Vinduino Water-Smart Farming – Now with LoRa

From the Hackaday blog:

Vinduino Water-Smart Farming – Now with LoRa!

Vinduino started with [Reinier]’s desire to better understand what happens to irrigation water under the surface, measuring soil moisture at different depths. This knowledge informs more efficient use of irrigation water, as we’ve previously covered in more detail. What [Reinier] has been focused on is improving usability of the system by networking the sensors wirelessly versus having to walk up and physically attach a reader unit.

His thought started the same as ours – put them on WiFi! But adding WiFi coverage across his entire vineyard was not going to be cost-effective. After experimenting with various communication schemes, he has settled on LoRa. Designed to trade raw bandwidth for long range with low power requirements, it is a perfect match for a network of soil moisture sensors.

In the video [Reinier] gives an overview of LoRa for those who might be unfamiliar. Followed by results of his experiments integrating LoRa functionality into Vinduino, and ending with a call to action for hackers to help grow the LoRa network.

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Hardware Happy Hour San Francisco

There is now a Hardware Happy Hour in San Francisco:

First Hardware Happy Hour (3H) SF!

First Hardware Happy Hour (3H) SF!

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019, 6:30 PM

Southern Pacific Brewing
620 Treat Ave San Francisco, CA

18 Members Attending

This group is based upon the idea that you are interested in hanging out and discussing hardware. Please bring a piece of hardware to show off or talk about. Are you interested in hardware, but you haven’t built anything yet? Show off software you have built! Or come prepared to talk about the projects you want to build. There are no organized talk…

Check out this Meetup →

This group is based upon the idea that you are interested in hanging out and discussing hardware. Please bring a piece of hardware to show off or talk about. Are you interested in hardware, but you haven’t built anything yet? Show off software you have built! Or come prepared to talk about the projects you want to build.

There are no organized talks, it’s literally a show and tell at a bar or restaurant. In case you missed it two paragraphs ago, bring hardware. Seriously, just bring anything to talk about 🙂

Hardware Happy Hour San Francisco

Intelligent Toasters: Retro CPC Dongle

From the Intelligent Toasters blog:

Retro CPC Dongle – Part 38

This post talks about HyperRAM, what it is, how to interface to it and how to improve the performance of high-speed parallel interfaces. HyperRAM is described well by Cypress. It is essentially a double data rate RAM with a compact 12-line interface that masks the underlying technology of a DDR SDRAM.

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Since assembling the two HyperRAM chips on my new OSH Park prototype boards (above), work on the CPC2 has come on in bounds. This lack of large memory was really holding back progress. I’ve completed the ROM/RAM management cores, so that 64 ROMs and 4096KB of RAM is now available to the CPC2, managed by the support processor. Based on the required CPC personality, I can switch out the CPC464/664/6128 ROMs, the BASIC 1.0/1.1 ROM, the AMSDOS ROM and others like my beloved Maxam ROM. The ROMs are stored in the FPGA configuration Flash.  Storing 64 ROMs beyond the FPGA configuration image takes just a small fraction of the Flash memory. As they never change, it’s a good place to hold these. In the future, ROMs will also be stored on the backing storage for more volatile images, such as ROMs under development.

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Tindie: Breathe New Life into Your Game Boy’s Screen With This Bivert Module

From the Tindie blog:

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Breathe New Life into Your Game Boy’s Screen With This Bivert Module

When they first came out, the Game Boy models were the cream of the crop. Even the original DMG model, the screen looked stunning for the time. Despite nostalgia being a powerful thing, the screens haven’t aged well in our post-4K world.

A great way to breathe some life into that screen is to use a bivert module. These modules enhance the contrast of LCD displays by biverting/inverting the pixel orientation on the screen. The difference is pretty noticeable too, with a sharp blue appearance and better grayscale saturation.

Tindie: Breathe New Life into Your Game Boy’s Screen With This Bivert Module

AXIOM SDI Plugin Module

From the apertusº Open Source Cinema project:

The AXIOM photonSDI hardware is an extension board for the apertusº AXIOM Beta open source camera that adds 6G SDI connectivity to its features.

The board has two independent 6G SDI outputs that can both output the same image, different images, or be used in a dual 6G configuration that allows the transmission of 4k video material at 60 frames per second. Additionally the board contains a 6G SDI input for synchronisation and blending and a legacy synchronization input.

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AXIOM SDI Plugin Module

KiCon 2019 Call for Talk Proposals

KiCon2019

KiCon, a conference focused on KiCad, is happening April 2019 in Chicago and the call for talk proposals is open:

KiCon 2019 Call for Talk Proposals

KiCon 2019 is a conference for people who use and love KiCad. This is the first year of KiCon, but hopefully the first of many! It will take place April 2019 in Chicago IL, USA.

We are looking for community members to propose talks, which will be recorded and uploaded for the rest of the world to utilize. We’re looking for stories about tools, methods, and successes using KiCad in manufacturing, research and business. This conference will bring together the power users of the tool to talk about how they use KiCad on a regular basis and to share that knowledge with others.

KiCon 2019 Call for Talk Proposals

Laptop Keyboard Conversion to USB

From Frank Adams on Hackster.io:

t61_lc_and_3p2_with_text_lUI96aIUSs.jpegLaptop Keyboard Conversion to USB

I made a “nearly universal” USB controller using a Teensy LC or 3.2 on an FPC connector board that will work with most laptop keyboards.

I did this project because I’ve seen many forum posts from people asking how to use the keyboard from their old broken laptop. Unfortunately the answers given are “it can’t be done,” “it’s too hard,” or “rip apart another USB keyboard and steal the controller circuit.” I believe I have a better answer by using a “nearly universal” keyboard controller based on a Teensy LC or 3.2 mounted on an FPC connector board. This board accepts keyboard cables with up to 34 pins on a 1 mm or 0.8 mm pitch. The board shown below won’t work on every keyboard but it will work on most.

 

Laptop Keyboard Conversion to USB

Keep Both Hands on the Probes With This Oscilloscope Footswitch

We’ve got two hands, so it’s natural to want to use both of them while diagnosing a circuit with an oscilloscope. Trouble is, keeping both hands on the probes makes it a touch difficult to manipulate the scope. If only there were some way to put your idle lower appendages to work.

This multipurpose oscilloscope footswitch interface makes so much sense that we wonder why such a thing isn’t standard equipment on more scopes. [Paul Roukema]’s interface relies on the USB Test and Measurement Class (USBTMC) protocol that allows most modern scopes to be remotely controlled, somewhat like the General Purpose Interface Bus (GPIB) protocol of old. [Paul]’s interface uses an STM32 microcontroller to talk USBTMC to either Keysight’s Infinium scopes or the Tektronix DPO line, since those were what he had to test against. Tapping the footswitch cycles the acquisition mode on and off or triggers a single acquisition. He’s thoughtfully included the USBTMC specs in his GitHub project, so adapting it to other scopes should be straightforward. We’d even wager that older scopes with GPIB could enjoy the same handsfree control.

via Keep Both Hands on the Probes With This Oscilloscope Footswitch

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BadgeLove contest on Hackster.io

We are excited to announce this new contest with Hackster.io and Autodesk:

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BadgeLove!

BadgeLove by Hackster: The Blinkiest Badge Challenge on Earth! 

Win up to $5,000+ in prizes!

#BadgeLife is the new electronic graffiti. This form of art is in a league of its own, first popularized by DEFCON hackers, now boasts serious technical sophistication, a wicked artistic flair, peppered with political, cryptography, social, cultural and comical narratives, flashing LEDs and screens with add-ons galore.

You are invited to join our first, and certainly not last, BadgeLove challenge, sponsored by OSH ParkAutodesk EAGLE & Fusion 360, and Hackster.

Share your unique design with 700,000+ Hacksters and we will reward badge fanatics for their beautiful, weird, cool contributions.

BadgeLove contest on Hackster.io