Rombus pinball – a LattePanda mini pinball machine


Matt Brailsford (aka Circuitbeard) has a nice write-up about building his mini pinball machine with a lattepanda core running dual monitors:

I generally start my projects by thinking about the hardware that I’m going to want to use as I’ll need to know sizes when it comes to the design phase. My first thought was to go with a Rasberry Pi as it’s what I’m familiar with and it’s what I’ve used for my other arcades, but after looking online, there really didn’t seem to be any good options for pinball emulation on Linux at all. It all seemed to be windows based. Thankfully I remembered reading about a single board Windows computer called a LattePanda so I thought why not give that a go and so this was the approach I ended up taking.

Build log at Circuitbeard blog and the GitHub repository here.

Check out the video after the break.

Mostly PIC16C57


CAPS0ff team posted an article taking a closer look at 8 “PIC16C57s”:

We were recently sent 8 “PIC16C57s” from:

*High Seas Havoc (403/C013)
*Wargods (U69, C020)
*MACE (U96, C021)
*Carnevil (U96, C022)
*BioFreaks (C023)
*Gauntlet Dark Legacy (C024)
*Gauntlet (U37, C025)
*Blitz 99 (U96, C026)

More details at CAPS0ff blog.

Nickelbot – wooden nickel laser engraver


bdring posted an update on NickelBot project we covered previously:

The NickelBot is complete and it works great. The goal of the project was to create an easily portable machine that creates low cost items that could be given away at events like Maker Faires. I think it has completely achieved that goal. The nickels are purchased from Amazon and cost about $0.08 each.

Project info at Buildlog.Net blog.

Check out the video after the break.

Makervilla 2.0


Makervilla is back!  It will be held on August 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th at Batam, Indonesia.

MAKERVILLA 2.0 is a 4-day creative learning retreat designed for local and international maker educators to gather under one roof for a time of learning, dreaming, hacking and sharing of ideas.

MAKERVILLA 2.0 is specially organized to address the needs of educators who are involved with maker education. Whether it is the need for peer support or understanding how to develop curriculum ideas, MAKERVILLA 2.0 will be able to facilitate the formation of learning network, professional learning community and special interest groups.

MAKERVILLA 2.0 is organized by Onemaker Group Singapore in collaboration with Ruang Kreasi Indonesia.

Find out more on their website at

Mark your calendar!

PiggyFuse HVSP AVR fuse programmer


Nerd Ralph published a new build:

Although I’ve been working with AVR MCUs for a number of years now, I had never made a high voltage programmer.  I’ve seen some HVSP fuse resetter projects I liked, but I don’t have a tiny2313.  I think I was also hesitant to hook up 12V to an AVR, since I had fried my first ATMega328 Pro Mini by accidentally connecting a 12V source to VCC.  However, if you want to be an expert AVR hacker, you’ll have to tackle high-voltage programming.  Harking back to my Piggy-Prog project, I realized I could do something similar for a fuse resetter, which would simplify the wiring and reduce the parts count.

See the full post on his blog here. Code is available at Github.

How not to build a semiconductor lapping machine

electronupdate writes:

One area of silicon reverse engineering which has interested me is the delayering of a chip to see each layer which allows superior visibility into the circuitry. I know of two ways: chemical etch and mechanical means.
In this video I try to make a mechanical grinder which can take micron levels of material away: a partial success. Parts are ground but I was not able to keep the silicon absolutely flat. More study of the commercial units is warranted!

See the full post on electronupdate blog.

Attiny85 pogo backpack programmer


Facelesstech published a new build:

So you are using a bare attiny85 in your next project but don’t have room for the programming header, What do you do? I came up with the idea of using pogo pins layed out on A PCB so that they will sit on top of the Attiny85 legs. I used standard male jumps at each end of the chip to help line it up.

More details on Facelesstech homepage. Project files are available at Github.

Check out the video after the break.

HP 8566B Spectrum Analyzer “YTO unlock” repair


Kerry Wong did a repair of an HP 8566B Spectrum Analyzer “YTO unlock” and documented the repair process on his blog:

While I was making a video on how to use HP 8671A as the frequency reference for an improved version of my simple DIY tracking generator for my HP 8566B spectrum analyzer, my spectrum analyzer suddenly decided to call it quits and displayed the dreaded “YTO Unlock” message. Although it wasn’t the first time it had done so — other times the “YTO Unlock” message only appeared once in a blue moon and rarely affected any measurements — this time however the problem seemed to be permanent and the error message wouldn’t go away.

Check out the video after the break.

My new third hand

I recently brought from Banggood a support for having a third hand during soldering operations…

hand-001 hand-002

the support is made by an aluminum base and three arms which end with a crocodile clamp with insulating sheath:

hand-003 hand-004

The assembly is very simple, the arms must be screwed on the base:


In general this support is very usefulthe arms are very well articulated and their length allows to “grasp” even medium-sized cards:

hand-007 hand-006

The only defect is the position of the feet, which makes the base not too stable:



App note: Avoidance of ceramic-substrate-based LED chip cracking induced by PCB bending or flexing


Application note from CREE on the causes of ceramic-substrate-based failures due to PCB board stresses and how to minimize their occurrence. Link here (PDF)

Printed circuit board (PCB) bending and/or flexing is an unavoidable phenomenon that is known to exist and is easily encountered during electronic board assembly processes. PCB bending and/or flexing is the fundamental source of tensile stress induced on the electronic components on the board assembly. For more brittle components, like ceramic-based electronic components, micro-cracks can be induced, which can eventually lead to a fatal failure of the components. For this reason, many standards organizations throughout the world specify the methods under which electronic board assemblies must be tested to ensure their robustness, sometimes as a precondition to more rigorous environmental tests such as thermal cycling or thermal shock.