Hackaday Links: October 16, 2016

You need only look at the weekly user account leak from a popular web service or platform to know there’s a problem with security. Reusing passwords is the dumbest thing you can do right now, and the Mooltipass Mini is the answer to that problem. The Mooltipass originally began as a Developed on Hackaday series, and we log frequent sightings of the Multipass (maxi?) at security cons. The Mini is smaller, has exactly the same capability, and is completely unrepairable. It’s very cool, and if your email password is the same as your banking account passwords, you kind of need this yesterday.

Last weekend was the Open Hardware Summit in Portland. All the talks were worth watching, but editing the talks down into something sensible takes time. In lieu of this, OSHPark has gone through the livestream and timestamped everything

⡱⢎.io. Just look at that. Isn’t it awesome? It’s the latest iteration of Hackaday’s weird domains, and it looks just like the new-ish, not-frequently-used Hackaday logo that fits into the family of other SupplyFrame (our overlords) logos.

Would you like to learn about phased array antennas and radar? IEEE has just the thing for you. It’s a workshop and symposium free for all students that demonstrates how phased array antennas are built at Lincoln Laboratory, how to make your own phased array sensors, and talks by the people who really know what they’re doing with RF. If you’re around Boston next week, sign up by October 19, 2016. It’s free!

SOLAR FREAKIN’ ROADWAYS!!! How are those things going? Is that $2M Kickstarter making anything that produces power? Any successful installations? Oh. That’s not good.

Bad news in Baltimore. Someone stole the couch, but at least Mr. Trash Wheel has a girlfriend now. Also, Baynesville Electronics has shut down. This was one of the East coast’s secret electronic nirvanas. but they were online only, and Digikey and Mouser exist.

We missed a big one, guys. The Minnesota Vikings recently purchased some property from Delta Air Lines. Of course, there was a lot of junk sitting around in this property that quickly headed to the auction block. The lots included a half dozen full-motion DC-9 sims, a 747-200 and 747-400, and a 757. All of them were full motion flight sims. How much did they go for? A DC-9 sim went for $6k. Anyone up for renting a truck, going out to the desert, and picking up a 727 cockpit?

The Uzebox is a tiny, palm-sized video game console with similar specs to the NES / early Genesis / Mega Drive generation of gaming. Now there’s a Kickstarter for a Direct-to-TV version of the Uzebox. This device has been around for the better part of a decade, and it is a very important milestone in the recent history of DIY electronics. Now, everything can fit inside a SNES controller. Pretty neat.

Here’s a shop that’s cashing in on the ESP-32 craze, but this one is different. They have bare ESP-32 chips. The going price seems to be $3.60/piece in quantity one.

The Hackaday Prize has entered the final stretch: we have our top 100 finalists now. All those projects are now off to our fabulous celebrity judges to decide who will take home the crown this year. One of these projects didn’t make it. Sadly, it was one of the best. The Raspberry Pi Project, a project concerning Raspberry Pis and Raspberry Pi accessories, was not selected as a finalist in the Hackaday Prize. I have many regrets in my life, but this is the biggest: the Raspberry Pi Project should have won the Hackaday Prize. [Editor’s Note: Benchoff!!!]

Oh, cool, something we can actually argue about. Dylan got a Nobel for Literature, and the Pitchfork average for his albums hovers at around an 8. We’re not going to argue about the critical merits of Pitchfork – that’s already a foregone conclusion – your literary assessment of Bob’s work is welcome in the comment section.

35 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: October 16, 2016

      1. Hardware wise – they are fairly similar. The Uzebox uses a bigger AVR (the Mega644) and also has a 2nd chip (the AD723) to make the NTSC colour signal from RGB signals produced by the AVR. This means the Uzebox has 256 colours and some fancy analog magic inside the AD723 to reduce composite artifacts.

        Community wise – the Uzebox is a lot more mature and a lot easier to get into programming with. It has been around for almost a decade. There is almost 100 games you can download, play and examine the source code for. There is an Emulator that can run on Win/Mac/*NIX. There is also an active forum you can join to ask for help with writing your own code/games.

        If you just want something to show off as “this is the minimal hardware to make an NTSC colour game” then the arduinocade is it. If you want to jump straight in and start programming games and sharing them with other people then one of the Uzebox derivatives is what you want.

        In fact even Rossum who make the Arduinocade has made his own version of the Uzebox


  1. Baynesville electronics closing down doesn’t supirise me in the slightest by their own admission they didn’t want to get into online marketing – it’s a hard life been a in business. The world never stands still adapt to the new environment, create a new one or you just sit back and wonder where your customers went.

  2. The building with sims that is being demolished is where the “20th hijacker” tried to learn to fly a 747 – but not land or takeoff. His odd behavior led an instructor to call the FBI, which eventually led to his arrest and conviction.

    Farewell to NATCO.

    1. They’re done through normal domain registrars. They use a system called Punycode to ‘inject’ Unicode codepoints into a system designed for ASCII. Personally I’d have just gone with UTF-8 but something something backwards compatibility.

      If you hover over the link, it’s not ⡱⢎.io but rather xn--fmi2c.io

        1. It is a clickbait. I asked why they haven’t shipped after a week, they answered:

          Thanks for your Email. I am sorry to tell you that It has not been shipped. But we will ship it On Dec.
          Because It was not enough for everyone. We had to ship it based on date. FIRST PER-ORDER,FIRST SHIPMENT.

          Still the stock is 100 items..

  3. Uzebox DTV price of US $55 for a first batch unit looks a bit overpriced to me, if it wasn’t for (announced) assembly in Australia and genuine chips from Digikey. Only PCB and gamepad case are directly imported from China… it’s a bit like a “50% organic” labeled product :)

    I find Uzebox’s hardware simplicity great, and better suited for educational and DIY electronic projects, but now that 32bit chips are a lot cheaper and capable, with a growing developper community, more “MCU-based gaming platform” propositions will appear in the coming months (some already exist on STM32F4, but a new trendy low-cost, wireless, fast dual-core, memory plenty, and soon-to-be-ubiquitous SoC comes to mind…)

    Speaking of which, (thanks for the link !) I’m glad that AnalogLamb distribute ESP32 bare chips at a decent price with economy worldwide shipping, since, when asked, Espressif sales (or their representatives intervening on Hackaday’s discussions) didn’t bother at all to reply or provide a solution for such small quantities sourcing. Kind of disappointing, considering their mediatic success and their new communication is almost entirely based on the work and interest of hobbyists…

    1. At $45 USD ($60 AUD) of the Uzebox DTV I am actually running a risk of loosing money if the thing is successful.

      That’s mostly due to the fact that the success level was set so low to try get it into the hands of people that did want one. If I only aim at making 100 units then digikey is my only viable option in Australia. That makes the BOM come in at close to $30 USD. When you add in paypal and kickstarter fees it is very close to the line.

      We had played around with the idea of setting the success level at 2000 units in which case the price could have been $40 AUD or $30 USD. That is still more $ than the plethora of different Ghz 32bit arm systems around. So when the majority of punters don’t understand why the simple 8 bit Uzebox is better as a learning tool – or more likely don’t actually want to learn – we didn’t feel it would ever make 2000 sales.

      Sadly it does not look like it is even going to make 100 sales. I can at least say I tried :)

      1. Thanks for these details, I was just telling my immediate (biased) impression regarding the “first batch” price, and now I understand you still need to sell the cheaper “early birds” to fund the project… From a customer perspective (with a cheap obsession), we tend to forget all these little accumulated charges, like taxes and normal-cost shipping just to get the components, and all the other fees.
        My bad, I forgot that these campaigns, if successful, imply a serious commitment, and you definitely need some margin to face possible unexpected additionnal costs.

        For different reasons, crowdfunding is not my cup of tea, but again I totally agree with you that MCU-based DIY consoles are great learning tools (I was only talking about possible PIC32/STM32/ESP32 alternatives, not of another boring MAME installation on GHz Orange RPI and co) and I’m sure your initiative to “spread the good stuff”, and your nice explanations here, are much appreciated among HaD readers. Therefore I wish you perseverance and success !

        1. Thanks for the reply. Has restored my faith in forums in general after the relentless attacks for daring to use an SNES controller rather than an NES controller when the system is 8 bits.

          I will be very interested to see what 32 bit MCU only systems can come along. So far the few that have arrived have faded quickly. It seems like a hard task to get momentum. I don’t know if it was luck or willpower and perseverance from Alec that made the Uzebox get over that hump.

          What ever it was, the system managed to get so far as having an emulator with a GDB server built in and a forum of people that help new programmers get started. Those two things seem like they can make up for a lot of lack of price/performance the 8bit AVR has compared to an ARM M4.

          One thing the 32 bit systems had better get right is to choose a controller from the appropriate era. God knows what will happen if they hook up a Nintendo 64 or an Xbox controller to a 32 bit Cortex Mx

          1. Really ? Gamepad bigots are utterly ridiculous… don’t even bother those “1 bit-brained” segregationnist w*nkers.

            Here is a hack suggestion to torment them while getting chances to make the HaD front page :D : inside an Xbox 360 controller shell, add some leds backlighting the colored buttons, an internal tiny speaker, and put the circuitry of an original Simon game and its 4-bit chip ! Cheers

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