Hackaday Links: May 28, 2017

Boeing and DARPA are building a spaceplane. Right now it’s only a press release and a few concept images, but it looks like this is an air-launched system kind of like a Tristar/Pegasus, only much higher and completely unmanned. It’s a ton and a half to low earth orbit, with a goal of 10 flights in 10 days.

Up in Albany? There’s a new hacker con happening in a few weeks. Anycon is a hacking, infosec, and cyber security conference happening June 16 & 17th in Albany, NY. The organizers of this con ([Chris], and his company Leet Cybersecurity) are loosely modeling this con after Derbycon. [Dave Kennedy] of TrustedSec will be attending as the keynote speaker.

GOOD NEWS! [Casey Neistat] is under investigation by the FAA. [Casey Neistat] is the YouTuber that flies drones right in the middle of the Hudson River corridor, and is a menace to general aviation around NYC.

This is neat. The Supplyframe Design Lab is the Hackaday Mothership right in the middle of Pasadena where we host our designers in residence, host a few meetups, and slowly fill every cubic inch of space with either dust or tools. The Design Lab just won a design award. You can check out the ‘design’ part of the Design Lab here, but keep in mind it will never be that clean ever again.

Here’s an interesting Twitter to follow. Alitronik is a curator of the weird and wonderful cheap crap that can be found on AliExpress. Need an Altera Cyclone dev board? Here you go. A desk-mountable OLED inspection microscope? Done. A seven dollar Tesla coil? Dude, you can totally fit this inside a hat.

[Drygol] had a nice old Commodore C16 with a broken TED chip. A shame, really. He did what anyone would do: put a C64 motherboard in the case for a fancy stealth upgrade.

Is the great crowdfunded 3D printer boom over? Some would say that ship sailed after dozens of 3D printer crowdfunding projects failed to deliver, or delivered very low-quality machines. These people were wrong. This Polaroid-branded 3D printing pen might not get funding. A year ago, this project would have been funded on day one. There would have been writeups in The Verge on how Polaroid is turning the corner after decades of wasted opportunities. Now, the Crowdfunded 3D printer boom is finally over.

The Hackaday crew was at the Bay Area Maker Faire last weekend and holy crap did we have a blast. Everyone came to the meetup on Saturday except for the fire marshall. The secret OSHPark bringahack on Sunday was even more impressive. We also saw a Donkey Car capable of driving around a track autonomously, but the team behind it didn’t have their work up on the Internet at the time.

46 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: May 28, 2017

  1. Curious why you would say good news on the investigation of Casey? Do you even have a valid point? The included chart you post shows it is legal.
    Sounds more to me like you are a jealous piece of crap and have already lost.

    1. The links shows that light aircraft are actively using the area, therefore making flying quad copters there a dangerous thing. Although we should note that it does not matter what argument you make, as calling someone a ‘jealous piece of crap’ disqualifies you from a discussion instantly.

      1. For the music alone, I’d give him The Chair.

        Polaroid is a dead, virtual brand, has been for a decade or more. They were hit quite badly by the complete obsolescence of chemical-based photography. Now you can get a few Chinese megafactory-made TVs with Polaroid’s name on them. Next week it’ll be a caffeinated fruit juice. Nobody cares. If Polaroid aren’t making instant film cameras, it isn’t Polaroid, and nobody wants an instant film camera anyway.

          1. Ah, yes! Instant DIGITAL cameras! Yeah, I believe that’s what finally finished off Polaroid. NEXT!

            Tell the tween girls to keep their arm to themselves.

    1. Have no idea what you are referencing — I’m too busy watching other YouTube “stars” waste and destroy precious resources poorly paid laborers put an excruciating amount of work in to making while people starve and suffer. Oooh, next episode is some guy jumping on to 3,000 tomatoes while smashing a new Samsung television and then a half hour reaction to it – can’t wait. Wheeeeee modern humanity!!!

        1. Actually the face-punching thing is one Youtube channel I’d watch. Since they’re all desperate, cheap whores, they’d probably let you do it for a hundred dollars. Line the fuckers up, stupid, vacant, ugly mugs, one after another, spouting their vapid ideas and their complete ignorance of basically everything. Then we get somebody sensible to come in, perhaps wearing a mortar board, academic gown, and boxing gloves. He beats their stupid, uncomprehending, still smiling faces to a pulp, to a 10-second loop of Sandstorm by Darude. I’d actually enjoy watching that.

          Next week, we take petrol bombs round the bedrooms / garages / “recording studios” of all the idiots who’ve decided that reinventing traditional network TV channels, ON YOUTUBE, is going to make their millions. Then after that, it’s a visit to Hell, to see those special souls who use utterly misleading thumbnails and descriptions for their banal videos of still photographs with narration over them.

  2. “Here’s an interesting Twitter to follow. Alitronik is a curator of the weird and wonderful cheap crap that can be found on AliExpress. Need an Altera Cyclone dev board? Here you go. A desk-mountable OLED inspection microscope? Done. A seven dollar Tesla coil? Dude, you can totally fit this inside a hat.”

    China would be MacGyver’s wet dream. Better list would be, what does one NOT find in China?

        1. Hey Albert,
          There are a lot of other websites where you can troll your political views, spout your opinions, and spew your biased hatred. Why bring it here? That is not the purpose or culture of this website. I see way to much crap like that all over the so-called news sites and shouting out at me from the TV. I come to this website to see cool stuff about hacking, not to read garbage posted by trolls just to try and get a reaction. Troll your bilge on Salon,com of Huffingtonpost.

    1. 10 yrs there’ll be hobbiest models in space. We already have the jet powered model aircraft and/or balloons to give a rocket the leg up needed, albeit sub-orbital. I know, I know, sounds crazy… but someone should mention it to Neistat.

  3. I made a video on those mini tesla coils. With a bit of tweaking, they could be quite fun.
    As they are, they do work after a fasion, but the heatsinks do get quite hot rather quickly. The audio quality is as you would expect….

    1. Aren’t Tesla coils supposed to resonate in some special Tesla fashion? That just looks like a big transformer, using 1 turn on the primary to drag the highest voltage from the least amount of wire on the secondary.

    1. But they are hurting every other form of air-sport right now thanks to this behavior. I know a group who flies model gliders. And they are suddenly hit by all kinds of problems on locations that they can use. All thanks to drones causing problems.

      They have been flying for 30 years, and now all of a sudden legislation is making a huge mess for them. All thanks to these quad-copters, and the noise they bring.

      1. One day A Thing gets cheap, and the masses all get into it. Any mass of humans is incredibly stupid, it’s a law passed by the Gods in Ancient Greece. So, cheap mass-manufacturing has killed a formerly responsible hobby. It happens all the time.

        The Internet was better too before absolutely everybody got on it.

    2. I assume you are referencing Neistat.
      Risk of an incident is non-zero, hence that no incident has happened yet is entirely moot, all we have to do is wait, he’s using airspace that is rich with potential incidents.
      Even if you never get your feet off the ground, the ground is where a disaster ends up, and a major city is a crowded place. Want that on your head?

      Complaining to “Dude” is the wrong place… it’s Neistat that’s taken possession of the risk that threatens to end with much more strict regulations imposed on us.

      If you wish to dispute still… simply prove the risk is actually zero.

        1. Actually Brian, I care very much in both cases, but the author of this article seemed to restrict it to Neistat as the issue.

          Small airport operators are typically quite cooperative. I set up one AMA flying field right across the freeway from an active small airport on the other side of the city, light aircraft and ultralights, but asked permission rather than simply informing them in writing as required because our runway was right in line with their runway. Excessively cooperative, even offered that we just use his runway instead! Tried hard to get us. Went further and offered to pour a 50/50 mix of dirt and concrete over one stretch for us so it would be smooth for the small wheels. But, the county was providing us the land for modelling and already had the work release crew from county jail there for me to oversee and build the runway for us, so we stuck with the county plan which included moving us on top of a nearby hill a couple years down the road, plus they were providing liability insurance in addition to the insurance an AMA club enjoys. I’d worked that all out with them a couple years earlier. Next example, there is an airport in the northern half of the state has two paved runways for small jet aviation. Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and weekends alternating Saturday and Sunday, one runway is closed for the modellers to use. It works out nice. Pavement is fun to master landings on!

          I served as president of the AMA club here at home for something like 10 yrs. Not mentioned in proper sequence, but the County gave us the land for the very first runway at a local park just 3 miles away from the runway, and half a mile to the side of the local County Regional Airport approach. Again, I worked with the airport to not only inform them in writing, but to have them define all the flight restrictions they wished the club to use. It was easy… I just stepped out of the house and walked 3/4 block to the airport, knocked on the control tower door. They already knew me, took care of business for the club plus as Scout Leader arranged for the Scouts to get a guided tour of the control tower and air traffic control.

          Lotta people misunderstand RC Modelling…. but airport operators don’t. They know those models are a gateway drug addicting you into getting a pilot’s license. They see the money tied up in the models. They’re most accommodating!

    3. The risk is a drone getting sucked into a jet intake, or smashing a smaller plane’s windscreen, or some other important part, possibly causing a crash.

      Of course birds can do the same, but we can’t actually do anything to legislate against birds. They just don’t pay any attention, the avian scofflaws. Perhaps if sentences were harsher…

      Anyway… Drones contain harder parts than birds, and they don’t test engines for drone-strike. Since drones are man-made things, it’s better to keep them out of the way altogether. It would be stupid to wait for an accident to happen, when prevention is easy, and all that we’re losing is a bit of airspace for hobbyists. When human lives are one the line, it’s a fair trade.

  4. That 3D printer pen looks sketchy at best. Only 3D renders, so kickstarter won’t accept them. One of their website links is dead. Their company is called “CoreTech”, but they are using polaroid branding everywhere in their campaign. They link to the polaroid facebook, but their facebook doesn’t mention the project at all.

      1. Only one use for “3d printer pens”:
        Glorified glue-gun that spews plastic for filling failed joins and gaps before soaking the remaining cracks in superglue (The very watery stuff) or that plastic weld (Chloro-something) to finish the repair…

        However ta confirm ya statement: Not a 3d printing solution at all, in fact not even a printer full stop!

        Heck, that is like I saying I invented 3d printing 7+ years ago when I melted scrapped LCD frames’ plastic into the CCFL side brittle framework to reform the frame ready for CCFL tubes.

        BTW, saved $$ on hard-to-find LCD replacements, just probably not on everybody’s lung health, even though I sat next to an exhaust fan next to a window

  5. Even though it’s been put down by the judiciary for the moment, I wonder if all those helipads and heliports in NYC can be considered an “airport” under the FAA rules for operating a “drone” within a certain distance. I complained about this clause back when because if you look at a sectional map, almost the entire east coast is occupied by these exclusion zones with only small islands of available operating space present, if you are intending to comply with the letter of the “law”…

    1. I wonder if someone could make large swarms of one-use-only cheap drones, to take out those annoying police choppers for instance… But never mind my pet peeve.

  6. That Boeing project sounds like it’s made-to-order for Google and facebook’s plans for a network of internet satellites. Which were to be small and low orbit.
    Which makes it a bit questionable to use government DARPA money perhaps? Depends if Boeing in internal memos is banking on that for commercial reason. And with EVERYBODY leaking we might find out eventually, then there will be lots of committees and some journalist making tons of money to investigate it after which they determine it’s all OK for it’s the darling Boeing that did it.
    Planet Earth, is it getting too predictable?

  7. Your labs look great. If the floors were curved I would think it was from 2001. Very cool. (How do you dust the top side of the floating white light monolith with the lights in it?)

  8. The Tristar/Pegasus comparison for XS-1 and its payload seems wrong. The XS-1 is intended to be a proper first stage, doing proper first stage work, just like Falcon 9’s first stage. Get S2 up above the atmosphere and moving reasonably quickly so it can insert into orbit. Also like the Falcon 9 first stage, the XS-1 is intended to be reusable. It just makes an aerodynamic landing instead of a propulsive one.

    I don’t think this is picking nits. Launcher aircraft have their place–even though I don’t think we’ve practically applied it yet (it’s not a huge energy/drag gain, but it does let you move the noise/violence of launch to a less-contested space)–but a first stage is more than a launcher aircraft, and a reusable first stage even more so.

    A combination of the two would be quite something, as well, and I think that’s what the Brits are after with Skylon…if they can ever pull it off…

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