This weekend PMF and I cleaned an IBM 129 Card Data Recorder and were able to fairly reliably punch cards once we were done. When we started it would frequently jam during feeding, mis-feed during the punch, and not cleanly stack the cards in the output bin.
Most of the problem was thirty years of dust, card fiber and grime built up in the mechanisms. The output hopper was full of it and needed a good cleaning to reliably pick up cards into the output stack:
Adam and I upgraded Hexascroller to control 5 m of Adafruit RGB LED strip through a spare serial port connected to a Teensy 2.0 that drives the strip via SPI. Now when a new message is displayed, the accent lights switch to a bright flashing mode to attract attention, then they will return to soothing, slow color changing mode.
Click the “Read more” to see additional photos of the installation and setup.
Using Darrel Tan’s Programming the ATTiny10 instructions and a SOT-23 breakout board by Raphael, I was able to flash one of these very small MCU chips. Given the small package, these programmable devices can be dropped just about anywhere on a circuit that a transistor would be used.
Unlike Tan, my FTDI breakout cable does not have DTR, so the reset pin on the chip needs to be pulled low manually to put it into programming mode, and the pinout adjusted. Full instructions after the break…
Have you ever wondered how to make sense of hexdumps?
e1a02000e5d00000 e3500000012fff1e e3a00000e2800001 e7d23000e3530000 1afffffbe12fff1e
If so, then you should sign up for the introduction to assembly programming and reverse engineering class. You can learn assembly programming and machine architecture using reverse engineering techniques on your own code. In this class we will write code, compile it into an executable and then disassemble it to learn about registers, stacks, branches, function calls and argument passing, structs and other common idioms.
Experience with any programming language is required; the examples in the class with be in C, with dissassembly into ARM assembly. Bring your own laptop with arm-elf-gcc and associated binutils installed to follow along.
Catarina helped me build a prototype of a “Nixie” tube illuminated with electroluminescent wire. Unfortunately the wires are too dense and too dim to work well with the ten layers of thickness, so the prototype is a beautiful failure. The number frames are based on Futura and cut on our Epilog laser using my opensource epilog driver. Side view and SVGs follow.
I’ve been inspired by the Lasersaur project to try building an XY table for laser cutting, Makerbotting, and light duty milling. The brackets, motor mounts and carriages are all 3D printed on NYCR’s Makerbot Thing-o-matic. Today I was able to put most of the pieces together for a dry fitting and found a few bugs — the carriages have too much play and will bind if pulled from the side, so the pull-pull belts will need to be moved to the inside of the rails, which will require all the carriages to be redesigned. The good news is that the printed teeth to engage the belt are well positioned to secure the belt under the rails without any additional hardware.
One of NYCR’s most popular weekly events is Lunar Laser Mondays using our Epilog mini-35 laser cutter. The only supported system is Windows with CorelDRAW and Epilog’s closed source driver, which doesn’t seem right for a hackerspace. Luckily, AS220 Labs has figured out how to talk to the Epilog using PJL. I’ve written a command line tool, epilog, that will translate the Postscript file into commands for the cutter.
We had an all-day / all-night LAN party at NYCR yesterday, with over a dozen players in ioquake3 on a mix of OS X, Linux, and Windows machines. There were lots of pizzas, highly caffeinated beverages and one combatant had a full-sized monitor for the extra old-school feel. Everyone was on the WiFi network (and the quake server was running in the router), so there were not any Ethernet cables, making it a WLAN Party instead.