Hardware Happy Hour (3H) Chicago on January 15th

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The next Hardware Happy Hour (3H) Chicago is tomorrow, Tuesday, January 15th:

January 3H Chicago Meetup

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019, 6:30 PM

Ballast Point Brewing Chicago
212 N Green St Chicago, il

17 Members Attending

Bring all of your holiday gadgets and gizmos! Did you build a blinky Christmas tree ornament? Did you get a new scope from Santa? Did you take apart some toys? Bring it all to the meetup! We’re trying out a new location for the new year! Come have a pint, show off your latest project and get to know your fellow Chicago tinkerers. (Updated invite on…

Check out this Meetup →

Bring all of your holiday gadgets and gizmos! Did you build a blinky Christmas tree ornament? Did you get a new scope from Santa? Did you take apart some toys? Bring it all to the meetup!

We’re trying out a new location for the new year! Come have a pint, show off your latest project and get to know your fellow Chicago tinkerers.

Hardware Happy Hour (3H) Chicago on January 15th

Giant Board packs Linux into the size of an Adafruit Feather

@groguard designed the Giant Board which runs Linux in the form factor of the Adafruit Feather:


The Giant Board is a super tiny single-board computer based on the Adafruit Feather form factor. We always want more power in a smaller package and the Giant Board delivers!

There are always those couple of projects that just need a little more power, or a different software stack. With the release of the ATSAMA5D27C-D1G, its made linux possible in such a small form factor. Listed below are the specs and current pinout of the board.

Follow @groguard on Twitter to learn more about the project:







Giant Board packs Linux into the size of an Adafruit Feather

35C3: Biggest Communication Congress, Yet Little Chaos

Every year for the past 35 years, the German Chaos Computer Club has met just after Christmas for a few days of “Spaß am Gerät” — having fun with the machines. And that’s everything from trying to bring an old PDP-8 back into running condition to forging new software to replace the old and busted social media platforms that permeate our lives. The sum total of around 17,000 people doing the nerdy stuff that they love, and sharing it together, is both amazing and inspiring. Four days of little sleep and much socializing later, I bet there was still another four days’ worth of stuff to see.
[Dave Darko] had a slew of his custom badges on hand, including one that he made for the conference. In true Chaos spirit, it didn’t have any firmware written yet — it was just a blank, multi-radio slate. So he handed a bunch out to [SpaceHuhn] and the rest of the Insecure crew for them to hack on. Let’s see what they come up with. [Alex] was working on layout and parts sourcing for even tinier LED matrixes!
via 35C3: Biggest Communication Congress, Yet Little Chaos — Hackaday

Modular Feeders For SMD Component Tape

Making one of something is pretty easy, and making ten ain’t too bad. But what if you find yourself trying to make a couple of hundred of something on your home workbench? Suddenly, small timesavers start to pay dividends. For just such a situation, you may find these modular SMD tape feeders remarkably useful.

The tape feeders come in a variety of widths, to suit different size tapes. You’ve probably seen if you’ve ever ordered SMD components in quantity from Mouser, Digikey, et al. SMD components typically ship on large tape reels, which are machine fed into automated pick and place machines. However, if you’re doing it yourself in smaller quantities, having these manual tape feeders on your desk can be a huge help. Rather than having scraps of tapes scattered across the working surface, you can instead have them neatly managed at the edge of your bench, providing components as required

via Modular Feeders For SMD Component Tape — Hackaday


Jar of Fireflies on Tindie

From  on the Tindie blog:

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Jar O’ Fireflies Kit or Assembly

Relaxing outside on a hot summer evening you might catch a glimpse of fireflies as they perform an ethereal bioluminescent dance. Maybe you even been able to catch a few, trapping them in a jar for your entertainment. Recreate a bit of that magic with a DIY electronics project.

This FireFly Jar Kit presents a different, and much longer-lasting, bottle of blinkies. Instead of actual fireflies blinking, is emulates the bugs’ effect with tiny 0603 LEDs and 38 AWG wire. An ATtiny85V provides lighting control, and it should be able to function on its CR123A battery for 6 months or more.

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While you can build this type of contraption yourself, the item listed here is available fully-assembled, as a kit, or a PCB only. In either case, you don’t have to mess about with making your own PCB or perf board assembly, which could be well worth the $30, $20, or $10 price tag. Personally, I much prefer to avoid soldering as much as possible, especially if the terms “0603” and “38 AWG” are involved. Soldering concerns aside, be sure to check out the representative video of this type of faux firefly effect below:


Jar of Fireflies on Tindie

KiCad conference comes to Chicago in April

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Chris Gammell writes on the Contextual Electronics about the first ever user focused KiCad conference, which is happening April 26th and 27th 2019 in Chicago (USA):

KiCon 2019

As you may know, KiCad is a very big part of CE. We use it in every design we showcase on the CE site. We’re hoping that some of you will decide to take your learnings and share them at KiCon 2019. We’re looking for speakers to give talks about how they are using KiCad in their jobs, businesses and schooling. Or just how you use it for fun! Please apply to give a talk here! There are no requirements on how advanced you are as a user, so talks could be something like, “My perspective on getting started in KiCad”.

Please also consider attending! We’ll also have the opportunity to give feedback to developers and help brainstorm what else is needed for KiCad. Not only that, but we’ll be able to interact with other KiCad users and share tips and tricks. We’re also planning a layout contest and other fun interactive activities.

Not able to make it? Please help spread the word about KiCon! (Example tweet here, though any promotion is appreciated) In return, we promise to record and share the talks from the conference so you can view them later.

And finally, if your company has the means, please consider supporting KiCon as a sponsor.

KiCad conference comes to Chicago in April

Still time to join the BadgeLove contest!

Hackster is running the “the Blinkiest Badge Challenge on Earth” and you still have until February 28th to submit your badge design!

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#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.

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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.

Ready to Badge It?

  • Share any badge, new or old with full instructions
  • Provide design documentation. For example, PCB layout (native or Gerber plots), artwork, bill-of-materials, schematics, source code/firmware, and anything else you’d like to share!
  • Written explanation describing your badge’s capabilities
  • Optional video explaining what the badge does
  • Want to score extra points? Celebrate our partner Autodesk and build with Autodesk EAGLE files and Fusion 360 CAD (check out the Autodesk prize)
  • Don’t want to share your complete Gerbers? Need to protect your invention? We totally understand. Share only what you feel comfortable with
  • Got add-ons? Let’s see them!
  • Selling your badges? Share your links, we want to buy some!
  • Need fab help? It’s all about the one and only OSH Park!
  • Using Altium, KiCad, other? You’re good!
Still time to join the BadgeLove contest!

Designing Tiny Motors Right Into The Robot’s Circuit Board

From  on the Hackaday blog:

Designing Tiny Motors Right Into The Robot’s Circuit Board


Motors are not overly complex, but this one is downright simple. Carl Bujega has been working on a motor design that heavily relies on the capabilities of the printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication processes. His talk at the 2018 Hackaday Superconference covers how he built a brushless DC motor and speed controller into a PCB. You can watch the newly published video after the break.

The genesis of this idea came from Carl’s interest in drone design, in fact, he jumped right into a drone startup immediately after finishing his EE. The company didn’t last, but his thirst for interesting designs is ongoing. When looking at reducing the total parts necessary to build a quadcopter he happened on the idea of PCB-based coils and he’s followed it to this motor design, and beyond to some very interesting flexible-PCB robot design work which you can check out on his Hackaday.io page, YouTube, and Twitter.

OSH Park now offers 2 layer Flex PCBs for $15 per square inch including 3 copies of your design. Orders will be sent to fabrication weekly and ship within 21 calendar days of ordering. Find out more on our Flex documentation page.