The Atari VCS 800 is a modern product, a hybrid of a PC and a games console. Fundamentally, its a bunch of modern chips in a box running Linux that will let you browse the web or emulate some old games. Now, thanks to [ArcadeHustle], you can have persistent root access to the VCS 800 at your leisure.
The trick is simple, and begins by interrupting the systemd startup scripts on boot. One can then merge files into the /etc directory to achieve root access, either by the tty terminal or over TCP. It’s all wrapped up in the script available at the Github link above.
You can actually run a variety of OSs on the hardware, as it’s powered by an AMD Ryzen R1606G CPU and runs straightforward PC architecture. However, if you want to customize the existing OS to do your bidding, this hack is the way to go.
Hacking to get root access is key if you want to get anywhere with a system. We’ve seen it done on thin clients as well as car infotainment systems to give the owner full control over the hardware they own. If you’ve got your own root exploit you’d like to share, do drop us a line, won’t you?
[John Floren] found a nice old black & white TV in a thrift store, and as so many of us would, he decided to take it home. He was surprised upon getting it there that it had, in addition to the VHF and UHF antenna inputs, a mysterious extra connector on the back. Naturally, he set about investigating.
On the rear was an obviously hacked-in F-type connector, paired with a toggle switch, both unlabelled. Running the output of an RF modulator to the connector didn’t net an image on the screen, even though the same method worked when hooked up to the antenna inputs. Undeterred, [John] dug deeper.
Inside, a little PCB bearing the mark “TVM.04” was inside, bearing a handful of components. The device turned out to be a Pickes and Trout TVM-04 adapter, designed in the 1970s for hooking a computer up to a television for use as a monitor. The adapter board allows the Hitachi TV to accept a composite video input. [John] was able to test the TV with a NES clone outputting composite video and voila, it worked! [John] then went further, adding an audio input and installing standard RCA jacks to make it easier to use the input with more modern electronics.
It’s a great example of how simply opening up some electronics and poking around can teach you something. Hacking on old-school TVs is a popular pastime around these parts, it seems. If you’ve been working on your own retro display hack, be sure to let us know.
A few days ago, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) came out with a 5-0 unanimous vote on its position on right to repair. (PDF) It’s great news, in that they basically agree with us all:
Restricting consumers and businesses from choosing how they repair products can substantially increase the total cost of repairs, generate harmful electronic waste, and unnecessarily increase wait times for repairs. In contrast, providing more choice in repairs can lead to lower costs, reduce e-waste by extending the useful lifespan of products, enable more timely repairs, and provide economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and local businesses.
The long version of the “Nixing the Fix” report goes on to list ways that the FTC found firms were impeding repair: ranging from poor initial design, through restrictive firmware and digital rights management (DRM), all the way down to “disparagement of non-OEM parts and independent repair services”.
While the FTC isn’t making any new laws here, they’re conveying a willingness to use the consumer-protection laws that are already on the books: the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair competitive practices.
Only time will tell if this dog really has teeth, but it’s a good sign that it’s barking. And given that the European Union is heading in a similar direction, we’d be betting that repairability increases in the future.
Thanks [deshipu] for tipping us off on this one!
Felling a tree properly is a skill that takes some practice to master, especially without causing any injuries or property damage. Getting the tree cut down though is sometimes only half of the battle, as the stump and roots need to be addressed as well. Unless you have a few years to wait for them to naturally decompose you might want to employ a stump grinder, and unless you want to spend a chunk of money on a stump grinding service or buy your own, you might want to do what [Workshop from Scratch] did and build your own.
This stump grinder isn’t anything to scoff at, either, and might even fool some into thinking it’s a consumer grade tool from a big box store. Far from it though, as almost everything down to the frame is custom machined specifically for this build. The only thing that isn’t built from scratch, including the cutting wheel, is the beefy 15 horsepower motor. Once it gets going it is able to carve stumps down to the ground in no time thanks especially to some gear reductions in the drive line from the motor to the cutting head.
Before anyone mentions safety, it looks like [Workshop from Scratch] has made some upgrades since his last project which was a gas-powered metal cutting chainsaw. Since then it looks like he has upgraded the sheet metal to something a little thicker, even though a stump grinder has arguably lower risk due to the slower speed of the cutting wheel and also to the fact that the cutting medium is wood and not metal. There are also brakes and an emergency shutoff switch. It sure seems like a fine addition to his collection of completely custom tools.
Continue reading “Building A Stump Grinder From The Ground Up”
3D printers are quite common nowadays, but we’re still far from exhausting new ideas to try with them. [Angus] of [Maker’s Muse] recently got interested in 3D printing small mechanical assemblies that can be put together by folding them up, and also depend on folding linkages for the moving parts. (Video, embedded below.) The result would be lightweight, functional assemblies that would be simple to manufacture and require very few parts; but how to make the hinges themselves is the tricky part. As a proof-of-concept, [Angus] designed a clever steering linkage that could be printed flat and folded together, and shows his work on trying to make it happen.
[Angus] points out that that 3D-printed hinges have a lot of limitations that make then less than ideal for small and lightweight assemblies. Printing hinge pieces separately and assembling after the fact increases labor and part count, and print-in-place hinges tend to have loose tolerances. A living hinge made from a thin section of material that folds would be best for a lightweight assembly, but how well it works depends a lot of the material used and how it is made.
[Angus] tries many different things, and ultimately decided on a hybrid approach, combining laser cutting with 3D printing to create an assembly that consists of a laser-cut bottom layer with 3D printed parts on top of it to create a durable and lightweight device. He hasn’t quite sorted it all out, but the results show promise, and his video is a fantastic peek at just how much work and careful experimentation can go into trying something new.
Continue reading “See This Hybrid Approach To Folded 3D Printed Mechanisms”
Do you dream of building a curvy ergonomic keyboard or macro pad, even though the idea of hand wiring gives you nightmares? You can make it a bit less troublesome with a tiny PCB for each key switch, as long as you have a reflow oven or you’re okay with a bit of surface-mount soldering for the diode, LED, and capacitor.
As a bonus, these should make switches a bit more secure against movement, and you could probably even get away with using hot swap sockets if you wanted. [Pedro Barbero] has the Gerber files available if you want to get some fabbed. We sort of wish we had used these on our dactyl, though the case is awfully tight and they might not fit.
Ultra-Mechanical Keyboard Angles with Lifter Motors
Lots of people prefer an angled keyboard, but plenty of new keebs, especially mechanical ones, just don’t offer that at all. Well, the wait for an adjustable 75% is over, at least. Okay, that’s not exactly true. The wait for a group buy to begin for an adjustable 75% is almost over.
Nestled in between the arrow cluster and the menu key of the Besides Studios M-One is a rocker switch that angles the keyboard from 3° to 7° slowly but surely, like an adjustable bed. This is going to be a bare-bones group buy, meaning that it won’t come with any switches, stabs, or keycaps, but that doesn’t mean it will be cheap at $299. [BadSeed Tech] got an early prototype and built it out with Gateron Ink Black V2 switches in the video below in order to give it a proper spin.
Continue reading “Keebin’ With Kristina: The One With The Mad Model M”
Here we are, a year and change into this pandemic, and if you were new to working-from-home every day at the start, surely it has lost its luster by now. We asked you to stand back and assess what can be better about WFH life and you took it from there, building incredibly useful things we couldn’t have dreamed of. From a pool of more than one hundred entries, the judges have selected ten projects whose creators have each been awarded a $500 prize, and will advance to the final round of the 2021 Hackaday Prize in October.
Are your prototypes a mess of wires? Or do you spend way too much time making sure each jumper is cut to the perfect length? Either way, you’re better off using breadWare, which takes a standard breadboard and changes the connection process into a software solution. That’s right — any rail including the power rails can connect to any other thanks to a handful of analog CMOS switch chips.
Maybe you’d love to build the perfect keyboard to grace your battlestation, but are afraid of all that hand wiring. Make it easier on yourself by soldering each key switch to its own little PCB.
If your home office is sometimes overrun by little humans that need immediate attention, you’ll no doubt appreciate the value of a device that can deactivate your web camera and mic automatically when it no longer senses your presence.
You may have left that awful office lighting behind, but you’re still getting plenty of prolonged exposure to blue light. This project aims to head that off a bit by replicating the current outdoor light temperature with indoor lighting. And don’t forget — air quality is just as important, so crack open a window once in a while and build yourself a smart lamp that can give you hard numbers.
This was the second of five challenges in the 2021 Hackaday Prize, which means that the ten finalists linked below will have until the end of October to flesh out and polish their projects before the final round of judging. Meanwhile, we’ve kicked off the next round with the Re-imagine Supportive Tech challenge. Show us how you would make electronics and devices more accessible, as in more modular, hackable, or affordable.
Ten Finalists from the Refresh Work From Home Challenge:
If you like these, take some time to kick back and peruse the entire list of entries in this challenge. You deserve it.