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We’re At Maker Faire This Weekend

Hackaday - 4 hours 27 minก่อน

It’s that time of year again where the east coast division of the Hackaday crew makes the trek out to Maker Faire New York. We’ll be there the entire weekend, checking out the sights, talking to the people who make the things you make things with, and standing in an hour-long line for a hamburger.

We’ve been going to the NYC Maker Faire for a few years now, and each time we’re surprised by the sheer variety of stuff at the faire. This year, SeeMeCNC is bringing a gargantuan delta printer, [Adam] and I are going to geek out when we meet the Flite Test crew, and we’ll be filing a few interviews with the folks from Intel, Atmel, BeagleBone, and TI. If you’re wondering what the, “I can’t believe Make is allowing this at the faire” project is for this year, here you go.

If you’re heading to the faire and find some of the Hackaday crew wandering around, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. I’ll be wearing a flagpole with the Jolly Wrencher, and [Adam] will probably be wearing something emblazoned with the Hackaday logo. We have stickers to give out, and if you’re really cool, some sweet swag.

This year is a little different from the other times we’ve made the trek to Maker Faire – this time we have a press pass, and that means access to some very important people. If you have a question you’d like to ask Atmel’s VP of MCUs, Intel’s “maker czar”, [Massimo], someone at TI, or anyone else on the schedule, leave a note in the comments.


Filed under: news

Toshiba Encore 2 Write is a pen-enabled Windows tablet

Liliputing - 4 hours 27 minก่อน

Toshiba unveiled a few new Windows tablets this month, including a 7 inch model that sells for just $120 and a 2-in-1 notebook that transforms into a tablet. But it appears the company has a few more tablets on the way. According to an Intel fact sheet from the IFA trade show earlier this month, the […]

Toshiba Encore 2 Write is a pen-enabled Windows tablet is a post from: Liliputing

Deals of the Day (9-16-2014)

Liliputing - 5 hours 26 minก่อน

Lenovo’s Yoga line of computers are 2-in-1 notebooks with touchscreen displays. Tilt the screen back 360 degrees until it’s resting back-to-back with the keyboard and you’ve got a (kind of chunky) tablet. The PC maker has been offering Lenovo systems for a few years at this point, and at this point you can find models […]

Deals of the Day (9-16-2014) is a post from: Liliputing

Retrotechtacular: The CURTA Mechanical Calculator

Hackaday - 6 hours 26 minก่อน

The CURTA mechanical calculator literally saved its inventor’s life. [Curt Herzstark] had been working on the calculator in the 1930s until the Nazis forced him to focus on building other tools for the German army. He was taken by the Nazis in 1943 and ended up in Buchenwald concentration camp. There, he told the officers about his plans for the CURTA. They were impressed and interested enough to let him continue work on it so they could present it as a gift to the Führer.

This four-banger pepper mill can also perform square root calculation with some finessing. To add two numbers together, each must be entered on the digit setting sliders and sent to the result counter around the top by moving the crank clockwise for one full rotation. Subtraction is as easy as pulling out the crank until the red indicator appears. The CURTA performs subtraction using nine’s complement arithmetic. Multiplication and division are possible through successive additions and subtractions and use of the powers of ten carriage, which is the top knurled portion.

Operation of the CURTA is based on [Gottfried Leibniz]‘s stepped cylinder design. A cylinder with cogs of increasing lengths drives a toothed gear up and down a shaft. [Herzstark]‘s design interleaves a normal set of cogs for addition with a nine’s complement set. When the crank is pulled out to reveal the red subtraction indicator, the drum is switching between the two sets.

Several helper mechanisms are in place to enhance the interface. The user is prevented from ever turning the crank counter-clockwise. The crank mechanism provides tactile feedback at the end of each full rotation. There is also a lock that disallows switching between addition and subtraction while turning the crank—switching is only possible with the crank in the home position. There is a turns counter on the top which can be set to increment or decrement.

You may recall seeing Hackaday alum [Jeremy Cook]‘s 2012 post about the CURTA which we linked to. A great deal of information about the CURTA and a couple of different simulators are available at curta.org. Make the jump to see an in-depth demonstration of the inner workings of a CURTA Type I using the YACS CURTA simulator.

Retrotechtacular is a weekly column featuring hacks, technology, and kitsch from ages of yore. Help keep it fresh by sending in your ideas for future installments.

[Thanks to Andrew for the tip!]


Filed under: Retrotechtacular

Microsoft’s latest PC accessories include a keyboard for Android, iOS, and Windows tablets

Liliputing - 6 hours 26 minก่อน

Microsoft has just revealed a new set of PC accessories which will be available this fall. They include a new Microsoft Arc Touch Bluetooth mouse, a colorful, but simpler wireless mouse, and an Xbox One video game controller that comes with a cable allowing you to use it with Windows PCs. But one of the […]

Microsoft’s latest PC accessories include a keyboard for Android, iOS, and Windows tablets is a post from: Liliputing

Chromecast now streams Twitch, Watch Disney, iHeartRadeio

Liliputing - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 23:16

Google’s $35 Chromecast continues to be one of the cheapest, simplest devices for streaming internet video to a TV. When the Chromecast first launched in the summer of 2013, it only supported video from a handful of sources. These days it supports hundreds of apps and services, and you can even use it to stream […]

Chromecast now streams Twitch, Watch Disney, iHeartRadeio is a post from: Liliputing

Misfit Flash is a $50 wearable activity tracker with a 6-month battery

Liliputing - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 22:30

Fitness trackers may be able to track your movement and help you meet your fitness goals, but most of them aren’t particularly attractive. The Misfit Shine might be one of the best looking of the bunch, at least partly because it’s basically a simple circle with no screen. You can strap it into a wristband […]

Misfit Flash is a $50 wearable activity tracker with a 6-month battery is a post from: Liliputing

iPhone 6 NFC chip is only for Apple Pay (so far)

Liliputing - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 22:00

Apple’s new iPhones are bigger, faster, and thinner than any phones the company’s launched to date. But the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus also have a few other new tricks including support for wireless payments using the new Apple Pay feature. This lets you use your phone as a digital wallet and it allows you […]

iPhone 6 NFC chip is only for Apple Pay (so far) is a post from: Liliputing

NVIDIA Shield Tablet with LTE ships Sept 30th

Liliputing - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 21:18

NVIDIA is now taking pre-orders for the NVIDIA Shield Tablet with 32GB of storage and 4G LTE. The tablet will start shipping September 30th, but you can reserve one now for $399. That’s $100 more than the price of a WiFi-only model with 16GB of storage. NVIDIA has been selling the WiFi-only Shield Tablet for nearly […]

NVIDIA Shield Tablet with LTE ships Sept 30th is a post from: Liliputing

THP Quarterfinalist: 3GHz Spectrum Analyzer

Hackaday - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 21:00

Radio seems to be an unofficial theme for The Hackaday Prize, with a few wireless frameworks for microcontrollers and software defined radios making their way into the quarterfinal selection. [roelh]‘s project is a little different from most of the other radio builds. It’s a simple spectrum analyzer, but one that works up to 3GHz.

The hardware is a mishmash of chips including an ADL5519 power detector, an Si4012 for the local oscillator, and a MAX2680 mixer. An Atmel XMega takes care of all the on board processing, displaying the spectrum on a small LCD, writing data to an SD card, and sending data over a 3.5mm jack that doubles as either an analog input or a half duplex RS232 port.

Seen in the video below, [roelh]‘s spectrum analyzer is more or less finished, complete with a nice looking enclosure. Now [roelh] is working on documentation, porting his source to English, and getting all the files ready to be judged by our real judges.

The project featured in this post is a quarterfinalist in The Hackaday Prize.


Filed under: The Hackaday Prize

Lenovo launches Miix 3 8 inch Windows tablet (in China)

Liliputing - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 20:03

Lenovo is updating its Miix line of Windows tablets with a new low-cost 8 inch model. The Lenovo Miix 3 8 is launching first in China, but the Lenovo Miix 3 8 is likely to show up in other countries soon. It already passed through the Indonesian version of the FCC recently. The Lenovo Miix […]

Lenovo launches Miix 3 8 inch Windows tablet (in China) is a post from: Liliputing

Developed on Hackaday: Mooltipass Arduino Shields Compatibility

Hackaday - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 18:00

Some of our dear readers may already have an infallible system to remember different complex passwords for the different websites they visit daily. This is why they may have not been following the offline password keeper that the Hackaday community is building.

The Mooltipass has a characteristic that may regain their interest: it is possible to connect Arduino shields to it. In the video embedded below you can see the Arduino conversion process our development team imagined a few months back. The operation simply consists in using a knife to remove plastic bits on top of standard Arduino headers. We also embedded a few use cases with their respective sketches that may be downloaded from our official GitHub repository.

As with stacking several shields, a little tweaking may be required to keep the functionalities from both the Mooltipass and the connected shield. We therefore strongly welcome Arduino enthusiasts to let us know what they think of our setup.

In the meantime, you may want to subscribe to our official Google Group to stay informed of the Mooltipass launch date.


Filed under: Hackaday Columns

Repent! The Church of Robotron Accepts All!

Hackaday - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 15:00

Are you the mutant savior? Are you prepared for the robot uprising of 2084? Have you accepted robotron into your life? The Church of Robotron is now conducting training, testing, and confession at the new window altar in downtown Portland.

The Church of Robotron is the fake totally legit religion based on the classic arcade game prophecy Robotron 2084. In keeping with the church’s views on community outreach and missionary work, a Robotron altar has been installed at the Diode Gallery for electronic arts.

The altar consists of a system running Robotron 2084 with capacitive sensing controls built by DorkbotPDX’s own [Phillip Odom]. He’s using the same techniques featured in his capacitive sensing workshop, allowing the game to be played 24 hours a day. There are also monitors displaying the leaderboard and tenants of the Church of Robotron.

The Church of Robotron has also been showing up at Toorcamp for a few years now, with an even more spectacular altar that triggers physical events in response to game events. That’s a very cool use of MAME’s debugger, and a story worthy of its own Hackaday post.

Video of the altar below.


Filed under: classic hacks

MIT’s Robotic Cheetah is Getting Even Scarier

Hackaday - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 12:00

Researchers over at MIT are hard at work upgrading their Robotic Cheetah. They are developing an algorithm for bounding movement, after researching how real cheetahs run in the wild.

Mach 2 is fully electric and battery-powered, can currently run at speeds of 10MPH (however they’re predicting it will be able to reach 30MPH in the future), and can even jump over obstacles 33cm tall.

We originally saw the first robotic Cheetah from Boston Dynamics in cooperation with DARPA two years ago — it could run faster than any human alive (28.3MPH) but in its tests it was tethered to its hydraulic power pack and running on a treadmill. It’s unclear if MIT’s Cheetah is a direct descendant from that one, but they are both supported by DARPA.

The technology in this project is nothing short of amazing — its electric motors are actually a custom part designed by one of the professors of Electrical Engineering at MIT, [Jeffrey Lang]. In order for the robot to run smoothly, its bounding algorithm is sending commands to each leg to exert a very precise amount of force during each footstep, just to ensure it maintains the set speed.

Did we mention it can jump over things too?


Filed under: robots hacks

Hacking a Pogoplug into a $20 PBX

Hackaday - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 09:00

The Pogoplug Series 4 is a little network attached device that makes your external drives accessible remotely. Under the hood of this device is an ARM processor running at 800 MHz, which is supported by the Linux kernel. If you’re looking to build your own PBX on the cheap, [Ward] runs us through the process. Since the Pogoplug 4 is currently available for about $20, it’s a cheap way to play with telephony.

Step one is to convert the Pogoplug to Debian, which mostly requires following instructions carefully. After the Pogoplug is booting Debian, the Incredible PBX bundle can be installed. We’ve seen this bundle running on a Raspberry Pi in the past. Incredible PBX’s preconfigured setup based on Asterisk and FreePBX gives a ton of functionality out of the box.

With your $20 PBX running, there’s a lot that can be done. Google’s Voice service allows unlimited free calling to the USA and Canada. With Internet connectivity, you get email notifications for voicemails, and can query WolframAlpha by voice.


Filed under: phone hacks

The Hackaday Prize Semifinalist Update

Hackaday - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 06:00

There are only a few more days until The Hackaday Prize semifinalists need to get everything ready for the great culling of really awesome projects by our fabulous team of judges. Here are a few projects that were updated recently, but for all the updates you can check out all the entries hustling to get everything done in time.

Replacing really, really small parts

The NoteOn smartpen is a computer that fits inside a pen. Obviously, there are size limitations [Nick Ames] is dealing with, and when a component goes bad, that means board rework in some very cramped spaces. The latest problem was a defective accelerometer.

In a normal project, a little hot air and a pair of tweezers would be enough to remove the defective part and replace it. This is not the case with this smart pen. It’s a crowded layout, and 0402 resistors can easily disappear in a large solder glob.

[Nick] wrapped the closest parts to the defective accelerometer in Kapton tape. That seemed to be enough to shield it from his Aoyue 850 hot air gun. The new part was pre-tinned and placed back on the board with low air flow.

How to build a spectrometer

The RamanPi Spectrometer is seeing a lot of development. The 3D printed optics mount (think about that for a second) took somewhere between 12 and 18 hours to print. Once that was done and the parts were cleaned up, the mirrors, diffraction grating, and linear CCD were mounted in the enclosure. Judging from the output of the linear CCD, [fl@C@] is getting some good data with just this simple setup.

Curing resin and building PCBs

[Mario], the guy behind OpenExposer, the combination SLA printer, PCB exposer, and laser harp is chugging right along. He finished his first test print with a tilted bed and he has a few ideas on how to expose PCBs on his machine.

You don’t need props to test a quadcopter

Goliath, the gas-powered quadcopter, had a few problems earlier this month. During its first hover test a blade caught a belt and bad things happened. [Peter] is testing out a belt guard and tensioner only this time he’s using plywood cutouts instead of custom fiberglass blades. Those blades are a work of art all by themselves and take a long time to make; far too much effort went into them to break in a simple motor test.


Filed under: The Hackaday Prize

Here’s what Windows 9 looks like so far (in video)

Liliputing - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 04:00

Microsoft is expected to launch the next version of Windows in 2015 with a public preview coming later this year (possibly as soon as September 30th). But the folks at German site WinFuture seem to have gotten their hands on an early build of the operating system because after releasing a series of photos of […]

Here’s what Windows 9 looks like so far (in video) is a post from: Liliputing

Low Cost Lab Frequency Reference

Hackaday - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 03:00

[Mark] wanted an accurate frequency reference for his electronics lab. He specified some requirements for the project, including portability, ability to work inside a building, and low cost. That ruled out GPS, cesium standard clocks, rubidium standard clocks, and left him looking for a low cost Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillator (OCXO).

The Low Cost 10 MHz Frequency Reference is based around a Morion OCXO. These Russian oscillators are available from eBay second hand at about $40 a pop. With a stability well within the requirements, [Mark] order a few.

The next step was to stick all the components in a box. The two OCXOs in the box need about 3 amps to heat up, which is provided by a 12 V PSU. For portability, a sealed lead acid battery was added. The front panel shows the supply voltages, switches between mains and battery supplies, and provides connectivity to the OCXOs.

Since OCXOs work by heating a crystal to a specific temperature, they can use quite a bit of power in the heating element. To increase battery life, a neoprene foam insulator was wrapped around the OCXOs.

For less than $100, this portable tool will aid in calibrating equipment or creating very accurate clocks.


Filed under: tool hacks

LG G3 Stylus smartphone launches in developing markets

Liliputing - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 03:00

The LG G3 Stylus is a smartphone with a big screen, a large battery, and a stylus for writing or drawing. It also shares some features with LG’s latest flagship phone, the LG G3 including volume and power buttons on the back of the phone and LG’s user interface and suite of Android apps. But […]

LG G3 Stylus smartphone launches in developing markets is a post from: Liliputing

Make your own dual programmer in AVRDUDE

dangerous prototype - อังคาร, 09/16/2014 - 02:00

Stephen Wylie tweeted,  “Program two ATmegas w/an Arduino & AVRDUDE without re-cabling in between!”

Those of you who have programmed an Arduino through the Arduino or AVR Studio IDE may have noticed the utility that is really doing the work: AVRDUDE (AVR Downloader/UploaDEr).  This is a powerful program that can facilitate programming new sketches on top of a bootloader, load a brand new bootloader or chip image, capture the current firmware programmed on the chip, and set fuse bits (which can render your chip unusable without special tools if you’re not careful).

Via twitter.

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