Hackaday Links: November 8, 2015

[Burt Rutan] is someone who needs no introduction. Apparently, he likes the look of the Icon A5 and is working on his own version.

Earlier this week, the US Air Force lost a few satellites a minute after launch from Barking Sands in Hawaii. This was the first launch of the three stage, solid fueled SPARK rocket, although earlier versions were used to launch nuclear warheads into space. There are some great Army videos for these nuclear explosions in space, by the way.

[Alexandre] is working on an Arduino compatible board that has an integrated GSM module and WiFi chip. It’s called the Red Dragon, and that means he needs some really good board art. The finished product looks good in Eagle, and something we can’t wait to see back from the board house.

The Chippocolypse! Or however you spell it! TI is declaring a lot of chips EOL, and although this includes a lot of op-amps and other analog ephemera (PDF), the hi-fi community is reeling and a lot of people are stocking up on their favorite amplifiers.

[Jeremy] got tired of plugging jumper wires into a breadboard when programming his ATMega8 (including the ‘168 and ‘328) microcontrollers. The solution? A breadboard backpack that fits right over the IC. All the files are available, and the PCB can be found on Upverter.

In case you haven’t heard, we’re having a Super Conference in San Francisco later this week. Adafruit was kind enough to plug our plug for the con on Ask an Engineer last week.

8 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: November 8, 2015

    1. No they won’t be. The only reason why they EOL part numbers is because one of two things happen, the sales do not match the expected numbers, or they change their fabrication methods and some part numbers do not qualify. That happened when they bought Dallas Semiconductor, it turns out that a rarely used part number in the one-wire series was so EOL because the fab plant methods they used wasn’t the same as DS uses.

      As it happens part numbers on that list of TI are largely quite old. Including the numbers more from their National Semiconductor buyout deal. I still have a collection of samples from their interface line who includes some of those listed so I’m good.

      Besides the one really big EOL deal that TI got wrong and they are still paying for is the TTL shutdown of 1987. They are still making some numbers, but only for “replacement purposes only” they said that not me.

      1. “You see what happens??? This is what Larry! *SMASH* You see happens?!?!?!? *SMASH* When you fight a stranger in the alps”

        No locally owned mining companies, no locally owned refining plants, no locally owned fabrication houses, no locally owned warehouse land.

        Gud Jawb TI. Fuqin Idiots.

  1. Love the breadboard backpack idea! Never thought of doing that…may have to make one myself. Seems like it would be a faster way to program chips low scale manufacturing process faster.

  2. I appreciate the whimsy in the Red Dragon board, but wow is that some dubious RF design practice. Routing signals in comical shapes creates a bunch of unintentional antennas with unpredictable characteristics. Routing the ground to the chip around the dragon’s tail was the coup de grace.

    For reference, if your board integrates or supports RF circuitry, particularly powerful GHz-range radios, it’s a great idea to keep traces as short and direct as possible. Power and ground need fat, direct, low-inductance current paths, preferably planes. Ground pour should be used carefully to isolate adjacent circuit elements and prevent unintended interaction. It’s still possible to create an imaginative design that adheres to these principals–that’s real electronic art!

    I hope the layout in the video won’t be sold commercially to people who aren’t equipped to diagnose poor performance.

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