Category Archives: hardware

DIY PC Test Bench Puts Hardware Troubleshooting Out in the Open

If you’ve built a few PCs, you know how frustrating troubleshooting can be. Finding a faulty component inside the cramped confines of a case can be painful — whether its literal when sharp edges draw blood, or just figurative when you have to open that cramped case multiple times to …read more

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Posted in hardware, pc, Test bed, test bench, tool hacks | Leave a comment

Taking a Peek Inside Amazon’s Latest Dot

Like a million or so other people, [Brian Dorey] picked up a third generation Echo Dot during Amazon’s big sale a couple weeks ago. Going for less than half its normal retail price, he figured it was the perfect time to explore Amazon’s voice assistant offerings. But the low price …read more

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Posted in amazon, android, echo, echo dot, hardware, mediatek, teardown, voice assistant | Leave a comment

A New KiCAD Tutorial Hits the Scene

KiCAD has a rightfully earned image problem regarding beginners. The shiny new version 5 has improved things (and we’re very excited for v6!) but the tool is a bit obtuse even when coming from a electronics design background, so we’re always excited to see new learning material. [Mike Watts] is …read more

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Posted in arm, ATSAMD, hardware, how-to, KiCAD, learning, Microcontrollers, tutorial | Leave a comment

High Precision Analog IO With Digital Pins

Reading the temperature of your environment is pretty easy right? A quick search suggests the utterly ubiquitous DHT11, which speaks a well documented protocol and has libraries for every conceivable microcontroller and platform. Plug that into your Arduino and boom, temperature (and humidity!) readings. But the simple solution doesn’t hit …read more

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Posted in adc resolution, analog, Arduino Hacks, hardware, Microcontrollers, sensing, temperature, thermistor, timer, timing, underwater sensor | Leave a comment

A Microwave Kiln, From Scratch

We are normally told that microwave ovens are strictly for food only, and that anything else will cause all sorts of bad things to come our way. There can be few readers who haven’t at some time seen the shower of sparks when an inadvertent metallic object finds its way …read more

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Posted in hardware, kiln, microwave kiln, silicon carbide, waterglass | Leave a comment

Use A Digital Key To Deter Lockpicking

Spending an hour or two around any consumer-level padlock or house deadbolt lock with a simple lockpicking kit will typically instil a good amount of panic and concern about security. While it’s true that any lock can be defeated, it’s almost comically easy to pick basic locks like this. So, …read more

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Posted in arduino, hardware, key, lock, security, security hacks, token, Two Factor | Leave a comment

Getting MIDI Under Control

When [Mr. Sobolak] started his DIY Midi Fighter he already had experience with the MIDI protocol, and because it is only natural once you have mastered something to expand on the success and build something more impressive, more useful, and more button-y. He is far from rare in this regard. …read more

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Posted in controller, hardware, how-to, midi, music, musical hacks, neopixel, neopixel ring, protocol | Leave a comment

New Part Day: Two Millimeter Addressable LEDs

The WS2812, or “Neopixels”, or whatever you want to call them, are the standard when it comes to adding blinky to anything. These chips are individually addressable RGB LEDs, which you’ve seen in many LED strips and a thousand other products. These LEDs are rather big compared to normal, dumb …read more

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Posted in hardware, led hacks, RGB LED, ws2812, WS2812-2020 | Leave a comment

Robot Harvesting Machine Is Tip Of The Agri-Tech Iceberg

Harvesting delicate fruit and vegetables with robots is hard, and increasingly us humans no longer want to do these jobs. The pressure to find engineering solutions is intense and more and more machines of different shapes and sizes have recently been emerging in an attempt to alleviate the problem. Additionally, …read more

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Posted in agri-tech, Engineering, hardware, harvesting, harvestor, lettuce, robot, robots hacks, ros, YOLO3 | Leave a comment

Safely Measuring Single And Three-Phase Power

There are many reasons why one would want to measure voltage and current in a project, some applications requiring one to measure mains and even three-phase voltage to analyze the characteristics of a device under test, or in a production environment. This led [Michael Klopfer] at the University of California, …read more

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Posted in arduino, energy measurement, hardware, power analysis | Leave a comment