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26
Feb

ATtiny85 Does Over The Air NTSC

[CNLohr] has made a habit of using ATtiny microcontrollers for everything, and one of his most popular projects is using an ATTiny85 to generate NTSC video. With a microcontroller and eight pins, [CNLohr] can put text and simple graphics on any TV. He’s back at it again, only this time the microcontroller isn’t plugged into the TV.

The ATtiny in this project is overclocked to 30MHz or so using the on-chip PLL. That, plus a few wires of sufficient length means this chip can generate and broadcast NTSC video.

[CNLohr] mentions that it should be possible to use this board to transmit closed captioning directly to a TV. If you’re looking for the simplest way to display text on a monitor with an AVR, there ‘ya go: a microcontroller and two wires. He’s unable to actually test this, as he lost the remote for his tiny TV from the turn of the millennium. Because there’s no way for [CNLohr] to enable closed captioning on his TV, he can’t build the obvious application for this circuit – a closed caption Twitter bot. That doesn’t mean you can’t.

Video below.

Filed under: ATtiny Hacks, video hacks
Hackaday

25
Feb

Diode Steering and Counting With A 555

While you’re not likely to see this technique used very much today, there’s a lot you can do with a 555, some logic chips, and a handful of diodes. [Fran] is here with a great example of using these simple parts to build a circuit that counts to zero, using parts you can probably find under your workbench.

[Fran] was inspired to build this diode counter from one of [Dave]’s Mailbags and [Colin Mitchell]’s 555 circuit book. The 555 is the standard component found in every parts drawer, but since we have tiny microcontrollers that cost the same as a 555, we’re not seeing the artistry of a simple timer chip and a few logic chips much these days.

This circuit began with a 555 attached to a 4017B decade counter. Simply by tying a few LEDs to the output of the 4017, [Fran] made a bunch of LEDs light up in sequence. Cool, but nothing unexpected. The real trick uses a few diodes and six LEDs to build a scanner – a line of LEDs that will blink from left to right, then right to left. Impressive, and with a little more circuitry it’s a Larson Scanner, as seen in Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider.

The real trick for this technique comes when [Fran] pulls out a piece of protoboard, several dozen diodes, and seven old transistors to have a seven-segment display count from zero to nine. The 4017 simply counts out on ten pins, and each of these pins is wired to a bunch of diodes for each segment in the display. Add in a few resistors and a transistor, and [Fran] replicated what’s inside a seven-segment driver with discrete parts.

If counting to zero isn’t enough proof that you can do a whole lot with some diodes and logic chips, how about programming an Atari 2600 with one?

Video below.

Filed under: classic hacks
Hackaday

25
Feb

How iPhones and iPads were used to film tonight’s episode of Modern Family

Tonight’s episode of Modern Family was filmed entirely on Apple devices. iPhones, iPads, and even MacBooks were used to shoot every scene, and in a new video, the show’s co-creator and executive producer, Steve Levitan, explains exactly how it was done to provide a genuine feel.
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iPhone Hacks | #1 iPhone, iPad, iOS Blog

24
Feb

Retrotechtacular: Step Up and Get Your Transformer Training

Whether you’re just getting into electronics or could use a refresher on some component or phenomenon, it’s hard to beat the training films made by the U.S. military. This 1965 overview of transformers and their operations is another great example of clear and concise instruction, this time by the Air Force.

It opens to a sweeping orchestral piece reminiscent of the I Love Lucy theme. A lone instructor introduces the idea of transformers, their principles, and their applications in what seems to be a single take. We learn that transformers can increase or reduce voltage, stepping it up or down through electromagnetic induction. He moves on to describe transformer action, whereby voltages are increased or decreased depending on the ratio of turns in the primary winding to that of the secondary winding.

He explains that transformer action does not change the energy involved. Whether the turns ratio is 1:2 or 1:10, power remains the same from the primary to the secondary winding. After touching briefly on the coefficient of coupling, he discusses four types of transformers: power, audio, RF, and autotransformers.

Power transformers are designed to operate at a specific frequency to step AC voltage up or down. They usually have iron cores and one or more secondary windings. Audio transformers operate over the spectrum of audible frequencies, between ~20 to ~20,000 cycles per second, as they are called here. Radio Frequency or RF transformers are used at frequencies north of 20KHz, and are prone to hysteresis and eddy currents. Therefore, they usually have air cores.

Autotransformers use a single winding for both coils. In a step-up transformer, the turns of primary winding constitute a percentage of the windings in the secondary, and vice versa for step-down units. Some autotransformers are of variable action. These operate similarly to potentiometers, and are commonly referred to as variacs.

In conclusion, the instructor applies this knowledge by using voltage and resistance measurements to identify unknown turns ratios. Finally, he checks for open and short windings on a PSM-6 mulitmeter.

[via reddit]

Retrotechtacular is a weekly column featuring hacks, technology, and kitsch from ages of yore. Help keep it fresh by sending in your ideas for future installments.

Filed under: Hackaday Columns, Retrotechtacular
Hackaday

24
Feb

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????????????????????????????2015

Blackberry Z10 STL100-4 16GB Unlocked GSM / Verizon CDMA OS 10 Smartphone – Black

  • 2G: CDMA 800 / 1900, 3G: HSDPA 900 / 2100, 4G: LTE 700 MHz Class 13
  • 4.2″ Capacitive Multi-Touchsscreen
  • BlackBerry 10 (upgradable), Dual-Core 1.5 GHz Krait Processor, Chipset: Qualcomm MSM896 Snapdragon, Adreno 225 Graphics
  • 8 Megapixel Camera (3264 x 2448 pixels) w/ Autofocus & LED Flash + Front-Facing 2 Megapixel Camera
  • Internal Memory: 16GB storage, 2GB RAM + microSD Slot Expandable up to 64GB

The Z10 sports modern specs, like a 4.2-inch LCD, a powerful 1.5 GHz Dual-Core Processor and a magnificent multi-touchscreen.

Rating: (out of reviews)

List Price:

Price: $ 184.00

23
Feb

TwinTeeth: The Delta Bot PCB Factory

There are a few all-in-one CNC/milling/plotting/3D printing/engraving bots out there that claim to be mini factories for hobbyists, prototypers, and other homebrew creators. The latest is Diyouware’s TwinTeeth, a bot obviously inspired by a few 3D printers, but something that has a few interesting features we hope will propagate through the open hardware ecosystem.

The design of the TwinTeeth is an inverse delta bot, kinematically similar to a large number of 3D printers out there. Instead of suspending the tool from a trio of arms, the TwinTeeth puts the work surface on the arms and suspends the tool from the top of the machine. There are a few neat bonuses for this setup – all the tools, from a BluRay laser diode, a Dremel, solder paste dispenser, and a plastic extruder for 3D printing can be mounted in easy to mount adapters. The TwinTooth design uses three locking pins to keep each toolhead in place, and after a little bit of software setup this machine can quickly switch between its various functions.

One very interesting feature of this bot is the ability to mask off PCBs for chemical etching with a BluRay laser diode. This actually works pretty well, as evidenced by the teams earlier work with a purpose-built PCB masker machine. The only problem with this technique is that presensitized boards must be used. If that’s an issue, no problem, just use the Dremel attachment with a v-bit cutter.

Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, tool hacks
Hackaday

22
Feb

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????????????????????????????2015

Blackberry Q10 SQN100-1 16GB 4G LTE Unlocked GSM Dual-Core OS 10 Smartphone – Black

  • 2G: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 3G: 850 / 1900 / 2100 4G: LTE 700 / 850 / 1700 / 1906
  • 3.1″ Super AMOLED Capacitive Multi-Touchscreen + Full Physical QWERTY keyboard
  • BlackBerry 10 (upgradable), Dual-Core 1.5 GHz Krait Processor, Chipset: Snapdragon S4, Adreno 225 Graphics
  • 14 Megapixel Camera (3264 x 2448 pixels) w/ Autofocus & LED Flash + Front-Facing 2 Megapixel Camera
  • Internal Memory: 16GB, 2GB RAM + microSD Slot Expandable up to 64GB

The BlackBerry Q10 4G LTE follows the footsteps of many legacy smartphone featuring a 3.1″ touchscreen plus a full physical QWERTY keyboard, and its fancy glass material.

Rating: (out of reviews)

List Price: $ 399.99

Price: $ 215.01

22
Feb

Hackaday Links: February 22, 2015

We met up with Freescale guy [Witek] at our party in Munich last year, and he wrote in to tell us about the Freescale booth at Embedded World this week in Nuremberg. They’re going to have a bunch of Freedom boards to play around with and an extremely powerful RIoTboard with a 1GHz iMX6 Solo processor, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of EMMC Flash. It’s not a Raspi or BeagleBone killer, but if you need a small Linux board with a lot of horsepower, there ‘ya go.

SmarterEveryDay is finally getting around to doing a series of videos about space. This guy knows his stuff, and with the access he can get, it should make for interesting viewing.

Here’s something for your Sunday listening: [Vint Cerf] at Carnegie Mellon talking about the Olive Project and the Interplanetary Internet. The Olive project is an archive for executables, and solves the problem of having to preserve hardware along with software. Cool stuff.

10 GHz pulse magnetron destroys electronics. That’s the only information you’re going to get with this one. There’s a fine line between ‘don’t try this at home’ and ‘this project needs replication’.

Most of the northern half of the United States is covered in a billion tons of snow. [Jamie]’s electric snowmobile/Power Wheels is the perfect vehicle for this occasion. It’s 36V with two 500W motors. Figure out how to replace the wheels with small treads, and there’s really something interesting here.

Filed under: Hackaday Columns, Hackaday links
Hackaday

22
Feb

Can I place a DMS PCB on a D2E OEM Drive?

I have a DMS PCB and want to know if it will work with any Wii drive (A/B/C/D/E)?

TIA

Wiihacks – Nintendo Wii Hacks Community – Wii Modchip

22
Feb

Apple launches ‘Make a Film with iPad’ commercial in time for the Oscars

On Sunday, February 22, the 87th annual Academy Awards will take place. Leading up to the big event, Apple has launched a brand new commercial starring the iPad.

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