Sitting around a campfire or fireplace is an aesthetically pleasing experience in most situations, and can even provide some warmth. But unless you have a modern wood-burning appliance, it’s likely that most of the energy available in the biomass is escaping as un-burned vapors. Surprisingly, solving this problem is almost as easy as buying a can of beans at the store, and the result is a very efficient stove which can be used for heat in a pinch.
[Robert] is demonstrating this gasifier stove, not with beans but using both a can of peas and a larger can of potatoes. Various holes are drilled in each can in a specific pattern, and then the smaller pea can is fitted inside the larger potato can. Once a fire is going, the holes allow for air to flow in a way which traps the escaping un-burned vapors from the fuel and burns them as they flow through the contraption. No moving parts are required; this is all powered by the natural airflow that’s produced by the heat of the fire.
The result of a build like this is not only a stove which can extract a much higher percentage of the available fuel, but also quires much less fuel for a given amount of heat, and produces a much cleaner, less smokey fire. [Robert] also added a screen mantle which allows for this to be used more as a heat source, but similar builds can also be used just as effectively for cooking, too.
Continue reading “A Simple Stove, Built For Beans”
One generally reads a data sheet in one of two ways. The first is to take every spec at face value, figuring that the engineers have taken everything into account and presented each number as the absolute limit that will prevent the Magic Smoke from escaping. The other way is to throw out the data sheet and just try whatever you want, figuring that the engineers played it as safely as possible.
The latter case seems to have been the motivation behind pushing an ATtiny way, WAY beyond what the spec sheet says is possible. According to [SM6VFZ], the specs on the ATtiny817 show that the 12-bit timer/counter D (TCD) should be limited to a measly 32 MHz maximum frequency, above which one is supposed to employ the counter’s internal prescaler. But by using a 10-MHz precision frequency generator as an external clock, [SM6VFZ] found that inputs up to slightly above 151 MHz were countable with 1-Hz precision. Above that point, things started to drift, but that’s still pretty great performance from something cobbled together on an eval board in a decidedly suboptimal way.
We’d imagine this result could lead to some interesting projects, since the undocumented limit for this timer puts it well within range of multiple amateur radio allocations. Even if it doesn’t prove useful, that’s OK — just seeing how far things can be pushed is cool too. And it’s not like this is the first time we’ve caught [SM6VFZ] persuading an ATtiny to do unusual things, either.
Back in the 1980s, the personal computer was a hip new thing, and the form this new technology would take was still up for debate. Back then, all kinds of weird clamshells, breadbins, and all-in-one designs hit the market, with the Apple Macintosh proving to be a successful example of the latter. Inspired by the Macintosh 128K that served as their first computer, [Arnov Sharma] decided to whip up a modern all-in-one of their very own.
It’s nicknamed the LATTEintosh, as it’s built around the Latte Panda 3 Delta. This is a single-board computer with an Intel Celeron N5105 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage on board. It’s capable of running full-fat x86 operating systems, and here, it’s running Windows 10.
The enclosure is a custom 3D-printed design of [Arnov]’s own creation. It sports a 7-inch HD monitor, fans for cooling, and speakers integrated into the case. Naturally, it’s got a handle on top to make it easy to carry, just like the Macintosh all-in-ones all those years ago.
There’s something to be said for a computer you can just pick up and carry away, and we love the boxy form factor. Sometimes a laptop simply won’t do, and we can imagine many engineers and technicians out there appreciating a build like this. We’ve seen some great all-in-ones before, too. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Toteable PC Is Inspired By Macs Of Days Gone By”
[Esperantanaso] has long been involved in producing homebrew 8-bit computers. His various builds could all achieve different things, but he grew frustrated that applications written for one could not be easily run on another. He recently took a big leap forward in this area, though, cooking up his own 8-bit operating system called WheatSystem.
The work initially began with BreadSystem, which relied on applications existing in bytecode. This would then be run by the BreadSystem OS which would handle the requisite conversion to the machine code of the system it ran on. However, the work quickly got out of hand when it came to implementing advanced features like the file system and floating-point handling. BreadSystem was looking likely to be too heavy to run on lightweight 8-bit systems.
That led to the development of WheatSystem, which kept the bytecode runtime environment, unified heap, and a memory permission system from BreadSystem. Fancier features like granular memory permissioning, automatic garbage collection, and file system directories were dropped.
WheatSystem quickly became a basic and functional OS. To demonstrate it, [Esperantanaso] created WheatBox 55A1, a small homebrew computer based on the ATmega328. It readily runs simple applications like a prime number generator or a basic RPG.
Creating one’s own OS is no mean feat, even at the 8-bit level. We’ve seen it done before, and it never fails to impress.
Continue reading “WheatSystem Is A Homebrew 8-Bit OS”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it became clear that organizers would have to pull the plug on any large social events they had planned. Many organizers decided to take their events online, but blurry web streams and meme-filled Discord channels can only get you so far. At this point we’re all keenly aware that, while they do have some advantages, virtual events are not the same as the real thing.
Which is why I was looking forward to making the trip down to Bel Air, Maryland for the first in-person East Coast RepRap Festival (ERRF) since 2019. I’m happy to report that the event, which was still in its infancy prior to the pandemic, was just as lively this year as it was doing my previous trips. Perhaps even more so, as local hackers and makers were eager for an outlet to show of their latest creations.
I’ll admit that part of me was concerned the two-year shutdown would have robbed ERRF of the momentum organizers had worked so hard to build. But judging by what I saw over the weekend, it seems even a global pandemic couldn’t slow down this fantastic event.
Continue reading “ERRF 22: After Two Years, Back And Better Than Ever”
This week Hackaday Editor-in-Chief Elliot Williams and Managing Editor Tom Nardi will discuss the return of the East Coast RepRap Festival, the scientific application of slices of baloney, and the state of the art in homebrew e-readers. The discussion weaves its way through various reimaginings of the seven (or more) segment display, an impressive illuminated headboard that comes with its own science-fiction film, and the surprising difficulty of getting a blinking LED to actually look like a flame. Stick around to the end to find out why iPhones are freaking out on amusement park rides, and to hear all the details about this year’s Supercon badge.
Direct download your own!
Continue reading “Hackaday Podcast 189: Seven Segments Three Ways, Candle Code, DIY E-Readers, And The Badge Reveal”
[Gregor Herz] caught wind of a problem that neuropediatric clinics in Germany have been facing recently. Orfiril, a seizure-preventing medication used in those clinics for treating children, is normally prescribed to adults, and the usual dosages are too high for kids. Orfiril comes in regular pill-shaped capsules, each capsule containing a bunch of small medication-soaked pellets, and you only need a certain amount of these pellets if you want to achieve a lower dose.
It used to be that you could get a special spoon helping you to get a proper dosage — but sadly, the original supplier has quit making these. So, our hacker designed a 3D printable model instead.
[Gregor] tells us that a lot of clinics in Germany are facing this exact issue right now, so sharing this model may mean that more hospitals can work around the supply issue. Provided a friendly hobbyist has food-grade 3D printing conditions available, anyway. He tells about some suitable filaments models you can buy, as well as research on food-grade printing requirements — a topic we’ve talked about in detail, and just this month have seen someone revisit with reassuring results. Are you interested in printing some of these? If so, there might be a clinic nearby that’d be thankful.
We’ve seen a surge of 3D printing for medical uses two years ago, back when supply chain issues had doctors face PPE shortages, and some critical parts for equipment were in short supply. Before that, we’d sometimes see medical purpose 3D printing done in dire circumstances, when no other choices were available. Now 3D printing of medical devices is more accepted, and we can’t wait for more research and hacking on this front!