Latest Dose Of Hardware Talks Headed To Supercon

The tickets have sold out even as the list of incredible speakers grows. Today we bring you the third dose of talks you’ll see at the Hackaday Superconference in November — whether you were lucky enough to grab a ticket, or will be watching the livestream, these eight will be speaking on topics from algorithmically-augmented live music performance to the hardware that captures the real world for display in VR and from leveraging the power of lookup tables to harnessing our engineering talent in a way that truly enriches humanity.

If you missed the two speaker announcements that have already come out, go back and take a look at those as well as the workshops being held during Supercon.

The Talks (Part Three of Many)


  • Mitch Altman

    The Pros and Cons of Tech. Can We Design Tech that Serves Humanity

    Technology is truly awesome! It is also a lot of fun. With the tools we, as humans, have made through the eons, we’ve become top-dog on our planet. But, at a great cost. It is mostly accepted that we have only 5 years to reverse climate change. How long till we no longer have any privacy. We have little time for anything but work because of all of our addictive and alienating “time-saving” devices we voluntarily choose to have in our lives. People report being less happy each decade. Soon, only 2% of the world’s wealth will be concentrated in only 0.1% of the population. The military uses anything and everything we create to spy, destroy, and kill for profit. This is not a pretty picture. What can we do? Is it possible to create technology to improve our lives? In this inspirational talk I will use personal experience to explore aspects of this important discussion.


  • Sara Adkins

    Creating with the Machine: Algorithmic Composition for Live Performances

    In a live concert setting, the movement and energy of performers add an important emotional element to the audience’s listening experience. Computer-generated music can achieve unique sounds and precise technique not possible by human musicians, yet it can feel alienating and impersonal due to a lack of human connection and spontaneity. “Creating with the Machine” is a set of compositions that combine algorithmic and traditional methods of music composition into live performances to explore how interactive generative algorithms can influence creativity in musical improvisation, and create a compelling listening experience for the audience. In this talk, I will introduce techniques for creating a meaningful data representation of a musician’s performance, and methods for using this input data to control a closed loop algorithmic composition.


  • Kate Morris

    Beyond Blinky – Retro-Game Development for Conference Badges

    So, you’ve done some badge coding, maybe using Arduino, and are looking for the next step to write interactive games using a TFT screen and some buttons and sensors? Using the open-source for the Lunar Lander badge (built for DEF CON 27) I will explain how we created the framework and how you can adapt it to write your own games for this badge or for your own conference badge. We’ll step through the process for developing a new game, and discuss some of the challenges we had in creating the Lunar Lander game.


  • Dave Young

    Scrounging, Sipping, and Seeing Power

    Powering low power and ultra-low power systems is more about system design than circuit design. Selecting the right power source, using the power effectively, and then validating that the power numbers are as expected is critical at an early stage since changes may trigger a system redesign (or product failure). I will review some of the typical design decisions to make, some general back-of-the-envelope figures, and some techniques on how to plan the power use and validate a prototype. We’ll discuss questions like: How can I decide if I should be on a primary battery, solar, or kinetic energy system? How can I estimate the total usable energy from a solar panel given real-world conditions? Do I need MPPT? And how can I estimate my total energy consumption?


  • Ruth Grace Wong

    How to become a manufacturing engineer in your spare time

    It’s one thing to prototype something for yourself, and entirely another to productionize a product for manufacturing. This talk is about my quest to become a manufacturing engineer. In the summer of 2016, I decided that I would do software at scale at my full time job, and hardware and objects at scale in my spare time. Since then, I’ve worked on many personal projects to get the intuitive physical feel for how things are made while documenting what I’ve learned, started writing about manufacturing for Supplyframe Hardware allowing me to tour factories and interview manufacturers, and started working part-time as a manufacturing engineer.


  • Kim Pimmel

    Beyond the Rectangle: Building Cameras for the Immersive Future

    Ever since the earliest days of photography, we’ve tried to capture and play back the world around us. Today, immersive technologies like AR and VR are pushing beyond the 2D image, seeking to replicate more and more of the human experience. This is driving growth in new imaging, sensory, and display technologies.

  • Learn about some cameras I’ve made, trends in camera technology, and how building the Matrix is hard.

  • Scott Shawcroft

    Supercharge Your Hardware (Old and New) with CircuitPython

    CircuitPython makes programming hardware easier than ever by bringing the popular Python language to modern, inexpensive 32-bit microcontrollers. This doesn’t need to be limited to modern hardware though. By pairing a modern microcontroller running CircuitPython and a vintage computer, such as a GameBoy or Yamaha piano keyboard, you can unlock the unique characteristics of these vintage devices. In this talk, you’ll learn the basics of how CircuitPython makes coding easy, how it works under the hood, and how to extend CircuitPython with C. As an example, we’ll supercharge a Nintendo’s GameBoy with CircuitPython. By the end of the talk, you’ll be able to supercharge your own hardware project with CircuitPython.


  • Charles Lohr

    Accomplishing the Impossible with LUTs.

  • I’ve done some very bizarre and extreme things with microcontrollers over the last several years. From bit-banging (Tx and Rx) Ethernet on an ATtiny85 broadcasting video from an ESP8266 GPIO pin to writing USB stacks for chips that don’t have them, the most insane and counter-intuitive projects that have been successes have all had one thing in common. At the heart of the project is one or more lookup tables (LUTs). In computer science classes, we study algorithms like Dynamic Programming and we hear about LUTs, but we rarely discuss the true power of this game-changing tool. In this talk I will explore how to reform complicated problems in such a way to do processing faster and on smaller processors than you ever thought possible.

 

See You at Supercon!

We’re so excited to see everyone at Supercon this year. As mentioned above, tickets are sold out so if something comes up and you can’t make it, please request a ticket refund so we can make your spot available to people on the waitlist.

More Supercon Talks Taking The Hardware World By Storm

You’re going to love the talks at the Hackaday Superconference this November. The ultimate hardware conference is all about hardware creation. The ten speakers below join the talks we announced last week and that’s still not even half of what you’ll see on the stages of Supercon. Add to that the superb workshops we announced early this week and you begin to ask yourself just how much awesome can really fit into a single weekend. Well, it’s three full days and we’d recommend arriving the day before for the unofficial festivities too!

Of course, you’ll need a ticket to ride. At the time of writing there were some available (we’ve left the teens and are headed for single digits), but no guarantee there will be any left when this article is published. We’ll be maintaining a waiting list though, so if you’re sitting on a ticket you just can’t use, please return it so someone else can take your spot.

Enough delay, let’s see what talks await us at 2019 Supercon!

The Talks (Part Two of Many)


  • Shelley Green

    Pressure connections: crimping isn’t as simple as you thought.

    Crimping is generally defined as the joining of two conductors by mechanical forces. At first, the process appears to be rather simple. However, deeper investigations reveal complex dynamics that operate at macroscopic, microscopic, and nanoscales. I will cover the basic theory for pressure connections, examine the role of mechanical properties for both conductivity and tensile strength, look at oxides and surface films, and consider the design challenges for tooling, testing, and validation of crimp quality.


  • Mike Harrison

    Everything I’ve Learnt About LEDs.

    LEDs are not all created alike. I will cover a wide range of practical techniques involved in using LEDs, in particular in the context of large-scale installations, hower much of it will be equally applicable to smaller projects. Topics include suitable LED types, drive circuitry, dimming techniques, gamma correction. There will be live demonstrations illustrating many of the areas covered.


  • Kerry Scharfglass

    Basic Device Security for Basic Needs

    It feels like every day we hear about an unbelievable new security vulnerability that allows an attacker to spy on your dog through a connected light bulb or program your toaster oven remotely. Some of these are quite elaborate, requiring researchers years to track down. But others are total no-brainers; “why didn’t the manufacturer just do X!”. In our IoT-ified world device security is more important than ever, but not every hardware product needs to be secured like an ATM inside a missile. I will discuss basic design practices and implementation tricks which are easy to incorporate into your product and provide a solid baseline of security against casual adversaries.


  • Sophy Wong

    Made With Machines: 3D Printing & Laser Cutting for Wearable Electronics

    Building tech for the human body is tricky! Whether it’s a fitness tracker or a costume, making hardware comfortable and durable enough to wear is a fascinating design challenge. I like to tackle this challenge with the help of machines! In this talk, I’ll share my recent projects that use 3D printing and laser cutting to create wearable tech with precision and high impact. I’ll talk about the design process and build techniques for using 3D printing and laser cutting to create custom parts that are comfortable and perfect for wearables.


  • Jen Costillo

    The Future is Us: Why the Open Source And Hobbyist Community Will Drive Hi-Tech Consumer Products

    Where did we the OSHW and hobbyist community come from and what have we accomplished? The truth is we are driving modern consumer electronics industry. From prototyping, to tools to media and training, we have changed it all. I’ll talk about the reasons why, our impact and our future, as well as how to avoid becoming what the older industry is: obsolete.


  • Timothy Ansell

    Xilinx Series 7 FPGAs Now Have a Fully Open Source Toolchain!

    You should be super excited about FPGAs and how they allow open source projects to do hardware development. In this talk I will cover a basic introduction into what an FPGA is and can do, what an FPGA toolchain is, and how much things sucked when the only option was to use proprietary toolchains. The SymbiFlow project changed this and I’ll discuss what is currently supported including a demo of Linux on a RISC-V core with a cheap Xilinx FPGA development board.


  • Chris Gammell

    Gaining RF Knowledge: An Analog Engineer Dives into RF Circuits

    Starting my engineering career working on low level analog measurement, anything above 1kHz kind of felt like “high frequency”. This is very obviously not the case. I’ll go over the journey of discovering and rediscovering higher frequency techniques and squaring them with the low level measurement basics that I learned at the beginning my career. This will include a discussion of Maxwell’s equations and some of the assumptions that we make when we’re working on different types of circuits. You will find this information useful in the context of RF calculations around cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth and other commonly available communication methods.


  • Shanni Prutchi and Jeff Woods

    Adventures in Building Secure Networks from Blockchain Transactions

    In our talk, we will show how we designed and built a message authentication system operating on ADANA (Automated Detection of Anomalous Network Activity) and Hyperledger (a “smart contract” form of Blockchain) all hosted on just two servers that were no longer being used by Rowan College. The system was built using Docker, syslog-ng, Hyperledger Fabric and Composer, and a beta version of Splunk. This system is accessible by nodes wired into the network which interact with the hyperledger through a web browser. We’ll present the infrastructure of the network, details of the hyperledger, an explanation of all the tools used by the system, a walkthrough of how the system works, reflections on the particular challenges of this project, and what we see in the future of this technology.


  • John McMaster

    Replicating a Secure Telephone Key

    The STU-III secure telephone was originally developed by the NSA for defense use in the 1980’s but also saw use in unclassified commercial products like the Motorola Sectel 9600\. However, they require difficult to find electromechanical keys. I will describe the process of creating a compatible key for the Sectel 9600 by reverse engineering the mechanical and electrical design and subsequently fabricating it. Along the way I’ll discuss low volume manufacturing issues and strategies to overcome.

 

We Want You!

Don’t miss out. One weekend as one of so many amazing people will inspire you and recharge your creative batteries for the coming year of hardware hacking. See you at Supercon!

Here’s Your First Look At The Talks Of The 2019 Hackaday Superconference

The ultimate hardware conference returns this November as the Hackaday Superconference springs to life in Pasadena, California. It is our pleasure to announce the first set of accepted speakers who have confirmed their appearances at Supercon. This reveal is only the tip of the iceberg, so keep your eye on Hackaday as we continue to reveal the rest of the exemplary talks and workshops that make up this year’s conference.

However, don’t wait to get your ticket. Yes, we sell out every year, but the pace of ticket sales has been much faster this year and soon they will all be gone. Don’t miss out, as you can see from the small sample below, Supercon will be packed with amazing people and you need to be one of them!

The Talks (Part One of Many)


  • Matthias Balwierz aka bitluni

    Multimedia Fun with the Esp32

    The ESP32 microcontroller is a beast! Everyone knows that already. Composite video and VGA are common now. But a few years ago these capabilities weren’t obvious. This talk will recap the journey of squeezing out every possible bit of performance to generate audio and video with the least amount of additional components. It’s a detail-packed discussion of the projects I’ve documented on my YouTube channel bitluni’s lab.


  • Sarah Kaiser

    Hacking Quantum Key Distribution Hardware or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Burn Things with Lasers

    Quantum devices are the next big addition to the general computing and technology landscape. However, just like classical hardware, quantum hardware can be hacked. I will share some of my (successful) attempts to break the security of quantum key distribution hardware with the biggest laser I could find!


  • Mohit Bhoite

    Building Free-Formed Circuit Sculptures

    I’ll be talking about building free-formed circuit sculptures, and how anyone with the right tools can get involved in this art form. We’ll explore ways to make these sculptures interact with the environment around them or with the user.


  • Thea Flowers

    Creating a Sega-Inspired Hardware Synthesizer from the Ground Up.

    What makes the Sega Genesis sound chip unique? I’ll share some short history about why the Genesis happened at a very specific moment to have this sort of chip. I’ll talk about designing and building a synthesizer around it and the challenges I encountered by trying to do this as my first hardware project.


  • Helen Leigh

    Sound Hacking and Music Technologies

    I will explore the ways in which music is influenced by making and hacking, including a whistle-stop tour of some key points in music hacking history. This starts with 1940s Musique Concrete and Daphne Oram’s work on early electronic music at the BBC, and blossoms into the strange and wonderful projects coming out of the modern music hacker scenes, including a pipe organ made of Furbies, a sound art marble run, robotic music machines and singing plants.


  • Adam Zeloof

    Thermodynamics for Electrical Engineers: Why Did My Board Melt (And How Can I Prevent It)?

    In this presentation I will provide circuit designers with the foundation they need to consider thermal factors in their designs. Heat transfers through on-board components and knowing how to characterize this means we can choose the right heat sink for any application. Learn about free simulation tools that can be used to perform these analyses and boost your knowledge of thermodynamics and heat transfer (although those who are already familiar with the subject will find some utility in it as well).


  • Samy Kamkar

    FPGA Glitching & Side Channel Attacks

    I will explore some of the incredible work that has been done by researchers, academics, governments, and the nefarious in the realm of side channel analysis. We’ll inspect attacks that were once secret and costly, but now accessible to all of us using low cost hardware such as FPGAs. We’ll learn how to intentionally induce simple yet powerful faults in modern systems such as microcontrollers.


  • Daniel Samarin

    Debugging Electronics: You Can’t Handle the Ground Truth!

    Root-causing quickly is all about having the right tools, having the right infrastructure in place, and knowing how to use them. Is it the firmware, the circuit, a bad crimp, or backlash in the gears? I will outline strategies for finding out what the issue is, so that you can focus on fixing the right thing.

You Miss It, You’ll Miss It

If there’s any way you can make it to Supercon in person, you should. One of the two talk stages will be live-streamed, and the other recorded, but there is no substitute for hanging out with these eight awesome people, plus five hundred of our closest friends. Anyone who’s made it to the conference before can tell you that the intimate atmosphere is packed with opportunities to meet new people, connect with those you’ve only seen on the internet, and learn about the newest developments happening in the world of hardware creation. See you in November!

Voja Antonic: Designing The Cube

Voja Antonic designed this fantastic retrocomputing badge for Hackaday Belgrade in 2018, and it was so much fun that we wanted to bring it stateside to the Supercon essentially unaltered. And that meant that Voja had some free time to devote to a new hardware giveaway: the Cube. So while his talk at Supercon in November was ostensibly about the badge, he just couldn’t help but tell us about his newer love, and some of the extremely clever features hidden within.

It’s funny how the hardware we design can sometimes reflect so much on the creator. Voja designed then-Yugoslavia’s first widely used home computer (and published the DIY plans in a magazine!). Thousands were built from their kits. The Galaksija was a Z80-based design with a custom BASIC that was just barely squeezed into the available 4K of ROM. So you shouldn’t be shocked that the retro-badge has a working keyboard and a nice BASIC on board.

But let’s jump ahead to the Cube, because that’s even more of a passion project. On the outside, they’re very simple devices, with only a USB port and a sweet diffused LED ring visible. Aesthetic? Minimalistic? Beautiful, honestly.
Continue reading “Voja Antonic: Designing The Cube”

Supercon Talks That Inspire You To Take On Something New

There’s wealth of activities at the Hackaday Superconference but we’ve saved a few for today’s announcement that will inspire you to take on something new and different. Check out the eight talks below that will push you to try the unexpected, to look at old things in a new way, and to propel your hardware adventures for another year.

This is the Ultimate Hardware Conference and you need to be there! We’ll continue to announce speakers and workshops as final confirmations come in. Supercon will sell out so grab your ticket now before it’s too late.

Samy Kamkar
Ultra Low Cost, Low Power, Low Weight, Light-up Mesh Networkings

How to “float” a mesh network with light-up balloons in the air without re-powering.

Carl Bugeja
Building Motors from PCBs

Ongoing design and prototyping experiments that use Printed Circuit Boards (either rigid or flexible) as a coil in conjunction with rare earth magnets to create interesting motors and actuators.

Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron
Hacker Calculus

Travel back to Isaac Newton’s work to rethink calculus and make it intuitive using 3D printed open-source designs.

Rob Ryan-Silva
Making it Matter for Developing Countries

Building hardware in support of foreign aid projects. Learn what considerations really matter when designing for developing country contexts.

Dominic Spill
Ridiculous Radios

RF engineers put great effort into crafting high quality radio systems. I am not one of those engineers. Experimenting with radio protocols using SDR.

Michael Rigsby
Connect the Dots; Choices Make a Life

How does life unfold if you create things? Nothing created is wasted — following your dreams will lead you somewhere (maybe not where you planned), but to a good place. How I quit my engineering job and built interesting things as a career.

Hunter Scott
Why Phased Arrays Are Cool and How to Build One

At the intersection of the two black arts of RF engineering and antenna design is the phased array. But don’t worry, they’re not as hard to understand as you might think.

 

Charles Alexanian
Small Scale Vacuum Tube Construction

Showing the process for the construction of vacuum tubes. Tubes will be built and tested on site using glass working torches and other specialized tools

We Want You at Supercon!

The Hackaday Superconference is a can’t-miss event for hardware hackers everywhere. Join in on three amazing days of talks and workshops focusing on hardware creation. This is your community of hardware hackers who congregate to hack on the official hardware badge and on a slew of other projects that show up for the fun. Get your ticket right away!

Supercon: How Many Hardware Talks Can Be Packed Into One Conference?

How can we fit so many impressive talks onto two stages at the Hackaday Superconference? We’ll be bursting at the seams in November as the hardware world gathers in Pasadena for this annual pilgrimage. This year’s Supercon will have more talks and workshops than ever before!

This is the Ultimate Hardware Conference and you need to be there! We’ll continue to announce speakers and workshops as final confirmations come in. Supercon will sell out so grab your ticket now before it’s too late.

Ken Shirriff
Studying Silicon: Reverse Engineering Integrated Circuits

From the outside, integrated circuits are mysterious black boxes. Here’s how to open up some famous analog and digital chips including 8008 microprocessor, 555 timer, the first FPGA chip, Intel’s first RAM, the 76477 sound effects chip, and a counterfeit RAM chip.

Jennifer Wang
Building IMU-based Gesture Recognition

If you combine IMUs with machine learning (ML), you can detect gestures! Experimenting with these devices that sense both motion and orientation is a great way to get ML into your hacker toolkit.

Michael Schuldt
Adventures in Manufacturing Automation

A software engineer explores manufacturing automation, featuring complex software solutions and redemption in the form of reusable hardware components.

Adam McCombs
A Hacker’s Guide to Electron Microscopy

Working on electron microscopes means learning about everything from analog and digital circuit repairs, to how to rig and transport scopes, servicing 120KV+ high voltage tanks, and working on complex high vacuum systems.

Justin McAllister
Simple Antennas to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

From $10 USB software defined radios to cheap imported transceivers, it’s easier than ever to have a multi-purpose radio in your lab. Low cost antennas can be built by beginners easily to send and receive radio signals from frequencies covering worldwide HF to local VHF, UHF, and microwave.

Alex Glow
What Went Wrong with Archimedes (the Robot Owl)?

Building a wearable, AI-powered robotic owl, is both easier and harder than it looks. Explore the challenges of 3D printing, coding, and how to confront them with creativity.

Kerry Scharfglass
The Economics of Conference Badges at Medium Scale

Discover manufacturing processes and make decisions with an eye towards economics. Buying 30,000 RGB LEDs, using big red arrows to communicate through a translator, and more!

 

Jeremy Hong
Electronic Warfare: A Brief Overview of Weaponized RF Designs

Whether you are trying to avoid having a multi-million dollar fighter jet from being shot down or avoid a speeding ticket from law enforcement , the same radar and electronic warfare equations and concepts apply.

We Want You at Supercon!

The Hackaday Superconference is a can’t-miss event for hardware hackers everywhere. Join in on three amazing days of talks and workshops focusing on hardware creation. This is your community of hardware hackers who congregate to hack on the official hardware badge and on a slew of other projects that show up for the fun. Get your ticket right away!

Supercon On The Rise: More Amazing Talks Revealed

The drum beat of the Hackaday Superconference grows louder. Are you ready for it? We’re spending the week revealing the talks and on our third day we’re barely half-way through. Check out the incredible speakers who will be at Supercon to share tales of hardware creation.

This is the Ultimate Hardware Conference and you need to be there! We’ll continue to announce speakers and workshops as final confirmations come in. Supercon will sell out so grab your ticket now before it’s too late.

Jeroen Domburg
Magic Paintbrush: Everyone Can Paint with Printer Cartridges

Always wanted to paint like Bob Ross, but have the artistic skills of a wet cardboard box? Perhaps you can be helped by a printer cartridge and some electronics.

Bryce Salmi
3D Printing An Orbital Class Rocket

Challenging traditional manufacturing techniques used to build orbital class rockets. Here’s how Relativity Space 3D prints rocket engines (104 tests already) and avionics.

Sarah Petkus
Sensing and Indicating a Sensual State

“SHE BON” can sense and indicate the wearer’s level of arousal/excitement. It explores ways in which we can use our bio-data to communicate aspects of our being that would otherwise go unnoticed, as well as how technology can help us add another layer of texture to how we express our individuality.

Zach Fredin
Novelty Soldering

Novel soldering techniques for building art, prototypes, and short hand-built production runs using techniques like SMT cordwood, carved FR4, and small scale free-air.

Kelly Ziqi Peng
Diffractive Optics for Augmented Reality

Learn to design optical elements like diffractive waveguides (Magic Leap, Hololens, Akonia, Digilens), and electronically controlled elements that can changing depth in real-time. More importantly, learn how to make your own with accessible machine shop equipment.

Brett Smith
Why Do It the Hard Way?

Microcontrollers have lots of built-in functionality that goes unused because long datasheets can be overwhelming. That ends now.

Chris Gammell
Improve Your Circuit Toolbox

Simple designs will save your next product if you know which circuits to piece together. Utility circuits practical for everyday electronics.

 

Arsenijs Picugins
DIY Linux Portables

From powering it efficiently, to software constraints, picking the right hardware, and connecting it all in a fail-safe way, know the pitfalls of designing a Linux-powered portable.

We Want You at Supercon!

The Hackaday Superconference is a can’t-miss event for hardware hackers everywhere. Join in on three amazing days of talks and workshops focusing on hardware creation. This is your community of hardware hackers who congregate to hack on the official hardware badge and on a slew of other projects that show up for the fun. Get your ticket right away!