Maker Faire Bay Area is this weekend, and the Hackaday and Tindie crew are getting ready to jack some cupcake cars. The Bay Area Maker Faire is one of the greatest gatherings of all the cool people we know, and five years ago we started host a meetup. This Saturday, we’re blowing the roof off our favorite joint in San Mateo yet again. Join us at O’Neill’s Irish Pub for the 5th annual Hackaday x Tindie BAMF Meetup!
This meetup is a well established tradition — it’s all the cool kids at Maker Faire, hanging out in a bar. Well, all the cool 21+ kids that is. There will be blinky, there will be bring-a-hack, and there will be the people who build stuff and make things happen. This is the mixer for everyone who is passionate about hardware, and a refreshing escape from the heat and the five dollar bottles of water.
Want an idea of what’s in store for the Hackaday x Tindie Bay Area Meetup? Last year it spilled into the streets. We cajoled [Josef Prusa] to head out, we had tiny 3D printers in action, [Ben Heck] made an appearance, and someone brought a HoloLens. the MOnSter 6502 was there, slowly increasing its program counter. If you want to see the coolest DIY hardware without the dealing with the masses at Maker Faire, this is the event you want to hit up.
But wait, there’s more: HDDG is Thursday!
Are you heading to San Fransisco early? Awesome, because we’re also hosting the Hardware Developers Didactic Galactic on the Thursday before the Faire! The HDDG is our monthly expand-your-mind gathering for hardware developers in the Bay Area. We have some amazing guests that will be talking about the latest hardware they’ve been developing.
On deck for this installment of HDDG is [Tanya Fish] who has been working at Pimoroni for the past couple of years. She’ll be discussing the ‘invisible magic’ of electronics and how to explain electrons to the uninitiated. Also on board for HDDG is [Roy Jui Liang Hung], the founder of Perkūnas Studio, one of the most renowned 3D printing experts in Taiwan. He’ll be talking about 3D sculpture. Also on board is [Jason Kridner], co-founder of BeagleBone.org, who will be talking about simplifying hardware design with the BeagleBone On A Chip.
Give a man a fishing lure, and he catches fish until he loses the lure. Give a fisherman a 3D-printer, and he can print all the fishing lures he wants, especially replicas of those that are too valuable to actually use.
It may seem strange that some people collect fishing lures rather than use them, but when you look at [Hunter]’s collection, it’s easy to see why. Lures can be very artistic, and the Heddon River Runts in his collection are things of beauty and highly prized. They’re also highly effective at convincing fish to commit suicide, so rather than risk the originals, he and his dad 3D-printed replicas.
After modeling the body of the lure in Blender, they modified it with air pockets for buoyancy and located holes for attaching the treble hooks and lip spoon, which was fabricated from a scrap of brass from a rifle casing. The finished lure lacks the painted details and some of the charm of the original River Runt, but it has something Mr. Heddon couldn’t dream of in 1933 when he introduced it — it glows in the dark, thanks to the phosphorescent PLA filament used. That seems to be irresistible to the bass, who hit the lure so often that they got sick of taking pictures. See it in action in the video below.
[Hunter] and his dad have been busy exploring what 3D printing can do, replicating all sorts of Heddon lures. They’ve even got plans to design and print their own lures. But maybe archery is more your sportsman thing than fishing, in which case this PVC pipe compound bow or a recurve bow from skis would be something to check out.
At this point, you’ve almost certainly heard the tale of Eric Lundgren, the electronics recycler who is now looking at spending 15 months in prison because he was duplicating freely available Windows restore discs. Of no use to anyone who doesn’t already have a licensed copy of Windows, these restore discs have little to no monetary value. In fact, as an individual, you couldn’t buy one at retail if you wanted to. The duplication of these discs would therefore seem to be a victimless crime.
Especially when you hear what Eric wanted to do with these discs. To help extend the functional lifespan of older computers, he intended on providing these discs at low cost to those looking to refurbish Windows computers. After each machine had its operating system reinstalled, the disc would go along with the computer in hopes the new owner would be able to utilize it themselves down the road.
It all sounds innocent enough, even honorable. But a quick glance at Microsoft’s licensing arrangement is all you need to know the whole scheme runs afoul of how the Redmond giant wants their operating system installed and maintained. It may be a hard pill to swallow, but when Eric Lundgren decided to use Microsoft’s product he agreed to play by their rules. Unfortunately for him, he lost.
The Flite Test crew is well known for putting some crazy flying contraptions together. They’ve outdone themselves this time with a flying IKEA chair. This build began with [Josh] issuing a challenge to [Stefan]. Take a standard IKEA ladderback chair and make it fly– in less than six hours. With such a tight schedule, measuring twice and cutting once was right out the window. This was a hackathon-style “throw it together and hope it works” build.
The chair was plenty sturdy, so it became the core of the fuselage. [Stefan] grabbed the wing from a previous plane and placed it on the seat of the chair. Two carbon fiber rods drilled into the seat frame formed a tail boom. The tailfeathers were built from Flite Test foam – paper coated foam-core board.
With the structure complete, [Stefan] and his team added servos for control, a beefy motor for power, and some big LiPo batteries. The batteries hung from the bottom of the chair to keep the center of gravity reasonable.
When the time came for the maiden flight, everyone was expecting a spectacular failure. The chair defied logic and leaped into the air. It flew stable enough for [Josh] to take his fingers off the sticks. The pure excitement of seeing a crazy build that works is on full display as the entire Flite Test crew literally jumps for joy. [Alex] even throws in a cartwheel. This is the kind of story we love to cover here at Hackaday – watching a completely nutty build come together and perform better than anyone expected.
Are you putting ESP8266s in all your projects these days, whether they need one or not? We don’t blame you. These boards are cheap, tiny, oh and they have WiFi.
If you want to spend less time writing code and more time blinking RGB LEDs over Wi-Fi, then check out this ESP cookbook over on IO. [Turo Heikkinen] and team are writing a soup-to-nuts guide to these darlings of IoT. The cookbook leads off with pinouts and networking (of course) before moving into more intricate recipes involving popular sensors and displays.
This cookbook is funny, it’s helpful, and it’s really well-organized. We love that they used the details section to create a linked table of contents. The links all drive to a specific Instructions page where each group of code snippets and explanations can be found. It’s still a work in progress, so you might want to follow it for updates. We have a feeling they’re going to expand the dessert section next.