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Hackaday



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Last Build Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2017 16:52:53 +0000

 



Sector67 Hackerspace Rocked by Explosion at New Locationsector67bobbaddeley

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 15:30:00 +0000

Madison, WI hackerspace Sector67 is in a period of transition as they move from their current rented location to a new property that will be their permanent home a half mile away. Last Wednesday (September 20, 2017) an unfortunate propane explosion in the new building led to the injury of Chris Meyer, the founder and director of the hackerspace.

The structure has been stabilized and renovation is continuing, but Chris was seriously burned and will be in the hospital for at least a month with a much longer road to complete recovery. It is fortunate that nobody else was injured. …read more

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An Introduction to Solid State Relaysssr-blog-view-wbsboycevn

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 14:01:49 +0000

When we think of relays, we tend to think of those big mechanical things that make a satisfying ‘click’ when activated. As nice as they are for relay-based computers, there are times when you don’t want to deal with noise or the unreliability of moving parts. This is where solid-state relays (SSRs) are worth considering. They switch faster, silently, without bouncing or arcing, last longer, and don’t contain a big inductor.

An SSR consists of two or three standard components packed into a module (you can even build one yourself). The first component is an optocoupler which isolates your control …read more

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Chess Robot’s Got the Moveschessnerdyjb

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 11:00:46 +0000

[RoboAvatar]’s Chess Robot consists of a gantry-mounted arm that picks up chess pieces and places them in their new location, as directed by the software. The game begins when the human, playing white, makes a move. When a play has been made, the human player presses a button to let the robot to take its turn. You can see it in action in the videos we’ve posted below the break.

Running the robot is an Arduino UNO with a MUX shield as well as a pair of MCP23017 I/O expander chips — a total of 93 pins available! Thanks to …read more

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Emulate ICs in Pythonpywd5gnr1

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 08:00:04 +0000

Most people who want to simulate logic ICs will use Verilog, VHDL, or System Verilog. Not [hsoft]. He wanted to use Python, and wrote a simple Python framework for doing just that. You can find the code on GitHub, and there is an ASCII video that won’t embed here at Hackaday, but which you can view at ASCIInema.

Below the break we have an example of “constructing” a circuit in Python using ICemu:

dec = SN74HC138()
sr1 = CD74AC164()
sr2 = CD74AC164()
mcu_pin = OutputPin('PB4')

sr1.pin_CP.wire_to(dec.pin_Y0)
sr2.pin_CP.wire_to(dec.pin_Y1)
sr1.pin_DS1.wire_to(mcu_pin)
sr2.pin_DS1.wire_to(mcu_pin)

print(dec.asciiart())
     _______
   A>|- U +|>Y7
   B>|-   +|>Y6
   C>|-   +|>Y5
 G2A>|-   +|>Y4
 

…read more

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A Cold Hard Look at FPGAscryofpgawd5gnr1

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Researchers at the Delft University of Technology wanted to use FPGAs at cryogenic temperatures down around 4 degrees Kelvin. They knew from previous research that many FPGAs that use submicron fabrication technology actually work pretty well at those temperatures. It is the other components that misbehave — in particular, capacitors and voltage regulators. They worked out an interesting strategy to get around this problem.

The common solution is to move the power supply away from the FPGA and out of the cold environment. The problem is, that means long wires and fluctuating current demands will cause a variable voltage drop at …read more

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DIY LiPo Protectorslipowd5gnr1

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 02:00:00 +0000

Spiderman’s Uncle Ben was known to say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” The same holds true for battery power. [Andreas] wanted to use protected 18650 cells, but didn’t want to buy them off the shelf. He found a forty cent solution. Not only can you see it in the video, below, but he also explains and demonstrates what the circuit is doing and why.

Protection is important with LiPo technology. Sure, LiPo cells have changed the way we use portable electronics, but they can be dangerous. If you overcharge them or allow them to go completely dead and then …read more

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Pulleys within Pulleys form a Unique Transmission for Robotsinceptiondpsm64

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 23:00:00 +0000

After a couple of millennia of fiddling with gears, you’d think there wouldn’t be much new ground to explore in the field of power transmission. And then you see something like an infinitely variable transmission built from nested pulleys, and you realize there’s always room for improvement.

The electric motors generally used in robotics can be extremely efficient, often topping 90% efficiency at high speed and low torque. Slap on a traditional fixed-ratio gearbox, or change the input speed, and efficiency is lost. An infinitely variable transmission, like [Alexander Kernbaum]’s cleverly named Inception Drive, allows the motor to stay at …read more

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