You can achieve a lot with a Dremel. For instance, apparently you can slim the original NES down into the hand-held form-factor. Both the CPU and the PPU (Picture Processing Unit) are 40-pin DIP chips, which makes NES minification a bit tricky. [Redherring32] wasn’t one to be stopped by this, however, and turned these DIP chips into QFN-style-mounted dies (Nitter) using little more than a Dremel cutting wheel. Why? To bring his TinyTendo handheld game console project to fruition, of course.
DIP chip contacts go out from the die using a web of metal pins called the leadframe. [Redherring32] cuts into that leadframe and leaves only the useful part of the chip on, with the leadframe pieces remaining as QFN-like contact pads. Then, the chip is mounted onto a tailored footprint on the TinyTendo PCB, connected to all the other components that are, thankfully, possible to acquire in SMD form nowadays.
This trick works consistently, and we’re no doubt going to see the TinyTendo being released as a standalone project soon. Just a year ago, we saw [Redherring32] cut into these chips, and wondered what the purpose could’ve been. Now, we know: it’s a logical continuation of his OpenTendo project, a mainboard reverse-engineering and redesign of the original NES, an effort no doubt appreciated by many a NES enthusiast out there. Usually, people don’t cut the actual chips down to a small size – instead, they cut into the mainboards in a practice called ‘trimming’, and this practice has brought us many miniature original-hardware-based game console builds over these years.
Continue reading “Making A Handheld NES By Turning DIP Chips Into…QFN?”
In France during the mid-to-late 1800s, one could go into François Willème’s studio, sit for a photo session consisting of 24 cameras arranged in a circle around the subject, and in a matter of days obtain a photosculpture. A photosculpture was essentially a sculpture representing, with a high degree of exactitude, the photographed subject. The kicker was that it was both much faster and far cheaper than traditional sculpting, and the process was remarkably similar in principle to 3D scanning. Not bad for well over a century ago.
This article takes a look at François’ method for using the technology and materials of the time to create 3D reproductions of photographed subjects. The article draws a connection between photosculpture and 3D printing, but we think the commonality with 3D scanning is much clearer.
Continue reading “In A Way, 3D Scanning Is Over A Century Old”
“Necessity is the mother of invention,” or so the saying goes. We’ve never held to that, finding that laziness is a much more powerful creative lubricant. And this story about someone who automated their job with a script is one of the best examples of sloth-driven invention since the TV remote was introduced. If we take the story at face value — and it’s the Internet, so why wouldn’t we? — this is a little scary, as the anonymous employee was in charge of curating digital evidence submissions for a law firm. The job was to watch for new files in a local folder, manually copy them to a cloud server, and verify the file with a hash to prove it hasn’t been tampered with and support the chain of custody. The OP says this was literally the only task to perform, so we can’t really blame them for automating it with a script once COVID shutdowns and working from home provided the necessary cover. But still — when your entire job can be done by a Windows batch file and some PowerShell commands while you play video games, we’re going to go out on a limb and say you’re probably underemployed.
People have been bagging on the US Space Force ever since its inception in 2019, which we think is a little sad. It has to be hard being the newest military service, especially since it branched off of the previously newest military service, and no matter how important its mission may be, there’s still always going to be the double stigmas of being both the new kid on the block and the one with a reputation for digging science fiction. And now they’ve given the naysayers yet more to dunk on, with the unveiling of the official US Space Force service song. Every service branch has a song — yes, even the Army, and no, not that one — and they all sound appropriately martial. So does the Space Force song, but apparently people have a problem with it, which we really don’t get at all — it sounds fine to us.
Continue reading “Hackaday Links: October 2, 2022”
Having compressed air available in a workshop can be extremely useful. Having a compressor isn’t such a pleasure though, because unless it’s a very expensive model, it will be one of the noisier devices you own. Other than putting your compressor outside, is there a solution to the noisy side of having an air line? [Dominik Meffert] may have found one for his CNC plasma cutter in the shape of a rack of much quieter fridge compressors arranged in parallel with an air tank.
Of course, there’s nothing new about using a fridge compressor in the workshop. Indeed, such units are even commercially available as compressors for low-capacity tasks such as airbrushing. But we’ve never seen so many at once. It’s not entirely apparent how he’s handling the replacement of any lubricating oil that’s being caught in his filters, and we hope the refrigerant was disposed of safely, but we can see he’s on to something.
Fridge compressors have appeared here many times over the years, for more than compressing, we’ve even seen one as an engine. They aren’t always as strongly built as they should be though.
Drones are pretty common in the electoronics landscape today, and are more than just a fun hobby. They’ve enabled a wide array of realtors, YouTubers, surveyors, emergency responders, and other professionals to have an extremely powerful tool at their disposal. One downside to these tools is that the power consumption tends to be quite high. You can either stick larger batteries on them, or, as [Nicholas] demonstrates, just spin them really fast during flight.
We featured his first tests with this multi-modal drone flight style a while back, but here’s a quick summary: by attaching airfoils to the arms of each of the propellers and then spinning the entire drone, the power requirements for level flight can be dramatically reduced. This time, he’s back to demonstrate another benefit to this unique design, which is its ability to turn on its side and fly in level flight like an airplane. It’s a little bizarre to see it in the video, as it looks somewhat like a stationary propeller meandering around the sky, but the power requirements for this mode of flight are also dramatically reduced thanks to those wings on the arms.
There are a few downsides to this design, namely that the vertical wing only adds drag in level flight, so it’s not as efficient as some bi-wing designs, but it compromises for that loss with much more effective hover capabilities. He also plans to demonstrate the use of a camera during spin-hover mode as well in future builds. It’s an impressive experiment pushing the envelope of what a multi-rotor craft can do, and [Nicholas] still has plans to improve the design, especially when it comes to adding better control when it is in spin-hover mode. We’d expect plenty of other drones to pick up some of these efficiency gains too, except for perhaps this one.
Continue reading “Winged Drone Gets Forward Flight Capability”
Typically, the audio coming out of your camera is not of the greatest quality. An external mic is generally a great upgrade, and this build from [DJJules] aims to be just that.
It’s a stereo mic setup based on the work of the Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française, or ORTF. The ORTF stereo technique defines using two cardioid mics pointing left and right at a seperation of 110 degrees and 17 cm apart, which captures a quality stereo field that also sounds good when presented as a mono mixdown.
The build uses a simple wooden frame to hold two electret mic capsules in the required orientation. They’re wired up to a 3.5mm jack so they can be plugged straight into a mic input on a DSLR or other similarly-equipped camera. Hair curlers covered in faux fur are used as a wind shield for the mics, and gives the build a properly professional look. The frame is also given a mount so it can easily sit on a camera’s cold shoe fitting. Alternatively, a screw mount can also be used.
Good audio is absolutely key to making good content, and having quality mics is definitely what you need to achieve that. We’ve featured some other great DIY mic builds over the years, too. Video after the break. Continue reading “Camera-Mounted Stereo Mic Is Fluffy And Capable”
Back in 2016, artist and video game historian [Rachel Weil (HXLNT)] was hanging out with her friend and hacking on console stuff, as friends do. [Rachel] was galvanized by the idea of having an iconic game like Super Mario Bros be interrupted by push notifications, and set out to bring a Twitter feed to her NES gaming experience. What she ended up with is ConnectedNES — a charming combination of a custom Twitter modem and a hacked Super Mario Bros ROM, creating a social media experience you have to see for yourself.
The technical side is as immaculate as the visuals. Data is transferred to the NES through the controller port using a Particle Photon that’s emulating a NES controller, and everything is encased in an adorable shell made out of yarn needlework.
The Photon currently taps into the Twitter feed through a proxy server run locally, and listens for tweets with specific keywords, relaying them to the ROM through mimicking controller port inputs. The ROM, now bearing the name Social Media Bros, went through some careful assembly trimming work. In particular, [Rachel] had to sacrifice Green Mario to the bit bucket gods.
Playing this game has to be quite the experience. Thankfully, source code for everything — the proxy server, the Photon firmware and the NES ROM — is on GitHub for all of us NES enthusiasts to hack at. If simply reading the feed is not enough, you can send tweets from your NES as well.