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{ Category Archives } kit building and hardware hacking

The Z80 Membership Card

Last month, it was Wes putting together a retro-Pi project to run classic games from days past using emulation on the Raspberry Pi. This time it’s A Classic Retrocomputer Kit from the 1980’s. The idea is to build a classic Z80 computer to fit into an Altoids tin and call it a Z80 Membership Card. Then […]

Secure the pi

Good article at Make: Take These Steps to Secure Your Raspberry Pi Against Attackers. Pretty much standard stuff but good stuff well worth considering even on a project SBC [single board computer]. Why is the SBC a target? Make suggests it might be used for distributed computing to aid Bitcoin miners, as a host for I’net […]

What happens when you open-source a soldering iron

The TS100 soldering iron (Amazon) has been getting a lot of buzz. It’s on github and both software and hardware specifications are open. It runs off 12 to 24 volts DC so a battery pack from a power tool or laptop will run it. A laptop power supply is a common resource for it as […]

Soldering tutorials

Hackaday says the key to soldering is to pace yourself. “When writing my last article, I came upon something I thought had been lost to the seven seas of YouTube: the old-school “Basic Soldering Lesson” series from Pace Worldwide.” Speaking of which, we’ve seen many things designed to educate, but one size certainly does not […]

CI-V simplified by modern tech for Icom radio control

There’s a simple eighth inch jack on the back of most Icom radios that provides a communication interface for control purposes. If you look around for how to tie this into a computer, most of what you’ll find is about converting to a standard RS-232 serial port. That is soooo old tech! I like what Guy […]

CO detectors

The attraction of a First Alert model CO1210 was the promise of a ten year life on battery. It was installed on 1 May 2015 and declared defeat on 26 March 2017. That was a disappointment. The battery is a cr17335 Manganese Dioxide-Li/Organic Electrolyte (Maxell Datasheet) for 3 volts and 1.75 Ah. The Sanyo (datasheet catalog) […]

Complicating decisions about small computing for low power stand alone devices

The Raspberry Pi Zero W was announced on the fifth anniversary of the original RPi. TechRepublic has the story — Raspberry Pi Zero W: The smart person’s guide. “This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about the $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W, the latest tiny computer from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.” The price […]

gpsd and finding the GPS via USB

gpsd has a goal of finding the GPS receiver when it is attached to your system invisibly and providing data via a network port so an application doesn’t have to worry about what kind of receiver, its particular protocol, or how it’s connected. Doing that is a can of worms. The current most common method […]

NTP via GPS on an ESP8266 using MicroPython: design issues

It’s been done before, lots of times. Sort of. But maybe not just this way. The collection of parts and pieces provides for a broad curriculum of learning possibilities. Here are some of the issues that have come up so far. SNTP vs NTP. NTP has a long history and it is intended for always […]

Tech directions: IkaScope

They call it the IkaScope. “Robust and reliable analog front end, Measuring signals with IkaScope is quick, easy and intuitive. Sampling rate 200 MSPS; Bandwidth 25 MHz; Memory 4000 pts; Input range ± 40V; Coupling AC / DC; Refresh rate 200 FPS*.” At this time, it’s a gleam in the designer’s eye so who knows […]