Taking A Deep Dive into SPI

Jim Heaney writes on Hackaday:

With the prevalence of libraries, it has never been easier to communicate with hundreds of different sensors, displays, and submodules. But what is really happening when you type SPI.begin() into the Arduino IDE? In his most recent video, [Ben Eater] explores the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) and how it really works.

Most Hackaday readers probably know [Ben] from his breadboard-based computers, such as the 6502 build we featured in 2019. Since then he has been hard at work, adding new and interesting additions to his breadboard computer, as well as diving into different communication protocols to better understand and implement them. For this video, [Ben] set the goal of connecting the BME280, a common pressure, temperature, and humidity sensor with an SPI interface, to his breadboard 6502 computer. Along the way, [Ben] discusses how exactly SPI works, and why there is so much conflicting nomenclature and operations when looking at different SPI devices.

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Taking A Deep Dive into SPI

RISC-V Launches the Open Hardware Diversity Alliance

RISC-V International, a global open hardware standards organization, today announced the launch of the Open Hardware Diversity Alliance. The global Alliance, created by CHIPS AllianceOpenPOWER FoundationRISC-V, and Western Digital, will develop and provide learning and networking programs, mentorship opportunities and inclusive environments across the expansive ecosystem of open hardware. The Alliance will be focused on supporting professional advancement and encouraging equal participation for women and underrepresented individuals in the open hardware community.

“Communities benefit from a diverse set of ideas from the broad community. RISC-V is working to build, share, and support these inclusive opportunities by bringing new talent and ways of thinking to the open hardware community,” shared Kim McMahon, Director of Visibility and Community Engagement at RISC-V. “The Open Hardware Diversity Alliance will set the course for inclusivity in the open hardware community by building programs and diversity that inspires creativity and drives innovation.”

 The Alliance aims to fill the gaps and create opportunities to improve career development in open hardware design by providing underrepresented individuals with the necessary steps and fostering inclusive environments. By providing a supportive community, the program will help to drive professional growth, empower the development of technical careers, encourage the recognition of all ideas in technical innovations and support career growth.

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RISC-V Launches the Open Hardware Diversity Alliance

Safety Coffin Grave Bell Halloween Prop

Glen Akins is getting ready for October with this spooky project:

This is video is a demonstration and explanation of my safety coffin grave bell Halloween prop for Halloween 2021. People were really worried about being buried alive in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The safety coffin was devised as a way to alert the grave keeper that someone was trapped in their grave. It consisted of a string tied to the corpse’s finger that ran up to a bell tied above ground. If the recently deceased woke up in their coffin, they could ring the bell to summon help. When unsuspecting trick or treaters walk past the grave bell, it rings to summon the grave keeper so that the recently deceased can be rescued.

Safety Coffin Grave Bell Halloween Prop

IKEA Wardrobe Holds Entire Hardware Workspace

Robin Kearey writes about this clever use of space:

If you’re like us, you probably don’t finish a typical hardware project in one sitting. This doesn’t have to be a problem if you’re fortunate enough to have a dedicated workbench for your hacking activities; you simply leave your current project there, ready to continue when you have time again. But this is not always a workable option if you, or a housemate, needs to use the same desk for other tasks as well.

[!BATTA!] over at IKEAhackers ran into this problem, and solved it by building a complete electronics workstation inside a wardrobe. The base of this project is a storage unit called PAX, which is designed to store clothes and shoes but which also works just fine with project boxes. [!BATTA!] installed a variety of shelves and drawers to organize their collection of boxes and tools.

Not content with simple storage, [!BATTA!] decided to add a workbench, using a sturdy sliding tray that carries a working surface and a reinforced back panel to hold parts bins. Metal braces were added to prevent wobbliness, and the whole structure was bolted to a wall to prevent it from tipping over. When the workbench is not in use, the tray simply slides inside so the doors can be closed for a nice, clean look.

We really like the many clever storage solutions spread around the work area, such as a magnetic rail to hold hand tools and a “honeycomb” of PVC tubes for storing cables. Compact LED strips provide suitable lighting while a power strip with both mains and USB sockets brings juice to the tools and projects.

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IKEA Wardrobe Holds Entire Hardware Workspace

Fibonacci64 Micro

This new creation from Jason Coon packs 64 RGB LEDs on a 20 mm disc in a Fibonacci distribution:

I have created several LED art pieces in Fibonacci patterns. They are all very labor intensive to create, and so are fairly expensive and limited in quantity. I wanted to come up with a Fibonacci layout that was at least slightly easier to create, and therefore more affordable.

I have RGB LEDs in just about every form they come: strips, strings, rings, discs, etc. The LEDs on most discs are arranged in very regular rings. Fibonacci64 is different. The LEDs are arranged in a Fibonacci distribution. The makes the layout very organic and seemingly messy. But with the proper animation, spiral patterns emerge with spectacular results.

The WS2812C-2020 each only consume a maximum of 5mA, and that’s at 100% brightness, solid white color. That’s only 320 mA for all 64 combined. They are still very bright, and I usually only run them at about 25% brightness. They’re perfect for wearables, powered with LiPo batteries.

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Here is it in action:

Fibonacci64 Micro

2021 Hackaday Remoticon: Call for Proposals

The Hackaday Remoticon is happening this November 19th and 20th and the whole Internet is invited. This time around we’re packing the weekend with talks about all the hardware, software, special skills, and inspiration that gets poured into the world of electronic stuff.

Send in your talk proposal now! I know, Call for Proposals sounds so official, but it’s really just a matter of giving us a summary of what the talk will cover, and an in-depth description where you make your case on why the talk is relevant to the people who will be watching it.

We go out of our way with all of our Hackaday conferences to get first-time speakers up on stage (or I suppose in front of a webcam in this case). Whether it’s your first time or your fortieth, the substance of the talk is what matters the most — we want to see what you’ve been doing at your workbench and in your lab so please give us a window into that part of your life.

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2021 Hackaday Remoticon: Call for Proposals

Oskitone Makes an Atari Punk Console

From our friend Tommy of Oskitone:

A decapitated robot head? An extraterrestrial communicator? A specter summoner?

Nope (and yep!), it’s an APC!

Just like the other Oskitone projects, it’s a 3D-printed electronic musical ~instrument, designed in Kicad and and OpenSCAD, Open-Source, and just plain ol’ annoying fun.

Here it is in action:

The APC DIY Electronics Kit is available with or without the 3D printed parts:

Oskitone Makes an Atari Punk Console

3D Printed Synth Kit Shares Product Design Insights

Donald Papp writes about Oskitone on Hackaday:

We’ve always been delighted with the thoughtful and detailed write-ups that accompany each of [Tommy]’s synth products, and the background of his newest instrument, the Scout, is no exception. The Scout is specifically designed to be beginner-friendly, hackable, and uses 3D printed parts and components as much as possible. But there is much more to effectively using 3D printing as a production method than simply churning out parts. Everything needed to be carefully designed and tested, including the 3D printed battery holder, which we happen to think is a great idea.

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3D Printed Synth Kit Shares Product Design Insights