Hackaday Links: January 26, 2014


The automotive industry is rolling more and more tech into their offerings. This is great for us because replacement or salvaged parts are great for projects. Here’s one component to look for. [MikesElectricStuff] tears apart the thermal imaging camera form an Audi. [via Hacked Gadgets]

Give your valentine an analog love note on the big day. [Tom’s] LED heart chaser design does it without any coding. It’s a 555 timer with CD4017 decade counter. The nice thing about the setup is a trimpot adjusts the chaser speed.

[Jan] is overclocking his Arduino to 32 MHz. For us that’s kind of an “eh” sort of thing. But his statement that you need to use a clock generator because the chip won’t work with an oscillator at that frequency raised an eyebrow. We saw an AVR chip running from a 32MHz crystal oscillator in the RetroWiz project from yesterday. So do we have it wrong or does [Jan]? Share your opinion in the comments.

Download a copy of the Apple II DOS source code… legally. Yay for releasing old code into the wild! The Computer History Museum has the DOS source code and a bunch of interesting history about it. [via Dangerous Prototypes]

While we were prowling around DP for the last link we came across [Ian’s] post on a new version of Bus Pirate cables. We’ve got the old rainbow cables which are pretty convenient. But if you’ve used them you’ll agree, hunting for the correct color for each connection isn’t anywhere near a fool-proof method. The new cable uses shrink tube printed with probe labels. They sound like a huge pain to manufacture. But this makes connections a lot easier. In our experience, when it doesn’t work its always a hardware problem! Hopefully this will mean fewer botched connections.

Make your tiny LiPo cells last longer. Not capacity wise, but physically. The delicate connections to the monitor PCB break easily, and the plug is really hard to connect and disconnect. [Sean] shows how he uses electrical tape for strain relief, and a bit of filing to loosen up the connector.

KerbalEdu: Kerbal Space Program for education. That’s right, you can play Kerbal as part of school now. Some may shake their heads at this, but school should be fun. And done right, we think gaming is a perfect way to educate. These initiatives must be the precursor to A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer method of education. Right?

7 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: January 26, 2014

  1. I like the teardown of the audi camera. Would like to score one for myself.

    And I am happy to see KSP being marketed to teachers as well. Awesomely fun game with lots of math, physics, geometry, etc… Rocket science is fun! I love seeing things that make learning fun.

  2. I have been showing off KSP to some High School physics teachers but maybe it would be better for Middle School. I think it would be a nice fun activity especially when they have a substitute or some some break in the class schedule.

    1. Just to re-iterate, there is a difference between “Crystal” and “Crystal Oscillator”…
      The crystal is basically a crystal inside a can with leads attached. A crystal oscillator is a crystal, WITH an oscillator circuit that typically runs at some higher harmonic of the crystal, in the same can. A crystal oscillator will typically have more than two leads, one for Vcc, another for Gnd, and another frequency output.

    2. See, I came here to say just this. Then I did a little look at that RetroWiz project, and he’s definitely using a plain ol’ 32MHz crystal, *not* an oscillator.

      Screen dump of the RetroWiz schematic -> http://i.imgur.com/sk5f6GA.png

      I’ll get around to having a play with this at some point, I’m now curious as hell. I wouldn’t risk it with just a crystal myself, and would go the oscillator route (or upgrade uC if I need that much speed!), but I’d like to see what the AVR can actually clock along at with a plain crystal.

      1. If nothing else, he’s running the RetroWiz at the absolute top end of the allowed voltage range: 5.5V.

        That said, I’m not certain how “8MHz dot clock” gets to “168×200”, given my memory of historical modelines.

  3. I don’t understand how anyone could think Kerbal could NOT be used as a good teaching tool. If you’re going to talk about orbital maths/physics (Which at some point every physics teacher is going to do) Kerbal can give a very clear visual representation of the effects of adding or removing energy from an orbit. Heck, combine it with some science history and explain the progress made during the space race and why it was such a challenge. Let the kids discover themselves why docking 2 vehicles in space was such a massive achievement for instance.

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