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A (mostly un-cohosted) podcast where we talk about progress - or lack thereof - of hobby-projects, mostly related to software, electronics or mechanical engineering.
Jan 17, 2021
episode 44: DMX512, ground reference and LED decoration stuff
Hi, and an extremely good 2021 to all of you. We start off this brand new year talking about some totally unrelated and slightly more related new year's resolutions, a miniscule car fix, and glueing with a 3D printing pen. All in not much more detail than stated here. Continuing on last episode's VGA generator board, I added a DMX512 interface as suggested by some people - thank you for the idea. I found Q Light Controller Plus (qlcplus) a nice and so far solid piece of software for controlling DMX devices from a laptop + USB/RS485 converter cable. A potential issue (or at least in my head) when making interlinked devices like these, is potentially different ground-potentials depending on which power outlets you use to power networked your device. (See what I did there?) We talk a bit about how to guesstimate the possible magnitude of this difference. Just for fun I made an xmas LED star-shaped decoration using an existing DIY LED driver board. Reuse everything, recycle success. Also, made a modular transparant acrylic home LED decoration: shine light into the edge of an engraved piece of acrylic. Of course there was failure, this time in the form of hygroscopic LEDs + laziness + oven = damage. Finally, I made a small power switch PCB, to be placed in between USB power source and USB device: automatically switch the device off when the environment goes dark. And remember: if YOU want to make this podcast suck less, please send comments, rants, complaints, threats and/or praise. :-) Relevant links: * Generic info on stray garbage and some cleanup initiatives (or Dutch version). * Q Light Controller Plus : software for controlling DMX512 devices. * The USB-to-RS485 cable I happen to use: USB-RS485-WE. * Video of DMX512 VGA generator in action * Tweet (*sigh*...) of star-shaped LED xmas decoration. * Another tweet (*groan*...) of engraved acrylic LED decoration. Pics of things talked about: DMX512 VGA generator boards. Engraved acrylic LED decoration PCB in action. ...in its base, open... ...and closed up. LDR USB power switch board... ...and schematic.
Nov 1, 2020
episode 43: DMM probes, laundry fix and light-hangout
Welcome to a pretty boring episode - just as you're used to by now! Prepare yourself for epic or less epic talk about a mains test jig that proved very useful, some awesome Probe Master DMM probes well worth the money, and both me and occasional cohost Domen fixing household stuff, and the subtle psychology of starting a repair. Homebrew-wise, the only thing I made was a smooth green LED under-plant decoration. For fun, I visited an informal light-art hangout and talked about adding DMX512 to my VGA generator board. Relevant links: * a potato quality animated GIF of the green plant-decoration LED thing (on Twitter) * the Probe Master DMM probes that I got - they are excellent * Wikipedia's entry on DMX512 stage-gear control network Pics of things discussed: The test-jig from episode 41. Clumsily made LED strip using paper, glue and cursewords... ...and a simple PWM/MOSFET driver to control 3 such strips. Let there be Light, and let there be a Plant! Domen's epic Fireplace Fix: worn out film cap.
Aug 11, 2020
episode 42: exploding cap, 3D-printing and planet decoration
The thrilling tale of 4 months of doing pretty much nothing interesting is coming to a podcast near you today! After hearing about the hilarious exploding electrolytic, we continue with some lame or slightly-less-lame tools one can just buy off-the-shelf: using H-field probes for injecting magnetic fields into a PCB, the Aim-TTi I-prober 520 for measuring magnetic fields and current, and a simple but superhandy USB power meter. (I guess it's just a matter of time before all this deteriorates into an unboxing-podcast...) Various IRL events were canceled, so a YT livestream from a friend of mine got me thinking about 3D printing again. I settled on using a commercial 3D printing-service instead of DIY, and that suits me fine for now. This episode lists some criteria that may help you trying to decide between using a printing-service or getting your own printer, and if so, which printing-method suits you best. Lo and behold, I actually made something as well: a LED planet decoration thing using 3D printed "planet" and acrylic rings around it, that light up when LEDs shine onto them. For simulating visual effects, I tried and liked the Cairo 2D graphics library (for C). Links in order of appearance: * product page about Beehive EMC probes * Aim-TTi I-prober 520: product page and reviews on EEVblog or Mike's Electric Stuff (YT) * one minute of PCB reflow inside my vapour phase oven And some fluffy pics: QCAD: 2D cross section of planet decoration's "planet sphere". The shape itself, and dimensions therein ("A", "B" etc.) can be read and used by OpenSCAD (3D) for extrusion. Pretty cool. OpenSCAD: extruded 3D shape, resulting from rotating the 2D cross section 360 degrees. A transparent engraved disk of acrylic fits between the 2 halves of the sphere. Planet decoration in action. (laptop shown, to get an impression of the size of the decoration) A piece of LEDstrip sitting snugly inside the bottom half of the planet-sphere in the center, shining outwards into the transparent acrylic sheet. LED driver, old board with flaws... ...and new version, with fewer flaws. You DESERVE one of these if you make USB-powered crap. Shoot your zapper at uranus! A dirty mind is a joy forever, and so is having a NES.
Apr 12, 2020
episode 41: oversized test-jig, spiky LED ball and knowing your equipment
In this time of global turmoil, the CBA Podcast once again proves to be your one-stop source of distraction and meh-grade information. We start off by a quick list of how to keep busy in a sort of useful way, followed by a short talk about a 230 Vac test-jig and designing for test-jig repairability. Already mentioned in a previous episode, I finally got around to building a digital driver box consisting of push/pull FET and open-drain drivers for a low-voltage digital input-signal. And that's not the only thing that got finished: I also got around to make mechanics and software for a spiky icicle LED ball decoration thing, which worked out quite well. A fuzzy talk about getting to know your electronics equipment more intimately concludes this episode. If you are looking for useful things to do there, perhaps this is worth a shot. Relevant links: * the ongoing RetroChallenge 2020/04 lasts until May, and is now hosted by Mark Sherman * please leave 5G towers alone, and instead read Wikipedia's article on wireless device radiation and health * some podcasts I listen(ed) to, in random order: * Eaten By A Grue (Carrington Vanston & Kevin Savetz), about Infocom text adventures (even if you never play(ed) those, like myself) * DoubleTake (Carrington Vanston & Shari Creamer), where 2 people review 1 mystery movie each * Henry & Heidi Podcast (Henry Rollins & Heidi May), true stories from the past. Most have to do with music/punkrock, but probably accessible if you're not 100% into that. * SledgeCast (Gerry something and Iain something), talking about "Sledge Hammer!" TV-episodes, one each episode. I binge-listened to these while driving to Hannover and back. * The Amp Hour (Dave Jones & Chris Gammell), about electronic engineering. Occasionally have interviews that go off on a tangent, which I like. * Rationally Speaking (Julia Galef), about the borderlands between reason and nonsense (unquote). For some reason I can't listen to this while driving, but while walking on a treadmill everything's fine. Go figure. * Damn Interesting Podcasts (Alan Bellows), true stories, told in fitting atmosphere. Creepy. Weird. * Retro Computing Roundtable (Paul Hagstrom, Earl Evans, Carrington Vanston, Michael Mulhern, etc etc) about retrocomputing * Welcome to Night Vale (Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor and others), imaginary weird reports about an imaginary desert town. Recommended to me, I like it, haven't heard more than the first few episodes, and as with Rationally Speaking, I can't seem to listen to this while driving. :-) * Joe Rogan Experience (Joe Rogan and guests). Sit down for an hour or two to get to hear about people you might not even have considered otherwise. Or skip to the next episode, of course. * You Don't Know Flack (Rob O'Hara), telling stories about his own life. This guy can really tell a story, very funny and entertaining, even if you're not really into the subject at hand. * Multiple Sadness (Rob O'Hara), about B-movies that are so bad they're good. Very funny and entertaining. * video of my LED icicle spike ball decoration on YT * video of Pintek DP-25 differential probe weirdness on YT Some pics of the things mentioned in this episode: 230 Vac test-jig, using DIN-rail components and a big block of MDF wood digital driver/amplifier box, innards LED icicle ball, innards. The small PCB is an AVR micro and 2 16-channel constant current LED-drivers. painted with acrylic paint and spraypaint. Should probably just have 3D-printed this in the first place... LED icicle ball, full brightness, sitting on desk
Mar 5, 2020
episode 40: xmas smoothness, deadlifts and resistive load
Welcome to the first and so far best episode of 2020, the third year of this podcast. Thanks for sticking around and making this happen, or alternatively, thanks for just tuning in - hope you like it. After a quick word on hot glue applied to mains wires, yours truly talks about being surprised by a SOT23 500V constant current driver (BPS BP9918C) in an LED lightbulb. Super-exciting, all of this. A cheap RGB LED strip decoration revealed a 5-24V LED driver (Greeled Electronic Ltd SM16703P) as higher voltage drop-in replacement for e.g. WS2811. Apparently not all christmas magic is done with those newfangled LED things - oldskool still has its place in an incandescent light decoration with smooooth ramp up/down effect. Perhaps being of more practical use, we talk about how the body converts food energy into mechanical energy, and show that exercising for the sake of losing weight is not the best approach. #spoiler Projects I actually worked on or even - *gasp* - completed, are a double pole mains switch, an ongoing hack including driver board for an LED icicle decoration, and a big clunky resistive load that also turns out to be inductive. (Turns. Windings. Inductive. Get it?) Links to relevant stuff (links to datasheets are probably volatile): * BPS BP9918C datasheet (SOT23 constant current 500 V LED driver) * Greeled Electronic Ltd SM16703P datasheet (3x 5-24V PWM serial constant current LED controller) * article on energy needed for some weightlifting exercises by John Garhammer * Wikipedia's Food Energy page Pic of hot glue ghetto-enclosure: BPS BP9918C example circuit: Double pole mains switch: 32-channel LED driver board (30x30 mm): Resistive load:
Nov 11, 2019
episode 39: crossing borders, intensity curves and anti-theft socks
4.5 months is still not enough to make you forget this podcast, is it? (And also, sorry about the long gap.) Another mixed bag as usual. 2 meetups with the CBA Quality Team for some Quality Time. Eindhoven Hackerspace Hackalot moved to a new location, and I put some LED decorative stuff there, making use of a light intensity curve for a better visual result. Furthermore, a trip down memory lane with an old elevator mock-up project, tests with 2 potting-materials, a hot glue meltdown, and taking a look inside an older anti-theft clothes tag. * video of Weekend Of Science (Weekend van de Wetenschap) solder-yourself kit * video of LED-effect at Hackalot hackerspace (Eindhoven, NL) * video of an old elevator mock-up project * random info about perceived vs measured light intensity * the polyurethane potting compound I used for waterproofing * RetroChallenge 2019/10 Inside the anti-theft tag: At the bottom right is the mechanical lock. A pin is locked inside the brass-coloured cylinder by metal balls. Applying magnetic force will unlock it (although I didn't try here). No RFID with this one, just an LC tank circuit. I think these were similar tags they already used when I was a tiny kid.
Jun 24, 2019
episode 38: LEDstrip fun, rand, and voltage drops
Hi there! Thanks for tuning in (or reading this text and then deciding not to tune in at all). Another episode with a mixed bag of semi-interesting topics. Thanks for the feedback - the inter-segment jingle will be a bit less loud from now on. Poor ears. We start off by counting pass & fail on this year's new year's resolutions, followed by mentioning a small inline PCB for driving LED-strips and so on. The PCB was used for 2 light effects so far - links to videos of both are given below. Ran into a "gotcha" when dealing with LED-effects: intelligent LEDs stuck in "full brightness" mode, causing the supply to shit itself and the system to become unresponsive. (Quickfix: small delay between boot and start-of-effect at power-on.) For the LED-effects, I measured rand() execution times (avr-gcc, avr-libc, ATmega168 @ 8 MHz) and was pleasantly surprised by its speed and predictability. Will use again. Finally, some fuzzy guesstimates / measurements about what kind of voltage drop to expect when running current through long cables. Relevant links: * video of wallclock with WS2812 strip at home * ...and one of a coffee table at Hackalot (Eindhoven, NL) * Maker Faire Eindhoven on 28 & 29 September. Applications run (for now) until 31 July. Snapshot of my inline PCB:
Jun 3, 2019
episode 37: past events, lasercutting and fear of breaking the rope
You thought that we finally learned from our mistakes and abandoned this podcast, and you thought wrong. Once again it's time to lower your standards, and enjoy a new episode of the CBA Podcast. We start with some PCB failures and flaws, followed by a very brief review of the Hackalot lasercutter & vinylcutter workshop. We attended T-DOSE, which is a Dutch open source event hosted in Eindhoven. Then for something slightly out of the ordinary, we talk about back-of-envelope calculations about whether a climbing-rope can actually break if I fall. (Spoiler alert: it cannot.) Some clarifications and errata about this climbing-rope segment: To calculate maximum force on the rope, I used the harmonic oscillator formula given here , where the actual force is calculated from fall factor, mass of object, but also the rope's rated impact force. (I forgot to mention that). Also, I made an error: I mentioned a maximum actual force of approximately 85% the rope's rated impact force, but this is in fact less than 70% - nice. For those special people who like this: standard EN 892 deals with dynamic ropes like the one discussed, and EN12277 deals with harnesses ("belts"). My harness is tested with a sustained load of 15 kN. The type of carabiner I use is rated for 27 kN load. Finally, some relevant links: * Hackalot (Eindhoven, NL) where a lasercutter and vinylcutter live * T-DOSE Open Source Software event (Eindhoven, NL) * Wikipedia: fall factor and dynamic rope * Neoliet indoor sportclimbing (Eindhoven, NL)
Apr 29, 2019
episode 36: triple screw-up, LED lamp biopsy and bodyfat measurement
After more than 1 month of laziness, let's kickstart this episode with some failures and apologies. Next up is a summary of Hackalot's part in the Open Hackerspace Day 2019, and a teardown of a cheap and somewhat boring Aldi 230 Vac LED lamp. Finally, some very-voodoo and somewhat-less-voodoo methods of measuring the percentage of bodyfat in humans are briefly discussed. Links to topics discussed: * RetroChallenge RC2019/03 * Hackalot hackerspace in Eindhoven participated in International Open Hackerspaces Day (Dutch) * generic Wikipedia info on bodyfat percentage and ways to measure/guesstimate it * Eleshop organises a Rigol Experience Day (Dutch), 28 May * HCC!Retro meeting (Dutch), 25 May * Maker Faire Berlin, 18/19 May Here's the front and back (or back and front) of the 230 Vac Aldi LED-bulb's PCB: ...and here's what a scraped-off LED looks like under the hood: You saw it here first, folks.
Mar 21, 2019
episode 35: home sensors, disco LED hack and airplanes
After 5 weeks or so, we're finally back! You'd think this episode is filled with 5 weeks worth of exciting techie stuff, but don't get your hopes up yet. Because it's not. Domen joins in to talk about his experiments with home automation, and a sowing exhibition lacking electronics and software. Furthermore, we talk about a disco LED box hack, and briefly list the difference between WS2812 and WS2813 intelligent LED. Relevant links: * push sensordata to cloud for visualisation and retrieval: * simple (free, up to 10 sensors, 1 datapoint/minute, 1 month history): * https://io.adafruit.com/ * https://pushdata.io/ * https://thingspeak.com/ * more advanced, for sensors and actuators, with more complex config: * https://www.home-assistant.io/ * Maker Faire Ruhr (Dortmund, Germany), 23 and 24 March * RetroChallenge 2019/03 Screenshot of temperature monitoring in action (from https://io.adafruit.com/): Some pics of the disco LED box hack (take out innards, glue WS2812 strip into a matrix shape, and insert at back wall of box): (video would be nice, but is not yet done - remember, we're lazy around here.)
Feb 12, 2019
episode 34: Rust, coroutines and cohosting
Finally, the "we" in announcements doesn't just mean the royal we / majestic plural, but there's an actual co-host! Introduction is in the audio contents, so I guess you'll just have to listen. We talk about first contact with the Rust programming language, coroutines for implementing lightweight tasks/threads, various smaller topics and some upcoming events. Links: * Rust programming language: * Discover the world of microcontrollers through Rust! * The Embedded Rust Book * LLVM Intermediate representation * Coroutines / protothreads: * Coroutines and simpler protothreads for building stackless cooperative tasks * Protothreads under the hood: Duff's device or GCC's computed goto * convoluted example: 6502 asm + Tcl = protothreads * short video of VGA generator board in action * RetroChallenge 2019/03 (whole month of March) is open * Maker Faire Ruhr (DASA, Dortmund, DE): 23+24 March * HCC!retro meeting (Bilthoven, NL): 16 March Here's a code snippet hope…
Jan 20, 2019
episode 33: new year's resolutions, SD-card interfacing and programming-meeting
HNY2019! Not a whole lot of stuff to talk about, so this is quite a short episode. You're welcome. After some fluffy and unrelated list of New Year's Resolutions, we talk about progress for a decorative VGA generator device w.r.t. mechanics and software. I had never been to the monthly HCC!programmeren meeting, so let's talk a bit about that a bit as well, and about ways to stimulate collaboration within a group of likeminded people. Bonus Funfact: I tried to destroy the Bluetooth interface of a headphone I bought last time, and now I'm happy I failed - BT is perhaps nice after all. VGA generator device with "enclosure", front and back: Nicely aligned batch of these:
Dec 9, 2018
episode 32: a lying oscilloscope, TV repair attitude and VGA generation
Apologies for the apparently low volume and low tone of voice - I think someone might have been tired. This episode discusses ongoing PCB failures, oscilloscope overdrive recovery, a BT-enabled headphone that would just keep connecting, some local events (GLOW, Awesome Space repair day, and the HCC Retro quarterly meeting). Finally, an experiment gone out of control resulted in a small PCB for generating colour effects for 4 connected VGA monitors. Ruby is used as "effect description language". Links: * EEVblog forum post on oscilloscope overdrive recovery * video 1, video 2 and video 3 of my VGA generator board * an older QuickStart page I made about using the NetPBM family of human-writable bitmap formats * the GLOW festival (light-themed, annual, Eindhoven, NL) * Awesome Space retro place (Utrecht, NL) * HCC Retro interessegroep / division (Bilthoven, NL) * HCC Robotica interessegroep / division (page in Dutch, Amersfoort, NL) * RobotMC.be robot-related group (pa…
Nov 2, 2018
episode 31: one year anniversary, RC2018/09 results, FPGA and Forth
Yay, after one year we're still polluting the virtual airwaves, so let's review the last year of podcasting (only takes about 8 minutes - don't cry). RetroChallenge RC2018/09 has finished, so we take a look at its winners and honourable mentions. Minor topics include a Hackalot visit, USB nullmodem hack, breadboard fail and fried scope probe clip. I briefly tried to generate a VGA image from software, but why not do it using an FPGA next time? Following convo deals with my initial experience with the Lattice ICEstick (iCE40HX1K) FPGA devboard, supported by a completely open toolchain (Yosys, Arachne-PNR, IceStorm). The J1(a) CPU is a small Forth-aimed CPU in Verilog, which leads yours truly into the weird and wonderful world of the Forth programming language. * RetroChallenge 2018/09 contestants and final results * Hackalot hackspace (.nl, text in Dutch) * iCE40 FPGA: * Lattice iCEstick USB FPGA devboard (iCE40HX1K) * Yosys RTL synthesis tool for Xilinx 7 and Lattice iCE4…
Oct 10, 2018
episode 30: social stuff, Ruby and a USB logic analyser
Lots of little topics this time, woven together by clever commentary. That's CBA Podcast for you. In the spotlight this time: a shout-out to the Quality Team behind this podcast, impressions from the recent Eindhoven Maker Faire, HCC Retro and Bonami Homecomputer visits, a look back at the current (finished?) RetroChallenge, how to learn Ruby, a DIY portable voltage-reference, the Open Bench Logic Sniffer USB logic analyser, and fun with my angle grinder. Relevant links to the above: * HCC Retro division meetings in Bilthoven, NL (page in Dutch) * Bonami SpelComputer Museum in Zwolle, NL (page in Dutch) * RetroChallenge, and my entry for that * Rubylearning.com: a readable Ruby tutorial * Ruby-doc.org core API reference * Open Bench Logic Sniffer USB logic analyser * Rigol DS6000-DK demo board for testing scopes/analysers * PulseView GUI for this and other capture-devices (manual) * Trotec PAGS 10-125 angle grinder (roarrrrrrr!!!) Small DIY USB dual voltage refer…
Sep 21, 2018
episode 29: feedback, cleaning PCBs, scripting again
You can, of course, send feedback to the show using the email-adress listed at the top of the page. Today's episode briefly touches on PCB-cleaning, meta- and actual work for the RetroChallenge 2018/09, scripting-languages (again - a never-ending story), and upcoming local events. Relevant links: * RetroChallenge 2018/09 * Electrolube SWAS flux-cleaner * small Aoyue 9050 ultrasonic cleaner * a video about the Qibec CPU LOL-edition * HCC Retro division meeting: 22 September, Bilthoven (NL) * Maker Faire Eindhoven (NL), 29-30 September * The Overkill festival, Enschede (NL) - when..? Add a date plz.
Sep 6, 2018
episode 28: EMFcamp review, mini-CPU and more PCB-fail
Just back from the ElectroMagnetic Fields (EMF) camp in the UK, so there's a little review of that. Furthermore, we talk about a LED-strip decoration, badge-sized mini-version of an 1-bit CPU, PCB-failures (and successes!), the upcoming RetroChallenge and my entry for that, and 2 small talks I can now get nervous about. Links and shownotes: * Electromagnetic Field camp (pics/videos available from link somewhere on that page) * RetroChallenge September 2018 and my entry for that * HCC (Hobby Computer Club), Retro division LED-strip decoration for EMFcamp and driver: LED-strip in action (sorry, no video): Minimal version of Qibec 1-bit CPU (now with 1-bit LOL-addressbus too):
Aug 18, 2018
episode 27: new TS100-tip, MP3-player innards and controlling a WS2811 LED-strip
Recorded from my cellphone + external mic this time, so feedback w.r.t. sound-quality (or anything else!) is welcome, as usual. This episode is about getting a new solder-iron tip for the TS100 iron, progress for hand-milling PCB's, a look inside a small MP3-player, and looking at how WS281x works and how to control it. Links: * Miniware TS100 soldering iron and included TS-B2 conical tip vs nicer TS-C4 tip * WS2811 datasheet @ Adafruit My hacked driver (ATmega164):
Jul 29, 2018
episode 26: DIN-rail prototyping, coffee-machine revisited and another zap
To counter the evil midsummer heat, we bring you another cool and refreshing episode. Topics include a 45 Vdc SMD LED, DIN-rail prototyping, reconsidering the workings of a previously disassembled coffee-machine, getting zapped by a vintage coffee-grinder, and an unused yet brand new angle-grinder. Also, I am currently too lazy to make show-notes.
Jul 4, 2018
episode 25: zapped by cap, maze-generation and counting steps
This time, we explore the wonderful world of being zapped by a high(ish) voltage electrolytic cap, some maze-generation algorithms in a nutshell, disassembling a simple step-counter, and starting a scootmobile with a magnet-key.
Jun 16, 2018
episode 24: laundry-machine valve, engraving PCBs, and DPS5005 enclosure
No idea how this episode got so long... Featured(tm): reselling my HP3455A DMM to the person I bought it from, a meeting of the HCC computer-club (.nl) Retro-section, reverse-engineering a overflow-valve for a laundry-machine, making quick electronics-prototypes by manually engraving copper-clad PCB, and making an enclosure for the DPS5005 power-supply module. Links: * the HCC computer-club (.nl) and their Retro-section * Awesome Space in Utrecht (.nl) * a video about quickly prototyping electronics by manual milling of copper-clad PCB * DPS5005 power-supply module * CSDb-entries for cartridge-adapter demos (click "Attract-screen for...") * Hackalot hackerspace in Eindhoven (.nl) * INDIGO indie-game event in Utrecht (.nl) * IFComp interactive fiction competition Here's the overflow-valve and a schematic: ...and the DPS5005 in its smudgy anti-theft enclosure:
May 26, 2018
episode 23: sounding dumb, TS100 and bootloaderless programming
Quite a long episode this time - hope it doesn't bore you too much. Topics include the ability to ask silly questions and do silly things, sharing a serial link to an AVR between programming and debugging without bootloader, the portable TS100 soldering-iron, interesting game-console candidates, and past and upcoming events. Links: * YouTube-video of old vs new Qibec CPU * Miniware TS100 soldering-iron * DPS5005 DC/DC power-supply module * ASxxxx Cross Assemblers * BASIC 10-liner contest * HCC Computer Club: Retro-devision (NL, Dutch) * INDIGO indie game festival (NL, Utrecht, June 29)
May 11, 2018
episode 22: software-development on retro-computers, toaster-disassembly and workshop-equipment usefulness
This episode talks about what happened to my RetroChallenge RC2018/04 project, software-development for yesterday's computers, the last Hackalot-meeting, components with crappy documentation, disassembling a toaster with actual electronics inside, and the usefulness of various engineering-tools found in my workplace. Links: * Hackalot - upcoming hackerspace in Eindhoven (NL) * the RetroChallenge-event... * ...and my project for that * fancy JBC CLMS-A soldering tip cleaner
Apr 28, 2018
episode 21: finishing up RC2018/04, scripting, and finding a new home-computer
This episode wraps up my (hobby)work for the RetroChallenge 2018/04, and talks about a favourite scripting-language or the lack thereof, the use of SD-cards, finding a new pet (or PET..?) homecomputer/console, and NE555-sound. Relevant links: * RetroChallenge * ...and my Bait-a-Cart project for that * ...and some videos of that project (YT playlist) * Electromagnetic Field camp * Outline demo-party --- The hot-glued Bait-a-Cart adapter at the end of the project: In action, displaying a C64-intro hosted on the cartridge-adapter's internal flash: The NE555 sound-setup (schematic is literally 2 NE555s in cascade, used in astable mode straight from the datasheet):
Apr 15, 2018
episode 20: vintage AC PSU, RetroChallenge and disassembling a coffee-machine
Made it to episode 20, and it's still a lot of fun - I hope the feeling is mutual. :-) Topics of interest: a bit of background about this podcast itself, playing around with a vintage Luctor N.V. Multiset AC power-supply, last weeks' effort for the RetroChallenge 2018/04, disassembling a coffee-machine and the upcoming Vintage Computer Festival Europe (VCFe). Relevant links: * upcoming Hackalot hackerspace in Eindhoven (NL) * RetroChallenge 2018, April (RC2018/04)... * ...and my project for that * Vintage Computer Festival Europe (VCFe), Muenchen --- RC2018/04 project status, showing C64, Bait-a-Cart cartridge-adapter and existing ROM-cartridge in action, along with the small 2nd hand TV: --- The Luctor N.V. Multiset AC power-supply: --- Pics of the coffee-machine's thermostat before and after destruction:
Apr 8, 2018
episode 19: hand-held scopes, disassembling scales, and a digital probe
(First of all, apologies for the many "uhhh"s and "ummm"s you can hear - no idea what was going on there. Edited out a lot, and next time it should be better.) Topics this time are my effort so far for the RetroChallenge 2018/04 (25% in), a short and biased discussion of some available handheld oscilloscopes, disassembling consumer-scales to see what was going on inside, hacking together a small digital probe to distinguish high/low/floating pins, and blowing a fuse while poking at electronics. --- Links/show-notes, in that order: * my effort this week for the RetroChallenge 2018/04 (April) * some portable scopes: * the ones I used: * Velleman HPS140i (1-channel) * Velleman WFS210 (WiFi, 2-channel) * Seeedstudio DSO Nano v1 (1-channel) * nice but starting from approx EUR 400: * Owon HDS series * Micsig tBook series * Siglent SHS series * PC-based: * Owon VDS series * LabNation SmartScope (software any good..?) * Awesome Space retro-place (Utrecht, N…
Mar 31, 2018
episode 18: low-current LED, IFComp-effort and toaster-autopsy
This episode covers one more PCB-failure (see previous episode for more fail), a LED that would still emit light at a rediculously low current, shortcomings of DIY lasercut stencils from a previous episode, my entry for the upcoming IFComp, disassembly of an old bread-toaster, the RC2018/04 Retro Challenge which will start tomorrow, and some more upcoming events. * IFComp - Interactive Fiction Competition * Retro Challenge RC2018/04 in April... * ...and my entry for the RC2018/04 * Outline demo-party (10-13 May) * Hackalot: upcoming hackerspace in NL For the upcoming IFComp, I want to make an interactive cassette-tape, where the tape-reel is replaced by software driving a magnetic element to emit sound/speech, where the user interacts with the game by pressing fast-forward/rewind/play/stop on the tape-player. The project will thus consist of a reworked cassette-tape adapter (fitted with electronics) implementing an adventure-game. Let's create the actual game within the IF…
Mar 17, 2018
episode 17: connecting stuff, PCB-failure countdown and fixing a microphone/headphone
Only a short time between the last episode and this one, so I didn't do a whole lot of stuff: spent 1 day volunteering at a local Home Computer Museum, decided on a project for the upcoming Retro Challenge 2018/04, went through all PCB-design I've ever made and made a list of common failures, and fixed a headphone with built-in microphone (that is, removed the microphone-part). * HomeComputerMuseum (Helmond, NL) * Retro Challenge 2018/04... * ...and my entry for that * IFcomp: interactive fiction competition Here's a pic of the microphone/pushbutton thing on the mentioned headphone, with a circuit of what's actually going on: (the cap is probably a 22 nF one though... Just blindly copied what the meter told me :-)
Mar 12, 2018
episode 16: Maker Faire project (again), upcoming stuff and Maker Faires in general
Maker Faire Ruhr (Dortmund, .de) came and went, so this is the last time you'll hear about my project for that - finally. Apart from that, this episode is about hot air soldering and upcoming events, local and remote, on- and offline. * recent Maker Faire Ruhr (2018-03-10 & -11) * IFcomp (submission for entries starts on June 1st) * Retro Challenge (in April) * HomeComputerMuseum (Helmond, .nl) opens on March 17th * my Maker Faire entry: Qibec 1-bit 1-instruction transistor-CPU * Hackalot hackerspace (Eindhoven, .nl) * Electromagnetic Fields camp (Aug/Sept, England) * Mithotronic's LEDmePlay game-platform * Vintage Computer Festival Europe 19.0 (Muenchen, .de, end of April) Some pics of my Maker Faire Ruhr project:
Feb 25, 2018
episode 15: quickfixing/ignoring weird electrical problems and working on my CPU-project
Not much diversity this time - just doing my best to get ready for Maker Faire Ruhr (Dortmund) on March 10-11. The idea is to bring 2 versions of my CPU-project: the old one (with emulated RAM/ROM on a laptop connected to it), and the new stand-alone one (with RAM/ROM onboard). About 2 weeks to get everything ready, so yeah. Undoing hack (diode between Vcc and 74LVC06) on CPU's I/O-module: New CPU-baseboard: Links of mentioned items: * Gigatron TTL microcomputer * Hackalot hackerspace (Eindhoven, NL) * HomeComputerMuseum (Helmond, NL) * Qibec 1-bit 1-instruction transistor-CPU
Feb 7, 2018
episode 14: shift-registers, latch-up hunting and simulating small circuits
It's been more than "approximately a week", but instead of keeping to a preset schedule, we choose to bring you only QUALITY CONTENT! Just kidding. This time, I'll talk a bit about choosing shift-registers instead of a big fat MCU, hunting what may be latch-up in my logic-boards, simulating electronic (sub)circuits using SPICE or QUCS, a repair-session at retro-computing place in mid NL, and some non-tech hobby stuff. * simulation using Qucs... * ...or Ngspice (or any other SPICE incarnation/front-end) * a short SPICE3 hacking primer I wrote a while ago (manually type subcircuits and run them through e.g. Ngspice) * basic info on latch-up * Maker Faire Ruhr (Dortmund) in March 2018
Jan 16, 2018
episode 13: scope segmented memory, DIY lasercut stencils, and floating reset-pin
Another cohostless(tm) episode, talking about assembling and debugging a digital logic PCB using the Rigol DS1054Z's segmented memory ("waveform recording"), the need for an actual logic analyser, possible clipping of silkscreen layer when having PCBs made, DIY PCB-stencils using lasercut removable label-sheets, the Gigatron homebrew TTL-computer, and dual fail getting a LED-driver to work and actually making planned software. * Rigol (DS)1000Z series scopes * Gigatron TTL microcomputer * RevSpace (Leidschendam, NL) Qibec CPU's new multiplexer-board (now with fancy shiny LEDs): DIY PCB-stencil with/without camera-flash, applied paste, and after soldering: Clipped silkscreen (left/right = pre-rendering vs actual PCB):
Jan 7, 2018
episode 12: test-lasercutting acrylic, Flashing Light Prize 2018, and motor-innards
This time, the whole CBA Podcast team talks about ongoing redesign for the Qibec CPU (preparation for Maker Faire Ruhr 2018), lasercutting lightpipes and bendable mesh-zones out of acrylic for doing tests, my Flashing Light Prize 2018 entry, the surprising (to me) AH276 Hall sensor / motor coil driver, and a not-too-productive gear-fixing session. * Qibec 1-bit 1-instruction transistor-CPU * Flashing Light Prize 2018 * ...and my entry for that * AH276 datasheet * ...and a small circuit I made with that * one of the many Atari VCS AV output descriptions Qibec's old (left) and new (right, still unpopulated) multiplexer I/O-boards: Lasercut acrylic with mesh-pattern to make a bendable zone. (This one could do 45 degrees, and not much more...) I didn't actually come up with this pattern myself - just stole it off the Internet. :-)
Dec 31, 2017
episode 11: grinders, layout-fail and lasercutting/milling acrylic
We talk - again - about angle-grinders, PCB-layout failure because of hasty decisions, and lasercutting vs milling acrylic sheets, in no detail whatsoever. Happy 2018! :-)
Dec 28, 2017
episode 10: digital latch-board, interactive tape-adventure and upcoming competitions
Holiday-chat about progress with my Maker Faire Dortmund project, experiments for a possible UV LED project, ideas for an interactive cassette-tape adventure-game, the Retro Challenge, and the Outline and X demo-parties in the Netherlands.
Dec 18, 2017
Episode 9: Maker Faire project, PCB-manufacturers and Piotr's Arduino Holiday Gift
Another Remi/Han/solo episode this time, where I talk about a small success with iTunes podcast-registration, Maker Faire Dortmund / Ruhr (Germany) and my project for that, the great effort of mounting 4 power-resistors to a metal plate, cheap/fast PCB-manufacturing, and finally Piotr's Holiday Gift to me - an Arduino Nano and its bootloader.
Dec 6, 2017
Episode 8: iTunes, Maker Faires, and slow digital signals
This time, we (or rather I) talk about trouble registering this podcast with iTunes, past and upcoming Maker Faires around the Netherlands, EMF camp in the UK, a resistive 230 Vac load - for the last time, a DIY box to show/control slow digital signals, and an idea for an upcoming project consisting of several types of digital drivers/output in parallel.
Nov 26, 2017
Episode 7: C64, stumbling-blocks and reasons for making stuff, and a LED-banner board
We push the boundaries of lameness by having a solo-episode, where Michai talks about what he did this week, and Piotr is being emulated here and there by modern technology. The aforementioned Commodore 64 adapter-cartridge reached mild failure, short mentioning of stumbling-blocks and reasons for making stuff at all, a bit more info about my DIY resistive 230 Vac load slowly getting ready, a report about fixing a C64, and recycling an old LED banner-board from a store I once worked in.
Nov 18, 2017
Episode 6: welding, grinding and equipment that can catch fire
This exciting episode, we talk about Piotr's welding, angle-grinders, Michai's kettle-alarm and resistive test-load, and equipment that can catch fire.
Nov 10, 2017
Episode 5: SPI-fail, generous holiday-gifts and more
This episode, we talk about Michai's SPI-bridge fail-project, the Bus Pirate, Arduino-connection 101, USB-connectors, and Piotr's Arduino Nano Holiday Gift.
Nov 3, 2017
Episode 4: hot air soldering, Arduino-robot, and motors
We talk about hot air soldering and being scared to break anything, hobby vapour-phase oven, an Arduino-robot as entry into electronics and software, and (lack of clue about) DC-motors.
Oct 27, 2017
Episode 3: workspaces, homecomputer-troubleshooting, and how to blow up electronics
This time, we talk about workspaces near or in the house, homecomputer-fixing and -troubleshooting, the importance of a correct schematic, and how to blow up electronics.
Oct 21, 2017
Episode 2: home-computers, welding, slippery salesmen, science behind metal-working
We talk about planning to fix home-computers, the anatomy of a weldine-machine, being cheated in the computer-store, and the science and skills behind metal-working. Note: the sound-quality is worse than it should be. We're still experimenting and trying. Eventually it will be OK, so don't cry :-)
Oct 17, 2017
Episode 1: first co-hosted attempt
This time, we'll be talking about equipment that gives ideas, long-term investments, a TV-antenna, chiptunes, and a homecomputer-adapter.
Oct 16, 2017
Episode 0: introduction
The very first episode, where you can hear what to expect in future episodes.