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{ Category Archives } kit building and hardware hacking

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 […]

1700’s tech: A piano story

It may not have been crafting nanocircuits on silicon but innovation and craftsmanship have legs in history. Here’s a good story of that: What Does the World Oldest Surviving Piano Sound Like?: Watch Pianist Give a Performance on a 1720 Cristofori Piano. Imagine your favorite works for the piano—the delicate and haunting, the thundering and […]

Computers, microcontrollers, cost points, features

I see Seeed Studio has a special on a Raspberry Pi 7″ Touchscreen Display for $60. Add $40 for the SBC and another $10 for a case and memory and on down the line and you’ve got to wonder about cost effectiveness. You can get a ready to run 7″ tablet for under $50 and […]

Raspberries

Recently, Amazon had a Vilros ultimate Rasperry Pi 3 kit on sale. That was an opportunity. The kit included a Pi SBC, case, power supply, NOOB on a 32 GB card, HDMI cable, heat sinks, and some breakout and prototyping items. I don’t see this SBC as a hardware hacker’s best choice or even an […]

RTL SDR reference

The Hobbyist’s Guide to the RTL-SDR: Really Cheap Software Defined Radio (affiliate link) by Mr. Carl Laufer is a compendium and compilation that makes it a good reference and an eye opener about what you can do with the inexpensive TV dongles based on the RTL2832U for modern short wave listening. One aspect is software […]