Surface Mount Soldering Challenge at Hackaday Remoticon

All The Workshops, And The SMD Challenge Happening At Hackaday Remoticon

Last week we announced the first fifteen workshops happening at Hackaday Remoticon, November 6-8, 2020. The weekend really is packed full of these hands-on events, and you’re invited to participate from anywhere in the world. Today we’re excited to announce the rest of the workshops, all of which are currently open for registration.

Can we get a few hundred people to show off their soldering skills (or amusing lack of skills) from their own workbench during the event? We think we can, so we’re running the SMD Challenge virtually this year. All of this, plus keynote talks, demos, a show-and-tell, and more make for one wild weekend. Read on!

Surface mount components are not really meant to be hand soldered, it’s a hack. So let’s hack together and do it on camera! For the past two years we’ve used the excellent SMD Challenge board designed by MakersBox as the target of a head-to-head challenge at live events. At Remoticon, you can take the challenge from your own workbench.

Your $5 SMD challenge ticket covers the cost of the kit — you just need to pay for shipping. The bargain is that you must commit to soldering the kit live on camera sometime during the weekend of Remoticon. This is an exhibition challenge… we’re not looking for the best, we’re looking for the most fun. So failing to complete all the parts is perfectly fine, at least you tried and that’s the point. Please limit yourself to one ticket.

To help amp up the fun, we’ve invited several hardware badge teams from conferences all over the world to compete as well. More on that later, but all of this should make the SMD Challenge room a hot place to hang out all weekend.

Surface Mount Soldering Challenge at Hackaday Remoticon

Replace 7400-Series Logic with FPGA board

Gareth Halfacree writes on Hackster about a work-in-progress by Scott Shawcroft to let people play with glue logic in STEMMA QT projects:

Scott Shawcroft Aims to Replace 7400-Series Logic with a STEMMA QT FPGA Board Design

Scott Shawcroft has shown off a new board for the STEMMA QT I2C ecosystem, designed to house a Lattice MachXO2 32QFN field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and replace 7400-series logic chips with a programmable glue logic system.

“This is a STEMMA QT board. So, it’s got the two-in and -out there, and then it’s got logic level shifters and a regulator in case it’s five volts, and then this is a MachXO2 FPGA,” Shawcroft explains of the design during an Adafruit Show and Tell session. “I was thinking what i would do is add software so that it would act like a 7400-series logic chip.”

Replace 7400-Series Logic with FPGA board

KiCon 2020: Q&A with KiCad developers on Saturday October 3rd

KiCon 2020 could not take place at CERN as planned due to the pandemic so a virtual session will happen instead this Saturday, October 3rd:

KiCon 2020: A Virtual Conference, in two parts

After a successful first year of KiCon in 2019, we decided to change venues. We were very excited to hold the conference at CERN, a major contributor to the KiCad project. However, Coronavirus / COVID-19 changed a lot of plans, including ours. KiCon 2020 is completely remote, so that community members can still connect with the developers and each other. We will have a Developer component (coming up on Oct 3rd), and a Community component. Read on to hear more about each element, and sign up on the mailing list below so you keep up with the latest talks and speakers.

KiCon 2020 Developer Q&A

Since we will be all-remote this year, we’re kicking things off with a 2 hour discussion with the KiCad developers! You can hear about upcoming features for KiCad V6, get an update on the project, and ask your questions directly to the developers.

The Q&A will take place on October 3rd, starting at 14:00 UTC / 10:00 EST / 07:00 PST. Find your local meeting time here.

KiCon 2020 Community Talks

We will be hosting community talks at various times throughout the month of October. These will be streamed live and/or released directly as videos. The KiCon team will help to promote these events and facilitate discussion around the topic. Click below to learn more.

KiCon 2020: Q&A with KiCad developers on Saturday October 3rd

Open Source Hardware Certifications For August 2020

Salman Faris writes on Make about the latest Open Source Hardware certifications:

Open Source Hardware Certifications For August 2020

Hello Makers, In the month of August we had 14 newly certified open-source hardware. Today I will introduce each of them to you. I hope it may help you in the next project or product.

HSSV ATSAMR21 Breakout is a development board to accelerate the deployment of IEEE 802.15.4 based networks on the 2.4Ghz band. It is based on the ATSAMR21G18-MR210UA module which also includes support for antenna-diversity and a crypto-acceleration chip. This board was designed to be breadboard-friendly and includes USB support and power & LiPo battery management.

The Boards are pre-loaded with the bossa bootloader (used by Arduino) with the command line tool bosses and they have a small development batch. If you are interested in collaborating on the development please contact them. This is the first certified open-source hardware from El Salvador.

Certification Page

Project Page

Open Source Hardware Certifications For August 2020

Hackspace Magazine: Propelled by community

My column in the new issue of HackSpace magazine focuses on open source rocketry and space projects. Download the PDF and turn to page 25:

We are always excited to see what Applied Ion is making on Twitter:

Hackspace Magazine: Propelled by community

Hackaday: The Phenomenal Instrument You Probably Don’t Recognize For What It Is

If we had to make a guess at the single piece of electronic bench equipment owned by the highest proportion of Hackaday readers, it would not be a budget oscilloscope from Rigol, nor would it be a popular portable soldering iron like the TS100. Instead we’re guessing that it’s a multimeter, and not even the most accomplished one.

The DT830 is a genericised Chinese-manufactured 3.5 digit digital multimeter that can be had for an astonishingly low price. Less than a decent hamburger gets you an instantly recognisable plastic case with a chunky rotary range selector switch, and maybe a socket for some kind of transistor or component tester. Make sure that there is a 9 volt battery installed, plug in the pair of test leads, and you’re in business for almost any day-to-day electrical or electronic measurement. They’ve been available in one form or another for decades and have been the subject of innumerable give-aways and loss-leader offers, so it’s a reasonsble guess that you’ll have one somewhere. I have three as far as I know, they make great on-the-go instruments and have proved themselves surprisingly reliable for what they are.

Read more on Hackaday…

Hackaday: The Phenomenal Instrument You Probably Don’t Recognize For What It Is

Easy Joule Thief Soldering Kit

The MakersBox has a great kit for beginners on Tindie:

Easy Joule Thief Soldering Kit

The perfect night-light, and a great way to learn how to solder.

The Joule Thief is a clever little circuit that can light a LED with a battery that is nearly dead. It does this with a pair of opposing magnetic fields. I like this circuit because it is simple to build, yet demonstrates some very complex electrical behavior.

I’ve designed a printed circuit board to help make this easier to build for beginning Makers. I used open source KiCAD software to lay it out (a future Instructable?), and OSHPark to manufacture it. If you want to just wire one up without the board, check out Angelo’s Instructable which uses essentially the same circuit.

The kit contains:

  • 1 – PCB,
  • 2 – AA Battery Clip, Keystone Electronics #92
  • 1 – Ferrite Tubular Bead, Digi-Key 240-2301-ND or similar
  • 1 – SPDT slide switch, E-Switch EG1218
  • 1 – 1K resistor 1/8 – 1/4 W
  • 1 – PN2222 Resistor, Fairchild Semiconductor PN2222ATA
  • nanoseconds (about 24″) of insulated wire. Two different colors are helpful.
  • 1 – LED, 10mm white (or use your own)
Easy Joule Thief Soldering Kit

Hackaday Remoticon tickets and workshops now on sale

Hackaday Remoticon happens November 6-8 worldwide!

The weekend will be packed with virtual activities, and most of them are hands-on workshops that you can participate in from the comfort of your home, lab, garage, basement, lair, or other socially distanced location of your choosing.

The news today is that everyone should register for Remoticon right now, and that we’re opening up registration for about half of the total workshops. More details on the remaining workshops, demos, and some special events will be available in a future article.

Here are some of the workshops:

  • Basics of RF Emissions Debugging
  • Crowd-Controlled Robots
  • The Hackers Guide to Hardware Debugging
  • How to 3D Print onto Fabric
  • Introduction to Firmware Reverse Engineering
  • Introduction to Modular Synthesis using VCV Rack
  • KiCad to Blender > Photorealistic PCB renders
  • Learn How to Hack a Car
  • Live Breaking into Encrypted 3D Printer Firmware
  • MachineChat – JEDI One – A Universal Sensor Hub
  • PCB Reverse Engineering
  • Prototyping to the Max
  • Soldering, Nothing To Be Afraid Of!
  • Tiny ML
  • Zero to ASIC in Two Hours

Read more…

Hackaday Remoticon tickets and workshops now on sale

Getting Started With The TPS22917 Load Switch

From Seth Kerr of Oak Dev Tech:

Getting Started With The TPS22917 Load Switch

Trying to figure out how to reduce the power consumption of your project with multiple peripherals can be tricky, especially if these peripherals are operating off different power supplies than your main controller. This is where the easy to use TPS22917 Power Switch/Load Driver from Texas Instruments comes in.Packed into a tiny SOT23 package, the TPS22917 is compact enough to fit into any project, requiring just four total components including the main IC. Combined together on a small breakout board, we then have an easy to use form factor that can be used to easily integrate it right into your project without the extra hassle.

In this tutorial we’re going to show you how easily it is to use our TPS22917 breakout board in your project.

Getting Started With The TPS22917 Load Switch

Jared Wolff talks Cellular IoT

The Amp Hour #509: Cellular IoT with Jared Wolff

Welcome Jared Wolff of Circuit Dojo!

Jared is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology (which Chris also considered attending). He did co-ops while there, like we talked about on last week’s episode.

While on co-op at Cisco, he was in the cable group and marveled at the techs doing repairs with magnet wire.

He is an east coast guy at heart, so he moved back to Connecticut eventually

Jared worked at Apple for a while, but the lifestyle is difficult because of time requirements and stressful travel. He was also there when Steve Jobs was still around and there was a bit of over the top hero worship.

Nordic’s early bluetooth chipset was the nRF8001, which was a transceiver over SPI (no micro)

Working for startups was interesting if you thrive on doing a lot of different things

Jared Wolff talks Cellular IoT