Monthly Archives: October 2016

Inside a RFID race timing chip: die photos of the Monza R6

via Dangerous Prototypes

monza6-die-600

Ken Shirriff took some die photos of the Monza R6 chip  and wrote a post on his blog on how the RFID timing chip works:

I recently watched a cross-country running race that used a digital timing system, so I investigated how the RFID timing chip works. Each runner wears a race bib like the one below. The bib has two RFID tags, consisting of a metal foil antenna connected to a tiny RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip. At the finish line, runners pass over a pad that reads the chip and records the finish time. (I’m not sure why there are two RFID tags on each bib; perhaps for reliability of detection.)
The die photo below shows the RFID chip used on these tags. To create it, I took 22 photos of the chip with my metallurgical microscope and stitched them together to create a high resolution photo. (Click the image for a larger version.) To prepare the chip, I removed it from the plastic carrier with Goof Off, dissolved the antenna with pool acid (HCl), and burnt off the mounting adhesive over a stove. This process left the chip visible with just a bit of debris that wouldn’t come off. I’d probably get better results with boiling sulfuric acid, but that’s too hazardous for me. I described the image stitching process in this article.

More details at Ken Shirriff’s blog.

Congrats 2016-2018 Board Members!

via Open Source Hardware Association

Thank you to our members who voted for OSHWA’s new board members! Your vote is a major contribution as we need to reach quorum (at least 10% of our members) to make anything official in OSHWA. This year, we filled 5 board member seats which will be held for 2 years. For the first time ever, we had a tie for the 5th board position between Abhishek Narula and Luis Rodriguez. The board decided to make the decision through a coin flip and create an honorary position for the other person.

Please welcome our new board members Nadya Peek, Harris Kenny, Michael Weinberg, Matthias Tarasiewicz, Luis Rodriguez, and honorary member Abhishek Narula!

2016-votes

Thank you to all who participated in nominations!

Building Transistors with Transistors

via hardware – Hackaday

Since the 1940s when the first transistor was created, transistors have evolved from ornery blocks of germanium wrangled into basic amplifiers into thousands and thousands of different devices made of all kinds of material that make any number of electrical applications possible, cheap, and reliable. MOSFETs can come in at least four types: P- or N-channel, and enhancement or depletion mode. They also bear different power ratings. And some varieties are more loved than others; for instance, depletion-mode, N-channel power MOSFETs are comparatively scarce. [DeepSOIC] was trying to find one before he decided to make his own by hacking a more readily available enhancement-mode transistor.

For those not intimately familiar with semiconductor physics, the difference between these two modes is essentially the difference between a relay that is normally closed and one that’s normally open. Enhancement-mode transistors are “normally off” and are easy to obtain and (for most of us) useful for almost all applications. On the other hand, if you need a “normally on” transistor, you will need to source a depletion mode transistor. [DeepSOIC] was able to create a depletion mode transistor by “torturing” the transistor to effectively retrain the semiconductor junctions in the device.

If you’re interested in semiconductors and how transistors work on an atomic level, [DeepSOIC]’s project will keep you on the edge of your seat. On the other hand, if you’re new to the field and looking to get a more basic understanding, look no further than these DIY diodes.


Filed under: hardware

Happy Halloween!

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

Halloween is easily our favorite day of the year. There are way too many enthusiastic pop culture fanatics, cosplayers and creative types around SparkFun HQ for it to not be a major scene, and years ago we decided to not only showcase the many costumes people come up with, but hand out prizes as well – a LOT of work goes into some of these! This year’s costume contest will be filmed live, starting at 2:30 MDT today (you can watch at the link below!).

While you wait, we have plenty of ways for you to festively entertain yourself. Take a look back at some of our favorite costumes from 2012, 2013, or last year’s contest livestream, or try your hand at some Halloween hackery and haunts, make a ray gun with Pete, try your hand at some e-textile, LED or motorized projects, or just watch some Spooky Sketches.

See you there!

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Wear the Stranger Things wall on your shirt

via Arduino Blog

The Netflix series Stranger Things has become a fan-favorite for Makers, especially for those looking to recreate a light-up alphabet wall of their own. While we’ve seen some awesome attempts over the last couple of weeks, Imgur user “MrWalkway” has decided to create a more portable version in the form of his Halloween costume.

The show-inspired costume uses an Adafruit LED strand, an Arduino Nano, a Bluetooth receiver, a battery, and some other components to allow his shirt to accept different messages and light patterns. The instructions are sent from a Bluetooth terminal on his phone over a serial connection to the Arduino.

As you can see on the project’s Imgur page, the electronics are all housed within a 3D-printed control box that gets tucked away in his pocket while the 25 LEDs are stitched to the inside of the shirt.

How to Pi: Halloween Edition 2016

via Raspberry Pi

Happy Halloween, one and all. Whether you’ve planned a night of trick-or-treating, watching scary movies, or hiding from costumed children with the lights off, our How to Pi guide should get you ready for the evening’s festivities. Enjoy!

Costumes

This is definitely a Pi Towers favourite. The Disco Ball costume by Wolfie uses a drone battery and Raspberry Pi to create, well, a child-sized human disco ball. The video links on the project page seem to be down; however, all the ingredients needed for the project are listed at Thingiverse, and a walkthrough of the wiring can be seen here. Below, you’ll see the full effect of the costume, and I’m sure we can all agree that we need one here in the office.

Halloween 2016 Disco Ball

Some aerial shots of Serena’s halloween costume we made. It contains 288 full color LEDs, a dual battery system for power, and a Raspberry Pi B2 running the sequence that was created in xLights.

If you feel ‘too cool’ to fit inside a giant disco ball, how about fitting inside a computer… sort of? The Jacket houses a Raspberry Pi with a monitor in the sleeve because, well, why not?

‘The Jacket’ 2.0 My Cyberp…

lsquo;The Jacket’ 2.0 My Cyberpunk inspired jacket was completed just in time for a Halloween party last night. This year’s upgrades added to the EL tape and 5″ LCD, with spikes, a pi zero and an action cam (look for the missing chest spike).

 

Dealing with Trick-or-treaters

Trick or Trivia, the trivia-based Halloween candy dispenser from YouTube maker TheMakersWorkbench, dispenses candy based on correct answers to spooky themed questions. For example, Casper is a friendly what? Select ‘Ghost’ on the touchscreen and receive three pieces of candy. Select an incorrect answer and receive only one.

It’s one of the best ways to give out candy to trick-or-treaters, without having to answer the door or put in any effort whatsoever.

Trick Or Trivia Trivia-Based Halloween Candy Dispenser Servo Demo

This video is a companion video to a project series I am posting on Element14.com. The video demonstrates the candy dispensing system for the Trick or Trivia candy dispenser project. You can find the post that this video accompanies at the following link: http://bit.ly/TrickorTrivia If you like this video, please consider becoming out patron on Patreon.

Or just stop them knocking in the first place with this…

Raspberry Pi Motion Sensor Halloween Trick

A Raspberry Pi running Ubuntu Mate connected to an old laptop screen. I have a motion sensor hidden in the letterbox. When you approach the door it detects you. Next the pi sends a signal to a Wi Fi enabled WeMo switch to turn on the screen.

Scary pranks

When it comes to using a Raspberry Pi to prank people, the team at Circuit-Help have definitely come up with the goods. By using a setup similar to the magic mirror project, they fitted an ultrasonic sensor to display a zombie video within the mirror whenever an unsuspecting soul approaches. Next year’s The Walking Dead-themed Halloween party is sorted!

Haunted Halloween Mirror

This Raspberry Pi Halloween Mirror is perfect for both parties and pranks! http://www.circuit-help.com.ph/haunted-halloween-mirror/

If the zombie mirror isn’t enough, how about some animated portraits for your wall? Here’s Pi Borg’s Moving Eye Halloween portrait. Full instructions here.

Spooky Raspberry Pi controlled Halloween picture

Check out our quick Halloween Project, make your own Raspberry Pi powered spooky portrait! http://www.instructables.com/id/Halloween-painting-with-moving-eyes/

Pumpkins

We’ve seen a flurry of Raspberry Pi pumpkins this year. From light shows to motion-activated noise makers, it’s the year of the pimped-up pumpkin. Here’s Oliver with his entry into the automated pumpkin patch, offering up a motion-activated pumpkin jam-packed with LEDs.

Raspberry Pi Motion Sensor Light Up Pumpkin

Using a Raspberry Pi with a PIR motion sensor and a bunch of NeoPixels to make a scary Halloween Pumpkin

Or get super-fancy and use a couple of Pimoroni Unicorn HATs to create animated pumpkin eyes. Instructions here.

Raspberry Pi Pumpkin LED Matrix Eyes

Inspired by the many Halloween electronics projects we saw last year, we tried our own this year. Source code is on github https://github.com/mirkin/pi-word-clock

Ignore the world and get coding

If you’re one of the many who would rather ignore Halloween, close the curtains, and pretend not to be home, here are some fun, spooky projects to work on this evening. Yes, they’re still Halloween-themed… but c’mon, they’ll be fun regardless!

Halloween Music Light Project – Follow the tutorial at Linux.com to create this awesome and effective musical light show. You can replace the tune for a less Halloweeny experience.

Halloween Music-Light project created using Raspberry Pi and Lightshow project.

Uploaded by Swapnil Bhartiya on 2016-10-12.

Spooky Spot the Difference – Let the Raspberry Pi Foundation team guide you through this fun prank, and use the skills you learn to replace the images for other events and holidays.

spot_the_diff

Whatever you get up to with a Raspberry Pi this Halloween, make sure to tag us across social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, G+, and Vine. You can also check out our Spooky Pi board on Pinterest.

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