Hackaday Links: September 20, 2015

Here’s an offer from Intel and the guy behind all of reality TV [Mark Burnett]: win a million dollars for making something. Pitch an idea for wearable electronics to the producers by October 2, and you might be on a reality TV show about building electronics which they’re calling America’s Greatest Makers. With this, Intel is promoting the Curie module a tiny, tiny SoC with Bluetooth, IMU, and DSP functions. We’re of the opinion that a Hackaday reader should win this contest, or at the very least be featured prominently in the show. No, it’s not Junkyard Wars, but it’s still a million dollar prize.

[Jeremy] builds bombs clocks, and he has a Kickstarter for an interesting Nixie clock. Most Nixie tubes have digits, but [Jeremy] is using the IN-9 ‘bar’ tubes for the hour and minute hand.

The Luka EV is a semifinalist for the Hackaday Prize, and a completely open, road legal electric vehicle powered by hub motors. It also looks really, really cool.  Now, they’re selling them. It’s €20,000 for a complete car. Did I mention how cool it looks?

Boca Bearings is having a ‘Show Us Your Workshop’ contest, with the best (or should it be worst?) workshop winning tool cabinets, tool kits, a work mat, and calipers.

The EMU Drumulator is a classic drum machine that featured dirty 12-bit drum sounds in ROM. Now, it’s a single chip thanks to [Jan]. He’s done a lot of great work putting synths in single chips, and it’s great to see him move on to classic drum machines.

Offered without comment, here’s a ride through a PCB.

26 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: September 20, 2015

  1. Inre: Curie Module
    I don’t see any mention, (although I didn’t look very hard) of open source tool chain.

    A “wearable” the world really needs (and the it could utilize the Curie module)
    is an impact/concussion sensor for almost every sport. If a small enough and cheap enough,
    acceleration/MEMS sensor could be included in a helmet or even a headband. Coaches and sideline medics could pull an injured player off the field or send them to hospital once a certain impact is detected even if the players says they are okay, or an undetected hemotoma is developing.

  2. Inre: Boca
    I’m going to enter one of my messy work areas in their contest. Maybe it is providential it gets mentioned here with less than 24 hours remaining. I had days to enter, I probably would’ve missed the deadline.

    1. Wait a second… The link takes me to “wishpond.com” and a workshop contest is mentioned there, but following the link on that page to bocabearings.com lists a different contest! Who is wishpond?

  3. The Curie fact sheet talks about their “IQ” software system. No mention of price or whether it’s open source. I’m guessing it’ll probably be closed source, expensive, and only available to the big players.

    For reference, note that the reason everyone uses Atmel chips (especially Arduinos) is because Atmel released their IDE for free and the programmers (AVR Dragon et al) were cheap. They saturated the hobbyist market before anyone else figured it out.

    During that time, the compiler for the Motorola 68HC11, which had been available for years, cost around $10,000.

    From the Curie fact sheet:

    “Intel® IQ Software Kits combine algorithms, device software, application and cloud software to help customers incorporate advanced functionality into their wearable designs and provide a user
    experience that offers greater utility and value. ”

    Intel IQ Software Kits include:
     Identity-based IQ to establish the identity of the user of the wearable device and enables
    personalized and secure experiences with services that require personal authentication.
     Time-based IQ to improve the efficiency of wearable users’ daily routines and accomplish tasks
    with contextually-aware notifications.
     Previously announced Body IQ enables capabilities related to physical activities, including
    counting steps and calculating calories burned as well as providing data visualizations to help
    achieve goals.
     Previously announced Social IQ supports social interactions, including communication via
    phone, social networks and SMS with peers and brands

    “The Intel® Curie™ module has not yet been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. These devices are not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.”

    1. FYI: GNU toolchain for 68HC11 & 68HC12 http://www.gnu.org/software/m68hc11/
      >- Oct 5, 2003
      Alpha Release 2.90 of the GNU Development Chain for 68HC11/68HC12 is available. It is based on Binutils 2.14, Gcc 3.3.1, Gdb 5.2.1 and Newlib 1.11.0.
      > :
      > :
      >- April 24, 2000
      New snapshot. First step in optimization for 68HC12 code generation, more optimizations for 68HC11 and big cleanup of GCC port. It also fixes some bugs.

      1. Thanks for the support.

        From the wikepedia article: “The 68HC11 (6811 or HC11 for short) is an 8-bit microcontroller (µC) family introduced by Motorola in 1985”

        As you pointed out, the 68HC11 was out for 18 years before an open source toolchain was available. Also, the toolchain wasn’t released by Motorola, so it was hackers who had to take the trouble to put it together.

        Atmel released a complete compiler system with GUI editor, which made it trivially easy for anyone to use their chips.

        I was using 68HC11’s in projects in the early 90’s. If Motorola had opened up their software at that time, they would have dominated the market.

        1. The difference is the HC11 was fully publicly documented from day one. Anyone could (and apparently did) write a toolchain from the free-for-asking “pink books”.

          Edison is still largely a black box with no chip-level documentation. Intel has been slow to update the SDK and the internal engineer responses on the community forums give the impression that Intel isn’t putting as much money behind the platform as the original press blitz let on.

          I imagine Curie will follow suit.

        2. Atmel didn’t release any compiler for free, though they released IDE, allowing to code in assembly language, not unheard of at the time. At first they adviced their customers to use commercial offerings for C coding (like IAR), then community came up with GCC port for 8-bit AVR. For years, Atmel did absolutely nothing to support GCC development, they didn’t care for hobbyists nor Arduino. Just when Arduino project (made of open-source components) started to look like good marketing solution – after years of existence – they started to “support” it.

          Atmel did nothing for hobbyists, but hobbyists did it for themself.

        3. Not sure which market you are talking about. Motorola had a pretty good run in industrial embedded microcontroller market. I would bet that their quarterly sales of the parts to their large customers back then would easily beat the a few annual sales of Arduinos to hobbyists.

    2. I saw “IQ Software” and read “closed IP” rights because if it were open then they would say so in the first page.

      So I closed the window and that is an end to any attention this product will get from me.

    1. Point taken. LUKA does not have a SIP system today. However, LUKA is as much about the OS platform than the existing car. We hope that the community will be able to build on the OS platform & eventually incorporate items like this. There is only so much we can do in such a short time. The people interested in buying the car (as it is now) know all the flaws & the car will not appeal to everyone. It is definitely not a Volvo. But, there is no particular reason why it can not evolve to become a Volvo. Just look at the evolution over the last few months..

      1. Can’t believe a project not from a big corporation would EVER get a EU certificate, but if it would – it would be from some former soviet state or some such.
        But if you get one from an ‘old europe’ country, I’ll just assume your dad or other family member is part of the corrupt cabal and leave it at that.

        1. Whatnot,
          The message is entirely inappropriate. You can see the certification on line. It is issued in the UK. Your reference to ”some former soviet state” manages to insult about 100M EU citizens. Then, you go on to insult another 200M EU citizens from ”old Europe”. The car was certified in the UK. I am not a UK citizen. I have no family in the UK.
          Your comments are uninformed & frankly idiotic.

          1. Well I stand confirmed, that you are living in such a cloud that you aren’t aware that the paperwork in the area of the former eastbloc is much more loosely controlled shows you must be quite the elitist.
            And that you go for the I’m not a UK citizen nor have family there nicely ignores my remark about the cabal, which wasn’t referring to the UK but to the more global elitist/corrupt bunch and the european branch of such.

            Additionally I like to point out that there are more than 508 million people in the EU rather than 300 million.

            And yes it might be true it actually IS easy in the UK, but from years of observation I think I can say there’s a general trend of governments in the EU making paperwork unnecessarily complex and hard to acquire and such things being a few magnituded easier if you are part of the elitist bunch. So I hope it’s all nice and proper in the area of vehicle certification, but am afraid I wont’ be so easily convinced it is.

            But does it matter in the end? Point is that you got a nice project and it’s going well and you are working to expand and improve it.
            Oh and I never denied you guys got the certification did I?

        2. Whatnot,
          I am Irish, living in central Europe for the last 20 years. I am well qualified to know about paperwork in the ”’former eastblock” & in ”old Europe”. Paperwork is, if anything, more controlled in the area I reside than in the Old Europe countries where I have direct experience.
          The car was registered in the UK because the UK has a long tradition of small series car builds. Their regulations, while based on EU standards, are tweaked to support the little guy. I am mystified about what the global elitists & the Cabal might have to do with the LUKA project?. There is a project log outlining the boxes you need to tick to get approval. It is very long & a lot or the rules are silly but it you tick all the boxes the vehicle will be approved. Why would the global elite get involved with an open source project that is, by its very nature, shared with everyone?. Surely, if such a bunch existed in the co-ordinated way you imply, they would do everything in their power to stop an open source project?. Point taken about EU population.
          The EU certainly do make paperwork exceptionally difficult & complex. I can not comment on why this is the case. For sure, it certainly introduces barriers to entry for new comers so, by default, it helps the incumbents (the global elite as you call them). In the case of a car, do you not agree that there has to be some paperwork to complete? People might drive the car so does the EU not have some responsibility to ensure the safety of its’ citizens?.

          Maybe there is a global elite, a cabal. But, that is not directly my problem. If LUKA gets any traction, I would expect the ”establishment” to attempt to ridicule the project. Unfortunately, when you share everything with the world on a platform like Hackaday, you leave yourself open to getting ripped to pieces. The project logs show the bad stuff & the good stuff. When a new Audi is launched, they do not show you picture logs about all the mistakes they made.

          Closed source tends to have the money, the patents & the lawyers. Open source tends to have the ”community”. When organized behind an idea, the community can sometimes have influence.

    2. First and foremost a vehicle saving on energy needs to be built light. Luka EV got that right. Without clever tricks, this goes with reduced safety. That’s Ok, I wished people would stop valuing their pity lives more than the future of live itself. Not everyone can drive a freaking tank and if everyone would, we would need bigger tanks. That’s how we got to 5000lbs commuter vehicles.

      Since most cars, if they’re moving at all, aren’t moving faster than 30mph due to clogged roads, which only gets worse year over year, perhaps lower legal top speeds and hence less strict safety requirements could and should be mandated?

      Said that, the Luka EV doesn’t seem less secure than my motorcycle.

  4. Ok so the Luka EV is “road legal”. “road legal” in which country? I cant see it being road legal in many countries since I see no mention on the hackaday.io page or in the full BOM that it has any airbags, let alone advanced breaking systems like ABS/traction control/stability control (which more and more jurisdictions are requiring).

    1. The UK. It does say…

      Luckily here, we’re quite amenable to limited-volume and home-produced vehicles. Yes, it’s getting tougher over the years (used to be ‘just an MOT’, then SVA, now IVA), but they’re still pretty unrestrictive.

    2. Road legal in the UK. There is a very detailed project log about the requirements for UK approval. We only need to meet the requirements as they are outlined, not possible future requirements. The car does have ABS. Airbags were specifically excluded because we believe the platform allows for new thinking in this area. The area that traditionally holds the engine is empty. It seems an ideal location for a novel safety system that does not involve carrying explosive devices (airbags) in the car (& there is a project log about this novel concept). But if new thinking does not come up with a better alternative, there is no reason why airbags can not be added.
      Please understand this this is an OS platform. The general idea is that experts & non experts will become involved with the platform & bring new ideas & different skill sets. The car ”as is” will certainly not appeal to everyone. But, the platform is there to be improved. The project is as much about the platform as the car. Presumably, the community will improve the platform over time.

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