Quite a few FM receiver projects center around the RDA5807 or TEA5767 ICs, however [Dilshan] has used the QN8035 by Quintic Corporation in his build. A handful of discrete components on a pleasing single-sided PCB is all that is needed to interface the QN8035 with the Pi’s I2C bus.
After demonstrating that the FM tuner could be, well, tuned at the command line, [Dilshan] then coded a smart looking GUI application that makes tuning a breeze. The software allows the listener to manually and automatically scan through FM stations, decode program service data, control the volume, and display the RSSI and SNR readings from the tuner.
As we reported earlier, FM radio is on a slow decline into obsolescence. This latest project isn’t aiming to break new ground, however its simplicity and inexpensive components are the perfect combination for beginner hackers and radio enthusiasts alike. More details can be found over on Hackaday.io. The schematic, source code and bill of materials can be found on GitHub.
Good dental hygiene is the first line of defense when it comes to your health, and– you’re already bored, aren’t you? It’s totally true, though. Take care of your teeth, and the rest of you has a better chance of staying fairly healthy.
This is like, the one thing we have control over after diet and exercise, and most people just plain fail on this front. They brush for 30 seconds, tops. Or they rarely floss. Maybe they’ve never even considered brushing or scraping their tongue.
Okay, fine. You don’t want to spend the recommended two minutes twice a day working the brush around your mouth. The good news is, technology has finally caught up with you and your habits, if you can call them that. How about using something that can truly be called a teethbrush? As in, it brushes all of your teeth at once? Well, half of your teeth anyway. Allegedly, you can spend as little as 10 seconds on each arch and effectively scour your smile — that’s because the thing vibrates at an astonishing 40,000 per minute or so.
Sounds kind of scary, doesn’t it? Wait ’til you hear how much they cost. One brand is $150 off the bat, and replacement heads are close to $40 each, although they’re supposed to last for six months each (eww!). Most of them have some fancy extras that make the cost more palatable, such as a tooth-whitening mode.
What do you think? Would you use a teethbrush? We’re still on the fence. It could be interesting to develop our own, but you have to crawl before you can run. Guess we’ll start with a manual.
If you’re like us, you probably don’t finish a typical hardware project in one sitting. This doesn’t have to be a problem if you’re fortunate enough to have a dedicated workbench for your hacking activities; you simply leave your current project there, ready to continue when you have time again. But this is not always a workable option if you, or a housemate, needs to use the same desk for other tasks as well.
[!BATTA!] over at IKEAhackers ran into this problem, and solved it by building a complete electronics workstation inside a wardrobe. The base of this project is a storage unit called PAX, which is designed to store clothes and shoes but which also works just fine with project boxes. [!BATTA!] installed a variety of shelves and drawers to organize their collection of boxes and tools.
Not content with simple storage, [!BATTA!] decided to add a workbench, using a sturdy sliding tray that carries a working surface and a reinforced back panel to hold parts bins. Metal braces were added to prevent wobbliness, and the whole structure was bolted to a wall to prevent it from tipping over. When the workbench is not in use, the tray simply slides inside so the doors can be closed for a nice, clean look.
We really like the many clever storage solutions spread around the work area, such as a magnetic rail to hold hand tools and a “honeycomb” of PVC tubes for storing cables. Compact LED strips provide suitable lighting while a power strip with both mains and USB sockets brings juice to the tools and projects.
Old game systems are typically the most popular targets for emulation. With huge communities of fans wanting to recreate the good times of yesteryear, most old systems have all been brought back to life in this manner. However, some simply dive into emulation for the technical challenge, and [Austin Appleby] has done just that with GateBoy.
GateBoy is a project to emulate the Game Boy logic gate by logic gate. It’s a lower level approach that builds upon earlier work [Austin] did on a project called MetroBoy, which we featured previously.
The emulator was created by painstakingly reverse-engineering the logic of the Game Boy. This was done by poring over die shots of the actual DMG-01 CPU silicon. GateBoy emulates most of the chip, though avoids the audio hardware at this stage.
Presently, GateBoy runs at roughly 6-8 frames per second on a modern 4GHz CPU. As it turns out, emulating all those gates and the various clock phases at play in the DMG-01 takes plenty of processing power. However, compilation optimizations do a lot of heavy lifting, so in some regards, GateBoy runs impressively quickly for what it is.
[Austin] still has plenty of work to do before GateBoy is completely operational, and there are some strange quirks of the Game Boy hardware that still need to be figured out. Regardless, it’s a fantastic academic exercise and a noble effort indeed. Meanwhile, you might like to check out the Game Boy emulator that runs just one single game.
Hackaday Prize 2021 entrant [Philip Ian Haasnoot] has been building a well-polished power bank. But this is no ordinary little power bank the like you would throw in your rucksack for a day out. No, this 2.5 kW luggable power bank is neatly encased in a tough, waterproof Pelican 1550 case, and is suitably decked out with all the power sockets you could possibly need for a long weekend of wilderness camping and photography.
This box sports USB-C and USB 3.0 connectors for gadget charging, as well as 12 VDC cigarette lighter and XT-60 ports for high-drag devices. Also it provides a pair of 120 VAC sockets via an integrated inverter, which at 1.5 kW could run a small heater if you were really desperate, but more likely useful to keep your laptop going for a while. Now if only you could get Wi-Fi out in the desert!
[Philip] doesn’t actually talk much about the solar panels themselves, but we know the box contains a 600 W MPPT boost converter to take solar power in, and feed the LiPo battery pack in the correct manner.
The battery pack is custom-made from salvaged and tested 18650 cells, as you would expect, which we reckon took an absolute age to make by hand. The whole project is nicely finished, and looks like something we’d be happy to throw in the back of the car before heading out into our local wilderness.
As [Philip] says in the project description, it’s a tough job to carry enough power and keep all his drones, cameras and lighting equipment charged, not mention helping prevent the campsite occupants from freezing overnight during the chilly Arizona nights.
Many power bank designs have graced these fair pages over the years, like this rather polished build, and long may they continue to do so.
First taking to the skies in April 1952, and introduced into the US Air Force in 1955, the B-52 Stratofortress has since become a mainstay of American air power. Originally developed as a nuclear bomber to carry out the critical deterrence role, changing realities saw it delivering solely conventional munitions in actual operations.
At Hackaday, we celebrate all kinds of hardware hacks, and we try not to judge based on appearance. After all, every product starts out on the breadboard, or as a prototype built with hot glue and tape. What’s important is getting it to work, at least at first. But there comes a time when you’ve got to think about how to make your project look like something people want to use, how to position controls and displays in a logical and attractive way, and how to make sure your thing can actually be built.
Turning a project into a product is the job of an industrial designer. Pretty much everything you use, from the toothbrush by your sink to the car you drive to work in bears the marks of industrial design, some more successfully than others. Eric Strebel has been doing industrial design for years, and he keeps feeding us a steady diet of design tips and tricks through his popular YouTube channel. He’ll stop by the Hack Chat to get a little more in-depth on industrial design principles, and how you can make your projects look as good as they work.