Broadcast Engineer at BellMedia, Computer history buff, compulsive deprecated, disparate hardware hoarder, R/C, robots, arduino, RF, and everything in between.
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Hackaday Prize Entry: A PCB To Emulate Coin Cells

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The Coin Cell Emulator CR2016/CR2032 by [bobricius] homes in on a problem some hardware developers don’t realize they have: when working on hardware powered by the near-ubiquitous CR2016 or CR2032 format 3V coin cells, power can be a bit troublesome. Either the device is kept fed with coin cells as needed during development, or the developer installs some breakout wires to provide power from a more convenient source.

[bobricius]’s solution to all this is a small PCB designed to be inserted into most coin cell holders just like the cell itself. It integrates a micro USB connector with a 3V regulator for using USB as an external power source. The board also provides points for attaching alligator clips, should one wish to conveniently measure current consumption. It’s a tool with a purpose, and cleverly uses the physical shape of the PCB itself as an integral part of the function, much like another of [bobricius]’s projects: the Charlieplexed 7-segment LED display.


Filed under: The Hackaday Prize



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tekvax
2 hours ago
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cool idea!
Burlington, Ontario
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Fun-Size Geiger Counter Sits atop a 9-Volt Battery

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Want a little heads-up before walking into a potentially dangerous radioactive area? Sure, we all do. But the typical surplus Civil Defense Geiger counter is just too bulky to fit into the sleek, modern every-day carry of the smartphone age. So why not slim down your first line of defense against achieving mutant status with this tiny Geiger counter (Facebook)?

We jest about the use cases for a personal-sized Geiger counter, as [Ian King]’s inspiration for this miniaturized build was based more on a fascination with quantifying the unseen world around us. Details are thin in his post, but [Ian] kindly shared the backstory for this build with us. Working on a budget and mostly with spare parts, the big outlay in the BOM was $20 for a Soviet-era SBM-10 tube, itself a marvel of miniaturization. While waiting the two months needed for the tube to arrive, [Ian] whipped up a perf board circuit with a simple oscillator and a CFL transformer to provide the 400 volts needed for the tube. The whole circuit, complete with tiny speaker and an LED to indicate pulses, sits neatly on top of a 9-volt battery. The video below shows it in action with a test source.

Geiger counters are not exactly rare projects on Hackaday, and with good reason. Take a look at this no-solder scrap bin counter or this traveling GPS Geiger counter built dead-bug style.

Thanks to [Cyphixia] for spotting this one for us.


Filed under: misc hacks
MVI_5957






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tekvax
2 hours ago
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Burlington, Ontario
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Salvaging Your Way to a Working Tesla Model S for $6500

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If you possess modest technical abilities and the patience of a few dozen monks, with some skillful haggling you can land yourself some terrific bargains by salvaging and repairing. This is already a well-known ideology when it comes to sourcing things like electronic test gear, where for example a non working unit might be purchased from eBay and fixed for the price of a few passive components.

[Rich] from Car Guru has taken this to a whole new level by successfully salvaging a roadworthy Tesla Model S for $6500!

Sourcing and rebuilding a car is always a daunting project, in this case made even more challenging because the vehicle in subject is fairly recent, state of the art electric vehicle. The journey began by purchasing a black Tesla Model S, that [Rich] affectionately refers to as Delorean. This car had severe water damage rendering most of its electronics and mechanical fasteners unreliable, so [Rich’s] plan was to strip this car of all such parts, and sell what he could to recover the cost of his initial purchase. After selling the working modules of the otherwise drenched battery, motor and a few other bells and whistles his initial monetary investment was reduced to the mere investment of time.

With an essentially free but empty Tesla shell in his possession, [Rich] turned his attention to finding a suitable replacement for the insides. [Rich] mentions that Tesla refused to sell spare parts for such a project, so his only option was to purchase a few more wrecked vehicles. The most prominent of these wrecks was nicknamed Slim Shady. This one

The Donor

had an irreparable shell but with most electronics preserved, and would serve as the donation vehicle. After painstakingly transplanting all the required electronics and once again selling what he did not need, his net investment came to less than 10% of a new car!

Was all of the effort worth it? We certainly think it was! The car was deemed road worthy and even has functioning Super Charging capabilities which according to [Rich] are disabled by Tesla if such a Frankenstein build is detected.

At this point it would probably be instructive to ask [Rich] if he would do it again, but he is already at it, this time salvaging the faster self driving P86. We suggest you stay tuned.

[Thankyou to Enio Fernandes for sending in the tip]

You can do this with consumer electronics as well if you have the contacts, by sourcing and assembling your own iPhone.


Filed under: transportation hacks







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tekvax
17 hours ago
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Burlington, Ontario
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OptionsBleed – Apache bleeds in uncommon configuration

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[Hanno Böck] recently uncovered a vulnerability in Apache webserver, affecting Apache HTTP Server 2.2.x through 2.2.34 and 2.4.x through 2.4.27. This bug only affects Apache servers with a certain configuration in .htaccess file. Dubbed Optionsbleed, this vulnerability is a use after free error in Apache HTTP that causes a corrupted Allow header to be replied by the webserver in response to HTTP OPTIONS requests. This can leak pieces of arbitrary memory from the server process that may contain sensitive information. The memory pieces change after multiple requests, so for a vulnerable host an arbitrary number of memory chunks can be leaked.

Unlike the famous Heartbleed bug in the past, Optionsbleed leaks only small chunks of memory and more importantly only affects a small number of hosts by default. Nevertheless, shared hosting environments that allow for .htaccess file changes can be quite sensitive to it, as a rogue .htaccess file from one user can potentially bleed info for the whole server. Scanning the Alexa Top 1 Million revealed 466 hosts with corrupted Allow headers, so it seems the impact is not huge so far.

The bug appears if a webmaster tries to use the “Limit” directive with an invalid HTTP method. We decided to test this behaviour with a simple .htaccess file like this:

<Limit A>
 Allow from all
 </Limit>
 <Limit BB>
 Allow from all
 </Limit>
 <Limit CCC>
 Allow from all
 </Limit>

Soon enough, after a dozen of requests or so, the webserver replies clearly started to look very suspicious:

$ curl -sI -X OPTIONS http://10.9.0.1/index.html

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
 Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:03:59 GMT
 Server: Apache/2.4.7
 Allow: GET,HEAD,,allow,HEAD,,allow,HEAD,POST,OPTIONS,8���,HEAD,8����,HEAD,dex.html,HEAD, ���,HEAD, ����,HEAD,all,HEAD,,HEAD
 Content-Length: 0
 Content-Type: text/html

Apache web server users should check existing configuration files and update. Most distributions should have updated packages by now or very soon. A patch for Apache version 2.4 can be found here and for Apache 2.2 is available here. Webserver administrators of shared hosting environments, should try to update as soon as possible, as the greater risk is really in these scenarios, where one user can potentially affect everyone else.


Filed under: news, security hacks



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tekvax
1 day ago
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Burlington, Ontario
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Need a Night-Light?

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[Scott] created an LED candle in preparation for the big mac daddy storm (storms?) coming through.  Like millions of other people in Florida, he was stuck at home with his roommates when an oncoming hurricane headed their way.  Worrying about blundering about in the dark when the power inevitably went out, they set off to gather up all of the candles they had lying around.  Realizing the monstrous pile of candles and matches looked more and more like a death wish, the decision was made to create a makeshift light out of what components they had on hand.  Now, not having access to any outside sources for parts means that you are going to have a bare bones model.

That being said, this straightforward light only takes a couple of seconds to put together.  Jury rig a couple of AA or AAA batteries up, then slap on a resistor, LED, and jumper to get that sucker running.  Wrap electrical tape around the whole thing, or even try duct tape, whatever gets the job done.  A little paper hat on top of it will diffuse the light and bada bing, bada boom, you’re all done.  Generally though, soldering directly onto a battery is not a wise idea.  So, if you want to get fancy, perhaps a better alternative is to have a battery casing as shown below.

This LED candle is a clear option if your home isn’t a micro warehouse for electronic components (apparently it is frowned upon to clog up your garage for projects), and you have limited time.  However, if you have a number of extra minutes lying around before your windows blow in, see if you can top the brightest flashlight ever made (thus far). 

If you are lacking in some of the hardware used in either of these projects, just work with what you’ve got.  Here is another makeshift light that instead uses LED modules running from 12V DC power.  As long as you have a power source and LED of some sort, you can create light.  Half of the fun of being limited to working with random parts is figuring out what you can make with them.

Another notion of losing power that would make any sane person in this day and age flinch is the thought of their phone dying.  Portable battery packs are wonderful, but not everyone has one and we all know how easy it is to forget to make sure they’re charged up and ready for a disaster.  A handy way to get around this is by MacGyvering your own bad boy with a car USB charger, a pile of C cells, some paper clips, and tape.

Even the smallest of power outages can happen at any time, so it is better to be prepared than SOL.  What is your favorite emergency hack?

 


Filed under: led hacks, lifehacks









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tekvax
1 day ago
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Burlington, Ontario
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Think You Know Everything About Soldering?

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[Joshua] has frequent discussions about his soldering techniques with viewers of his YouTube channel. He finally decided to interview [Randy Rubinstein] who is the president of SRA Soldering. In nearly an hour, they talk about everything from solder alloys to proper temperature. They also talk about lead exposure, flux cleaning, and lead-free solder.

They also talk about strategies for rework with lead-free and using special solder for removing SMD components. Honestly, although the first frame of the video says “your solder sucks,” we didn’t really find any earth-shattering revelations about something everyone’s doing wrong. We did, however, find a lot of good advice and some interesting details about things like the uses for different solder alloys.

The interview focuses on soldering with a contact iron, although hot air is seeing more use among hobbyists. However, using a regular iron is still a basic and necessary skill, even if you won’t use it for every job if you have hot air or a reflow oven.

If you really want a soldering tutorial, the Pace one is an oldie but a goodie. We’ve also talked about soldering metallurgy before, if you want to learn more about it.


Filed under: tool hacks



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tekvax
7 days ago
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Burlington, Ontario
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