Hackaday Links: March 25, 2013

Illegal, yet impressive

cans

Want a soda? Just grab a robot, shove it in a vending machine, and grab yourself one. This video is incredibly French, but it looks like we’ve got a custom-built robot made out of old printers and other miscellaneous motors and gears here. It’s actually pretty impressive when you consider 16 ounce cans weigh a pound.

UNOBTANIUM

chip

Okay, we got a lot of emails on our tip line for this one. It’s a group buy for a programmable oscillator over on Tindie. Why is this cool? Well, this chip (an SI570) is used in a lot of software defined radio designs. Also, it’s incredibly hard to come by if you’re not ordering thousands of these at a time. Here’s a datasheet, now show us some builds with this oscillator.

Chiptune/keygen music anywhere

keygen

[Huan] has a co-loco’d Raspi and wanted a media server that is available anywhere, on any device. What he came up with is a service that streams chiptune music from your favorite keygens. You can access it with Chrome (no, we’re not linking directly to a Raspberry Pi), and it’s extremely efficient – his RAM usage didn’t increase a bit.

Take it on an airplane. Or mail it.

bomb

[Alex]‘s hackerspace just had a series of lightning talks, where people with 45-minute long presentations try to condense their talk into 10 minutes. Of course the hackerspace needed some way to keep everything on schedule. A simple countdown timer was too boring, so they went with a fake, Hollywood-style bomb. No, it doesn’t explode, but it still looks really, really fake. That’s a good thing.

Printers have speakers now?

nokia

[ddrboxman] thought his reprap needed a nice ‘print finished’ notification. After adding a piezo to his electronics board, he whipped up a firmware hack that plays those old Nokia ringtones. The ringtones play over Gcode, so it’s possible to have audible warnings and notifications. Now if it could only play Snake.

Re:load, an Open Source Dummy Load

Re:load

When testing power supplies or LEDs, a constant current dummy load is needed. These devices will draw a constant amount of current, regardless of the voltage at the input terminals.

[Nick] was looking for a load to test out a power supply, and found commercial offerings to be too large, too powerful, and most importantly, too expensive. This lead to the design of the Re:load, his open source alternative.

Like other constant current sources, the Re:load uses an opamp to control a pass element. While most constant current loads will just use a transistor, [Nick] opted for a BTS117 smart low side switch IC. This device has a built in current limiter, over-voltage protection, over-temperature protection, and short circuit protection, which makes it much safer. The project write up goes into detail on how the device works.

If you need a constant current load, [Nick] is selling kits on Tindie. All the design files are available on Github so that you can build your own.

Tindie gets Fundraisers for kickstarting and group buys

tindie

The etsy of electronics project, Tindie, has a brand new feature: It’s a Kickstarter-esque endeavor called a Fundraiser that allows you to sell your projects to other electron enthusiasts.

Of course the new Tindie Fundraisers may soon be just another Kickstarter clone for “exciting,” “new,” and “innovative” Arduino dev boards, something we’ve lamented before. We’re really interested in seeing Tindie used as a platform for group buys; a solution to a maker’s special hell where buying one component costs $100, but ten cost $200.

Already there are a few really cool projects up on the Tindie Fundraisers including a breadboardable Parallax Propeller dev board. Yes, someone finally made one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

In addition to the new Fundraisers, [emile] also closed on $500k of seed funding for Tindie. It’s wonderful news for something that is sorely needed by the maker community. Tindie is also hiring, so if you’re a Django/Python wizard go drop everyone’s second favorite robotic dog a line.

Tindie is growing up

Tindie, the etsy for electronics and DIY projects is growing up. After growing 300% in August, the creator of Tindie,  [emile], is now working full-time as the head of Tindie, LLC.

Intended to be a place to connect makers with homebrew project connoisseurs, Tindie is seeing new projects and builds added every day. [emile] figures since some Tindie contributors are using the platform as the source of their livelihood, the least he could do would be to focus his energies into turning Tindie into a profitable and sustainable enterprise.

From the humble beginnings of an empty storefront, Tindie has grown large enough to feature some very cool projects such as a GoPro time lapse control board, a CNC router control board, a LiPo charger the size of a USB plug, a Raspi case milled out of a billet of aluminum, and a gag gift we wouldn’t want to take through airport security. Not bad for a web site that only launched a few months ago.

Hackaday Links: August 3, 2012

Oh cool we’re famous

Last weekend, the Tech Team Radio Show over in Stoke-on-Trent interviewed our boss man [Caleb]. It’s a really wonderful interview, and I’m not saying that because [Caleb] signs my check. The entire show is up on Mixcloud and you can listen to the interview beginning at about 20 minutes. By the way, the guy who interviewed [Caleb] is now writing for us. Please welcome [Richard] to our motley crew.

Group buys are an awesome idea

We’ve seen Tindie, an Etsy for your electronics projects, a few times before. [emile] put up a blog post showing the impressive stats for the first month: $646 went to makers and nearly 29,000 unique pageviews. [emile] is working on a new project called Starter. This feature allows makers to gauge interest in their project and organize group buys for rare and esoteric components. We can’t wait to see this feature go live, and of course we’ll plug it when it does.

First Tindie, now fixie

[Adam] needed a way to store his bike, so he made a swinging wall mount for his fixie. The mount is bolted to a door frame and since it swings it’s never in the way.

The latest advances in blanket technology

During the opening ceremony for the Olympics, [schobi] saw some really cool light-up blankets. From this picture it really looks like these blankets are emitting light, but we have no idea how this was done. Does anyone have an idea on how this effect was produced?

coughRaspberryPicough

[Craig] needed a way to mount PCBs that didn’t have any mounting holes. He came up with a laser cut Delrin clip and put the file up on Thingiverse.

An Etsy for electronics

A few months ago we caught wind of Tindie, a site that gives builders, tinkerers, makers, and hackers a place to sell their projects. Well, Tindie has gone live and it looks to be cooler than we expected.

Already there are some pretty awesome projects available on Tindie such as a truly awesome MIDI keyboard, an Arduino synthesizer, and even a robot that plays Angry Birds.

In addition to giving makers a place to sell their wares, Tindie also offers a place to post want ads. If you have an idea for a project but don’t have the skills or tools to pull it off, Tindie is just the place for you. Any builder is free to make a bid for jobs that include a sonic screwdriver TV-b-gone or a Pip boy

Hopefully, Tindie will pick up some steam and fill the role of a much geekier Etsy. For now, though, we eagerly await the eventual Tindie/regretsy mashup showcasing perpetual motion machines and alien overlord detectors.

Tindie: an etsy for electronics

If you have a finished project you’re now bored with, here’s Tindie. It’s a one-man operation headed b [emile] that hopes to connect makers with people who think DIY projects are really cool and have money.

There are already a few websites that cater to the builder who wants to sell projects: Kickstarter for one, but this is based on the concept of campaigns. Tindie aims to be a techie etsy, according to [emile]‘s market research post on reddit;  a places for makers with a soldering iron to sell stuff, but who are baffled by the concept of knitting.

Right now there’s nothing to buy on Tindie – [emile] is looking for hackers to sell their projects so the store doesn’t launch with an empty stockroom. If you’ve got an old project sitting on your shelf that you’d like to sell, put it up. [emile] is only taking 5% of the sales – just enough to pay for the hosting. Hopefully it will be popular enough for the eventual Tindie/regretsy blog.