Hackaday Links: June 16th, 2019

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OpenSCAD has been updated. The latest release of what is probably the best 3D modeling tool has been in the works for years now, and we’ve got some interesting features now. Of note, there’s a customizer, for allowing parametrizing designs with a GUI. There’s 3D mouse support, so drag out that weird ball mouse from the 90s. You can export in SVG, 3MF, and AMF. Update your install of OpenSCAD now.

New Hampshire is the home of BASIC, and now there’s a sign on the side of the road saying so. This is a New Hampshire state historical marker honoring BASIC, invented at Dartmouth College in 1964. Interestingly, there are 255 historical markers in New Hampshire, usually honoring bridges and historical figures, which means there’s an off-by-one error depending on implementation.

Because robots a great way to get kids into technology — someone has to repair the future robot workers of the world — DJI has release the RoboMaster S1. It’s a robot with four Mecanum wheels, something like a Nerf turret, a camera, and WiFi. The best part? It’s programmable, either through Scratch or Python. Yes, it’s drag-and-drop programming for line following robots.

If you have a C by GE Smart Light Bulb and connect a new router to your home network, you will need to disassociate your C By GE Smart Light Bulb with your old network. To do this, you first need to turn your bulb on for eight seconds, then turn off for two seconds, then turn on for eight seconds, then turn off for two seconds. Then turn the bulb on for eight seconds, and finally turn the bulb off for two seconds. Finally, turn the bulb on for eight seconds, then turn the bulb off for two seconds. Your bulb should blink three times, indicating it has dissociated with the WiFi network. If this procedure does not work, your light bulb is running an older version of firmware. This is why you put a physical reset button on your stuff, people.

Have a lot of Raspberry Pi hats but you want to play around with the ESP32? No problem, because here’s a Pi-compatible GPIO ESP32 board. It needs a catchier name, but this is an ESP32 that’s mostly compatible with the 40-pin connector found on all Pis. Here’s a Crowd Supply link.


28 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: June 16th, 2019

  1. “you first need to turn your bulb on for eight seconds, then turn off for two seconds, then turn on for eight seconds, then turn off for two seconds. Then turn the bulb on for eight seconds, and finally turn the bulb off for two seconds. Finally, turn the bulb on for eight seconds, then turn the bulb off for two seconds.”

    You know what happened when you did that in the old days? I got light, then dark, then light…

      1. “In my house there’s this light switch that doesn’t do anything. Every so often I would flick it on and off just to check.

        Yesterday, I got a call from a woman in Madagascar. She said, ‘Cut it out.'”


  2. Not everyone has the ability to get on a ladder and press a reset switch. What if someone who bought the bulb requires a wheelchair?

    The reset procedure sounds annoying but it guarantees universal access to anyone.

    1. Good point,
      Though, it would be beneficial to most audiences by having both a button for those who can reach and the long-reset process for those who can’t reach….
      That way, those who can reach are able to reset their bulb faster and get on with other tasks… like sitting back and reading HackADay :)

    2. The silly bit is that other smart bulbs exist and have quicker reset processes. My xiaomi yeelights are something like 1 second on, 1 second off 5 times in a row then they flash rainbow colours to show it worked. Far easier than GE’s process. Also far easier for a child playing with a light switch to trigger so maybe GE’s bulbs aren’t designed for home environments?

    3. Hm. What if the bulb for some reason gets into a state where it’s on but the LEDs aren’t turning on? Then you wouldn’t have any indication of whether it’s on or not, which would make this reset procedure more difficult.

    4. Somewhere there was a discussion that removing the reset switch would save $0.25 off the BOM
      That’s why it doesn’t have one. Pure and simples.

      When people change their internetprovider or get a new router why do they go through tha hassle of changing old devices, why not just change the router to the old SSID?
      On more modern boxen you can have multiples.

  3. If people remember the Job Measure show from the eighties, it was set Vermont, and it was near Dartmouth, since there were references. It’s a nice area. When In was a kid, we spent a few weeks near Dartmouth, in a home rented by someone teaching there about 1968.


  4. “what is probably the best 3D modeling tool”

    That’s a pretty strong claim that I have hard time accepting. What makes it “the best”? What products have been made using OpenSCAD that are so impressive?

      1. I use the OpenSCAD plugin in FreeCAD which mostly works maybe 75% of the time, but it often messes up the output requiring extensive rework in a real CAD package.
        Sometimes it’s easier to just start from scratch and redraw the entire model.

  5. dji Robomaster – hmmmm

    based on their website:
    “Learn to Win
    The RoboMaster S1 is a game-changing educational robot built to unlock the potential in every learner. Inspired by DJI’s annual RoboMaster robotics competition, the S1 provides users with an in-depth understanding of science, math, physics, programming, and more through captivating gameplay modes and intelligent features.”

    maybe I’m old fashioned but why on Earth an educational device must look like a war machine?

    I know, I know it’s a very capable and interesting device and, for those who can afford, can be a real help in order to get familiar with technology, etc., etc, but again put a fishing rod on it or anything else but a gun …

    1. I watched a couple videos of those Robomaster competition. It’s a tactical shooting game with remote controlled robots, but there the teams (university students) build their own robots, so it’s somewhat educational. The DJI product is not, but rides the hype. Marketing.

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