A Wild Hackaday Belgrade Confirms Status as One of World’s Greatest Hardware Cons

Hackers, Designers, and Engineers flooded into Dom Omladine on Saturday for what can only be described as an epic celebration of hardware culture. This is the second time Hackaday has organized a huge conference in Belgrade, and lightning really did strike twice.

via A Wild Hackaday Belgrade Confirms Status as One of World’s Greatest Hardware Cons

A Wild Hackaday Belgrade Confirms Status as One of World’s Greatest Hardware Cons

Oskitone and OKAY synth at Maker Faire

We are big fans of the OKAY 2 Monophonic Synth Kit and we were excited to see the creator, Tommy at Maker Faire Bay Area 2018.  From the Oskitone newsletter:


I spent last weekend at Maker Faire Bay Area, an annual event put on by the people behind Make Magazine. My exhibit stall was in between the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the US Patent Office — pretty legit! I had synths out for people to play, gave demos and motivational speeches to kids, traded stickers for email addresses, and had some really great conversations with people.

Over three days, I talked to maybe 500 folks (+/- 100), which is a lot for an introvert! It was exhausting but incredible. I think I’m still processing it.

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I met so many cool people… Makers, musicians, kids, parents, students, teachers, industrial designers, engineers, manufacturers, writers, editors, etc etc!

  • I was happy to find a lesson outside electronics for the younger visitors: the piano keys on the OKAY 2 are actually levers — a mechanical “simple machine” already familiar to a lot of students. It was fun watching it “click” in their minds that the further back they tried to press the key, the more energy it required. (I also noticed a greater appreciation in parents for a more palatable educational takeaway, so I think they liked it too.)

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Evil Mad Scientist stopped by with a 555 recreated with discrete components and swapped it out for the 555 timer in the OKAY 2. It was such a great, uneventful demo. “What will it do?” “Exactly the same thing.” Awesome!

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I got closer to perfecting my marketing. What started as a 5min dissertation talk on Friday became a 30sec elevator pitch by Sunday, saving my throat while seemingly having no negative sales effect. I may write a blog post on this.

There is no greater stress test for a physical product than 100 kids with candy smeared on their faces banging on it. I was relieved that the synths mostly stood up to the fatigue, but, of course, there’s room for improvement, which I now have a good idea on how to design. Thanks, kids! 🙂

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Oskitone and OKAY synth at Maker Faire

Apply to speak at Open Hardware Summit!

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The Open Hardware Summit is at MIT on September 27th.  We always look forward to the presentations and love to hear about the projects that people are working on.  Please consider submitting a talk:

Submissions are due by 30 May 2018 at 11:59pm PST.

Notification of accepted proposals will happen by email in June.

Please submit ALL submissions via this form.

All submissions will be reviewed by several reviewers from the community and OSHWA board. Submissions are double blind with the exception of invited keynotes. 

All presentations will take place September 27 2018 between 9am and 5pm at MIT in Cambridge, MA, USA

Expected duration for talks is between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the number and quality of submissions.
All talks to be plenary (i.e. presented to the entire summit audience).

Talk submissions primarily containing marketing for a product, non-profit, or company, will not be accepted. However, talks that share knowledge and insight derived from work on commercial products or organizations are welcome.


Apply to speak at Open Hardware Summit!

Badge Bling And More At LayerOne 2018

From  on the Hackaday blog:

Badge Bling And More At LayerOne 2018

The security conference LayerOne 2018 took place this past weekend in Pasadena, California. A schedule conflict meant most of our crew was at Hackaday Belgrade but I went to LayerOne to check it out as a first-time attendee. It was a weekend full of deciphering an enigmatic badge, hands-on learning about physical security, admiring impressive demos, and building a crappy robot.



Immediately upon checking in to the conference, attendees were handed a populated circuit board, a battery, then herded onward so other people can get checked in. This is sheer luxury compared to tales of years past, when attendees were given a blank PCB and a bag of parts. “What does the badge do?” is part of the fun here and served as an excellent icebreaker for us to talk to each other and compare notes. Several previous LayerOne badges were documented on Hackaday.io, but not this one. (Yet?)

The ESP32-WROOM-32 on top tells us it is a networked device. There were only four LEDs on the board, but there is a speaker & microphone module telling us the badge is an aural showcase and not a visual one. There are five controls for human fingers. Three were fairly straightforward: power switch plus “BOOT” and “RESET” buttons. They were accompanied by a button labelled “DO NOT PRESS” (yeah, right) and a button labelled with our first hint: “MR MEESEKS

Since this is a security conference, some attendees decided a mystery networked device with audio recording capabilities is not something they wanted to wear around their neck. Their badge hack to create a 100% secure IoT device is to not install the battery at all: a 18650 cell that proudly wore its eyebrow-raising name “UltraFire”.

Most of us who chose to install our battery were rewarded with illuminated LEDs. Some were then followed by an audio clip of “I’m Mr. Meeseeks, Look at me!” This announcement would randomly punctuate conference proceedings for the entire weekend.

Those who wanted to dive into the badge headed straight to the Hardware Hacking Village, but there were many other parts to the conference. The largest room was dedicated to security talks given throughout the weekend as well as the Saturday night dinner and game night. One room ran the conference capture-the-flag competition. There was a room dedicated to IoT devices, and a “chill-out” room with games where people could take a break from all of the above. Sadly, I could only be in one place at a time so I chose to check out the lock-picking village.


Badge Bling And More At LayerOne 2018

Biasing That Transistor: The Emitter Follower

We were musing upon the relative paucity of education with respect to the fundamentals of electronic circuitry with discrete semiconductors, so we thought we’d do something about it. So far we’ve taken a look at the basics of transistor biasing through the common emitter amplifier, then introduced a less common configuration, the common base amplifier. There…

via Biasing That Transistor: The Emitter Follower — Hackaday

Biasing That Transistor: The Emitter Follower

Watch the Hackaday Belgrade Conference

From  on the Hackaday blog:

Hackaday Belgrade is On: Join LiveStream and Chat!

Good morning Hackaday universe! Hackaday Belgrade 2018 has just started, and we’re knee-deep in sharing, explaining, and generally celebrating our craft. But just because you’re not here doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take part

Watch 2018 Hackaday Belgrade Conference on YouTube:

Watch the Hackaday Belgrade Conference

Hacking for Learning and Laughs: The Makers of Oakwood School

The tagline of Bay Area Maker Faire is “Inspire the Future” and there was plenty of inspiration for our future generation. We have exhibits encouraging children to get hands-on making projects to call their own, and we have many schools exhibiting their student projects telling stories of what they’ve done. 357 more words

via Hacking for Learning and Laughs: The Makers of Oakwood School — Hackaday

Hacking for Learning and Laughs: The Makers of Oakwood School