So the next build of the CPC2 is done. I recorded the process with a time-lapse camera because it’s hard to make a 7 hour build entertaining. Each second of video is 30 seconds of assembly time, so this 7-hour build ended up at 7m19s of timelapse, after cutting out the cursing and head-scratching. See if you can spot my hands start to shake at the 2-hour mark of trying to precisely place the sub-millimetre components and enjoy.
Want to attend the Open Hardware Summit in New York City on March 13th?
The Ada Lovelace Fellowship was founded in 2013 prior to the annual Open Hardware Summit at MIT by Summit Chair Addie Wagenknecht and OSHWA Director Alicia Gibb as a way to encourage women, LGTBQ+ and/or other minorities in open technology and culture to actively participate and foster a more diverse community within open source.
For the sixth year, we are excited to offer up to ten Open Hardware Fellowships to members of the community which includes a $500 travel stipend and entrance to the Open Hardware Summit.
By offering the annual travel and summit conference assistance to community members, the Open Source Hardware Association hopes we as a community can encourage more women, LGBTQA+ and/or people of color to participate in open source. We have many strong leaders and speakers in our field and we personally want to continue the trend upward.
Applied Ion Systems is leading development in the world’s first and only open-source home-based advanced electric propulsion program!
The Hackaday hackchat this week covered this exciting project:
Michael Bretti is on the leading edge of the trend toward making satellites more DIY friendly. He formed Applied Ion Systems to address one of the main problems nano-satellites face: propulsion. He is currently working on a range of open-source plasma thrusters that can help keep nano-satellites on station and in orbit longer, and someday you’ll be able to buy them off the shelf like any other component.
In this week’s Hack Chat, we’ll discuss the design of plasma thrusters, the details of Michael’s latest testing, and the challenges of creating something that needs to work in space.
Follow them on Twitter for more exciting news!
Clocks. You love ’em, we certainly love ’em. So you hardly need a reason to take on a new clock build, but it makes it much sweeter when you know there’s a horde of people waiting to fawn over your creation. Hackaday’s Tell Time Contest is a celebration of interesting timepieces. Show off a clever way to mark the passage of time and gain the adoration of your peers, and maybe even score a prize!
From now until January 24th, you can enter your Hackaday.io project by using the “Submit project to…” menu on the left sidebar of your project page. There is only one main constraint: it needs to somehow represent time. Microseconds or millennia, minutes until the next bus arrival or centuries until Pluto completes its next orbit, we don’t care as long as you find it interesting.
Document your timepiece with pictures, a description, and all of the technical details. Three outstanding entries will each receive a $100 cash prize, based on craftsmanship, function, and creativity.
Tick-tock… don’t delay. Time’s slipping away to have your quirky clock immortalized on Hackaday.
Max and Sebastian again dive into recent project developments like Google Summer of Code projects and the AXIOM Remote.
Once again apertus° participated in Google’s sponsored program for students working with open source projects like this one. Here is a brief insight into what was worked on this year for Summer of Code. Six student slots were filled with excellent applications and four students finished the program successfully.
Their projects deal with USB3 connectivity of the AXIOM Beta, JPEG1992 lossless encoding inside the AXIOM Beta’s FPGA, improvements to AXIOM Remote and the camera’s internal central control daemon.
There has been good development progress in several areas with the camera control device, the AXIOM Remote. The device features a small display with graphical user interface, a central rotary encoder dial and physical buttons providing haptic feedback where a touchscreen (think smartphone app) simply couldn’t. There is an enclosure concept, electronics prototype and software running on the device prototype already.
Videos of the 2019 conference are in the Latch-Up 2019 playlist on the FOSSi Foundation’s YouTube channel:
Hackaday writes about an interesting talk from the recent Supercon:
If you hadn’t noticed, we had a bit of an FPGA theme running at this year’s Superconference. Why? Because the open-source FPGA toolchain is ripening, and because many of the problems that hackers (and academics) are tackling these days have become complex enough to warrant using them. A case in point: David Williams is a university professor who just wanted to build a quadruped robotics project. Each leg has a complex set of motors, motor drivers, sensors, and other feedback mechanisms. Centralizing all of this data put real strains on the robot’s network, and with so many devices the microcontrollers were running out of GPIOs. This lead him to become, in his words, “FPGA-curious”.
If you’re looking for a gentle introduction to the state of the art in open-source FPGAs, this is your talk. David covers everything, from a bird’s eye view of hardware description languages, through the entire Yosys-based open-source toolchain, and even through to embedding soft-CPUs into the FPGA fabric. And that’s just the first 18 minutes. (Slides for your enjoyment, and you can watch the talk embedded below the break.)
The second half of the talk is more about his personal experience and advice based on the last year or so of his experience going from FPGA newbie to master of his own robot. He highlights the versatility of a soft-CPU in an FPGA versus a pre-baked microcontroller solution. With the microcontroller you get all of the peripherals built into the silicon, but with the FPGA you get to write your own peripherals. Want a 10-wire SPI-like bus? Just code it up. Your peripherals are as simple or complex as you need them to be.
On the hardware side, David touts the PMOD standard (a man after our own heart!) and points out the large ecology of PMOD-compatible devices out there. Going for a plug-in solution also means that your engineering job is reduced to building a carrier board that can seat the FPGA brainboard of your choosing and interface it with a bunch of PMODs. It’s hard to get much simpler than that.