Spark Some New Interests with Maker Shed Gifts!

Oh, so getting the defusable alarm clock!


Turning A Pi Into An iBeacon

Raspberry pi coming to the world of iBeacon.



Nowadays, if you want to ‘check in with Foursquare’ at your local laundromat, deli, or gas station, you need to take out your phone and manually ‘check in with Foursquare’. It’s like we’re living in the stone age. iBeacon, Apple’s NFC competitor that operates over Bluetooth 4.0 changes all that. iBeacon can automatically notify both iOS and Android users of where they are. [Kevin Townsend] over at Adafruit came up with a tutorial that turns a Raspberry Pi into an iBeacon, perfect for telling you that you’re somewhere in the proximity of a Raspberry Pi, and some other cool stuff too.

The iBeacon protocol is actually very simple. Basically, the only thing the iBeacon transmits is a 128-bit company/entity value, and an optional major and minor values (to differentiate between locations and nodes within locations, respectively). After plugging in a Bluetooth 4.0 USB dongle into the Pi, it’s a simple…

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Reverse Engineering the Sony Ericsson Vivaz High Resolution 640 x 360 Cellphone LCD

Oh it is so shiny – it draws you in.


In our opinion, reverse engineering may be one of the best ways to tease your brain. [Andy] just did that by reverse engineering the Sony Ericsson Vivaz high resolution LCD (cached copy here). In his (very) nicely written article, [Andy] explains all the steps that led him to the result shown in the picture above. He started by finding the repair manual of the Vivaz, to discover that the display could be interfaced with 8080 type parallel signals. That meant that he could use a standard microcontroller without high speed buses to interface with it, in this case the STM32F4. Next in his adventure, [Andy] ordered the appropriate connector and took a more educated guess for the onboard microcontroller. A long Google search brought up the R61523 from Renesas. So he designed his breakout board, got it produced and a few hours later a nice picture was being shown…

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Plotterbot Hangs on your Wall to Work

Great stuff!



Looking for a fun and easy to do project to begin your foray into the fun-filled world of Arduinos? How about your very own drawing robot, aptly named, the Plotterbot!

We first heard word of this project when [Jay] submitted a giant plotted version of the Hack A Day logo for our Trinket contest, and we liked the Plotterbot so much we had to give it a featured article!

It’s a very simple design that uses an Arduino, 2 stepper motors, a servo motor (for pen lifting), some fishing line and various odds and ends you can probably find around the house. Realistically it will cost around $100 to build, but if you can salvage some parts from an old printer or scanner, even less!

[Jay] is currently releasing a series of detailed posts on his blog explaining the process of building one, but if you’re excited to start…

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Why You Shouldn’t Care About The All-Metal 3D Printed Gun


Solid Concepts, one of the world’s largest rapid prototyping outfits, just printed a gun. Unlike previous 3D printed guns like the Liberator, this 3D printed version of an M1911 is made out of metal. It’s a real gun, with rifling in the barrel – something the Liberator doesn’t have – and has the look and feel of what the US military has been using as a service pistol for decades.

The Solid Concepts 1911 was made using the selective laser sintering process, using a combination of stainless steel and nickel-chromium alloys. Every single part of the gun, save for the spring, was 3D printed without any machining. It’s an impressive feat of rapid manufacturing – firing .45 ACP rounds, this gun will see 20,000 psi every time the gun is fired. It’s already chewed through a few magazines so far, and it apparently shoots pretty well, to boot.

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Arduino powered laser cutter – home version

Thanks Hackaday and Instructibles for brining this to light! Brilliant project –


To keep the design simple, [SilverJimmy] opted for a fixed cutting table, which meant moving the cutting head and the X-Axis as a unit along the Y-Axis. The solution was to take inspiration from gantry cranes. He snagged a couple of stepper motors with threaded shafts, designed the parts in Inkscape, then fired up his full-size cutter to carve out the pieces. An Arduino Uno and the relays for the laser and fans sit on the MicroSlice’s bottom platform, and two EasyDriver motor controllers sit above them on the next layer.

Swing by the Instructables for more details including the source code, and to see a video of the engraver below. [SilverJimmy] sourced his laser from eBay, but check out the engraver from earlier this year that used a DVD diode.


A13-OLinuXino has been featured in EDN: Top Single Board Computers for under $100

Good collection of board under $100



Yesterday, we noticed this article in EDN.

I have to say that this is a well-written and very accurate article, which uses the proper terminology unlike the bombastic article posted by Linux.com a few weeks ago, which was named “Top 10 Open Source Linux Boards Under $200” and 7 out of 10 boards quoted inside this article were not Open Source Hardware at all but closed source.

This often causes confusion – people assume that if a board runs Linux, it is open source but this is not the case. If this were true, I should call my laptop, which runs Ubuntu, Open Source Laptop which is obviously incorrect!

There is a very clear definition as to what Open Source Hardware is.

Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or…

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Dance of the X-rays / Space Science

Dance of the X Rays

From the ESA Image of the Day – this is a truly remarkable image. Taken from the ESA XMM-Newton Space Telescope, as it shifts its gaze from one X Ray object to another – it shows some notable celestial objects. Its a mosaic of 73,178 individual images adjusted for the Galactic projection/ plane lying across the centre of the image.

Bright object on the right: Vela supernova, 150 x larger than a full moon. On the left is Cygnus Loop, an expanding shock wave caused by a star ending in a supernova <15k years ago. At the centre is Scorpius X-1 – the first object/source to be discovered through X-Rays alone, at 9000 light years from the Earth and is the strongest source of X-Rays apart from our own Sun. My eyesight fails me to recognise the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds – dwarf galaxies neighbours within the Milky Way.

This image covers 62% of the sky and these 1200 individual slews were recorded just between 2011-12. Links to the ever expanding database from XMM-Newton at:

Dance of the X-rays / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA.

via Dance of the X-rays / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA.


WICED™ | Broadcom

Must look closely at the Broadcom Wireless Internet connectivity for embedded devices –

Broadcom’s Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED™) platform (pronounced “wik-id”) eases development effort and simplifies the implementation of Internet connectivity in an array of consumer devices, especially those without existing support for networking.

Developers use the WICED platform to create secure wireless networking applications on a wide array of platforms encompassing Broadcom wireless connectivity technologies. The WICED platform encompasses.

WICED™ | Broadcom.

via WICED™ | Broadcom.