Hackaday Remoticon Video: Circuit Sculpture Workshop

Circuit Sculpture was one of our most anticipated workshops of Hackaday Remoticon 2020, and now it’s ready for those who missed it to enjoy. A beginning circuit sculptor could hardly ask for more than this workshop, which highlights three different approaches to building firefly circuit sculptures and is led by some of the most prominent people to ever bend brass and components to their will — Jiří Praus, Mohit Bhoite and Kelly Heaton.

Remoticon Video: Circuit Sculpture Workshop — Hackaday
Hackaday Remoticon Video: Circuit Sculpture Workshop

AtomSoft announces DipDuino-SAMD21

New blog post from Jason Lopez of AtomSoft:


Hey everyone. Ive been busy working a new job and been kind of sick lately. So i havent had much time to do any physical work but i do have a new board. Its based on my DipDuino but using the SAMD21 instead. This is a beautiful little PCB with tons of power in a nice small form factor.

The MCU of choice here is the ATSAMD21G18 which is a 32-Bit ARM Cortex M0+. The PCB operates on 3.3v and can be powered and programmed via USB Cable. You can also power with USB pin on the header but please dont do both at the same time as there is no real protection for your USB port.

The SAMD21G18 runs at 48MHz and has 256KB of FLASH and 32KB of SRAM. Its a great part. The Arduino Zero uses the same MCU and this means that i will also preprogram this to run as an Arduino Zero for out of the box programming. No need for a debugger.

Here is a render. The PCB is 71.63mm x 12.06mm [2.82in x 0.47in] … No actual PCB made or tested but maybe soon.

AtomSoft announces DipDuino-SAMD21

CERN Open Hardware Licence V2

Great talk by Javier Serrano of CERN yesterday about open hardware licensing:

CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, updated the CERN Open Hardware Licence (https://cern.ch/cernohl) this year. This new version maintains the original goal of providing a sound legal basis for the sharing of hardware designs, while bringing in numerous improvements.

Javier is one the authors of the licence. He will introduce licensing, open-source and the challenges related to licensing of open-source hardware designs, along with the solutions provided by version 2 of the CERN OHL.

CERN Open Hardware Licence V2

Submitting an open-source project to OSHWA

Dylan Herrada writes in this Adafruit tutorial:

Submitting an open-source project to OSHWA

OSHWA (Open Source Hardware Association) is an organization that, among other things, has created and maintains a process to allow users and companies to certify that their projects are open source. This past spring, many of the boards that Adafruit manufactures were certified. Those certifications were submitted semi-manually, which took quite a while. Now, OSHWA has an API that allows you to submit projects much quicker and can make submitting large numbers of projects at the same time much easier and more straightforward.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to submit your open-source project for certification using this API and a Python script. It’ll will take you through the process used by Adafruit to submit a project.

Submitting an open-source project to OSHWA

Taking Over the Amazing Control Panel of a Vintage Video Switcher

Where does he get such wonderful toys? [Glenn] snagged parts of a Grass Valley Kalypso 4-M/E video mixer switcher control surface from eBay and since been reverse engineering the button and display modules to bend them to his will. The hardware dates back to the turn of the century and the two modules would have been laid out with up to a few dozen others to complete a video switcher console.

Taking Over the Amazing Control Panel of a Vintage Video Switcher — Hackaday
Taking Over the Amazing Control Panel of a Vintage Video Switcher

Recap of Hackaday Remoticon

Ish Ot Jr. writes about their Hackaday Remoticon experience:

I Attended Two Dozen Hackaday Remoticon Sessions So You Don’t Have To! (And Why You Should Anyway!)

The Hackaday Superconference typically takes place in Pasadena, California around this time each year — but like so many events in 2020, COVID threw a decisively un-jolly wrench in that plan, forcing the event online under a new moniker: Hackaday Remoticon.

Things kicked off casually on Friday night with the Community Bring A Hack, hosted on the Remo Conference platform. The platform attempts to recreate networking spaces common to in-person conferences, with “tables” and “sofas” where participants can double-click to “sit” — which in this virtual world initiates audio and video communications with other “seated” parties. While the technology itself worked fairly well, it seemed as though many participants were either confused as to how it worked, or unwilling to interact — I successfully engaged in two conversations throughout the event, otherwise happening mostly upon attendees whose audio and video was not enabled. And much like real-life events, the popular folks were unobtainable (in this case due to a six-person table limit), so it was mostly a case of looking out for people you knew, or trying to be brave and make new friends (both of which I was lucky enough to be able to do!).

The 11:15 (Eastern) slot had three workshops to chose from, and since attending two simultaneously was already pretty extreme, I had to sit out Sebastian Oort’s Soldering, nothing to be afraid of! — which thankfully is not a phobia I find myself afflicted with.

One topic I did want to learn more about was Anool Mahidharia‘s KiCad to Blender > Photorealistic PCB renders. I’d attended Mahidharia’s KiCad course on HackadayU, and have such high respect for his skills that I’d gladly have attended a session called “Photorealistic paint drying” if he was teaching it! But I’d seen some of Mahidharia’s renders already, and was so comprehensively blown away by them that I wanted to learn how he’d made them, plus, like him, I’ve been putting off learning Blender, and thought this might motivate me to get on with it! While the video for this session is not available yet, Mahidharia has written up a handy cheat sheet, and the accompany GitHub repo is full of glorious renderings that will probably make you want to give it a try too!

Recap of Hackaday Remoticon

This Debug Connector Brings Your Issues to the Edge

From Kerry Scharfglass on Hackaday:

This Debug Connector Brings Your Issues to the Edge

Given an unknown PCBA with an ARM processor, odds are good that it will have either the standard 10 pin 0.05″ or 20 pin 0.1″ debug connector. This uncommon commonality is a boon for an exploring hacker, but when designing a board such headers require board space in the design and more components to be installed to plug in. The literally-named Debug Edge standard is a new libre attempt to remedy this inconvenience

The name “Debug Edge” says it all. It’s a debug, edge connector. A connector for the edge of a PCBA to break out debug signals. Card edge connectors are nothing new but they typically either slot one PCBA perpendicularly into another (as in a PCI card) or hold them in parallel (as in a mini PCIe card or an m.2 SSD). The DebugEdge connector is more like a PCBA butt splice.

It makes use of a specific family of AVX open ended card edge connectors designed to splice together long rectangular PCBAs used for lighting end to end. These are available in single quantities starting as low as $0.85 (part number for the design shown here is 009159010061916). The vision of the DebugEdge standard is that this connector is exposed along the edge of the target device, then “spliced” into the debug connector for target power and debug.

Right now the DebugEdge exists primarily as a standard, a set of KiCAD footprints, and prototype adapter boards on OSHPark (debugger sidetarget side). A device making use of it would integrate the target side and the developer would use the debugger side to connect. The standard specifies 4, 6, 8, and 10 pin varieties (mapping to sizes of available connector, the ‘010’ in the number above specifies pincount) offering increasing levels of connectivity up to a complete 1:1 mapping of the standard 10 pin ARM connector. Keep in mind the connectors are double sided, so the 4 pin version is a miniscule 4mm x 4.5mm! We’re excited to see that worm its way into a tiny project or two.

This Debug Connector Brings Your Issues to the Edge

Alfred Jones Talks About the Challenges of Designing Fully Self-Driving Vehicles

Hackaday editor Mike Szczys writes about a recent Hackaday Remoticon talk:

Alfred Jones Talks About the Challenges of Designing Fully Self-Driving Vehicles

The leap to self-driving cars could be as game-changing as the one from horse power to engine power. If cars prove able to drive themselves better than humans do, the safety gains could be enormous: auto accidents were the #8 cause of death worldwide in 2016. And who doesn’t want to turn travel time into something either truly restful or alternatively productive?

But getting there is a big challenge, as Alfred Jones knows all too well. The Head of Mechanical Engineering at Lyft’s level-5 self-driving division, his team is building the roof racks and other gear that gives the vehicles their sensors and computational hardware. In his keynote talk at Hackaday Remoticon, Alfred Jones walks us through what each level of self-driving means, how the problem is being approached, and where the sticking points are found between what’s being tested now and a truly steering-wheel-free future.

Check out the video below, and take a deeper dive into the details of his talk.

Alfred Jones Talks About the Challenges of Designing Fully Self-Driving Vehicles

Fairy Dust mini PCB pin for RC3

We are excited to see the wonderful Thomas Flummer in Copenhagen has designed a neat PCB pin for the virtual Chaos Communication Congress next month:

Fairy Dust mini PCB pin for RC3

This is a small PCB pin badge, heavily inspired by the RC3 styleguide. It’s designed to be small, easy to assemble and hopefully many will manage to get some before the event, and be able to share a little bit of physical #badgelife, in this time of virtual events.

Making your own

If you want to make your own, I have included the gerbers, in case you don’t want to install the nightly version of KiCad.

There is also a shared projects at OSHPark, and this is designed for the standard purple PCBs. It’s designed to be exactly 2 square inches, so for USD 10 you get 3 pcs. shipped anywhere, though the standard shipping might take a bit to arrive.

The parts needed for this pin is simply 4 white 0603 LEDs, a series resistor, also 0603, to limit the current a bit (I’ll try with a 1K to begin with), a CR1220 coin cell holder (I’m planning on using a Q&J CR1220-2 from LCSC) and then a little round brooch clasp/tie tack pin (I got some on ebay, but a DIY/craft supply store might also have them).

Please share

If you decide to make this badge or a variant of it, please share images so we can all see it and get inspired. If sharing on social media, please use the #badgelife tag and please let me know, I would love to see what you have made!

Here is the shared project:

Fairy Dust mini PCB pin for RC3