Hackaday Podcast 050: Counterfeit Chips, Servo Kalimba, Resistor Colors, Pi Emulation, And SED Maze Solver

Hackaday editors Elliot Williams and Mike Szczys work their way through a dizzying maze of great hacks this week, bringing you along for the ride. We take a look at simplifying home automation with Node-RED and marvel at the misuse of the SED — Linux’s stream editor for filtering and transforming text — to find your way through a maze. Have the hippest portable; grab your really old Apple laptop and stuff a not-so-old Apple desktop inside. We bring it on home with our love (or hate?) for the resistor color code.

Take a look at the links below if you want to follow along, and as always tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!

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Automate Your Life With Node-RED (Plus A Dash Of MQTT)

For years we’ve seen a trickle of really interesting home automation projects that use the Node-RED package. Each time, the hackers behind these projects have raved about Node-RED and now I’ve joined those ranks as well.

This graphic-based coding platform lets you quickly put together useful operations and graphic user interfaces (GUIs), whether you’re the freshest greenhorn or a seasoned veteran. You can use it to switch your internet-connected lights on schedule, or at the touch of a button through a web-app available to any device on your home network. You can use it as an information dashboard for the weather forecast, latest Hackaday articles, bus schedules, or all of them at once. At a glance it abstracts away the complexity of writing Javascript, while also making it simple to dive under hood and use your 1337 haxor skills to add your own code.

You can get this up and running in less than an hour and I’m going to tackle that as well as examples for playing with MQTT, setting up a web GUI, and writing to log files. To make Node-RED persistent on your network you need a server, but it’s lean enough to run from a Raspberry Pi without issue, and it’s even installed by default in BeagleBone distributions. Code for all examples in this guide can be found in the tutorial repository. Let’s dive in!

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Hackaday Podcast 049: Tiny Machine Learning, Basement Battery Bonanza, And Does This Uranium Feel Hot?

Hackaday editors Mike Szczys and Elliot Williams sort through all of the hacks to find the most interesting hardware projects you may have missed this week. Did you know you can use machine learning without a neural network? Here’s a project that does that on an ATtiny85. We also wrap our minds around a 3D-printed press brake, look at power-saving features of the ESP32 that make it better on a battery, and discuss the IoT coffee maker hack that’s so good it could be a stock feature. Plus we dive into naturally occurring nuclear reactors and admire the common, yet marvelous, bar code.

Take a look at the links below if you want to follow along, and as always tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!

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Hackaday Belgrade: Call For Proposals

Join Hackaday in Belgrade, Serbia on May 9th, 2020 for the Hackaday Belgrade conference! The biennial hardware conference is just seventeen weeks from now. Early Bird tickets will go on sale shortly, but beginning right now you can hack your way into the conference by submitting a talk proposal. Accepted speakers receive free admission, plus everyone who submits a quality talk proposal will be given priority when tickets go on sale.

Yes, I’m talking to you. Hackaday strives to include first-time speakers in the slate of presenters at our conferences. We’re looking for unique, cutting-edge, whimsical, crazy, formidable, or world-changing topics revolving around hardware creation. From learning new tools or techniques to fabrication adventures, from code-wrangling that firmware project to pulling off an art installation, and from forgotten hardware history to the impossible made possible on your own workbench, we need to hear your stories!

That project for which you went into the deep weeds and worked your way back out again? Everyone at a Hackaday conference wants to hear about it and in the greatest detail possible. After all, we’re your fellow hackers. In fact, you should probably bring the hardware along for the ride.

We Need You

None of this happens in a vacuum. This is the third Hackaday Belgrade conference, which have now settled into a tick-tock cadence of even-numbered years. The first two both sold out, this one will as well, and the result is always an action-packed, nearly 24-hour marathon sprint of talks, workshops, and hardware hacking. But the only reason this works is because amazing people just like you make it a priority in their life to be there.

Badge hacking at 2018 Hackaday Belgrade

So take the plunge, put together your talk proposal and submit it before March 2nd. But don’t stop there, pester your friends and your heros to do the same. Block out May 9th on your schedule (roughly 9 am-2 am) and take the day before off of work. While you’re at it, convince your boss and coworkers to come along with you. See you in Belgrade!

You Could Be A Manufacturing Engineer If You Could Only Find The Time

Let’s be honest, Ruth Grace Wong can’t teach you how to be a manufacturing engineer in the span of a twenty minute talk. But no-one can. This is about picking up the skills for a new career without following the traditional education path, and that takes some serious time. But Grace pulled it off, and her talk at the 2019 Hackaday Superconference shares what she learned about reinventing your career path without completely disrupting your life to do so.

Ruth got on this crazy ride when she realized that being a maker made her happy and she wanted to do a lot more of it. See wanted to be “making stuff at scale” which is the definition of manufacturing. She took the hacker approach, by leveraging her personal projects to pull back the veil of the manufacturing world. She did a few crowd funding campaigns that exposed her to the difficulties of producing more than one of something. And along the way used revenue from those projects to get training and to seek mentorships.

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Hackaday Podcast 048: Truly Trustworthy Hardware, Glowing Uranium Marbles, Bitstreaming The USB, Chaos Of Congress

Hackaday editors Elliot WIlliams and Mike Szczys kick off the first podcast of the new year. Elliot just got home from Chaos Communications Congress (36c3) with a ton of great stories, and he showed off his electric cargo carrier build while he was there. We recount some of the most interesting hacks of the past few weeks, such as 3D-printed molds for making your own paper-pulp objects, a rudimentary digital camera sensor built by hand, a tattoo-removal laser turned welder, and desktop-artillery that’s delivered in greeting-card format.

Take a look at the links below if you want to follow along, and as always tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!

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Hackaday Podcast 047: Prusa Controversy, Bottle Organ Breakdown, PCBs Bending Backwards, And Listen To Your LED

Hackaday editors Mike Szczys and Elliot WIlliams get together for the 47th and final Hackaday Podcast of 2019. We dive into the removable appendix on Prusa’s new “Buddy” control board, get excited over the world’s largest grid-backup battery, and commiserate about the folly of designing enclosures as an afterthought. There’s some great research into which threaded-inserts perform best for 3D-printed parts, how LEDs everywhere should be broadcasting data, and an acoustic organ that’s one-ups the traditional jug band.

Take a look at the links below if you want to follow along, and as always tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!

Direct download (63 MB)

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