Posts with «contest» label

Hackaday Links: September 8, 2019

We start this week with very sad news indeed. You may have heard about the horrific fire on the dive boat Conception off Santa Cruz Island last week, which claimed 33 lives. Sadly, we lost one of our own in the tragedy: Dan Garcia, author of the wildly popular FastLED library. Dan, 46, was an Apple engineer who lived in Berkley; his partner Yulia Krashennaya died with him. Our community owes Dan a lot for the work he put into FastLED over the last seven years, as many an addressable LED is being driven by his code today. Maybe this would be a good chance to build a project that uses FastLED and add a little light to the world, courtesy of Dan.

In happier news, the biggest party of the hardware hacking year is rapidly approaching. That’s right, the 2019 Hackaday Superconference will be upon us before you know it. Rumor has it that there aren’t that many tickets left, and we haven’t even announced the slate of talks yet. That’s likely to clean out the remaining stock pretty darn quickly. Are you seriously prepared to miss this? It seems like a big mistake to us, so why don’t you hop over and secure your spot before you’re crying into your Club-Mate and wondering what all the cool kids will be doing in November.

Of course one of the highlights of Superconference is the announcement of the Hackaday Prize winner. And while we naturally think our Prize is the best contest, that doesn’t mean there aren’t others worth entering. MyMiniFactory, the online 3D-printing community, is currently running a “Design with Arduino” competition that should be right up the alley of Hackaday readers. The goal is simple: submit a 3D-printed design that incorporates Arduino or other electronics. That’s it! Entries are accepted through September 16, so you’ve still got plenty of time.

Sometimes you see something that just floors you. Check out this tiny ESP32 board. It doesn’t just plug into a USB port – it fits completely inside a standard USB Type A jack. The four-layer board sports an ESP32, FTDI chip, voltage regulator, an LED and a ceramic antenna for WiFi and Bluetooth. Why would you want such a thing? Why wouldn’t you! The board is coming soon on CrowdSupply, so we hope to see projects using this start showing up in the tipline soon.

Here’s a “why didn’t I think of that?” bench tip that just struck us as brilliant. Ever had to probe a board to trace signal paths? It’s a common enough task for reverse engineering and repairs, but with increasingly dense boards, probing a massive number of traces is just too much of a chore. Hackaday superfriend Mike Harrison from “mikeselectricstuff” makes the chore easier with a brush made from fine stainless wires crimped into a ring terminal. Attached to one probe of a multimeter, the brush covers much more of the board at a time, finding the general area where your trace of interest ends up. Once you’re in the neighborhood you can drop back to probing one pad at a time. Genius! We’d imagine a decent brush could also be made from a bit of coax braid too.

Another shop tip to wrap up this week, this one for woodworkers and metalworkers alike. Raw materials are expensive, and getting the most bang for your buck is often a matter of carefully laying out parts on sheet goods to minimize waste. Doing this manually can be a real test of your spatial relations skills, so why not automate it with this cut list optimizer? The app will overlay parts onto user-defined rectangles and snuggle them together to minimize waste. The program takes any units, can account for material lost to kerfs, and will even respect grain direction if needed. It’s built for wood, but it should prove useful for sheet metal on a plasma cutter, acrylic on a laser, or even PCBs on a panel.

Engadget giveaway: Win an mCookie Family Kit courtesy of Microduino!

Getting your STEM skills up to speed is now easier than ever with Microduino's mCookie. These Arduino-compatible electronics kits make building mini machines a snap -- literally -- with magnetic connectors and interlocking pins that match up with LEGO blocks. The mCookie family of DIY modules, sensors and accessories was Kickstarted back in 2015 and began shipping to consumers at the end of the year. Now anyone can pick up one of the various kits (Basic, Advanced or Expert) and assemble projects like a music box, voice-activated camera, paw-waving fortune cat and more. Microduino also offers additional components to expand the possibilities to keep pace with your imagination. This week, one lucky reader will win a Family Kit (including all three mCookie sets) to launch your smart-machine-making career. Just head down to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning.

Engadget giveaway: Win an mCookie Family Kit courtesy of Microduino!

Getting your STEM skills up to speed is now easier than ever with Microduino's mCookie. These Arduino-compatible electronics kits make building mini machines a snap -- literally -- with magnetic connectors and interlocking pins that match up with LEGO blocks. The mCookie family of DIY modules, sensors and accessories was Kickstarted back in 2015 and began shipping to consumers at the end of the year. Now anyone can pick up one of the various kits (Basic, Advanced or Expert) and assemble projects like a music box, voice-activated camera, paw-waving fortune cat and more. Microduino also offers additional components to expand the possibilities to keep pace with your imagination. This week, one lucky reader will win a Family Kit (including all three mCookie sets) to launch their smart-machine-making career. Just head down to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning.

Winner: Congratulations to Robin B. of Chico, CA!

Engadget giveaway: Win a pair of Vortex robots courtesy of DFRobot!

Since most kids have already mastered the art of iPad password cracking and in-app purchasing, we should probably give them something productive to do. The arduino-based Vortex from DFRobot is a STEM-reinforcing plaything that can help kids learn to code. It comes with preinstalled programs, so you can have fun racing, bumping and spinning right out of the box, but the variations are endless. Open-source hardware and the WhenDo app's graphical programming interface mean the sky's the limit with Vortex. These little bots are laden with proximity and ground sensors, LEDs and speakers — not to mention all the add-ons — to help bring them to life. DFRobot has given us a pair of two-robot packs for a couple lucky Engadget readers this week. All you need to do is head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning this hackable robot duo.

Engadget giveaway: Win a pair of Vortex robots courtesy of DFRobot!

Since most kids have already mastered the art of iPad password cracking and in-app purchasing, we should probably give them something productive to do. The arduino-based Vortex from DFRobot is a STEM-reinforcing plaything that can help kids learn to code. It comes with preinstalled programs, so you can have fun racing, bumping and spinning right out of the box, but the variations are endless. Open-source hardware and the WhenDo app's graphical programming interface mean the sky's the limit with Vortex. These little bots are laden with proximity and ground sensors, LEDs and speakers — not to mention all the optional add-ons — to help bring them to life. DFRobot has given us a pair of two-robot packs for a couple lucky Engadget readers this week. All you need to do is head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning this hackable robot duo.

Ready, Set, Joust! Win a Robotics Starter Kit from Make: and RadioShack

Now is your chance to win a Make: it Robotics Starter Kit! Read more to learn how.

Read more on MAKE