Fubarino Contest: LED Matrix Game Console

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A good amount of entries for our Fubarino Contest are finally starting to roll into the tip line. Good thing, too, as this is the last day for submissions. What are you waiting for? we just passed the entry deadline.

The latest one comes from [Vojtak], who created an awesome looking minimalist game console with nothing but the power of sheer will, impressive determination, and an Arduino. The 8×8 red LED matrix is driven by the wonderful Max7219 display driver, and a 3-axis accelerometer and battery charging circuit fills out the build. On the software side, [Vojtak] has written a number of apps for his console including Snake, a maze game, and a lot of stuff that uses the built-in accelerometer.

As an entry to our Fubarino Contest,  [Vojtak] needed to implement our URL as an easter egg. By entering the Konami code and going into the console’s image viewer, you have four additional slots to save your artwork which are initially filled with something resembling the title pic for this post. The most impressive easter egg for this submission comes from the maze game. At first glance, nothing looks weird, but after scrolling around the huge maze you can see “HACKADAY.COM” written with pixels. Remind us to do this when we build a hedge maze.


This is an entry in the Fubarino Contest for a chance at one of the 20 Fubarino SD boards which Microchip has put up as prizes!

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Fubarino Contest: Morse Code Christmas Baubles

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Fubarino Contest entries are starting to roll in at a faster rate. If you’re working on one you only have a few hours left! Submissions are due before 12:00am Pacific Time! This bit of inspiration is a two-fer. Both entries decided to use Morse Code to spell out the Hackaday URL.

First up, [Tariq] is getting into electronic design because his friend’s 8-year-old son [Yago] is really interested in Math and Science. The device he was working on is a little portable Morse Code message flasher (don’t miss part 2). The idea is that [Yago] can carry it around and pretend it’s a spy device containing a secret message. It might as well be since your average Joe probably wouldn’t notice the irregular flashing and if they did they wouldn’t be able to decode it without some help. The device is built around an ATtiny85. Normally it displays a Christmas greeting for [Yago]. But at the end of the cycle, or at power-up, it flashes the Hackaday URL at an extreme rate. Can anyone actually decode this without putting it on a logic analyzer?

The second offering is in the form of a blinky Christmas tree. [Jim] built the Arduino-compatible ornament for the holidays. It does a great job of flashing a bunch of different patterns, and it wasn’t too much work for him to make it flash the URL.


This is an entry in the Fubarino Contest. Submit your entry before 12/19/13 for a chance at one of the 20 Fubarino SD boards which Microchip has put up as prizes!

Fubarino Contest: Game Boy Printer

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[Dave] has a Game Boy Printer and loves the Mario-themed Easter egg that prints while holding the feed button during power-up. When he heard that Microchip gave us some Fubarino boards for our Easter Egg Contest, this hardware immediately came to mind and he set out to add a Hackaday Easter egg to the printer.

To tinker with the hardware, [Dave] built on the work of [Furrtek]—featured here a few years ago—which simplified the process of printing directly from an Arduino board. Connecting the TX and RX lines of the Arduino triggers the new Easter egg. He demonstrates printing both of the hidden messages in the video below.

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Fubarino Contest: Battery Capacity Tester

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Here’s a project that we sadly let slip through the cracks a couple of years ago. Luckily [Brian] dusted it off and added an Easter Egg to the firmware in order to include it in the Fubarino Contest. The device is a rechargeable battery capacity tester. It discharges NiMH or NiCad batteries through a load resistor at about 1 Watt. [Brian] includes a discussion in his write-up about the hardware’s inability to work with 14500 Li-Ion cells. He includes enough info for you to figure out how to make changes to the circuit if you want to enable this option.

There is a MOSFET for switching each of the three battery positions. The ATmega168 takes readings from the cells once per second. It displays status information on a Nokia 5510 cellphone screen. This is where he chose to inject the Hackaday URL. When a cell’s discharge is complete, the image above scrolls onto the screen and remains there for a short time. See for yourself after the break.

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Fubarino Contest: A Shifter With An Easter Egg

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A few months years ago [Wes] shared a project of his on the Hackaday Forums (yes, we do have a forum and you should check it out). He created a shifter for some sim racing, greatly improving on any system that uses a keyboard.

The shifter is made out of some scrap wood, a cutting board cut with an H-gate shape, and a few arcade microswitches. A giant bolt locks into a few cabinet clasps for each gear position, and the set of microswitches connected to a USB game pad tell [Wes's] virtual car what gear he should be in.

It’s a great build, but because this is an entry for our Fubarino contest, [Wes] needed to put an easter egg with the Hackaday URL in there somewhere. To solve this problem, [Wes] upgraded the electronics with a Teensy 2.0. When the gears are shifted into 1st, 3rd, 3rd, and 7th, the Teensy blinks the URL in Morse and opens up a web browser that loads up Hackaday.

Not only is it a great build, it’s also a very, very subtle easter egg for our favorite website. Demo of the egg below.

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Fubarino Contest: Simon Says Hackaday

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When [Scott] saw our announcement of a contest to win a Fubarino, he had the remarkable insight that designing new hardware wasn’t required. Instead, he took a Simon soldering kit and added a Hackaday easter egg that beeps our favorite URL in Morse code.

[Scott]‘s entry began with a Sparkfun Simon Says Soldering Kit. It’s a great kit featuring an ATMega328, four buttons and LEDs, and a speaker. Stock, this board comes programmed with a run-of-the-mill Simon game, but it also includes a serial bootloader and a set of serial pins for reprogramming.

The new firmware for [Scott]‘s Simon uses Morse code for ‘hackaday.com’ to determine the time in between the button flashes for each round. Compared to the old-school Simon toy from the 70s, [Scott's] version seems just slightly more difficult; the game is basically the same, but trying to remember the pattern when the buttons don’t light up in a regular pattern is more challenging than usual.

Because [Scott] isn’t the greatest at Simon, he added another method to generate the full Morse for ‘hackaday.com’. While pressing one button starts a new game, holding down two buttons simultaneously will write out the full Morse of ‘hackaday.com’ on the upper left-hand button: a great easter egg that also adds some difficulty to a classic game.


This is an entry in the Fubarino Contest. Submit your entry before 12/19/13 for a chance at one of the 20 Fubarino SD boards which Microchip has put up as prizes!

Fubarino Contest: VFD Clock

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The entries for our Fubarino contest are slowly yet surely coming in. [James] already had an awesome VFD clock under his belt, and figured adding a Hackaday easter egg to his project would be simple enough.

[James'] clock is based on the TI Stellaris LaunchPad with six beautiful seven-segment VFD display tubes. The clock’s time is controlled by a DS1307 RTC chip, and a small switch-mode power supply controlled by the Stellaris boosts the power from 5 Volts to 50 Volts for the tubes. The tubes are controlled with a Max6921 VFD driver chip.

The easter egg for this project – displaying the Hackaday URL – is only shown when you power up the clock when the seconds display shows 37. That’s extremely subtle for an easter egg and just the way we like it.

All the code for [James]‘ project is up on GitHub along with the designs for the tube clock’s enclosure. Really an awesome project, and a great way for [James] to earn himself a Fubarino.

What are you waiting for? We still haven’t passed twenty entries which means your chances of winning are pretty good!

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