mullins chips are low-power, dual-core processors for low-cost tablets, notebooks, and 2-in-1 systems. These processors are […]

HP Pavilion 10z laptop with AMD Mullins chip now available for $250 is a post from: Liliputing

DIY Conductive Paint For All Your Wearable Needs

Hackaday - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 21:01

Conductive ink or paint is lots of fun. It opens up tons of possibilities for flexible and unique circuits — unfortunately, it’s pretty expensive. [Brian McEvoy] shows us how to make your own for cheap, and it works great!

He started trying to formulate his own recipe after playing with other Instructable guides and commercially available paint, and what he found is it’s really not that complex! Graphite powder, acrylic paint, and a jar with an airtight seal — seriously, it’s that simple! But, like any engineer worth their salt (he calls himself the 24 Hour Engineer), he had to do some tests to compare his formula.

In a detailed experiment he compares his formula to the commercially available Wire Glue, and two other recipes using Elmer’s Glue-All and graphite, and Titebond III with graphite. The results? Acrylic paint and graphite produce the most conductive material — and the cheapest!

Now that you can make conductive ink, why not 3D print a circuit stamp to make your very own SMD circuit board!

Filed under: how-to

Allwinner to launch its first 64-bit chips in 2014

Liliputing - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 20:30

Chinese chip maker Allwinner has announced plans to bring its first 64-bit processor based on ARMv8 architecture to market by the end of the year. The company will show off a demo of a new 64-bit development board at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair in mid-October. Allwinner isn’t sharing many details about the upcoming processor […]

Allwinner to launch its first 64-bit chips in 2014 is a post from: Liliputing

Nokia Lumia 530 is an €85 Windows Phone for price-conscious shoppers

Liliputing - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 19:47

Microsoft may have axed Nokia’s Android and feature phone products since taking over the Nokia phone team. But that doesn’t Microsoft doesn’t still have big plans for the cheap smartphone space. It’s just that those plans involve handsets running Windows Phone software. Meet the Nokia Lumia 530. It’s a 4 inch Windows Phone device that […]

Nokia Lumia 530 is an €85 Windows Phone for price-conscious shoppers is a post from: Liliputing

HOPE X: Wireless Tor Proxies And Sharing TrueCrypt Volumes

Hackaday - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 18:00

When you’re at HOPE, of course you’re going to see a few Tor proxies, but [Jose]‘s is top-notch. It’s a completely portable Tor proxy (.br, Google translation), battery-powered, with a connection for 4G networks.

[Jose]‘s OnionPi setup is based on the Adafruit version, but adds a few interesting features that make it even more useful. It’s battery-powered with about a day of charge time, has a built-in battery charger, Ethernet pass through, external 4G and WiFi antennas, all in a sealed case that makes the entire build impervious to the elements.

While this isn’t much of a hack per se, the amount of integration is impressive. There are switches to turn off each individual networking port, and all the relevant plugs are broken out to the front panel, with the AC input and USB serial connection using screw connectors that are supposedly very popular in Brazil.

[Jose] also brought along a new device that isn’t documented anywhere else on the web. It’s called NNCFA, or Nothing New Crypto For All. Using a Cubieboard, an interesting ARM single board computer with a SATA connector, [Jose] created a device that will mount TrueCrypt volumes on a hard drive and share them via Samba.

Filed under: Network Hacks, security hacks

POV Display Does it on the Cheap

Hackaday - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 15:00

[Sholto] hacked together this ultra low-budget spinning display. He calls it a zoetrope, but we think it’s actually an LED based Persistence Of Vision (POV) affair. We’ve seen plenty of POV devices in the past, but this one proves that a hack doesn’t have to be expensive or pretty to work!

The major parts of the POV display were things that [Sholto] had lying around. A couple of candy tins, a simple brushed hobby motor, an Arduino Pro Mini, 7 green LEDs, and an old hall effect sensor were all that were required. Fancy displays might use commercial slip rings to transfer power, but [Sholto] made it work on the cheap!

The two tins provide a base for the display and the negative supply for the Arduino. The tins are soldered together and insulated from the motor, which is hot glued into the lower tin. A paper clip contacts the inside of the lid, making the entire assembly a slip ring for the negative side of the Arduino’s power supply. Some copper braid rubbing on the motor’s metal case forms the positive side.

[Sholto] chose his resistors to slightly overdrive his green LEDs. This makes the display appear brighter in POV use. During normal operation, the LEDs won’t be driven long enough to cause damage. If the software locks up with LEDs on though, all bets are off!

[Sholto] includes software for a pretty darn cool looking “saw wave” demo, and a simple numeric display. With a bit more work this could make a pretty cool POV clock, at least for as long as the motor brushes hold up!

[via Instructables]


Filed under: led hacks

Talking BeagleBoard with [Jason Kridner]

Hackaday - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 12:01

[Jason Kridner] is a member of the i3 Detroit hackerspace and during the Hackaday meet-up we were able to spend a few minutes talking about what’s going on with BeagleBoard right now. For those of you that don’t know, BeagleBoard is a non-profit foundation which guides the open hardware initiative of the same name. This includes BeagleBone which is the third iteration of the platform. [Jason's] a good guy to talk to about this as he co-founded the organization and has been the driving force in the community ever since.

Right now the organization is participating in the Google Summer of Code. This initiative allows students to propose open source coding projects which will help move the community forward. Students with accepted proposals were paired with mentors and are paid for the quality code which is produced. One of the projects this year is a 100 Megahertz, 14-channel Logic Analyzer which [Jason] is waving around in the video. It’s the GSoC project of [Kumar Abhishek] and you can learn more from his proposal.

Also of interest in the video is a discussion about the power of the BeagleBone’s PRUs, or Programmable Real-Time Units. They’re basically unused microcontrollers that have direct access to a lot of the processor’s features and are just waiting for you to bend them to your will. Having these is a huge boon for hardware hackers. If you haven’t played with them before, check out our earlier article on what PRUs are all about and then give it a whirl yourself.

After the break there’s a brief table of contents which maps the topics in the video above.

  • 0:40 – Discussion of the Programmable Real-Time Units (PRUs) on the BeagleBoard
  • 2:51 – BeagleBoard and the Google Summer of Code
  • 4:19 – 100 MHz, 14-channel Logic Analyzer which is a product of the Google Summer of Code

Filed under: Featured, Microcontrollers

Smart Hat Puts Your Head in the Game

Hackaday - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 09:01


[Arvind] has dropped his hat in the game of head mounted displays. With Google Glass pushing $1,500, it’s only natural for hackers to make a cheaper alternative. [Avind's] $80 version might not be pretty, but it gets the job done.

Using a Raspberry Pi loaded with speech recognition software, a webcam, 2.5 inch LCD display and a handful of other parts, [Arvind's] hat mounted display allows him to view email, Google Maps, videos or just about anything he wants.

An aspheric loupe magnifier lens lets him see the display even though it sits around 5cm from his eye. No outside light is allowed in. Only the guts of the webcam were used to give him the video and microphone. We’ve seen other head mounted displays before, and this one adds to the growing collection. Be sure to check out [Arvinds] site for a tutorial on how to build your own, and catch a video of it in action after the break.




Filed under: Raspberry Pi, wearable hacks

HOPE X: Creating Smart Spaces With ReelyActive

Hackaday - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 06:01

When we hear about the Internet of Things, we’re thinking it’s a portable device with a sensor of some kind, a radio module, and the ability to push data up to the Internet. There’s nothing that says a device that puts data on the Internet has to be portable, though, as [Jeff] from ReelyActive showed us at HOPE X last weekend.

[Jeff]‘s startup is working on a device that turns every space into a smart space. It does this with radio modules connected to a computer that listen to Bluetooth and the 868, 915 and 2400MHz bands. These modules turn every place into a smart space, identifying who just walked into a room, and who is at a specific location. Think of it as the invisible foundation for any truly smart house.

The radio modules themselves are daisychained with Cat5 cable, able to be plugged into a hub or existing Ethernet drops. The software that makes the whole thing work can run on just about anything; if you want a Raspi to turn on the lights when you enter a room, or turn off a thermostat when you leave a building, that’s just a few lines of code and a relay.

The software is open source, and [Jeff] and his team are looking at making the hardware open. It’s a great idea, and something that would be a good entry for The Hackaday Prize, but ReelyActive is located in Montréal, and like Syria and North Korea, we’re not allowed to run a contest in Quebec.

Filed under: radio hacks

Yet another laser cut Open Bench Logic Sniffer case

dangerous prototype - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 04:00


Yet another laser cut Open Bench Logic Sniffer case by builttospec:

This one is a bit thinner thanks to the use of brass inserts and 0.06″ acryic for the board layer. The PCB is nice and secure and the buttons are easily accessable without the use of a paper clip or big holes in the case for fingers.

More awesome DIY cases.

Get a Logic Sniffer for $50, with free worldwide shipping.

Mini FM transmitter

dangerous prototype - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 04:00

electronics-diy shows you how to easily make a mini FM transmitter:

It transmits FM waves so you could easily receive the signals on your mobile phone, radios, etc. As the name and the picture indicates it is very small and is approximately the size of a 9v battery clip. With this FM transmitter you could start your own mini FM station. The circuit uses BC547 transistor to amplify the signal and then frequency modulate it. It uses “frequency modulation” most commonly known as FM, the same principal to transmit audio signals captured by the microphone.

BC547 Transistor
An microphone
A variable capacitor 47pf
An Inductor (see steps for description)
4.7k Resistor
330ohm resistor
1n capacitor (102)
10p capacitor
9V battery

Via Hacked Gadgets.

Lilbits (7-22-2014): Even more tablets from Archos

Liliputing - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 04:00

French company Archos has bee selling Android tablets since before Google officially supported tablets. In the early days Archos tablets were among the few options available for folks that wanted Android on a device that wasn’t a phone. When other device makers started getting in on the action, Archos still stood out for a while due […]

Lilbits (7-22-2014): Even more tablets from Archos is a post from: Liliputing

Testing stepper motors with pulse generator

MCU Project everyday - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 03:25
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This is a quick portable circuit used to test stepper motors. It is based on small PIC 12f675 microcontroller. The pulse speed is changed with potentiometer. It allows smoothly variate between 20Hz and 3kHz.

It has couple jumper bridges to select enable and dir pins. Servo tester is powered with four NiMh rechargeable batteries that give total 4.8V.  This circuit can also be used as general purpose pulse generator if needed.

USB Rotary Phone: A Lync to the Past

Hackaday - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 03:00

[Ivan] is fed up with all this rampant virtualization. When his company took away his physical desk phone in favor of using MS Lync, he was driven to build a USB rotary phone. His coworkers loved it and one of them asked [Ivan] to build another. The build log focuses on converting his coworker’s vintage brass and copper number that must weigh a ton.

He had to do a bit more work with this one because it had rusted out inside and a few of the contacts were bent. The good news is that the speaker and microphone were in working order and he was able to use them both. After restoring the stock functionality, he added a USB sound card and created a USB keyboard using a PIC32MX440F256H.

The rotary phone’s dial works using two switches, one that’s open and one that’s closed when no one is dialing. Once dialing is detected, the open switch closes and the closed switch clicks according to the dialed digit (ten clicks for 0). [Ivan] also reads the switch hook state and has added debouncing. This gave him some trouble because of the quick response expected by the PC bus, but he made use of interrupts and was allowed to keep his seat.

Please stay on the line. [Ivan]‘s videos will be with you shortly.


Filed under: phone hacks

Flexible display, battery technology advances

Liliputing - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 02:30

Try hard enough to bend your smartphone, tablet or laptop in half and you’ll probably break it. But gadgets of the future could be a bit more… flexible. Or at least damage-resistant. A handful of devices on the market already use flexible displays. That doesn’t mean you can roll them up, but it does mean […]

Flexible display, battery technology advances is a post from: Liliputing

How to hack a manual control into a cheap DMX dimmer

dangerous prototype - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 02:00

This article shows how to hack a manual control into a cheap DMX dimmer by Miceuz and Rxdtxd of wemakethings;

One of our friends wanted to have a manual-control LED dimmer for his stop motion setup. We had several of these cheap Chinese DMX dimmers. How does one adds potentiometer control to something like this? Just cut a trace from the RS485 transceiver into the unmarked micro, add another micro to act as a DMX master, and patch into the serial line via a SPDT switch.
The hacked-in micro just reads three potentiometers via ADC and spits their values into the DMX bus. We’ve found some DMX master code online and copied some stuffs into it

Huawei Honor H60 smartphone could sport 4GB of RAM

Liliputing - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 01:15

Huawei appears to be working on a smartphone with a 1.7 GHz octa-core processor, 16GB of storage, and a full HD display. Oh yeah, it also has 4GB of RAM, which means that the Huawei Honor H60 smartphone could have more memory than many laptop computers. Details about the upcoming phone showed up at China’s […]

Huawei Honor H60 smartphone could sport 4GB of RAM is a post from: Liliputing

Judge Spotlight: Andrew “Bunnie” Huang

Hackaday - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 00:01

This week’s Judge Spotlight focuses on [Andrew "Bunnie" Huang]. If you haven’t heard of him you need to pay more attention. His hacker cred goes way back to the original Xbox, which he reverse engineered and laid bare its security flaws. Maintaining his hacker spirit he went on to design and hack the Chumby. More recently he took on the challenge of developing and Open laptop called Novena. All of this while continuing to explore and experiment with all kinds of electronics, posting about his adventures for those of us that care about an electronics ecosystem that doesn’t shut out the user from tinkering with the hardware. Join us after the break for our conversation with The Hackaday Prize judge [Bunnie Huang].

You will have eternal hacker fame for reverse-engineering the hardware security on the original Xbox. What were you doing in your life at the time and how did you settle on that piece of hardware for the challenge?

At the time, I was completing my PhD dissertation on computer architecture at MIT. My advisor encouraged our research group to study the current crop of video game consoles to see what we could learn about how they achieve such high performance at a low price. As such, the Xbox was one of the three main consoles at the time and as a result I set upon reverse engineering it.


You wrote a book called Hacking the Xbox that described your adventure. Did you have any concerns about the repercussions of making that knowledge public and what pushed you to follow through?

Yes, of course I had concerns. At the time, the DMCA was just a couple years old and the as-of-yet untested legislation stood as a major impediment to our freedom to research and to tinker. MIT’s institutional counsel even sent me a letter repudiating their involvement with my hacking activity, possibly in part because they saw a lot of legal risk in aiding the disclosure of my findings. It was convenient for them that the actual implementation of the hack was done on my personal Xbox using my own resources, and largely during a winter break period called IAP.

What pushed me to follow through? Hacking, and the freedom to hack, is an important part of me. I grew up with this freedom, and new legislation stood to take it away. I suppose as a result, I had nothing to lose — whether I stepped up or backed down, either way I could lose an important freedom. And I’d rather go down with a fight.


Can you describe your role in Chumby?


I was responsible for the design, manufacturing and operations of the consumer hardware half of the business.


Chumby surely holds the record as the hackable device which gained the widest public acceptance. What do you think of that part of Chumby and is there a good argument for increasing the number of hackable devices available to the average consumer?

Hackability is something that only a small fraction of the population actually takes advantage of; however, I think there is a certain peace of mind that a larger portion of users get knowing they have the *option* to hack and fully understand their technology. There is something vaguely disconcerting when you become so reliant upon black box technologies. So, sharing the designs and plans with your customers gives them back a sense of agency that I believe is meaningful.

Even though few people exercised their option to hack, I was pleased at the kinds of applications our hardware found. It ended up being used in applications as diverse as a braille terminal for the blind, to the controller for a walking robot, to a console for controlling A/V functions installed at a college campus. We couldn’t have predicted these hacks and the greatest pleasure of producing Chumby was always reading about the clever things people would do when you enable them to hack.

At the end of the day, I’d say the openness and hackability of Chumby had a neutral impact on the business end of things; it didn’t drive sales, but it also didn’t hurt it. But it did create a very loyal customer base and I’m extremely pleased to see that one of our other original founders has rebooted the Chumby servers and there are still lots of enthusiastic users who are delighted by its reincarnation.


The Novena Open Hardware Laptop has two points that stick out in our minds: it’s hackable and free of “black boxes” (like binary blobs on a video card). Did you have both in mind from the beginning of the project?

Yes, of course. Hackability and depth of openness were two major goals of the project. We took special pains, for example, to source a wifi card that is blob-free; the wifi card isn’t the cheapest or best performing one, but it also doesn’t require a blob.

Although, I do have to make a correction to your question: we went as open as we could, but that does still mean that individual sub-components still contain their firmware. The SSD and microSD memory card, for example, still contain the load of firmware permanently burned in there by the original manufacturer. On the other hand, firmware that is “burned in” to a device and not typically visible to the user is not considered a show-stopper by the standards of the broader Linux community.

Furthermore, there are some components which can accept a proprietary blob, which would cause some things to run faster, but they are not required to boot or to function well. For example, the decoding of video can be accelerated using a proprietary DSP built into the CPU, but we don’t include that blob in our distribution; instead, we opt for software decode running on the ARM CPU. Also, the 3D graphics engine is the subject of an on-going reverse engineering effort that we’ve partially funded from campaign proceeds, and with any luck by the time we ship we’ll have an open-source 3D-accelerated desktop environment.


Powerful, portable computing hardware that is extensible is obviously useful to any project that needs custom hardware as they don’t have to start from square one. Do you foresee changes or iterations in Novena’s future that will gain it wider adoption like the Chumby experienced?

Possibly. A large part of Novena’s future will depend of course on how the silicon that powers our machines evolve. If Freescale will do a new, more powerful processor with the same level of openness, I would be very enthusiastic to upgrade my personal laptop by building a new motherboard for it. There’s also some hope that there will be some other open SoC designs coming out in the future, which can give us more options in terms of cost and feature sets that can make the system more affordable to end users.

Filed under: Interviews, The Hackaday Prize

Browser-based gaming gets a push with Mozilla’s plugin-free technology

Liliputing - พุธ, 07/23/2014 - 00:00

Mozilla has been pushing the idea of using web apps instead of native apps on mobile phones with its Firefox OS operating system for phones and tablets. At the same time, the folks at Mozilla have been working to make games you run in a desktop web browser feel more like native PC games. The […]

Browser-based gaming gets a push with Mozilla’s plugin-free technology is a post from: Liliputing

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