Retro CPC Dongle: 3D printed case for custom PCB

From the Intelligent Toasters blog:

Retro CPC Dongle – Part 46

It’s time to create the enclosure for the CPC2. This is my first foray into the world of 3D printing and it was quite daunting at first. However, free online software like TinkerCad make the process of creating a model fairly simple. I chose to start by creating the base that would hold the main […]

It’s time to create the enclosure for the CPC2. This is my first foray into the world of 3D printing and it was quite daunting at first. However, free online software like TinkerCad make the process of creating a model fairly simple. I chose to start by creating the base that would hold the main PCB as this would likely be the most difficult piece to get correct, mainly because the cut-outs for the ports had to line up correctly. I ended up with this:

When printed, it gave me this:

Not quite right, but almost! The holes for the HDMI and USB don’t quite align. To be fair to me, I was working from the mechanical design, rather than measuring the actual board that I built, so it’s not too bad.

One of the problems I have in testing the board fit is that there are two pin headers on the bottom of the board for the ESP32-Wroom32 and the FPGA, so it won’t quite fit onto the mounting pegs for a flush fitting. My plan is to build a second board that will connect to the main board with pogo-pins and remove the pin headers completely. That way, the same board can sit low in the case when in use and sit on the pogo-pins for testing and programming. This also means it must be easy to remove the board from the case and return it when programmed as it will flop-flop between the test harness and the finished case as needed for system programming.

Without spending time to really understand the capabilities of 3D printing, I opted for a conservative design for the enclosure. It will be a three part-piece comprising the base shown above, the top and the keyboard. It could probably have been done with two pieces, but would require support structures and have been a lot more difficult to print.

Read more…

Retro CPC Dongle: 3D printed case for custom PCB

OSHW Community Survey 2020

News from the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA):

OSHW Community Survey 2020

In 2020 we conducted the third OSHW Community Survey (see 2012 and 2013), which collected 441 responses. All questions were optional, so you may notice response counts do not always add up to 441. In particular, a number of individuals didn’t feel comfortable with the demographic questions. We ask these questions as part of our efforts to promote diversity in the community, but these too were optional and anonymous.

A few highlights from this year’s survey compared to the 2013 survey:

  • The portion of people coming to open source hardware from open source software increased from 14.6% to 23.9%
  • In 2013, 42.8% of respondents indicated they have worked on or contributed to an open hardware project. This jumped to 85.6% in 2020.
  • While 2013 showed a plurality of people using blogs to publish design files, this year’s survey shows public repositories as the most popular option. The increase in people with open source software experience and improvement in repository collaboration offerings may be contributing factors.
  • This year’s survey shows a large increase in attendees for the 2020 Open Hardware Summit. This is likely due to 2020 being the first virtual summit. Although it was moved online due to unfortunate circumstances, the virtual platform offered the upside of greatly expanding the audience.
  • A small gain in the community’s gender diversity was seen, with those identifying as either female or other making up 18% of respondents, compared to 7% in 2013.

Interested in more granular results for any of these questions? Reach out to us at [email protected]

OSHW Community Survey 2020

Unofficial Remoticon 2020 badge by Thomas Flummer in “After Dark”

The annual Hackaday Supercon is taking place as Remoticon this year and the talented Thomas Flummer has design a PCB badge based on the SMD challenge that can be further customized in KiCad!

The board can be ordered from the shared project page in “After Dark”:

NOTE: make sure to check “After Dark” in the cart

Unofficial Remoticon 2020 badge by Thomas Flummer in “After Dark”

Open Hardware Month: awesome makers to follow

For Open Hardware Month, Jeffrey Yoo Warren from the Open Source Hardware Association is compiling a list of Black creators in maker/DIY/open hardware/art:

Open Hardware Month: awesome makers to follow

El Correo Libre newsletter

Gareth Halfacre writes about all the latest news in open source chip design:

El Correo Libre Issue 32

Precursor Packs Open Source Silicon into a Smartphone-Like Development Unit

Andrew “bunnie” Huang has announced plans to release an all-in-one smartphone-like development platform designed specifically for experimentation with free and open source silicon: Precursor.

“Precursor is a mobile, open source electronics platform,” bunnie explains. “Similar to how a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino can be transformed into an IoT gadget with the addition of a couple breakout boards, some solder, and a bit of code, Precursor is a framework upon which you can assemble a wide variety of DIY mobile applications.

“Precursor is unique in the open source electronics space in that it’s designed from the ground-up to be carried around in your pocket. It’s not just a naked circuit board with connectors hanging off at random locations: it comes fully integrated — with a rechargeable battery, a display, and a keyboard — in a sleek, 7.2 mm (quarter-inch) aluminium case.”

iCEBreaker Bitsy v1.1a FPGA Development Boards Pass Testing

Engineer Piotr Esden-Tempski has shown off a test batch of iCEBreaker Bitsy v1.1a development boards, designed to offer a more compact alternative to the popular iCEBreaker FPGA development board.

“iCEBreaker Bitsy is the smaller but just-as-capable sibling to iCEBreaker,” the project maintainers explain. “At just 1.4×0.7in, it is compatible with the Teensy form-factor and can be easily embedded into any project.”

The iCEBreaker Bitsy is built around a Lattice Semiconductor iCE40UP5K in a QFN48 package with phase-locked loop (PLL), two SPI buses, and two I2C hard IP blocks, and features 16MB of DDR- and QPI-capable flash memory, 8MB of QPI-capable pseudostatic RAM (PSRAM), a USB Type-C interface linked to a pre-loaded RISC-V soft USB bootloder, an RGB LED, two single-colour user LEDs, a 12MHz external clock, and a single user button.

Piotr showed off an early batch of iCEBreaker Bitsy v1.1a boards on Twitch.tv and Twitter, streaming the assembly and successful test of the boards. The changes for v1.1a, meanwhile, were merged into the iCEBreaker FPGA GitHub repository back in August.

More details on both the iCEBreaker and iCEBreaker Bitsy can be found on the project’s GitHub repository.

El Correo Libre newsletter

VT100 Terminal Kit

The VT100 Terminal Kit by Peter Hizalev on Tindie includes the PCB and parts to build ASCII terminal that uses conventional PS/2 keyboard and VGA screen

Geoff’s VT100 Terminal Kit

This is VT-100 and XTerm compatible video terminal implemented on the PIC32 microcontroller. It has a serial interface with TTL or RS-232 signal levels, input from a standard PS/2 keyboard, and output to a VGA monitor. There is also a USB interface that supports serial over USB and acts as a USB-to-serial converter.

  • Full compatibility with VT-100 and XTerm tested with vttest;
  • All new SETUP utility available on Ctrl+Alt+Del;
  • Configurable UTF-8, ISO 8859 and IBM PC 437 support;
  • Configurable VT-220 and PC/Sun keyboards compatibility;
  • Regular, bold, underlined and strike-through Terminus Unicode fonts;
  • Blinking and inverted visual attributes;
  • Configurable ANSI color-to-monochrome transformation;
  • Support for historic DEC graphic characters;
  • VGA output follows strict 25MHz pixel clock to get standard 640×480 resolution at 60Hz refresh rate;
  • 8×16 characters and 24 or 30 lines screen buffers configurable in SETUP utility;
  • Full range of baud rates from 110 up to 921,600;
  • Scroll-lock and XON/XOFF flow control;
  • PS/2 keyboard detection at startup;
  • Dedicated timer pin for pixel data SPI framing instead of using VSYNC;
  • Monochrome color is selectable with jumpers instead of solder bridges;
  • Only US and UK keyboard layouts are supported (new layouts are easy to add–just let me know);
  • Composite PAL/NTSC output is not supported;
  • Serial communication speed is not configurable with jumpers, the only available configuration is with SETUP utility;
  • Streamlined 4″x1.5″ board with VGA, PS/2 and USB ports on one side;
  • Firmware source code and KiCad designs are open source. Contributions are welcome!
VT100 Terminal Kit

Learn audio programming with Bela

Bela is a real-time audio processing platform based on the BeagleBone. This course is a deep dive into how Bela processes data, and how to implement real-time audio and interaction:

Learn C++ Real-Time Audio Programming with Bela

Our YouTube course, C++ Audio Programming with Bela, started in Spring 2020 when the world went into lockdown and we wanted to create something to help people learn at home. This popular, in-depth course is great for newcomers to C++ and audio programming, as well as people who want to brush up on their skills.

In this series Bela founder Andrew McPherson takes you through the basics of digital audio and real-time programming, with hands-on examples and clear, accessible explanations, giving you skills you can use. The course is free and open to all.

Andrew took a summer hiatus after more than a dozen videos, and we are happy to announce that he’s back and creating new lectures! Lecture 14 on audio envelopes and ADSR is out now.

Learn audio programming with Bela

London Open Source Meetup for RISC-V

Coming up on Monday, October 19th:

London Open Source Meetup for RISC-V

We are resuming our quarterly meetup for the London open source community, focusing on RISC-V, hosted by the BCS Open Source Specialist Group and the UK Open Source Hardware User Group.  These meetings provide an opportunity to share the latest ideas around open source in the RISC-V ecosystem, combined with plenty of time for networking.

This time it will be a virtual meetup, and we’ll be livestreaming using BigBlueButton to provide a rich online experience for participants. As always the talks will be recorded for later upload to YouTube.

– Porting Rust to 64-bit RISC-V GNU+Linux

– Plan 9 C Compiler for RISC-V

– Porting the GNU CORE-V Toolchain

London Open Source Meetup for RISC-V

Custom Tool Helps Hakko Set Threaded Inserts

When the tool you need doesn’t exist, you have to make it yourself. Come to think of it, even if the tool exists, it’s often way more fun to make it yourself. The former situation, though, is one that [Sean Hodgins] found himself in with regard to threaded inserts. Rather than suffer from the wrong tool for the job, he machined his own custom threaded insert tool for his Hakko soldering iron.

Custom Tool Helps Hakko Set Threaded Inserts — Hackaday
Custom Tool Helps Hakko Set Threaded Inserts

Mask up with OSHCat 2020

TwinkleTwinkie creates amazing PCB artwork. One project we have loved is the OSHCat which first debuted as a badge-on in 2018:

And the follow-up last year:

While there was no Defcon in Las Vegas this year, OSHCat has returned as an example of how to keep humans safe during the pandemic:

The design is available as a shared project:

Masked Lucky OSHCat v1.1

An updated Lucky OSHCat SAO featuring the latest SAO standard connection and a cute OSHPark themed Mask. Wear your mask in public, it’ll save yours and other’s lives.

Mask up with OSHCat 2020