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HackerBoxes

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  • HackerBox 0065: Realtime

    Maybe you skipped Step 6 of the guide, specifically the part about setting up RTClib?

    That pad of C20 and the power connector post next to it are both on the same net of the PCB (GND) so it will work fine the way it is.

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  • HackerBox 0065: Realtime

    Good job figuring out which line was open! Whenever I have issues like that, my first step is to go back and reflow all the solder joints. More often than I'd expect, that helps to get things moving.

    In addition to setting the RTC to output a 12hr value, you could also try something like:if (n>12) n -= 12;

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  • HackerBox 0065: Realtime

    Did the previous steps work? If so, it's probably a library.

    Could be an open (cold solder joint) or a short (pants without legs) on the Blaster assembly. Check the 2x8 header as well as the two 1x15 ESP32 headers.

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  • HackerBox 0065: Realtime

    We had a couple of cards where it helped to lower the access clock passed into the SD.begin function call. You can find "80000000" in the code and play around with knocking one or two zeros off of the end. For one of those cards, it seemed to work fine at the original speed after getting it to work at a lower speed. It is unclear why that happened, but we wanted to share it anyway.

    Yes! A Schematic diagram for the HUB75 Blaster PCB was added at Step 4 of the guide.

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  • HackerBox 0065: Realtime

    That sounds very cool. Let us know when you get it working. Check out Step 6 (including the test_sd.ino sketch) for info about pin numbers to access the SD card.

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  • HackerBox 0064: Scope

    There has never been an oscilloscope in HackerBoxes before. You definitely may have done a DSO138 on your own before. It was probably red. Correct? There are a bunch of different version out there.

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  • HackerBox 0059: Tessellate

    That one is pin 1 (with pin 8 straight across from it). You are correct that isn't totally obvious. Some clues though:The 330 ohm resistor (orange orange brown stripes) is adjacent to, and connected to, those two pins (1 and 8). The 330 ohm resistor is shown in the schematic to connect between pin 1 and pin 8. Also the "unknown inductor" and 1uF cap are connected to the 1,2,3,4 side of the chip. While the other side of the chip only has connection to pin 8 (going over to the VCC header pin).

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  • HackerBox 0059: Tessellate

    The pin numbers are shown in the image for Step 6. You can also google the LM393 chip to find a datasheet but the info you need is in that image. The pins for whichever MCU you are using just have to match the ones specified in the code.

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  • HackerBox 0063: Samadhi

    Each HackerBox should have aspects that speak to a range of different ability levels, but the range is not infinite. Our goal is to meet a good number of members where they are and stretch them a bit beyond that - with different stretches each month. We don't want to entirely overwhelm someone who is a (hard working) beginner and we don't want to totally bore a seasoned wizard with spoon-fed everything. Yes, aspects of a box that will entertain someone with a lot of experience might be mostly unattainable for a beginner, but that beginner might enjoy digging deep on some other aspect of that same box, which might bore the more experienced user. Or the beginner might stick it out, ask for help, and see what they can pull off. Every aspect of every box will never speak the same meanin…

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    Each HackerBox should have aspects that speak to a range of different ability levels, but the range is not infinite. Our goal is to meet a good number of members where they are and stretch them a bit beyond that - with different stretches each month. We don't want to entirely overwhelm someone who is a (hard working) beginner and we don't want to totally bore a seasoned wizard with spoon-fed everything. Yes, aspects of a box that will entertain someone with a lot of experience might be mostly unattainable for a beginner, but that beginner might enjoy digging deep on some other aspect of that same box, which might bore the more experienced user. Or the beginner might stick it out, ask for help, and see what they can pull off. Every aspect of every box will never speak the same meaning for every member. That would be impossible. White belts and black belts can train in the same room, but they are working on different skills. That said, if even the more basic aspects are frustrating you and you do not wish to ask for help or struggle, there are a lot of other fun offerings out there that might fit your level and needs. For example, plenty of DIY electronics products are self-contained and provide more explicit hand-holding. Shop around. Check out all the different options from Adafruit. Every product is not for every consumer for all times, so figure out what works for you where you are right now, get to work, and have fun! You're always welcome to return to HackerBoxes when you're ready. We aren't going anywhere. However, if the most encouraging words you have for a (self described) n00b looking for new ideas are to simply discourage them, then you should definitely go somewhere. :)

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  • HackerBoxes Starter Workshop

    It looks like there have been some changes to the MD_MAX72XX library and how it defines hardware types. Try out the example file MD_MAX72xx_PrintText.ino that comes with that library.

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  • HackerBox 0062: Watts Up

    Thank you for sharing that! You are exactly correct - in general - and this is excellent knowledge to have on board. That said, we do need to differentiate between development environments and production environments. It's common (but certainly not a "best practice") that developers (especially those working on the lowest levels of a system - like hardware) often chmod 777 files/directories just to open things up and remove any concern that complications are caused by permissions. It is valuable to understand that you "never" chmod 777 on a production system, just like you "never" operate bare circuit boards outside their enclosures/shielding and you "never" solder wires onto them or connect them up to other circuit boards. Knowledge is underst…

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    Thank you for sharing that! You are exactly correct - in general - and this is excellent knowledge to have on board. That said, we do need to differentiate between development environments and production environments. It's common (but certainly not a "best practice") that developers (especially those working on the lowest levels of a system - like hardware) often chmod 777 files/directories just to open things up and remove any concern that complications are caused by permissions. It is valuable to understand that you "never" chmod 777 on a production system, just like you "never" operate bare circuit boards outside their enclosures/shielding and you "never" solder wires onto them or connect them up to other circuit boards. Knowledge is understanding that a tomato is a fruit, but wisdom is understanding not to put those tomatoes into a fruit salad.

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  • HackerBox 0061: Props

    It is hard to fully troubleshoot soldering from a photo, but those look pretty nice. Nothing jumps out as a problem from what I see. That code will output the text "Keyboard Demo..." to the serial terminal even with no keyboard attached.

    Hmm.. Maybe check the soldering on your crystal and the two related pins on the prop chip. Both video generation and serial output are clock dependent. Try the example below. It should give you terminal output (F12). Also Note: The examples in the Hydra download are already set up for 10MHz crystal, but many other Propeller code examples will need the _clkmode and _xinfreq copied over from the example below if they are generally not assuming a 10MHz crystal.'try this code, it should echo KBD to Serial Terminal'right after you hit F10 (or F11), hit F12 to pop up the TerminalCON_clkmode = xtal1 + pll8x_xinfreq = 10_000_000OBJkb : "keyboard"pst : "Parallax Serial Terminal"PUB Main | value, base, width, offset'Set Parallax Serial Terminal to 115200 baudpst.Start(115_2…

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    Hmm.. Maybe check the soldering on your crystal and the two related pins on the prop chip. Both video generation and serial output are clock dependent. Try the example below. It should give you terminal output (F12). Also Note: The examples in the Hydra download are already set up for 10MHz crystal, but many other Propeller code examples will need the _clkmode and _xinfreq copied over from the example below if they are generally not assuming a 10MHz crystal.'try this code, it should echo KBD to Serial Terminal'right after you hit F10 (or F11), hit F12 to pop up the TerminalCON_clkmode = xtal1 + pll8x_xinfreq = 10_000_000OBJkb : "keyboard"pst : "Parallax Serial Terminal"PUB Main | value, base, width, offset'Set Parallax Serial Terminal to 115200 baudpst.Start(115_200)pst.Str(string("Keyboard Demo...",13))'start the keyboardkb.start(13, 15)'echo keystrokes in hexrepeatpst.Chars(kb.getkey,1)

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  • HackerBox 0061: Props

    Good questions...Yes, you must set the FT232 module to 3.3V. The 3.3V/5V switch that you have to set on the FT232 module drives the VCCIO pin input to the FT232RL chip itself which sets the voltage levels for the UART lines. You can read more about this VCCIO pin in the FT232RL datasheet in the link if you are interested. As you noticed, the Props PCB does take 5V from the FT232 module (regardless of the aforementioned switch and unrelated to the VCCIO issue) to use at its power supply. That 5V rail should be nice and stiff since it comes directly from the USB port. As we can see from the schematic, the 5V rail is only used for two things - to pull up the PS/2 keyboard/mouse lines and then (most importantly) to feed the AMS1117 LDO regulator which makes the 3V3 rail to supply the res…

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    Good questions...Yes, you must set the FT232 module to 3.3V. The 3.3V/5V switch that you have to set on the FT232 module drives the VCCIO pin input to the FT232RL chip itself which sets the voltage levels for the UART lines. You can read more about this VCCIO pin in the FT232RL datasheet in the link if you are interested. As you noticed, the Props PCB does take 5V from the FT232 module (regardless of the aforementioned switch and unrelated to the VCCIO issue) to use at its power supply. That 5V rail should be nice and stiff since it comes directly from the USB port. As we can see from the schematic, the 5V rail is only used for two things - to pull up the PS/2 keyboard/mouse lines and then (most importantly) to feed the AMS1117 LDO regulator which makes the 3V3 rail to supply the rest of the system. You might wonder why we need the AMS1117 at all. Why not just use the 3V3 out from the FT232 module? Well, that 3V3 comes from the a tiny regulator inside the FT232 chip which can only provide about 50mA of current (see datasheet p13). Taking the 5V rail (which ultimately connects to the USB port) and running it through an AMD1117 can provide 800mA of current on the 3V3 rail (nominally) and in practice closer to 1A. The little 3V3 regulator inside the FT232 was not really intended to supply an entire system like this, so we don't bother with it.Regarding the right angle pins of the RT232, if they are blocking your access to solder the AMS1117, you can just cut them off. They aren't needed for anything in this application.

    There are two 10uF. The one next to the regulator is not strictly necessary. The one next to the AV jack is definitely for the audio coupling.

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  • HackerBox 0061: Props

    Maybe check the two caps next to the AV plug as well as the 270R resistor that feeds them. In particular, make sure the 10uF capacitor is oriented in the correct direction.

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  • HackerBox 0060: Playground

    The guide for this box explains how to use the supplied hardware to avoid problems. Also, please let us know where are you quoting "Everything You Need" from so we can correct it. That's definitely never been part of our box design guidelines. We even try to list out additional things needed for each box and we point out that it is assumed members have on hand the sorts of things in the Starter Workshop. Since we would never say "Everything You Need", please let us know where read it, so we can correct it. If you didn't read it somewhere, please don't put it in quotes or falsely attribute it. Perhaps you're thinking about Blue Apron or one of the cooking boxes? Thanks.

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  • HackerBox 0061: Props

    'try this code, it should echo KBD to Serial Terminal'right after you hit F10 (or F11), hit F12 to pop up the TerminalCON _clkmode = xtal1 + pll8x _xinfreq = 10_000_000OBJ kb : "keyboard" pst : "Parallax Serial Terminal"PUB Main | value, base, width, offset 'Set Parallax Serial Terminal to 115200 baud pst.Start(115_200) pst.Str(string("Keyboard Demo...",13)) 'start the keyboard kb.start(13, 15) 'echo keystrokes in hex repeat pst.Chars(kb.getkey,1)

    Things to check:FTDI jumper set to 3.3VMeasure Input to AMS1117 Regulator is 5V and output is 3.3VCheck Prop Pins (going into socket) are not bent underCheck all solder joints, but especially RX, TX, and RESET between red FTDI module and Prop Chip - Those three pins, working FTDI, and no pwr/gnd shorts are about all you should need to "see" the Prop Chip from the Prop Tool software.

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  • HackerBoxes's instructable HackerBox 0060: Playground's weekly stats:
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  • HackerBox 0059: Tessellate

    Nice effect. That will make an awesome Christmas ornament.

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  • HackerBox 0059: Tessellate

    The magnet wire on the spool in the box works well. You do have to strip (scrape?) the enamel insulation off the magnet wire anywhere that you want solder to flow.

    That octahedron can be made without the expansion pack. You have all those parts in your original box. The expansion kit is needed to make an icosahedron, which is more "rounded" than the octahedron. Also, the expansion packs have been back in stock for a few days now - although they will not be for much longer.

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  • HackerBox 0059: Tessellate

    Nice work! Have no fear - there are enough LEDs in each kit for all eight tiles (6*8) + 2 for the Hack-O-Lantern + 2 extra = 52.

    In the code, also check the loop that sets the LED colors. It loops from 0 to 5 by default. You can change it to 0 to "number of LEDs" or you can copy/modify the loop so that each tile is set to a different color.

    Which "board" do you have selected in the Arduino IDE under tools? Making sure that is set to "WeMos LOLIN32" might help.

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  • HackerBox 0057: Safe Mode

    Thank you for the notes about modifying the User_Setup_Select.h file for the TFT_eSPI Library in Step3. Looks like the Instructable editor didn't like angle brackets. We put the include file names back in so it makes sense now.

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  • HackerBox 0055: High Roller

    That is the "Low Dropout Linear 3.3V Regulator" listed in the box contents. Its use is described in the last paragraph of Step 6: "Since the grove connector provides 5V and the ECG modules requires 3.3V, a voltage regulator must be used to generate the 3.3V from the 5V rail."

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  • HackerBox 0053: Chromalux

    The OLED module can be used to display text and/or graphics. There are some nice examples with the SSD1306 library. If you want to use the color sensor (Step 4) without a PC serial monitor attached, the OLED can display the color sensor output. Check out the sketch GY33_OLED added to Step 4.

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  • HackerBoxes commented on HackerBoxes's instructable HackerBox 0050
    HackerBox 0050

    User_Setup.h works with IO numbers as shown in the guide.

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  • Getting any closer to fixing this? Until then is there a good work around? We need to be able to attach code files to instructables. Thank you!

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  • HackerBox 0048: SIMSAT

    The D1 Mini Lite has the ESP8285 chip instead of the ESP8266. Because the ESP8285 chip has 1M flash on chip, there is no external serial flash chip as there is on this one. For the IDE board settings, "WeMos D1 R1" seems to work best since this is the original style D1 Mini Pro, which is more like the full-size (uno sized) D1 R1.https://wiki.wemos.cc/products:retired:d1_mini_pro_v1.0.0

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  • HackerBox 0047: Old School

    Did you try the trick of holding the reset button on the Main MCU while programming the Video MCU, and then vice versa?

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  • HackerBox 0047: Old School

    Nice work! That looks great. Try out "AVRISP mkII" as the programmer. That should work better without several retries. The reason a USB-to-PS/2 adapter isn't included is that most modern USB keyboards do not support them (they are USB only). Those "adapters" don't actually convert USB to PS/2, they only work on keyboards that have both USB and PS/2 interfaces by routing out some extra signals and obviously changing the physical connector. Keyboards that supported both options usually came with the "adapter" and keyboards that don't have that adapter usually (although not always) do not work with them (they are USB only).

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  • HackerBox 0046: Persistence

    "The 18650 (18mm by 65mm) battery is a size classification of lithium-ion batteries. If you have ever held one in your hand, you probably noticed it is the same shape, but a bit larger than a AA battery. AA batteries by comparison are sometimes called 14500 batteries, because they have a 14mm diameter and 50mm height." (batterybro)Unlike a typical alkaline cell which is apx 1.5V, a single Li-Ion cell is typically 3.7V due to the cell chemistry (sum of the RedOx half reaction potentials). Note that other rechargeable chemistries, such as NiMH or NiCd, will have a different single cell voltage based on their RedOx reaction potentials.https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat/physical-processes/intro-electrochemistry-mcat/a/electrochemistrySlightly related note: Top nerd points t…

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    "The 18650 (18mm by 65mm) battery is a size classification of lithium-ion batteries. If you have ever held one in your hand, you probably noticed it is the same shape, but a bit larger than a AA battery. AA batteries by comparison are sometimes called 14500 batteries, because they have a 14mm diameter and 50mm height." (batterybro)Unlike a typical alkaline cell which is apx 1.5V, a single Li-Ion cell is typically 3.7V due to the cell chemistry (sum of the RedOx half reaction potentials). Note that other rechargeable chemistries, such as NiMH or NiCd, will have a different single cell voltage based on their RedOx reaction potentials.https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat/physical-processes/intro-electrochemistry-mcat/a/electrochemistrySlightly related note: Top nerd points to know (and properly use) the difference between CELL and BATTERY. A cell is a single RedOx reaction pair. A battery is "a combination of apparatus for producing a single electrical effect - for example: a battery of generators" (miriam webster). In other words, the term battery should be used for two or more cells, not a single cell... We call AA, D, C, etc CELLS (not batteries) because each is ONE 1.5V cell, but a standard rectangular 9V Battery (not a cell) is SIX 1.5 cells together. It's a battery of 6 cells. Also looks at the corresponding schematic symbols for cell (one) and battery (many).

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  • HackerBox 0046: Persistence

    That looks like a regular AA battery. Check out this one:https://amzn.to/2NTEe1l

    Update from the manufacturer for using the MH-ET ePaper (EPD) with the Arduino UNO...tldr: Wire 5V (from UNO) to VCC (on EPD) but then set the EPD's voltage switch to "L". Even the that sounds wrong, it makes the voltage levels work out correctly. We will have some more detailed examples going onto the box guide today that cover this VCC issue along with some other interesting things we have learned about the EPD over the last few days. Props to folks who have been exploring this "feature" along with us, especially b1un7 (renown inventor/developer of the Flying Electronic Quad-Copter Badge) and our friends in Shenzhen.

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  • HackerBox 0045: Spark Net

    The "flat side" on the PCB silkscreen, the "flat side" on the LED, and the "short pin" should all be the same thing. It shouldn't matter which you use as the cathode indicator to align the part. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-emitting_diode#/media/File:LED,_5mm,_green_(en).svg

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  • Yes, ESP32 Dev Module.For the OLED constructor, open the example sketch SD1306SimpleDemo.Find these two lines:// Initialize the OLED display using Wire librarySSD1306Wire display(0x3c, D3, D5);CHANGE (not insert) the parameters that get passed in to match the pin assignments in our board:(0x3c, 4, 15)

    There were some problems and lost files while editing the board layout video. We have recovered the original files and the video should get (re)edited and uploaded as soon as we can get back to it. In the meantime, check out some of the other linked tutorials on Eagle PCB layout. Thank you for your patience!

    Is your wiring like shown in Step 5? Unfortunately the USBasp and the Pluggable ATtiny board do not just plug together straight-across (nor using a ribbon cable).

    BTW, look at the image of the "Pro ESP32 With WiFi and OLED" that has all the pin assignments labeled. Note the little red arrows on pins 4 and 15 along with the dark blue tags. These show how the ESP32 is wired internally to the OLED driver (I2C data SDA and clock SCL) via pins 4 and 15. That is where the values for the display constructor call come from: The documentation from the board manufacturer. FYI, constructor prototype:SSD1306Wire(uint8_t _address, uint8_t _sda, uint8_t _scl, OLEDDISPLAY_GEOMETRY g = GEOMETRY_128_64)(We don't pass in the geometry because our display uses the default 128x64)Whenever possible, try to figure out why things we are doing in code are related to the hardware, then it (hopefully) gets a little easier to make things work when you buy them o…

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    BTW, look at the image of the "Pro ESP32 With WiFi and OLED" that has all the pin assignments labeled. Note the little red arrows on pins 4 and 15 along with the dark blue tags. These show how the ESP32 is wired internally to the OLED driver (I2C data SDA and clock SCL) via pins 4 and 15. That is where the values for the display constructor call come from: The documentation from the board manufacturer. FYI, constructor prototype:SSD1306Wire(uint8_t _address, uint8_t _sda, uint8_t _scl, OLEDDISPLAY_GEOMETRY g = GEOMETRY_128_64)(We don't pass in the geometry because our display uses the default 128x64)Whenever possible, try to figure out why things we are doing in code are related to the hardware, then it (hopefully) gets a little easier to make things work when you buy them on your own and they come with little or no information.

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  • Remember that programming the UNO (with arduinoISP) and programming the attiny85 target through the uno are two unrelated things with totally different IDE settings. When programming the UNO, there will be no setting under tools for the ATYTiny85, but then when you change the target to ATTiny85, there will be options specific to that "board" (not the UNO).

    The LEDs just default to blue when they are powered. They need data pumped into them before the change color. If they remain blue with the chip plugged in, some common causes to check: chip not programmed (correctly), buzzer installed (pulling chip into reset), short or open somewhere in the soldering, chip not making good connection with socket.

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  • You may have missed this step:Change camera model #define to "CAMERA_MODEL_AI_THINKER"

    Yes, they should flash in the pattern described in the box guide. It looks like your transistors might be backwards.

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  • Kenny, check out the PCB outline image in Step 5. Scaling the outer flat edges of the PCB to 52.8 x 88.9mm will let you project all of the other dimensions.

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