• Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 15:51
    What the IRS Bitcoin Tax Guidelines Mean For You #makerbusiness

    What the IRS Bitcoin Tax Guidelines Mean For You.

    The US Internal Revenue Service finally announced its guidance for virtual currencies yesterday, explicitly referring to bitcoin (see the announcement here PDF here). and notice . The increased clarity – provided three weeks before the end of the US tax year – will come as a relief to many who were scared to get involved in bitcoin, commercially. But what does it mean for different members of the bitcoin community?

    Learn more.

    2120X1192 Adafruit Bitcoin Banner-1

    Adafruit is pleased to offer BitCoin as a payment method for Adafruit purchases. We’re using BitPay as our payment processor. BitPay is an electronic payment processing system for the bitcoin currency. BitPay enables online merchants to accept bitcoins, as a form of payment like payments from Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Google Wallet and Paypal.

    Here’s a video from BitPay that explains their service. And below is the Bitcoin.org overview of Bitcoin and video.

    Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system.

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 15:00
    Dead Computer Tower? Why Not Make a Tool Box?

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    Turns out a dead computer tower is the perfect structure for an oversized tool box, from hackaday.

    [Michael Gohjs] acquired a bunch of old business computers — the Dell Optiplex GX400, to be precise — and after salvaging any of the useful components out of them he was left with the cases. Not wanting to toss them for recycling, he decided to try upcycling one into a portable tool box.

    The cool thing with using a computer tower for a tool box is most of it is already setup for modular storage spaces. [Michael] removed the bracket that holds the power supply in place, and using some cardboard from a calendar stand formed a box attached to it — instant storage space. Even better? The 5.25″ drive bays have sliding rails for easy removal! Again, all [Michael] had to do was build a box in between the slot rails and he had a cleverly utilized drawer.

    The rest of the case was built in a similar manner, making use of pre-existing features, and making new cubbies. If you wanted to get fancy, you could use sheet metal to do this to make an even more rugged toolbox.

    Read more.

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 14:00
    ArduinoPixel – Android App to Control a NeoPixel LED Strip via Arduino Web Server #NeoPixel #Arduino

    Nick Lamprianidis shared with us his Android app that communicates with an Arduino Web Server to control a NeoPixel LED strip – ArduinoPixel on GitHub:

    This project consists of two pieces. The first piece is an Arduino sketch that implements a Web Server and offers an API for controlling a NeoPixel LED Strip. The second piece is an Android app, ArduinoPixel, that connects to the Arduino Web Server and sends commands to control the color and the on/off state of the LED strip.

    The Arduino sketch is also available at codebender. You can clone the project, update the controller and network parameters, and upload it straight to your Arduino Ethernet, or any other Arduino compatible board w/ an Ethernet Shield.

    The Android application is available on Google Play. Install the app to your phone or tablet, configure the network parameters you set earlier in the Arduino sketch, and you are ready to go. You can watch a demo on YouTube.

    Read more.


    Featured Adafruit Product!


    Adafruit NeoPixel Digital RGB LED Weatherproof Strip 60 LED -1m – WHITE: You thought it couldn’t get better than our world-famous 32-LED-per-meter Digital LED strip but we will prove you wrong! You wanted twice the LEDs? We got it (well, its 1.875 times as many but that’s within a margin of error). You wanted thinner strips? Now only 12.5 mm wide, 10 mm if you remove the strip from the casing. You wanted less noticable strip color – this strip has white-colored flex PCB, which will be less visible against white-painted walls. This is the strip with white flex PCB, its identical to the black 60 LED/meter except it has a different color mask on the flex strip (read more)

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 13:01
    Sniffing pH Sensor RF Signals for Feedback Re: Your Esophagus

    For about a week [Justin] had a wireless acidity level sensor in his esophagus and a pager-looking RF receiver in his pocket. So he naturally decided to use an RTL-SDR dongle to sniff the signals coming out of him. As most of our Hackaday readers know, these cheap RTL2382U-based DVB-T receivers are very handy when it comes to listening to anything between 50MHz and 1800MHz. [Justin] actually did a great job at listing all the things these receivers can be used for (aircraft traffic monitoring, weather images download, electric meter reading, pacemaker monitoring…).

    After some Googling he managed to find his Bravo pH sensor user’s guide and therefore discovered its main frequency and modulation scheme (433.92MHz / ASK). [Justin] then used gqrx and Audacity to manually decode the packets before writing a browser-based tool which uses an audio file. Finally, a few additional hours of thinking allowed him to extract his dear esophagus’ pH value.

    Filed under: lifehacks, Medical hacks, radio hacks, wireless hacks

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 13:00
    Math that predicts glucose has paved the way for an artificial pancreas #biohacking #math


    Futurity has the story on the latest development in artificial organs- using math!

    A mathematical model can predict with more than 90 percent accuracy the blood glucose levels of individuals with type 1 diabetes up to 30 minutes before a change in levels.

    “Many people with type 1 diabetes use continuous glucose monitors, which examine the fluid underneath the skin,” says Peter Molenaar, a professor of human development and family studies and of psychology at Penn State…

    “In the past decade, much progress has been made in the development of a mechanical ‘artificial pancreas,’ which would be a wearable or implantable automated insulin-delivery system consisting of a continuous glucose monitor, an insulin pump, and a control algorithm closing the loop between glucose sensing and insulin delivery,” he says.

    “But creating an artificial pancreas that delivers the right amount of insulin at the right times has been a challenge because it is difficult to create a control algorithm that can handle the variability among individuals. Our new model is able to capture this variability. It predicts the blood glucose levels of individuals based on insulin dose and meal intake.”

    The researchers created a time-varying model estimated by the extended Kalman filtering technique. This model accounts for time-varying changes in glucose kinetics due to insulin and meal intake.

    The team tested the accuracy of its model using an FDA-approved UVa/Padova simulator with 30 virtual patients and five living patients with type 1 diabetes. The results appeared online in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.

    “We learned that the dynamic dependencies of blood glucose on insulin dose and meal intake vary substantially in time within each patient and between patients,” says Qian Wang, professor of mechanical engineering.

    “The high prediction fidelity of our model over 30-minute intervals allows for the execution of optimal control of fast-acting insulin dose in real time because the initiation of insulin action has a delay of less than 30 minutes. Our approach outperforms standard approaches because all our model parameters are estimated in real time. Our model’s configuration of recursive estimator and optimal controller will constitute an effective artificial pancreas.”

    Read more.

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 12:00
    UW student researches ways to make robots more human by making them more distracted


    This piece in the Badger Herald highlights new research being done at the University of Wisconsin on how to make robots more like us humans. The main focus is on “gaze aversion,” which teaches robots to turn away and act distracted during conversation. Robots! They’re socially awkward! Just like us! via boingboing.

    If interactive robots were able to pause during conversation and take a moment to gaze off into the distance as if pondering what the user was saying, research suggests this small change could make them seem less robotic.

    Sean Andrist, a graduate researcher at the University of Wisconsin, studies ways researchers can improve how communicative characters, both digitally-constructed virtual agents and physical robots, maintain eye contact.

    Specifically, Andrist’s research focuses on “gaze aversion,” or the moments when people glance away or look around during conversation.

    Andrist has a particular interest in human-computer interaction and computer animation, so he started working on a cross-section of these two topics. He looked at how to make computer agents behave more naturally and work with users more intuitively, his co-advisor, Bilge Mutlu, a professor in the Computer Sciences Department, said.

    To achieve a stronger application of gaze mechanisms in communicative characters, Andrist said he also studies social science aspects of how humans behave while communicating with one another.

    In his most recent paper, Andrist outlined how speakers use these aversions in conversation, they signal to the listeners that cognitive processing is occurring, creating the impression that deep thought or creativity is being undertaken in formulating their speech.

    Read more.

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 11:18
    Transparent IC Portraits

    Witness below – some of the intricate detail made visible by the transparent IC package, each one nestled in their own particular flavor of light sensor breakout board.

    If only all chip dies were so visible …

    SI1145 Digital UV Index / IR / Visible Light Sensor

    GA1A12S202 Log-scale Analog Light Sensor

    RGB Color Sensor with IR filter – TCS34725

    Flora Lux Sensor – TSL2561 Light Sensor

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 11:00
    From the Forums: Open Hardware, open source 3DOF robot arm with AMS2

    Open Hardware, open source 3DOF robot arm with AMS2 on the Adafruit Forums:

    I had some AMS2 shields lying around when I needed to drive some stepper motors. I thought you might like the results. (Read more.)

    From the MarginallyClever.com project page:

    …I’m dedicating the next year to one of my dream projects: Building a 6DOF arm and making it available for everyone.

    Why now?

    For the last two years I’ve been teaching myself what I need to know to build a robot arm. I started the Makelangelo to learn how to use stepper motors. I built my first Delta robot to learn how to calculate Inverse Kinematics. I Build the first Stewart Platform because I thought I could use it as a wrist for the robot arm and because I want to drive at least 6 stepper motors in the final arm. It’s like I’ve got the Minecraft blocks and now I can craft them together. The Makelangelo 3 is out, the Seattle Mini Maker Fair is over, and I have more time to work on what really matters to me.

    How does it work?

    Let’s start by naming the major parts. The finger is the triangle bit at the end where a tool would go. Connected to that is the forearm, which is a parallelogram shape. Connected to the forearm is the bicep, which also has a parallelogram. The two parallelograms are connected by the triangle piece at the top, which forces the finger tip to always be level with the table. The bicep is connected to the shoulder where all the motors and electronics are mounted. The shoulder is connected to the base, which is suction cupped or screwed to a table.

    Between the shoulder and the elbow there’s an extra “tendon” bar that pulls on the back of the elbow. See how there’s two gears on the front of the shoulder? One of those gears is attached to the tendon. That way I can put all the motors on the base and make the arm lighter. The second gear is turning the shoulder.

    In this first prototype I’m using Two Adafruit Motor Sheild v2 on an Arduino UNO for the brain. For the first test of the software I used the gcodecncdemo for AMS2 with 4 axis. I could type gcode command G00 Z10 and the robot would turn to the left, G00 X10 would move the shoulder, and G00 Y10 would move the elbow….

    Read More.


  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 10:01
    Magic Screwdriver Decides If You Watch TV Or Not


    Video projectors are great. They can easily produce a very large image to watch. With that large image comes a large screen, and who wants to look at a large screen when not watching TV? Well, [Steve] didn’t either so he set out to make a powered retractable screen for his projector. The best part about this one is that it is done in true DIY/hacker fashion. The parts used are definitely not intended to be used as anything close to a projector screen and the overall cost is kept to an absolute minimum.


    The business end of this project is an electric screwdriver. It is mounted to a shelf that’s sole intent is to support the contraption. The screen rolls around a standard cardboard tube. A screwdriver bit, wooden dowel, bronze bushing and water pipe fitting are responsible for connecting the drill to the cardboard tube. Holding the bronze bushing in place is a clip that is intended for broom handles and the like. The whole thing is covered up by a cornice to hide the hackery.

    To raise and lower the screen, [Steve] has to reach up and manually push buttons on the screwdriver. In the future we’d like to see a wired or IR remote to control the screen so it can be raised and lowered from the comfort of the couch.



    Filed under: home entertainment hacks, home hacks, video hacks

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 10:00
    Mentors help create a sustainable pipeline for women in STEM- Sign up to be a mentor now!

    Million Women Mentors

    Forbes recently published an interview with Balaji Ganapathy and Seeta Hariharan who both work with the Million Women Mentors program. It’s aimed at creating a million women and men mentors for those looking to go into STEM fields.

    Women make up about half of the workforce in America, but they only represent 24% of the workforce in STEM fields. Why should we care? First and foremost, this statistic calls attention to an untapped potential; talent that we need in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in order to remain competitive from a global perspective. But for women, this is important on another level because careers in STEM industries offer better compensation and more career advancement opportunities. In fact, women who hold STEM positions earn 92 cents to the dollar versus 77 cents for women who are not in these fields.

    Yet, creating a pathway for women to be successful in these industries is a complex problem; one that must be addressed on several different levels in order to be effective. Young girls are not encouraged to study these subjects in school and even if they receive STEM degrees, many are not pursuing careers in these fields or staying in STEM professions. There are also cultural stereotypes that young girls face growing up that discourages STEM career choices, and these biases often start at home at an early age. Hence, the Million Women Mentor program was created with the goal of creating a sustainable pipeline of women by mobilizing and engaging one million men and women to serve as STEM mentors by 2018.

    Here’s a few selections from the interview but everyone should make sure to go check out the full thing- it’s very inspiring!

    Marcus: What advice do you give young women in STEM about mentoring?

    Hariharan: I actually tell them that you don’t just choose one mentor. And it’s not necessary for you to choose a mentor that’s right at the top of the ladder. You don’t have to have a CEO as your mentor. You have to choose someone that is willing to give you the time. And I also tell them that mentors can come in various forms. So you may want to have a mentor, as an example, that could help you understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Another mentor might help you to understand organization dynamics. Another mentor could help you to build a network within the organization so that you’re effective in navigating your career path that you juggle for yourself. So I always tell women that, you’ve got to have more than one mentor. When you pick a mentor, choose someone that you can give something back to. If you can give more than you receive, it will be pretty good, in my opinion.

    Marcus: What are you looking for in a mentor and what type of commitment do they need to make?

    Ganapathy: A mentor can be anybody who is willing to give back and has the time available to do that. So, from a commitment point of view, we’re looking at 20 hours annually. Which means that, it’s just about 1-2 hours a month that they need to spend on mentoring a young woman, an early career woman. And, there are different pathways that we are prescribing. So it’s not a “one size fits all.” You can do face-to-face mentoring. You can do online mentoring. You can do internships at your institution – whether it is a public, private, or entrepreneurs-led institution. You can have workplace mentoring, or job shadowing. You can also do sponsorships.

    You can sign up to be a mentor here.

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 09:00
    This incredible video shows rarely seen footage of “slow” marine life

    Daniel Stoupin made this incredible time lapse video of rarely seen footage of “Slow” marine life in the Great Barrier Reef. We highly recommend watching this in full screen HD because the visuals are truly stunning.

    The most important living organisms that play the key functions in the biosphere might not seem exciting when it comes to motion. Plants, fungi, sponges, corals, plankton, and microorganisms make life on Earth possible and do all the hard biochemical job. Similarly to all living things, they are dynamic, mobile, and fundamentally have the same motion properties as us. They grow, reproduce, spread, move towards source of energy, and away from unfavorable conditions. However, their speeds happen to be out of sync with our narrow perception. Our brains are wired to comprehend and follow fast and dynamic events better, especially those very few that happen at speeds comparable to ours. In a world of blazingly fast predators and escaping prey events where it takes minutes, hours, or days to notice any changes are harder to grasp.

    “Slow” marine life is particularly mysterious. As colorful, bizarre-looking, and environmentally important as we know corals and sponges are, their simple day-to-day life is hidden. We know some bits about their biochemistry, corals’ interaction with zooxanthella algae, their life cycles, and systematics. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell what we don’t know about the rest, and particularly when it comes to interaction with other organisms happening over long periods of time.

    Here’s some info on how he made the video from his upload on Vimeo:

    To make this little clip I took 150000 shots. Why so many? Because macro photography involves shallow depth of field. To extend it, I used focus stacking. Each frame of the video is actually a stack that consists of 3-12 shots where in-focus areas are merged. Just the intro and last scene are regular real-time footage. One frame required about 10 minutes of processing time (raw conversion + stacking). Unfortunately, the success rate was very low due to copious technical challenges and I spent almost 9 long months just to learn how to make these kinds of videos and understand how to work with these delicate creatures.

    Read more.

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 08:00
    Swapping Streetlights with Luminous Trees

    Daan Roosegaarde, a Dutch designer captivated by the merging worlds of nature and technology, is developing a plan to replace traditional streetlights with glowing plants and trees in an on-site installation, from dezeen.

    Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde is exploring ways of using the bio-luminescent qualities of jellyfish and mushrooms to create glow-in-the-dark trees that could replace street lights.

    In this movie filmed at SXSW in Austin, Roosegaarde explains how: “In the last year I really became fond of biomimicry.”

    “What can we learn from nature and apply to the built environment, to roads, to public spaces, to our urban landscape?” asks Roosegaarde.

    Biomimicry is the method of imitating models and systems found in nature to solve complex design issues. One of the biological phenomena that fascinated Roosegaarde was how animals like jellyfish and fireflies generate their own light.

    “When a jellyfish is deep, deep underwater it creates its own light,” he says. “It does not have a battery or a solar panel or an energy bill. It does it completely autonomously. What can we learn from that?”

    Roosegaarde’s interest in biomimicry led him to collaborate with the State University of New York and Alexander Krichevsky, whose technology firm Bioglow unveiled genetically modified glow-in-the-dark plants earlier this year.

    Krichevsky creates the glowing plants by splicing DNA from luminescent marine bacteria to the chloroplast genome of a common houseplant, so the stem and leaves emit a faint light similar to that produced by fireflies and jellyfish.

    Roosegaarde is now working on a proposal to use a collection of these plants for a large-scale installation designed to look like a light-emitting tree.

    Glowing Tree Roosegaarde Dezeen 644

    Read more.

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 08:00
    Hacker-in-Residence: Interactive Garments

    Happy Monday friends – it’s time to welcome a new hacker to our ranks! Say hello to Matt Pinner.

    alt text

    Hello, Matt Pinner!

    Matt is here for three weeks and has already been hard at work in our Engineering department. Let’s learn more about Matt.

    Can you share your background, interests, and some favorite past projects? What and where is your current position?

    I create environments where people get to play, interact, and ultimately learn.

    I’ve been all over the world and got into computers with the dream of working from the top of a mountain. It turns out I enjoy interaction and collaboration too much for that. I’ve been engrossed in several startups because I enjoy working hard as part of a small, passionate teams. My skill in application scalability, performance optimization, and security grew into a love of hardware and distributed systems.

    Specializing in wearable computing and mobile devices has allowed me to have really nerdy conversations in traditionally boring places: street corners, nightclubs, and in line at the market. I love Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM), and find it especially rewarding to open people’s minds to the possibilities they can create with even a minimal grasp of technology. I’ve experimented with adding sensors, batteries, and lighting to every part of the body in a effort to understand how calling attention to our parts can affect how we move.

    Most recently I’ve been 3D-printing LED buttons for use in my garments. They can be sequenced to express the theme of an event, coordinate with others, or be reactive to their surroundings. Through sensing ambient conditions, other people’s presence, and the emotional state of the wearer, a garment can more gracefully integrate the wearer into their surroundings. Subtlety is the name of the game and I’m continually striving to integrate people with technology, not distract or withdraw them with it.

    CrashSpace, a Hackerspace in Los Angeles, has been my home and studio for over 4 years. I made everyone’s favorite soldering unicorn and our mascot, Sparkles. It has been a joy to share her with the world and a valuable tool around the shop. You can build your own Sparkles here!

    alt text

    Sparkles herself, courtesy of CrashSpace

    I made an internet-connected Little Free Library as an experiment in generative art and public interactivity. It is still the most sophisticated we’ve seen. Not only does it look like miniature version of our space, but tracks deposits and withdrawals while lighting momentarily to aid in book selection. On our busy street it has shared tens of thousands of books:

    alt text

    The CrashLibrary in action

    Checkout my interactive fashion accessories and jacket, collection of motion-reactive disco balls and dance performance tools, light-up mechanical flip book, and LED installations.

    alt text

    The Sparkle Stick

    How and why did you get involved in SparkFun’s Hacker-in-Residence program? Why do you think programs like this are valuable?

    I’m at SparkFun to build along side the geniuses behind the materials that have been the center of, and inspiration for, many delightful creations. I have a few beginner projects of my own I’d love to see become a kit or breakout board for others to use.

    Investing time with SparkFun’s vast offer of sensors on the body will better enable me to design wearables for everyday use that bond people without distracting them. I hope my process and project can provide valuable insight for the Sparklers (can I call them that?) to better support all of us.

    Almost every two weeks I’d been hosting a different class/workshop. SparkFun has been an amazing alley for pulling together the materials for my workshops. I continually improve the curriculum and diversify the topics I’m able to explain. Having firsthand knowledge from SparkFun and sharing what I’ve learned from teaching workshops can be instrumental in easing the learning process for others.

    What is the project you’ll be working on at SparkFun, and how long will you be here? Why did you choose this project?

    I’ll build a jacket over my three-week stay. Into this garment I’ll build a interactive system that will sense the wearer and surrounding environment.

    Spaces have a life of their own. We can expose this through realtime data collection and visualization throughout the course of an event by unleashing coordinated mobile nodes (wearables and accessories) within an environment.

    I want to use sound as a way to localize people within a space and create a platform for collaborative gaming. I’m analyzing the variety of embeddable microphones and preamps offered for use in the widest range of accessories and environments. I’ll proceed to build a system into this jacket that will react to the environment and wearer while providing data for further development of smaller pieces to coordinate the player.

    What is your superpower and snack of choice?

    Super? Thank you. Aren’t we all.

    My superpower is the ability to sleep; not in the narcoleptic sense, but I have always been a deep sleeper. I oft use a quick nap to prepare for a long night or a long night of sleep to prepare for a busy day.

    My other superpower would have to be the ability to break anything. This makes me particularity well suited to deliver a robust system because if it’ll work for me, you cannot break it.

    I hope you find your superpower(s) and use it for good.

    Snacks!?! Yes please! Do I have to pick just one? I love avocados, spinach, guacamole, Teensies, fruits, and DARK CHOCOLATE!

    Thanks Matt, we can’t wait to see how your jacket turns out!

    comments | comment feed

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 07:00
    From the Forums – Adafruit Trellis Geome Midi Sequencer #trellis #genome #midi

    George Kuetemeyer shared an impressive Adafruit Trellis Geome Midi Sequencer on the Adafruit Forums:

    Midi music eight step sequencer demo for Adafruit Trellis keypad. Driven by Arduino Uno. Button data sent to Midi Shield. Midi data sent to Yamaha Midi sound module.

    Top six rows used for entering note data. Up to 6 notes (pentatonic scale) per step. Bottom row enables random octave shifting for given step. Second row buttons enable echo from three notes back from current step.

    Here is the code for the Geome sequencer.

    This works pretty well. Not too glitchy. Would really like to be able to handle Trellis within an interrupt handler. That way it would be easier to implement midi clock signal, etc., as I am doing with some other projects.

    Read More.

    Featured Adafruit Product!


    Adafruit Trellis Monochrome Driver PCB for 4×4 Keypad & 3mm LEDs: This item is just for the Trellis driver PCB assembly: LEDs and buttons not included. Trellis is an open source backlight keypad driver system. It is easy to use, works with any 3mm LEDs and eight tiles can be tiled together on a shared I2C bus. This PCB is specially made to match the Adafruit 4×4 elastomer keypad. Each Trellis PCB has 4×4 pads and 4×4 matching spots for 3mm LEDs. The circuitry on-board handles the background key-presses and LED lighting for the 4×4 tile. However, it does not have any microcontroller or other ‘brains’ – an Arduino (or similar microcontroller) is required to control the Trellis to read the keypress data and let it know when to light up LEDs as desired. Each tile has an I2C-controlled LED sequencer and keypad reader already on it. The chip can control all 16 LEDs individually, turning them on or off. It cannot do grayscale or dimming. The same chip also reads any keypresses made with the rubber keypad. The connections are ‘diode multiplexed’ so you do not have to worry about “ghosting” when pressing multiple keys, each key is uniquely addressed. (read more)

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 07:00
    Using a Door Handle Conductivity to Detect Intruders

    Sometimes the simplest projects can be quite interesting, provided they’re well documented. We hope that the Hackaday readers also think that the door sensor that [Alexander] developed falls into this category. Instead of using common methods such as a magnet + reed switch, he decided to use the strike plate and door conductivity to detect someone walking in. The setup he put together includes an Arduino, a PowerSwitch Tail (a power cord that switches 120vac with a dc control voltage of 3-12vdc), a battery pack made of 8 AA batteries and two crocodile clips for door connections.

    Most new hobbyists would have stopped there, but [Alexander] checked his platform’s power consumption and continued his work to decrease it. He therefore put the microcontroller in power-down mode by default and uses an AVR external interrupt to wake it up. In case beginners can’t understand [Alexander]‘s code, he actually put a nice flow diagram on his website. Embedded after the break is a video of the system working.


    Filed under: Arduino Hacks

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 06:00
    IRL Version of circle stop using Adafruit Neopixel ring!

    Circle stop is an addictive new game for iPhone and android. Jenny Xing decided to build an IRL version using one of our neopixel rings- very cool!

    A team here at @pearlhacks built a real version of #circlestop!

    Read more.

    Featured Adafruit Product!


    NeoPixel Ring – 12 x WS2812 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers: Round and round and round they go! 12 ultra bright smart LED NeoPixels are arranged in a circle with 1.5″ (37mm) outer diameter. The rings are ‘chainable’ – connect the output pin of one to the input pin of another. Use only one microcontroller pin to control as many as you can chain together! Each LED is addressable as the driver chip is inside the LED. Each one has ~18mA constant current drive so the color will be very consistent even if the voltage varies, and no external choke resistors are required making the design slim. Power the whole thing with 5VDC and you’re ready to rock. Read more.

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 04:00
    Controlling The Garmin HUD With Bluetooth


    The Garmin HUD is a very neat device, putting all your navigational info, from ETA, what lane you should be in, and distance to your next turn right on your windscreen in a heads-up display. The only problem with the Garmin HUD is that it only works with the official Garmin app, despite being a Bluetooth device. Now, someone is finally digging in to the Garmin HUD protocol, allowing anyone to control this HUD from a cell phone, tablet, or computer.

    Being completely unable to disassemble the Navigon app for the HUD, [gabonator] decided the only thing to do would be to open up the device and take a peek at some of the packets travelling between the microcontroller and bluetooth module.

    [gabonator] expected human readable ASCII characters, but after looking at the nonsense decoded from his oscilloscope and decoding them manually, he tried simply looking at the display in operation to understand how the protocol worked. He got it all decoded, and managed to get a Sygic Navigation program working with this Garmin HUD. You can check out a video of that below.

    Thanks [Kevin] for the tip.

    Filed under: transportation hacks

  • Lundi, Mars 31, 2014 - 01:01
    Hackaday Links: March 31, 2014


    Wanting to display his Google calendars [Chris Champion] decided to mount an old monitor on the wall. The hack is his installation method which recesses both the bracket and the outlet while still following electrical code (we think).

    Since we’re already on the topic. Here’s a hack-tacular project which hangs a laptop LCD as if it were a picture frame. We do really enjoy seeing the wire, which connects to the top corners and hangs from a single hook a few inches above the screen bezel. There’s something very “whatever works” about it that pleases us.

    [Jaspreet] build a datalogger in an FPGA. He put together a short video demo of the project but you can find a bit more info from his repo. He’s using a DE0-Nano board which is a relatively low-cost dev board from Terasic.

    Want to see what’s under the hood in the processor running a Nintendo 3DS? Who wouldn’t? [Markus] didn’t just post the die images taken through his microscope. He documented the entire disassembly and decapping process. Maybe we should have given this one its own feature?

    If you’re streaming on your Ouya you definitely want a clean WiFi signal. [Michael Thompson] managed to improve his reception by adding an external antenna.

    We always like to hear about the free exchange of information, especially when it comes to high-quality educational material. [Capt Todd Branchflower] teaches at the United States Air Force Academy. He wrote in to say that his ECE383 Embedded Systems II class is now available online. All the info can also be found at his Github repo.

    And finally, do you remember all the noise that was made about 3D printed guns a while back? Well [Mikeasaurus] put together the .iStab. It’s a 3D printed iPhone case with an integrated folding blade…. for personal protection? Who knows. We think it should be a multitasking solution that functions as a fold-down antenna.

    Filed under: Hackaday Columns, Hackaday links

  • Dimanche, Mars 30, 2014 - 23:23
    HARDWARE HANGOUT with Brady Forrest Tuesday 7pm ET 4/1/14 #makerbusiness @brady @highway1io @PCH_Intl #Hardware #startup #incubator

    Adafruit 2257-2
    Logo - With Pch
    Come meet and ask questions on our next HARDWARE HANGOUT with Brady Forrest. Brady runs Highway1 and helps shepherd startups of all backgrounds into their Accelerator program. He also co-founded Ignite – a geek event which has spread to over a hundred cities worldwide.. PCH is a large supply chain management company with primary operations in Shenzhen. It ships $10B of product annually. Highway1 helps you get your prototype ready for market. Based in SF, they are a four month program & currently hosting 11 companies – primarily consumer. The next class runs Mar-Jun. More about Brady – he is Vice President at Highway1, PCH International’s incubator program. A prolific speaker and maker on the geek scene, Brady can be found at speaking engagements around the world, inventing new forms of transportation at Burning Man, or creating in the Highway1 San Francisco workshop. Additionally, Brady writes for O’Reilly Radar, tracking changes in technology.

    Things we’ll be asking!

    • When/if makers should crowdfund?
    • When do you hire certain roles?
    • What are the hidden gotchas?
    • When/should you go to China?
    • How?
    • The role of opensource

    Post your questions here, on G+, join live and more!. Click here for the Google+ Hangout page (you can start asking your questions now too).

  • Dimanche, Mars 30, 2014 - 22:00
    Measuring Magnetic Fields with a Robotic Arm


    Learning how magnets and magnetic fields work is one thing, but actually being able to measure and see a magnetic field is another thing entirely! [Stanley's] latest project uses a magnetometer attached to a robotic arm with 3 degrees of freedom to measure magnetic fields.

    Using servos and aluminium mounting hardware purchased from eBay, [Stanley] build a simple robot arm. He then hooked an HMC5883L magnetometer to the robotic arm. [Stanley] used an Atmega32u4 and the LUFA USB library to interface with this sensor since it has a high data rate. For those of you unfamiliar with LUFA, it is a Lightweight USB Framework for AVRs (formerly known as MyUSB). The results were plotted in MATLAB (Octave is free MATLAB alternative), a very powerful mathematical based scripting language. The plots almost perfectly match the field patterns learned in introductory classes on magnetism. Be sure to watching the robot arm take the measurements in the video after the break, it is very cool!

    [Stanley] has graciously provided both the AVR code and the MATLAB script for his project at the end of his write-up. It would be very cool to see what other sensors could be used in this fashion! What other natural phenomena would be interesting to map in three dimensions?

    Filed under: robots hacks