Hackaday: classes, events, and how you can help

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From the Hackaday newsletter:

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Hello!
It’s a time of great stress and uncertainty. We are grateful for all of you who have contributed to the global effort so far. Let’s stick together so we stay healthy and hang out in the real life on the other side of all of this.

With that in mind, we’ve started a calendar of events and classes. If you’d like to teach a class, host a show and tell, or help to organize our climate change summit, respond directly to this email and we’ll help you get set up.

Upcoming: Show and tell, dance party, DIY Strandbeest Q&A, Quantum computing classes. If you have something set up on your own channel you’d like us to add, let us know!

Many of you want to help: with 3D printers at home and manufacturing expertise, this community is in a position to help out those on the front lines.

There are so many Covid-related projects around the web it’s difficult to know where best to put your efforts. We’ve started a doc (right now, today!) that aims to list all the slack channels, Discords, Hackaday.io projects in the world to help you connect.

So many of the really important jobs are the ones that can’t be done remotely, we salute you medical staff, sanitation workers, delivery folks, and all the many others keeping our world running.

With love, ~Hackaday

Hackaday: classes, events, and how you can help

7 open hardware projects working to solve COVID-19

Harris Kenny writes about open hardware projects working to solve COVID-19:

Seven open hardware projects working to solve COVID-19

Chai’s Open qPCR device uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to rapidly test swabs from surfaces (e.g., door handles and elevator buttons) to see if the novel coronavirus is present. This open source hardware shared under an Apache 2.0 license uses a BeagleBone low-power Linux computer. Data from the Chai Open qPCR can enable public health, civic, and business leaders to make more informed decisions about cleaning, mitigation, facility closures, contract tracing, and testing.

7 open hardware projects working to solve COVID-19

OSHWA: How We Made the Open Hardware Summit All Virtual in Less Than a Week

From OSHWA president Michael Weinberg:

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How We Made the Open Hardware Summit All Virtual in Less Than a Week

First, thank you again to everyone – speakers, participants, and sponsors – for a fantastic 10th anniversary Open Hardware Summit.  We knew the 10th anniversary Summit would be one for the ages, although we didn’t quite expect it to be because it became the first virtual Summit.

Thanks to the timing of the Summit, the 10th anniversary Summit ended up being many people’s first virtual summit of the Covid-19 era (that includes the organizers).  Unfortunately it looks like it is unlikely to be the last. In the hopes of helping event organizers struggling with the same challenges, this blog post outlines the decisions we made and the steps we took to make it happen.

Quick Context

The Open Hardware Summit is an annual gathering of the open source hardware community held by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA).  This year OSHWA partnered with the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU Law to host the event in New York City.  The event usually brings together hundreds of community members and speakers from around the world.  It was scheduled for March 13, 2020.

While the situation has been evolving for some time, as recently as March 5th (8 days before the Summit) we thought that holding a reduced in-person version of the event was the right decision.  By March 8 (5 days before the Summit) that was no longer tenable and we announced that the Summit was going all virtual.  That was the right decision, but what does going all virtual mean?

Priorities

We had two major priorities for the virtual Summit:

  1. Online streaming video of all of the speakers and panels.
  2. A community space for discussions and coming together.

Video

The live stream of the Summit had to be both accessible to our viewers and easy to join for our speakers and panelists.  After considering some options and consulting with experts in our community (huge thank you to Phil Torrone at Adafruit for the guidance), we concluded that a combination of YouTube and StreamYard would be the best option.

YouTube worked for our community because it is easily accessible on a wide range of platforms in most of the world.  That meant that just about everyone would be able to see the Summit from wherever they were.

StreamYard made it easy to manage the backend.  Speakers could join a virtual green room before their talk and our technical testing the day before the Summit made it clear that it was easy for them to share their slide presentations as well.  One of the members of the Summit team was able to easily add and remove people (and their screens) to the live feed, along with stills and slides for introductions, sponsors, and everything else.

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Community Space

We also looked at a number of options for online discussions.  We decided that a discord server would be the best option for the open source hardware community. Discord allowed us to open the space to anyone who wanted to join, while at the same time giving us moderation control over the discussion (huge thank you for Lenore Edman from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories for jumping in as a moderator).  Many community members were already comfortable with discord, which was also a bonus.

We also decided to use discord for a version of Q&A for the speakers.  One option would have been to try and integrate video questions from the audience into the live stream. That would have been technically possible with StreamYard (probably…), but it seemed like an unnecessary logistical complication for the organizers.  As an alternative we decided to set up separate discord channels for each of the speakers. That allowed the speakers to end their talk and move to their discord channel for further discussions.

One unexpected and welcome development was that the discord server grew into a larger community hub, with channels devoted to solutions to Covid-19, community announcements, hacking the conference badge, and even virtual conference tips.  We may decide to maintain the server well beyond the Summit as a community space.

It Mostly Worked

We scheduled brief runthroughs with all of the speakers the day before the Summit. Everyone had a chance to get comfortable with the process and work out any last minute problems.  On the day of the Summit we embedded the livestream in the Summit site, along with a link to the discord server for discussion. There were a few audio glitches where speakers had to briefly drop out, but all things considered it went pretty smoothly.

Once the Summit was over the entire livestream of the Summit was posted automatically to OSHWA’s YouTube channel.  Within a day or two we had broken out all of the individual talks into a video playlist and pulled the audio from our panel discussion into a stand alone podcast episode.

To the extent that things worked, one of the big reasons was the nature of the OSHWA community.  Besides being generally great and supportive (no small thing), the open source hardware community already sees itself as a community and is already comfortable with connecting via online tools.  That made it easy for them to enthusiastically watch the live stream and jump into the online discussion. Not all types of events have this starting point, which may suggest that they are not great candidates for this type of virtual structure.

If you are reading this because you are working on your own virtual event, good luck!  We are happy to answer questions if you have them. Email us at [email protected] StreamYard also has a referral program, so if you drop us a line at [email protected] we can give you a $10 credit if you want it.

OSHWA: How We Made the Open Hardware Summit All Virtual in Less Than a Week

Join Adafruit Show ‘n Tell weekly

Precautions for the COVID-19 virus has required events and meetups to be cancelled, and many makers are turning to cyberspace to connect with each other.  Thankfully, Adafruit has been doing a weekly Show ‘n Tell for a decade now that anyone can join… and they just expanded it to a full hour!

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Show us what you are working on weekly on Adafruit’s Show and Tell broadcast.  Every Wednesday at 7:00 pm United States Eastern Time.
Here is the show from last night:
Join Adafruit Show ‘n Tell weekly

Take the 2020 Open Source Hardware Survey

The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) is conducting an Open Source Hardware community survey:

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OSHWA Open Source Hardware Survey 2020

Thank you for participating in the 2020 Open Hardware Survey. It should take you less than 10 minutes to complete.  This survey is a project of the Open Source Hardware Associationwith support from the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU Law.  If you have questions about the survey, please email [email protected]

Take the 2020 Open Source Hardware Survey

CircuitBrains Deluxe coming to Crowd Supply

The CircuitBrains Deluxe, a CircuitPython-compatible ARM Cortex-M4 module, by Kevin Neubauer is coming to Crowd Supply:

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CircuitBrains Deluxe

CircuitBrains Deluxe is a 1 in² ARM Cortex-M4 module with castellated edges and through holes. This configuration allows you to design a CircuitPython project without having to worry about complex microcontroller board layout, flash storage, bootloader, or firmware. “Just add solder”. It’s even small enough for wearables.

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Specifications

  • Microcontroller: Atmel ATSAMD51J19 Microcontroller (32-bit ARM Cortex-M4)
    • 120 MHz
    • 192 KB SRAM
    • 512 KB flash
  • Memory: 8 MB SPI flash on module
  • Power: Onboard 3.3 V LDO regulator
  • I/O
    • Dedicated breakouts for SPI and I²C
    • 13 analog I/O broken out
    • 19 digital I/O broken out
  • Form-factor:
    • Castellated edges for direct PCB mounting
    • 29 x 29 x 3.5 millimeters / 1.15 x 1.15 x 0.15 inches
  • Indication: Power and status LEDs

 

CircuitBrains Deluxe coming to Crowd Supply

Three Tales of Making It in Electronics Design and Manufacturing

Having found success in different areas, it’s a pleasure to hear from Erika Earl, Paul Beech, and Spencer Owen during a panel discussion at the 2019 Hackaday Superconference. Led by Tindie’s Jasmine Brackett, the panel covers some of the background needed to develop a product and get it into the hands of your customers.

Erika’s origin story begins with an interest in electronics during her teenage years that led to work in recording studios. It seems nobody on staff there was interested in repairing anything. Every company needs a hacker to make sure everything continues to work and she decided to take on the role.

From there Erika found her way into the world of manufacturing and has never looked back. You may remember hearing some of her experiences in her 2016 Hackaday Supercon talk on turning your manufacturing mistakes in a learning experience. During this panel she recounts one particularly painful experience when over-torque on a six-layer PCB damaged traces and led to extensive manual rework; always include a torque-spec!

via Three Tales of Making It in Electronics Design and Manufacturing — Hackaday

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CERN updates its Open Hardware Licence

Version 2.0 of the CERN Open Hardware Licence has been released, introducing three variants meant to cater to different collaborative models:

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CERN updates its Open Hardware Licence

Nine years after publishing the first version of the CERN Open Hardware Licence (CERN-OHL) – which governs the use, copying, modification and distribution of hardware designs and the manufacture and distribution of any resulting products – CERN has now released version 2.0 of the licence. The latest version uses simpler terminology, introduces three variants of the licence, and broadens its range to include designs that go from artistic to mechanical to electronic, as well as adapting the licence to cases such as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). It can even be used to license software.

“The CERN-OHL is to hardware what the free and open-source licences are to software,” explains Myriam Ayass, legal adviser for the CERN Knowledge Transfer group and one of the authors of the CERN-OHL. “It defines the conditions under which a licensee will be able to use or modify the licensed material. It shares the same principles as free software or open-source software: anyone should be able to see the source – the design documentation in the case of hardware – study it, modify it and share it.” ‘Source’ includes schematic diagrams, designs, circuit or circuit-board layouts, mechanical drawings, flow charts and descriptive texts, as well as other explanatory material.

“Open hardware gives designers and users the freedom to share hardware designs, modify them, manufacture products based on the design files and commercialise those products. This freedom enables collaboration among engineers, scientists, researchers, hobbyists and companies without the risk of vendor lock-in or other issues present in proprietary development,” explains Javier Serrano, an engineer in the Beams Department at CERN and the founder of the Open Hardware Repository (OHR).

Version 2.0 of the CERN-OHL introduces three variants of the licence – strongly reciprocal, weakly reciprocal and permissive – which aim to address specific constraints caused by different collaboration models currently used in open-hardware projects. The first two variants mean that if any product is made using an open hardware design, the design of that product, including any improvements or modifications, should be made available under the same licence as that of the original product. Permissive licences do not impose this condition.

Andrew Katz, a lawyer and “open” specialist from Moorcrofts LLP, who has also been involved in the drafting process, said he believes the new drafts adopt best practices from the world of open-source software, while adapting to the specific and uniquely complex challenges presented by open hardware. “We’re particularly excited by the enthusiastic response we’ve had to the drafts from members of communities in all sectors of open hardware, and we’ve been very grateful for their valuable comments and input.”

CERN will soon submit the CERN-OHL for endorsement by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

CERN updates its Open Hardware Licence