Hackaday Podcast 042: Capacitive Earthquakes, GRBL On ESP32, Solenoid Engines, And The TI-99 Space Program

Hackaday Editors Elliot Williams and Mike Szczys talk turkey on the latest hacks. Random numbers, art, and electronic geekery combine into an entropic masterpiece. We saw Bart Dring bring new life to a cool little multi-pen plotter from the Atari age. Researchers at UCSD built a very very very slow soft robot, and a broken retrocomputer got a good dose of the space age. A 555 is sensing earthquakes, there’s an electric motor that wants to drop into any vehicle, and did you know someone used to have to read the current time into the telephone ad nauseam?

Take a look at the links below if you want to follow along, and as always tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “Hackaday Podcast 042: Capacitive Earthquakes, GRBL On ESP32, Solenoid Engines, And The TI-99 Space Program

  1. One thing in 5G is that the protocol and network have more flexibility towards different types of devices.

    For example, NB-IoT is a “5G” technology. It’s sort of a competing technology, because similar provisions are being provided, but it serves to illustrate the point.

    4G and LTE do not really support devices that simply send a piece of data and then go to sleep. They expect the devices to be like cellphones, which are in constant communication with the network. They connect to the tower, they negotiate transmission slots or other bandwidth allocations, and then they keep reporting in at regular intervals. If they fail to report in, they have to re-negotiate.

    NB-IoT and the equivalent 5G protocols instead allow the devices to register in the network, and the vanish for hours and hours, even up to days, before the network starts to question whether they are really there. This means the devices can arrange very narrow transmission slots and sleep most of the time without having to waste power in saying “Hey I’m still here, still alive, don’t forget me!”. This works perfectly for remote sensors, PoS devices, etc. and it saves so much bandwidth that hundreds of thousands of devices can register into the network and you don’t waste bandwidth for all the “Marco! Polo!” noise that is being bounced around in a regular 4G network.

    The other point is that since 5G can operate at higher frequencies, the mobile device can use smaller antennas to the point of being as small as an RFID tag. You can slap them on in everything. The third point is that spatial location within a 5G cell is much more accurate, thanks to both the higher frequency and smaller cell size, which means things like industrial robots can use the system as an indoors GPS and navigate around the shop floor using just the 5G carrier.

    1. Point being, with a 5G network, you can go all the way from a tiny solar cell powered IoT sensor to streaming Netflix on your laptop in the same network, or controlling a robot arm wirelessly with millisecond loop latency using a centralized logic controller in a factory. It supports a wider range of use cases with fewer compromises.

  2. Do people listen to the end or just find themselves there?

    I like to think of them like the extra clips that are sometimes found at the end of films mid-credits – rewards for hanging on to the bitter end (although, hopefully not that bitter an end).

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