Our first open source Homeland Security non-lethal weapon project – The “Do-it-yourself Handheld LED-Based Incapacitator: THE BEDAZZLER”. After attending a conference where the $1million “sea-sick flashlight” (THE DAZZLER) was demoed by Homeland Security, we decided to create an under $250 version and here are the source code, schematics and PCB files! This is not a kit – but it is an Arduino project! – the M4V is here for the podcast folks…
Update: We’ve included a transcript of the video for the hearing impaired and well, we think all videos should have transcripts. For transcripts we used 3Play Media. We uploaded the video, they transcribed it, we paid via paypal, all under a week and under $30 for two videos total.
Our weekly “Ask an engineer chat” is tonight 9/26/2009 – 10pm ET and we will have some special guests – EMSL (Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories) and Makerbot! We will be experimenting with doing our chat “LIVE” and mobile again!
Hi guys, Firstly I’m a Premier Farnell employee. I can say there are no plans to stop the EAGLE free version. In fact it’s been available to download from our element14 community site for over a month now http://www.element-14.com/community/docs/DOC-13200. There will be quite close integration with element14, and video tutorials posted for new users. Element14 could also be used to collaberate on designs. The two founders of the company will still be here for a period of time to help, and we are genuinely looking for feedback and comments from engineers to make CadSoft a better product. Any ideas, suggestions or other feedback can be posted here http://www.element-14.com/community/thread/1644 to talk to the guys behind the deal. Believe me, it’s in Farnell’s interest to have a better product with more users
Are we approaching “cloud computing” like all those IBM-HP-INTEL-Whateverz ads? Should we start to use web based compilers for microcontrollers? We were checking out “mbed – a $99 tool/board for Rapid Prototyping with Microcontrollers” the hardware looks great, the libraries look great, but we noticed that you do not actually get the compiler, instead you need to use their web based compiler. What if they go out of business or get sold, the site goes down or something else? Someone asked this question too – and here’s the response
You can export projects from the online compiler and store them locally if you wish. The mbed microcontroller is just an LPC1768/2368, so it would still be possible to build binaries for in the event that the online compiler was unavailable. Having said this, we’ve no plans on going out of business!
What do you folks think? Web based compliers, good idea? How much does the ARM RVDS 4 compiler cost now?
The core libraries are also free for commercial and non-commercial use, but are just supplied as compiled libraries; i.e. we wont be releasing the source yet – the main reason is we want to maintain responsibility for fixing and supporting them without fragmentation (fork is cheap!), and they aren’t quite right yet in terms of architecture.This will ensure the architecture ends up in the right place for the majority. The schematic should be available soon, but we won’t release the gerber for the core module (similar support/control reasons). Some of the baseboards we’ve done are there, and we will make sure it is clear they use the MIT license (or similar if there is something more appropriate for PCBs?) So a careful balance of open source and openness, based on what we think will help the project be successful, sustainable and supportable.
We’re still looking forward to the first fully open source ARM development system – firmware – hardware – software, are there any? So far only Arduino on the AVR side has managed to get 3 out of three… and likely why there are 100k units out there, yay OS tool chains.
Premier Farnell will market the CAD software through its element14 online community of development engineers. It also plans to extend the CAD software’s capabilities by linking it to their databases in a similar methodology to the DesignLink platform.
“The CadSoft Eagle CAD software extends our portfolio and gives us more tools to help our customers in their design process,” said David Shen, Global Head of eCommerce and Technical Marketing of Premier Farnell.
Along with the launch of DesignLink, which provides a link from CAD tools to product data on Farnell’s website, the acquisition of CadSoft indicates the distributor’s aim to support more of the design process.
The distributor could end up paying euros12m for CadSoft whose software is used by more than 40,000 electronic design engineers throughout the US and Europe.
The idea is to illuminate a piece of clear acrylic from the edge and etch the acrylic so that the light reflects forward showing the image. I planned to use the Epilog Laser Cutter at Techshop to etch the image into the acrylic. Since the light entering from the LEDs is the same intensity for all areas of the image, we need some means of getting multiple gradations of brightness. I’ve previously described methods for turning photos into half-tone images and that’s what I did here as well. I took a photo and turned it into a monochrome bitmap using a 45-degree linear halftone.
One important difference in this case is that we want to etch the acrylic where we want light to shine. The laser cutter acts like a printer, and etches wherever there are dark pixels in the halftone image. So dark pixels in the image equates to light shining in the final product, which means I needed to invert the colors in the halftone which is why the picture looks spooky.
Doing anything with the laser cutter starts with finding the magic combination of speed, power and resolution that will give the best results with the material you’re etching. After a few test runs I found settings that gave me reasonable results.
* Open-source hardware offers an advanced start on your design. * Open-source software complements open-source hardware. * Open-source hardware prepares your PCB (printed-circuit-board)-fabrication and -assembly houses for high-volume production. * You may want to share your improvements by making them open-source additions, as well.
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.
You can license open-source projects from organizations such as Creative Commons, which offers the Attribution-ShareAlike licensing program. Creative Commons stipulates that a user must attribute the open-source work in the manner that the original designer specifies but not in a way that indicates that the original designer endorses the user’s work. Likewise, if users provide that work as open-source hardware, releasing it back to the community for access by others, then they must provide that work under the same Attribution-ShareAlike licensing…
Adafruit will be at the Gizmodo gallery on September 23rd 12 to 8pm, we’re setting up a laser etching station for one day only, Phil Torrone (Adafruit, MAKE) along with Ryan Block (gdgt) and Adam Savage (Mythbusters) are curating some items at the gallery – and there’s also laser etching. We’ll have some templates and will measure items while there, but you can also bring your own stuff in—provided they meet the following guidelines:
First, your illustration must be a vector file. Not a bitmap. If you are not sure what this means, don’t bring it. We are only etching vector-based files.
Repeat, no photos or bitmaps.
Save your vector illustration in Adobe Illustrator format (again, no bitmaps saved inside. Just vector art).
Convert any fonts to curves, we do not have every font known to humankind, convert your font.
Make sure your illustration is adjusted to your hardware physical features. If you are bringing a metal MacBook, you can use the templates found here. We will etch Black Macs and computers, but not white – it just burns it yellow and burnty-looking.
We’ll be charging for etching this year as a fundraiser for charity. Laptops will cost $25 to etch and handheld gadgets will cost $5 a piece. The charity will be “Engineers without borders“.
Lastly, this is for fun – if you’re worried about voiding warranties or how it will look if something goes spectacularly wrong, don’t do it