Hackaday Links: May 25, 2014

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[Matt] wanted his own light saber. You could argue that this is nearly as dangerous since you can’t see the beam and it doesn’t end a few feet past the business end of the grip. Plus there’s that who “not actually a Jedi” thing.

We don’t know if retro computing fans are going to love or hate this (translated). On the one hand it’s pretty cool to see a ZX81 clone up and running. On the other hand, an Amiga 600 case was sacrificed to serve as the body for the hack. [Thanks Juan]

Watchdog timer. If you know what that is your mind immediately says “good idea” when you hear the word. If you don’t know, you need to learn. Watchdogs are reset timers that are built into most microcontrollers. If your firmware gets stuck and doesn’t maintain the timer’s counter at a regular interval the watchdog it will perform a hardware reset and hopefully your hardware will start functioning again. Here’s a guide for using the watchdog in an Arduino, but the concepts are pretty much universal.

We see all kinds of stepper-motor based music machines. One of our favorites was this recent floppy drive jukebox. But not every song is going to sound good on this type of hardware. One that does sound especially neat is the Doctor Who theme on an array of 8 drives.

And finally, if you’re struggling with surface mount soldering we recommend grabbing two soldering irons. But in a pinch just grab some heavy gauge copper wire and wrap it around your soldering iron tip. It ends up being a two-point soldering iron set for the size of specific components such as 0805 resistors. [Thanks Rupert]

13 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: May 25, 2014

    1. But he is going to put that home made plasma cutter on a CNC rig, now that will be cool! And as for the Amiga 600, the post said they were starting the week with a “Heresy” and boy did they!

      1. Vertical video — Strike 1
        Plasma cutting without any UV protection — Strike 2
        In the workshop in flip-flops — Strike 3 – would not work with this idiot or his cameraman.

  1. “you can’t see the beam and it doesn’t end a few feet past the business end”


    This is a plasma cutter, not a laser. It doesn’t have a “beam” and has to be in contact with what it is cutting – no contact, no cut.

  2. not sure where to find the appropriate contact on the Hack-a-Day website – so I though I would try here. Just wanted to mention that the email subscription service has suddenly stopped. I thought it would recover, but it hasn’t since May 10th. As far as I can tell, I’m still subscribed to the email notifications of new Hack-a-Day posts. But I’m not sure how to verify this. I can only see the various posts that I’m following on here and not specifically the website itself.
    Anyone else notice this ?

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