In general, the cost of electronic components and the tools used to fiddle with them have been dropping steadily over the last decade or so. But there will always be bargain-hunting hackers who are looking to get things even cheaper. Case in point, hot air rework stations. You can pick up one of the common 858D stations for as little as $40 USD, but that didn’t keep [MakerBR] from creating an Arduino controller that can be used with its spare handles.
Now to be fair, it doesn’t sound like price was the only factor here. After all, a spare 858D handle costs about half as much as the whole station, so there’s not a lot of room for improvement cost-wise. Rather, [MakerBR] says the Arduino version is designed to be more efficient and reliable than the stock hardware.
The seven wires in the handle connector have already been mapped out by previous efforts, though [MakerBR] does go over the need to verify everything matches the provided circuit diagrams as some vendors might have fiddled with the pinout. All the real magic happens in the handle itself, the controller just needs to keep an eye on the various sensors and provide the fan and heating element with appropriate control signals. An Arduino Pro Mini is more than up to the task, and a custom PCB makes for a fairly neat installation.
Seth Kerr from Oak Development Technologies has developed a new breakout board:
Availability: Depending on availability, this product might take longer than usual to ship. (Up to three weeks).
Easily turn your project into a lower power system with the TPS22917 power switch and load driver from Texas Instruments, delivered on an easy to use breakout.
This breakout enables you to easily create a GPIO controlled load switch to ensure you power components when you need them.
- Vin: 1V-5V
- Vout: 1V-5V
- Current Output(max): 2A
- Rds on: 80mOhms
- Interface: On/Off
- Output type: P-Channel
- Control: GPIO controllable (digitally controllable)
An update from the KiCon website:
After a successful first year of KiCon in 2019, we decided to change venues. We were very excited to hold the conference at CERN, a major contributor to the KiCad project. However, Coronavirus / COVID-19 changed a lot of plans, including ours.
We will be hosting a short program on October 3rd. The key focus will be a developer session, where members of the community can hear about the changes to the upcoming version 6 software, and ask questions directly to the developers. Further planning details to follow.
Orlando Hoilett writes in Hackaday:
With wearables still trying to solidify themselves in the consumer health space, there are a number of factors to consider to improve the reliability of such devices in monitoring biometrics. One of the most critical such parameters is the sampling rate. By careful selection of this figure, developers can minimize errors in the measurement, preserve power, and reduce costs spent on data storage. For this reason, [Brinnae Bent] and [Dr. Jessilyn Dunn] wanted to determine the optimal sampling rate for wrist-worn optical heart rate monitors. We’ve shared their earlier paper on analyzing the accuracy of consumer health devices, so they’ve done a lot of work in this space.
The results of their paper probably don’t surprise anyone. The lower the sampling rate, the lower the accuracy of the measurement, and the higher the sampling rate the more accurate the measurement when compared to the gold standard electrocardiogram. They also found that metrics such as root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD), used for calculating heart rate variability, requires sampling rates greater than 64 Hz, the nominal sampling rate of the wearable they were investigating and of other similar devices. That might suggest why your wearable is a bit iffy when monitoring your sleeping habits. They even released the source code for their heart rate variability analysis, so there’s a nice afternoon read if you were looking for one.
For the first time in the history of the semiconductor industry it is possible to design, verify, manufacture Systems-on-Chip (SoC)’s that have been completely developed using an open source process technology, open source IP and open source design automation environment.
In a collaborative effort with Google and SkyWater, efabless’ team has designed and implemented the striVe SoC family using SkyWater’s SKY130 130nm process, efabless’ OpenLANE RTL2GDS no-human-in-the-loop SoC compiler and several key FOSS components including standard cell and IO libraries from SkyWater and OSU, Dual port SRAM created using OpenRAM, PicoRV32 RISC-V CPU and future versions that will include open source eFPGA blocks – all of them are available under the Apache 2.0 license.
Mohamed will present the striVe open source SoC family with its 6 configurations which will be publicly released to the design community as concrete designs currently on their way to manufacturing. Being truly FOSS and foundry-enabled, the striVe SoC family will serve as physical demonstrators and be the seed for countless community-defined and designed SoC’s stretching the limits of innovation and to serve select commercial markets.SHOW LESS
OSHWA has announced the first certified open source hardware from El Salvador:
- 32 bits ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller
- 2.4GHz low-power transceiver for IEEE 802.15.4 + ZigBee
- 256KB Flash
- Maximum operating frecuency of 48MHz
- Integrated temperature sensor
- 4Mb external Flash memory
- Cryto chip with: Secure key storage, high-speed public-key algorithms, elliptic curves support (NIST P256), SHA-256, unique serial number, high-quality RNG.
- Pre-set MAC address
Design files for this board are available on GitHub.
I’ve been playing a lot of animal crossing and as anyone that’s played it its quite rare to get a meteor shower, to wish upon a star you need to press A when you see one without anything in your hand. This got me thinking about setting up a servo to physically press the button but then I had a better idea. Join me below to see what is was
RISC-V International and the Linux Foundation are running an 18-hour global forum this Thursday, September 3rd, spanning all time zones:
RISC-V is breaking down technical barriers and disrupting traditional microprocessor business models through global collaboration. The RISC-V Global Forum is our opportunity to engage across the community, from start-ups to multi-nationals, from students to luminaries, from deep technical talks to understanding industry momentum. Join us as a sponsor to showcase success and opportunity, as a speaker to share progress and perspective, and as an attendee to hear from industry thought leaders, engage with your peers, and join the community.
- San Francisco 12:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Barcelona 9:00 AM – 3:00 AM
- Shanghai 3:00 PM – 9:00 AM
2020 Report: State of Open Hardware from OSHdata:
OSHdata is an independent project that launched in 2020, starting by taking a look back and generating a static report about the state of the Open Source Hardware (OSH) ahead of the 10th Annual Open Hardware Summit in March 2020. OSHdata’s findings are for the community. For the founders, engineers, developers, artists, customers, suppliers, and all the other stakeholders who make this community what it is.
This report is authored by Harris Kenny and Steven Abadie, two members of the Open Source Hardware community who have contributed to the certification of dozens of products over the past five years. Today, we proudly work with OSH companies in our businesses. Combined, we have helped sell tens of thousands of Open Source Hardware products for tens of millions of dollars. We are passionate about this community and we are creating this report to help grow it.
We envision five different use cases for this report (in alphabetical order):
- Certified a product
- Considering certifying
- OSH customer
Based on the people who have expressed interest in OSHdata so far by signing up for the newsletter or following @OSHdata on Twitter, we have seen an even distribution across all five groups. Some of the largest businesses in the OSH community have raised their hands to express interest in this project. Remember, this report is the beginning of what we hope will be an ongoing resource for the community. Where things go from here depends on you and your feedback.
Soldering irons are a personal tool. Some folks need them on the cool side, and some like it hot. Getting it right takes some practice and experience, but when you find a tip and temp that works, you stick with it. [Riccardo Pittini] landed somewhere in the middle with his open-source soldering station, Soldering RT1. When you start it up, it asks what temperature you want, and it heats up. Easy-peasy. When you are ready to get fancy, you can plug in a second iron, run off a car battery, record preset temperatures, limit your duty-cycle, and open a serial connection.
The controller has an Arduino bootloader on a 32u4 processor, so it looks like a ProMicro to your computer. The system works with the RT series of Weller tips, which have a comprehensive lineup. [Riccardo] also recreated SMD tweezers, and you can find everything at his Tindie store.
Soldering has a way of bringing out opinions from novices to masters. If we could interview our younger selves, we’d have a few nuggets of wisdom for those know-it-alls. If ergonomics are your priority, check out TS100 3D-printed cases, which is an excellent iron, in our opinion.
Read more: Simultaneous Soldering Station — Hackaday