Hackaday Links: March 25, 2018

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File this one under, ‘don’t do this yourself, but we’re glad they filmed it.’ [Denis Koryakin] flew a quadcopter to 10km, or about 33,000 feet. This was just an experiment to see if it was possible. A few items of note from the video: this thing was climbing at 14-15 m/s when it first took off. It was barely climbing at 2 m/s at 10km. Second: it was really, really cold. The ground temperature was -10 C, and temperatures at 8km reached -50 C. Density altitude is on this guy’s side, and I don’t know if this would be possible in warmer temperatures.

Hold on to your hats, there’s a gigantic space station that’s going to crash sometime in the next few weeks. Tiangong-1, an 8-ton space station launched in 2011, is going to reenter the atmosphere ‘sometime between March 30 and April 6’. Because of orbits and stuff, it’s more likely to reenter at the highest latitudes, and this space station has an inclination of 42.7 degrees. If your latitude is 42° N or 42° S, you should probably pull a Liza Minnelli on this situation and spend the next month in bed.

Hey, cool! The Tindie Badge is being used to teach orphans in Bosnia how to solder.

The BBC has decided to cancel Robot Wars. No, it’s not Battlebots — the house robots always seemed to be a bit overkill and added too much drama. No, it’s not Scrapheap Challenge or Junkyard Wars, but Robot Wars was legitimately fun, and cheap-to-produce reality TV. The engineering that went into these bots was amazing, and this is a loss for the entire engineering community. Here’s a change.org petition against its cancellation, but we all know how successful those change.org petitions can be.

FREE CHIPS!. Free motor drivers, actually, which is even more impressive. Aisler puts together BOMs for projects and such — think of it as an on-demand kitting service. They’re throwing in free Trinamic drivers with orders. Someone should build a motor driver breakout.

26 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: March 25, 2018

      1. True story…

        I have a headlight that mounts to my helmet for when I’m cycling, which just sticks on with velcro dots. The battery was originally held in place using a velcro pad and a strap, but over time, the velcro strap wore out and the pad fell to bits, so I ended up zip-tying it. In short, I can no longer remove the battery from the holder, thus no longer fit the battery in the headband assembly.

        One weekend, we were camped here:

        In my pack-up, rather than try to remove the zip tie and fit the headlight to the headband assembly, I opted instead to grab an old hard hat which I had previously put velcro pads on for mounting this headlight. It also had a set of earmuffs attached.

        That evening, we’ve gone to bed in our swags, but the other campers are still up, making a lot of noise and I couldn’t sleep. After lying awake for a few tens of minutes I realised… I’ve got a solution to this. Reached for the hard hat, put that on with the earmuffs and shoved the now superfluous pillow (the hat was full-brim) out of the way. I fell asleep within a minute.

        It’s normally difficult to sleep with earmuffs on because of their bulk, but in this case, the brim of the hard hat and the harness inside supports your head so you barely notice. Looks really odd, but (1) no one can see me inside the swag, and (2) if it means I can sleep when the campers are making a racket, sod it!

  1. I want a board that plugs into a step-stick / Pololu socket with a screw terminal block to break out the step, direction etc lines. That would make it both easy and rugged for connecting motor drivers for BIG motors to RAMPS and other CNC boards that use those tiny drivers.

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