Hackaday Links: May 25, 2014

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[Matt] wanted his own light saber. You could argue that this is nearly as dangerous since you can’t see the beam and it doesn’t end a few feet past the business end of the grip. Plus there’s that who “not actually a Jedi” thing.

We don’t know if retro computing fans are going to love or hate this (translated). On the one hand it’s pretty cool to see a ZX81 clone up and running. On the other hand, an Amiga 600 case was sacrificed to serve as the body for the hack. [Thanks Juan]

Watchdog timer. If you know what that is your mind immediately says “good idea” when you hear the word. If you don’t know, you need to learn. Watchdogs are reset timers that are built into most microcontrollers. If your firmware gets stuck and doesn’t maintain the timer’s counter at a regular interval the watchdog it will perform a hardware reset and hopefully your hardware will start functioning again. Here’s a guide for using the watchdog in an Arduino, but the concepts are pretty much universal.

We see all kinds of stepper-motor based music machines. One of our favorites was this recent floppy drive jukebox. But not every song is going to sound good on this type of hardware. One that does sound especially neat is the Doctor Who theme on an array of 8 drives.

And finally, if you’re struggling with surface mount soldering we recommend grabbing two soldering irons. But in a pinch just grab some heavy gauge copper wire and wrap it around your soldering iron tip. It ends up being a two-point soldering iron set for the size of specific components such as 0805 resistors. [Thanks Rupert]

Comments

  1. PodeCoet says:

    Regarding the Light Saber – It’s actually a plasma cutter and not a laser, so there’s no invisible “beam” per se, just a freakin hot ‘electric flame’ Arc

    Also – That poor Amiga 600!

  2. Aussietech says:

    “you can’t see the beam and it doesn’t end a few feet past the business end”

    Wut???

    This is a plasma cutter, not a laser. It doesn’t have a “beam” and has to be in contact with what it is cutting – no contact, no cut.

  3. jacobrau says:

    Is it not an AVR watchdog, not an Arduino watchdog? Maybe “using the AVR watchdog from Arduino”?

  4. Charly Chimpo says:

    A plasma torch with a custom handle, somebody desperate for attention and a lot of disappointment. Awful.

  5. Truth says:

    Love the soldering iron hack, very simple but a brilliant idea.

  6. Look mom! We’re on Hackaday! :-) Thanks!

  7. ragooman says:

    not sure where to find the appropriate contact on the Hack-a-Day website – so I though I would try here. Just wanted to mention that the email subscription service has suddenly stopped. I thought it would recover, but it hasn’t since May 10th. As far as I can tell, I’m still subscribed to the email notifications of new Hack-a-Day posts. But I’m not sure how to verify this. I can only see the various posts that I’m following on here and not specifically the website itself.
    Anyone else notice this ?

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