Hackaday Links: August 5, 2018

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Here’s something of historical interest. The daughter of Terry Holdt, project manager for the 6502, cleaned out a garage and found shelves full of MOS Technology binders, test results, notes, instructions for processes, letters to customers, and datasheets full of errata. Some of these documents have been posted on Twitter, and efforts are underway to collect, scan, upload, and preserve them. In the distance, a man in a fabulous suit is screaming, ‘donate them to the Internet Archive’.

This is a link to Defcad, the repository of 3D printable files for weapons. Under an agreement with the US Department of State, Defcad was set to go online on August 1st. This caused much handwringing in the tech journalist thoughtspace, with reporters calling to end the first amendment because they don’t like the second. Alyssa Milano chimed in. Defcad was ordered shut down by a federal judge in the western district of Washington before going live.

As you may well be aware, Printrbot ceased operations last month. It’s sad to see them go, but they made some acceptable machines and were really pushing the boundaries of what was possible with their infinite build volume prototype printer. But what about all those existing printrbots in the wild, you might ask. Well, good news for anyone who hasn’t changed their hotend over to an E3D yet: Ubis is going to be selling hotends. Get ’em while they’re hot (or not, I don’t know how this pun works).

File this one into the ‘awesome government auctions’ category. The city of Longmont, Colorado decommissioned their tornado sirens last year because they ‘self-activated’ and malfunctioned. These sirens were put up for auction, with a winning bid of $526. Someone bought the most annoying thing imaginable for just over five bills. The world of government auctions is amazing.

18 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: August 5, 2018

  1. I’m not sure it matters if the DD site is blocked. Anyone with the appropriate skill set can design the required parts from scratch. I guess it is more for those whom lack the required skills, but own a 3D printer.

    I personally would not use most of the designs available, especially the all plastic types. Even with the metal barrel insert, the breech block design is prone to failure, even with the chamber pressures realized by lower velocity handgun rounds.

    Build your guns from metal, as I do, and all will be well. It is safer, and you will learn some useful machining skills.

  2. “Notes: Poles Are Located In The City of Longmont at Multiple Addresses. All Aspects of Removal Are The Responsibility of The Buyer. Pole Heights Range From 60′ – 75′. Buyer Will Need to Follow Any Applicable Laws/Ordinances to Include Those Pertaining to Wild Animals. Some Pole May Have Osprey Nests, While The Bird is Nesting at The Site No One Can Touch It. For Inspection and Removal Contact…”

    That’s going to run to a lot more than five bills before it’s all through.

  3. I was given a small towns old air raid siren. I fire it up once in a while. It really wants 220 (it has a big 5 HP electric motor on it), I fire it up on 110. It starts up slowly. You can hear it chopping the air at first, and that slowly turns into a wail and gets progressively louder. One of these days I am going to hook it up to the doorbell so if you hold it in for a couple of seconds it will power up the siren for 20 seconds or so. That way, no matter where I am on the property I will be able to here there is someone at the door.

  4. I hate alarm sirens.

    In my city (Bucharest, Romania, EU) we never had hurricanes, tornadoes or terrorist attacks, yet at least once a months sirens annoys everybody in the city because they need to be tested. So, they only sound for testing, never for a real necessity, and even if they were to be sound for a critical situation, everybody will disregard the sirens, because we all know when the sirens are sound, it’s for testing.

    FUD at its peak. Grrr…!

    1. Here in Southern Arizona thy tested the air raid sirens (a Cold War hangover; the city was ringed with Titan 2 missile sites, has a sizable Air Force Base and some defense related industry…at the time it was Hughes Missile, I think they’re Northrop-grumman now?) every Saturday at 1 PM. I remember one harried saturday when I forgot the time, heard one go off very near me and thinking in a rather disgusted tone “Oh great, now we’re all gonna die…”

      1. Here in Stockholm, Sweden we have air-raid/emergency sirens that are tested quarterly. I believe it’s at 3 in the afternoon on the first Monday of the quarter. Inevitably, I forget, and wonder what that weird noise is.

        Then there was one time, about half a year ago, when they were performing routine maintenance of the system at around 10 at night, and inadvertently triggered the alarm. Then took around 10-15 minutes to get the word out that it was just an error. Meanwhile, pretty much all of the websites for emergency services went down under the load, which really bodes well in the event of an actual emergency, doesn’t it?

      2. If that was Tuscon, then yes there’s a good air base there, and a good air museum. Also the bone yard. And the Titan 2 sites have become museums. Oh and that’s where the scenes for Star Trek First Contact were filmed as regards to the Phoenix, it was built on a Titan 2 launcher. Oh and I was there in September 2008.

    2. I was worked in a chemical plant that had a loud siren they tested every Thursday. I was on the phone with a coworker who was off site. He was known to be…. very low key. Think like Les Nessman… introverted and odd. All of a sudden the alarm went off and he said very quietly and calmly. “Well… it isn’t Thursday so I’ll let you go.”

  5. I checked the specs. Those sirens are actually 3,200watt PA systems with eight 400watt pole mounted horns! Probably be useful for a racetrack or a stadium of some kind.

    They’re rated for 250-5,000Hz. Too bad they don’t do a little better on the low end or they’d make a killer guitar amp. LOL

  6. On the printrbot closure, a much bigger problem then spareparts. They had a cloud eco-system that is shut down now. So some people are struggling on how to use their printer now.

  7. Guess it’s always easy to kick somebody when they are down, but don’t really get the jab about putting an E3D on the PrintrBot. The Ubis 13S hotend is an exceptional hotend, competitively priced, and one of the few made in America. If anything, more people should be looking at switching their machines to Ubis hotends from whatever Chinesium firestarter their econo-printer came with.

    PB going under is sad, but Ubis surviving and perhaps even thriving now that the exclusive deal is over is something of a silver lining.

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