Soviet-Era Test Gear Defects To YouTube

If you want to work on communication gear — especially in the 1960s — you probably wanted a VTVM (a vacuum tube voltmeter), a way to generate frequencies, and a way to measure frequencies and power. The Soviet military had a piece of portable gear that could do all of this, the IK-2, and [msylvain59] shows up how one looked on the outside and the inside in the video below. Be warned, though. The video is hard to stop watching and it runs for over an hour, so plan accordingly.

We don’t read Russian, but based on the video, it looks like the lefthand piece of gear is a frequency generator that runs from 20 to 52 MHz and a power meter. The right-hand instrument is a VTVM that has some way to measure frequency and the center section is a quartz crystal frequency standard.

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Choose Your Own Vector Map

There are adults out there driving who were born after Google Earth came out. Potentially distressing facts aside, those who were around to remember the magic of scrolling in and out with infinite levels of detail was an experience that burned into our brains. Perhaps still curious 21 years later, [Craig Kochis] dove into how vector maps work by implementing one himself.

Some standard helper functions convert latitude and longitude into Mercator coordinates (x and y coordinates on the screen). He used WebGL to draw a canvas, making the whole thing interactive on the webpage itself. The camera position and zoom level stored as a matrix that is used to transform the map projection. By grabbing polygons that describe the shape of various borders and then converting those polygons into triangles with earcut, [Craig] has a part of a country rendered to a screen. Continue reading “Choose Your Own Vector Map”

Make Multi-Material Resin Prints With A Syringe (And A Bit Of Patience)

Resin printing is a fantastic way to create parts, but multi-material printing isn’t really a possibility with resin. That is, unless you use [Cameron Coward]’s method for creating multi-material resin prints.

[Cameron]’s idea relies on the fact that handling and curing UV resin can easily be done outside of the printer itself. First, one prints what we’ll call the primary object. This object has empty spaces representing the secondary object. Once the primary object is printed and finished, these voids are carefully filled with a different resin, then cured with UV light. The end result is a single multi-material object that is, effectively, made from two different resins.

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Optimising An RC Tilt-Rotor VTOL

There are a variety of possible motor configurations to choose from when building a fixed-wing VTOL drone, but few take the twin-motor tilt-rotor approach used by the V-22 Osprey. However, it remains a popular DIY drone for fans of the military aircraft, like [Tom Stanton]. He recently built his 5th tilt-rotor VTOL and gave an excellent look at the development process. Video after the break.

The key components of any small-scale tilt-rotor are the tilt mechanism and the flight controller. [Tom]’s tilt mechanism uses a high-speed, high-torque servo that rotates the motor mount via 3D printed gear mechanism. This means the servo doesn’t need to bear the full load of the motor, and the gearing can be optimized for torque and speed. [Tom] also used the tilting motors for yaw and roll control during forward flight, which allows him to eliminate all the other conventional control surfaces except for the elevator.
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Small Combat Robots Pack A Punch In Antweight Division

Two robots enter, one robot leaves! Combat robotics are a fantastic showcase of design and skill, but the mechanical contenders don’t have to be big, heavy, and expensive. There is an Antweight division for combat robots in which most contenders weigh a mere 150 grams, and [Harry Makes Things] shows off four participants for Antweight World Series (AWS) 64.

Clockwise: ReLoader, Shakma, Sad Ken, and HobGoblet antweight combat robots.

Each of them have very different designs, and there are plenty of photos as well as insightful details about what was done and how well it worked. That’s exactly the kind of detail we love to read about, so huge thanks to [Harry] for sharing!

In combat robotics, contenders generally maneuver their remote-controlled machines to pin or immobilize their opponent. This can happen as a result of damaging them to the point that they stop functioning, but it can also happen by rending them helpless by working some kind of mechanical advantage. Continue reading “Small Combat Robots Pack A Punch In Antweight Division”

A Brief History Of Drywall Or: How Drywall Came To Dominate The World Of Construction

Drywall is common and ubiquitous in commercial and residential buildings today. Many of us barely think about it until we have to repair a hole smashed in it.

However, drywall has not been around forever, and actually took many years to establish itself as a popular building material. Today, we’ll look at how it came about, and why it went on to dominate the world of construction.

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Superconference 2022 Hack Chat

Join us on Wednesday, August 24 August 31 at noon Pacific for the Superconference 2022 Hack Chat!

[Sorry folks — due to a scheduling snafu, we’ve got to push this off a week. — ed]

To say that a lot of water has passed under the bridge since 2019 is something of an understatement. When last we met as a group, in Pasadena in November of that year, the Covid-19 pandemic and its fallout were ahead of us. Supercon 2019 was a smashing success, a three-day meetup that brought together the best the hacker community has to offer to exchange ideas, share their projects, and meet up IRL rather than reading about everyone’s exploits and adventures online. It was a fantastic time, but how were we to know that it would be the last meatspace meetup for a painfully long time?

join-hack-chatThankfully, that’s all behind us now, and Supercon 2022 is back, live and in person! Everyone in the hacker community is going to want to be in Pasadena, but since it’s been so long since we’ve met up in person, we thought a Hack Chat focusing on Supercon would be a good idea. We’ve invited Majenta Strongheart on to field your questions, plus hopefully we’ll have a few surprise guests too. But this will mainly be your chance to sort of “pre-network” before the con. If you’re a Supercon first-timer, this is a great way to ask questions about how it all works and whether it’s worth it to attend (answer: it is — go buy tickets now!) For vets, this is your chance to share your stories of Supercons past, or perhaps to reconnect with con-buddies you’ve lost touch with. There’ll be something for everyone, both at the Hack Chat and at Supercon, so drop by the chat and find out what all the hype is about.

Our Hack Chats are live community events in the Hack Chat group messaging. This week we’ll be sitting down on Wednesday, August 31 at 12:00 PM Pacific time. If time zones have you tied up, we have a handy time zone converter.