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Will it Sell?

Many of us develop things for one of two purposes: to hack something cool, or to sell something cool. When hacking something cool, your target market is yourself, and you already know you‘ve made the sale. If your goal is to sell the thing you are making, then a lot more thought and effort is required. You could develop the coolest product in the world, but if your target market is too small, your price is too high, your lead time is too lo

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Arduino does Hard Science

We don‘t know why [stoppi71] needs to do gamma spectroscopy. We only know that he has made one, including a high-voltage power supply, a photomultiplier tube, and-what else-an Arduino. You also need a scintillation crystal to convert the gamma rays to visible light for the tube to pick up. He started out using an open source multichannelanalyzer (MCA) called Theremino. This connects through a sound card and runs on a PC. However, he wanted

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Ambitious Hackerboat Project Still Aiming High

Last year we wrote about Hackerbot Labs‘ autonomous boat, which project membershope to someday circumnavigate the globe. Now called Project Ladon, progresscontinues apace with a recent ocean test of their modified 18‘ kayak, the TSV Disputed Right of Way. The kayak‘s internal spaces contain a pair of lead-acid truck batteries controlled by a home-brewed control system that uses relays to control the craft‘s trolling motor,

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The 3D Printer Packing Problem

Form Labs recently announced the launch of the Fuse 1, a desktop SLS printer that will print all your parts using nylon powder and a laser. This a fundamentally different method of 3D printing as compared to filament-based machines, and the best way to use a Fuse 1 is to fill the entire volume of the machine with 3D printed parts. [Michael Fogelman] decided to investigate the 3D packing problem, and managed to fill this printer with the maximum n

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Pixar Style Robots Are Treasure Trove Of Building Tricks

[Alonso Martinez] is an artist working on virtual characters at Pixar so it‘s no wonder that his real life robots, Mira and Gertie, have personalities that make them seem like they jumped straight out of a Pixar movie. But what we really like are the tricks he‘s used inside to bring them to life that are sure to get reused for the same or other things. For example, Mira‘s head can rotate in yaw, pitch and roll. To figure out how

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Best Product Entry: Pocket Thermal Camera

One of the entries in the Hackaday Prize Best Product competition is [x-labz]‘s pocket thermal imager. It‘s more than a prototype, it‘s a design conceived to get out into the world and be used by many. Best Product entries are open until July 24th, and with a 30,000 cash prize on the line let‘s take a look at some of the things that elevate a project to product status. Thanks to recent advances in the state of thermal imag

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Mechanical Image Acquisition With A Nipkow Disc

If you mis-spent your teenage years fishing broken televisions from dumpsters and either robbing them for parts or fixing them for the ability to watch The A Team upstairs rather than in the living room as I did, then it‘s possible that you too will have developed a keen interest in analogue television technology. You‘ll know your front porch from your blanking interval and your colour burst, you might say. There was one piece of tele

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Friday Hack Chat: Climate Change

This Friday, we‘re talking climate change. Is it possible to remove carbon from the atmosphere before most cities are underwater? What role can hackers play in alleviating climate change? It‘s all going down this Friday on the Hack Chat on Hackaday.io We‘ve invited [Tito Jankowski] and [Matthew Eshed] to talk about climate change this Friday over on hackaday.io. [Tito] and [Matthew] are the founders of Impossible Labs, and they&

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Fly Across the Water on a 3D-Printed Electric Hydrofoil

Paddleboards, which are surfboard-like watercraft designed to by stood upon and paddled around calm waters, are a common sight these days. So imagine the surprise on the faces of beachgoers when what looks like a paddleboard suddenly but silently lurches forward and rises up off the surface, lifting the rider on a flight over the water. That may or may not be[pacificmeister]‘s goal with his DIY 3D-printed electric hydrofoil, but it‘s

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Wooden Laptop Enclosure: New Life for Old Thinkpad

Technology is designed to serve us and make our lives better. When a device gets outdated, it is either disposed of or is buried in a pile of junk never to be seen again. However, some individuals tend to develop a certain respect for their mechanical servants and make an effort to preserve them long after they have become redundant. My relationship with my first laptop is a shining example of how to hold onto beloved hardware way too long. I con

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Copper, Brass, Mahogany, and Glass Combine in Clock with a Vintage Look

No two words can turn off the average Hackaday reader faster than Nixie and Steampunk. But you‘re not the average Hackaday reader, so if you‘re interested in a lovely, handcrafted timepiece that melds modern electronics with vintage materials, read on. But just don‘t think of it as a Nixie Steampunk clock. No matter what you think of the Steampunk style, you have to admire the work that went into [Aeon Junophor]‘s clock, a

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New Ransomware Crippling Chernobyl Sensors

[The BBC] reports Companies all over the world are reporting a new ransomware variant of WannaCry. this time it has taken out sensors monitoring the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site. We have all heard of the growing problem of ransomware and how Windows XP systems seem especially susceptible to WannaCry and it‘s variants which were originally zero day vulnerabilities stored up by the NSA then leaked by WikiLeaks. Microsoft did release a patc

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An Enchanted Rose For A Beauty

Being a maker opens up so many doors in terms of ways to romance one‘s partner through passion projects. If their passion is Disney films, then you may handily make them the enchanted rose from Beauty and the Beast for their birthday. Easy-peasy. In addition to the love and care that went into this build, redditor [Vonblackhawk2811] has included a set of LEDs, salvaged from cheap flashlights and electronic candles, which are controlled by f

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Machine Learning IDE in Alpha

Machine is an IDE for building machine learning systemsusing TensorFlow. You can sign up for the alpha, but first, have a look at the video below to see what it is all about. You‘ll see in the video, that you can import data for a model and then do training (in this case, to find a mustache in an image). You‘ll see the IDE invites an iterative approach to development since you can alter parameters, run experiments, and see the results

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Dual-Purpose DIY Spot Welder Built with Safety in Mind

Ho-hum, another microwave oven transformer spot welder, right? Nope, not this one [Kerry Wong]‘s entry in the MOT spot welder arms race was built with safety in mind and has value-added features. As [Kerry] points out, most MOT spot welder builds use a momentary switch of some sort to power the primary side of the transformer. Given that this means putting mains voltage dangerously close to your finger, [Kerry] chose to distance himself fro

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An Hour to Surface Mount

Most of us have made the transition from through hole parts to surface mount. There are lots of scattered tutorials, but if you want to learn some techniques or compare your technique to someone else‘s, you might enjoy [Moto Geek‘s] hour-long video on how he does surface mount with reflow soldering. You can see the video below. What makes the video interesting is that it is an hour long and covers the gamut from where to get cheap PCB

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Hackaday Prize Entry: A Tiva Shaped Like an Arduino

Texas Instruments‘ Tiva C LaunchPad showcases TI‘s ARM Cortex-M4F, a 32-bit,80Mhz microcontroller based on the TM4C123GH6PM. The Tiva series of LaunchPads serve as TI‘s equivalentof the Arduino Uno, and hovers at about the same price point, except with more processing power and a sane geometry for the GPIO pins. The Tiva‘s processor runs five times faster than standard ATMega328P, and it sports 40 multipurpose GPIO pins an

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A Crash Course in Thingiverse Customizer

OpenSCAD is a great way to create objects for 3D printing (or other purposes), especially if you are already used to programming. For things like front panels, it is great because you can easily make modifications and if you wrote your code correctly-everything will just adjust itself to new positions. However, what if you have a general-purpose piece of code, and you want people to have the ability to customize it? For example, consider this co

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The Computer of Yesterday, Today

There are a handful of computers that have become true museum pieces. The Altair, of course, is tucked away in the Smithsonian‘s warehouse waiting for some time in the future when Apple‘s legacy fades or until there‘s a remake ofWar Games. Likewise, the French Micral and American SCELBI are important historical artifacts, and even a modern component-accurate reproduction of an Apple I could fetch a decent amount of cash at the r

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The PDP-1: The Machine that Started Hacker Culture

One of my bucket list destinations is the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California I know, I aim high. I‘d be chagrined to realize that my life has spanned a fair fraction of the Information Age, but I think I‘d get a kick out of seeing the old machines, some of which I‘ve actually laid hands on. But the machines I‘d most like to see are the ones that predate me, and the ones that contributed to the birth of t

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CastAR Shuts Doors

Polygon reports CastAR is no more. CastAR is the brainchild of renaissance woman [Jeri Ellsworth], who was hired by Valve to work on what would eventually become SteamVR. Valve let [Jeri] go, but allowed her to take her invention with her. [Jeri] founded a new company, Technical Illusions, with [Rick Johnson] and over the past few years the CastAR has appeared everywhere from Maker Faires to venues better focused towards innovative technologies.

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Tiniest Control Board Fits Inside an N-Gauge Model Train

[kodera2t] discovered the VL53L0X Time of Flight sensor and thought it would make a great way to control the operation of a model train without touching it. The sensor was small enough for an N-gauge train, which translates to 1:148 scale or about 9mm from rail to rail. His idea was to build a tiny control board that could fit inside the locomotive: 10mm by 40mm. His board consists of the ToF sensor, an ATMega328P-MMH, USB-serial, and a Texas Ins

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Using Machine Learning To Cut Down Surgical Videos

Recording video of medical surgeries is a great way to both educate doctors in training and identify process improvements. However, surgeries can be very time consuming, and it can be a gargantuan task to sort through endless hours of video searching for relevant points where the action happens. To tackle this issue, researchers at MIT have used machine learning techniques to analyse videos of surgical procedures. The machine learning algorithm n

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Simple Wave Generation in Python (and SciPy)

[153Armstrong] did a short post on how easy it is to generate waveforms using Python. We agree it is simple, but actually, it isn‘t so much Pythonper se, it is some pretty cool libraries (SciPy, in particular) that do all the hard work. That may be splitting hairs, but it is worth nothing that SciPy (pronounced Sigh Pie) also does other handy tricks like Fourier transforms, too. You can see a video of his results, below. The code is simple

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