These days, there’s all manner of addressable LEDs out there that can be easily used to produce blinky, flashy projects. However, there’s nothing stopping makers from doing things the old fashioned way, and hacking together an matrix out of raw LEDs. [Deepak Khatri] did just that with his own custom build.
Rather than rely on a PCB or other substrate to hold the matrix together, [Deepak] elected to freeform the design instead. A matrix of holes was cut in a cardboard template with the aid of graph paper. LEDs were then inserted into the holes in the requisite pattern, and their own leads soldered together to create the frame for the glasses. Additional wires that were needed were then installed, doubling as a bridge to allow the glasses to rest comfortably on the nose. Black epoxy was then used on the back side to block the light from blinding the wearer. The matrix is controlled by a pair of shift registers addressed by a microcontroller, and the display animates impressively smoothly.
The third bug fixed is a very interesting one, CVE-2021-30737, memory corruption in the ASN.1 decoder. ASN.1 is a serialization format, used in a bunch of different crypto and telecom protocols, like the PKCS key exchange protocols. This bug was reported by [xerub], who showed off an attack against locked iPhone immediately after boot. Need to break into an old iPhone? Looks like there’s an exploit for that now. Continue reading “This Week In Security: Updates, Leaks, Hacking Old Hardware, And Making New”→
One hard disk recently failed in the EEVBlog laboratory’s NAS. Keeping true to his catch phrase, [Dave “Tear it Apart” Jones] opened it up and gave us an inside tour of a modern hard disk drive. There are so many technological wonders to behold in modern HDDs these days — the mechanical design, electronics and magnetics, and the signal processing itself which is basically an advanced RF receiver — that we can forgive [Dave] for glossing over a system of piezo actuators thinking they were manufacturing test points. Even knowing they are actuators, you have to stare at them and think for a bit before your brain accepts it.
Later realizing the mistake, he made a follow-up video (down below) focusing on just the disk head actuator arms and this micro-actuation system (or perhaps they are milli-actuators). The basic concept is a pair of piezoelectric transducers mounted on either side of the short arm holding the read head. Presumably they are driven out of phase to flex the arm left or right, but the motion is imperceptible to the eye — even under magnification, [Dave] was not able to discern any motion when he pulsed the transducers. When you consider that these micro-actuators are mounted on the main actuator arm, which itself is also in motion, the nested control loop arrangement to maintain nanometers of accuracy is truly amazing. Check out this 45 second explanatory video by Western Digital which has a good animation of the concept.
If you want to see your HDD in operation without taking it apart, check out the transparent drive we wrote about last month. And to read more about esoteric actuators, check out this article from 2015 which contains one of the longest words to appear in our pages — magnetorheological. If you’ve experience a hard disk failure, which thankfully is becoming rarer these days, do you chunk it or tear it apart?
Fuses are generally there to stop excessive electrical currents from damaging equipment or people’s soft, fleshy bodies when faults occur. However, some people like to blow them just for fun, and [Photonicinduction] is just one of those people. He recently decided to push the boat out, setting his mind to the task of popping a 5000 A fuse in his own back yard. (Video, embedded below.)
It’s not a job for the faint-hearted. The fuse is rated at 5,000 A — that’s the nominal rating for the currents at which it is intended to operate. Based on the datasheet, the part in question is capable of withstanding 30,000 A for up to five full seconds. To pop the fuse instantly takes something in the realm of 200,000 A.
To achieve this mighty current, a capacitor bank was built to dump a huge amount of energy through the fuse. Built out of ten individual capacitor units wired up in parallel, the total bank comes in at 10,000 μF, and is capable of delivering 200,000 A at 3000 V. (Just not for very long.) The bank was switched into circuit with the fuse via a pneumatic switch rated at just 12,000 A.