Next week we’ll be at a few awesome hardware meetups around the Bay Area, and we want you to head out and join us.
The first meetup will be the Silicon Valley Hardware Meetup at the Evil Mad Scientist shop in Sunnyvale. It’s going down Wednesday, December 6th, from 6:30 until 9:30. At least some of the Hackaday/Tindie/Supplyframe crew will be there, and the night will be filled with lightning talks, demos, and the cool hardware people you know and love.
Speakers for this meetup will include [Mitch Altman], hacker extraordinaire and owner of far, far too many TV remotes. He’ll be talking about hardware successes and failures in his own businesses. Also headlining the event will be [Clarissa Redwine] from Kickstarter. She’ll be talking about crowdfunding hardware, and the fact that making a thousand of something is a million times harder than making one of something.
The day after, on December 7th, we’re also going to be opening the doors at the San Francisco Supplyframe office to host the Hardware Developers Didactic Galactic. These Didactics are fun and popular, and you don’t need to go to the South Bay. Food and drink will be served, and there’s a sweet Rick and Morty mural in the alley across the street.
On deck for this month’s Didactic is [Tiffany Tseng], lead UX designer at Autodesk. Her work involves creating and implementing the design decisions that go into Eagle CAD. If you’re wondering why the icons changed a few years ago, she is not the person to talk to; that happened before the Autodesk mothership bought Eagle. If you’re wondering how the awesome push and shove routing actually works, [Tiffany] is the person to talk to.
Also at the Didactic will be [Asaad Kaadan]. He’s a robotics engineer working on cinematic tools for his day job and is currently exploring a very, very cool modular electronics project called Hexabitz. He’ll be talking about Hexabitz and designing for modular electronics.
[Dinofizz] is almost done with his vertical LED blinds. The build makes use of 768 diffused white LEDs (10mm size), at a resolution of 48×16, and it only requires one 16-channel LED driver (a MBI5026), which makes use of 3x 4-to-16 demultiplexers. Did we mention it has 16 shades of grayscale too?
At the heart of the many piles of painstakingly soldered wires is an ATmega644A microcontroller which takes care of interpreting the data for the display. He didn’t write the firmware himself though, that credit goes to [Jay Clegg] who does some pretty cool work with Evil Mad Science’s Peggy 2.0 LED driver.
What we really have to admire is the amount of effort he put into this project. He used custom PCBs to daisy chain the blinds together, 300 feet of 16-way ribbon cable, and approximately 4000 individual solder joints! You’d think there would have been an easier way!
Making use of his high rise windows, he now has the ability to broadcast messages for the world to see. After the break check out the video of them in action!
Continue reading “LED Blinds Turn Windows Into Displays”
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is preparing for Halloween with this standby-mode pumpkin. Inside there’s an LED plugging a hole that is drilled just to the skin of the gourd-like vegetable. It fades in and out similar to a sleeping Mac, using what we think is a vastly over-powered circuit based on an ATtiny2313 (1k of programming space for this?). But we still like the idea and we’d enjoy seeing it scaled up to a full LED matrix.
We’ve come to expect pumpkin hacks from EMSL and they don’t disappoint. Last year was a mechanized version, and the year before an LED schematic symbol. So what about your creation? With about one week left, take a look around and see if you can’t create something as wonderful as the Pie of Sauron.
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories has put out this nice tool. It’s a Zif socket for Arduino. If you’re doing a lot of flashing, this could be a nice addition to keep from having to pry your chip out every time. Plus, it looks cool in a soviet era technology kind of way.
Sometimes we forget just how useful magnets can be. Sure, we use them in some projects, but usually we just pull them apart for our amusement. Evil mad scientist laboratories reminds us that they can be useful tools. They’ve made a list of 17 uses of magnets. We’re also reminded that magnets can be dangerous. What else can you think of?