Hackaday Links: November 29th, 2012

EMC2 CNC keyboard labels

If you’ve got a dedicated computer running EMC2 for CNC control you may be interested in these keyboard labels. [Rich] mentions that they use the labels for their engraver at the Connecticut Hackerspace. Just print them out and glue them in the face of the keys.

Dev board seminars and freebies

[Mike] wrote in to tell us STM is giving away samples of the STM32 F3 Discovery again. But you can also get in on some free seminars. One is an online webinar for TI’s Launchpad family, the other is for the F3 Discovery board and is being held all around the US.

Replacing batteries with USB power

[Johan] didn’t want to use batteries for the light on the microscope he uses when working with SMT parts. He added a few components with let him power the device from USB instead.

MSP430 VU meter uses FFT

Here’s an MSP430 using Fast Fourier Transform for signal processing. There’s very little explanation, but apparently this collection of FFT related material was used heavily in the project. [via Reddit]

Cell Racr

If you’re looking for a new office game you might consider Cell Racr. It pits your cellphone’s vibrating motor against everyone else’s. Just place the phone on an incline and repeatedly dial its number to advance toward the finish line.


  1. Tony says:

    The CNC keyboard link doesn’t actually have the file used to print the labels, so yeah anyway.

    • Whatnot says:

      Yeah it’s a bit odd, why write a whole thing about it with pictures and then not add the damn file?

      Reminds me of all those articles you see lately that are also just describing that they did it in a ‘social blog’ fashion but give no info on parts and such, I hate that nonsense and think it’s not for HaD.

    • MrFluffy says:

      Agreed, I reposted to some other places where emc enthusiast’s lurk thinking I was being helpful saving them having to mess round with sizes etc by using a template, only to find its just some pictures of a keyboard with a printout glued to it…

      Poor hackaday, very poor. And more fool me for reposting without checking.
      But as they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I think I’ll remove HaD from my bookmarks to save it happening again.

  2. sneakypoo says:

    For a more durable marking on the keys you can buy custom key caps for your keyboard. Here’s one company that offers it. I have no personal experience with them so I have no idea if they are good or bad, but it’s an example none the less:


    Note that those are for cherry switches. The type of switch found in many, if not most, mechanical keyboards.

    • Whatnot says:

      Nice helpful complete comment for those that use such keyboards.

      On the subject of durability, I in the past tried to put some stickers on keys and I was amazed how hard it is to get a durable thing going, amazing how much wear a key actually experiences.
      I tried paper with a coating, I tried vinyl, they both didn’t last long enough, and the glue was a big issue, And I’m not familiar with the compound mentioned on the website HaD mentions.

  3. L4K says:

    How do i get the STM32F3 DISCOVERY free sample?

  4. rasz says:

    ” giving away samples of the STM32 F3 Discovery” is true for all definitions of giving = selling

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’d be into Cell Racr if it didn’t have a retarded name. Just put the damn “E” in there, Flickr and Tumblr are already enough of a bane of humanity.

  6. HC says:

    For those of you not seeing the free kit button, you need to disable your adblocking/tracker blocking. Adblock, Ghostery, etc.

  7. Digital says:

    Stmicro worked for me from Canada, just placed my order.

  8. willaim says:

    wow HAD is chock full of things that interest me today THANKS HAD! WTG!!

  9. Machito says:

    Thanks for the STM freebie information. I am working on extending the guided model rocket as described in hack a day using an arduino. I figure why not try the advanced capabilities of the STM especially since I can get a board for free.

    The following is my project description. See if you can spot the prankster among the serious.

    Cost effective UAV Neutralization Technology

    Develop a simple, robust, modular, test system adaptable for beam riding(SARH/SALH), wire/fiber and autonomous missile guidance.
    Focus is for development of cost effective UAV neutralization technology utilizing off the shelf components.
    Launch platforms vary from MANPADS, Fixed Ground, and Aerial to support various intercept profiles including look down shoot down.
    Control systems use aerodynamic and/or thrust vector control.
    Propulsion system is modular to support testing of various solid fueled motors from hybrid to sucrose based.
    All rocket airframes are 57.4 mm diameter standard. Length varies depending upon the propulsion, guidance and kill package.

    Additions to core guidance system to include semiconductor based IR homing, visual pattern recognition, acoustic signature, chemical signature and laser guidance.

    Intent is to evolve system to coordinate targeting, launch and intercept for multiple missiles simultaneously using various guidance packages to determine the most effective individual and combination systems.

  10. birdmun says:

    I just wanted to comment that EMC2 had a name change due to a cease and desist from some big company that uses EMC as their name. EMC2 is now LinuxCNC.

  11. Jake of All Trades says:

    Ha! That microscope is available at Toys R Us. Awesome! http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4160758

  12. r0ck3t3r says:

    Have you ever seen those plastic keyboard covers that used to be popular in dirty machine and mechanic shops? It is a simple thing to put a label underneath one of those that lasts. Have not seen those in ages though.

    For the cell racer, just make an android app that kicks off the motor. Why keep dialing it?

  13. Had no problem getting a STM32 F3 Discovery, just got my confirmation. Thank you for posting this!

  14. Taylor says:

    Thanks Hack a Day and also STMicro, I just got my STM32 F3 Discovery today. Awesome 2 day air mail too :)

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