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Preview: Hack a Day


Fresh hacks every day

Last Build Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 05:17:41 +0000


Turning Saw Blades Into Throwing Starsstars_feattomnardi

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 03:00:43 +0000

The holidays are nearly upon us, and if you haven’t found the perfect gift for the Mall Ninja in your life yet, this latest hack might be just what you’re looking for. On his YouTube channel, [The Nocturnal Alchemist] demonstrates how to make ninja throwing stars (shuriken) out of an old circular saw blade. One could probably argue that a circular saw itself is close enough to throwing star if your only goal is to wreck some stuff in your backyard, but with this method they’ll have that official samurai look.

To start the process, he hits both sides of …read more


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Coin cell powered sea turtle researchlowcost-datalogger-featuredsvengregori

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 00:00:10 +0000

Hacking and tinkering are always fun and games, but one just has to appreciate when all efforts are additionally aimed towards doing something good. [Nikos] sets an example by combining his interest in technology with his passion for wildlife conservation by creating a low cost and ultra-low power temperature logger — and he is using a coin cell for it.

As the founder of a sea turtle conservation project in Greece, [Nikos] enjoys building scientific instruments that help him and his team on their mission. With a goal to log the temperature every 10 minutes over a period of at …read more


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A Robot Arm for Virtual Beer Pongpong-arm-800cornbreadninja

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:00:56 +0000

Leave it to engineering students to redefine partying. [Hyun], [Justin], and [Daniel] have done exactly that for their final project by building a virtually-controlled robotic arm that plays beer pong.

There are two main parts to this build: a sleeve worn by the user, and the robotic arm itself. The sleeve has IMUs at the elbow and wrist and a PIC32 that calculates their respective angles. The sleeve sends angle data to a second PIC32 where it is translated it into PWM signals and sent to the arm.

There’s a pressure sensor wired sleeve-side that’s worn between forefinger and thumb …read more


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Brute Forcing Passwords with a 3D Printer3d-printer-brute-force-pin-codeadamfabio

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:31:57 +0000

Many of us use a 4 digit pin code to lock our phones. [David Randolph] over at Hak5 has come up a simple way to use a 3D printer to brute force these passwords. Just about every 3D printer out there speaks the same language, G-code. The same language used in CAD and CNC machines for decades.

[David] placed a numeric keypad on the bed of his printer. He then mapped out the height and positions of each key. Once he knew the absolute positions of the keys, it was easy to tell the printer to move to a key, …read more


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Thermistors and 3D PrintingThermistorswd5gnr1

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 18:01:26 +0000

I always find it interesting that 3D printers — at least the kind most of us have — are mostly open-loop devices. You tell the head to move four millimeters in the X direction and you assume that the stepper motors will make it so. Because of the mechanics, you can calculate that four millimeters is so many steps and direct the motor to take them. If something prevents that amount of travel you get a failed print. But there is one part of the printer that is part of a closed loop. It is very tiny, very important, but …read more


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Design a Microcontroller With Security In MindMount Soprisinkarc

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 16:30:00 +0000

There are many parts to building a secure networked device, and the entire industry is still learning how to do it right. Resources are especially constrained for low-cost microcontroller devices. Would it be easier to build more secure devices if microcontrollers had security hardware built-in? That is the investigation of Project Sopris by Microsoft Research.

The researchers customized the MediaTek MT7687, a chip roughly comparable to the hacker darling ESP32. The most significant addition was a security subsystem. It performs tasks notoriously difficult to do correctly in software, such as random number generation and security key storage. It forms the …read more


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Hardware Heroes: Isambard Kingdom BrunelIsambard-Kingdom-Brunel-at-Millwall-featuredjennylist[Isambard Kingdom Brunel], in front of the launching chains for the Great Eastern. [Public domain]It's easy to spot that it's the [Brunel] Museum.This photograph does not do justice to to the tunnel construction shaft as a space.A modern [Brunel] statue at the GWR Paddington terminus.The Royal Albert Bridge, Saltash. Geof Sheppard [CC BY-SA 3.0]The Clifton Suspension Bridge. [by Gothick CC BY-SA 3.0]A contemporary picture on the Great Eastern at sea. [Public domain][Brunel]'s memorial on the Embankment.

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:01:52 +0000

There are some notable figures in history that you know of for just one single thing. They may have achieved much in their lifetimes or they may have only been famous for Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes, but through the lens of time we only know them for that single achievement. Then on the other hand there are those historic figures for whom there is such a choice of their achievements that have stood the test of time, that it is difficult to characterize them by a single one.

Such is the case of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the subject of today’s  …read more


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