Hackaday Links: November 13, 2016

The Travelling Hackerbox is going International. I wrote a post on this earlier in the week, and I’m still looking for recipients for the box that are not in the United States. The sign-up form is right here, [the sign up form is now closed] and so far we have good coverage in Canada, Australia, NZ, Northern Europe, and a few in Africa. If you ever want to be part of the Travelling Hackerbox, this is your chance. I’m going to close the sign-up sheet next week. Sign up now.

Like the idea of a travelling hackerbox, but are too impatient? Adafruit now has a box subscription service. Every quarter, an AdaBox will arrive on your doorstep packed to the gills with electronic goodies.

The very recently released NES Classic edition is the 2016 version of the C64 DTV — it’s a Linux system, not as elegant, and there’s little hacking potential. If you want to increase the amount of storage, desolder the Flash chip (part no. S34ML04G200TFI000), and replace it with a larger chip. The NES Classic edition isn’t the coolest retro system coming out — Genesis is back, baby. Brazil has had a love affair with the Genesis/Mega Drive because of their bizarre import restrictions. Now, the manufacturer of the Brazilian Sega clones is releasing a Linux-ified clone. Does anyone know how to export electronics from Brazil?

The CFP deadline for the SoCal Linux Expo is fast approaching. You have until the 15th to get your talks in for SCALE.

Let’s talk about dissolvable 3D printer support material. One of the first materials able to be printed and removed by dissolving in water was PVA. Makerbot sold it for use in their dual extruder machines. PVA does dissolve, but it degrades at higher temperatures and kills nozzles. HIPS can be dissolved with limonene, but it’s really only for use in conjunction with ABS. This week, E3D released their Scaffold support material. It’s a PVA/Polyvinyl alcohol filament — ‘the stuff gel caps are made out of’ was the line we got when E3D previewed Scaffold at MRRF last March. It’s a support material that’s water dissolvable, compatible with most filaments, and is able to produce some amazing prints. It’s available now, but it is a bit pricey at £45 for half a kilo. Brexit is a good thing if you’re paid in dollars.

If you’re into chiptunes, you’ve heard about Little Sound DJ. LSDJ is a cart/ROM capable of toggling all the registers on the Game Boy sound chip, sequencing bleeps and bloops, and generally being awesome. The recently released Nanoloop Mono is not Game Boy software. It’s a few op-amps and a PIC micro pasted on a board that turns the Game Boy into a synth. You get a significantly more 80s sound with the Nanoloop Mono over LSDJ, audio input, and a step sequencer.

16 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: November 13, 2016

  1. The new Mega Drive will not be a Linux machine. It will be a hardware clone. TecToy, the manufacturer, say they will use new components because the old ones are not available anymore. But it’s not an emulator… Maybe a “hardware emulator”?
    Details here http://institucional.tectoy.com.br/faqmd.aspx No 32x compatibility, no HDMI, but it will load ROMs from SD card. They had done things like that before, Genesis-on-chip. Some people say the audio was very bad…

  2. I usually don’t nitpick (because it does no good…), but you could not have gotten your description of the Nanoloop Mono any more wrong! It does have sequencer software that runs on the Gameboy. It doesn’t have op-amps in addition to the PIC, it makes use of the analog hardware included inside the PIC. The PIC isn’t “pasted onto” the board; it’s actually sandwiched inside the board (and makes for a very futuristic and clean look, IMO). The GB is already a synthesizer; the Mono just adds more synth hardware and the aforementioned sequencer. It doesn’t add an audio input to the GB; it uses the existing input available on the GB’s cartridge connector to mix its audio with the GB’s own.

    Also, although you didn’t mention it, it doesn’t run on a GBA, but I know why: there is a little switch inside the cart slot that is only pressed by older, original and color GB carts. This switch puts the GBA into 8-bit mode (and changes the cart bus from 3.3V to 5V). The Mono doesn’t press the switch, so it won’t boot. I just emailed Mono’s creator about it.

      1. I’ve just spent 20 minutes going through your post, considering what I’ve written, and what my response should be.

        I don’t have time to address a 200-word criticism of an 80-word paragraph. That said, here’s what I’m seeing: the only error was, “op-amps and a PIC micro”. That should be changed to ‘in a PIC micro’. Mea culpa. It’s not changing, and only because you’re so abrasive. All your other criticism is based on how you interpret what I have written. I am not responsible for your interpretation of reality.

        I’d like to repeat that, in bold, I am not responsible for your interpretation of reality. That fact, by the way, does not give you license for unbridled criticism. If you don’t like it, I don’t give a shit.

        1. Oh, you “don’t have time” to respond, but you can take the time to count the words of both your broken post and my well-written rebuttal? I guess that’s a better use of your precious time than fact-, spell-, and grammar-checking your “work” before posting it…
          It couldn’t possibly be that your interpretation of the device in question is wrong, it has to be my interpretation of your interpretation that is in error. I see…
          Thanks for fulfilling my “nitpicking does no good” prophesy in spades, and putting the HACK in Hackaday, as usual.
          How’s that for abrasive?

          1. I don’t see why Brian even has to respond, and especially not in such an irritated and offended manner. All you did was correct a quick blurb he wrote but did not pay much attention to as it turns out. And you, in a polite, warning in advance it is slightly nitpickery, way corrected it. He should just move on and tell himself he should be more awake the next time he pens down a entry.

            But you should also not take Brian’s nonsense too serious, he probably just didn’t have his coffee or something, and returning in kind won’t improve the atmosphere.

        2. Brian, please stop being rude, arrogant and demeaning with readers bringing argumented critisism and additonal information. Even harsh, their comments are an absolutely essential complement to your blog, like it or not.

          You can debate loyaly without almost always resorting to this disdain that brings nothing to the discussion and worsen things.

          1. Found him… that one guy that was on that one test panel that one day that liked the concept of automated “Your feedback/call is important to us please standby while we get a human to cut and paste or read another canned response.” replies, and felt comforted by them…. rather than deal with genuine people.

  3. Hah! The “Travelling (sic) Hackerbox” is a FAIL!
    1. Too much personal information that is not kept private is “Harvested” in the sign-up.
    2. I live in Indonesia, a leftist (e.g. Socialist) run country which as a result has a big government-run behemoth postal system that is essentially Dysfunctional. So if someone sends me the Hackerbox, it would likely be relegated to the dumpster once the postal workers pick-over the contents. And that’s if the box even gets through the corrupt and Dysfunctional Customs goons!

  4. The NES Classic edition should definitely be hackable – someone’s apparently already figured out how to get into the ROM bootloader and dump the Flash contents over the Micro USB connection. It’s basically just another Allwinner-based ARM platform that’s supported by the existing linux-sunxi tools. Possibly not the world’s most interesting platform to hack due to the price and lack of IO though.

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