I finally completed the free USB IR Toy v3 PCB I got over a year ago (May 2015) from Dangerous Prototypes.
It took so long because I had to order some of the parts from Digi-Key – and I wanted to wait until I’ve a longer list of parts to order.
I’ve used a PicKit 3 to program the PIC microcontroller. The trickiest part was finding the setting to power the USB IR Toy with the programmer. (I could have powered both devices via USB, but only had one appropriate cable at my hand at that time.)
So far I’ve only verified that the USB IR Toy is detected as serial device and shows its version number in a terminal window. It looks like the build was successful… 🙂
Today my kids impressed me by repurposing/hacking/misusing the toilet-occupied-light to send (morse-like) signals across a railway car. Their fingers were thin enough to press the micro-switches in the doors which normally would signal a locked door (i.e. occupied toilet). Not sure if someone noticed the strangely flashing lights… 😀
Last weekend I had to replace a 230 V fan (120 mm), a Sunon DP200A, that ‘smelled’ strange and also made strange noises. Better safe than sorry…
Well: I ordered a slightly less powerful Sunon DP201A (at Reichelt Elektronik) to replace the possibly dangerous fan. Although they look similar their connectors are completely different. So I’m now wondering if the first one (the DP200A) wasn’t an original fan at all…?
Half a year ago I’ve started to use KiCad for new PCB designs I’m working on. I already wanted to try out KiCad for quite some time. Its release 4.0 and the latest changes in EagleCAD (annoying ads and recently being bought by Autodesk) were enough pressure to switch. And what should I say: after dealing with the rather unhandy library management and some cryptic error messages I really now enjoy KiCads workflow.
This post is about my experience with the transition to KiCad as my new PCB designer. It is based on the newest version 4.0 of KiCad and its daily builds via the respective Ubuntu PPAs. Continue reading “I made it: I switched from Eagle to KiCad to make my PCB designs…”
Based on a recent Twitter conversation I had a thought about bank and credit card PIN numbers (sorry for the redundancy): are really all possible PINs issued or are some kept back because bank customers could feel uncomfortable with certain combinations of digits? And would it really matter if some of them were kept back?
It should be obvious that in case of a truly random PIN 4 identical digits are just as likely to occur as any other combination. But certain combinations just do not feel random (I don’t know how to explain it better, I’m not a psychologist).
So I’ve made a small Gedankenexperiment:
- Let’s assume that a bank issues by default a 4-digit PIN. (I know that my bank issues 4-digit PINs by default but they can be changed to any 4- to 6-digit number afterwards.)
- Customers would not accept a PIN with four identical digits (0000, 1111, …, 9999) out of fear that they might be insecure.
- An ATM allows 3 attempts to enter a PIN before locking/withholding a bank/credit card. (This limit is actually the main reason why 4-digit PINs are mostly safe, btw.)
Continue reading “What if certain PINs were not issued (e.g. a bank card PIN would not be completely random)?”
From time to time I have (and take) the chance to dumpster dive for electronic parts. Recently, on one of these occasions, an old piece of hardware felt into my hands: a “Moser Galvanosan” galvanic stimulator.
To be honest, I’ve had no idea what it was and at first I only thought it would be a nice case for another project I was working on. After some research (out of curiosity) I thought the device is interesting enough to take some photos of its interior and write about it.
Disclaimer: I’m totally not into alternative medicine or stimulation current therapy. I’m just taking an interesting looking piece of hardware apart, that’s all!
Continue reading “Dumpster Dive / Teardown: Moser Galvanosan Feinstromgerät / Galvanic Stimulator”
Well, today is the first Sunday of Advent… time to play around with my cutting machine. 😉
I got inspired by a post on Hackaday.com (on Laser-cut Gift Boxes). The post presents a really nice source for DXF files for various shapes for card stock boxes. Out of curiosity I simply ‘threw’ some of their design files at my electronic cutting machine. They might save me some time (gift wrap, you know). The result is a short video of the process, nothing special:
Continue reading “Just for Fun Video: Cutting Card Stock Boxes on my Electronic Cutting Machine”