Hackaday Links: May 3, 2015

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Everybody loves How It’s Made, right? How about 3D printers? The third greatest thing to come out of Canada featured Lulzbot in their most recent episode. It’s eight minutes of fun, but shame the puns weren’t better. Robertson drives and the Avro Arrow, if you’re wondering.

Speaking of 3D printers, a lot of printers are made of aluminum extrusion. Has anyone tried something like this? It’s an idea that’s been around for a while but we can’t seem to find anyone actually using 3D printed extrusion.

CastARs are shipping out, and someone made a holodeck with retroreflective material. It’s an inflatable dome that’s attached to a regular ‘ol tent that works as a positive pressure airlock. If you’re looking to replicate this, try it with hexagons and pentagons. That should be easier than the orange-slice gores.

For some reason we can’t comprehend, USB ports are now power ports. There’s still a lot of stuff that uses 9 and 12V, and for that there’s the USB 912. It’ll work better with one of those USB battery packs.

Want to see what the Raspberry Pi 2 looks like with a Flir? NOQ2 has you covered.

Remember the Speccy? In the manual, there was an exercise left to the reader: reproduce [Mahler]’s first symphony with the BEEP command. It took a Raspberry Pi (only for synchronizing several Speccys), but it’s finally done.

10 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: May 3, 2015

  1. USB912, very limited usefulness. Most devices I need 9 or 12V for draw way more than 1/4 or 1/3 Amp. Hirudinea is on to something there though. Most Laptop bricks supply plenty of current at approximately 19V. With a male-female adapter it would be easy to tap into this supply and use a buck converter while charging the laptop (provided you don’t draw to much current). Of course it could get a bit more complicated with one of the intelligent chargers.

    1. Some would argue that the TV series Heartland is Canada’s best thing. Most watched show on CBC and after 8 seasons (with #9 currently in production) Canada’s longest running, one hour scripted drama series. Exteriors are shot on location in Alberta, interiors are done in Vancouver, where the show has survived having the buildings they were renting for a studio sold out from under the production three times before finding a permanent location.

      I’d swear the camp trailer some of the characters have lived in on the show is part TARDIS. Looks somewhat bigger on the inside…

    2. 1 – Invention of Basketball.
      2 – The musical stylings of such greats as: Justin Beiber, Celine Dion, and Nickleback.

      Err, I mean, it was the best thing for Canada when those things left. Sorry America.

  2. The USB912 is not only a foolish idea, but a potentially damaging one as well. Boost converters produce copious amounts of noisy, spike laden DC that will happily fry delicate electronics all day long. I’ve seen spikes as large as 30v over the output voltage and noise anywhere and everywhere from 50 KHz to 14 MHz on some boost converters. They are only good for charging batteries (provided there are no other circuits in series) or lighting up LEDs. They’re actually better in the trash bin, as you will have every amateur radio operator for miles knocking on your door and politely asking you to stop using the thing.

    1. A boost converter is only as good as the time you spend properly filtering it. Buying one off ebay from china and finding out there is no filter capacitors and that they made inductors out of PCB traces isn’t really cause to call them all useless junk. On most SMPS chips the switching frequency is completely controllable by design and as such the output can be filtered for these frequencies with relative ease.

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