The idea is simple. The project video notes that conductive tape can be placed on a multitouch touchscreen, allowing touches to be read at a remote location. Taking this concept further, BackTrack works by creating a 2D matrix on the back of the phone, and connecting this matrix to a series of pads in a row on the front touchscreen. Then, touches on the back touchpad can be read by the existing touchscreen on the front screen. Continue reading “Turning The Back Of Your Phone Into A Touchpad”→
Designing 3D environments is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. A week ago, if you decided to design an entire city in Blender, say for a game or animation, you probably would have downloaded some asset pack full of building shapes and textures and painstakingly placed them over the course of days, modifying the models and making new ones as needed. Now, you would just need to download Buildify, feed it an asset pack, and watch the magic happen.
Buildify, made by [Pavel Oliva], is one of the most impressive bits of Blender content we’ve seen in a long time. It lets you generate entire cities by drawing the outlines of buildings. You can grab walls and resize individual structures, and the walls, windows, doors, textures, and everything else will automatically rearrange as needed. You can even select a region on Open Street Maps and watch as Buildify recreates the area in Blender using your chosen asset pack (maybe a KiCad PCB design could be used as the source material too?). It’s really something incredible to see, and you’ve just got to watch the video below to understand just how useful this tool can be.
The pay-what-you-want .blend file that you can grab off of [Pavel]’s website doesn’t include all the beautiful assets you can see in the video, but instead generates simple grey block buildings. He made one of the packs used in the video, and will be releasing it online for free soon. In the meantime, he links to other ones you can buy, or you can get really ambitious and create your own. We know it won’t be long until we’re seeing animations and games with Buildify-generated cities.
The term “phased array” has been around for a long time, but in recent years we’ve heard more and more about the beam shaping that’s possible with phased array antennae. In the video below the break, [The Signal Path] breaks down a Qualcomm 60GHz WiGig unit, and does a deep dive, even looking at the bare silicon and an x-ray of an antenna.
Some fascinating highlights include how not only the data signal is sent to the antennae through a standard coaxial cable, but so are control signals and a base clock frequency. [The Signal Path] explains how the manufacturer chose to use what’s called a SuperHeterodyne (aka “superhet”) architecture, which is not all that different from those used in traditional amateur radio transceivers. In theory, anyway.
Another element that is discussed is how the PCB’s themselves are used as waveguides, inductors, and transmission line matches, among other countless little hacks to fit a rather complex system into a truly diminutive space.
There are many ways to tell the time, from using analog dials to 7-segment displays. Hackers tend to enjoy binary watches, if only for their association with the digital machines that seem to make the world turn these days. [Vishal Soni] decided to build one of their own.
It’s a straightforward design, that uses six bits to show the time. A red light is illuminated at the top of the watch to indicate the watch is showing minutes, and these are displayed in binary on the six blue LEDs below. Then, the watch indicates it is showing hours, and again uses the six blue LEDs to show the relevant number. Continue reading “Simple Binary Watch Uses A PCB Body”→
As arcades become more and more rare, plenty of pinball enthusiasts are moving these intricate machines to their home collections in basements, garages, and guest rooms. But if you’re not fortunate enough to live in a home that can support a space-intensive hobby like pinball machines, there are some solutions to that problem. This one, for example, fits on the palm of your hand and also happens to run some impressive software for its size.
The machine isn’t a mechanical pinball machine like its larger cousins, though. Its essentially a 3D printed case made to look like a pinball machine with two screens attached. It does have a working plunger for launching the ball and two buttons on the sides for the approximation of authenticity, but it’s actually running Pinball Fantasies — a pinball simulator designed to run on x86 hardware from the 90s. This sports an ESP32 on the inside, which has just enough computing capability to run an x86 emulator that can load these games in DOS.
While the 2022 Hackaday Prize as a whole winds its way through a good chunk of the year, each individual challenge that makes up the competition only sticks around for a limited time. As hard as it might be to believe, our time with theHack it Back challenge is nearly at a close, with just a few days left to enter your project before the July 24th deadline.
Each challenge in this year’s Hackaday Prize has been designed around the core themes of sustainability, resiliency, and circularity — and for the Hack it Back phase of the competition we asked hackers to essentially keep as much hardware out of the landfill as possible. That could mean making a simple fix that puts a piece of equipment back into service, or it might be a be complete rebuild of an older device to bring it up to modern standards. These are the kind of projects Hackaday was built on, so turning it into an official challenge this year made perfect sense. Continue reading “Don’t Miss Your Last Chance To Enter The Hack It Back Challenge”→
It’s built around a metal core, with 3D printed panels attached to the user’s liking. In addition to the body panels, parts like the trigger assembly and button panels can be moved around and adjusted to suit different games or different players.
A test unit has been built in a right-handed configuration, featuring four buttons and two switch sliders. In addition to the main X and Y axes, it also has a Z axis activated by twisting the joystick, as well as an analog brake. There’s a trigger, too, as every good joystick must have. For now, the electronics is not integrated. Instead, a STM32 BluePill board sits on top of the stick to read all the controls and talk to a PC. The test setup looks to work well, with [Nixie] putting the gear through its paces in Star Citizen.