Hackaday Links: April 27, 2014



The HackFFM hackerspace in Frankfurt finally got their CO2 laser up and running, and the folks there were looking for something to engrave. They realized the labels on IC packages are commonly laser engraved, so they made a DIP-sized Arduino. The pins are labelled just as they would be on an Arduino, and a few SMD components dead bugged onto the pins provide all the required circuitry. Video here.

A few years ago, we heard [David Mellis] built a DIY cell phone for an MIT Media Lab thingy. Apparently it’s making the blog rounds again thanks to the Raspi cell phone we featured yesterday. Here’s the Arduino cell phone again. Honestly we’d prefer the minimalist DIY Nokia inspired version.

The Raspberry Pi is now a form factor, with the HummingBoard, a Freescale i.MX6-powered clone, being released soon. There’s another form factor compatible platform out there, the Banana Pi, and you can actually buy it now. It’s an ARM A20 dual core running at 1GHz, Gig of RAM, and Gigabit Ethernet for about $60. That SATA port is really, really cool, too.

[Richard] has been working on a solar-powered sun jar this winter and now he’s done. The design uses two small solar panels to charge up two 500F (!) supercapacitors. There’s a very cool and very small supercap charging circuit in there, and unless this thing is placed in a very dark closet, it’ll probably keep running forever. Or until something breaks.

Here’s something awesome for the synth heads out there: it’s an analog modeling synthesizer currently on Indiegogo. Three DCOs, 18dB lowpass filter, 2 envelopes and an LFO, for all that classic Moog, Oberheim, and Roland goodness. It’s also pretty cheap at $120 USD. We really don’t get enough synth and musical builds here at Hackaday, so if you’re working on something, send it in.

A glass-based PCB? Sure. Here’s [Masataka Joei] put gold and silver on a piece of glass, masked off a few decorative shapes, and sandblasted the excess electrum away. [Masataka] is using it for jewelery, but the mind races once you realize you could solder stuff to it.

18 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: April 27, 2014

  1. Sun Jar – are people so brain addled these days that they can’t read a page or two instead of sitting thru a mind numbing 12 minutes to get the build story?

    HaD – please stop promoting projects that can’t bother to do a simple write up. Otherwise, you’re just moving all of us one step closer to making the movie IDIOCRACY (2006) a reality.

    1. I don’t know who pissed in your cornflakes this morning but I thought it was a good video, I’ve seen too many project videos that skimp on the details, poorly ‘narrated’ and poor quality footage that it was a refreshing change to see someone confident in front of the camera talking knowledgable about his project, with nice high quality close up shots and tests of board.

      Nobody forced you to watch it.

  2. I’m not sure I’d trust the Banana Pi guys to deliver a good product. Almost every sentence on that website has spelling or grammatical errors. Example:

    “BananaPi has same GPIO and circuit layout like RPi, But it got control button and TTL interface. BananaPi work perfectly with Debian. With this powerful hardware, This easy to set up an great internet service platform on it.”

    Or a more prominent one, the second sentence you read on the site right there in the first header:

    “Now, You real can do your daily works on it.”

    Now I’m not saying there’s a direct link between bad use of English and a bad product, but it is extensive on that site and it does speak to a lack of attention to detail or a lack of resources.

    1. To be fair, being good at technology in China does not always mean that you will have someone on your team with good English. How good would your Chinese be, or someone you know, at describing a product you designed ?

      1. That’s not really a fair question (for you) because I know Chinese people I could tap for translations :P You make a reasonable point though. I didn’t realise the company was Chinese because, honestly, I’m used to some really terrible (or downright insanity inducing) sites for knockoff/clone devices, whereas their’s looks like it’s had actual effort put into it to make it look good. That does make the mistakes all that more jarring though. It’s a pity they didn’t have someone they could pull on to go over the site before launch.

    1. Yes, your are the only one.

      It’s only a scanboard with 16pots connected through an analog mux to one analog input on an arduino nano.

      The nano scans the pots and send any changes over to the dsp.

      This is not about playing weird sounds on some breadboarded thing.
      It’s about boxing up the project to make a real instrument that a musician can play and use.

      And it that case, what is skeptical?

      I’m even selling the preprogrammed dsp chip on the site for to solder on to anything you like.

      I just don’t get what is wrong with some of you?

      1. It’s just that a photo of a couple of pots stuck on a piece of perfboard does not look like a working anything, and i’m afraid to say,without further explanation even a bit fake.. You are trying to have people invest in your project, so you are going to have to inspire some confidence.
        Looking at you’re indiegogo site as it stands right now, I think a video of the working prototype actually working, and an idea of how you plan to go from here to production on a measly $5000 budget would go a long way to convince potential investors that there will actually be a product..

      2. And considering the amount of backers so far, I do NOT think i’m the only one..
        As far as what is wrong with me, lots of things, the most pertinent right now the fact that I like to see people be successful..

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