Hackaday Links: July 14, 2019

The M5Stack is a plastic box loaded up with an ESP32, a display, some pin headers, and a few buttons. Why does this exist? It’s a platform of sorts, and we’ve seen people adding LoRa to the M5Stack as well as thermal cameras. Hot from random online retailers is the M5Stick, a smaller version of the ~Stack that still has a screen, still has pin headers, and still has an ESP32. It’s a new development platform that’s using a USB C plug (hot trends 2019), and it still has all the features of an ESP32.

Ever wonder how they put designs on skateboard decks, or graphic designs on luggage? That would be a UV printer — it’s basically an inkjet that uses UV-curing ink, but the print head has a Z axis, and the bed is usually huge. [Scotty] of Strange Parts recently took a look at a factory that makes UV printers. Yeah, there’s a lot of wiring that goes into these machines, and yeah, you can do a lot with them. Remember: the cheapest UV printers are about $3k, and yeah, you can print designs on PCBs with them.

Virgin Orbit is the Branson-branded take on the Stratolaunch; this is a rocket that uses a single 747 to loft a small rocket into the stratosphere and send it off into a sun-synchronous orbit. This week, Virgin Orbit has completed drop tests to characterize how the rocket falls away from the 747. This is also called ‘a bombing run’, and we could have used a few GoPros on the rocket itself.

Last weekend was ‘LeHack’, a French hacker/infosec conference. There was a coffee vending machine there, complete with touch screen and an offer to pay via your smartphone with an app. You know what happened. It turns out, you can take over all the accounts using the app. You can also brute force the user’s pins. Lesson learned? Why the hell does a coffee machine need an app?

The New Pallet Wood! First off, don’t make anything out of pallet wood unless you know what you’re doing; there’s some nasty chemicals in pallet wood. That said, you can make a fortune with pallet wood furniture on Etsy, and that’s doubly true if you make a pallet wood resin river table. This is the new pallet wood. Hollow core doors are easy to disassemble with a table saw, and provide two large sheets of plywood, and enough sticks to make a frame for something. What can you do with all this wood? Build a guitar, of course.

13 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: July 14, 2019

  1. Pallet wood isn’t the only thing that has nasties in it … many UV curable inks do as well. At least enough to fit the detectable “substances of interest” category.

  2. If you’re going to worry about wood preservative or industrial spills then it seems whatever doors are assembled and coated with are equally eligible for worry. Use your nose and eyes picking pallets.

    1. Exactly. If it looks natural and smells natural, it does not have preservatives. A lot of pallets I encounter actually use hardwood, which is naturally more resistant to pests.

      Furthermore, pallets are supposed to be used for a short period of time, surely there is no point into going to extra expense just to pressure treat them.

  3. I’ve always been told to look for the “HT” marked pallets, these are heat treated rather than chemically fumigated. I don’t know how much credence I place in that; I’d never make wooden food prep gear in the first place, but I’d probably trust it enough for furniture.

    1. especially when there is plenty of other scrap wood that you can get if you look a bit harder and maybe talk to people. The only reason pallet wood is fashionable is that most companies just throw it out by the street with a free sign.

      Also while HT marked pallets are initially heat treated it does not mean that they haven’t been fumigated as well. Some countries still fumigate all pallets on entry and i am certain that a certain percentage of those are shipped back out to other countries.

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