Raspberry Pi Shuffler Is Computerized Card Shark

If you’re playing Texas Hold’em or other card games with a small group, you may get tired of shuffling over and over again. [3dprintedLife] was in just such a position, and realized there were no good automatic card shufflers in his budget. Instead, he elected to build one, and put in some extra functionality to corrupt the game to his whims.

The mechanicals of the machine took much development, as accurately handling and dispensing cards is a challenge, particularly with the loose tolerances of 3D printed parts. After developing a reliable transport mechanism, it was more than capable of shuffling a deck well with some basic commands.

However, the real magic comes from installing a camera and Raspberry Pi running OpenCV. This is capable of reading the value and suit of each card, and then stacking the deck in a particular order to suit the dealer’s wishes. It’s all controlled through a web interface and is capable of creating guaranteed wins in Blackjack and Texas Hold’em. Files are on Github for those eager to delve deeper into how the machine works.

The mechanism does such a beautiful job of shuffling, that your friends may not even notice the ruse. It goes to show that you should always have your wits about you when gambling with the aid of machines. Of course, if you wish only to create havoc, this Lego card machine gun may be more your speed. Video after the break.

[via Reddit]

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Clacker Hacker: Hot Rod Switch Mods

Whether you’re a programmer, gamer, writer, or data entry specialist, the keyboard is an extension of your nervous system. It’s not so much a tool as it is a medium for flow — for being in the zone. So I think it’s only natural that you should care deeply about your keyboard — how it looks, how it sounds, and above all, how it feels to finger-punch those helmeted little switches all the live-long day. That’s my excuse, anyway.

It might surprise you that mechanical keyboard switches can be modified in a number of ways. Depending on what you want from your keyboarding experience, you can make switches feel lighter or less scratchy, quiet them down, or tighten up any wobble in the housing. Why would you want to do this? Because customization is fun. Because electromechanical things are awesome, and because it’s fun to take switches apart and put them back together again. Because it’s literally hacking and this is Hackaday.

This is a pair of plates from a macro keeb I’m making that will sit directly in front of my trackball.

I got into switch modding because I wanted to put Cherry clears in my dactyl, but worried that they would take too much force to actuate and wear my fingers out. So I bought some really light (39g) springs and was really looking forward to swapping them into the clears, but they just don’t work. Like, physically. Slider goes down, slider gets stuck. It will come back up, but only if I hit it again and smear my finger to the side a bit at the same time. Those springs must be too weak to return clear sliders.

I took this as a sign that I should suck it up and use browns instead. After all, no one else has to know what my sliders look like. While I was opening switches, I tried out one of these super-light springs in a brown, thinking maybe they wouldn’t have to go to waste. Not only did the lighter spring work in the brown, it felt pretty nice. It’s hard to imagine how a whole keeb would feel based on a single switch, but if you can gather a handful and snap them into a plate to riffle your fingers over them, well, it’s probably close enough to a full keyboard to get a good feel for whatever mod you’re doing.

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Automated Part Removal Gets Serious With The Chain Production Add-on

Giving a 3D printer the ability to remove its own prints means that it can crank out part after part automatically, without relying on a human operator between jobs. [Damien Weber] has done exactly that to his Prusa MK3/S printer, with what he calls the Chain Production Add-on.

[Damien]’s approach is one we haven’t quite seen before. When printing is complete, a fan cools the part then an arm (with what looks like utility knife blades attached at an angle) swings up and behind the bed. The arm zips forward and scoops the print off the bed, dumping the finished part in the process. It’s all made from 3D printed parts, aluminum extrusion and hardware, two stepper motors, and a driver PCB. The GitHub repository linked above holds all the design files, but there is also a project page on PrusaPrinters.org.

Not quite sure how it all works? Watch it in action in the video embedded below.

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Grok The Z80 With This Simulator

Many of us will have at some point encountered a Z80 microprocessor, whether we’ve bare-metal programmed for it, or simply had a go at blasting some invaders on a game system using one. Like all the processors of its era, it’s got a relatively simple and accessible internal block diagram, so there’s a good chance that readers well even know how it works, too. But do any of know how it really works, down to the gate, transistor, and net level? [Goran] does, because he’s written a Z80 netlist simulator that allows the running of code alongside the examination of the chip and its signals. It’s not particularly fast, achieving a modest 2.3kHz clock speed when run of a fairly high-end PC, but we’re guessing readers needing to run Z80 code for anything other than learning would use the real thing anyway.

There’s a video of the software in operation which we’ve placed below the break, and we can see it will be a fascinating tool even to people who aren’t dedicated reverse engineers. To be able to bring up a logic analyzer view of the internals of a processor while it is in operation is truly astounding if you are used to it as a black box, and to have logic diagrams at your fingertips rather than puzzling out individual transistors really gives a window into what is going on.

This isn’t the only such simulator out there, in the past we’ve mentioned Visual6502, when we covered the Monster 6502.

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