Hackaday Links: October 6, 2013


The iBeacon has been all over the interwebs lately. Here’s a riff on the Arduino Pro MIni that adds a BLE module. It can be used to make an iBeacon clone. You can also hack a VTag keyfinder to operate in much the same way.

Remember that post about pulling a QR Code generator into Google Docs? One could argue that the best use of this functionality is to add labels to your parts storage that lead back to the product page for the component. [Thanks Nicholas]

[Michael] wrote in to share his crowd funding campaign. He is a school teacher and wants to publish a detective story that gets kids excited about STEM.

Our own [James Hobson] made the first cut to be [Adam Savage’s] new assistant. He’s the [TheHacksmith] (read our staff page if you don’t believe us) and is the third entry featured in this vignette. Apparently they’ve got something against Canadians because they say he’s ineligible due to his nationality!?

If you’ve ever been confused about the features of different Xbee modules this comparison chart may be of assistance.

A couple of weeks ago we learned about a contest put on by TheControllerProject. [TouchStone936] gets credit for quick, easy, and functional. His solution to making shoulder buttons more accessible includes hot-glue, a golf tee, and a binder clip. Pretty clever!

Wanting a better color of backlight for his eReader, [Vivek Gani] cracked it open and applied Kapton Tape as a gel to soften the hue.

And finally something very silly. If you put a strong enough prop on the front, you can get just about anything to fly. This instance involves a flying pizza box which to us looks particularly un-flight-worthy. [via Gizmodo]

8 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: October 6, 2013

    1. I think it means gel, as in the theatrical / stage lighting sense, meaning a bit of coloured plastic you can mount in front of lamps without it melting. Rather than the traditional gelatinous sense.

  1. The solution for the Xbox controller is nice and simple but appears to work well. I’m impressed. I spent a bit of time trying and come up with a similar bracket, but just couldn’t figure out the to attach it to the controller. There’s a bit of relief in seeing just how it should work. I bet that golf tee paper clip combo cut be upgraded with a laser cut or 3d printed piece.

  2. “publish a detective story that gets kids excited about STEM”

    Here in the States – Bwahahahahahahahahaha

    That would be just plain cruel getting kids today interested in a career in STEM. By the time they graduate, there won’t be any STEM jobs left in the States. The reason STEM jobs go unfilled today is that employers (i.e. Big Biz) don’t want to pay the going rates for an American – they’ll hold off until more work visa’s are arranged (i.e. bought) from Congress and hire 3 foreign workers for the price of one domestic worker.

    I came to the States in the 80’s as a Molecular Biophysicist (a glorified biochemist) back when there was still money in science, now I’m glad I’m tenured and on my way to emeritus status before the field is completely washed away. Luckily my two oldest daughters decided to go into finance and nursing (my youngest is still holding out for either a witch or a princess – thanks Harry Potter).

    I tell all the kids skip Uni and become a electrician, a plumber, or an auto mechanic – careers that can’t be off shored. If they want a “professional job” stick with hands on type medicine (but even that is becoming more off shored with people taking hip surgery or dental implant vacations to Europe or South American or even India).

    STEM in America is a dead horse, American’s in general don’t give a shit, and after their abysmal public education are too stupid to know why it’s important and how the absent of STEM in America will be the beginning of the end of America being a super power.

  3. Having a QR code on an envelope is good, but it should lead to a file on your local system.

    I’ve downloaded and stored all the PDF’s for each component in my lab in one place, and taken the trouble to rename the file to be the part number and quick description.

    Now if I need a power transistor, I search for files “*ower*” in that directory and get a list of all parts in the lab that have “Power” in the name.

    The internet connection could be down, PDFs can move around on the manufacturer’s website or disappear, and sometimes equivalent PDFs can be better or worse depending on manufacturer (compare the 74LSxx sheets from Signetics, Fairchild, and TI).

    My take is that a little bit of effort on the front end saves a lot of time on the back end. Sorting once at the beginning will eventually save time over N episodes of rummaging through a pile.

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