Grok Rust In A Flash

Here at Hackaday, we are big proponents of using the best tool for the job (or making your own tool if required). But when all you know how to use is Java, everything looks object-oriented. Bad jokes aside, it is important to have many tools at your disposal to allow you to choose wisely. Why not spend a few minutes with [No Boilerplate] and understand the basics of Rust?

The focus of the video is to go through as much Rust as possible and teach you how to read it. The idea is that rather than work your way from basic concepts, [No Boilerplate] will go over the vast majority of what you’ll see in a Rust-based program. Whether you’re coming from an object-oriented, functional, or just plain C-based background; you’ll feel comfortable since he makes an effort to compare to what you already know. Some of Rust’s more unique features are covered such as mutability, scope, matching, and strings. However, lifetimes, closures, and traits were left out to keep the video short. These topics are covered in an excellent blog post by [Faster than lime] which this video was based on.

What isn’t discussed is running Rust in a no-std environment like a PIC32. Rust has seen exciting development over the past few years with the Linux kernel getting rusty and the compiler getting continually better. Video after the break.

Continue reading “Grok Rust In A Flash”

attaching the vent to the tent

Venting Your PC Outside

As the power requirements of CPUs and GPUs in modern gaming machines continue to rise, they are quickly becoming more and more of a space heater that happens to play games. If you’re using your PC in a tight space with a door shut, you might find the temperature in your office rising relatively rapidly. Some solutions to this include fans, window AC units, or moving the computer somewhere else and routing cables back to the office. The fine folks at [Linus Tech Tips] tried something a little out of the box by putting the whole computer in a box.

We don’t usually cover [Linus Tech Tips] here at Hackaday, but we thought the approach was somewhat novel. PC cases have many exhaust fans and holes, so it’s hard to extract the hot air from a single point. So after purchasing a comically large but cheapish “plant” growing tent, they could enclose the PC and remove the heat through some insulated ducting. A laser-cut adapter plate and 3d printed hose connector allowed the hose to sit in the window to vent outside. An inline fan pulls all the needed air from the tent to the outside. Ultimately, the temperature in the room stayed chill while some benchmarks were running, but there was speculation that the fan was pulling in air from the rest of the apartment to vent the PC’s heat. We’d love to see a more closed system with a heat exchanger to the outside.

Perhaps they can borrow [Diy Perks]’s bellow PC build and connect the hose right to it, getting rid of the tent. Video after the break.

Continue reading “Venting Your PC Outside”

Hackaday Links Column Banner

Hackaday Links: July 10, 2022

We always like to call out a commercial success stemming from projects that got their start on, and so we’re proud to announce the release of MAKE: Calculus by Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron, a book that takes a decidedly different approach to teaching calculus than traditional courses. Geared to makers and hackers, who generally tend to have a visual style of learning, the book makes heavy use of 3D-printed models to illustrate the relationships between functions. The project started five years ago as a 2017 Hackaday Prize entry, and resulted in a talk at the 2019 Supercon. Their book is now available for preorder, and might be a great way to reacquaint themselves with calc, or perhaps even to learn it for the first time. Continue reading “Hackaday Links: July 10, 2022”

A VCR with NICAM support.

Remembering NICAM: Deep-Dive Into A Broadcasting Legacy

Although for many the introduction of color television would have seemed to be the pinnacle of analog broadcast television, the 1970s saw the development of stereo audio systems to go with TV broadcasts, including the all-digital NICAM. With NICAM broadcasts having ceased for about a decade now, the studio equipment for encoding and modulating NICAM can now be picked up for cheap. This led [Matthew Millman] to not only buy a stack of Philips NICAM studio gear, but also tear them down and set up a fully working NICAM encoding/decoding system with an Arcam Delta 150 as receiver and Philips PM5687 encoder.

Philips PM5687 with lid off.
Philips PM5687 with lid off.

Finally, the Philips PM5688 test receiver is analyzed. This is the component that studios would have used to ensure that the NICAM encoding and modulating systems were working properly. Although public NICAM broadcasts started in the late 1980s, the system was originally developed to enable point to point transfers of audio data within a transmission system. This was made very easy due to the digital nature of the system, and made enabling it for public broadcasts relatively straightforward once receivers became affordable enough.

Of note is that NICAM was only ever used in Europe and some Asian-Pacific countries, with others using the German Zweikanalton. This was a purely analog (two FM channels) system, and the US opted to use its MTS system, that was quite similar to the German system in terms of transmitting multiple FM channels alongside the TV signal. With digital TV gradually overtaking analog TV transmissions, the future of NICAM, MTS and others was sealed, leaving us with just these time capsules we can build up using old studio equipment.

When Combat Robot Wheels Need To Be Nice And Cheap (But Mostly Cheap)

It started with [CHORL] making a promise to himself regarding constructing a new combat robot: no spending of money on the new robot.

That rule was violated (but only a little) by making his robot’s wheels out of EVA kneeling pads. EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) is a closed-cell foam that makes for durable yoga mats, kneeling pads, and products of a similar nature. [CHORL] found a way to turn them into light but serviceable wheels for his robot: the Susquehanna Boxcar.

Nested hole saws create concentric holes. Perfect for wheels.

Here’s how the wheels were made: [CHORL] began with two hole saws. Nesting a smaller hole saw into a larger one by putting both on the same arbor created a saw with two holes, both of which were centered with respect to one another. The only problem was that this hole saw was not actually deep enough to cut completely through the thick foam. Luckily, cutting roughly halfway through on one side, then flipping the sheet over and cutting through from the other side was a good workaround. That took care of turning the thick foam sheet into round wheels.

A 3D-printed part served as a wheel hub as well as gear for the drivetrain. We want to call attention to the clever method of reinforcing the connection between the parts. [CHORL] didn’t want to just glue the geared hub directly to the surface of the foam wheel, because he suspected it might separate under stress. To address this, he designed six slots into the hub, cut matching slots into the foam wheel, and inserted six spline-like reinforcements in the form of some ABS strips he had on hand. Gluing it all together with E-6000 and leaving it to cure overnight under a weight resulted in a geared wheel assembly that [CHORL] judged to be about as round and rigid as a wheel should be, so the robot had a solution for nice light wheels that were, above all, cheap!

Lots of robots need wheels, and unsurprisingly, DIY solutions are common projects. [CHORL]’s approach here looks pretty scalable, as long as one can cut some accurate holes.

Interested in knowing more about the robot these wheels are destined for? [CHORL]’s still working on the Susquehanna Boxcar, but it’s almost done, and you can read a bit more about it (and see a few more pictures) here.

Masking Tape Pen Plotter Gets An Upgrade

[Mr Innovative] decided to make his version of a small pen plotter (video after the break) to make labels on masking tape. The result is an impressive compact machine that is remotely controlled using your smartphone. The plotter is constructed using several different techniques, a piece of plywood as the base, a 3D printed bracket for the motors and pen carriage, and a routed acrylic plate that holds the lead screw and linear rail assembly. The whole thing is controlled by an Arduino Nano mounted on a custom motor driver carrier board.

The inspiration for this build came from a project by [michimartini] aka [Molten Cheese Bear] that we covered a few months ago. [Mr Innovative] went for belt vs direct drive and no local screen. It also appears to plot a little bit faster, but that might be due to differences in the ink pens used. An Android app called TextToCNC converts label text into G-Code, and the Grbl Controller app sends those commands to the plotter.

We like continued iterations of open source projects and look forward to seeing what the next generations look like. Thanks to [keithfromcanada] for submitting this tip.

Continue reading “Masking Tape Pen Plotter Gets An Upgrade”

Vapor Trails And Fan Make For Fantastic Photos In DIY Wind Tunnel

Every wanted a mini wind tunnel to check the aerodynamics of scale model cars, drones, or other small objects? Then check out [dannyesp]’s mostly-3D-printed DIY wind tunnel (video, embedded below). Don’t forget to also browse the additional photos in this Reddit thread.

A junk parts project doesn’t have to look like a hack job.

There’s not much for plans available, since as [dannyesp] admits, this device was very much the product of trial-and-error and junk bin parts. The video and photos are more than enough for any enterprising hacker to work with.

The core of the device is a large fan made from a junked drone motor. This fan is located at the rear of the tunnel. A small anemometer is placed at the front, where some 3D-printed baffles also work to smooth out turbulent incoming air.

The foggy trails of vapor come from a hacked-up vape pen. Vapor gets piped through some tubing to the front of the tunnel. There, the vapor trails are drawn towards the low-pressure area at the rear, traveling over and around the object on the way. [dannyesp] also mentions that the platform holding the object is mounted on a rail, which incorporates some kind of pressure sensor in an attempt to quantify wind drag.

We want to take a moment to appreciate just how clean this “junk parts” project looks — even though it is made from things like broken photo frames. All of this comes down to thoughtful assembly. A hack doesn’t have to look like a hack job, after all. We also love the little control box that, instead of having a separate power indicator, lights up like a little nightlight when it has power.

Hacking vaporizers is a fantastic way to create a small, portable fog machine. These can create fantastic costume effects like this smoking Ghost Rider skull. They are a great way to turn an off-the-shelf consumer item into something that cost quite a bit more just a few years back.

Continue reading “Vapor Trails And Fan Make For Fantastic Photos In DIY Wind Tunnel”