OR 

Beyond a Boot Print: The Lasting Effect of Apollo on Humanity

July 20th, 1969 was the day that people from Earth set foot on different soil for the first time. Here we are 48 years later, and the world‘s space programs are well not very close to returning to the moon. If you aren‘t old enough to remember, it was really amazing. The world was in a lot of turmoil in the 1960s (and still is, of course) but everyone stopped to look at the sky and listen to the sound of [Neil Armstrong] taking that

favicon of http://hackaday.com

SCiO ‘Pocket Molecular Scanner‘ Teardown

Some of you may remember the SCiO, originally a Kickstarter darling back in 2014 that promised people a pocket-sized micro spectrometer. It was claimed to be able to scan and determine the composition of everything from fruits and produce to your own body. The road from successful crowdsourcing to production was uncertain and never free from skepticism regarding the promised capabilities, but the folks at [Sparkfun] obtained a unit and promptly d

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Old Intercom Gets Googled with Raspberry Pi and AIY Hat

Old Radio Shack intercom; brand newGoogle Voice interface for a Raspberry Pi. One of these things is not like the other, but they ended up together inthis retro-look GoogleVoice interface, and the results are prettyslick. The recipient of the Google hive-mind transplant was one of three wireless FM intercoms[MisterM] scoredfor a measly4. Looking much as they did when they were the must-have office tool or home accessory for your modern mid-80s li

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Take Control Of Your Cheap Laser Cutter

The relatively inexpensive K40 laser cutter/engraver machines from China have brought laser cutting to the masses, but they are not without their faults. Sure, they‘re only powerful enough for the lightest cutting tasks, but on top of that, their bundled software is inflexible and disappointing. If your workshop or hackspace has one of these machines languishing in the corner, then the release of a new piece of software, K40 Whisperer from

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Lethal LED Lantern Leaks Lotsa ‘Leccy

When you take an item with you on a camping trip and it fails, you are not normally in a position to replace it immediately, thus you have the choice of fixing it there and then, or doing without it. When his LED camping lantern failed, [Mark Smith] was in the lucky position of camping at a friend‘s compound equipped with all the tools, so of course he set about fixing it. What he found shocked him metaphorically, but anyone who handles it

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Innovating A Backyard Solar Battery System

Ever on the lookout for creative applications for tech, [Andres Leon] built a solar powered battery system to keep his Christmas lights shining. It worked, but pushing for innovation it is now capable of so much more. The shorthand of this system is two, 100 amp-hour, deep-cycle AGM batteries charged by four, 100 W solar panels mounted on an adjustable angle wood frame. Once back at the drawing board, however, [Leon] wanted to be able track rea

favicon of http://hackaday.com

DEF CON Badgelife: The ESP Rules All

Badgelife is the celebration of independent hardware creators, working for months at a time to bring custom electronic badges to conferences around the world. This year at DEF CON, Badgelife is huge. It‘s not just because this year was supposed to feature a non-electronic badge, and it‘s not because the official badge imploded last month Badgelife is all about people spending most of the year designing, and manufacturing hardware, cu

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Hackaday Prize Entry: BeagleLogic

A few years ago, [Kumar] created the BeagleLogic, a 14-channel, 100 MSPS logic analyzer for the BeagleBone as an entry for the Hackaday Prize. This is a fantastic tool that takes advantage of the PRUs in the BeagleBone to give anyone with a BeagleBone a very capable logic analyzer for not much cash. This year, [Kumar] is back at it again. He‘s improving the BeagleLogic with a BeagleBone on a chip. This is the BeagleLogic Standalone, a 16-ch

favicon of http://hackaday.com

The 4-20 mA Current Loop

The I/O capabilities built into most microcontrollers make it easy to measure the analog world. Say you want to build a data logger for temperature. All you need to do is get some kind of sensor that has a linear voltage output that represents the temperature range you need to monitor zero to five volts representing 0 to 100C, perhaps. Hook the sensor up to and analog input, whip up a little code, and you‘re done. Easy stuff. Now put a twi

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Friday Hack Chat: Making Electronics for Education

For this week‘s Hack Chat on Hackaday.io, we‘ll be talking with AnnMarie Thomas about making electronics for education. There‘s a huge intersection between electronics and education, and whether you‘re designing robots for a FIRST team or designing a geometry curriculum around 3D-printed objects, there‘s a lot electronics can teach students. AnnMarie Thomas is an associate professor at the School of Engineering and t

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Raspberry Pi Trackpad From Salvaged Trackpad Plus Arduino

Old laptops are easy to find and many have a trackpad with a PS/2 interface hardwired into the guts of the laptop. [Build It] wanted one of those trackpads for use in the DIY Raspberry Pi laptop he‘s working on. But the Raspberry Pi has no PS/2 input, and he read that a PS/2 to USB adapter wouldn‘t be reliable enough. His solution? Wire the trackpad to an Arduino and have the Arduino convert the trackpad‘s PS/2 to USB. After rem

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Paul Horowitz and the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence

I recently had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Harvard Professor Paul Horowitz. It‘s a name you likely recognize. He is bestknown for his iconic book the Art of Electronics which is often referred to not by its name but by the last names of the authors: Horowitz and Hill. Beyond that, what do you know about Paul Horowitz? Paul is an electrical engineer and physicist andPaul has spent much of his storied career learning and practicing

favicon of http://hackaday.com

This Isn‘t The R2-D2 Controller You‘re Looking For

Who loves a good R2-D2 robot? Everyone, but especially young Star Wars fans who frustratingly have no problem spotting a controller and spoiling the illusion of an R2 unit brought to life. [Bithead942]‘s concealed his R2-D2‘s remote and re-establishes the illusion of an autonomous droid no Jedi mind-tricks necessary. [Bithead942] prefers to accompany his droid in traditional a Rebel Alliance pilot‘s suit, so that gives him a

favicon of http://hackaday.com

I am an Iconoscope

We‘d never seen an iconoscope before. And that‘s reason enough to watch the quirky Japanese, first-person video of a retired broadcast engineer‘s loving restoration. (Embedded below.) Quick iconoscope primer. It was the first video camera tube, invented in the mid-20s, and used from the mid-30s to mid-40s. It worked by charging up a plate with an array of photo-sensitive capacitors, taking an exposure by allowing the capacitors

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Almost An Amiga For Not A Lot

If you ask someone old enough to have been a computer user in the 16-bit era what machine they had, you‘ll receive a variety of answers mentioning Commodore, Atari, Apple, or even PC brands. If your informant lay in the Commodore camp though, you‘ll probably have an impassioned tale about their Amiga, its capabilities, and how it was a clearly superior platform whose potential was wasted. The Amiga was for a while one of the most capa

favicon of http://hackaday.com

The Site of a Hundred Languages

Silent film star [Lon Chaney] had the nickname man of a thousand faces. The Try It Out website (tio.run) might well be the site of a hundred languages. Well, in all fairness, they only have 97 practical languages, but they do have 172 recreational languages but the site of 269 languages doesn‘t trip off the tongue, does it? The site lets you run some code in each of those languages from inside your browser. By the site‘s definition, p

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Backchannel UART without the UART

Anyone who has worked with a microcontrolleris familiar with using printf as a makeshift debugger. This method is called tracing and it comes with the limitation that it uses up aUART peripheral. Believe it or not, there are 8051 variants out there that come with only one serial block and you are out of luck if your application needs it to communicate with another device. [Jay Carlson] has a method by which he can piggyback these trace messages o

favicon of http://hackaday.com

DEF CON Badgelife: Someone Finally Did It

Badgelife is the celebration of electronic conference badges, a way of life that involves spending far too much time handling the logistics of electronics manufacturing, and an awesome hashtag on Twitter. Badgelife isn‘t a new thing; it‘s been around for a few years, but every summer we see a massive uptick in the lead up to Def Con. For the last few years, the designers and engineers deep into Badgelife have had the same conversation

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Hackaday Prize Entry: Dongle For A Headless Pi

Mass production means that there‘s a lot of great hardware out there for dirt cheap. But it also means that the manufacturer isn‘t going to spend years working on the firmware to squeeze every last feature out of it. Nope, that‘s up to us. [deqing] took a Bluetooth Low Energy / USB dongle and re-vamped the firmware to turn it into a remote keyboard and mouse, and then wrote a phone app to control it. The result? Plug the USB don

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Hitching a Ride on a Missile

Before the Saturn V rocket carried men to the moon, a number of smaller rockets carried men on suborbital and orbital flights around the Earth. These rockets weren‘t purpose-built for this task, though. In fact, the first rockets that carried people into outer space were repurposed ballistic missiles, originally designed to carry weapons. While it might seem like an arduous task to make a ballistic missile safe enough to carry a human, the

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Beautiful DIY Spot Welder Reminds Us We Love 3D Printing

[Jim Conner]‘s DIY tab spot welder is the sweetest spot welder we‘ve ever seen. And we‘re not ashamed to admit that we‘ve said that before. The essence of a spot welder is nothing more than a microwave oven transformer rewound to produce low voltage and high current instead of vice-versa. Some people control the pulse-length during the weld with nothing more than their bare hands, while others feel that it‘s better i

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Rovers to the Rescue: Robot Missions Tackles Trash

Everyone knows plastic trash is a problem with junk filling up landfills and scattering beaches. It‘s worse because rather than dissolving completely, plastic breaks down into smaller chunks of plastic, small enough to be ingested by birds and fish, loading them up with indigestible gutfill. Natural disasters compound the trash problem; debris from Japan‘s 2011 tsunami washed ashore on Vancouver Island in the months that followed. Eri

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Microorganisms Can‘t Hide From DropoScope

The DropoScope is a water-drop projector that works by projecting a laser through a drop of water, ideally dirty water crawling with microorganisms. With the right adjustments, a bright spot of light is projected onto a nearby wall, revealing a magnified image of the tiny animals within. Single celled organisms show up only as dark spots, but larger creatures like mosquito larvae exhibit definite structure and detail. While simple in concept and

favicon of http://hackaday.com

Customize Forstner Bits For Fidget Spinner Explosions

[Matthias Wandel] is a woodworkerpar excellence. He‘s the guy behind all those wooden gear contraptions, he made cove moldingon a table saw, and if the phrase, don‘t do this unless you know what you‘re doing‘ applies to anyone, it applies to [Matthias]. Now he‘s getting into the fidget spinner craze, but there‘s a problem in the workshop: [Matthias] couldn‘t find the right sized drill bit, so he modified

favicon of http://hackaday.com