Would it have been too obvious to call a game about soccer playing RC cars, Soc-Car? Well [Martin] thought so and opted to call his Nintendo GameCube homebrew game, Retro League GX. The game clearly takes inspiration from Rocket League developed by Psyonix, as it pits teams of cars on a pitch plus comes complete with boosts to boot. There are some impressive physics on display here, and according to Krista over at GBATemp everything is playable on original hardware. Though those without a GameCube can certainly get a match in via the Dolphin emulator.
There are a number of ways to boot homebrew on a Nintendo GameCube, however, the most essential piece of software would be Swiss. Swiss is a homebrew utility that interfaces with all the myriad of ways to load code onto a GameCube these days. Common ways loading homebrew include saving files onto an SD card then using a SDGecko device that plugs into the memory card ports, or a SD2SP2 device that plugs into one of the GameCube’s expansion ports located on the bottom of the console. Those who prefer ditching the disc drive entirely can load homebrew via a optical disc emulator device like the GC Loader.
Still on the roadmap Retro League GX are ports for 3DS, PSP, Wii, and Linux. LAN and Online multiplayer are in the works as well. So at least that way GameCube broadband adapter owners may get to branch out beyond Phantasy Star Online for once. Best of all, [Martin] stated that the code for Retro League GX will be open sourced sometime next year.
[Doug]’s newly-installed Yaesu FT-891 mobile transceiver failed to power up despite a careful installation, and it turns out to have ultimately been caused by a reversed cable. There’s a happy ending, however. Since the only real casualties were a blown resettable fuse and a badly-burned resistor that damaged the PCB, [Doug] was able to effect a repair. Things could have been worse, but they also could have been better. Damage could have been prevented entirely with some better design, which [Doug] explains during his analysis of what went wrong.
The main problem was that the generic RJ12 cable that [Doug] used to connect radio components had its connections reversed. This would not be a problem if it was used to connect a landline telephone to the wall, but it was a big problem when used to connect the radio components together. According to the radio schematics, the two center wires carry +13 V and GND, which meant that a reversed cable delivered power with reversed polarity; never an optimal outcome.
Once the reversed power arrived at the other end, [Doug] discovered something else. Diodes whose job would be to protect against reverse polarity were marked DO NOT INSTALL, probably to shave a few cents off the bill of materials. As a result, the full 13 V was soaked up by a 1/8 W surface mount resistor which smoldered and burned until a fuse eventually blew, but not before the resistor and pads were destroyed. Thankfully, things cleaned up well and after replacing the necessary parts and swapping for a correct cable, things powered up normally and the mobile radio was good to go.
[Steve M. Potter] loves and respects a good, solid keyboard as much as we do and wanted to build an heirloom-level battleship to grace their home office. Well, you couldn’t ask for a better donor keeb. [Steve] used a Unicomp, the modern Model M. The cases on them are nowhere near as nice as a real model M, but hey, where else are you going to find a keyboard with new buckling spring switches? You’re not. (If anyone has a line on new buckling spring switches by themselves, please let us know.)
Although it has those wonderful buckling spring switches, this body is made of solid cherry. After dialing in the general shape of the case, [Steve] carefully routed out all the key cluster holes using a plunge router. This appears to have been the easy part, because making the keycaps looks terribly tedious.
The alphas a number row are all made from 3/4″ maple dowel rod cut down into cylinder nuggets and topped with Scrabble tiles. The F keys and modifiers are cut out of square poplar rod with bird’s eye maple veneer for a unique look. We particularly like the colored F keys — they look like candy or whisky stones, and just happen to be in resistor color code order. But our favorite part has to be the Caps Lock light. We’ll never understand why in situ lock lights went out of fashion.
FDM 3D printing has gone beyond prototyping and is being used as a production tool by many companies. However, conventional printers still require an operation to pop the finished part of the bed and start a new print. [Thomas Sandladerer] wanted a way to swap beds without human intervention, so he built an automatic print surface changing system.
The most obvious solution to this problem may appear to be belt printers like the Creality CR-30, but these come with some trade-offs. Bed adhesion can be a problem, and the lack of a rigid print surface causes some parts to come out warped. [Thomas] wanted to be able to use PEI-coated steel beds to avoid these issues. His solution is a system that pulls beds from a “magazine” and pushed out the old bed after a part is finished. It still uses a magnetic heatbed, which lowers out of the way before changing print surfaces. Each print surface is fitted inside a 3D printed frame which rests on the tool changer frame and keeps it in place as the heatbed drops down. The bed frames are printed using ASA, can handle 90 C without problems. The pusher mechanism and the heatbed lowering system are driven by stepper motors which connect to the spare motor outputs on the printer’s control board. The printer in question is a Voron 2.4, which is perfect for this application thanks to its high print speed.
This tool-changing system is only the first prototype, but it still worked very well. [Thomas] plans to make key improvements like a larger print bed and reduced height. This system might be a good fit for small and large print farms. We’ve seen another bed-clearing system that doesn’t require extra build surfaces, but instead scrapes off the completed part.
If you think 3D printing is only good for benchies, key chains, and printer parts, you might enjoy the paper by two physicists from Wesleyan University and the University of Gothenburg. Lord Kelvin — also known as William Thomson — hypothesized a shape known as an isotropic helicoid. As its name implies, the shape would look the same from any angle. Kelvin predicted that such a shape would spin as it sank in a liquid. Turns out, 3D printing proves it wrong. (The actual paywalled paper is available.)
It might seem strange that scientists are only now getting around to disproving a 150-year old hypothesis. However, the paper’s authors think Kelvin may have built the structures — he provided precise instructions — and simply dropped it when it proved incorrect.
The name Gladys West is probably unfamiliar, but she was part of creating something you probably use often enough: GPS. You wouldn’t think a child who grew up on a sharecropping farm would wind up as an influential mathematician, but perhaps watching her father work very hard for very little and her mother working for a tobacco company made her realize that she wanted more for herself. Early on, she decided that education was the way out. She made it all the way to the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
While she was there she changed the world with — no kidding — mathematics. While she didn’t single-handedly invent satellite navigation, her work was critical to the systems we take for granted today.
Historically, Hackaday has attended (or hosted) Bring-a-Hack events as a social activity along with live conference. You grab something off your bench and it gives you a thing to talk about as you see friends old and new. This virtual Bring-a-Hack walks in those footprints — anyone who wants to present their to the group can just type ‘I would like to present’ in the Crowdcast chat once the event gets under way. We also plan to have breakout rooms for more interaction.
If you were too shy to show off one of your projects at the last one of these back in April, now is your chance! Are you building something for the Hackaday Prize? What have you done to make working from home more tolerable? Whatever you’re into, we want to see it, so come and show it off to the hacker elite from around the world. And just because they’re elite, it doesn’t mean they’re elitist: it doesn’t matter what level your project is on. What matters is that you’re passionate about it, and that you probably learned something along the way — something you can share with the community that will bring you many virtual pats on the back.