[Ian Lee, Sr] wanted to have an educational activity at his younger son’s birthday party. These were uncharted waters for him as he doesn’t remember education taking place at his own early birthday parties. But he came up with a great idea, with was to teach soldering using interactive badges which each guest could assemble themselves. He needed about twenty, so he tried to keep the BOM as small as possible. But that didn’t mean skimping on features.
You can see the black LED-type package on the left of the assembled badge above. This is an IR receiver whose counterpart transmitter is on the right side of the board. When two of these get within 6-8″ of each other the start talking back and forth. There is no microcontroller involved, instead the system relies on a multivibrator design. One of the red LEDs at the corner of the ‘smile’ is always blinking. When it is off, the IR transmitter is powered. This is picked up by another badge’s receiver, which lights the second ‘smile’ LED. You can see this happen in the short clip after the break.
Although there are relatively few components that went into this, it would take the kids a long time to put them together as they’re just learning. [Ian] and his eldest son soldered on all of the components except for the resistors beforehand.
Continue reading “Birthday badges teach kids how to solder”
Here’s a pair of LayerOne Badge hacks that actually included the RC as intended by the badge designers.
First up, we have the autonomous RC car built by [Arko]. He calls it Stanley Jr. as an homage to the Stanford DARPA Grand Challenge vehicle. It uses an Arduino shield to add a servo with an ultrasonic rangefinder on it. The lets the vehicle drive a bit, stop and scan the horizon, then drive some more. The hope is the rangefinder will keep it from running into anything. There’s a quick test run embedded after the break.
On the right is the badge hack which [Zjpahle] finished up after the contest was already over. He also chose to go with an Arduino shield, this time it’s an IMU board. But he added a standalone Arduino board to the vehicle which drives some EL wire (ground effects) and adds IR sensors to the front of the car. The IR sensors are for obstacle avoidance, and the IMU lets him tilt his badge for direction control.
We looked at the winner of the badge hacking competition on Wednesday. That hack didn’t involve the car, but used the badge as a Morse Code beacon.
Continue reading “LayerOne badge hacking twofer”
Ham skills prevail in this year’s LayerOne badge hacking contest. [Jason] was the winner with this Morse Code beacon hack.He got a head start on the competition after seeing our preview feature on the badge hardware development. It got him thinking and let him gather his tools ahead of arrival.
The hardware is segregated into two parts of the board. The lower portion is a take on the Arduino, and the upper portion is a wireless transmitter meant to control some cheap RC cars. [Jason] figured this was perfect for conversion as a CW beacon (continuous wave is what Morse Code is called if you’re a ham). The first issue he encountered was getting the badge to play nicely with the Arduino IDE. It was setup to run Slowduino firmware which uses the internal oscillator. [Jason] soldered on his own crystal and reflashed the firmware. He found that the transmitter couldn’t be directly keyed because of the shifting used in the RC car protocol. He cut the power to the transmitter, and found that it could be more accurately keyed by injecting power to one of the other pins. Check out the video after the break for a better explanation of his technique.
Continue reading “Morse code beacon wins the LayerOne badge hacking contest”
We love badges. And we’ve really got to thank [Charliex] for taking the time to write a huge post about this year’s LayerOne badges, especially since they’ve got their backs up against the deadline for pulling everything together in time.
Here it is, the stock badge on the left, with an add-on shield on the right. Now the original intent was to make this badge the chassis of an RC car. [Charliex] chewed through his development time trying to source toy cars that could be gutted for parts that would mount easily on the badge. This looked promising at first, but turned out to be folly. Instead what we have here is an Arduino compatible board with an RF transmitter which can be cut off and used separately if you wish. Attendees will be able to use the badge to take control of the toy cars (cases of them have been shipped to the conference), with the option to use the USB functionality to facilitate automation.
So what about stopping bullets? There is a bug in the module [Charliex] used to export the board design from Eagle. They came back from the fab house as 0.125″ substrate. That’s pretty beefy!
The conference is this weekend… better get on that!
The folks over at Adafruit had this idea to make “merit badges” for different achievements. One of the major achievements they mentioned was having your project posted to Hackaday. They asked our approval and got it. The badges have finally come in, so we are happy to announce them. You can purchase them directly from Adafruit, along with a plethora of other badges to adorn your projects.
[Phil Torrone] had a great idea though. To celebrate this, they are going to give away 10 badges to the projects that you, our readers, choose to be the top 10. Go on, dig back through the ranks and post links in the comments. We’ll dig through them and try to compile a list. We will then try to contact those people to send them a free badge.
[Geekabit] wrote in asking if we’d seen the 2011 CCC badges yet. The answer is NO, we haven’t seen them because the image above is the only sneek peek we can find on their broken-certificate website. But we are glad that he shared the link with us, because it does tell the tale of what hardware and firmware features will be on this year’s badge.
Right off the bat we need to applaud them for several things. Most notably, the 3.7 volt 600 mAh LiPo battery which can be recharged via the USB port. It boasts an ARM Cortex M3 processor which is running what they call and ‘unbrickable’ bootloader that is programmed via the USB port. You can see there is an LCD screen which we’d guess is about 128×128 pixels (correct us if you know otherwise). You’ll be able to interact using a 5-way button, via the RF transceiver, and possibly using an optical interface but we’re not sure that feature made it into the final design. They’ve also rolled in a shield system for extra harware so that you can design your own add-ons before you get there.
As always, if you get your hands on one of these, we want to hear all about your project as well as get an overview of the stock badge and its features so don’t forget to drop us a line.
Update: [Never_gonna] left a comment with a link to a series of posts about r0cket development including a video which we’ve embedded after the break. Thanks!
Continue reading “2011 CCC r0ket badge”
We saw this one a few days ago when it was first bouncing around the interwebs but never took a close look at it. Today, when we ran across a direct link in the tips box it was the promo video (embedded after the break) that won us over. Once you dig into the particulars of The Verbalizer we think you’ll agree that this is a hackable conference badge without the pesky need to attend a conference.
As you probably guessed from the design of the PCB, this is a microphone. It’s intended for use with Google’s new voice search feature, and connects to a computer via a Bluetooth module. But really it’s just another roll-your-own Arduino with a few extra bits. You’ll find an ATmega328 and an FTDI chip which provides a USB connection for programming. The real fun starts with the microphone and speaker circuitry which is just waiting to be breadboarded at home. We found a few other things while poking around in the schematic (available by downloading their Product Docs and Schematics package). It looks like there’s some capacitive touch… you what? Isn’t it more fun if you find this stuff yourself, kind of like the hidden gems of the DEFCON badges?
Continue reading “A badge without a conference”