Hackaday Links: August 3, 2014

hackaday-links-chain

A ton of people sent in this video of crazy Russians who have taken a microwave, removed the magnetron, taped it to a broom, and turned it on. Don’t try this at home. Or near us.

You know the Google Cardboard kit that’s a real VR headset made of cardboard (and a smart phone)? Google may have gotten their inspiration from Oculus, because every Oculus Rift DK2 ships with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 inside.

paul allen

Ever design a PCB and be disappointed by the quality of the silkscreen? [Paul Allen] has been defining the edges of his PCB labels with the copper layer, and the examples are dramatic. Etching copper is what you actually pay for when you fab a board, so it should come as no surprise that the quality is a little higher.

Dunk tanks are fun, but how about competitive dunk tanks? [Chad] built a dunk tank (really more of a ‘dunk shower’) out of a 2×4 tripod, a garbage can, and a few parts from a the toilet aisle of Home Depot’s plumbing department. Then he built a second. Set up both dunk showers across from each other, give two people a few balls, and see who gets soaked last. Looks fun.

Want a MAME cabinet, but don’t want it taking up room in your house? Build a MAME coffee table! Here’s the reddit thread. Maybe we’re old-fashioned, but we’d rather have a giant NES controller coffee table.

Last week we saw a 16-bobbin rope braiding machine, but odd braiding machines like this aren’t limited to fibers. Here’s a wire twisting machine for making RS422 cables. It only produces a single twisted pair, but that’s really all you need to create a cable. Somebody get some paracord and make some Cat5.

70 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: August 3, 2014

  1. Wow, that takes a special kind of stupid right there…

    Note to everyone that values their life and the length of it: Don’t put a magnetron on a stick and wave it around. In fact, don’t mess with microwave ovens at all. They can/will kill you.

    1. They can/will kill you IF you don’t know what you’re doing…

      Not saying that what this guy did was smart thought.

    2. In the video I think you hear a blast at the end, and the youtube about section says they are short on fund because of fighting in the area. If you go to their blog there is a posting saying be careful with the microwaves in a civilian area because the cruise missiles track the microwave (don’t know if it is true or not, but that would be a s$!tty consequence for disassembling a microwave) also shows they are short on funds because a tank blasted a hole in their building. These guys look like they are working on their own thousand ways to die show.

  2. Making etched copper logos on PCB only works when you have empty board space. Most of my boards don’t have space. What is on my board speaks for itself.

    If you are doing a double layer board, there better not be fast signals under that ground plane either as you have just traded discontinuity for vanity. Solder mask one are interesting idea as they don’t cause these types of issues.

      1. ‘That the maker was too ashamed to put their mark on it.’

        That the maker was thinking of performance, than to have their mark on a faulty board due to an unnecessary ground plane that contains their “mark”.

        1. “That brave soul, whose sole desire is to make a technically superior product. He is a paragon of virtue in the field. The board is amazing. His work impeccable. We have a dozen designs that could greatly benefit from his loving touch.

          Well, since we don’t know who he is lets just send the plans over to the lowest bidder, same as usual.”

          The best choice is often not the most technically correct one.

    1. “Most of my boards don’t have space.”

      Really? In most cases where I have a board designed to fit a form factor, the form factor tends to be much larger than needed (at least in certain areas), so there’s ridiculous amounts of free space.

      Of course occasionally you’re designing a board to meet a much too small form factor, in which case, yeah, finding space would be next to impossible.

      Also if those are the system ground planes, there better not be anything fast on them anyway, as they’re diced to hell from traces and not stitched. I’d more believe they’re just a poor RFI shield.

  3. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

    As someone who got out of the hospital a month ago for radiation burns on my hands and arm due to a malfunctioning microwave: PLEASE do not try this kind of thing.

    Not only is it (potentially) super illegal to deal with radio waves like that (depending on where you are), it’s also a very quick and pseudo-painless way to cause massive amounts of simply irreparable damage to your body.

    What’s that? You accidentally burned part of a muscle from an quick but high dosage of misguided radiation? That just turned to scar tissue—inside you—and will not heal. The only treatment for that sort of stuff, currently, is just to have surgery and cut away all the ruined flesh.

    Don’t be a dumbass, keep things safe and sane. (Unless you’re just begging for a one-way trip out the gene pool of course.)

    1. Not trying to be a dick or anything, but….How was it malfunctioning and/or what were you doing when you burned yourself?

      Honestly, I can’t actually visualize how a malfunction can occur unless the glass is broken, the door interlock was bypassed or you were working inside the thing and had it plugged in.

      1. I did a casual AMA on reddit because people keep asking.

        Tl;dr was cleaning the inside of a recently-installed microwave and the emitter was on but the light and fan weren’t. Some sort of power failure according to the display. Had to look up the manual online because we didn’t get one and the 7-segment displays are… cryptic at best.

        1. Power failure? I’m more interested in the hard wired interlock not working, the switch that directly cuts the power from the magnatron whenever the door is open.

          As for your pleads. Sorry no. I feel sorry for you that you got burnt, but the you can thank the vast majority of your modern luxuries to people who did incredibly and very stupid (in retrospect) stuff. Experimenting on the edge of danger is precisely how we got things like AC power, your cars running stuff that created by a process that involves things like heating oil about 300degrees over it’s autoignition temperature and balancing it above a pocket of enriched oxygen, and you should read about the things people were doing to many chemicals by applying electrical current which has synthesized many chemicals and developed processes such as anodizing.

          No one should ever discourage experimenting. Yes history is littered with the corpses of those who did it wrong, but there are plenty of examples of where it has gone right.

          1. >Experimenting on the edge of danger

            There’s a massive difference between experimenting, and stupidity.

            Aside from that, I agree with your sentiment! And yeah, I’m a bit confused as to how it was operating with the door open, as I thought there were physical circuit breaks in the door mechanism. I guess there was not, in this one. But yeah, it was damaged inside (made that way? dropped? I dunno) such that you could plug it in, and immediately the emitter would be on, regardless of the LCD panel, light, fan, or rotating table. The only way to shut off the emitter was to open and re-close the door, or unplug it, or hit cancel.

      1. Only if you attempt to cut, grind, or do anything similar to the magnetron’s ceramic insulator which would produce large amounts of dust. And then inhale it.

        That would be silly if you’re trying to experiment with a functioning magnetron. Rendering the warning a bit silly as well, at least in the context of this post. Though it’s still good to know if you’re trying to strip one for magnets, filaments, and whatnot.

        But merely looking at one, or touching it, won’t hurt you. Accidentally breaking one would be difficult, and not of much consequence unless you did it on a regular basis.

        And I think most consumer-grade maggies don’t use beryllium oxide anymore. The last few I looked at didn’t. They just don’t produce enough heat to require the extraordinary heatsinking properties of BeO, and so I guess it’s been replaced to keep potentially hazardous materials out of the waste stream.

      2. FIY, Beryllium Oxide has been used for decades as insulator in power devices such as RF resistors and semiconductors and is still used in some areas.
        Be careful of what you pick up at flea markets or on Ebay. They’re 100% safe, but you don’t want to break them and inhale what comes out.

    2. Really? Care to give us some details on how this happened? I’ve been using microwave ovens in all states of repair for over 35 years, and I have never run into an issue like this.

      FYI, calling the output of a microwave oven “radiation” is technically correct but misleading. Technically any form of radio, including visible light, can be considered radiation, but typically only the ionizing radiation (frequencies well above visible light) types are called “radiation” because of the stigma that goes with them. Microwave ovens produce radio waves, typically at 2.4 GHz. While this can cause burns through heating of the flesh, it is not painless (I’ve had RF burns), and it does NOT affect the body the same way ionizing radiation does (gamma rays and x-rays, for example).

      1. Radiation burns != contact burns, hence my reasoning for the terminology. Sorry if I was less than 100% accurate, I try but I make mistakes too :|

        As for the first paragraph:
        I did a casual AMA on reddit because people keep asking.

        Tl;dr was cleaning the inside of a recently-installed microwave and the emitter was on but the light and fan weren’t. Some sort of power failure according to the display. Had to look up the manual online because we didn’t get one and the 7-segment displays are… cryptic at best.

          1. Since for some reason the reply function is gone on your other comment, I’ll handle it here: Thanks for being an ass and calling me a liar. It’s always amusing when ignorant people believe they’re right and have nothing to base that on, other than their own sheer arrogance.

            However, that does not change the fact that you are, simply put, still wrong.

            As for the photos—or rather, lack thereof—it’s quite difficult to take photos when your hands and upper arms are wrapped up in splints, so I only took a few photos. Some of the nurses took photos of me, however, and these turned out to be burst-mode in which I have ~70 photos of the exact same thing. As such I decided not to upload these.

            As for the “Door open, light off, turntable off and magnetron powered up? Yeah, no. Bullshit.” I thought the same thing and almost didn’t believe what had just happened. Until I played around with the microwave a bit. I haven’t taken it apart to see what its internals were like, but the end result from quite a bit of careful, systematic observation showed that it was damaged in such a way where you could plug it in, and immediately the emitter would be on, regardless of the LED panel, light, fan, or rotating table. The only way to shut off the emitter was to open and re-close the door, or unplug it, or hit cancel.

            So yes, plug it in, doesn’t matter if the door is open or closed. The display would read “PF” which, I later found out by looking up the manual online, stands for “Power Failure” and indicates that you should unplug and not use the microwave until it has been serviced by a licensed technician.

            If you’d still like to live in your own little bubble of ignorance, I can post the hospital bills to prove it, but then again sometimes people like you just won’t admit they’re wrong no matter how much evidence is available…. It’s up to you.

          2. I still say bullshit.

            I have no problem believing the controller failed. (What’s the model number – I can get the service manual easily enough.)

            However…

            To have the magnetron running with the door open requires both door interlocks to fail. Very unlikely. If only one failed, the monitor interlock will blow the fuse.

            The turntable motor is not dependent on the controller, it is wired in parallel to the magnetron. You cannot have one running without the other.

            The controller, both interlocks and the turntable motor failed? Uh huh.

            Likewise the fan: if the magnetron is running, so is the fan.

            Golly, the controller, both interlocks, the turntable AND the fan failed? Wow…

            The light is activated by the door opening – it also operates independent of the controller.

            Gosh! the controller, both interlocks, the turntable motor, the fan AND the light failed! Golly gee, you’ve just found the biggest piece of shit shit microwave ever.

            Far too many failures for me to believe your story.

            On top of that 700 watts is an enormous amount of power. Find an old incandescent light bulb, and try to hold it. You can’t. At best they’d be 100 watts, and you didn’t notice 700 watts for a minute?

            (And don’t try ‘maybe the magnetron was on low power’, there’s no such thing. They’re either on or off, no middle ground).

            And of course the old standby – ‘sorry, I didn’t get any photos’ combined with ‘and since you’re being mean I’m not going to show them anyway’. Lol. Did your dog eat the memory card too?

            Do post details of the lawsuit against the manufacturer. And the medical journal reference. Heard from the Consumer Product Safety Commission yet?

          3. Sigh, I’m such a nerd for focusing on the technical and ignoring the obvious.

            How do you manage to burn both hands cleaning a microwave oven? Who puts both hands inside?

            Why aren’t there any burns on your chest?

            Most people look at what they are cleaning, why aren’t you blind? (Eyes are very sensitive to microwaves apparently.)

            Lol, what utter bullshit.

            Doofus here probably burnt his hands pulling a tray out of an ordinary oven, must have got the munchies after too many bongs hits or something and forgot the mitts.

          4. Quick summary: on every single topic I’m about to dive into, you’re wrong and I’m right, and I can provide proof of quite a few of them, where as you can provide no proof for any of them at all (yet you keep inadvertently proving yourself wrong).

            Since you insist on asking for more evidence—and then flipflopping and calling me the liar anyway—I offer a proposal: make up your mind. Would you like more evidence that you’re wrong, or would you like to keep stewing in your misconceptions that you’re right? Your choice not mine.

            Now, let’s dive into just how wrong you are. About everything.

            “If only one failed, the monitor interlock will blow the fuse.
            It is wired in parallel to the magnetron.
            etc”
            I’m amazed that without even knowing the model number of the microwave, you know exactly the circuitry that goes into it! You’re amazing! Oh wait, you’re not, you’re wrong. You almost had me there for a second though! Anyways because I’m a nice guy I’ll give you the brand and the model number. Knock yourself out. It’s a GE JE740drww. And you’re right, finding a manual was so easy I was able to do it on my phone’s mobile browser.

            I never said I wouldn’t show the photos, simply that I didn’t feel like spamming reddit with bunches of the exact same thing from progressively different angles. I can post all of them in a dropbox album if you’d like even more evidence that you’re wrong.

            I’ve called a few lawyers before I got the medical bill and they turned me down, saying “a product case wasn’t worth it.” Make of that what you will, as aside from phone call records, I have no proof of what the lawyers said (as it stands, though, it’s still perfectly feasible evidence that you’re wrong.)

            “Who puts both hands inside?” Me, obviously. Why clean something half as fast when you can get it done in half the time? Of course this isn’t even a real question, simply an emotional ploy. What a pathetic attempt at an argument, especially when you’re on the losing side and you know it.

            700 watts is an enormous amount of power? Hey, that’s an opinion not a fact! Again, sad. But then again, when you have nothing concrete to use against me—I’m the one who’s right after all—of you would use made-up ‘facts’.

            No burns on my chest? Since you clearly know so much about the microwave’s exact design, you’d know that there isn’t much radiation spill out the front, as it’s narrow and small in general. Oh wait, we already realized how wrong you were about that as well. Clearly you don’t actually know anything about the microwave’s actual design, otherwise you wouldn’t be asking that! Ah, it’s amusing to watch people dig their own graves when it comes to silly internet arguments in which they’re drowning in their helpless, perpetual state of wrong-ness.

            “Most people _____”… I’m not most people! Neither are you, most people aren’t wrong, and don’t when they are, most people accept that rather than continue to insist they’re right in the face of overwhelming evidence.

            If I’d burnt my hands on an oven—which I’ve done on industrial strength ovens before, I know what it’s like—I’d be at a burn unit, not staying overnight at an ER. How cute of you to drop so low as to call me names; clearly you have nothing better to say at this point, typically people who are proven wrong countless times resort to that tactic in the end, congratulations on just adding to that statistic.

          5. So where are these photos? Of the burn of course, anyone can wrap a few bandages around their hands and claim whatever.

            You are making an extraordinary claim – it’s up to you to provide proof. You haven’t provided any proof (that single photo on Reddit isn’t) so it’s assumed you are a liar until you show you aren’t.

            I’m a Nigerian king, by the way. Prove me wrong.

            You wouldn’t be the first person to injure yourself through stupidity and then claim it was something else.

            All microwave ovens use exactly the same basic circuitry, and have done for probably 30 years. The only difference is the controller, how everything else is wired up is identical.

            Here’s your oven: http://www.ereplacementparts.com/je740dr1ww-capacity-countertop-microwave-oven-parts-c-174222_175204_175452.html?page=4.

            No circuit diagram, but there’s the three switches – upper, lower & monitor. All microwave have the same three switches. All of those (plus a few other parts) needed to fail in order for it to burn you.

            New model microwave with a serious fault? That’s a product recall and a lawyers wet dream. Heard from the Consumer Product Safety Commission yet?

          6. Ah, cute.

            A friend and I were discussing your attempts at constructing an argument from nothing here—how you use emotional ploys and vague, relative ‘facts’ to try and build claims of my ‘stupidity’, how you use simple-but-obvious logical fallacies (absence of evidence != evidence of absence, for example), and you’re still continuing with the same methods, why? Because you have nothing to base a legitimate argument on. We both find your floundering quite amusing and that’s the only reason I’m bothering to respond anymore.

            If more than one microwave of the same model in a general time period had malfunctioned, sure, I could see them looking into a recall. But only one incident—of a microwave that more than likely had been dropped, to boot—most likely would not trigger a recall. I can’t find any other reports of that microwave being an issue, can you?

            When I went to the ER they almost turned me away, explicitly because I had no burn marks on my hands. One of the nurses didn’t believe me, either, so I can understand your disbelief. Except that I have proof of it now that I’ve actually visited the hospital, so there’s no reason to try and argue something you’re clearly wrong about. On the diagnosis sheet it even lists two conditions—the first, which the admitting nurse put into the system, and the followup by the doctor who recognized I didn’t have external burns. https://www.dropbox.com/s/o13a3eahevum7zh/diagnosis.png

            Fortunately one of the doctors called in -did- know a thing or two about what was going on and understood that the radiation would have penetrated the soft tissue, potentially damaging the nerves and muscle more than the skin itself. This was later confirmed by a hand specialist, whom I later googled and found out he has quite the interesting history http://physiciangroupaz.com/provider_detail.php?primary_key=27 His visit to stay for about 15 minutes and confirm I had no external burn damage cost me $169, although it was recommended I have a follow-up visit with him to get some scans done and see how extensive the internal damage may have been. Proof of that: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c4fh0n6vqvrhj6d/bill.png

            If there are any other bits of documentation that I’ve overlooked to prove my point, please by all means I’ll submit them. I can even show you the breakdown of the bill if you’d like that.

          7. That proves nothing; if you say you burnt yourself with a microwave, that’s what they write on the admission form.

            You may indeed roasted yourself (eg stupidity), but the faults you described with the oven simply don’t happen – too many things to go wrong at once.

            That’s not a vague fact (you’re vague fact was ‘umm loose wire maybe?’), there hasn’t been a microwave oven accident like yours for over 30 years, and that’s because the design of the oven makes it impossible. As I said, they all work the same.

            Hence why quite a few posters doubted you – the folk at Reddit might believe anything, but people here tend to be technical – we know how stuff works.

            So where are the photos of your hands? Microwave don’t cook ‘inside-out’ y’know, and even if they did there would still be indications visible on your skin – redness, bruising, peeling etc especially after a month.

            Try again.

          8. Perhaps you should remember that admission form != diagnostic form. I could send the admission form—but, as I already states, that would simply say burns on my hands—although according to you that would prove my point right there, wouldn’t it.

            Your arguments are full of holes and assumptions: you just say something doesn’t happen, and while that’s an opinion, you treat it like a fact, and then try to go from there, and it’s amusing watching this happen over and over.

            Since you clearly have no way if distinguishing fact from opinion, or even fact from falsehood, there is simply no point in continuing this discussion. I’ve lived with a few “guilty until proven innocent” people who are also very quick to junp to assumptions and in their extreme arrogance just assume they’re right when they really have no idea. Their lives suck because they’re assholes to all their friends, and I really hope for your own sake you learn to balance processing fact and opinion correctly.

            Unless of course you just have some mental issue causing that to be extremely difficult for you, in which case you shouldn’t be here in the first place. (:

    3. There’s only a few ways a standard, consumer-level microwave oven magnetron could have burned you in such a manner:

      1) You touched high voltage.
      2) You came in direct contact with the magnetron antenna or waveguide.
      3) You were in contact with metal in *close* proximity to the magnetron output (watch, jewelry, surgical pins, shrapnel, metallic tattoo inks, etc).

      Exposure to the pure RF, without metallic involvement, is less dangerous. Assuming you disable the interlocks and put your arm in an operating microwave oven – WITHOUT any of what’s described above – you’ll feel it gradually heat up. And then withdraw when it eventually gets too hot. No harm done, no mysterious internal damage.

      Still, it’s better to put some distance between you and both the concentrated RF and high voltage. And that’s exactly what these kids did, by mounting the magnetron on the end of a long stick. Not trying to be a dick either, but it could be argued they’re handling this in a safer manner than you did; by explicitly taking their own safety measures, rather than placing trust in those built in to an appliance to function properly.

      And that’s why, when performing similar experiments, I also wore metallized sunglasses. Plus strapped a kitchen pot splash guard made from stainless mesh to the outside of my jeans, covering the crotch area. Enjoy the mental image, but know it wasn’t a fashion statement. Both body structures lack internal heat sensory nerves, AND dissipate heat much more poorly than skin and muscle; so they can be progressively heating up at moderate RF levels while you feel nothing. It probably wasn’t a necessary precaution, but better not to ignore a potential danger when it’s so easily ameliorated.

      1. Funny how much you think you know when you weren’t even there… But I’ll explain what happened anyway to be fair.

        I did a casual AMA on reddit because people keep asking.

        Tl;dr was cleaning the inside of a recently-installed microwave and the emitter was on but the light and fan weren’t. Some sort of power failure according to the display. Had to look up the manual online because we didn’t get one and the 7-segment displays are… cryptic at best.

        Now, of course, you mentioned this:
        “Exposure to the pure RF, without metallic involvement, is less dangerous. Assuming you disable the interlocks and put your arm in an operating microwave oven – WITHOUT any of what’s described above – you’ll feel it gradually heat up. And then withdraw when it eventually gets too hot. No harm done, no mysterious internal damage.”

        And you’re mostly right. However my hands had steaming hot water on them already—I was cleaning a microwave, after all—so I did not notice the heat being an issue until the inside of my hand was severely tingling. The internal damage was very real and far from mysterious… Perhaps you should find an abnormally high-powered oven, for ‘consumer’ range at least, and place a hand right next to the microwave emitter, and blast it at full power for 45 seconds. Then when you’re able to type again, let me know if you garnered ‘mysterious’ internal damage or not. (:

        1. Also because it was dropped and operating in a fault mode (I expect that a wire has to have become loose and bypassed the interlock and all control electronics), who knows what the power level was. Could possibly be higher than the normal “max” setting.

          1. I smell bullshit.

            I saw your reddit AMA, and with exactly one photo showing your bandaged hands… I still smell bullshit. (Good to see whatever you did didn’t stop your interneting.)

            Microwave ovens are surprisingly simple devices, check out a circuit diagram one day.

            Microwave oven doors have two interlocks, one in each latch. Each interlock contains at least one microswitch. (I’ve see three per interlock!)

            For the magnetron to start it requires both door microswitches (upper & lower) to be closed, plus the relay to be activated. A PCB failure might close the relay, but you still need to interlocks to fail. A ‘loose wire’ won’t do much unless both interlocks have also failed.

            There is another ‘monitor’ switch that blows the fuse if one interlock fails – eg when your kids are futzing with it by poking pencils in the latch holes. (Occasionally you blow the fuse if you open the door while cooking, one interlock opens slightly before the other. More likely is the monitor switch arcs and welds shut.)

            The turntable motor is almost always wired parallel to the magnetron – they both come on together.

            On top of that, the light is also triggered by the door switch – door open, light on. (There is another microswitch in the door interlock solely for the light.)

            Door open, light off, turntable off and magnetron powered up? Yeah, no. Bullshit.

            If true (unlikely) you’d be about the first person in 30 years to be burned, and one of about a dozen or so. You should be famous.

        2. I have passed my hand in front of an operating emitter out of curiosity, felt warmth within seconds, and moved on. But it was NOT a hand covered with steaming hot water…

          That could have masked the sensation of heat, since it was already strongly present. And possibly kept the temperature of the sensitive outer layers of skin from rising as quickly as well, due to evaporative cooling. That bears a bit of similarity to RF skin tightening, in which controlled subsurface RF burns are generated by heating with RF, while simultaneously chilling the surface to prevent burning it also.

          Definitely something I hadn’t anticipated. Thank you for sharing that.

    1. Yeah, i saw this on the escapist, and even they knew it was just the screen. No offence HaD, but this is more than a bit of an editorial oversight….

      P.S Uggggh…..those stupid kids, microwaves might not be ionizing (and thus give you cancer) but they can give you burns up to an inch under the skin….and the beryllium oxide in the magnatron itself…….just stupid

  4. Just to clarify on the PCB story, he added the solder mask layers to the copper layers to achieve such a well defined outline?

    1. It looks more like he has the copper layer defined for the logo and then remove the solder mask (by adding a fill area in the stop layer in Eagle) on top to expose the copper. The PCB material (i.e. background of the logo) is black. You can tell by the depth at the perimeter of that rectangle that the black background is lower than the copper.

      That only works if you pay for flash gold and black PCB. It doesn’t has as much contrast for HASL on green for example.

  5. Oh my god, the magnetron…so funny. Got an old microwave in the garage, obviously won’t try anything stupid but…kind of interesting. :p. Does anyone know why the radio blew up instead of melt?

    1. I see alot of capacitor dielectric plastered all over the inside of the radio, so I imagine all of the capacitors exploded. The speaker seems to have disintegrated also, and I would suspect it’s magnet/voice coil in that case…

    2. I’d go with Hitek’s theory too… oscillating magnetic fields create currents, these currents probably blown capacitors.
      By the way, you could get the transformer and the magnetron’s magnets from the old microwave, get some vacuum and make yourself a sputtering chamber. A project like this is on my high priority list.

    3. A flame seeded with particulates of certain types of material (metals, carbon) will absorb microwaves VERY well. Probably started with a cap explosion, and small but ideal flame, which fueled by the microwaves grew rapidly. Within a fraction of a second it was absorbing nearly the full magnetron output.

      If you’ve seen “ball lightning” made in an intact microwave oven, you’ve seen the active principle on a smaller scale.

      1. Thanks guys, I was thinking caps too but damn that radio was really blown apart. Interesting theories. The ball lightning being extremely interesting…check out the wiki if you’re interested, you won’t be disappointed. I’d put my bet on that now…

  6. When there’s a war going on all around, and one can die at any moment, why not? If they’re lucky, these Ukrainian boys can screw up a Russian drone. Or trigger a missile strike on their location….

  7. During Sarajevo the UN antiradition missiles (used against radars) were given false targets by the resistance fighters using modded microwaves.
    $N00000.00 missile canceled by a junk microwave.

    1. Urban myth.

      Power is too low, and they’re the wrong frequency anyway. Has anyone had their WiFi destroyed lately?

  8. I dunno. I think putting your business card info onto a Visa Gift card would be better. Here is my contact info wink wink. No worse than what this knob spends on cards continuously without landing a jerb. Honestly, if I were still in HR and someone handed out a dev kit on a card, I don’t think they would be a good fit with all the showboating and money management issues. I doubt the company could spare the 26 minutes he needs to get to the gym lol. We did not particularly like the brash and young as it usually turned the workplace into something like HaD with a lot of pissing contests and hurt feelings over nothing in particular. I could seriously go an entire decade without another “business card” article, HaD. Thx

    1. Yep… 100% sure that a ball did hit the baby.
      Didn’t seem to hurt though, as the only thing the baby did was look down to see the ball after the strike ‘-’

  9. I like the ‘dunk’ tank concept expansion to making it a 2 person competitive thing, seems much more fun that way, and less creepy, because having people just all trying to dunk a person always seems a bit ‘off’ to me somehow.

  10. Soldermask quality will vary by board house. For most it actually looks much better, Arduinos take advantage of this for their look. And actually you can get LPI silk that is razor sharp. Anyway, if you have a decent mask layer, you can combine it with copper for effects like this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/russdill/8616357767/ (about a half in tall)

    Just removing soldermask: https://www.flickr.com/photos/russdill/8616336421/

    Typical silk http://i.imgur.com/BmCymJ6.jpg
    LPI silk http://i.imgur.com/AGRpIyL.jpg (0402s for scale)

    Arduino double soldermask http://antipastohw.pbworks.com/f/1344287939/ArduinoUno_R3_Back.jpg

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