Hackaday Links: March 31, 2019

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You can now make flexible circuit boards of unlimited length. Trackwise was contracted out for making a wiring harness for the wing of a UAV and managed to ship a 26 meter long flexible printed circuit board. This is an interesting application of the technology — UAVs are very weight sensitive and wiring harnesses are heavy. Wings are straight, but they flex, and you need wires going from tip to tip. Flex circuits do all of this well, but first you need a technology that allows you to manufacture circuits that are as long as a wing. This is apparently something called ‘reel-to-reel’ technology, or some variant of continuous production. Either way, it’s cool, and we’re wondering what else this kind of circuit enables.

You may have noticed a few odd-shaped buildings going up in the last few years. These are buildings designed for indoor skydiving. Two went up around DC in the last year or so. What if you didn’t need a building? What if you could make an outdoor, vertical wind tunnel? Here you go, it’s the Aerodium Peryton.

KiCon, the first and largest gathering of hardware developers using KiCad, is happening April 26th in Chicago.

If KiCad isn’t your thing, PyCon is in Cleveland May 1-9. It couldn’t come at a better time: after losing LeBron, the Cleveland economy has plummeted 90%. Cleveland needs an industry now, and tech conferences are where it’s at. Go Browns.

For one reason or another, a few tech blogs wrote about a product on Tindie last week. It’s the SnapOnAir Raspberry Pi Zero PCB. This turns a Raspberry Pi Zero into a tiny, battery-powered handheld computer with a keyboard and display. This is just a PCB, and you’ll need to bring your own switches, display, and other various modules, but it is a compact device and if you need a small, handheld Linux thing, this is a pretty good solution.

Oh noes April Fools is tomorrow, which means the Internet will be terrible. Tip ‘o the hat to Redbox, though: they were the only one that sent out a press release to their waste of electrons by last Friday.


22 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: March 31, 2019

    1. Seeing some of the divers flying above the hight of the fence made me shudder. If you have a low body mass and an outfit with high drag, it is so easy to slip aside, out of area of lift and into the absolutist realm of gravity. There should be a larger trampoline area around it, or a cage above it, or just a higher fence.

  1. Long flex PCB’s are often called LED strips. but these are often limited to rolls of 10m.
    Once saw a youtube vid of placing LED’s on led strips, it was a completely custom (or maybe a heavily modified) P&P machine.

    Aerodium Peryton (or similar) can maybe also be used for pulling the ripcord of parachutes. This may be a good excercise for students. Turbulence above the wind tunnel could be checked with little drone parachutes.

    1. I’m assuming unlimited by fabrication constraints, Logistics might put a damper on the thing. Resource availability will also definitely make it only theoretically infinite.

  2. Flex PCBs are really really cool. They’re also a massive pain in the rear to diagnose when they go bad. Yes they can flex, but like everything there’s a limit to how much and how often. Especially over-flexing can cause weird intermittent connection errors that are really hard to track down.

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