Reading NAND flash with an Arduino

[HC] took a gander around the Googles and saw a number of people trying to read NAND flash chips with an Arduino. It’s an interesting problem; at 16 Megahertz, [HC] is looking at about 60 nanoseconds per instruction cycle, and flash chips normally operate around 20 ns. He got the build working, and was able to read the memory contents and ID of a flash chip.

Right now, it’s just a proof-of-concept to demonstrate that reading flash memory is possible. [HC] used an Arduino Mega to pull the manufacture ID off a flash chip. Because there isn’t exactly a whole lot of storage on an Arduino to hold Megabytes of data, so [HC] is looking for a way to pull data off his flash chip. He’s considering sending it over Ethernet or storing it on an SD card.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a roundabout way to use those cheap, ubiquitous NAND flash chips. Considering we’ve got a few dozen of them housed in unused thumb drives, [HC]’s work shows a lot of potential. He posted a topic on his forum to see if there’s any interest in further developments, something we’d like to see.

Milling ice molds for craft cocktails

Want some fancy ice for your next cocktail party? You can try to find spherical ice-cube trays but you won’t get the kind of results seen here. It turns out the trick to this isn’t how you freeze the water, it’s how you melt the ice.

[Brendan O’Connor] started this project after seeing an ice mold that could make beautiful shapes rather than just cubes. But the price tag was $1400. If he could make his own at a hackerspace we’d bet that would pay his membership for an entire year!

The concept is pretty simple. The video after the break shows the mold he was trying to recreate. It’s two hunks of metal with a shape milled into them. The mold is pre-heated, then an oversized hunk of ice is placed between the blocks. The heat melts away the parts you don’t want, and leaves a perfectly shaped ice orb in between. Gravity is responsible for pulling the mold halves together as they slide along some machined rods.

With a big hunk of scrap aluminum he milled two halves of a sphere. They can be sufficiently heated if held under running water, and a some leftover printer rails keep the two parts aligned as the ice orb is formed. Now [Brendan] just needs to work on his method of creating a crystal-clear ice block as a starter and he’ll have achieved total win.

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