Hackaday Links: December 5, 2012

PS1 hombrew competition

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The PlayStation Development Network is hosting a six-month long competition to develop homebrew games for the original PlayStation.We don’t get many homebrew games for old systems in our tip line, so if you’d like to show something off, send it in.

This is how you promote a kickstarter

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[Andy] has been working on an SNES Ethernet adapter and he’s finally got it working. Basically, it’s an ATMega644 with a Wiznet adapter connected to the second controller port. The ATMega sends… something, probably not packets… to the SNES where it is decoded with the help of some 65816 assembly on a PowerPak development cartridge. Why is he doing this? To keep track of a kickstarter project, of course.

What exactly is [Jeri] building?

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[Jeri] put up an awesome tutorial going over the ins and outs of static and dynamic flip-flops. There’s a touch of historical commentary explaining why dynamic registers were used so much in the 70s and 80s before the industry switched over to static designs (transistors were big back then, and dynamic systems needed less chip area). At the end of her video, [Jeri] shows off a bucket-brigade sequencer of sort that goes through 15 unique patterns. We’re just left wondering what it’s for.

Finally, a camera for the Raspberry Pi

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In case you weren’t aware, the camera board for the Raspberry Pi will be released sometime early next year. Not wanting to wait a whole month and a half, [Jouni] connected a LinkSprite JPEG serial camera to his Raspberry Pi. The whole thing actually works, but [Jouni] didn’t bother posting the code. Maybe we can encourage him to do so?

Blatant advertising? Yes, but fireballs

Nintendo gave [MikenGary] a Wii U and asked them to make a film inspired by 30 years of Nintendo lore and characters. They did an awesome job thanks in no small part to Hackaday boss man [Caleb](supplied the fire), writer [Ryan] (costume construction) and a bunch of people over at the Squidfoo hackerspace.

[Jeri] shows off a delta sigma ADC

[Jeri] has had a bear of a time moving up to Valve Software, but electron microscope is safely in her garage (!) and her electronics lab is slowly taking shape. Since she can’t bring out the real-life gravity gun she’s working on, she decided to show off a one-bit ADC that uses just a flip-flop to sample an analog waveform  into digital data.

By toggling the clock input of a 74xx74 (or any flip-flop, really) and feeding the complimentary output to back into the data input, [Jeri] can get an output that is a 50% duty cycle feeding into the input of the chip. Adding an audio input to this data input with 10k pot to this feedback loop will cause the duty cycle to change in relation to the analog input, making a one-bit ADC.

As with any electronic shortcut, there are a few drawbacks: the clock cycle feeding into the flip-flop has to be pretty fast; at least a few dozen kilohertz if you’re sampling audio. Still, if you don’t have a free ADC pin, or you’d just like to build a bitcrushing guitar pedal, it’s a very simple (and cheap) way to get analog into a digital micro.

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PLL 101

[Jeri Ellsworth] and former Commodore Computer engineer and current full time tinkerer [Bil Herd] have a little chat on skype covering the 101′s of Phase Lock Loops in this hour long video. PLL’s are handy for many applications, but their basic use is to keep clock signals in sync.

Topics covered include: Why we care, a basic explanation for the CD4046, capture ranges, and meta stability. Examples from analog tv, to clock recovery, finding falling edges and FPGA’s. This thing is jam packed full of information.

With talks of future episodes and a quick tour of [Bil's] bench this is something to not miss. Join us after the break for the video!

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Jeri Ellsworth’s shooting gallery

Back with another interesting vidoe, [Jeri Ellsworth] once again brings us an amusing and educational hack. This time she’s made a “shooting gallery” in the style of the old arcade games that actually used projectiles. In her version however, she’s using LEDs in the targets which are detected by the gun.  In an effort to keep the feel the same, she rigged up a pinball bell to ding at the appropriate times and it is quite effective.

As usual, she does a great job of breaking everything down and explaining how it all works. She shows us around her prototype so you can see how it is constructed, if you can make it through the solder gun shootout in the beginning.  If she were to continue with this project beyond the functional prototype stage, we’d love to see small video clips being displayed for the targets pepper’s ghost style. Maybe we’re just having fond memories of Time Traveler.

A-Z of Electronics – Capacitors

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[Jeri Ellsworth] recently released another video in her “A-Z of Electronics” series – this time Capacitors are the subject. As a penance for my boneheaded AC Capacitor suggestion yesterday (I swear it was lack of sleep talking), [Caleb] suggested that I be the one to write this article. Since I’m not an electrical engineer (I majored in Comp Sci), I enjoy watching these videos, and I share them with individuals who are new to electronics. [Jeri] always presents the subject matter in a clear and concise manner, so the subjects do not seem daunting or intimidating.

She briefly discusses the early development of capacitors, including Leyden Jars, then focuses on modern capacitors and their usage. She covers wiring capacitors in circuits, demonstrating the difference between series and parallel configurations, as well as how electrode distance affects capacitance.

If you have a spare minute, be sure to check out her current video as well as those she has previously released.

Jeri getting her own show?

[Jeri Ellsworth] has been very excited about this new opportunity. She sent us a “pilot video“, so we’re assuming that there will be more to come.  In the pilot, she explains how to build a musical art installation that will play music when a viewer is in position. She covers several different ways to detect the presence of the person, ultimately landing on using a PIR sensor for detection. We can’t wait to see where this show goes, but we hope she continues to do her own hacking videos as well.

555 Design Contest, Win $1500+ in prizes!

Sure, microcontrollers are useful, easy to apply, and ubiquitous, but where is the fun in the easy route? Well, for those of you out there with a little imagination and a 555 timer sitting around, there could be rewards in store. Brought to you by such famous personalities as Jeri Ellsworth and Chris Gammell, the 555 contest has prizes and awards for a number of different categories, such as over the top designs as well as awards for most minimalistic. To top it all off, they are even selling T-shirts to benefit engineering education charities.

The craziest (and possibly coolest) part of the entire contest is that the it has all been put together by the hacking community, with no exclusive sponsorship deals or payment to the organizers being accepted. In the spirit of giving, we will be adding some Hack a Day merch to the swag pile, so keep an eye out for the skull and wrenches. Currently the prize list includes a pair of Beagle Boards, a custom hacked Commodore 64 Joystick from Jeri, as well as a number of other project parts and lots more. The sponsorship list is still growing, so all of our information is tentative (and exclusive!), but be sure to check out the complete list so far after the break.

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