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Open Hardware/Modding Projects

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Hardware
  • ANAVI Gardening uHAT adds soil and other sensors to Raspberry Pi (Crowdfunding) - CNX Software

    We’ve been covering and reviewing ANAVI open-source hardware boards for several years now, either standalone boards based on ESP8266, or add-on boards for Raspberry Pi.

    The ANAVI Gardening uHAT is the latest board from Leon Anavi. It is a micro HAT designed for Raspberry Pi Zero to Raspberry Pi 4 SBCs that offers interfaces for soil sensors and other environmental sensors allowing measurements of soil moisture, atmospheric pressure and humidity, temperature with a waterproof sensor, and light intensity for gardening applications.

  • ZB-GW03 ESP32-based Ethernet Zigbee gateway works with Tasmota firmware - CNX Software

    ZB-GW03 is an Ethernet Zigbee Gateway compatible with eWelink mobile app and with a design similar to SONOFF ZBBridge gateway but replacing ESP8266 SoC by ESP32 SoC, and adding an Ethernet port.

    The ZB-GW03 gateway is apparently based on the same Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 Zigbee Arm Cortex-M33 chip and has been hacked to run Tasmota open-source software for people preferring more flexibility and/or integration with OpenHAB or Home Assistant open-source home automation frameworks via Zigbee2MQTT.

  • Arduino Orchestra Plays The Planets Suite | Hackaday

    We’ve seen a great many Arduino synthesizer projects over the years. We love to see a single Arduino bleeping out some monophonic notes. From there, many hackers catch the bug and the sky is truly the limit. [Kevin] is one such hacker who now has an Arduino orchestra capable of playing all seven movements of Gustav Holst’s Planets Suite.

    The performers are not human beings with expensive instruments, but simple microcontrollers running code hewn by [Kevin’s] own fingertips. The full orchestra consists of 11 Arduino Nanos, 6 Arduino Unos, 1 Arduino Pro Mini, 1 Adafruit Feather 32u4, and finally, a Raspberry Pi.

  • 3D Printed Research Robotics Platform Runs Remotely | Hackaday

    By patching Ubuntu Linux, and enabling preemptive multitasking for real-time scheduling, as well as carefully selecting Wi-Fi drivers, it was possible to get raw packets out to robot in about 1 ms, enabling control loop bandwidths of around 1 Khz. And, that, was fast enough to run at least sixteen motors in parallel.

  • Automated Window Blinds Using MQTT And Home Assistant | Hackaday

    Finnish software engineer [Toni] is on a quest to modernize his 1991 house, and his latest project was to automate the window blinds and control them using Home Assistant. Unless your blinds have built-in motors, most of the effort of such a project centers around how to integrate and attach the motor — and as [Toni] points out, there are tons of different blinds with all kinds of operating mechanisms. But once you solve that issue, half the battle is over.

    These particular blinds require less than one turn of the control rod to go from fully open to fully closed, and [Toni] selects a 270-degree range-of-motion, 20 kg*cm torque servo motor to drive them. He really wanted to install the motor inside the window, but it just wouldn’t fit. Instead, each servo motor is mounted in a custom 3D-printed case installed on the window frame just below the operating rod. An ESP8266-based controller box is installed above the window, hidden behind curtains, and operates all three servos.

More in Tux Machines

Chrome and Mozilla: Privacy, Net Neutrality, and Firefox Changes

  • Google Just Gave You the Best Reason Yet to Finally Quit Using Chrome

    Ultimately, that change in the way Google is looking at Chrome--that it isn't a tool that serves its users, but is a tool that serves up users to advertisers, albeit in a slightly more privacy protective way--is a bad sign. It's also the best reason to finally ditch it altogether.

  • In California, an Important Victory for Net Neutrality

    Today, the Ninth Circuit court upheld California’s net neutrality law, affirming that California residents can continue to benefit from the fundamental safeguards of equal treatment and open access to the internet. This decision clears the way for states to enforce their own net neutrality laws, ensuring that consumers can freely access ideas and services without unnecessary roadblocks. Net neutrality matters, as much of our daily life is now online. It ensures that consumers are protected from ISPs blocking or throttling their access to websites, or creating fast lanes and slow lanes for popular services.

  • How to restore Firefox's classic download behavior

    Mozilla plans to change the download behavior of the Firefox web browser in Firefox 97; this guide helps restore the classic download functionality of the browser. Firefox users who download files currently get a download prompt when they do so. The prompt displays options to open the file using an application or save it to the local system. Starting in Firefox 97, Firefox is not displaying the prompt anymore by default.

This week in KDE: Getting Plasma 5.24 ready for release - Adventures in Linux and KDE

Plasma 5.24 is almost ready! I mentioned last week that I haven’t been posting about fixes for regressions in 5.24 that never got released, because there would be too many. Nonetheless people have been working very hard on this, and we’re down to only 7, with two of them having open merge requests! Working on those is appreciated, as it helps improve the stability of the final release in a week and a half. Read more

Open Hardware/Modding: Olimex, Arduino, and More

  • iMX8MPlus-SOM is alive and boots!

    This board development started in April 2021 and finished August 2021 but the semiconductor shortages didn’t allow us to test the prototypes until recently. We assembled 4 boards and all theyare alive and boot.

  • Arduino Portenta gets an LTE Cat. M1/NB IoT GNSS shield - CNX Software

    Arduino PRO Portenta family of industrial boards is getting a new LTE Cat. M1/NB-IoT GNSS shield that adds global connectivity and positioning capabilities through the Cinterion TX62-W LPWAN IoT module by Thales.

  • Long Range Burglar Alarm Relies On LoRa Modules | Hackaday

    [Elite Worm] had a problem; there had been two minor burglaries from a storage unit. The unit had thick concrete walls, cellular signal was poor down there, and permanent wiring wasn’t possible. He thus set about working on a burglar alarm that would fit his unique requirements. An ESP32 is the heart of the operation, paired with a long-range LoRa radio module running at 868 MHz. This lower frequency has much better penetration when it comes to thick walls compared to higher-frequency technologies like 4G, 5G or WiFi. With a little coil antenna sticking out the top of the 3D-printed enclosure, the device was readily able to communicate back to [Elite Worm] when the storage unit was accessed illegitimately.

You Should Be In Control of Your Tech

On the hardware front having control means hardware you can open and inspect and is designed for repairability. That hardware should ideally run firmware (as much as possible) that is free software so you can also inspect and update it. If the hardware provides security features, they should be designed to put you in control, not the vendor, including control of any keys. The hardware should not require the vendor’s signatures (and therefore their permission) to boot an operating system, but instead should let you boot into whatever operating system you prefer. The operating system and the software it runs, should all be free software. Free software by its very nature puts you in full control. You have control because you can not only inspect the software to see what it does, you (or someone else in the community with software development knowledge) can change the software if it operates outside your interests. You may have noticed that you don’t tend to have a lot of adware or spyware in the free software world. That’s because it’s difficult to hide spyware inside of code that anyone can inspect. Another reason is that if free software behaves in a way that runs counter to the user’s wishes (such as capturing and selling their data, or popping up unwanted ads), the user (or someone else in the community) could simply create a legitimate fork of the project with those objectionable bits removed. Read more