Hackaday Podcast Episode 272: Desktop EDM, Silence Of The Leaves, And The Tyranny Of The Rocket Equation

With Elliot off on vacation, Tom and Dan made a valiant effort to avoid the dreaded “clip show” and provide you with the tastiest hacker treats of the week. Did they succeed? That’s not for us to say, but if you’re interested in things like non-emulated N64 games and unnecessarily cool filament sensors, this just might be one to check out.

We also came across a noise suppressor for a leaf blower, giant antennae dangling from government helicopters, and a desktop-friendly wire EDM setup that just might change the face of machining. We waxed on about the difference between AI-generated code and just pulling routines from StackExchange, came to the conclusion that single-stage-to-orbit is basically just science fiction, and took a look at the latest eclipse from 80,000 feet, albeit a month after the fact.

Worried about attracting the Black Helicopters? Download the DRM-free MP3 and listen offline, just in case.

Episode 272 Show Notes:


What’s that Sound?

  • Tentative congratulations to fl42v! We’ll bug Elliot about getting you a shirt.
  • The Bloop

Interesting Hacks of the Week:

Quick Hacks:

Can’t-Miss Articles:

One thought on “Hackaday Podcast Episode 272: Desktop EDM, Silence Of The Leaves, And The Tyranny Of The Rocket Equation

  1. I want to make a Science Fiction suggestion for highly technically capable hackers to contemplate seriously concerning your excellent segment on why getting into LEO is so difficult. Do the math and physics before you reject this idea out of hand. Jules Verne was right, but used the wrong propellant. If one engineers a launcher using hydrogen as the propellant, a ship can leave the muzzle at 8 km/sec, reducing the rocketry to an orbit circularization and attitude control function. The mass fraction goes up to close to 100%. The launcher would be mounted inside a tall peak to get above half of the atmosphere and aim the satellite eastward into LEO. The problem is nobody takes a giant space gun with a three meter bore. and two kilometer barrel seriously and tens of $billions would be needed to engineer a useful facility. But the physics and engineering say this would work well for launching most of the material we need into a parking orbit (rocket fuel, food, water, structural parts for star-ships. It would be far less expensive than a Star Tram with its huge superconducting magnets. It would also be carbon neutral in the stratosphere. Soft things like people would still need rockets but most material needed up there can be g-hardened. Getting enough stuff into LEO cheaply is the only thing keeping us from building giant ships that would make a trip to Mars into a cruise voyage.

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