Exciting news! Dorkbot PDX will be moving to cyberspace and everyone can now join in:
Virtual Dorkbot Meetup
Part virtual hackathon, part virtual geek social, these virtual biweekly meetings are a time for you to virtually join others for insight, inspiration or just insanity.
Bring your virtual toys for others to see, or log on to see what others have been painstakingly chipping away at in their spare time.
Whether it’s code or chips, hacking of all sorts is encouraged. But we also like to hear your crazy ideas, so please come join us online and bring your willingness to share your brilliance.
p.s. This event is open to everyone, dork or robot. No ^H membership is required to attend. All are welcome. That means you!
We’re meeting on jit.si as well as mozilla hubs, link here: https://kik.to/HY
Congratulations, you have just finished assembling your electronics project. After checking for obvious problems you apply power and… it didn’t do what you wanted. They almost never work on the first try, and thus we step into the world of electronics debugging with Daniel Samarin as our guide at Hackaday Superconference 2019. The newly published talk video embedded below.
Beginners venturing just beyond blinking LEDs and premade kits would benefit the most from information here, but there are tidbits useful for more experienced veterans as well. The emphasis is on understanding what is actually happening inside the circuit, which explains the title of the talk: Debugging Electronics: You Can’t Handle the Ground Truth! So we can compare observed behavior against designed intent. Without an accurate understanding, any attempted fix is doomed to failure.
To be come really good at this, you need to embrace the tools that are often found on a well stocked electronics bench. Daniel dives into the tricks of the trade that transcend printf and blinking LED to form a plan to approach any debugging task.
via Debugging Electronics: To Know Why It Didn’t Work, First Find What It Is Actually Doing — Hackaday
Alexander Rowsell writes on the Tindie blog about a DSP-based radio that can receive SSB:
Low-cost Amateur Radio SDR Receiver
As an amateur radio operator, I am always keeping an eye out for cool new radio-related things to tinker with. Hams have a long tradition of building and designing their own radios, and it’s great to see this still happening in the digital era. This DSP-based radio can receive SSB (single sideband) over almost the entire amateur HF band. This band spans from 1.9 MHz (also called 160 meters) all the way up to 28 MHz (10 meters) and everything in between.
This is a great radio for portable use. Paired with a small CW (continuous wave, the mode used for Morse code) transmitter, it would make a great QRP set for those who love low-power Morse communication. Bandwidth can be adjusted from 500Hz to 4kHz, which is perfect for CW as well as digital modes. The designer specifically designed it to be used with the extremely popular new digital mode FT-8, and it indeed fits the specifications very well. It could also be used for many other digital modes, including PSK, RTTY, JT65, and many more! The audio output can be wired directly into any PC — even a Raspberry Pi — to enable digital reception modes.
Blog post by OSHWA president, Michael Weinberg (@mweinberg2D), about the new CERN licenses:
New CERN Open Source Hardware Licenses Mark A Major Step Forward
Earlier this month CERN (yes, that CERN) announced version 2.0 of their open hardware licenses (announcement and additional context from them). Version 2.0 of the license comes in three flavors of permissiveness and marks a major step forward in open source hardware (OSHW) licensing. It is the result of seven (!) years of work by a team lead by Myriam Ayass, Andrew Katz, and Javier Serrano. Before getting to what these licenses are doing, this post will provide some background on why open source hardware licensing is so complicated in the first place.
Project ideas for the CircuitBrains Deluxe
Here is a handy list of project ideas that CircuitBrains could be used in:
- Attach some sensors and make an environmental monitor
- Home automation sensor brains
- Hook it into some stepper drivers and move some motors
- Add an antenna circuit and use it to send or receive RF data
- Do some 3D printing around CircuitBrains and a servo to dispense hand sanitizer
- Use the DAC on it to produce some sound through an amplifier
- Build a reflow oven with a PID and a solid state relay
- Attach it to a computer and use it as a HID device
- Attach a couple buttons and a display and make a scoreboard for a game
- Make an electronic badge
- Make a digital alarm clock
- Build a quirky random number generator
- Add a GPS breakout and capture positioning data
- Add a display and a couple of buttons and make a retro game system
- Add a liquid flow meter, hook it onto a sink or toilet and record how much water you use
The board is a tiny, CircuitPython-compatible ARM Cortex-M4 module:
Great introduction to Python scripting in KiCad from Maciej ‘Orson’ Suminski:
“The Python Whisperer Guide”
The Python scripting interface in KiCad is a powerful tool that can relieve you from repetitive and tedious tasks. It is also a great method to address issues that are specific to your workflow and are not likely to be solved in the upstream code. In this talk, I will show you how to start your scripting adventure with KiCad by explaining the principles of python scripting and exploring a few examples. Do not be afraid…pythons are not venomous.
Slides are available:
Hardware Happy Hour (3H) is a meetup for engineers, electronics hobbyists, and hardware hackers that takes place in many cities around the world.
With COVID-19 restrictions on in-person events, 3H organizers have setup a Discord server where we can continue to have virtual 3H meetups!
Exciting news from Adafruit:
Adafruit has become the #1 most OSHWA certified open-source hardware company
Yesterday, April 20th, Adafruit became the #1 most OSHWA certified open-source hardware company. In the last 27 days, 387 boards have been submitted by Adafruit for review by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA). Of those 387 boards, 54 have already been approved. There are around 6 boards left to be submitted, which should bring the number of approved Adafruit boards to around 393.
View the the full list of the certified boards:
Find out more about the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) and their certification process.
Join OSHWA this Wednesday, April 22nd, for a live virtual talk:
Speaker: Libi Rose Striegl
Using open source projects to enable modern use of retro-tech is a
foundational part of my art practice. Open source practices are a
central part of my teaching. This forms a base for art and teaching
around technology that is empowering and joyful while still coming
from a place of critical learning.
The talk will be streamed live on OSHWA’s YouTube channel.
To join the discussion, visit the #oshwtalks channel on the OSHWA Discord server.