Hackaday Links: August 13, 2017

We found the most boring man on the Internet! HTTP Status Code 418 — “I’m a teapot” — was introduced as an April Fools Joke in 1998. Everyone had a good laugh, and some frameworks even implemented it. Now, the most boring man on the Internet and chairman of the IETF HTTP working group is trying to get 418 removed from Node and Go. There is an argument to removing code 418 from pieces of software — it gums up the works, and given only 100 code points for a client error, with 30 of them already used, we don’t really have space for a joke. There’s a solution, though: someone has submitted a request to register 418 as ‘I’m a teapot’.

The Travelling Hacker box is a migratory box of random electronic junk. The box has traveled across the United States several times, and earlier this year it started across Canada — from Vancouver to St. Johns — to begin an International journey. The box is now missing, and I’m out. I’m turning this one over to the community. There are now several rogue boxes traveling the world, the first of which was sent from [Sophi] to [jlbrian7] and is now in Latvia with [Arsenijs]. The idea of the Travelling Hacker Box is now up to you — organize your own, and share random electronic crap.

Bluetooth 5 is here, or at least the spec is. It has longer range, more bandwidth, and advertising extensions.

Guess what’s on the review desk? The Monoprice Mini Delta! If you have any questions you’d like answered about this tiny, very inexpensive printer, put them in the comments. I only have some first impressions, but so far, it looks like extending the rails (to make a taller printer) is more difficult than it’s worth. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but with the effort required, I could just print another printer.

Interested in PCB art? [Drew] found someone doing halftone art with PCBs. This is a step up from nickels.

Indiana University is getting rid of some very, very cool stuff in a government auction. This device is listed as a ‘gantry’, but that’s certainly not what it is. There have been suggestions that these devices are a flight sim, but that doesn’t sit quite right either. It’s several thousand pounds of metal, with the minimum bid of $2.00 at the time of this writing. Any guesses on what this actually is?

31 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: August 13, 2017

    1. Space frame is similar, but I am pretty sure not a telescope. This rotates about the horizontal axis only, as far as I can tell from the photos, and the structure around is not telescope related. It appears that this is to rotate some very heavy gear around a horizontal axis. ID as a gantry makes me think of several things likely to be wrong so I won’t embarrass myself more but enumerating.

    2. Part of a telescope is a possibility, it is clearly designed to rotate and looks very much like the instrument rotators at Keck. Note the large bearing surfaces and the cable wrap. Given the size it would have to go with a very large telescope, 8 or 10m.

      Could also be part of some sort of tomography, CAT, or MRI research setup? Rather large for medical use though.

    3. FTR, I believe the item being listed is the actual gantry (red frame with a grey ladder like structure on top of it used to support cabling) which is in the foreground, along with a yellow ladder. If you scroll down to the MEDIA section, pictures 2 and 3 in the sequence show a more complete straight-on image of an item which would qualify as a gantry.

      I’d chalk this up to administrative staff not spending the time to accurately delineate what in the pictures is actually being sold, and including more photos from the site.

      Two of the proton therapy devices can be made out in the photos, but the listing claims one item (versus one lot), and the listing points out devices in two pits. Given the inadequacy of the description, it’s no wonder only one person has bit on it so far — there’s an enormous amount of liability sitting there.

    1. Well found! No wonder the frame has such extensive bracing. Sadly it looks like the robot arm in those photos has been removed.
      Aside from the frame & bearings, I can see some very large cable chains, at least two heavily geared-down servo motors, and a lot of what might be pneumatic brakes. It looks like a lot of the stiffening bracing could be detached to still leave a slightly more compact rotating cylindrical frame if someone had a use for a slowly rotating tube the size of a studio flat.

  1. I’m sad to hear the TJB (Traveling Junk Box) is missing (again!).
    That is why we can’t have nice things.
    I might chip in a few goodies for the next round,
    hopefully someone can design one with a block chain to keep track of it.

    1. Also the guy who started the whole controversy is also the guy who just submitted a new RFC to mark 418 as Reserved instead of Unassigned. That way it won’t get reassigned until such time as all the other 4xx codes are exhausted.

  2. The ‘gantry’ appears to be a pair of radiological medical treatment devices that have had all the fun and interesting bits stripped out.

    Would make really cool set pieces for a SciFi movie, perhaps teleporters, maybe a time machine or two.

  3. I wonder if BT5 has enough features to make them usable in the all the too many cases where manufacturers now use propriety solutions. And if not if the BT group should perhaps look at why they do that and adapt the specs to make that unnecessary with BT5.2

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