Workshops Announced For Hackaday Belgrade

Hackaday is hosting a full conference in Belgrade, Serbia, on 26 May. Today we’re excited to announce the workshops that will take place at Hackaday Belgrade. Workshop tickets are available now, but space is extremely limited and we expect these workshops to fill up fast so purchase your ticket right now!

Details of each workshop are listed below. Topics this year include bringing art to your PCB designs, learning the fundamentals of e-textiles, and getting up-to-speed with FPGAs.

You must have a Hackaday Belgrade ticket in order to purchase a workshop ticket. This is our premier European conference, with the best hardware and technology culture you’ll find anywhere. We think of it as a Hacker Village that comes together for one incredible weekend in May. There will be a bar meetup the night before, talks and workshops all day on Saturday, followed by IDM and DJ sets during the hardware badge hacking which goes late into the night. In addition to the experience of being around a critical mass of excellent people, we’ll have refreshments and food throughout and the conference badge you’ll get is a piece of custom electronics for you to play with and hack on throughout the day.

It’s entertainment. It’s professional development. It’s the crowd of people you’ve always wanted to hang out with. This isn’t hype, it’s Hackaday Belgrade.

Creating Art in PCB

Brian Benchoff

This workshop will guide attendees through the process of creating art in PCBs. Topics covered will be the layer stackup of the modern PCB (copper, fiberglass, soldermask, and silkscreen), the current state-of-the-art using Chinese board houses, and how to implement graphics in PCB art using KiCad.

Interactive Poetic Glove

Lavoslava Benčić

In this e-textile workshop, participants will create a unique interactive wearable that generates sounds of various frequencies and responds to the touch (pressure). This includes learning about electronic elements and circuits with emphasis on the capacitive, conductive, and resistive properties of fabrics and yarns.

FPGA Development 101

Miodrag Milanovic

This workshop will show the capabilities of FPGA devices, providing an introduction into FPGA tools used and the Verilog hardware description language. We will go through prepared examples and show the differences in approach when doing design for FPGA and MCU.

Hackaday events always sell out so don’t wait to buy a ticket. Of all the things you could do this year, the Hackaday Belgrade Conference is one that’s worth disrupting your normal routine and making a pilgrimage — we “get” you and we want to see you at the con!

Hackaday & Tindie UK Tour Adds Milton Keynes

Hackaday and Tindie are on the road in the UK and we want you to grab one of your projects and come hang out! We have three meetups scheduled over the coming week:

Fresh from our Dublin Unconference and following our London meetup which is happening today, Hackaday and Tindie are staying on the road. We’ve already told you about Nottingham on the 18th, and Cambridge on the 19th, to those two we’re adding Milton Keynes on the 23rd.

We’ll be at convening at Milton Keynes Makerspace on the evening of Monday the 23rd, a community hackspace venue with easy access and parking, and a vibrant community of members. It shares an industrial unit with the local Men In Sheds, so look out for their sign. Entry is free but please get a ticket so we know the amount of pizza and soft drinks we need to arrange. Bring along whatever you are working on, we’d love to see one of your projects, whatever it is!

At the end of the month we will also be at Maker Faire UK in Newcastle, Meeting you, our readers, is important to us, and though we can’t reach everywhere we would like to try to get further afield in the future. Please watch this space.

Dublin Unconference Roundup: The Topics That are Hot Right Now

On Saturday, the Hackaday Community from across Ireland and other parts of Europe poured into the performance hall at Dublin’s Project Arts Centre for a massive collection of talks. From rediscovering century’s old technology, to cutting edge research projects, we heard talks from dozens of attendees on the technology that is interesting them most right now.

Choosing what to share about last weekend’s Uncon has been a particularly taxing process. So many and varied were the projects presented, and such was their high standard, that a writer faces a significant challenge to fit them into a single report. But we’ll give it a try. Read on for highlights of what was a weekend we will remember forever.

[Rachel]'s about to lull us into a false sense of security with talk of fashion, then go for the eyeballs!
[Rachel]’s about to lull us into a false sense of security with talk of fashion, then go for the eyeballs!

From Wearables to Lab-Grown Eyeballs

Dublin by early April has lost some of winter’s chill, but the sun hadn’t regained control enough for the populace to have shed their coats and boots. It was in a slightly damp Temple Bar then that the Hackaday faithful convened at the Project Arts Centre, temporarily forsaking for us its role as one of Ireland’s most cutting-edge contemporary performing arts venues. We’d spent the previous day rounding up what seemed like Ireland’s entire stock of snack food to keep everyone happy, so it was into the upstairs performance hall for the day’s festivities. After putting in a talk topic and stopping by the swag table for goodies from our sponsor, DesignSpark, we all packed into the hall and began the Uncon.

First to brave the floor was [Rachel “Konichiwakitty” Wong], who started by talking about her interest in and flair for wearable electronics applied to fashion. This is not however what she does for a living, and she soon switched from the kawaii to the everyday work of a stem cell research scientist. This section of her talk was entitled “The Future Of Medicine, stem cells, tissue engineering, off-the-shelf pick-n-mix organs”.  Because of the work being done by people like her our hospitals may one day be able to prescribe custom 3D-printed organs for their patients, and her talk was a fascinating overview of that field for those of us who can not grow eyeball tissue on our benches.

There followed the exciting Unconference format, in which attendees were scheduled on-the-fly in four talk sessions throughout the day. Each deliver a seven-minute presentation and although it’s not compulsory to give an Unconference talk, there were definitely more than enough people wanting to give it a go. It’s impossible to mention them all in a single Hackaday piece, but here follows a selection of the many that caught our eye.

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Dublin Knows How to Bring-a-Hack

When on the road, we love to stop by a local hackerspace and connect with the hacker community. On Friday, TOG Hackerspace in Dublin, Ireland opened their doors to host a Bring-a-Hack with Hackaday and Tindie.

The city center of Dublin is anything but a grid. The cobblestone roads meander every which way and are a puzzle of one-way and surprise construction, none of which seemed to faze Google’s navigation algorithms. I was happy to be operating the smartphone instead of the rental vehicle. A big thanks goes to Jenny List for taking on the stress of driving on our refreshments run without coming in contact with people or cars.

You’re likely wondering why the street layout of the city deserves such attention. I’m used to centrally-located Hackerspaces being tight on space, and indeed the members of TOG cautioned us that 50 people would feel cramped. Much the opposite, the pubs, restaurants, hotels, and performing arts centers are not small, nor winding, nor made of cobblestones. Dublin is a fantastic place to party, with plenty of space for us hardware geeks to congregate. TOG itself, which about 20 minutes walk from the central Temple Bar area (where this image was taken), even has a small parking lot which made our beer drop off and pizza delivery a breeze.

A Tour of TOG Hackerspace

TOG is a Gaelic word which loosely translates as “to make”. Declan met us for the beer drop and gave us a tour when we returned for the evening event. The building is divided into several different spaces, starting with an entry area that serves as a meeting space, gaming room, and showcase of projects.

Where you might see prayer flags strung up on an apartment building, we see floppy disks (both the hard and soft variety) strung around the meeting area. Declan has a shamrock of K’nex parts wired up with a microphone controlled RGB LED strip — it’s like a test your strength game to see who can shout the coolest colors.

I also really enjoyed the fabric anatomy display that has snaps on each organ and only lights up the labels if you complete the circuits in the correct locations.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s much more after the break so join me for the rest of the tour, and some of the notable hacks that showed up on Friday evening.

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Hackaday x Tindie Meetup in Dublin this Friday

Hackaday and Tindie are coming to Dublin at the end of this week. Join us on Friday night as we host a meetup in the company of our friends at TOG hackerspace. Please RSVP to tell us you’re coming.

This is a Bring-a-Hack style event, so come out for a casual meetup and bring a project to show off. It’s a great way to get conversation started and often the most amazing projects are the ones whose creators imagine them to be inconsequential. Keep them to a manageable size though, space may be at a premium.

We’ll supply beverages and light snacks to oil the wheels, and Hackaday Editors [Mike Szczys] and [Jenny List], Tindie Product Manager [Jasmie Brackett], and SupplyFrame Product Manager [Sophi Kravitz] will be on hand. It doesn’t matter what it is you’ve got to show us, whatever you have we’d love to see it. Thank you to TOG for opening their doors to this event!

Saturday is the Hackaday Dublin Unconference!

Act fast to grab one of the last five tickets to the Hackaday Dublin Unconference this Saturday. All tickets have been sold out, but a few people who had a ticket but are now unable to attend were nice enough to return them so that someone else may take their place. Everyone one who attends should be ready to give a 7-minute talk on what they’re excited about right now. We can’t get through everyone in one day so don’t worry if public speaking mortifies you (but still come prepared). We’ll do our best to get through a ton of presenters. We’ll have food and drink on hand and head to the pub afterward for those still standing that evening! Need proof that this is not to be missed? We did it in London last September and it was epic!

This is Hackaday’s first visit en masse to the Irish capital, and we’re looking forward to correcting that oversight and meeting the masses of our Irish readership. Thanks to the generous support of DesignSpark, the innovation arm of RS Components and the exclusive sponsor of the event, we hare happy to offer Hackaday Dublin Unconference free of charge to all who attend.

We’re excited about what will come from this weekend and are looking forward to it. See you soon!

Scotty Allen Visits Strange Parts, Builds an iPhone

Scotty Allen has a YouTube blog called Strange Parts; maybe you’ve seen his super-popular video about building his own iPhone “from scratch”. It’s a great story, and it’s also a pretext for a slightly deeper dive into the electronics hardware manufacturing, assembly, and repair capital of the world: Shenzhen, China. After his talk at the 2017 Superconference, we got a chance to sit down with Scotty and ask about cellphones and his other travels. Check it out:

The Story of the Phone

Scotty was sitting around with friends, drinking in one of Shenzhen’s night markets, and talking about how bizarre some things seem to outsiders. There are people sitting on street corners, shucking cellphones like you’d shuck oysters, and harvesting the good parts inside. Electronics parts, new and used, don’t come from somewhere far away and there’s no mail-ordering. A ten-minute walk over to the markets will get you everything you need. The desire to explain some small part of this alternate reality to outsiders was what drove Scotty to dig into China’s cellphone ecosystem.

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Cutting Edge of 3D Printing Revealed At Last Weekend’s Midwest RepRap Festival

The last three days marked the 2018 Midwest RepRap Festival. Every year, the stars of the 3D printing world make it out to Goshen, Indiana for the greatest gathering of 3D printers and printing enthusiasts the world has ever seen. This isn’t like any other 3D printing convention — everyone here needs to take the time to get to Goshen, and that means only the people who want to be here make it out.

Over the weekend we covered some amazing hacks and printer builds from MRRF. The ‘BeagleBone On A Chip’ has become a complete solution for a 3D printer controller. This is a great development that takes advantage of the very under-used Programmable Real-Time Units found in the BeagleBone, and will make an excellent controller for that custom printer you’ve been wanting to build. E3D has announced they’re working on an automatic tool-changing printer. It’s a slight derivative of their now-defunct BigBox printer, but is quite possibly the best answer to multi-material filament printers we’ve ever seen. There’s some interest from the community, and if everything goes well, this printer may become a kit, or something of the sort. Filament splicing robots also made an appearance at this year’s MRRF, and the results are extremely impressive. Now you can create multi-color prints with the printer you already own. Is it expensive? Yes, but it looks so good.

This wasn’t all that could be found at MRRF. There were hundreds of printers at the event, and at last count, over 1300 attendees. That’s amazing for a 3D printer convention that is held every year in the middle of nowhere, Indiana. What were the coolest sights and sounds coming out of MRRF this year? Check out the best-of list below.

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