The votes are in, dear readers, and you’ve spoken loud and clear: from our original 23 finalists, your votes have boiled it down to five well-deserved winners who’ve clearly put time, effort, thought, determination, and old-fashioned elbow grease into their designs for gracing the metal back of Amazon’s 6-inch Kindle.
So what happens next? We’ll be working with winners and coordinating with the good folks at Adafruit Industries to turn these designs into reality thanks to some insanely high-powered precision lasers — picture that scene in Goldfinger where the film’s namesake tries to cut 007 in half to get an idea of just how high-powered we’re talking about here — and rest assured, we’ll be posting plenty of pictures as they come out of the workshop! Follow the break for the lucky five (presented in order with the most votes first).
A huge word of thanks to Amazon, Adafruit Industries, everyone who submitted entries, and the voters who figured out where these Kindles belong!
Many designers are familiar with open-source software, such as Linux, in which the source code is available to all. However, fewer are familiar with organizations offering open-source hardware. These organizations release free information, including schematics, BOM (bill-of-materials) information, and PCB (printed-circuit-board)-layout data, covering the overall hardware design. Designers with this information can build or add to a freely available design. In many cases, open-source software supports the original design, providing additional advantages. Some aspects of open-source hardware go beyond the sharing of the design itself. These aspects can save time and money for not only hardware developers but also PCB designers and fabricators, contract manufacturers, and even software developers.
Cool glowing blue tube with 8 digits and alarm on/off dot
Alarm with volume adjust
Precision watch crystal keeps time with under 20ppm (0.0002%) error (< 2 seconds a day). Pretty much every time-keeping clock in your house runs on 20ppm (or so) crystals. if you look on your computer motherboard you'll see one there.
Clear acrylic enclosure protects clock from you and you from clock
Battery backup will let the clock keep the time for up to 2 weeks without power
Selectable 12h or 24h display
Displays day and date on button press
10 minute snooze
Integrated boost converter so it can run off of standard DC wall adapters, works in any country regardless of mains power
Great for desk or night table use, the clock measures 4.9″ x 2.9″ x 1.3″ (12.5cm x 7.4cm x 3.3cm)
Completely open source hardware and software, ready to be hacked and modded!
Complete kit comes with a 110/220V 9VDC power supply for use worldwide, all components including PCB, vacuum fluorescent tube, backup battery and a clear acrylic enclosure. Assembly is required! This kit is made of through-hole components but is best built by someone with previous soldering experience as there are many parts and steps.
For assembly instructions, user manual, code, schematics, and more, please visit the Ice Tube Clock webpage!There is also a design document describing the hardware, which is worth checking out as there are a few cool hacks involved in this design. One is an onboard open-loop boost converter that uses a microcontroller PWM pin to generate 60VDC to light the tube. Another is code for a microcontroller-only low-power RTC that runs at only 50uA without the need of an external RTC chip.
The Entropy Key, or eKey, is a small, unobtrusive and easily installed USB stick that generates high-quality random numbers, or entropy, which can improve the performance, security and reliability of servers. It can also be used with scientific, gambling and lottery applications, or anywhere where good random numbers are needed. It has been developed by UK-based Simtec Electronics, a design consultancy and manufacturing partner with 20 years of experience in designing and building high-speed, high-performance electronics with a speciality in embedded ARM-based designs. It is currently undergoing testing with the help of selected customers.
The eKey contains two high-quality quantum noise generators, and an ARM Cortex CPU that actively measures, checks and confirms all generated random numbers, before encrypting them and sending them to the server. It also actively detects attempts to corrupt or sway the device. It aims towards FIPS-140-2 Level 3 compliance with some elements of Level 4, including tamper-evidence, tamper-proofing, role-based authentication, and environmental attacks. If it detects that one of its two generators has failed, may be about to fail, or if it detects a physical attack, it will automatically shut down.
This month’s ware is a user-submitted ware. This ware doesn’t quite qualify as a “production” ware but it does qualify as a very interesting ware, partially because of its vintage and its relative sophistication. I’d be surprised if anyone out there could exactly identify what this ware is, but I’m thinking someone out there can at least name the general function and origin of this ware…when I name the winner I’ll post some interesting details about the ware!
Special thanks to all the folks who came out for the weekly chat (Saturday, 10pm ET) – metrics about, the times are in Pacific, we are on each week Saturday at 10pm ET. See you next week! Stay tuned to our site for announcements, topics and special discounts!
Wiseduino is an Arduino-compatible microcontroller board, which includes a DS1307 real time clock (RTC) with backup battery, a EEPROM chip and a connector for XBee adapter for wireless communication. Wiseduino is completely compatible with the Arduino project software and IDE, and also pin compatible with the existing shields.
This is the Maple prototype, our first version of an Arduino-compatible board with an STM32 ARM Cortex-M3 processor. We’re chomping at the bits to release it as soon as we tie up a couple loose ends to make it what we think it should be. We’ve ported all the Arduino language and are modifying the Arduino environment so that everything works how it should. Notice that Maple does not have an FTDI chip, so serial communication works through a USB Virtual COM Port that’s implemented on the STM32, so it may even be slightly easier to setup than Arduino boards because FTDI drivers aren’t required, and the drivers for the Virtual COM Port are probably already on your Mac or Linux machine; for Windows, you’ll just use the driver that we include with the software download.
We’re also extending the Arduino language to allow users to do things with the STM32 that the Atmega chips cannot do such as easy setting up of different types of USB devices (HID for crazy mouses, mass storage, or full speed USB 2.0 data transfer) and other communication protocols (USART, SPI, I2C, I2S, CAN), providing higher bandwidth capabilities.
PIR sensors allow you to sense motion, almost always used to detect whether a human has moved in or out of the sensors range. They are small, inexpensive, low-power, easy to use and don’t wear out. For that reason they are commonly found in appliances and gadgets used in homes or businesses. They are often referred to as PIR, “Passive Infrared”, “Pyroelectric”, or “IR motion” sensors.
PIRs are basically made of a pyroelectric sensor (which you can see above as the round metal can with a rectangular crystal in the center), which can detect levels of infrared radiation. Everything emits some low level radiation, and the hotter something is, the more radiation is emitted. The sensor in a motion detector is actually split in two halves. The reason for that is that we are looking to detect motion (change) not average IR levels. The two halves are wired up so that they cancel each other out. If one half sees more or less IR radiation than the other, the output will swing high or low.
Along with the pyroelectic sensor is a bunch of supporting circuitry, resistors and capacitors. It seems that most small hobbyist sensors use the (BISS0001 (“Micro Power PIR Motion Detector IC”), undoubtedly a very inexpensive chip. This chip takes the output of the sensor and does some minor processing on it to emit a digital output pulse from the analog sensor.
For many basic projects or products that need to detect when a person has left or entered the area, or has approached, PIR sensors are great. They are low power and low cost, pretty rugged, have a wide lens range, and are easy to interface with. Note that PIRs won’t tell you how many people are around or how close they are to the sensor, the lens is often fixed to a certain sweep and distance (although it can be hacked somewhere) and they are also sometimes set off by housepets. Experimentation is key!
Alan Kay presenting Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad, one of most influencial programs in the history of graphical user interfaces. Sutherland developed Sketchpad in 1963. This video was extracted taken from a longer one (here)…
I recently started using an Arduino in combination with a SheevaPlug as a convenient platform for hardware hacking. The two work together well, with complementary strengths. This describes my experience.