There was a time when high-performance disk drives used SCSI — the Small Computer System Interface — and everything else was kid stuff. Now, advanced forms of SCSI are still around but there are other high-performing disk interfaces, too. But some old gear really loves their classic SCSI ports, and [Adrian] decided to try hooking some of them up to some modern computers. You can see how he did in the video below.
The key to the attempt is a USB to SCSI adapter which was unusual but not unheard of, and [Adrian] came across one from 1999. Of course, you have to wonder if a modern computer will support the device or will be able to load the drivers from the old CD.
[Stephan Henrich] is probably going to set off a wave of bigfoot sightings if his new shoe, the Cryptide sneaker takes off. The shoe is completely 3D printed in flexible TPE using a laser sintering printer from Sintratec. The shoe takes a name from cryptozoology and, in fact, would leave a puzzling footprint due to its articulated toes and scaly-looking sole.
Judging from the look of the sole, it should be pretty cushy and we presume if you were 3D printing these, you’d scan or precisely measure the intended foot for a perfect fit. You can see a video about the shoe below.
Ever wanted to measure soil moisture? Common “soil moisture meter module arduino raspberry compatible free shipping” PCBs might deceive you with their ascetic looks. Today, [Raphael (@rbaron_)] is here to teach us (Twitter, unrolled) what it takes to build a soil-embedded sensor that can actually survive contact with a plant.
As the picture might hint, waterproofing is of paramount importance, and soldermask doesn’t quite cut it. Raphael describes his journey of figuring out approaches and coatings that would last, starting from simply using nail polish, and ending with the current option – a rotisserie-like device that rotates sensors as the coating applied to them dries, mitigating a certain kind of structural failure observed long-term. With plenty of illustrative pictures and even a video of the rotisserie device in action, you’ll quickly learn things that took time and effort for Raphael to figure out.
Turbojet engines are an incredible piece of 20th century engineering that except for some edge cases, have mostly been replaced by Turbofans. Still, even the most basic early designs were groundbreaking in their time. Material science was applied to make them more reliable, more powerful, and lighter. But all of those incredible advances go completely out the window when you’re [Joel] of [Integza], and you prefer to build your internal combustion engines using repurposed butane canisters and 3d printed parts as you see in the video below the break.
To understand [Integza]’s engine, a quick explanation of Turbojet engines is helpful. Just like any other internal combustion engine, air is compressed, fuel is burned, and the reaction produces work. In a turbojet, a compressor compresses air. Fuel is added in a combustor and ignited, and the expanding exhaust drives a turbine that in turn drives the compressor since both are attached to the same shaft. Exhaust whose energy isn’t spent in turning the turbine is expelled and produces thrust, which propels the engine and the vehicle it’s attached to in the opposite direction. Simple, right? Right! Until the 3d printer comes in.
Sadly for 3d printed parts, they are made of plastic. Last we checked, plastic isn’t metal, and so 3d printing a turbine to give the extremely hot exhaust something turn just isn’t going to work. But what if you just skipped the whole turbine part, and powered the compressor with an electric motor? And instead of using an axial compressor with tons of tiny blades that would likely be impossible to 3d print with enough strength, you went with a sturdy, easy to print centrifugal compressor? Of course, that’s exactly what [Integza] did, or we wouldn’t be talking about it. The results are fantastic, especially considering that the entire machine was built with 3d printing and a home made spot welder.
Learning to play a musical instrument takes a major time commitment. If you happened to be stuck inside your home at any point in the last two years, though, you may have had the opportunity that [Dmitriy] had to pick up a guitar and learn to play. Rather than stick with a traditional guitar, though, [Dmitriy] opted to build his own digital guitar which is packed with all kinds of features you won’t find in any Fender or Gibson.
The physical body of this unique instrument is entirely designed by [Dmitriy] out of 3D printed parts, and uses capacitive touch sensors for each of the notes on what would have been the guitar’s fretboard. The strings are also replaced with a set of six switches that can be strummed like a regular guitar, and are used to register when to play a note. After a few prototypes, everything was wired onto a custom PCB. The software side of this project is impressive as well; it involved creating custom firmware to register all of the button presses and transmit the information to a MIDI controller so that the guitar can communicate digitally with anything that supports MIDI.
To finish off the project, [Dmitriy] also added a wireless device as well as some other bonus features like an accelerometer, which can be used to augment the sound of the guitar in any way he can think of to program them. It’s one of the most innovative guitars we’ve seen since the prototype Noli smart guitar was unveiled last year, and this one is also on its way from prototype to market right now.
When it comes to hunting down military radar installations and associated hardware, we typically think of equipment that is firmly in the price bracket of nation states and their military forces. Whether it’s early warning radar, those used for air defence, or for naval purposes, you’d think it was relatively difficult to intercept or track these emissions.
There’s a slew of hardware hacker problems that a logic analyzer is in a perfect position to solve. Whether you’re trying to understand why an SPI LCD screen doesn’t initialize, what’s up with your I2C bus, or determine the speed of an UART connection, you’ll really want to have a logic analyzer on hand. People have been using a Pi Pico as a logic analyzer in a pinch, and now [pico-coder] has shared a sigrok driver that adds proper support for a Pico to beloved tools like Pulseview.
The specs offered are impressive. Compared to the $10 “Saleae” clone analyzers we are so used to, this thing boasts 21 digital channels with up to 120 MHz capture speed, 3 ADC channels at up to 500 KHz, and hardware-based triggers. The GitHub repository linked above stores the driver files out-of-tree, but provides build instructions together with an easily flash-able uf2 firmware. It’s likely that you’ll soon see this driver in a stock Pulseview installation, however, given the submitter-friendly attitude we’ve witnessed on the sigrok mailing list. However, if you need a logic analyzer ASAP, you should follow the caringly offered quickstart guide.