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Milling Curved Objects With A G-Code Ripper

Hackaday - 4 hours 48 minก่อน

Milling and routing flat surfaces is pretty much the point of a CNC router, but how about curved surfaces? Auto leveling of hobby CNC machines and 3D printers is becoming commonplace, but Scorch Works is doing just the opposite: using a probe touch probe on a CNC machine to transform a G-Code file into something that can be milled on a curved surface.

The technique is pretty much the complete opposite of Autoleveller, the tool of choice for milling and routing objects that aren’t completely flat or perpendicular to the bed with a MACH3 or LinuxCNC machine. In this case, a touch probe attached to the router scans a curved part, applies bilinear interpolation to a G-Code file, and then starts machining.

The probe can be used on just about anything – in the videos below, you can see a perfect engraving in a block of plastic that’s about 30 degrees off perpendicular to the bed, letters carved in a baseball bat, and a guaranteed way to get your project featured on Hackaday.

Filed under: cnc hacks

An Excel Based High Frequency Transistor Amplifier Calculator

Hackaday - 7 hours 47 minก่อน


[Paulo] just tipped us about an Excel based high frequency transistor amplifier calculator he made. We’re guessing that some of our readers already are familiar with these class A amplifiers, commonly used to amplify small audio signals. Skipping over the fact that their efficiency is quite low — they are cheap to make, don’t require many components and usually are a great way to introduce transistors to new electronics enthusiasts. All you usually need to do is a few calculations to properly set your output signals and you’re good to go.

Things are however more complex when you are amplifying 200MHz+ signals, as all the components (complex) impedances have to be taken into account so you can get a nice amplification system. On a side note, at these frequencies your transmission lines impedances may even vary depending on how much solder and flux you left on your SMT pads along the way. [Paulo]‘s calculator will therefore compute most of the characteristics of two class A common emitter/collector amplifiers for specified loads.


Filed under: hardware

PS/2 Synth Will Knock You Off Your Broom

Hackaday - 10 hours 47 minก่อน

Here’s a hack centered around something a lot of people have sitting around: a PS/2 keyboard. [serdef] turned a Harry Potter-edition PS/2 into a combination synth keyboard and drum machine and has a nice write-up about it on Hackaday.io.

For communication, he tore up a PS/2 to USB cable to get a female mini DIN connector and wired it to the Nano. He’s using a Dreamblaster S1 synth module to generate sounds, and that sits on a synth shield along with the Nano. The synth can be powered from either the USB or a 9-volt.

Keymapping is done with the Teensy PS/2 keyboard library. [serdef] reused a bunch of code from his bicycle drummer project which also employed the Dreamblaster S1. [serdef] is continually adding features to this project, like a pot for resonance control which lets him shape the waveform like an analog synth. He has posted some handy PS/2 integration code, his synth code, and a KiCad schematic. Demo videos are waiting for you across the link. 

As a drum machine:

As a sweet synth:


Filed under: musical hacks

ECS introduces LIVA mini PC kit with 64GB of storage

Liliputing - 12 hours 56 minก่อน

The ECS LIVA is a tiny, fanless desktop PC with an Intel Celeron Bay Trail CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a case that’s small enough to hold in one hand. ECS sells the LIVA as a kit which you put together yourself, but since the memory, storage, and CPU are attached the motherboard all you […]

ECS introduces LIVA mini PC kit with 64GB of storage is a post from: Liliputing

DIY USB Spectrometer Actually Works

Hackaday - 13 hours 48 minก่อน

When we hear spectrometer, we usually think of some piece of high-end test equipment sitting in a CSI lab. Sure, a hacker could make one if he or she put their mind to it. But make one out of a webcam, some cheap diffraction grating purchased off ebay and some scrap? Surely not.

[Renaud] pulls off this MacGyver like build with a detailed knowledge of how spectrometers work. A diffraction grating is used to split the incoming light into its component wavelengths. Much like a prism would. The wavelengths then make their way through a slit, which [Renaud] made from two pieces of highly polished brass, so the webcam sensor can see a specific wavelength. While the spectrometer-from-webcam concept isn’t new,  the build is still impressive.

Once the build was complete, [Renaud] put together some software to make sense of the data. Though a bit short on details, we hope this build will inspire you to make your own spectrometer, and document it on hackaday.io of course.

Filed under: misc hacks, Uncategorized

New Qi wireless charging tech means your phone doesn’t have to touch the charger

Liliputing - 14 hours 18 minก่อน

The Wireless Power Consortium is adding support for resonant charging to its wireless charging technology. That means that your phone, tablet, or other device doesn’t actually have to touch a charger that uses Qi v.1.2 technology. This opens the doors for things like desks with chargers embedded into the tabletop instead of resting on top of […]

New Qi wireless charging tech means your phone doesn’t have to touch the charger is a post from: Liliputing

Now you can watch (some) Hulu content on Android for free

Liliputing - 15 hours 18 minก่อน

Hulu is making some of its full-length TV shows and movies available for free on a mobile device for the first time. Up until now if you’ve wanted to watch Hulu content on a smartphone or tablet you’ve needed a Hulu Plus subscription. Now you can just download and install the Hulu Plus app for […]

Now you can watch (some) Hulu content on Android for free is a post from: Liliputing

HTC J Butterfly is basically a waterproof HTC One M8 (for Japan)

Liliputing - 16 hours 3 minก่อน

HTC has a new smartphone that has the same basic specs as its flagship HTC One M8… but in a waterproof case. The only catch is that you’ll need to be in Japan to buy it. The HTC J Butterfly is available exclusively from Japanese wireless carrier KDDI. The phone features a 5 inch, 1920 […]

HTC J Butterfly is basically a waterproof HTC One M8 (for Japan) is a post from: Liliputing

ZX Spectrum Turned Into A USB Keyboard

Hackaday - 16 hours 47 minก่อน

They’re a little hard to find in the US, but the ZX Spectrum is right up there with the Commodore 64 and the Atari 8-bit computers in England. [Alistair] wanted to recreate the feeling of sitting right in front of the TV with his Speccy, leading him to create the ZX Keyboard, a Spectrum repurposed into a USB keyboard.

While most projects that take an old key matrix and turn it into a USB keyboard use the TMK firmware, [Alistair] wanted to flex his programming muscles and wrote the firmware from scratch. It runs on an Arduino Pro Mini, scanning the matrix of five columns and eight half rows to turn combinations of keypresses into an astonishing number of commands, given the limited number of keys on the ZX.

The firmware is available on [Alistair]‘s repo, available to anyone who doesn’t want to pay the £50 a new ZX Spectrum keyboard will cost. As far as the usability of a Spectrum keyboard goes, at least [Alistair] didn’t have an Atari 400 sitting in the attic.

Filed under: classic hacks, peripherals hacks

Deals of the Day (7-31-2014)

Liliputing - พฤ, 07/31/2014 - 23:21

Apparently ’tis the season for free or cheap Android apps and games. Thursday and Friday Amazon is giving away 30 apps that you’d normally have to pay for, and Ubisoft is offering huge discounts on several games in the Google Play Store. You can pick up Assasin’s Creed Pirates for just 10 pennies or Rabbids […]

Deals of the Day (7-31-2014) is a post from: Liliputing

Runtastic Orbit is a $120 fitness tracker and running watch

Liliputing - พฤ, 07/31/2014 - 22:00

Runtastic makes a popular mobile app for runners that lets you track your distance traveled, view maps of your past runs, get feedback through a voice coach, and much more. The company also offers a line of hardware including a GPS watch, heart rate monitor, and digital scale. Now Runtastic is launching its answer to […]

Runtastic Orbit is a $120 fitness tracker and running watch is a post from: Liliputing

Raspberry Pi Model B+ can wear HATs (Hardware Attached on Top)

Liliputing - พฤ, 07/31/2014 - 21:03

The new Raspberry Pi Model B+ may not have a faster processor or more memory than the original Raspberry Pi mini-computers that launched 2 years ago. But it has twice as many USB ports, more GPIO pins, lower power consumption, and other improvements. It can also wear a HAT… which is a new type of […]

Raspberry Pi Model B+ can wear HATs (Hardware Attached on Top) is a post from: Liliputing

Playing StarCraft On An ARM

Hackaday - พฤ, 07/31/2014 - 21:00

Except for the really terrible Nintendo 64 port, StarCraft has always been bound to desktop and laptop PCs. Blizzard could take the code for StarCraft, port it to an ARM platform, put a version on the Google Play an iTunes store, and sit there while the cash rolls in. This would mean a ton of developer time, though, and potentially years tracking down hard to find bugs.

Or one random dude on the Internet could port StarCraft to an ARM platform. Yes, this means all the zerg rushes and dark templar ambushes you could possibly want are available for tablets and Raspberry Pis.

This godlike demonstration of compiler wizardry is a months-long project of [notaz] over on the OpenPandora team. Without the source for StarCraft, [notaz] was forced to disassemble the Win32 version of the game, convert the disassembly to C with some custom tools, and recompile it for ARM while linking in all the necessary Win32 API calls from the ARM port of Wine. Saying this was not easy is an understatement.

If you have an OpenPandora and want to relive your heady days of youth, you can grab everything you need here. For anyone without an OpenPandora that wants to play StarCraft on a Raspi, you might want to get working on your own recompiled port. Video below.

Filed under: Software Development

Internet.org app aims to bring free Google, Facebook, Wikipedia access to the developing world

Liliputing - พฤ, 07/31/2014 - 20:03

Last year Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a project called Internet.org. It’s a partnership between Facebook and other tech companies designed to make internet access more accessible across the world. Now Internet.org has released an app designed to help do that. Install the Internet.org app on your phone and you have free access to a […]

Internet.org app aims to bring free Google, Facebook, Wikipedia access to the developing world is a post from: Liliputing

A 3D(ollar) Scanner

Hackaday - พฤ, 07/31/2014 - 18:00

Once you have a 3D printer, making copies of objects like a futuristic Xerox machine is the name of the game. There are, of course, 3D scanners available for hundreds of dollars, but [Joshua] wanted something a bit cheaper. He built his own 3D scanner for exactly $2.73 in parts, salvaging the rest from the parts bin at his local hackerspace.

[Josh]‘s scanner is pretty much just a lazy suzan (that’s where he spent the money), with a stepper motor drive. A beam of laser light shines on whatever object is placed on the lazy suzan, and a USB webcam feeds the data to a computer. The build is heavily influenced from this Instructables build, but [Josh] has a few tricks up his sleeve: this is the only laser/camera 3D scanner that can solve a point cloud with the camera in any vertical position. This potentially means algorithmic calibration, and having the copied and printed object come out the same size as the original. You can check out that code on the git.

Future improvements to [Josh]‘s 3D scanner include the ability to output point clouds and STLs, meaning anyone can go straight from scanning an object to slicing it for a 3D printer. That’s a lot of interesting software features for something that was basically pulled out of the trash.

Filed under: 3d Printer hacks

Hacking wireless soil moisture sensor

MCU Project everyday - พฤ, 07/31/2014 - 17:56
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Most of the effort in the gardening goes to keeping plant soil moisture at right level. Human cannot always be there and check it all the time. This is why in most cases moisture sensors are used that alert when plant needs watering. You can find cheap ready made solutions that beeps when there is water needed, but also there are more complex sensors with wireless data transfer. Wireless data is gathered in to nice receiver which can be hung somewhere inside. You can get those for about $10. So Ray decided to dig in to those and see if wireless sensors can be used as generic sensors for interfacing with Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

He found that Springfield 91746 Digital Soil Moisture Meter and Freeze Alert sensor communicates at popular 433MHz frequency that can be received with cheap RF 433MHzreceiver and then decoded in to real data that can be further used in your own project. Using Raspberry Pi it becomes easy to write a simple script that would log soil moisture data in to database that could be access via web interface. It could send email or other type of alerts when plant needs attention. Another benefit that Ray points out is that cheap wireless sensor already comes in nice water proof enclosure, battery and sensor itself. Great source for home automation projects.


This Hackaday Prize Entry Sucks

Hackaday - พฤ, 07/31/2014 - 15:00

[K.C. Lee] is busy working on his entry to The Hackaday Prize, and right now he’s dealing with a lot of assembly. For his entry, that means tiny SMD parts, and the vacuum pen he ordered from DealExtreme hasn’t come in yet. The solution? The same as anyone else who has found themselves in this situation: getting an air pump for an aquarium.

For this quick build until the right tool has time to arrive from China, [K.C.] took an old fish pump and modified it for suction. He doesn’t go over the exact modification to the pump, but this can be as easy as drilling a hole and stuffing some silicone tubing in there.

The ‘tool’ for this vacuum pen is a plastic disposable 0.5mm mechanical pencil. [K,C.] found this worked alright on smaller parts down to 0402 packages, but heavy parts with smooth surfaces – chips, for example – are too much for the mechanical pencil and aquarium pump to handle.

Filed under: tool hacks

A Lego Game Controller; Just for the Hack of It

Hackaday - พฤ, 07/31/2014 - 12:00

[StrangeMeadowlark] decided one day to create this badass Arduino-based gaming controller. Not for any particular reason, other than, why the heck not?!

It looks like a tiny Lego spaceship that has flown in from a nearby planet, zooming directly into the hands of an eager Earthling gamer. With buttons of silver, this device can play Portal 1 and 2, Garry’s Mod, Minecraft, and VisualBoy Advance. Although more work is still needed, the controller does the job; especially when playing Pokemon. It feels like a Gameboy interface, with a customizable outer frame.

Sticky, blue-tack holds a few wires in place. And, most of the materials are items that were found around the house. Like the gamepad buttons on top; they are ordinary tactile switches that can be extracted from simple electronics. And the Legos, which provide an easy way to build out the body console, rather than having to track down a 3D printer and learning AutoCAD.

Communication between the PC and the Arduino inside is done by having the controller pretend to be a USB keyboard, allowing for in-game mapping of the keys. Key presses are sent to the Serial-to-USB chip in buffer specific to the firmware. Not to mention, it gives the option to browse Imgur if the urge arises.

For future iterations, Joysticks might be added. It will take some time to integrate them into the controller, but it will be worth the effort. Another implementation will be the utilization of gamepad firmware instead of emulating a keyboard, which doesn’t report analog values.

Other Lego projects similar to this include this two-axis panning time lapse rig, this custom electronic Lego microcontroller system called the LegoDuino, this obstacle avoiding LEGO rover with CD wheels, this Lego Drawing Machine, and this DIY Spectrophotometer.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks

A Dead Simple, Well Constructed FM Transmitter

Hackaday - พฤ, 07/31/2014 - 09:00

[Angelo] is only 15, but that doesn’t mean his fabrication skills are limited to Lego and K’Nex. He’s built himself an amazingly well constructed FM transmitter that’s powerful enough to be received a quarter mile away.

The FM transmitter circuit itself is based off one of [Art Swan]‘s builds, but instead of the solderless breadboard construction you would expect to find in a small demo circuit, [Angelo] went all the way, etching his own PCB and winding his own coil.

Using photosensitized copper clad board, [Angelo] laid out the circuit with Fritzing, etched a board, and went at it with a drill. The components found in the transmitter are pretty standard and with the exception of the trimmer cap and electret mic, can be picked up in the parts drawers of any Radio Shack. He gets bonus points for using a 1/4 – 20 bolt for winding the coil, too.

The power supply for the transmitter is a single 9V battery, the battery connector being salvaged from a dead 9V. Awesome work, and for someone so young, [Angelo] already seems to have a grasp of all the random, seemingly useless information that makes prototyping so much easier. Video below.

Filed under: radio hacks

Wearable pupillometer could detect dangerous diabetic condition earlier

dangerous prototype - พฤ, 07/31/2014 - 06:59

Mang Ou-Yang and his team at National Chiao-Tung University have developed a wearable pupillometer. It could detect dangerous diabetic condition earlier:

Compared to the existing diagnostic techniques, the pupillometer is a more reliable, effective, portable and inexpensive solution for diagnosing diabetic autonomic neuropathy in its early stages,” said project leader Mang Ou-Yang, of National Chiao-Tung University.

Via Gizmag.

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