Introducing: Hackaday Projects

Today Hackaday is launching a new site that furthers our goal of being a Virtual Hackerspace. Now you can host your own hacks and builds in a place truly worthy of what we’re all about. We present to you: Hackaday Projects.

What’s so great about it? It has a dark theme, just like the blog! Actually, the awesome of the new site is a combination of what’s already available and what we have planned. First and foremost, the site has been built from the ground up with open data in mind. This means you own what you create on Hackaday Projects. You can export your work, delete it, and use a public API to extend the usefulness of the data. Secondly, we have a range of different tools which are extremely easy and quick to use, but allow rich styling and presentation when you need it. Want to see what we mean? Go check out the NFC Voting Rig that was at The Gathering.

Where do we go from here? A huge part of that is up to you. We need Hackaday readers to get in there and tell us what works, what doesn’t work, and what needs to be added. Are you up to the task? Request your alpha testing invite now and guide Hackaday Projects to be the hosting site the Hackaday community has always dreamed about!

71 thoughts on “Introducing: Hackaday Projects

  1. Unpaid alpha and beta testers wanted for a site where you not only get to test the CMS, you also get to create the content! Use this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assist others in monetizing your hard work!

    1. I’ve built a few things that only a very limited number of people would buy, a few that weren’t profitable and many hacks that nobody would buy (e.g stuff that I needed right away like hardware programmers and tools). Most of them undocumented, with files scattered across the harddisk and computers. I’d be far happier if it helped someone…

      This is like saying github was made for testing the CMS and monetizing the software. Just think about how many projects on github are actually worth buying? Even more obvious: how many hacks featured here on hackaday are ready for the market? There’d be still much work to do to make those few good commercial products. Most of them would need professional finishing and polishing.

      As for profitable hacks I made: I wouldn’t even know how to start making money from it. Selling them would need management (supply chain, production etc.) and then you still need a place to sell your stuff. Royalties would be a better idea, but then again the companies that would be able to pay well could easily copy it and gathering enough small ones would need a lot of marketing. The latter is my (and I think a lot of other’s) only option for hobbyists and a website like HaD Projects could actually help.

      I rather make stuff, even if I don’t get money for it, than deal with all this stuff you need to deal with when you run a business. There are other ways to profit from my hacks, than selling them. I guess I’m not the only one…

  2. Oh man, This is so wonderful. I wanted to do this sooooo long ago but didn’t have the leverage to do so. I remember so many people begging us to do some kind of project hosting too. I hope people hop on board and use this!

        1. For the HaDuino, you should strip memory down to like 3k, and only have the flashing LED program burned in one-time program. Combined w/ a broken bottle opener, maybe it breaks the beer bottle or gets chunks of PCB in your beer; only then is it a useful piece of equipment! :)

          Interested in the Motorola 68k machine, be neat to see how it goes.

  3. This is very interesting. I like to look at the larger picture of this.

    There are a couple of islands in hacker/makerspace that are pretty much on their own and address completely different parts of the business side. Right now they are still surprisingly disconnected.

    These are the areas I see right now, what am I missing?

    News-channel: HAD, EEVblog, etc.
    Community/bbs:, AVRfreaks, EEVblog, 430oh, and some local sites like (german),
    Community/network: github
    Presentation: Blogs, instructables, and now HAD
    PCB manufacturing: OSH Park, several chinese
    Components source: Sparkfun, Adafruit, lots of smaller ones
    low volume production: Seedstudio, elecrow, itead (all chinese)
    Marketplace (resell): tindie, (ebay)
    Fundraising: kickstarter and that other site.

    It is very clear that all of these would benefit a lot from further integration, but curiosly not a lot of this has happened. I guess this is mostly because none of the involved parties is able to finance agressive expansion in any area, let alone “moonshot” projects.

    So, we are seeing now that HAD is trying to grab land on another island. Who’s next?

    Obviously there are some parts of the business that funnel more cash than others and are therefore able to invest more easily. Some parts seem surprisingly weak and scattered a lot. For example, I find it surprising that there isn’t a larger english language BBS. Also, given the existence of fundraising, marketplace and production, I wonder why there isn’t more integration with a fulfilment/dropship service?

    1. well, there are a few islands that I specifically wanted to target ages ago. I asked for project hosting, community, and even wanted to do basically what oshpark is doing, but he did it MUCH better than I imagined.

      I also wanted to do a market place/ trading place for projects and parts but ran into legal issues with that. (businesses wanted to sneak in).

    1. LOL. Really, I just spent a couple hours going through old blogs and web pages to collect up a bunch of projects. I have many, many more still to upload, but their info is scattered and not easy to just upload quickly. It started to occur to me the hundreds of projects I’ve done over the years that were never photographed at all and are now long gone, other than a pile of undocumented code in a buried subdirectory on my PC.

      Long term, I think this new site is going to be really great for the maker/hacker world, just like how Facebook has made sharing personal stuff so much easier.

        1. I’m currently cramming to get the audio library to a 1.0 release, or even some sort of official release with actual documentation other than having to study the source code. It’s really getting close. You’ll know when it’s ready, since I’ll submit a tip when there’s published pages and a video demo. I’ve been working on this library for over half a year now and it’s sooooo close….

          Let’s look at the DMA article after the audio library is out.

  4. The layout is confusing for me. Hard to orientate in it, it is very wide, lots of empty space.
    There are unfinished projects – just a few pictures with no sources or schematics. It would be nice to have option to filter it out.

    Though, it is nice. I can’t wait for beta or even final version.

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you see the potential.

      Yes, there are some sorting features on the test branch right now. We’re working out the kinks before pushing it to production.

      I agree on the empty space. We’ll be tightening things up as we go along. We also have not finished mobile optimization so viewing it there will get better too.

      1. Some more thoughts: projects overview contains now only project name and huge picture. It would be nice to decrease the picture size, as some of them are upscaled, pixels are visible and looking “cheap”. Huge pictures are looking like it’s overcorwded.
        It would be nice to have a few senteces about the project on projects overview, between projects picture and project name, some kind of project abstract. You can limit it to something like 100 letters or so (127 letters comes to mind).

  5. I have an unrelated thought: Make it right, Holmes on Homes HaD style.

    Taking selected “Failed of the Week” projects to the next level of interaction by doing proper engineering and resources (*sponsers apply here*) required to fix it instead of just us talking about it.

    1. Do you mean a special type of project calling for people to join?

      Might be cool to have a ‘needs-support’ tag or something so you can find projects that need hackers to jump in and help out.

    1. I agree. Forums have not been my thing since I stopped frequenting xbox-scene forums way back in the day. I suppose I also used to spend a huge amount of time on avrfreaks. Anyway…

      I think Hackaday Projects makes it a lot easier for hackers with similar interests to interact. I’ve made a few really strong friendships online (my wife teases me by calling them my internet boyfriends), but only just a few. I think there’s way more room for finding people who will recognize the awesome in the stuff you’re hacking. Obviously Hackaday is the first place I would look… well, the local Hackerspace too but not everyone has that option.

  6. Some thoughts –
    (Main Page – Many projects)
    I think the wide page is at the expense of quality navigation. I would like to see a filter system that includes tags like Arduino, Micro-controller, FPGA on the side of the main page. Other filters could be, Fail, Just started, In progress, Almost completed, Completed – as many projects take a long time.
    (Project page – Single project)
    As an example, I just started a hack on an old retro-computer. Unfortunately when it came out of storage, it didn’t work. Repairing it is part of the ‘project’ for me but for HAD only the ‘hack’ at the end is significant. If I have a windows like folder system to organise the project I could place the ‘hack’ in a sub-folder of the ‘project’ root folder making it easy for HAD to link to the significant part. The same folder system could also be used as a filter, the default being to present the project parts in chronological order or alternatively choose folders such as Code development, Hardware prototyping, Construction etc.

    In the above what I really mean by folder is hierarchy in structure where the structure can be chosen by the project developer.

    Another thing that seems to be missing is code boxes with code highlighting. There are many of these written in Javascript. While the Javascript ones are not as broad to cover the range of different languages here they still go a long way as an improvement over a plain text like box. You would be surprised how well they do with a language they’re not intended for.

    Not everyone likes to read code. For many it’s just so to save page real estate it would be best for the code boxes to be just big enough to show that there is some code but also be expandable. For a non-coder, seeing code is an uncomfortable experience.

    Above I mentioned a hack being a part of a project. In reality the hack is at the end of a project. Often the hack is simply a solution to some difficulty that is experienced along the way. If users are able to upload the whole project and not just the hack then they will start using your service from the beginning and collecting resources along the way such as documents, code, pictures, videos. Personally if I was only able to upload the actual hack then I probably wouldn’t as I have moved into the hack phase before I have actually thought about it as being a hack so I would most probably have lost the opportunity to take pictures of the project at a previous stage.

    I hope this offers som ‘food for thought’. Thanks.

    1. Repairing it is part of the ‘project’ for me but for HAD only the ‘hack’ at the end is significant.

      Not true, in fact we have have a whole category on the blog for Repair Hacks

      Regarding code boxes and highlighting, yes… this needs many more features.

      As far as worrying about what’s really interesting for Hackaday, I would hammer out as much info as you can using the Build Logs. When you get to the “end” (is there really even an end?) you can then decide what you want the narrative of the project to look like and fill that out in the Project Details. I did this with the NFC Voting project and linked back to the pertinent build logs (which themselves go into deeper details on narrower parts of the project).

  7. Other thoughts —

    The organization of most any project is going to have source code, schematics/diagrams, bill of materials, board artwork, instructions, links/resources, etc…incorporating these fields would be an awesome. And of course the always needed progress indicators/milestones (assuming this will be used to host projects from beginning to end. Possibly a little update box at the top where a specific request can be asked of the author?

    Many of my projects involve reverse engineering things. I often end up with a folder filled with datasheets, useful software, reference material, pictures, LA/Scope captures, binary dumps, etc…

    For example, a project I have been working on off and on for quite a few years now is the reverse engineering of the Alive animatronic Elvis bust. I have collected a ton of data on it. Conveying the project requires breaking it up into subassemblies and tackling each one separately. In the past, posting about a project of that size results in the TL&DR responses or people asking questions I already answered in the text. I would love to have it somewhere where I can post the bits I know and outline the parts I still need help figuring out.

    This would also help us to help others when we can clearly see what they need help with and have quick access to the reference materials and what has been done so far.

    1. Well, I feel a little stupid now. Just looked at the NFC Voting article and indeed it has many of the things I suggested. I guess I was looking at posts that weren’t as well formatted.

  8. I love this! It would be cool if people could “categorize” their comments on a project (perhaps with a checkbox menu) so they can label their comment as a project suggestion or tip. that way project creators can easily filter through all of the comments to see which comments are offered as advice for their project.

    just my $0.02 though. Great work guys!

      1. Have you ever wanted to scroll down and click the, for example, “Our Policies” link in the footer of a page that had auto loading?

        Ever scrolled a while, found an article to read, clicked it, read it, hit the browser’s Back button, and found yourself at the top of page one again?

        Those are my two biggest reasons. Number two can be solved if the JS is written intelligently, but it most often isn’t…

        1. I guess that i have never had that problem when i click on an article and go back my location is always saved. If it was implemented the policy link could be moved to the side but i doubt that will happen… :/

  9. I have only one concern:

    If it gets popular, what will be preventing the site, to try to monetize on top of it?

    I’m throwing only a possible idea in the pool:
    When you have a successful hack, you decide to turn it into an actual product, you start to sell, and you are required to give royalty back to hackaday projects site.

    Kind of app store for hardware projects. Just like what google and apple does for mobile apps.

    I still need to figure out how to implement inside a *hardware* project the in-app purchase idea. It is kind of working for games.
    Need to reimplement that for hardware.

    Gimme a few weeks, this idea needs a load of more work from my side.
    I have yuan signs rolling in my eyes (as opposed to dollar signs).
    Need to make all those chinese pcb shops to my slavery and also alibaba and also…

    Oh wait, it is not my site….

    1. Not sure if stopping the site monetizing is what HaD been doing though. It is not like HaD has a strong policy/history against Kickstarter projects or unsolicited product placements.

      I think I would actually like to see a tag for asking for help to turn a personal project into a product. How many times have anyone here sees a project and immediately “wanted” one, but the project is beyond the skill levels of the readers and too much for the project owner to turn into a product? For a hardware+software project, it is an insane among of work for making that big step/responsibility for DFM even if you do get some Kickstarter funding. I can’t even imagine the among of work to get to the Kickstarter stage.

      May be there do need to be some minimum quality requirement for project documentation/logs/design that is available to HaD and its readers. I don’t want to see project posted without enough material at least for skillful readers (and not the spoon-fed types) to try to reproduce nor “reblogged” post without comments here either just for google whoring.

      I’ll let HaD and their sponsors figure how the royalties/commissions side of things. What the sponsors get out of this is the marketing data/feedback on interest for the readers of this site. What the reader get may be a stream of projects worthy to be a product instead of those I-duct-taped-a-LED-to-my-arduino-shield-thingy lame projects.

    2. I have this concern too. If HaD puts somewhere a message like “we don’t own any of the projects showed here” I would be very relieved.
      Even if I don’t have any project deserving be posted anywhere, but could…

        1. Yes, but what SF says is not like what I was thinking…

          – “You agree to irrevocably waive (and cause to be waived) any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to your User Content.”
          Supply Frame will have the rights to use all designs as they please, and even if they use some users’ design in a product that profits millions, they are not legally forced to pay the user.
          It’s something like “your project is not ours, but we can do whatever we want with it, and you don’t have the right to complain, or be paid, or whatever.”
          They can even sell it to third parties, to their own profit, and we gain nothing.
          Or am I wrong?

          Of course I support the idea that SupplyFrame must monetize on HaD, but I am not comfortable with this initiative. And no, I don’t want to grant “irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free and fully paid, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, prepare derivative works of, incorporate into other works, and otherwise use your User Content, and to grant sublicenses” of my projects.

          1. To be blunt…yes you’re wrong.

            These clauses are there solely to enable us to run the service without exposing us to liability. If you look at the clause you quoted it actually ends with ‘solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Services’. I can’t really make direct statements about the terms since I am not our lawyer and don’t want to invalidated anything but have a think about what the terms mean in the context of caching content on CDNs and suchlike.

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