Monthly Archives: March 2017

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

via Dangerous Prototypes

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Every Tuesday we give away two coupons for the free PCB drawer via Twitter. This post was announced on Twitter, and in 24 hours we’ll send coupon codes to two random retweeters. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times a every week:

  • Hate Twitter and Facebook? Free PCB Sunday is the classic PCB giveaway. Catch it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Bomb Defusal Fun With Friends!

via hardware – Hackaday

Being a member of the bomb squad would be pretty high up when it comes to ranking stressful occupations. It also makes for great fun with friends. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a two-player video game where one player attempts to defuse a bomb based on instructions from someone on the other end of a phone. [hephaisto] found the game great fun, but thought it could really benefit from some actual hardware. They set about building a real-life bomb defusal game named BUMM.

The “bomb” itself consists of a Raspberry Pi brain that communicates with a series of modules over a serial bus. The modules consist of a timer, a serial number display, and two “riddle” boxes covered in switches and LEDs. It’s the job of the bomb defuser to describe what they see on the various modules to the remote operator, who reads a manual and relays instructions based on this data back to the defuser. For example, the defuser may report seeing a yellow and green LED lit on the riddle module – the operator will then look this up and instruct the defuser on which switches to set in order to defuse that part of the bomb. It’s the challenge of quickly and accurately communicating in the face of a ticking clock that makes the game fun.

[hephaisto] took this build to Make Rhein-Main 2017, where they were very accepting of a “bomb” being brought onto the premises. The game was setup in a booth with an old analog S-video camera feed and a field telephone for communication – we love the detail touches that really add atmosphere to the gameplay experience.

Overall, it’s a great project that could easily be recreated by any hackerspace looking for something fun to share on community nights. The build files are all available on the project GitHub so it’s easy to see the nuts and bolts of how it works.

We’ve seen builds that bring video games into the real world before – like this coilgun Scorched Earth build. Fantastic.


Filed under: hardware, Tech Hacks

Build an Arduino-powered magnetic drawing machine

via Arduino Blog

As touched on in this video by Charlotte Dann (aka “Charbytes”), she has magnets in her fingers.

This may or may not seem like a small detail, but either way it allows her to draw interesting shapes by passing them over a magnetometer mounted to an Arduino Uno. Dann’s sensor/Arduino package passes serial data to a computer, which does the “heavy lifting,” turning the input into beautiful colors on a computer screen.

It’s an interesting project, and the build process is nicely narrated in her video. A few highlights include a problem with “plastic weld” at 4:00, and a few electrical issues around 7:30 that she eventually solves. You can see more details on this project on its GitHub page, as well as check out Dann’s Twitter account to see what else she’s up to!

Build an Arduino-powered magnetic drawing machine

via Arduino Blog

As touched on in this video by Charlotte Dann (aka “Charbytes”), she has magnets in her fingers.

This may or may not seem like a small detail, but either way it allows her to draw interesting shapes by passing them over a magnetometer mounted to an Arduino Uno. Dann’s sensor/Arduino package passes serial data to a computer, which does the “heavy lifting,” turning the input into beautiful colors on a computer screen.

It’s an interesting project, and the build process is nicely narrated in her video. A few highlights include a problem with “plastic weld” at 4:00, and a few electrical issues around 7:30 that she eventually solves. You can see more details on this project on its GitHub page, as well as check out Dann’s Twitter account to see what else she’s up to!

Easy ‘USB-ake’ Oven with Arduino Uno

via Arduino Blog

After procuring a new Easy-Bake Oven, engineer Jason Cerundolo decided to convert it to run off of USB. According to his project write-up, “USB-C spec allows for 100 Watts of power to be transferred through the connector, and that is the power rating for the oven, so it should work.”

The biggest modification in this build was dividing the heating element into six segments in order to power it with 20V allowed over USB-C. Finding a suitable charger for this device was also a bit of a challenge, but after 20 minutes, it was able to reach 300° F, producing five strangely-shaped but likely still tasty cookies!

For the electronics, I used my USB-C breakout board with the FUSB302B PHY and an Arduino Uno. I wired I2C plus interrupt between the two. I connected VBUS from the breakout board to VIN on the Arduino to power it. Then, I connected +3V3 from the Arduino to the VDD on the breakout board to power the FUSB302B, as well as +5V to V_pullup on the breakout board. I also connected VBUS to the switch, then to the modified heating element and back to GND. To make the connections easier, I crimped spade connectors onto jumper wires. Finally, I plugged the modified light into pin 13 on the Arduino.

You can check out more about Cerundolo’s project, and find his code on GitHub.

Save the Date: It’s officially AVC season 2017!

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

Last year’s AVC feels like it was just yesterday, but that might be because I still have a stack of unused wristbands and special-edition bumper stickers on my desk, begging to be put back in storage.

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Luckily, I’ve procrastinated cleanup for so long it’s no longer necessary: It’s officially AVC Season 2017! SparkFun’s ninth annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition will be on October 14-15, 2017, here in Colorado.

We have quite a few surprises in the works for our AVC friends, which we’ll be announcing over the next few weeks. We’re excited to up the ante for the competition this year – any of you interested in autonomous trucking? Or obstacles that (gasp) move?!

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Stay tuned to the blog or follow us on social media; we’ll be sharing course designs, rules, weight classes and more exciting news over the next few weeks.

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