2022 Cyberdeck Contest: Picking The Best Of The Best

Given how many incredible builds we’ve covered over the last couple of years, we knew that an official Cyberdeck Contest would certainly receive some impressive entries. But never in our wildest dreams could we have predicted that more than 100 decks would end up crossing the finish line, or that of them, the vast majority would be never-before-seen designs. In fact, the response to this contest was so overwhelming that the judging process took far longer than we originally anticipated.

Ultimately, we decided that there were simply too many phenomenal builds entered into the contest to award $150 Digikey spending sprees to just three of them. So as an added bonus, we’ve rustled up some $50 Tindie gift certificates that will go to the four special category honorable mentions.

With that, let’s take a look at the cyberdecks that took top honors as decided by our panel of judges.

Continue reading “2022 Cyberdeck Contest: Picking The Best Of The Best”

Tiny Thin Client Is Small But Compatible

We were impressed with [moononournation’s] tiny thin client project. It claims to use an Arduino, but as you might guess it is using the Arduino software along with a network-enabled microcontroller like an ESP32. The impressive part is that it is standards-compliant and implements VNC’s RFB protocol.

The original coding for RFB on Arduino is from [Links2004] and armed with that, the thin client is probably easier to create than you would guess. However, this project wanted to use a larger screen and found that it led to certain problems. In particular, the original code had a 320×240 display. This project was to use an 800×480 display, but with the limits on the ESP32, the frame rate possible would be under 7 frames per second. The answer was to combine a 16-bit parallel interface with better compression back to the VNC server.

The little keyboard is probably not very practical, but it is compact. That would be another easy thing to modify. Currently, the keyboard uses I2C, but it would be straightforward to change things up. This would be a worthy base to build a bigger project on top. A 3D printed enclosure would be nice, too.

We’ve seen a number of projects built around commercial thin clients. Some from defunct businesses are good sources for obscure parts, too.

Continue reading “Tiny Thin Client Is Small But Compatible”

3D Printed Sorter Separates Spare Hex Nuts With A Shake

Got a pile of mixed hex nuts? Sort them in no time by printing [jonafriendj]’s nut sorter, which has options for pretty much any nut size you’d be after (it’s labeled metric, but actually includes Imperial sizes as well.)

Something to admire about the design is the handy little raised labels on each of the sieves, and the fact that all the parts print entirely without supports. Designing a part to play to a manufacturing method’s strengths (and avoid its weaknesses) is good DFM, or Design for Manufacturing.

With 3D printing being the boon that it is to workshops and hobbyists everywhere, it certainly pays to strive for good DFM, especially for designs meant to be shared with others. Sometimes good DFM takes a page from other manufacturing methods like injection molding, and we end up with things like using crush ribs on printed parts.

Want to see a demonstration of [jonafriendj]’s nut sorting design? Check out the short video embedded below the page break. If that leaves you wanting, take a look at a motorized, automated DIY solution.

Continue reading “3D Printed Sorter Separates Spare Hex Nuts With A Shake”