A pocket-sized TV is not a big deal today. But in 1983, cramming a CRT into your pocket was quite a feat. Clive Sinclair’s TV80 or FTV1 did it with a very unique CRT and [Dubious Engineering] has a teardown video to show us how it was done.
A conventional CRT has an electron gun behind the screen which is why monitors that use them are typically pretty thick. The TV80’s tube has the electron gun to the side to save space. It also uses a fresnel lens to enlarge the tiny image.
Continue reading “Sinclair Pocket TV Teardown”
IBM and a non-profit company, ProMare, failed to send their 49-foot Mayflower autonomous ship across the Atlantic back in June. Now they are almost ready to try again. The Mayflower will recreate the path of its more famous namesake.
The total voyage is set to take a month, but the last attempt developed mechanical problems after three days. Now they are running more sea trials closer to shore before attempting another crossing in 2022. Continue reading “IBM Attempts An Uncrewed Atlantic Crossing (Again)”
We’ve all learned in primary school art classes that blue and yellow make green, and that adding a little black to a color will make it darker. But what if you want to paint with a color that exactly matches something else? Usually, that requires a lot of trial and error (and paint), and the end result may not look the way you wanted after all.
To help aspiring artists, [Airpocket] made the M5Stack Color Maker. This is a device that reads out a color sensor and automatically mixes watercolor paint in the right proportions to match what it sensed. It dispenses drops of cyan, magenta, yellow and black paint (CMYK) into a small bowl, from which you can then apply it with a paintbrush.
The color sensor is similar in use to the color picker (or “dropper”) tool present in most graphics programs: simply point it at something that has the right color, and it will generate the correct values for you. It is based on an AMS TCS34725 color sensor, which is housed in a 3D-printed shell that also includes a white LED. The sensor outputs Red, Green and Blue (RGB) values, which are converted into the corresponding CMYK values by a Raspberry Pi Pico. A touch-sensitive screen allows the user to make adjustments before activating the paint pumps.
Those pumps are tube pumps, which have been specifically designed (and also 3D printed) to allow them to move tiny amounts of liquid while minimizing the pulsing motion typical with this type of pump. They are driven by stepper motors which are controlled by the Pi Pico.
Although many artists might prefer to mix their colors manually, the M5Stack makes mixing that exact shade of blue just that little bit easier. We can also imagine it might help those who are color blind and unable to clearly tell different colors apart. We’ve seen simple paint mixers for larger quantities of paint, and even robots that can do the actual painting for you. If you need a refresher on color theory, we’ve got you covered too.
Continue reading “The M5Stack Color Maker Can Mix Paint To Match Your Subject”
When [Fab] needed an anemometer for his latest project, he was stymied by the limited range and relatively high prices of commercial options. Undeterred, his solution was an impressive DIY anemometer that rivals the off-the-shelf alternatives.
AnemoSens was designed from the ground up as a component for the ambitious WinDIY_2 Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine, however it’s just as suitable as part of your standard home weather station. The microcontroller unit uses RS485/Modbus connectivity, ensuring that data from the wind sensor is accessible across a variety of platforms. Serial-stream via USB and an SD cart slot are also available for recording data, the latter being particularly useful for long-term unsupervised monitoring. [Fab] also integrated an ESP32 for recording data over the air.
The MCU also features a location for the venerable BME280, which is a relatively accurate temperature, pressure and humidity sensor often deployed in DIY weather stations. This feels like a nice touch, as it means the anemometer package alone could feasibly serve as a rudimentary weather sensing station, or as a backup for more elaborate environmental monitoring.
The prototype currently uses a Hall effect sensor for measuring the wind speed, while a AS5048B magnetic rotary encoder does a decent job of measuring rotation (wind direction). Some calibration is likely necessary to improve the accuracy of this setup, but it’s a promising start.
[Fab] has already identified some shortcomings with the bearing, but has a plan for future iterations. He might want to check out this spare-parts anemometer that uses a bearing from an old hard drive.
Continue reading “DIY Anemometer For Projects Big And Small”
Join us on Wednesday, October 13 at noon Pacific for the Resin Printing Hack Chat with Andrew Sink!
At its heart, 3D printing is such a simple idea that it’s a wonder nobody thought of it sooner. Granted, fused deposition modeling does go back to the 80s, and the relatively recent explosion in cheap, mass-market FDM printers has more to do with cheap components than anything else. But really, at the end of the day, commodity 3D printers are really not much more than glorified hot-glue guns, and while they’re still a foundational technology of the maker movement, they’ve gotten a bit dull.
So it’s natural that we in this community would look for other ways to push the 3D printing envelope, and stereolithography has become the new hotness. And with good reason — messy though it may be, the ability to gradually pull a model from a tank of goo by selective photopolymerization looks magical, and the fine level of detail resin printers are capable of is just as enchanting. So too are the prices of resin printers, which are quickly becoming competitive with commodity FDM printers.
If there’s a resin printer in your future, then you’ll want to swing by the Hack Chat when Andrew Sink visits us. Andrew has been doing a lot of 3D printing stuff in general, and resin printing in particular, over on his YouTube channel lately. We’ve featured a couple of his tricks and hacks for getting the most from a resin printer, and he’ll be sharing some of what he has learned lately. Join us as we discuss the ins and outs of resin printing, what’s involved in taking the dive, and the pros and cons of SLA versus FDM.
Our Hack Chats are live community events in the Hackaday.io Hack Chat group messaging. This week we’ll be sitting down on Wednesday, October 13 at 12:00 PM Pacific time. If time zones have you tied up, we have a handy time zone converter.
No matter where you live in the world or what beverage you enjoy, it’s too easy to spill it on the keyboard. Obviously, the solution is to combine the two. That’s exactly what Google Japan did this past April Fool’s Day when they released the Gboard — a cylindrical keyboard wrapped around a removable cup. But is it still a joke once you’ve open-sourced it and made a build guide, more or less?
Here’s where it gets weird: each kanji on the keyboard represents a different kind of fish, and they’re laid out in Japanese phonetic order. You’re not stuck with the fish, though — one of the 60 keys switches between fish input and regular Hiragana (the basic Japanese phonetic alphabet). Underneath all those fish are low-profile Kailh chocs hooked up to an ATMega32u4. We only wish it were wireless.
We love that they open-sourced this keyboard, and it even makes sense in a way. In order to produce a good April Fool’s video, you actually have to make the fake product. The better it is (i.e. weird but plausible), the more people will like it and probably want one. So if you’re going to go to all that trouble, why not set it free on GitHub? Note that the second line of the readme is “this is not an officially-supported Google product”, which we suppose goes without saying.
Be sure to check out the short video after the break. If you don’t understand Japanese, you’ll want to turn on the closed captions.
You know, now that Raspberry Pi have made their answer to the Arduino, it’s about time that Apple made their answer to the Raspberry Pi.
Continue reading “Can’t Spill Coffee On Your Keyboard If It’s Already Inside”
It is by no means an overstatement to say that life as we know it would grind to a halt without cargo ships. If any doubt remained about that fact, the last year and a half of supply chain woes put that to bed; we all now know just how much of the stuff we need — and sadly, a lot of the stuff we don’t need but still think we do — comes to us by way of one or more ocean crossings, on vessels specialized to carry everything from shipping containers to bulk liquid and solid cargo.
While the large and complex vessels that form the backbone of these globe-spanning supply chains are marvelous engineering achievements, they’re still utterly dependent on their crews to make them run efficiently. So it’s not at all surprising to learn that some shipping lines are working on ways to completely automate their cargo ships, to reduce their exposure to the need for human labor. On paper, it seems like a great idea — unless you’re a seafarer, of course. But is it a realistic scenario? Will shipping companies realize the savings that they apparently hope for by having fleets of unmanned cargo vessels plying the world’s oceans? Is this the right way to automate the freight?
Continue reading “Automate The Freight: Autonomous Ships Look For Their Niche”