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The Prettiest Darn Arcade Cabinet You’ll See Today

Hackaday - 1 ชั่วโมง 27 minก่อน

We see an awful lot of arcade cabinets around here, and so it’s pretty unusual for a build to get much more than a second glance. But, this beauty is just too good not to mention. The entire build, named “Ready Player One” as a nod to the engrossing Ernest Cline novel, is detailed in [scoodidabop’s] post on Reddit.

While it’s pretty enough that we would have made this post on aesthetics alone, the features really seal the deal. It has a complete set of fully RGB LED lit controls for up to four players, allowing you to play virtually all of the classic arcade games you can think of. It even has dual light guns — something you don’t see on most home builds.

As you might imagine with a build this advanced, it’s not [scoodidabop’s] first. Be sure to check out his older NASA arcade cabinet build that has a lot of the same features. Thinking about building an arcade cabinet yourself? Here’s a simpler project built from a coffee table that is more beginner-friendly.



Filed under: home entertainment hacks

A One LED Clock

Hackaday - 4 hours 27 minก่อน

Esoteric clocks are something of a staple among hardware hacker projects. If it can be made to tell the time correctly, even if only twice a day, the chances are someone’s made a clock from it. And if the only person who can read that clock is its creator, so much the better. Universal accessibility is not always a virtue in the world of unusual timepieces.

[Setvir] writes to us with details of his One LED Clock. It’s an Arduino Pro Micro with an RTC module and an LED. That’s all, time is communicated to the world through LED flashes. You might expect therefore that it would use Morse Code, but he’s come up with his own timing communication scheme which does have some merit. Long flashes cover a quarter of the clock face, while short flashes cover individual hours or five-minute segments. He goes into detail on the project page and we can see that once you are used to the scheme it has an elegance to it, but it certainly ticks the essential unreadable-to-the-uninitiated box for an esoteric clock.

We like it though for its simplicity and for the flashing scheme, which once explained is both efficient and easy to read. If you would like to have a go yourself he’s published his code, so go forth and cover the world with baffling single-LED timepieces!

We’ve featured a few minimalist LED clocks before, at least one with a minimal face, and another single-LED offering. But that one used a bi-colour LED, so [Setvir] takes the minimalism crown.

Filed under: clock hacks

Superbook gets 1080p display option (crowdfunding laptop dock for Android phones)

Liliputing - 6 hours 34 minก่อน

It’s been just over a week since Andromium launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising $50,000 to produce a device that lets you use an Android smartphone like a laptop.

With 21 days left to go in the Superbook campaign, the project has received over $1.1 million in pledges, which means that it’s hit a few key stretch goals. The team is adding an extra USB port and a bigger battery. And backers willing to pay $30 extra for the option can now get a higher-quality, higher-resolution display.

Continue reading Superbook gets 1080p display option (crowdfunding laptop dock for Android phones) at Liliputing.

Fail of the Week: Magnetic Flow Measurement Gone Wrong

Hackaday - 7 hours 27 minก่อน

Physics gives us the basic tools needed to understand the universe, but turning theory into something useful is how engineers make their living. Pushing on that boundary is the subject of this week’s Fail of the Week, wherein we follow the travails of making a working magnetic flowmeter (YouTube, embedded below).

Theory suggests that measuring fluid flow should be simple. After all, sticking a magnetic paddle wheel into a fluid stream and counting pulses with a reed switch or Hall sensor is pretty straightforward, right? In this case, though, [Grady] of Practical Engineering starts out with a much more complicated flow measurement modality – electromagnetic detection. He does a great job of explaining Faraday’s Law of Induction and how a fluid can be the conductor that moves through a magnetic field and has a measurable current induced in it. The current should be proportional to the velocity of the fluid, so it should be a snap to whip up a homebrew magnetic flowmeter, right? Nope – despite valiant effort, [Grady] was never able to get a usable signal out of the noise in his system. 

The theory is sound, his test rig looks workable, and he’s got some pretty decent instrumentation. So where did [Grady] go wrong? Could he clean up the signal with a better instrumentation amp? What would happen if he changed the process fluid to something more conductive, like salt water? By his own admission, electrical engineering is not his strong suit – he’s a civil engineer by trade. Think you can clean up that signal? Let us know in the comments section. 

Fail of the Week is a Hackaday column which celebrates failure as a learning tool. Help keep the fun rolling by writing about your own failures and sending us a link to the story — or sending in links to fail write ups you find in your Internet travels.

Filed under: Fail of the Week

This DIY mini NES is way cooler than Nintendo’s (but a lot harder to set up)

Liliputing - 8 hours 24 minก่อน

This November Nintendo will ship the $60 NES Classic Edition. It’s a tiny replica of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System game console that comes with 30 games pre-loaded… and no way to add or remove any of those games.

Meanwhile, folks have been building their own NES Classic-style devices for years by putting a Raspberry Pi or similar mini PC into an NES-style case and installing RetroPie or other emulation software.

But daftmike’s NES Classic is one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen.

Continue reading This DIY mini NES is way cooler than Nintendo’s (but a lot harder to set up) at Liliputing.

The Problem with Software Defined Radio

Hackaday - 8 hours 56 minก่อน

There’s a problem with software defined radio. It’s not that everyone needs to re-learn what TEMPEST shielding is, and it’s not that Bluetooth is horribly broken. SDR’s biggest problem is one of bandwidth and processing. With a simple USB TV Tuner, you can listen in on aircraft, grab Landsat images from hundreds of miles up, or sniff the low-power radios used in Internet of Things things. What you can’t do is make your own WiFi adapter, and you can’t create your own LTE wireless network. This is simply a problem of getting bits from the air to a computer for processing.

At HOPE last weekend, the folks behind the very capable LimeSDR and a new company working with Lime’s hardware laid out the possibilities of what software defined radio can do if you make a link to a computer very fast, and add some processing on the SDR itself.

The key feature of the LimeSDR, and all boards derived from Lime Micro’s tech is the LMS7002M. It’s a Field Programmable RF transceiver with coverage from 100kHz to 3.8GHz, a programmable IF filtering from 600kHz to 80MHz, and — this one is important — on-chip reconfigurable ‘signal processing’ and a fast USB 3.0 interface to a computer.

The Fairwaves XTRX

Aside from the Lime, another company was also at HOPE showing off the latest SDR wares they have to offer. Fairwaves was there with the XTRX, a software defined radio built around  the same Lime Micro LMS7002M chip in a miniPCIe form factor.

This tiny card uses the same tech found in the LimeSDR with one key difference. Instead of a USB 3.0 port, the XRTX connects to a computer through the PCI bus, sending data to RAM at 8Gb/s. That’s fast.

The miniPCIe form factor also has another interesting application. The folks at Fairwaves are working on putting this device in a miniPCIe to PCIe x1 adapter – that makes sense, it’s all the same signals, just a different form factor.

This also means you can run four XTRX boards with a yet-to-be-designed PCIe 16x adapter. Putting four of these SDRs in a single card means phased array antennas, 8×8 MIMO, and other techniques that make this massive SDR very interesting. The Fairwaves team only had a handful of these boards assembled, but when this goes on sale, you’ll be able to build a rig that blows the roof off the price/performance ratio of any other SDR.

In the talk presented at HOPE (not available independently of other talks yet, but starting 1:46:12 into this live recording), the folks behind the LimeSDR talked about the possible applications of this hardware. In a year or two, you’ll be able to build a portable 3G or 4G base station for about $2500. That’s an incredible advancement in the state of the art, and something that’s only possible because of on-chip processing and very fast access to a computer’s memory.

Filed under: cons, radio hacks

Lenovo to ship laptops with Endless OS in Mexico

Liliputing - 9 hours 24 minก่อน

Last year a startup called Endless Computers launched a line of inexpensive desktop PCs designed for use in developing markets, among other places. They currently sell for $79 to $229  and run a Linux-based operating system called Endless OS, which comes pre-loaded with apps and educational tools intended to make a PC useful even if you don’t have an internet connection.

In June, Endless announced that it was making the operating system available for download free of charge for anyone that wants to install it on their own.

Continue reading Lenovo to ship laptops with Endless OS in Mexico at Liliputing.

Books You Should Read: The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory

Hackaday - 10 hours 25 minก่อน

Like a lot of engineers, I spent a lot of time in libraries when I was a kid. There were certain books you’d check out over and over again. One of those was [Raymond Barrett’s] Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory. That book really captured my imagination with plans for things as simple as a funnel to as complex as an arc furnace (I actually built that one; see diagram above), a cloud chamber, and an analog computer (see below). That book was from 1963 and that did present a few unique challenges when I read it in the 1970’s. It presents even more difficulty if you try to reproduce some of the projects in it today.

The world of 1963 was not as safe as our world today. Kids rode bicycles with no protective gear. Dentists gave kids mercury to play with. You could eat a little paint or have asbestos in your ceiling, and no one really worried about it.

That means some of the gear and experiments Barrett covers are difficult to recreate today or are just plain dangerous. For example, he suggests getting sulphuric acid at the drugstore. I don’t suggest you call your local Walgreens and ask them for it. The arc furnace — which could melt a nail, as I found out first hand — used a salt water rheostat which was basically an AC power cord with one conductor cut and passed through and open glass jar containing salt water! Fishing sinkers kept the wire from moving about (you hoped) and I suppose the chlorine gas probably emitted didn’t do me any permanent harm.

I was delighted to see that [Windell Oskay] has revised and rebuilt this great old book into a new edition. As much of the original as possible is still present, but with notes about how to work around material you can’t get any more or notes about safety.

The book still doesn’t pull any punches, though. On the section for the salt water rheostat, the author notes that there is value in building the device to learn about it, but if you want to use it for projects like the arc furnace, you should use an isolated variac. In fact, he suggests you really ought to use isolation when building the rheostat, too. He even tells you about specific eye protection I should have had with the arc furnace (unfortunately, some 40 plus years too late; fortunately, I got lucky and didn’t have any serious problems).

There’s tons of interesting projects and techniques in the book. Need to drill glass? Use a file and turpentine. Want to build a vacuum pump or a vacuum pressure gauge? ([Oskay] cautions about using mercury for the latter.) Want to build a microscope like Leeuwenhoek used?  While it would be satisfying to get an old copy of the original, you’d spend a lot of time researching modern sources and replacements.

Although the book is aimed at kids, and possibly school use, it’s still fun for adults and most modern schools would ban a lot of the more interesting items in it anyway. You can always say you are buying it for your children. Or you can claim you are a prepper and you want to know how to build your own lab after the collapse. Either way, we won’t tell.

Filed under: Hackaday Columns

Deals of the Day (7-29-2016)

Liliputing - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 23:34

I picked up a pair of cheap Bluetooth earbuds last year, and while they’re not the best sounding headphones I own, they’re my go-to headphones for listening to podcasts while walking or tuning into conference calls when I’m working because it’s just so convenient to be able to listen without fumbling over wires.

I actually bought them to use while exercising, and they’re good for that too. But after a year of use, the charging port on my Mpow Cheetah Bluetooth headphones is a little finicky, and it can be hard to get the battery to charge.

Continue reading Deals of the Day (7-29-2016) at Liliputing.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

dangerous prototype - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 23:21

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • We’ll contact you via Facebook with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month, please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

ESP8266 MicroPython Contest Gives You the Excuse You Need

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 23:01

As if the prospect of having everyone’s favorite scripting language ported over weren’t enough to get you to install MicroPython on a spare ESP8266, there is now a contest for that. Over on Hackaday.io the MicroPython on ESP8266 contest is under way and you’ve only got until the end of August to submit your creation.

The prizes? First place gets an OpenMV camera board because [Radomir], who’s running the contest, has an extra one. OK, it’s not as lush as the corporate-sponsored goody-bag that we’ve got running in the Hackaday Prize, but there’s no reason that you can’t enter both. And if anyone wants to throw some more goodies into the pot, I’m sure they’d be welcome.

The rules are simple: use an ESP8266 or ESP8285 with MicroPython and post the project up on Hackaday.io. Bonus points are given for creating new libraries or hardware drivers. Basically, this just gives you an extra reason to get in there and play around. How cool is that?

If you need a start-up on MicroPython on the ESP8266, the official tutorial is great. We wrote up a first-look review of running MicroPython on the WeMos D1 hardware, but were plagued with (re-)flashing difficulties, so we’re going to have to give it another go.

Filed under: wireless hacks

Microsoft sold 13.8 million Lumia phones last year

Liliputing - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 22:15

It’s no secret that Microsoft’s Windows software for smartphones has a relatively tiny market share. But the same week that Apple is trumpeting the sale of its billionth iPhone, Microsoft has released financial documents showing that the company sold just 13.8 million Lumia phones in 2016… and just about 1.2 million in the last quarter.

The decline in sales is part of a trend, but the news comes two months after Microsoft announced a major shift in strategy for its phone hardware: the company is streamlining its smartphone plans to focus on the enterprise market and enthusiasts, selling off its feature phone division, and eliminating 1,850 related jobs.

Continue reading Microsoft sold 13.8 million Lumia phones last year at Liliputing.

[Nick Thatcher]’s Plan-B Is A Commuter Electric Unicycle

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 22:01

[Nick Thatcher] is a serial builder of self-balancing rides. His various Segway clones and unicycles have until now suffered from one significant problem, that of portability when not being ridden. Taking one on a train was a significant undertaking, hardly convenient in a personal transport machine.

His latest design, the Plan-B, is an electric unicycle designed to address this problem to create a truly portable piece of commuter transport. It has been designed to be as compact as possible with the ability to fold to fit in a confined space, and the weight has been reduced to a minimum.

Power comes from a 24V 350W geared motor kept on a leash through a Dimension Engineering motor controller by an Arduino with a gyro to maintain the unit’s stability The battery is an ULTRAMAX LiFePO4 , and the single wheel is an inexpensive plastic wheelbarrow part with chain drive from the motor.

The result is both rideable and portable, though with a 10mph top speed not the fastest of personal transport. He’s posted a video which you can see below the break, showing him taking it on a train journey and traversing the British urban landscape.

We’ve covered [Nick]’s work before here at Hackaday, his Segway clone, and a previous unicycle. His website uses a file sharing service behind his domain name, so it’s worth linking to its top level here in case the URL linked above changes in the future. Finally, his code came from a site he recommends  to anyone interested in self-balancing machines, [John Dingley]’s OneWheeled.

Filed under: transportation hacks

40 meter XCVR size of an business card with 1 watt output, 7.000 to 7.150 MHz coverage

dangerous prototype - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 21:50

A business card size homebrew 40 meter XCVR project from Ray Ring:

I tweaked my previous XCVR design to use push button tuning and made the board layout extremely compact. I improved the side tone injection to be absolutely  perfect – not too loud, full break in and no clicks. I went ahead and integrated my switch cap 8 pole CW filter. The schematic is fairly simple with 65 parts or so.. and the whole design fits into a 3D printed enclosure the size of an business card.

Project info at Circuit Salad homepage.

Check out the video after the break. 

Diginnos DG-STK4S is a PC stick with 4GB RAM, Atom x5-Z8500 CPU

Liliputing - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 21:23

Computer-on-a-stick products have gotten a lot more powerful in 2016. A few years ago you could find models with ARM-based processors and Android software. In 2015 we started to see models with Intel Atom Bay Trail chips. And this year saw the launch of new Intel Compute Stick models, with some featuring Atom Cherry Trail chips and others sporting Core M Skylake processors.

While the Core M models are the most powerful PC sticks to date, there’s a new Japanese model that seems to split the difference by using a mid-range Cherry Trail processor and 4GB of RAM instead of the usual 2GB.

Continue reading Diginnos DG-STK4S is a PC stick with 4GB RAM, Atom x5-Z8500 CPU at Liliputing.

From Project To Kit: So You Want To Sell Electronic Kits

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 21:01

Many of us have enjoyed building electronic projects that come not from our own inspiration or ingenuity but from a ready-made kit. It makes sense, after all in buying a kit you should receive a tried-and-tested design that you can assemble without some of the heartache associated with getting a self-designed project right. And though in recent years the barriers to entry into the professional PCB market for small projects have lowered significantly, there is still an attraction to a kit that comes with a decent PCB and case.

The kit version of the Sinclair ZX81 microcomputer. By Smaddison (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.If you start your electronic odyssey through kit-building, you gain more than a set of electronic projects. You learn about the circuits you build, and you gain a feel for how a well-designed project should go together. Eventually this feeds into your own projects, and in time you are producing builds that equal or surpass those you can buy as kits.

From the point of having a nicely executed project to that of wondering whether it too could be sold as a kit is not a huge step. This is the first of a series of articles that will examine the kit manufacturing process from project to customer, and will with luck deliver some insight to those of you who have always wondered whether you could make it as a kit vendor.

So, you’ve had an idea, and you’ve made a project. It’s sitting on the bench in front of you, and you’re thinking “Other people would like to build this, I could make some money from it!”. What next?

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

The first thing to understand at this point is that there is a need for realistic expectations about your likely success. People will want to build your kit and it will bring in some money, but until you have built up a customer base and a range of kits with a lot of hard work, it won’t bring in much money. Enough to finance your future projects which you will then turn into fresh kits, enough to pay for tools and test equipment, but probably not enough in the medium term to enable you to give up your day job. That’s an achievable goal in the long term with sufficient effort, but not one you should expect to happen soon.

If you haven’t been disillusioned too much by the previous paragraph, how about the project you would like to turn into a kit? Have you done your market research, and do you know what will make it a kit people will want to build? The answers from the first question will tell you whether it’s worth proceeding with the idea, and those from the second will ensure that your customers tell their friends and come back for more.

You will need to become an expert on your particular part of the kit business. Who are the other players, and what are their product lines and price points. If your kit is substantially similar to that offered by an established competitor, ask yourself whether it really offers anything that differentiates it enough to tempt customers to go with an unknown new supplier like you over the name they are familiar with.

What are Others Doing?

Taking an example from the real world, imagine yourself to have produced an educational LED board for the Raspberry Pi. If you take  a look at that particular market, it will show you multiple similar offerings from different companies. These boards have the advantage of being very cheap to develop, but you would have to ask yourself whether it is worth entering such a crowded arena.

You will also have to pay close attention to the prices your competitors’ kits are selling for. We will cover kit pricing in detail in a future article in this series, but it should suffice to say that you should calculate very carefully every aspect of your own costs and expect your final figure to be significantly different from the mere retail cost of the components. Knowing the cost of producing a kit yourself should give you some idea of your competitors’ economics, and also an insight into their likely success or failure. Sometimes you will discover other kits that are evidently overpriced, while with others there may be an obvious reason why another kit is cheaper than you can hope to make it. Chinese kit suppliers for example have access to components at a price small European or American operations can’t touch.

This detailed knowledge of your marketplace will help you decide whether your proposed kit fits a niche in both product sector and price that you can exploit. If the last few paragraphs have poured cold water on your dreams it’s worth remembering that bringing a small electronic kit to market is likely to cost you a high three-figure sum before you’ve sold a single kit, so it’s worth ensuring that your product has a chance of success before risking any of your hard-earned.

Refine, Refine, Refine

So if by now you’re still on board, your kit has a market niche open in front of it and you have concluded you can make and sell it for a reasonable price, well done! Now, take a moment to think about what makes a good kit.

The G1 signal generator, Heathkit’s first kit, from 1948. By Jeff Keyzer [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.If you ask people about the kits they have built, and in particular the ones that they thought were the best, the same names will start to appear time after time. Heathkit in their earlier incarnation, Ramsey, or maybe Howes if the person you are asking is British. If you ask them why this is the case, they will often talk about the quality of the instructions and the ease of building, though what lies behind those descriptions is that the kits worked for them, and that the components they came with fit together and were of high quality. This package of ready buildability, good instructions and quality components is vital for your kit to achieve, for it will be what gives you an edge over its competitors. Some of the Chinese kit manufacturers for example might seem unbeatable on price, but when what tumbles out of the bag is a mix of dubious components, a poor quality PCB, and laughably poor English instructions, you might begin to see how paying attention here can make your kit a winner. It can even be something that allows you to position your kits as a premium product if you get it right, even if it could be said that some suppliers stretch this premium a little far.

We’ve looked in this article at the background of launching an electronic kit business, considering market research and what makes a good kit product. In subsequent articles in this series we will go into more detail on an individual kit. We’ll take a simple circuit design and look at the economics of transforming it into a kit before examining in detail how best to present it and how to give it good instructions. Finally we will cover kit sales, how to put a kit on the market, and how to best serve your customers. If you feel you have a good kit in you, we hope this whets your appetite for more. We hope that in time we’ll see your kits and maybe build them ourselves.

Filed under: Business, Featured

3-Phase BLDC Motor Controller will Run you $20 in Parts

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 18:01

If you’re an active shopper on RC websites, you’ll find tiny motors spec’ed at hundreds of watts while weighing just a few grams, like this one. Sadly, their complementary motor controllers are designed to drive them at a high speed, which means we can only hit that “520-watt” power spec by operating in a max-speed-minimum-torque configuration. Sure, that configuration is just fine for rc plane and multicopter enthusiasts, but for roboticists looking to drive these bldc motors in a low-speed-high-torque configuration, the searches come up blank.

The days in the dust are coming to an end though! [Cameron] has been hard at work at a low cost, closed-loop controller for the robotics community that will take a conventional BLDC airplane motor and transform it into a high end servo motor. Best of all, the entire package will only run you about $20 in parts–including the position sensor!

“Another BLDC motor controller?” you might think. “Surely, I’ve seen this before“. Fear not, faithful readers; [Cameron’s] solution will get even the grumpiest of engineers to crack a smile. For starters, he’s closing the loop with a Melexis MLX90363 hall effect sensor to locate the rotor position. Simply glue a small magnet to the shaft, calibrate the magnetic field with one revolution, and–poof–a wild 14-bit encoder has appeared! Best of all, this solution costs a mere $5 to $10 in parts.

Next off, [Cameron] uncovered a little-known secret of the ATMEGA32u4, better known as the chip inside the Arduino Leonardo. It turns out that this chip’s TIMER4 peripheral contains a feature designed exclusively for 3-phase brushless motor control. Complementary PWM outputs are built into 3 pairs of pins with configurable dead time built into the chip hardware. Finally, [Cameron] is pulsing the FETs at a clean 32-Khz — well beyond the audible range, which means we won’t hear that piercing 8-Khz whine that’s so characteristic of cheap BLDC motor controllers.

Curious? Check out [Cameron’s] firmware and driver design on the Githubs.

Of course, there are caveats. [Cameron’s] magnetic encoder solution has a few milliseconds of lag that needs to be characterized. We also need to glue a magnet to the shaft of our motor, which won’t fly in all of our projects that have major space constraints. Finally, there’s just plain old physics. In the real world, motor torque is directly proportional to current, so stalling an off-the-shelf bldc motor at max torque will burn them out since no propeller is pushing air through them to cool them off. Nevertheless, [Cameron’s] closed loop controller, at long last, can give the homebrew robotics community the chance to explore these limits.

Filed under: Microcontrollers

This NES Emulator Build Lets You Use Cartridges to Play Games

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 15:01

You may not remember this, but Nintendo hardware used to be a pretty big deal. The original Game Boy and NES both had remarkable industrial design that, like the Apple II and IBM Thinkpad, weren’t quite appreciated until many years after production ended. But, like many of you, [draftmike] had nostalgia-fueled memories of the NES experience still safely locked away.

Memories like lifting the cartridge door, blowing on the cartridge, and the feel of the cartridge clicking into place. So, understandably, reliving those experiences was a key part of [draftmike’s] Raspberry Pi-based NES build, though at 40% of the original size. He didn’t just want to experience the games of his youth, he wanted to experience the whole NES just as he had as a child.

Now, like any respectable hacker, [draftmike] didn’t let gaps in his knowledge stop him. This project was a learning experience. He had to teach himself a lot about 3D design and modeling, using Linux, and programming. But, the end result was surely worth the work; the attention to detail shows in features like the USB placement, the power and reset buttons, and of course the game cartridges which work with the magic of NFC and still include the insert and toggle action of the original cartridge carriage.

If you have a 3D printer and Raspberry Pi available, you could build a similar NES emulator yourself. But if you don’t have a 3D printer, but do have an original NES lying around, you could pull of the Raspberry Pi in a NES case hack. Whichever you do, the NES’s beauty deserves to be displayed in your home.

Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, nintendo hacks, Raspberry Pi

Hackaday Prize Entry: Profiling Underwater Light

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 12:00

The goal for the Citizen Science portion of the Hackaday Prize is to empower people to create their own devices to perform their own analyses For [Adam]’s project, he’s designing a device that measures the health of waterways simply by looking at the light availability through the water column. It’s called PULSE, the Profiling Underwater Light SEnsor, and is able to monitor changes that are caused by algal blooms, suspended sediments, or sewer runoff.

The design of PULSE is a small electronic depth charge that can be lowered into a water column from anything between a research vessel to a kayak. On the top of this sinkable tube is a sensor to measure photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). This sensor provides data on light irradiance through the water column and gives a great insight into the health of photosynthesis, marine plant life, and ultimately the health of any aquatic environment.

Measuring the light available for photosynthesis through a water column is great, but PULSE isn’t a one trick pony. On the bottom of the aquatic probe are three sensors designed to measure photosynthesis, dissolved organic matter, and turbidity. These sensors are really just a few LEDs and photodiodes, proving just how much science you can do with simple tools.

The goal of the Citizen Science portion of the Hackaday Prize is to put scientific discovery in the hands of everyone. PULSE is a great example of this: it’s a relatively simple device that can be thrown over the side of a boat, lowered to the bottom or a lake, and hoisted back up again. It’s inexpensive to build, but still provides great data. That’s remarkable, and an excellent example of what we’re looking for in the Hackaday Prize.

The HackadayPrize2016 is Sponsored by:
Filed under: The Hackaday Prize

20kW Light Is As Bright As You’d Expect

Hackaday - ศุกร์, 07/29/2016 - 09:00

[Photonicinduction] purchased a very very bright light. This 20,000 Watt half meter tall halogen will just about light the back of a person’s skull with their eyes closed. These are typically used to light film sets.

Most people couldn’t even turn such a light on, but [Photonicinduction] is a mad scientist. Making lightning in his attic, it’s easy to mentally picture him as the villain in a Sherlock Holmes novel. Luckily for us, if he has any evil tendencies, they are channeled into YouTube videos.

He gives a good description of the mechanical and electrical properties of the light. The body is as one would expect for an incandescent light. A glass filament envelope with the filaments supported within. The envelope is evacuated and filled with an appropriate gas. This light is dangerous enough that the outside must be thoroughly cleaned of fingerprints to keep a hot-spot from forming, which could cause the lamp to explode.

After some work, he managed to convince himself that the filaments within were not, in fact, garage door springs, and gave a demonstration of their properties. For example, their resistance goes up as they are heated. In order to keep from tripping the power supply, filaments this large must be preheated. Failure to do so passes a very large number of amps.

The next step was to hook the lamp up to his home-made 20 kW power supply. He gives a good demonstration of just how bright it is. Within seconds he’s sweating from the heat and definitely can’t even open his eyes to see with the tiny sun occupying the center of his abode. Video after the break.

Filed under: misc hacks
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