NVIDIA Jetson Powers Real-Time Iron Man HUD

If you could recreate any of the capabilities of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit in real life, it would probably be the ability to fly, the super strength, or maybe even the palm-mounted lasers that can cut through whatever obstacle is in your path. But let’s be real, all that stuff is way too hard to try and pull off. Plus you’ll probably just end up accidentally killing yourself in the backyard.

But judging by the videos he’s been posting, [Kris Kersey] is doing one hell of a job creating a functional heads-up display (HUD) similar to the one Tony uses in the films. He’s even building it into a 3D printed Iron Man helmet, with the NVIDIA Jetson board that’s powering the show inside a chest-mounted “Arc Reactor”. He goes into a bit more detail about the project and his goals in an interview recently published on NVIDIA’s own blog. Continue reading “NVIDIA Jetson Powers Real-Time Iron Man HUD”

Hacking Hue Lightbulbs

What do you do with a Hue smart lightbulb? Well, if you are [Chris Greening], you take it apart and get hacking. If you ever wondered what’s inside, the teardown is pretty good, and you can also watch the video below. The potting compound, however, makes a mess.

Once you get the potting undone, there are three PCBs: an LED carrier, a power supply, and a logic board. The arrangement of the LEDs is a bit confusing, but [Chris] explains it along with providing schematics for all of the boards.

Continue reading “Hacking Hue Lightbulbs”

Easter’s Over, But You Can Still Dye Keycaps

While it’s true that keycap colorways abound these days, one can’t always find exactly what one is looking for. And once found, the set is often either prohibitively expensive, or it doesn’t come in the desired layout, or both. So, why not color your own keycaps?

That’s exactly what [amphiboi] did, while standing on the shoulders of [CrowningKnight]’s imgur post on the subject. Essentially, you use Rit dye and PBT keycaps for best results. Rit has a comprehensive guide to mixing their dyes to achieve pretty much whatever colors you want. Once that’s all squared away, it’s time to gather your cooking supplies.

Starting with a pot you don’t care about and four cups of boiling water. Add about a teaspoon of dish soap, which helps the dye settle evenly across the keycaps. Then you just add the dye(s) and stir with an expendable spoon, then add your keycaps. 5-10 minutes later, depending on your desired outcome, the ‘caps are ready to be rinsed, dried, and pushed on to your switches.

Satisfied with the color of your keycaps, but wish they had cool legends? Check out this waterslide decal tutorial.

ChatGPT Makes A 3D Model: The Secret Ingredient? Much Patience

ChatGPT is an AI large language model (LLM) which specializes in conversation. While using it, [Gil Meiri] discovered that one way to create models in FreeCAD is with Python scripting, and ChatGPT could be encouraged to create a 3D model of a plane in FreeCAD by expressing the model as a script. The result is just a basic plane shape, and it certainly took a lot of guidance on [Gil]’s part to make it happen, but it’s not bad for a tool that can’t see what it is doing.

The first step was getting ChatGPT to create code for a 10 mm cube, and plug that in FreeCAD to see the results. After that basic workflow was shown to work, [Gil] asked it to create a simple airplane shape. The resulting code had objects for wing, fuselage, and tail, but that’s about all that could be said because the result was almost — but not quite — completely unlike a plane. Not an encouraging start, but at least the basic building blocks were there. Continue reading “ChatGPT Makes A 3D Model: The Secret Ingredient? Much Patience”

Op-Amp Challenge: Get More From A Single Wire With An Analogue Adder

It’s been a running battle in some quarters for years, whether analog sensor processing is better than digital. Proponents of digital are sometimes driven by lack of familiarity with analog circuitry, while analog die-hards point to delays and software crashes in microcontrollers. We’d probably toe the line that a mixture of the two skills is best, but [paul] has gone full-on for the analog side with his position and limit sensor for a remote telescope. The ‘scope had only one control wire carrying a digital signal, so how was he to get extra information down it? The solution was to overlay a DC voltage, and use a summing network composed of a series of op-amps to encode position and limit data as voltage.

In operation, the circuit is a straightforward DC summing amplifier of the type that op-amps were designed for and at which they excel. We’re not so sure it needs the high-precision resistors and the choice of op-amps seems the wrong way round with the AD8532’s high current output being better suited to driving the line than straightforward summing, but we can see it does the job. If you’re after a demonstration of a DC summing amplifier using an op-amp, here’s your project. Meanwhile if you’re curious about an op-amp inside the black box, take a look at one of the simplest integrated circuit op-amps ever made.

Metallurgist working by the blast furnaces in Třinec Iron and Steel Works. (Credit: Třinecké železárny)

We Already Live In A Hydrogen Economy: Steel Production, Generator Cooling, And Welding Gas

Although generally hydrogen is only mentioned within the context of transportation and energy storage, by far the most useful applications are found in industrial applications, including for the chemical industry, the manufacturing of steel, as well as that of methanol and fertilizer. This is illustrated by how today most of all hydrogen produced today is used for these industrial applications, as well as for applications such as cooling turbo generators, with demand for hydrogen in these applications rapidly increasing.

Currently virtually all hydrogen produced today comes from natural gas, via steam methane reformation (SMR), with potentially methane pyrolysis making natural gas-derived hydrogen a low-carbon source. The remainder of hydrogen comes from coal gasification and a small fraction from electrolysis of water. The hydrogen is often produced on-site, especially at industrial plants and thermal power plants. So aside from any decarbonization efforts, there are many uses for hydrogen which the public appears to be generally unaware of.

This leads us to the somewhat controversial hydrogen ladder.

Continue reading “We Already Live In A Hydrogen Economy: Steel Production, Generator Cooling, And Welding Gas”

Four square, unpopulated purple PCBs sit in front of a tube of soldering flux on a light grey work surface. The PCBs are only 1"x1".

BeagleStamp Makes Soldering Linux Into Your Projects Easier

There are a lot of things you can do with today’s powerful microcontrollers, but sometimes you really need a full embedded Linux setup. [Dylan Brophy] wanted to make it easier to add Linux to his own projects and designed the BeagleStamp.

A populated purple PCB propped against a piece of wood on a light grey work surface. The bulk of the PCB is covered in an Ocatavo processor chip.Squeezed onto a 1″ square, the BeagleStamp puts the power of a PocketBeagle into an easy to solder module you can add to a project without all that tedious mucking about with individually soldering all the components of a tiny Linux computer every time. As a bonus, the 4 layer connections are constrained to the stamp as well, so you can use lower layer count boards in your project and have your Linux too.

The first run of boards was delivered with many of the pins unplated, but [Brophy] plans to work around it for the time being so he can spot any other bugs before the next board revision. Might we suggest a future version using RISC-V?