Hackaday Podcast 118: Apple AirTag Hacked, Infill Without Perimeters, Hair-Pulling Robots, And Unpacking The 555

Elliot’s keeb: ortho, offset, thumby.

Hackaday editors Elliot Williams and Mike Szczys gather to ooh and aah over a week of interesting hacks. This week we’re delighted to welcome special guest Kristina Panos to talk about the Inputs of Interest series she has been working on over the last couple of years. In the news is the effort to pwn the new Apple AirTags, with much success over the past week. We look at turning a screenless Wacom tablet into something more using a donor iPad, stare right into the heart of a dozen 555 die shots, and watch what happens when you only 3D print the infill and leave the perimeters out.

 

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 117: Chiptunes In An RCA Plug, An Arduino Floppy Drive, $50 CNC, And Wireless Switches

Hackaday editors Mike Szczys and Elliot Williams discuss the latest hacks from around the Internet. 3D-Printed linear rails don’t sound like a recipe for a functional CNC machine but there was one this week that really surprised us. We were delighted by the procedurally generated music from a $0.03 microcontroller inside of an RCA plug (the clever flexible PCB may be the coolest part of that one). There’s an interesting trick to reverse engineering Bluetooth comms of Android apps by running in a VM and echoing to WireShark. And we look at what the buzz is all about with genetically engineered mosquito experiments taking place down in the Florida Keys.

New this week is a game of “What’s that sound?”. Use the form link on the show notes below to send in your answer, one winner will receive a podcast T-shirt.

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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New Contest: Reinvented Retro

There are so many ways to make things look awesome by pulling inspiration from great retro hardware. And combining today’s futuristic functionality with yesterday’s lines, colors, and kitsch is the quick path to a winning combination. So why not give it a try and show us what you got? That’s the gist of Hackaday’s Reinvented Retro Contest which begins right now and runs through June.

The is a very cool Roku

This smart TV should help get you thinking in a retro-modern way. You’d never know it wasn’t stock… except when it starts streaming The Falcon and the Winter Soldier via the Roku hidden inside. Fit and finish on this one is spectacular and that woodgrain remote is a piece of artwork!

So what will it be? Keurig in a 1960’s Perculator? Desk lamp in a rotary telephone? GHz oscilloscope where a CRT used to live? Perhaps a Raspberry Pi laptop in a 1990’s form-factor? You get to decide what “Retro” means, just make sure you thoroughly show off the build!

Digi-Key is sponsoring this contest and there are $200 shopping sprees from their warehouse up for grabs for each of three top winners. Make a project page over on Hackaday.io and use the “Submit project to…” dropdown in the left side bar to enter it in the Reinventing Retro Contest.

Hackaday Podcast 116: Three DIY Lab Instruments, Two Tickers, And A MicroCar

Hackaday editors Elliot Williams and Mike Szczys select our favorite hardware hacks of the past week. This episode is packed with DIY lab instruments, including a laser microscope, a Raspberry Pi spectrometer, and a stepper motor tester that can tell you what’s going on all the way down to the microsteps. We wax poetic about what modular hardware really means, fall in love with a couple of stock-ticker robots, and chat with special guest Tom Nardi about his experience at the VCF Swap Meet.

 

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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Winners Of Hackaday’s Earth Day Contest: Solar LIC, Auto-Return Parafoil, & Water Flowmeter

Winners have just been announced for Hackaday’s Earth Day Challenge. We were on the lookout for projects that raise awareness of environmental issues and are happy to celebrate three top winners. Each have won a $200 shopping spree from Digi-Key who sponsored this contest.

Pictured above is the Open Flow Meter by [Eben]. The build includes sensors that are submerged into a river or stream to gauge the speed at which the water is moving. It uses a commodity plumbing flow volume sensor to help reduce costs, adding an Arduino and touch screen for reading the sensors and providing a UI to the user.

High-altitude balloons are used for air quality and weather sensing. To make those sensor packages more reusable, [Hadji Yohan] has been working on a parachute recovery system that automatically returns to a set GPS point. It’s a parafoil with auto-pilot!

Power harvesting is a fascinating and tricky game. To help ease the transition away from batteries, [Jasper Sikken] developed a solar harvesting module that charges a Lithium Ion Capacitor (LIC) from a very small solar panel. Based around a 100 uF 30 F capacitor, it uses an AEM10941 energy harvesting chip which includes Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) to utilize the solar panel as efficiently as possible. The fully charged module can output regulated 2.2 V and is aimed at distributed sensor packages that can be run without any battery at all.

Congratulations to these three top finishers, as well as the b-parasite capacitive soil moisture sensor which was named as a runner up in the contest. There were 72 entries in this challenge so don’t forget to take a look at the entire field, and leave a comment on the ones that catch your eye to let them know we all love seeing details of great builds!

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Hackaday Podcast 115: AI Is Bad At Linux Terminal, Puppeting Pico In Python, 3D Scanning Comes Up Short

Hackaday editors Mike Szczys and Elliot Williams pull back the curtain on a week of excellent hacks. We saw an awesome use of RGB LEDs as a data channel on a drone, and the secrets of an IP camera’s OS laid bare with some neat reverse engineering tools. There’s an AI project for the Linux terminal that guesses at the commands you actually want to run. And after considering how far autopilot has come in the aerospace industry, we jump into a look at the gotchas you’ll find when working with models of 3D scanned objects.

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 114: Eye Is Watching You, Alien Art, CNC Chainsaw, And The Galvie Flu

Hackaday editors Elliot Williams and Mike Szczys marvel at the hacks that surfaced over the past week. An eye-popping webcam hack comes in the form of an animatronic that gives that camera above your screen an eyeball to look around, an eyelid to blink with, and the skin, eyelashes, and eyebrow to complete the illusion (and make us shudder at the same time).

Dan did a deep dive on Zinc Flu — something to avoid when welding parts that contain zinc, like galvanized metals. A robot arm was given a chainsaw, leading to many hijinks; among them the headache of path planning such a machine. And we got to hear a really awesome story about resurrecting a computer game lost to obscurity, by using one of the main tools of the copyright office.

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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