Official Arduboy Upgrade Module Nears Competition

We’ve been big fans of the Arduboy since [Kevin Bates] showed off the first prototype back in 2014. It’s a fantastic platform for making and playing simple games, but there’s certainly room for improvement. One of the most obvious usability issues has always been that the hardware can only hold one game at a time. But thanks to the development of an official add-on, the Arduboy will soon have enough onboard storage to hold hundreds of games

Even the rear silkscreen was a community effort.

The upgrade takes the form of a small flexible PCB that gets soldered to existing test points on the Arduboy. Equipped with a W25Q128 flash chip, the retrofit board provides an additional 16 MB of flash storage to the handheld’s ATmega32u4 microcontroller; enough to hold essentially every game and program ever written for the platform at once.

Of course, wiring an SPI flash chip to the handheld’s MCU is only half the battle. The system also needs to have its bootloader replaced with one that’s aware of this expanded storage. To that end, the upgrade board also contains an ATtiny85 that’s there to handle this process without the need for an external programmer. While this is a luxury the average Hackaday reader could probably do without, it’s a smart move for an upgrade intended for a wider audience.

The upgrade board is currently available for pre-order, but those who know their way around a soldering iron and a USBasp can upgrade their own hardware right now by following along with the technical discussion between [Kevin] and the community in the “Project Falcon” forum.

via Official Arduboy Upgrade Module Nears Competition — Hackaday

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Hackaday Remoticon: Our 2020 Conference is Packed with Workshops and We’re Calling for Proposals

We’re proud to announce the Hackaday Remoticon, taking place everywhere November 6th – 8th, 2020. It’s a weekend packed with workshops about hardware creation, held virtually for all to enjoy.

But we can’t do it without you. We need you to host a workshop on that skill, technique, or special know-how that you acquired through hard work over too many hours to count. Send in your workshop proposal now!

What is a remoticon?

The Hackaday Remoticon achieves something that we just couldn’t do at the Hackaday Superconference: host more workshops that involve more people. Anyone who’s been to Supercon over the past six years can tell you it’s space-limited and, although we do our best to host a handful of workshops each day, those available seats are always in high demand.

We’re sad that we can’t get together in person for Supercon this year, but now we have an opportunity to host more workshops, engaging more live instructors and participants because they will be held virtually. This also means that we can make recordings of them available so that more people can learn from the experience. This is something that we tried way back during the first Supercon with Mike Ossmann’s RF Circuit Design workshop and 140,000 people have watched that video. (By the way, that link is worth clicking just to see Joe Kim’s excellent art.)

Now I’m not saying that your workshop will have a view count into six digits. What I am saying is that you have skills worth sharing, and people are hungry to learn. Since traveling to massive conferences is on pause for a while, spinning up a way to share your experience with others is a superb use of your time.

We need you to submit a workshop proposal! This can take any shape that makes sense for your topic, but here’s the gist of how this might work. Each accepted workshop makes a list of necessary materials and where to get them so that participants can order ahead of time and follow along. Live workshops will be held via video conference, with periods of instruction, work time, and recap that lets participants ask questions and show results as they go.

SUBMIT YOUR WORKSHOP NOW!

Wait, wait, wait. Before you click away to the next awesome Hackaday article, don’t assume you have nothing to teach. In fact, do the opposite. Assume you have rare and specialized knowledge on something (because you do!) and seek that out. Then unleash your mind to form a workshop idea around it. Hackaday is filled with weird, wild, and interesting projects, and we always want to see more of them. Share the wealth so that more people begin to walk the path of the hardware hacker

via Hackaday Remoticon: Our 2020 Conference is Packed with Workshops and We’re Calling for Proposals — Hackaday

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DIN SPEC 3105: industry specification published for Open Source Hardware

The German standards body DIN now has a specification for Open Source Hardware documentation:

GitLab: Open Hardware Standards

Open Source Hardware: Technical Documentation Requirements

The published specification is available from DIN:

Screenshot from 2020-08-03 09-00-11

Jérémy Bonvoisin wrote on Twitter:

The icing on the cake: this is the first standard to be published by DIN under cc license and to adopt an open and community based process for any of the new version to come! It’s both a progress for open source hardware AND for standardisation processes as such!

More information is available in this paper by Jérémy BonvoisinJenny MolloyMartin Haeuer, and Tobias Wenzel:

Standardisation of practices in Open Source Hardware

Standardisation is an important component in the maturation of any field of technology. It contributes to the formation of a recognisable identity and enables interactions with a wider community. This article reviews past and current standardisation initiatives in the field of Open Source Hardware (OSH). While early initiatives focused on aspects such as licencing, intellectual property and documentation formats, recent efforts extend to ways for users to exercise their rights under open licences and to keep OSH projects discoverable and accessible online. We specifically introduce two standards that are currently being released and call for early users and contributors, the DIN SPEC 3105 and the Open Know How Manifest Specification. Finally, we reflect on challenges around standardisation in the community and relevant areas for future development such as an open tool chain, modularity and hardware specific interface standards.

DIN SPEC 3105: industry specification published for Open Source Hardware

Stepper Motor FeatherWing

Lex Kravitz has designed a simple board containing the ULN2003 stepper motor driver in a Feather form factor:

Screenshot from 2020-08-02 11-31-59

Feather ULN2003 Stepper Wing

This Feather Wing was made to be hand assembled with through-hole components, which I find easier to put together in small runs.  In the future I may make a version with SMD components as well for professional manufacture.  I made this to control 5V 28BYJ-48 steppers that are easily available for ~$2-3 each.  Often they come with a ULN2003 driver board, if you are thrifty you can grab the chip off the board and move it to this board saving ~50 cents per board.

This board contains:

1) Two 3-pin headers (GND, PWR, and SIG).  These can be used to control a servo or additional sensor.

2) A 3.5mm TRRS port for external control

3) Two LEDs tied to digital pins

4) The ULN2003 motor driver

5) Two small buttons for user control

Stepper Motor FeatherWing

2020: Everything is Virtual

It’s like the dystopian future arrived out of the blue. From one year to the next we went from holing up in overly air-conditioned hotel ballrooms and actually meeting our fellow meatbags in the flesh, to huddling in our pods and staring at the screens. I’m looking for the taps to hook me in to the Matrix at this point.

But if you haven’t yet received your flying car or your daily Soma ration, you can still take comfort in one thing: all of the hacker conferences are streaming live, as if it were some fantastic cyber-future! In fact, as we type this, someone is telling you how to print your way to free drinks on USAir flights as part of HOPE’s offering, but the talks will continue for the next few days. (Go straight to live stream one.)

If retrocomputing is more your thing, Saturday marks the start of the virtual Vintage Computer Festival West of which Hackaday is a proud sponsor. (Here’s the schedule.)

And next weekend is DEF CON in Safe Mode with Networking. While we can totally imagine how the talks and demo sessions will work, the Villages, informal talks and hack-togethers based on a common theme, will be a real test of distributed conferencing.

via 2020: Everything is Virtual — Hackaday

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