Hackaday Links: July 5, 2015

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It’s the fifth of July. What should that mean? Videos on YouTube of quadcopters flying into fireworks displays. Surprisingly, there are none. If you find one, put it up in the comments.

The original PlayStation was a Nintendo/Sony collaboration. This week, some random dude found a prototype in his attic. People were offering him tens of thousands of dollars on the reddit thread, while smarter people said he should lend it to MAME and homebrewer/reverse engineer groups. This was called out as a fake by [Vadu Amka], one of the Internet’s highly skilled console modders. This statement was sort of semi retracted. There’s a lot of bromide staining on that Nintendo PlayStation, though, and if it’s a fake, the faker deserves thousands of dollars. Now just dump the ROMs and reverse engineer the thing.

Remember BattleBots? It’s back. These are my impressions of the first two episodes: Flamethrowers are relatively common now, ‘parasitic bots’ – small, auxilliary bots fighting alongside the ‘main’ bot are now allowed. KOs only count for the ‘main’ bot. Give it a few more seasons and every bot will be a wedge. One of the hosts is an UFC fighter, which is weird, but not as weird as actually knowing some of the people competing.

Ceci n’est pas un Arduino, which means it’s from the SRL camp. No, wait. It’s a crowdfunding campaign for AS200 Industries in Providence, RI.

Wanna look incredibly sketchy? Weld (or braze, or solder) your keys to a screwdriver.

The UK’s National Museum of Computing  is looking for some people to help maintain 80 BBC Micros. The museum has a ‘classroom’ of BBC micro computers still in operation. Caps dry out, switching power supplies fail, and over the years these computers start to die. If you have the skills and want to volunteer, give it a shot.

USA-made Arduinos are now shipping. That’s the Massimo Arduino, by the way.

Win $1000 for pressing a buttonWe’re gauranteed to give away a thousand dollar gift card for the Hackaday store next Wednesday to someone who has participated in the latest round of community voting for the Hackaday Prize.

28 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: July 5, 2015

  1. What’s so special about a SNES with a freaking CD-R drive attached to it’s bottom? Because only 200 pieces were ever produced and no games ever released which basically makes it quite useless? All that console stuff is made in the crappiest imaginable way, so it’s not even nice to look at it and marvel about the engineering.
    Some exotic test gear (like Tek 519, first GHz oscilloscope, Tek 7912 (funny/interesting digitizing tube), Tek P7001 (probably first digital storage scope) or eastern block computers (Robotron) are far more interesting and probably have far smaller production numbers.

    1. I dunno, I still marvel at the internal design of the GameCube:

      Just a couple of chips (combined CPU + GPU, and RAM) in a tightly coupled, well engineered small footprint. The choice of PowerPC was refreshing for devs who had to struggle with the madness of the PS2’s goofy processor and vector units. All specs were well-balanced, unlike the contemporary XBox which boasted raw numbers (“733mhz processor! Boatloads of RAM!”) and yet was hampered by bus bandwidth.

      Certainly one of the cleanest console designs – aside from arguably the choice of mini-DVD media – it says a lot that Nintendo used the same basic architecture to make the Wii.

      1. I remember thinking the same thing taking a cube apart.
        Not just the core mobo, but everything was really neatly fitted physically.

        Reminds me of another bit of smart Nintendo design;
        A (original) Nintendo DS tells if the lids closed by detecting the magnets in the speaker. Simple and pretty effective.

    2. You think like an EE and not as a game (console) collector. Even when this was rumor back when, it was talked about on many school yards. It was ALWAYS that cosole that a friend of a friend’s father’s distant 14th cousin’s nephew had and would never let anyone play it. It was quickly catapulted to the same realm as the “sky screen”, the hoverboard and whatever accessory was concocted to fill in the NES expansoon port. Not until the PSX was released did it fall to obscurity and discussed in hushed whispers only by those trying to avoid nerd persecution.

      Until now, I don’t recall any SNES/Sony collaboration ever surfacing so if this is true, it’s a big damn deal.

      It’s the way of the collector. Whatever they hunt is trash to everyone else.

      1. The Sony SNES Play Station was announced at CES’91, so it has never been a secret. The Nintendo/Philips partnership was announced the next day at the same show.

        1. Good for you. It wasn’t about it being a secret, it was about the thing existing.

          When I said collaboration, it was about the hardware. IIRC, Sony announced the partnership, Nintendo turned around and announced the Phillips deal. Hence, no Sony/Nintendo hardware made its way to the show. Hence, fabled.

  2. The PlayStation ‘Prototype’ has the power supply requirements listed right on it. 7.5 V through a barrel connector and even has the polarity markings. Looks to be the same power connector as the much later PSOne… right down to the yellow color of the barrel socket, which raises a big flag in my book. All the other connectors, save one, look to be taken from various production models of the Playstation.

    The case would probably have to have been milled with the detailing it has, but that doesn’t rule out a hobbyist making it. The ‘bromide staining’ being airbrushed on may have been a joke, but it does look like a possibility, particularly since it seems to have avoided going all the way to the controller ports.

      1. Uneven staining doesn’t mean it’s fake.

        The lighter portion under the port is because that’s the shadow of the controller plug – you need UV light and that bit missed out.

        I’ve got a washing machine with a top that’s yellow on one side, white on the other. The yellow side gets more sunlight.

    1. Am I the only one that would rather hear the fireworks instead of a music track? Would it really be that hard to put a mic on board a copter? Yes, I know the motor noise would be annoying, but who cares? Flying a quad into a fireworks display without getting any audio? FAIL! (IMHO)

  3. My thoughts on the new BattleBots: A lot of fluff and commercial that could easily be condensed into a 30 minute show. Ultimately I just record it on DVR and fast forward through all the junk… for a measly 3 to 4 matches. I loved the hell out of it as a kid, but didn’t recall the show lacking so much substance.

    1. It was made by clueless tv execs. Who cares how the bots are made, how they work, what were the hard design choices and compromises. Clearly no one wants to watch this geeky stuff, so lets cast athletes/clowns as commentators and treat whole thing like NFL game, brilliant!!!1

    2. My impression of the current bots: there are more intimidating works of art in the arena that well engineered battle machines. The wedges and flippers will clean up. Vertical spinners with enough kinetic energy to be effective are undriveable. With one exception the horizontal spinners don’t have a heavy enough weapon to be useful, and one was forced to convert to a wedge/flipper after damage in the preliminaries. Clamps are just plain ineffective.

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