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Hardware

Open Hardware With Focus on Arduino

Filed under
Development
Hardware
  • Arduino Nicla Sense ME makes sense of the world | Arduino Blog

    Nicla is Arduino Pro’s new family of modular, intelligent products that are easy to use, versatile and accessible – whether you are an advanced user working on industrial applications or a budding maker looking to prototype your first intelligent solution. No wonder it’s named after the Greek word for “victory of the people!”

    To herald the range, we have just released the Nicla Sense ME: a tiny but mighty board, co-developed with Bosch Sensortec to enable sensing and intelligence on the edge. With low-power sensors, a high-performance processor and small footprint, it offers a winning combination that can answer our community’s and clients’ needs and open up to opportunities for infinite new solutions.

  • Captivating Clock Puts Endangered Displays On Display | Hackaday

    When you have a small stock of vacuum fluorescent displays (VFDs) straight out of the 1976 Radio Shack catalog, you might sit around wondering what to do with them. When [stepawayfromthegirls] found out that his stash of seven DT-1704A tubes may be the last in existence, there was no question. They must be displayed! [stepawayfromthegirls]’ mode of display is this captivating clock build. Four VFDs with their aqua colored elements are set against a black background in a bespoke wooden case. Looking under the hood, the beauty only increases.

  • The first Arduino Education Inspiration Lab

    Arduino Education is delighted to announce its very first Inspiration Lab, in partnership with Technobel in Belgium.

  • Open Source Autopilot For Cheap Trolling Motors

    Quiet electric trolling motors are great for gliding into your favorite fishing spot but require constant correction if wind and water currents are at play. As an alternative to expensive commercial GPS-guided trolling motors, [AlexAsplund] created Vanchor, an open source system for adding autopilot to a cheap trolling motor.

Meet the Marvelous Macro Music Maker

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Hardware

Do you kind of want a macropad, but aren’t sure that you would use it? Hackaday alum [Jeremy Cook] is now making and selling the JC Pro Macro on Tindie, which is exactly what it sounds like — a Pro Micro-based macro keypad with an OLED screen and a rotary encoder. In the video below, [Jeremy] shows how he made it into a music maker by adding a speaker and a small solenoid that does percussion, all while retaining the original macro pad functionality.

[Jeremy]’s original idea for a drum was to have a servo seesawing a chopstick back and forth on the table as one might nervously twiddle a pencil. That didn’t work out so well, so he switched to the solenoid and printed a thing to hold it upright, and we absolutely love it. The drum is controlled with the rotary encoder: push to turn the beat on or off and crank it to change the BPM.

To make it easier to connect up the solenoid and speaker, [Jeremy] had a little I²C helper board fabricated. There’s one SVG connection and another with power and ground swapped in the event it is needed. If you’re interested in the JC Pro Macro, you can pick it up in various forms over on Tindie. Of course, you might want to wait for version 2, which is coming to Kickstarter in October.

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NVIDIA Jetson Nano/Xavier NX carrier board offers 5 SATA, 6 CSI camera, dual GbE, and more

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Hardware

Leetop has introduced two carrier boards for NVIDIA Jetson Nano or Xavier NX modules, with Leetop A205 a full-featured carrier board offering five SATA ports, six MIPI CSI camera interfaces, an M.2 Key E slot, dual Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, dual HDMI output and more, as well as the more compact Leetop A203 about the size of the modules themselves and offering Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI output, USB 3.0/2.0 ports, a camera interface, and an M.2 slot for optional WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

We’ll focus on the former in this article, as it offers more features, and the smaller board provides less functionality than the NVIDIA Jetson Nano developer kit at a much higher price, although I understand it can still be useful for space-constrained applications.

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Also: Maxtang MTN-TL50 is a compact desktop with Intel Tiger Lake

Steam Deck: Shaping Up

Filed under
Hardware
Gaming
Gadgets
  • Steam Deck: Valve Confirms Multi-Boot Support and More in New FAQ

    While Valve has not been particularly tight-lipped about the upcoming Steam Deck hardware, there have still been plenty of questions left unanswered about it. Thankfully, there should now be fewer of those than before as the company has shared an official Steam Deck FAQ full of answers to questions from the community received via Reddit, Discord, Twitter, and -- as Valve states -- "straight up emails to Gabe."

  • Easy Anti-Cheat is now supported on macOS, Linux, and by extension, Steam Deck

    In a surprise announcement, Epic Games today revealed Linux and macOS support for Easy Anti-Cheat, the widely used cheat detection service for PC games. This service, which Epic made free earlier this year, is what's being used for catching cheaters in a substantial number of popular PC titles, including Apex Legends, Fortnite, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Hunt: Showdown, Gears 5, and others.

    There is even more good news for Linux gamers, as alongside native support for their preferred operating system, Epic has also implemented support for the Wine and Proton compatibility layers. "Starting with the latest SDK release, developers can activate anti-cheat support for Linux via Wine or Proton with just a few clicks in the Epic Online Services Developer Portal," adds the announcement.

  • Steam Deck Interface for Dev Kits Leak Out

    While there’s a lot of info known about Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck, prepare for more, as the Steam Deck interface for dev kits have leaked! This comes from an unnamed Chinese developer who apparently doesn’t care about NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements).

  • One of the Steam Deck’s biggest hurdles just disappeared: EAC has come to Linux

    Valve promised it would work with anti-cheat software makers EAC and BattlEye to ensure some of the most popular games will run on its upcoming Steam Deck Linux-based gaming handheld, and one of those companies is now officially on board — Epic Games announced today that its Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) now supports Linux and Mac. Not only that, it’s specifically set up to work with the Proton and Wine compatibility layers that Valve’s relying on to bring Windows games to the Deck.

    While developers would still need to patch their games, this immediately means some of the most popular games on Steam are now theoretically within reach, including Apex Legends, Dead by Daylight and War Thunder, which are all among the top 25 games on Steam. Other popular EAC games include 7 Days to Die, Fall Guys, Black Desert, Hunt: Showdown, Paladins, and the Halo Master Chief Collection.

Raspberry Pi mic array kit features AI enabled DSP

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Hardware

The “Knowles AISonic IA8201 Raspberry Pi Development Kit” is based on a homegrown IA8201 DSP with wake-on-voice processing for low latency voice UI and ML inferencing. The kit offers a choice of mic array boards with 2x or 3x mics.

Knowles, a leader in microphone and audio processing technology, has launched a development kit for the Raspberry Pi for prototyping products based on its new IA8201 DSP. The Knowles AISonic IA8201 Raspberry Pi Development Kit supports wake-on-voice processing for low latency voice UI with noise reduction, context awareness, and accelerated machine learning inferencing.

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AMD's Older Radeon GPUs Get Ray Tracing Support on Linux

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware

Sometimes new technologies can work on old hardware. Who needs one of the best graphics cards when you can just use older hardware? This week enthusiasts working on Mesa, an open source implementation of OpenGL and Vulkan APIs for Linux, created a merge request for the RADV ray tracing driver for AMD's RDNA 2 GPUs, enabling it to work with previous-generation graphics cards. The question is, how well will they work?

"This PR implements ray-tracing for older generations (Navi, Vega, Polaris, etc.)," wrote Joshua Ashton, a developer of DXVK and other Direct3D-on-Vulkan works for Valve, reports Phoronix. "It does this by emulating the AMD bvh intersection instructions in software. Right now this passes CTS the same as on RDNA 2 cards."

In recent times software and hardware ray tracing support has been the focus of many industrial discussion as the technology has to be implemented properly to bring significant quality improvements. But that also causes massive performance hits even on modern hardware that supports hardware acceleration for ray tracing, such as AMD's Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs based on the RDNA 2 architecture.

Ubisoft's decision not to implement ray tracing into Far Cry 6 for the latest game consoles greatly illustrates this controversy. But apparently Linux enthusiasts want to enable ray tracing support in Vulkan even on outdated architectures like the original RDNA from 2019 as well as GCN 4/5 from 2016/2017.

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Open Hardware and 3D Printing

Filed under
Hardware
  • Bluetooth Vulnerability: Arbitrary Code Execution On The ESP32, Among Others | Hackaday

    Bluetooth has become widely popular since its introduction in 1999. However, it’s also had its fair share of security problems over the years. Just recently, a research group from the Singapore University of Technology and Design found a serious vulnerability in a large variety of Bluetooth devices. Having now been disclosed, it is known as the BrakTooth vulnerability.

    Full details are not yet available; the research team is waiting until October to publicly release proof-of-concept code in order to give time for companies to patch their devices. The basic idea however, is in the name. “Brak” is the Norweigan word for “crash,” with “tooth” referring to Bluetooth itself. The attack involves repeatedly attempting to crash devices to force them into undesired operation.

  • Download From NFC Datalogger, No App Required | Hackaday

    The plethora of wireless technologies has made internet-connected devices the norm, but it’s not always necessary if you don’t need real-time updates. Whether it’s due to battery life, or location and range constraints, downloading data directly from the device whenever possible might be a viable solution. [Malcolm Mackay] demonstrates an elegant solution on the open source cuplTag temperature/humidity logger, using any NFC-enabled smartphone, without requiring a custom app.

  • 3D Printed Rocket’s Features are Out of this World

    The last time we saw the Cortex 2 it was still only about half built, and we can’t wait to see how it performs. Rocketry is a field that has benefited greatly from things like 3D printing, the availability of highly-integrated electronics, and even such things as a rocket design workbench for FreeCAD. Better tools enable better work, after all.

  • 3D Printed Sensor Detects Glyphosate

    Typically, detecting glyphosate — a herbicide — in a beverage requires a sophisticated test setup. But Washington State University has a 3D printed sensor that uses nanotubes to simplify the detection of the toxin.

    The idea is very similar to inexpensive blood glucose monitors. The test will eventually find use for human samples, but the initial testing was for detecting contamination in orange juice.

Even Faster Fourier Transforms On the Raspbery Pi Zero

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Hardware

Oftentimes in computing, we start doing a thing, and we’re glad we’re doing it. But then we realise, it would be much nicer if we could do it much faster. [Ricardo de Azambuja] was in just such a situation when working with the Raspberry Pi Zero, and realised that there were some techniques that could drastically speed up Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT) on the platform. Thus, he got to work.

The trick is using the Raspberry Pi Zero’s GPU to handle the FFTs instead of the CPU itself. This netted Ricardo a 7x speed upgrade for 1-dimensional FFTs, and a 2x speed upgrade for 2-dimensional operations.

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Gateworks GW16146 is an 802.11ah WiFi HaLow Mini PCIe module

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Gateworks provides Linux kernel drivers for FT232H USB to SPI bridge and the NRC7292 SPI radio chip. as well as required firmware file, and a userspace client app to configure the NTC7292. All those are already integrated into the Ubuntu 20.04 image for Venice and Newport ports, but the company asked customers to contact them for Ventana SBCs’ support.

The NRC7292 SoC is designed for many of the same applications as other LPWAN standards including IoT applications, wearables, industrial automation, Smart Agriculture, healthcare, safety & security, the Smart Grid, etc.. but also “multimedia streaming” thanks to the higher 4 Mbps (mPCie card specs) or 15 Mbps (chip specs) bitrate.

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How I Built My New Linux Gaming Desktop in 2021 with AMD (CPU+GPU) and GNU Guix

Filed under
Hardware
Gaming

After my unexpected luck in getting a new GPU (the AMD 6700XT), it was finally time to build a new computer. While my previous desktop was still ticking, at 6 and a half years old (an Intel i5-4690K, Nvidia GTX 970; see details in our gaming rigs article) it was certainly not up to 4K gaming and VR. The GPU was by far the hardest thing to get, but by this summer most everything else was available and at more regular prices.

[...]

Overall, the main components follow a pretty typical mid-range to enthusiast gaming build for 2021. These are all solid, well recommended choices, at a good price to performance ratio. I’ll discuss my choice to move to all AMD below, but overall there wasn’t anything I had to worry about being Linux compatible. These days I’d mostly be concerned about Wi-Fi, along with any specialty hardware. I opted out of Wi-Fi since my desktop is right next to my router for a wired connection, though the Bluetooth would be handy for things like controlling the Valve Index’s base stations. That and Wi-Fi can be handled with a cheap USB adapter if I want it. (Honestly, the motherboard I wanted in white also didn’t have Wi-Fi, so that made the choice easier, too.) The only thing for me was wondering about controlling all that RGB, but open source comes through again, as I’ll detail later.

In terms of specifics the 5600X is a great performer with the latest Zen 3 architecture and good single core performance to go with the 6 cores and 12 threads. This has become easily available, at least in the US, at or below MSRP. There are some great Zen 2 CPUs to pick from, but in my case I wanted the latest (I tend not to upgrade frequently, obviously) as well as plenty of power for photo editing and compiling as I’ve been contributing patches and packages to Guix.

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Also: Valve Publishes New Steam Deck FAQ With A Few New Details Shared - Phoronix

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Ferdi: A Free & Open-Source Alternative to Franz & Rambox

A single application to help you manage multiple services comes in handy when you do not want to do everything on your browser. While technically, you can, it may not be the most organized way of doing things. Hence, options like Rambox and Franz are pretty popular cross-platform solutions to sign in to several services and access all of them at a glance. Even though they both are available for Linux (and we’ve covered them separately), they offer limited features for free. In contrast, Ferdi is a fork of Franz offering many premium functionalities for free while aiming to provide a better experience. Read more

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today's leftovers

  • Newest Linux Optimizations Can Achieve 10M IOPS Per-Core With IO_uring - Phoronix

    Just one week ago Linux block subsystem maintainer Jens Axboe was optimizing the kernel to get 8 million IOPS on a single CPU core. He progressed the week hitting around ~8.9M IOPS per-core and began to think he was hitting the hardware limits and running out of possible optimizations. However, this week he is kicking things off by managing to hit 10 million IOPS!

  • Ubuntu Kylin 21.10 Quick overview #Shorts - Invidious

    A Quick overview of Ubuntu Kylin 21.10.

  • Reset Password On Any Linux Distro (No Root Needed) - Invidious

    Losing your access to your user account on Linux can be really frustrating but luckily resetting that lost password is actually incredibly easy but the process slightly changes depending on the bootloader you're using at least for the easy approach

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 706

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 706 for the week of October 17 – 23, 2021.

  • Rakudo Weekly News: 2021.43 Thank You

    Oleksandr Kyriukhin has released the 2021.10 version of the Rakudo Compiler, which includes all of the work of the new MoarVM dispatch mechanism. This is the culmination of more than 1.5 year work by many people, but mostly by Jonathan Worthington. A historic step forward that lays the groundwork on more efficient executing of Raku programs, and actually delivers on a number of improvements.

  • Team Profile by KDE's Cornelius Schumacher

    What makes a great team? One important factor is that you have a balanced set of skills and personalities in the team. A team which only consists of leaders won't get much work done. A team which only consists of workers will not work into the right direction. So how can you identify the right balance and combination of people? One answer is the Team Member Profile Test. It's a set of questions which team members answer. They are evaluated to give a result indicating which type of team member the person is and where it lies in the spectrum of possible types.

  • Some users on Reddit report that Windows 11 loses Internet connectivity when trying to connect to NordVPN.
  • Pat Gelsinger's Open-Source Bias, Intel's Pledge To Openness [Ed: Intel is openwashing again, but leaks from Intel show that Intel is a foe, not a a friend. It's also rather ironic that Intel puts an "open" letter in a proprietary site of Microsoft, which is viciously attacking Free software. Intel is a Microsoft booster.]

    Ahead of Intel's inaugural Intel Innovation event taking place virtually later this week, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger published an open letter to an open ecosystem. In this open ecosystem letter, Gelsinger talks up opennness and choice, adding, "This is why I fundamentally believe in an open source bias, which powers the software-defined infrastructure that transformed the modern data center and ushered in the data-centric era."

Raspberry Pi and Arduino Leftovers

  • Fast Indoor Robot Watches Ceiling Lights, Instead of the Road

    To pull this off, [Andy] uses a camera with a fisheye lens aimed up towards the ceiling, and the video is processed on a Raspberry Pi 3.

  • Tackle The Monkey: Raspberry Pi Gets Round Screen | Hackaday

    You could argue that the project to add a round screen to a Raspberry Pi from [YamS1] isn’t strictly necessary. After all, you could use a square display with a mask around it, giving up some screen real estate for aesthetics. However, you’d still have a square shape around the screen and there’s something eye-catching about a small round screen for a watch, an indicator, or — as in this project — a talking head. The inspiration for the project was a quote from a Google quote about teaching a monkey to recite Shakespeare. A 3D printed monkey with a video head would be hard to do well with a rectangular screen, you have to admit. Possible with a little artistry, we are sure, but the round head effect is hard to beat. Honestly, it looks more like an ape to us, but we aren’t primate experts and we think most people would get the idea.

  • Move! makes burning calories a bit more fun | Arduino Blog

    Gamifying exercise allows people to become more motivated and participate more often in physical activities while also being distracted by doing something fun at the same time. This inspired a team of students from the Handong Global University in Pohang, South Korea to come up with a system, dubbed “Move!,” that uses a microcontroller to detect various gestures and perform certain actions in mobile games accordingly. They started by collecting many different gesture samples from a Nano 33 BLE Sense, which is worn by a person on their wrist. This data was then used to train a TensorFlow Lite model that classifies the gesture and sends it via Bluetooth to the host phone running the app. Currently, the team’s mobile app contains three games that a player can choose from.