Ask Hackaday: The Ten Dollar Digital Mixing Desk?

There comes a point in every engineer’s life at which they need a mixing desk, and for me that point is now. But the marketplace for a cheap small mixer just ain’t what it used to be. Where once there were bedroom musicians with a four-track cassette recorder if they were lucky, now everything’s on the computer. Lay down as many tracks as you like, edit and post-process them digitally without much need for a physical mixer, isn’t it great to be living in the future!

This means that those bedroom musicians no longer need cheap mixers, so the models I was looking for have disappeared. In their place are models aimed at podcasters and DJs. If I want a bunch of silly digital effects or a two-channel desk with a crossfader I can fill my boots, but for a conventional mixer I have to look somewhat upmarket. Around the three figure mark are several models, but I am both a cheapskate and an engineer. Surely I can come up with an alternative. Continue reading “Ask Hackaday: The Ten Dollar Digital Mixing Desk?”

Surfing The Web Like It’s 1978 — Carbonyl

[Fathy] gets a kick out of doing odd things with Chromium, and Carbonyl is a clever byproduct of that hobby. In this case, it’s what you get when you connect chrome’s renderer to an SVG output module and then convert that SVG to colored characters on a terminal. See, html2svg is an earlier project, taking Chromium’s Skia engine and plugging it into an SVG back-end. And once you have SVG, why not render it to the terminal?

And the results are actually pretty impressive. Imagery is rendered using Unicode 2584, a half-block character. The background and foreground color can be set per character, giving us two controllable pixels per character. Text is handled a bit differently, rendering using the normal text fonts, making for readable pages.

The source is very much a work in progress, but there are some neat ideas already coalescing around the project, like using sixels for better rendering. There’s already decent mouse support and audio output, making for an impressive terminal experience. This might be a project to keep an eye on.

Ikea Clock Gets Wanderlust

We always enjoy unique clocks, and a recent 3D print from [David Kingsman] caught our eye. It converts an Ikea clock into a very unusual-looking “wandering hour” clock that uses a Geneva drive to show a very dynamic view of the current time. The concept is based on an earlier wandering clock, but [David] utilized a different mechanism.

To read the clock, you note which hour numeral is in range of the “minute arc” and read the time directly. So if the 12 hour is over the 20-minute mark, the time is 12:20. Besides the clock, you need a fair number of printed parts, although they all look like relatively simple prints. You’ll also need 13 bearings and some metric hardware. A piece of cardboard used for the face rounds out the build.

Modifying the clock is more than just taking it apart. There is a template file to print, and you’ll need to align it and drill holes as indicated.

If you haven’t seen a Geneva drive before, it translates a continuous rotation into intermittent rotation. This isn’t the first clock we’ve seen use this kind of drive, although the last one we saw represented time differently. If you want something even more mechanical, try a chain-driven clock.