Unix On Your Breadboard

As smartphones continue to get bigger and bigger, the race to have the smallest chip running Unix (or Linux, as the case may be) is still on. A new contender in this arena is [Serge] who has crammed RetroBSD on a Fubarino microcontroller for a powerful breadboard-friendly device.

The device uses a PIC32MX795 processor to run version 2.11BSD Unix for microcontrollers. It uses only 128 kbytes of RAM which is great for the limited space available, but it doesn’t skimp on software. It has a C compiler, assembler, and a whole host of other utilities that you’d expect to find in something much more powerful. All of this comes in a package that has breadboard-compatible pins so you can interface your Unix with the real world.

There’s a video below that shows the device in action, and a whole host of instructions that’ll get you up and running in no time if you have the hardware available. [Serge] mentioned that this would run on other architectures but is looking for others to join the project to port it to those processors. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen *nix installed on a microcontroller, but it is one of the more useful ones!

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Fubarino Contest: Hackaday Tells You You’re A Terrible Pilot


[Mikko] is in to flying F3B racers – remote control airplanes with a three meter wingspan. These races require the pilot to know how much time he has left, and when flying a remote controlled airplane to the edges of visual contact, it’s just not possible to look down and check a stopwatch.

To solve this problem, [Mikko] created a talking F3B timer to announce the flight time and how much time is left in 30 second increments. It’s based on a WTV020 audio module that plays audio from an SD card.  Right now it’s just in the prototype phase, but he does have some code and documentation online.

As for the easter egg, [Mikko] programmed his timer so that if the flight lasts exactly 33 seconds (with millisecond resolution), the Hackaday URL is displayed on the Nokia LCD. We’re betting a flight time of 33 seconds would be highly correlated with a horrible malfunction and the loss of a thousand dollar airframe, so we’re more than happy to cheer [Mikko] up if he eventually sees this easter egg in the field.

Video of the talking timer speaking Finnish below, and a video showing off what these huge sailplanes can do right here.

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: LED Matrix Game Console


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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