Earth’s Final Frontier: Exploring The Alien Depths Of The Earth’s Oceans

Despite how hostile to life some parts of the Earth’s continents are, humanity has enthusiastically endeavored over the course of millennia to establish at least a toehold on each of them. Yet humanity has barely ventured beyond the surface of the oceans which cover around three-quarters of the planet, with human activity in these bodies of water dropping off quickly along with the fading of light from the surface.

Effectively, this means for all intents and purposes we have to this day not explored the vast majority of the Earth’s surface, due to over 70% of it being covered by water. As an ocean planet, much of Earth’s surface is covered by watery depths of multiple kilometers, with each 10 meters of water increasing the pressure by one atmosphere (1.013 bar), so that at a depth of one kilometer we’re talking about an intense 101 atmospheres.

Over the past decades, the 1985 discovery of Titanic’s wreck approximately 3.8 kilometer below the surface of the Atlantic, the two year long search for AF447’s black boxes, and the fruitless search for the wreckage of MH370 despite washed-up remnants have served as stark reminders of just how alien and how hostile the depths of the Earth’s oceans are. Yet with both tourism and mining efforts booming, will we one day conquer the full surface of Earth?

Continue reading “Earth’s Final Frontier: Exploring The Alien Depths Of The Earth’s Oceans”

Custom Keyboard Built For Diablo 3 Action

Custom mechanical keyboards are a great way to show off your passion and skill for electronics and design. They’re also perfect when you need to optimize your setup for a certain game or piece of software. [Pakequis] did just that with his Bad Thing of the Edge mechanical keyboard build.

[Pakequis] occasionally plays Diablo 3 on a tiny 7-inch laptop, which as you might expect, doesn’t have a keyboard conducive to gaming. Thus, he designed a mechanical keyboard with a series of important actions mapped to keys for the left hand. Naturally, that was an opportunity to have fun with the keycaps, which all feature graphics for their relevant in-game functions. The prototype was built with surplus keys from an old PTZ camera controller, but the final version runs Cherry MX switches. There are also a set of RGB LEDs with a variety of fun effects. The whole thing is run by a Raspberry Pi Pico, which is perfectly suited for building custom USB HID devices.

Hackers build custom keyboards for all kinds of reasons, like ergonomics, style, or just sheer absurdist fun.

Continue reading “Custom Keyboard Built For Diablo 3 Action”

An ESP In Your Mini TV

When miniature LCD TVs arrived on the market they were an object of desire, far from the reach of tech-obsessed youngsters. Now in the age of smartphones they’re a historical curiosity, but with the onward march of technology you can have one for not a lot. [Taylor Galbraith] shows us how, with an ESP32 and an LCD we rather like because of its CRT-like rounded corners.

What he’s created is essentially a small media player, but perhaps what makes it of further interest is its migration from a mess of wires on a breadboard to a rather nice PCB. He’s not released the board files at the time of writing, but since the software can all be found in the GitHub repository linked above, we live in hope. On it are not only the ESP and the screen, but also a battery management board, an audio amplifier, and a small speaker. For now it’s a bare board, but we hope he’ll complete it with a neatly designed case for either a pocket player or a retro-styled mini TV. Until then you can see his progress in the videos below the break.

If you’re after more ESP32 media player inspiration, this isn’t the first retro-themed media player we’ve brought you.

Continue reading “An ESP In Your Mini TV”