Hackaday Links: May 21, 2017

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It’s time to talk about something of supreme importance to all Hackaday readers. The first trailer for the new Star Trek series is out. Some initial thoughts: the production values are through the roof, and some of this was filmed in Jordan (thank the king for that). The writers have thrown in some obvious references to classic Trek in this trailer (taking a spacesuit into a gigantic alien thing a la TMP). There are a few new species, even though this is set about 10 years before waaaait a second, those are the Klingons?

In other news, [Seth MacFarlane] is doing a thing that looks like a Galaxy Quest series. We can only hope it’s half as good as a Galaxy Quest series could be.

The Dayton Hamvention should have been this week, but it’s never going to happen again. The Hara Arena, the traditional venue for the biggest amateur radio meet on the continent (thankfully) closed this year. Last year it was looking old and tired. This year, Hamvention moved to Xenia, Ohio, and it looks like we’re still getting the best ham swap meet on the planet. Remember: if you  drove out to Hamvention, the Air Force museum is well worth the visit. This year they have the fourth hangar open, full of space craft goodness.

Last week we saw an Open Source firmware for hoverboards, electric unicycles, and other explodey bits of self-balancing transportation. [Casainho], the brains behind this outfit, recently received an eBike controller from China. As you would expect, it’s based on the same hardware as these hoverboards and unicycles. That means there’s now Open Source firmware for eBikes.

Last year, [Cisco] built a cute little walking robot. Now it’s up on Kickstarter.

This week saw the announcement of the Monoprice Mini Delta, the much-anticipated 3D printer that will sell for less than $200. For one reason or another, I was cruising eBay this week and came upon this. They say yesterday’s trash is tomorrow’s collectors’ item, you know…

A new Tek scope will be announced in the coming weeks. What are the cool bits? It has a big touchscreen. That’s about all we know.

The ESP32 is the next great wonderchip, and has been for a while now. The ESP32 also has a CAN peripheral stuffed in there somewhere, and that means WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled cars. [Thomas] has been working on getting a driver up and running. There’s a thread on the ESP32 forum, a Hackaday.io page, and a GitHub page.

What do you do when you have a nice old Vacuum Fluorescent Display and want to show some stats from your computer? You build a thing that looks like it’s taken from a cash register. This is a project from [Micah Scott], and it has everything: electronics 3D modeling, magnets, print smoothing, creating snap-fit parts, and beautiful old displays.

Here’s something that randomly showed up in our Tip Line. [Mark] recently found some unused HP 5082-7000 segment displays in a collection of electronic components (pics below). According to some relevant literature, these were the first LED display package available, ever.  They were released in 1969, they’re BCD, and were obviously very expensive. [Mark] is wondering how many of these were actually produced, and we’re all interested in the actual value of these things. If anyone knows if these are just prototypes, or if they went into production (and what they were used for), leave a note in the comments.

41 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: May 21, 2017

  1. I could see MB Cupcakes becoming collector’s items like Altairs are now. The last couple of generations will probably see similar interest in the future as an unopened copy of MS Bob or an AOL CD does now.

    1. Does the ease of duplication factor into the value of an original? With the design being Open and the parts so easy to source, it’s pretty cheap to build one. That’s assuming you wanted a Cupcake, rather than a more modern (functional) printer. Maybe I’m just underestimating nostalgia, and I’ll be refitting my early model cupcake in some years.

  2. Wow… just when you thought JJ Abrams had done enough vandalism to Gene Roddenberry’s creation – along comes this abomination ! Calling that – whatever it is, anything even remotely resembling Star Trek is, like comparing a Ford Pinto to a Lamborghini Aventador. Hopefully, it will a die a quick & merciful death and be forgotten before it smears the legacy of the name “Star Trek”. Un f’in believable !

      1. it looked too battlestar to me. this was kind of an issue for awhile, everything wanted to be the new battlestar galactica and you ended up with a lot of 3rd rate scifi trying to deliver. they should try to avoid doing that to trek. if you want to reboot m*a*s*h, then by all means battlestar the fuck out of it.

    1. I think CBS & Paramount already smeared that legacy with their reaction to Axanar and the rules they released for all star trek fanfilms. (I’m not trying to start an argument over who was in the right or wrong so lets not start one please.)

      But I do think the Axanar fanfilm (well really it’s just the Prelude to Axanar and the trailers) still looks so much better then this new series.

    2. This show seems to revolve around lens-flare and bloom and lens-flare and some more lens-flare and some extra bloom.
      Not too much, just enough to make ti unwatchable by human and machine alike.

      I just hope for the maker it’s just the trailer.

  3. If you go to the USAF museum on Wright Pat AFB, be prepared to do the TSA-security-shuffle ! (metal detector, x-ray machine, long lines). I refused to submit to it !! F’them…. (and I showed up in my ABU’s and had my CAC card !!! – they still wanted me to go thru it). To those that want to submit to it – have at it.

  4. Been very disappointed with Seth MacFarlane lately. Family Guy jumped the shark years ago. Ruined the best character by making him a Marty Stu. We get it Seth…

    1. When you have to become a billionaire in order to get a staring role (besides voice)? No, I don’t count whatever that was about the West.

      So, now he is Roger in Space. Going where no man has gone since Ren and Stimpy! Besides, he has already done plenty to improve American culture and civil discourse. Why not retire? Do one man performance art like that screwy kid from Transformers who helped finish off Indiana Jones.

      1. Family Guy has been shit since the beginning, completely, always. Nothing to do with hypothetical Fonzies. It’s just shit. And Seth himself seems like a monumental ringpiece.

        FG’s one “joke” seems to be “You can’t say that!” We just did!. IE the controversy of South Park, without any of the comedy. Also SP’s controversy usually serves the plot. Rather than taking the place of it. The endless, pointless, depressing Jew “jokes” being the obvious one. Manufactured “controversy” for idiot redneck children to like.

        Ironically Cartman hates Family Guy, for very good reasons.

        1. The sexual violence and degradation, frequent murders, bullying by Peter, libels of Walt Disney, and scatological fixations are constant. When Meryl Streep gave her screed about the the arts and Hollywood, I wanted to send here a couple of select FG episodes – in fact the one played the next day, if someone could force here to view them and ask what she thought of her fellow artists.

          If the new show follows the pattern, the main character will be regularly using the transporter to dump dead hookers in the Sun. Expect lots of gags about what someone or something smells like.

  5. I’ll be the first to jump up and down on the new Star Trek series. It looks waaaaaaay too Abramsverse-y to me (then again, this curmudgeon over here doesn’t like that /last/ series, either…) and those Klingons do not look like Klingons.

    I’m Internet acquaintances with Bernd Schneider, the guy who runs a little thing called Ex Astris Scientia (you should go there, it’s magnificent… http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/ ) and he and I are in basically complete agreement on this one. This new series is kinda disappointing looking.

  6. Hamvention was fun again, I go just for the swap meet, but I doubt it’ll be held in Xenia again. The fairgrounds just isn’t set up for it, ended up being a mud pit Saturday and Sunday. They actually had to bring around a caterpillar with a towing setup to get people out of the mud in the parking lot, it was a disaster.

    It’s a real shame too, they’re tearing down O’Hara last I heard, which is fair since it’s falling apart anyways.
    There’s still hope though, they’ve already got the dates set for the next 3 years, but I haven’t heard anything about a new venue just yet.

    1. I overheard a couple of people saying that they’ve committed to using the fairgrounds for at least a couple more years, but I take that with a grain of salt, I don’t know if there’s been an official announcement one way or the other. The parking was horrible at the fairgrounds itself, on Friday it took nearly an hour to get out of the lot. Saturday and Sunday I used one of the satellite parking lots and had no problem getting a space, and the shuttle buses and carts they were using to get people around worked out pretty well.

      But the flea market was a real shame, many of the vendors packed up and left on Saturday, which bummed me out because that’s a huge part of the attraction of Hamvention for me. I feel bad for the flea market vendors, they have to reserve spots months in advance, there’s no way they can know ahead of time what the weather can be, and a lot of them probably lost money on this years event.

      I personally liked having everything split into the smaller buildings with the big common area for people to eat and mill around, but the onsite parking and flea market turning into bogs was a big issue. At the closing prize raffle yesterday the organizers said that they’re aware of the issues and are already working on fixing them. Given that they had to hustle to get this year’s event after the owners of Hara abruptly closed down last summer I think they did the best that they could. I plan on going back next year even if it’s at the same location, but I’ll probably skip any rainy days.

  7. I keep saying every year I’ll make it to Hanvention and every year something prevents me from going, saw a lot in those pictures I wish i could have looked at.

  8. I don’t remember these BCD to matrix LED modules but I do remember HEX to 7 Segment modules that had an internal 4 bit latch and they were also expensive. Some very early single board computers used the HEX to 7 Segment LED modules but it was almost always cheaper to use a normal 7 Segment LED display with a 74xx series HEX to 7 Segment converter/latch. 7447?

    1. I recall those particular displays, kind of a dip in a clear epoxy resin. I wanted so much to use these in a project but the last time I checked even the new old stock was about $30 a piece retail and I could not bring myself spend that much on a quantity of 6.

      1. That’s the ones!

        This would be a good project to make as a small PCB. I have seen some very impressive 7 Segs here on HAD.io

        The logic could be done with a CPLD and you would probably want to make the display 6 to 8 digits because there is a lot more room in even the simplest CPLD’s than is needed for something like this.

        The trouble would be to find a 5V (or 5V tolerant) CPLD that is physically small enough and has enough IO drive current.

        The display could be done with SMD LEDs.

        Something like this –

        The FLASH idea could work if you don’t need latching.

    2. I am looking at a 1982 HP Optoelectronics Designers Catalog. They don’t show the 5082-7000 in it. They do show a 5082-7010 which is a BCD input (negative logic) 5×7 matrix display. If the 7000 came out in 1969, it may be obsolete by the time this 1982 book was printed. There is only a couple of pages of data on the 5082-7010, standard pinouts and electrical parameters.

      1. The pre-80’s time period is probably right for what I remember. I can’t recall if my memory was hex to 7 segment or hex to matrix leds. It was just after the 9 digit (later 8 digit) bubble 7 segments and around the time of the first LED calculators and a LED watch. Obviously it was before LCD. They were used in really old single board (trainer) computers with CPU’s that pre-dated Z80/6502, probably an early intell. 8800 ???

        1. Some of those old displays looked really cool. I remember when LEDs became easily available, it caused a big stir.
          Are you thinking of the Intel 8008 or maybe 4004? I came into microprocessors around the 8080/6502/6800 days. It was a fun time.

          1. lol not as old as the 4004.

            Perhaps it was the 8008 or more likely the 8080. I remember it had the three voltage rails – either (+12 +5 -5) or (+12 +5 -12)

            I still have a couple of the 8 digit bubble LED 7 segment displays here.

          2. These are my display segments HP 5082-7000. They were obsolete within 1st yr. Assembled by hand under a microscope. I have been researching for months, and still have no clue how many were actually produced. Within a year, dies were made and manufacturing became much improved and HP offered an assortment (also have many of them) these were the very first 7 segment displays man laid eyes on in 1969. HP had been developing them for 6 yrs because the bean counters were not happy sending Burroughs Nixie Tube Corp. Their cash every month. They came from a Bell labs facility so Im thinking they were most likely prototypes that were not used in any of their equipment at the time. But I could be mistaken. Thanks for your input


  9. Seriously – “the orville” looks more like Star Trek than the new Star Trek show :( I thought Enterprise handled the Klingons very well, with the looks on TOS.

  10. The HP LED displays were production devices, mine came from a scrapped piece of scientific gear. Note that Mark also got the aluminum heatsink with the displays — that might be rarer than the displays themselves.

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