Sometimes the projects we write up for Hackaday require their creators to produce pages of technical explanation, while others need only rely on the elegance of the hack itself. The Scope Probe Caddy from [Tonyo] has probably one of the shortest write-ups we’ve linked to from a Hackaday piece, because its utility is self-evident just by looking at it.
It’s likely that everyone who has owned an oscilloscope will have encountered this problem: that multiple ‘scope probes soon manifest themselves into a tangled mess, an unruly octopus which threatens to overwhelm your bench. The probe organizer is an extremely simple solution tot his problem, a 3D printed clip which fits over the probe connector and into which the probe itself can also slot.
The clip comes as an OpenSCAD file, which starts with a range of size definitions for different types of probe connector. The Rigol we have here isn’t among them, but a very quick measurement with the calipers allowed us to enter the size of a Rigol probe connector at 11.5 mm. It’s not often we make something we’re writing up as we’re writing it, but in this case a quick bit of 3D printing and we too have tidy probe storage. With the addition of a cable tie or a small nut and bolt it’s assembled, and now helps make a Hackaday bench a little clearer.
To start our week of vulnerabilities in everything, there’s a potentially big vulnerability in Android handsets, but it’s Apple’s fault. OK, maybe that’s a little harsh — Apple released the code to their Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) back in 2011 under the Apache License. This code was picked up and shipped as part of the driver stack for multiple devices by various vendors, including Qualcomm and MediaTek. The problem is that the Apple code was terrible, one researcher calling it a “walking colander” of security problems.
Apple has fixed their code internally over the years, but never pushed those updates to the public code-base. It’s a fire-and-forget source release, and that can cause problems like this. The fact that ALAC was released under a permissive license may contribute to the problem. Someone (in addition to Apple) likely found and fixed the security problems, but the permissive license doesn’t require sharing those fixes with a broader community. It’s worth pondering whether a Copyleft license like the GPL would have gotten a fix distributed years ago.
You probably know what a cyberdeck is by now, but you’ll find that people’s definitions differ. Some use the term rather loosely, applying it to things that are luggable at best. But we think you’ll agree that the “Chonky Palmtop” created by [Daniel Norris] AKA [a8ksh4] is without a doubt, quite cyberdeckian.
One of the hallmarks of a cyberdeck is that it folds up, often like a laptop in the screen-over-keyboard sense. Not only does chonky palmtop do that, but the split keyboard (more on that later) has this impressive pivot geometry and really satisfying slider mechanism thing going on. The whole thing folds up into a little brick, which [Daniel] says is about the size of an old Asus EEE laptop. (Remember those bad boys? Those were the days.)
Inside the brick is some stuff you might expect, like a Raspberry Pi 4 and a 7″ touchscreen. [a8ksh4] also packed in an AmpRipper 3000 LiPo charger, which is especially good for high voltage projects. Speaking of, there is a voltage button to check the battery level, which is then displayed on a trio of 7-segment displays that are smack dab in the middle below the screen.
Now about that split keyboard — that’s a Corne, which is kind of a happy medium between a lot of keys and too few, and 42 is probably enough keys for most people. Considering the overall size, we think that is a great amount of keys.
Not that you can tell by the keycaps on those Chocs, but [a8ksh4] is rocking the Miryoku layout and firmware. Slide past the break to watch chonky palmtop unfurl, boot into Ubuntu, and close back up in a brief demo video.
What is it that’s not quite either a plane or a boat, but has characteristics of both? There are probably a lot of things that fit that description, but the one that [Nick Rehm] is working on is known as an ekranoplan. Specifically, he’s looking to make the surface-skimming ground-effect vehicle operate autonomously.
If you think you’ve heard about ekranoplans around here before, you’d be right — we’ve covered a cool LIDAR-controlled model ekranoplan that [rctestflight] worked on about a year ago, and more recently, [ThinkFlight]’s attempts to make an autonomous ekranoplan that can follow behind a boat. The latter is where [Nick] enters the collaboration, and the featherweight foam ground-effect vehicle shown in the video below is his test platform.
After sorting out the basic airframe design and getting the LIDAR integrated, he turned his attention to the autonomous bit, which relies on a Raspberry Pi 4 running ROS and a camera with a wide-angle lens. The Pi uses machine vision algorithms to find an “AprilTag” fiducial marker in the scene, which gives the flight controller information about the relative orientation of the ekranoplan to the tag. [Nick] tested tag tracking using an electric longboard, and the model ekranoplan did an admirable job of not only managing the ground-effect, but also staying on target right behind him. And hats off to [Nick] for keeping all the balls in the air and not breaking his neck in the process.
We’re looking forward to seeing what [Nick] built here end up in [ThinkFlight]’s big ekranoplan build. Ground-effect vehicles like these are undeniably cool, and it seems like they’ve got the potential to solve some interesting transportation problems.