Hackaday Links: August 20, 2017

Foam core, dollar tree foam board, Adams foam board, or whatever we’re calling a thin sheet of foam sandwiched between two pieces of poster board, is an invaluable hacker’s tool. Everyone should have a few sheets on hand, and not just because each sheet is a dollar each at any Dollar Store. [Eric] has been working on a technique to create compound curves in foam board, and the results look great. It’s a true three-dimensional plane with weird curves, and certainly has applications for something.

The Apollo Lunar Module is the first, and only manned space-only spacecraft ever made. The design of this spacecraft isn’t constrained by trivialities like ‘atmosphere’, and the design didn’t need ‘bulkheads thicker than a stack of paper towels’. It is a beautiful ship, and now a company wants to produce a gorgeous 1/32 scale model of the LEM. The goal is $25k, which is quite high for the real space modeling market, but if this GoFundMe campaign succeeds, this will be one of the finest real space models ever created. It’ll also match the scale of the 1/32 Revell CSM.

Speaking of Apollo-related technology, here’s a slight bit of drama. [Fran] has been working on recreating the DSKY — the user interface for the Apollo Guidance Computer — for a few years now. She’s set up a crowdfunding campaign to recreate the electroluminescent, screen printed segment display, and things are going great. Now there’s a company selling commercial DSKYs (with a stupid TFT display), that potentially uses the same art. Is this copyright infringement? Maybe, but probably not. It is a dick move not to credit [Fran], though.

The Monoprice Mini Delta is phenomenal. More on that in a bit.

There’s a complete solar eclipse happening across the United States tomorrow. Many schools should have started classes by then, but they’re calling tomorrow a snow day. Everyone who is traveling to see the eclipse is probably already where they’re going to be, and there are clouds on the horizon. Literal clouds. Everyone is watching the weather channel to see what the cloud cover will be tomorrow. Some people don’t have to worry: [Dan] is building a high-altitude balloon to get 100,000 feet above any clouds. There’s a 360° camera onboard, and the resulting video will be awesome. At least one person in Charleston will be renting a plane; I question the wisdom of renting a 172 over a Piper or Cirrus or another low-wing plane, but whatever. If you’re working on a project that will look at the eclipse from above the clouds, leave a note in the comments. For those of you looking at clouds tomorrow, Hackaday is doing another eclipse meet up on the Pacific coast of Mexico on April 8, 2024.

20 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: August 20, 2017

  1. The LEM may or may not have been the first space-only spacecraft, but it wasn’t the only one. The Soviets had their own lunar program, including the LK lunar lander (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LK_(spacecraft)). It never made it to the moon since the Russian N1 rocket that was supposed to be their equivalent to the Saturn V never worked properly, but a few of them were launched into Earth orbit for unmanned testing. Apparently it passed all of the tests and would have been a success if they only could have gotten it to the moon.

      1. Okay, this may not be politically correct, but the guy making the video is an industrial designer. In his world, pink staplers may not come with the same stigma they have in your shop.

  2. DSKY: Please be a bit more careful before unleashing the internet mob. Just because a FoHAD (Friend of HAD) works on a project doesn’t mean that anyone else doing something similar is automatically a lame copy cat.

    1. I’m a bit confused by the remarks anyway, if it’s a reproduction of a NASA design then why would you credit someone else who’s reproducing it?
      And since the original is NASA isn’t the design in the public space since it’s been financed by (US) taxes?

    2. Exactly. I don’t know which side is speaking the truth there, but following Brian’s link to the ebay auction, here is a conversation about this topic in the “ask a question” section:

      Q: Will part of the money or at least credit go to her: https://www.gofundme.com/apollo-dsky-display-project ? Aug-20-17
      A: My project was started at least a year before Fran Blanche’s and its origin, including the artwork is visible if you search completed auctions on ebay about 4 years ago when I sold 5 DSKYs. My artwork actually predates hers. My project was started before hers and I have documented evidence of that fact. Unfortunately she is saying I copied her work, without any proof, any questions, and any conversation at all. I have reached out to her and received no reply. Beside these facts, I am not even making an Electroluminescent Display like she is, my display is a TFT LCD. My display is a genuine computer display that displays web graphics and videos, these are things that were not and are not possible with the display that Raytheon and Fran are making. Furthermore, she has my phone number, and correspondence but she has not answered back yet. As for part of the money going to Fran; I may give some funds to the gofundme project, but only because it is a worthy project and I would like history to be preserved. I would like to help her but she hasn’t communicated with me yet.
      Q: The art work for this item seems to be that by Fran blanche but without any attribution or compensation. We would like to purchase two of these units for interactive display purposes but some members have voiced concern about the possibility of receiving a negative reaction from the community if this matter becomes a serious problem in the future. Is there anything you can do to remedy this? Perhaps you could discuss it with her and come to an agreement that could stop any ill will? Obviously this item is loved by a highly specific set of enthusiasts and it seems they are all very emotionally invested in fran and her work. Than you for your time and I look forward to your response, Paul Mcmaster Aug-20-17
      A: It seems that Fran Blanche has made an error in her statement concerning the artwork. I derived my artwork from the same place she derived hers, from a genuine Raytheon Electroluminescent Display. My project was also started 1 year before hers and I am not making an EL display anyways. I am making a TFT LCD. If there is any discussion about whose artwork it is, I would like to know exactly which artwork she thinks I appropriated, and how I did it. I have reached out to her and offered proof of my projects origins with file dates and receipts and it has not been responded to. My sales rep even addressed her directly and she erased his communication and banned him from her twitter service. My reply is almost 36 hours old now and it looks like she is not going to give me a chance to prove myself innocent as she pronounced me guilty before even asking me any questions or interacting in any way. So sad to say that, she does great work and it looks like we both duplicated Ratheons artwork so well that she is thinking I copied her, when we both copied Raytheon. I even gave her my phone number, offered help on her project, and much good will. What else can I do?

      1. Unfortunately it looks like Brian Benchoff is the one that's correct:

        Quote from the E-Bay seller:
        “f you search completed auctions on E-Bay about 4 years ago when I sold 5 DSKYs”
        I just checked E-Bay and there are no such listings… tried the advanced search… Shunya, nil, none!
        He (The E-Bay ripoff) also doesn’t link or display the URL of at least one of his 5 sold unit listings anywhere.
        There is a lot of fishy nonsense around that auction… A waste of money IMHO.

        Quote ejj28:
        “So it’s a Raspberry Pi 3 in a 3D-printed case with a LCD display and buttons.”
        Sounds correct, so who wants to pay their entire wage-slip for some plastic, a raspberry Pi 3 and LCD?

        None the less, [Fran] has full right IMHO to have her rant about that E-Bay seller… It is like someone taking Ubuntu and only compiling a kernel with all debug/boot strings ending in “LOL, I wAz ErE”, before burning that to a cheap disk, melting some plastic into the shape of a CD case and then trying to sell that for a wage packet. That constitutes rip-off IMHO. Yet some people have been bitten by the auction by the looks of things. Unless that E-Bay-er sold that to himself/friend/accomplice to make it look like people have purchased off him.

        Quote Whatnot:
        “Oh and incidentally, the only thing a ‘HaD mob’ will do is bitch about Brian, so don’t worry about that.”

        It is suspiciously quiet in this regard** isn’t it?

        Due to tensions, these days I usually skip over Brian’s posts (**Blatantly others do so as well)… Except I have clocked lunar eclipse stuff on various past posts… and thought to see what (my opinion before reading, “might be rubbish”) Brian had to post today.

        So I’m not defending Brian with the on-topic segment above, just pointing out who’s correct (by the current vantage point, and, technically I’m defending [Fran]).

        ** == related

        Wage packet/slip == 1*month earned on national minimum wage +/- 20% (UK NMW)

          1. Sorry @spawt,

            On page 2 of [rasz_pl]’s link above, quote:

            “That looks damn good for a paper kit. Very cool find. ” [Rymo] source post: #43

            That is the only link to E-Bay and whilst there is no link to the seller due to the way E-Bay does things… It is apparently a paper kit and thus not what we’re talking about.

            Also getting from the E-bay conversations: Edu-craft is the name of the seller (AFAIK), Search with [CTRL-F] using chrome/firefox/clone of either, and use “E-Bay” and “ebay” as the keywords…. read to confirm.

            Also, there is no one from that thread talking about selling the thing on E-Bay either…. so unlikely. Ok, found it on the last page, [Sam Ammons] says he wanted to replicate said project for sale on E-Bay.
            fast forward to 2016 and there is a guy , [coffeemonster] who wanted to replicate it with a raspberry Pi (possibly the person currently on E-Bay? probably not due to listing starting Jul-26-17, translation: 26th July 2017, not 2016… though given time and resources needed to replicate, still possible.)

            Just suspiciously expensive for a $35 PC+a 10$ screen, a casing that surely didn’t cost up to $600 to make, a custom PCB that also surely didn’t cost up to $600 either.
            – Say $45 for Rpi3+LCD and,
            – plastics: $100-$150 and,
            – custom PCBs worst case: 50$,
            – added up gives us: $195 TO $245.
            – Given some variation in prices: between $120 to $260-ish, just to give some room.
            – He is selling for: $1000 (as of 22 aug 2017)
            – $1000 take worst case $260 is: $740 he makes on each and people have bitten.

            Whilst replicas could of been made as soon as launch-day footage, landing or any other footage was released including a glimpse of said DSKY panel. After all wasn’t a DSKY-like prop featured in some space/sci-fi movies long before 2013? (I’m sure there were, just I can’t remember at the moment).

          2. @adrian
            Watch this one instead:

            It shows the display isn’t LCD, but in fact an LED display, you can see the features (darker spots for the dots in the display) and somewhat vaguely see the partitioning of the displays…. So no… not the same as the E-Bay one!

          3. @Unferium So he isn’t allowed to refine his design once Fran started her project? My original point still stand, there was no dick move involved and someone got unfairly smeared with unfounded accusations.

            And there’s a simple solution if you think he charges too much for his work: Don’t but it.

          1. oh that’s wrong, I thought Aug-14 meant August 2014, but that’s not true.
            Never mind!

            Looks like the guy has to provide some proof to be convincing, because it looks like he made it up.

          2. Since Fran has differentiated her project from all others, stating that others are all using both modern display technologies and modern (cheap) pushbutton switches, I don’t see why she’s bitching about a project that is using modern displays. It doesn’t hurt her project in any way. I’m a big fan of Fran myself, and especially her DSKY project, but the thing she is making a replica of is in the public domain, so how can others who choose to replicate the same object be an infringement on her?

  3. Mocking-up with FoamCore: I was hoping for some “FoamCore made easy” tips, but it looks like the bottom line in [Eric Strebel]’s videos is, be precise and careful, and you’ll get good results. Oh well.

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