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Preview: Hack a Day


Fresh hacks every day

Last Build Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:39:01 +0000


London Calling: The Hackaday UK Unconference Roundupuk-unconference-2017-featuredjennylistA super-sized Boldport PCB[Mike]'s super-tiny electric stuff[Ales Eames] and his bicycle turn signalOur venue was in quite a striking building

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:00:10 +0000

A trip to London, for provincial Brits, is something of an undertaking from which you invariably emerge tired and slightly grimy following your encounter with the cramped mobile sauna of the Central Line, its meandering international sightseers, and stampede of besuited commuters heading for the City. Often your fatigue after such an expedition will be that following the completion of a Herculean labour, but just sometimes it will instead be the contented tiredness of a fulfilling and busy time well spent.

Such will be the state of the happy band of the Hackaday community who made it to London this …read more


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Music Box Plays “Still Alive” Thanks to Automated Hole PuncherMusic Box Hole Puncher Featureddp2cnk

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:00:25 +0000

Most projects have one or two significant aspects in which custom work or clever execution is showcased, but this Music Box Hole Punching Machine by [Josh Sheldon] and his roommate [Matt] is a delight on many levels. Not only was custom hardware made to automate punching holes in long spools of paper for feeding through a music box, but a software front end to process MIDI files means that in a way, this project is really a MIDI-to-hand-cranked-music-box converter. What a time to be alive.

The hole punch is an entirely custom-made assembly, and as [Josh] observes, making a reliable …read more


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Single Board Relay ComputerRelayCompLargebrianbenchoff

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 05:00:00 +0000

We all know you can build a computer out of relays, and if you’re a regular reader of Hackaday, you’ve probably seen a few. Actually designing and fabricating a computer built around relays is another thing entirely, and an accomplishment that will put you right up there with the hardware greats.

The newest inductee of the DIY microcomputer hall of fame is [Jhallen]. He’s built a microcomputer ‘trainer’ out of relays. It’s got more click and clack than the Tappet family, and is a work of art rendered in DPDT relays.

The biggest consideration in designing a relay computer is …read more


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Sawed Off Keyboard3413121505154610836_featuredstevenduf

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 02:00:00 +0000

Have you ever had to cut a piece of furniture in two to get it into a new place? Yours truly has, having had to cut the longer part of a sectional sofa in two to get it into a high-rise apartment. That’s what [Charles]’ sawed off keyboard immediately reminded us of. It sounds just as crazy, but brilliant at the same time.

In [Charles]’ case he wanted a keypad whose keys were customizable, and that would make a single keypress do common things like cut, copy and paste, which are normally ctrl-X, ctrl-C and ctrl-V in Windows. To do …read more


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Hackaday’s London Meetup Was A CorkerDSC_0904_bright_featuredhexagon5unDesignSpark, brought to you by RS, our exclusive sponsor for this event.

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 23:00:02 +0000

Upstairs at the Marquis Cornwallis pub in central London, around 75 Hackadayers convened, ate well, drank well, and were generally merry. Nearly everyone in attendance brought a hack with them, which meant that there was a lot to see in addition to all that socializing to be done.

I spoke with a huge number of people who all said the same thing: that it was fantastic to put faces to the names of the writers, hackers, and other readers. As a writer, I finally got to meet in person some of the people who’ve produced some of my favorite hacks, …read more


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A Smaller, Cheaper RISC V BoardLoFiVebrianbenchoff

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:00:33 +0000

Early this year, the world of electronics saw something amazing. The RISC-V, the first Open Source microcontroller was implemented in silicon, and we got an Arduino-derived dev board in the form of the HiFive 1. The HiFive 1 is just a bit shy of mindblowing; it’s a very fast microcontroller that’s right up there with the Teensy when it comes to processing power. There’s support for the Arduino IDE, so all those fancy libraries are ready to go. That’s not to say there aren’t a few problems; it’s a relatively expensive board, and it does use the ubiquitous but somewhat …read more


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Hackaday Prize Entry: A PCB To Emulate Coin CellsCoin Cell Emulator Featureddp2cnk

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 18:30:38 +0000

The Coin Cell Emulator CR2016/CR2032 by [bobricius] homes in on a problem some hardware developers don’t realize they have: when working on hardware powered by the near-ubiquitous CR2016 or CR2032 format 3V coin cells, power can be a bit troublesome. Either the device is kept fed with coin cells as needed during development, or the developer installs some breakout wires to provide power from a more convenient source.

[bobricius]’s solution to all this is a small PCB designed to be inserted into most coin cell holders just like the cell itself. It integrates a micro USB connector with a 3V …read more


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