Archive for the ‘Hacking’ Category

Name that Ware, September 2015

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

The Ware for September 2015 is shown below.

This is a little something I was gifted at Burning Man this year. I wore it around my neck for a week and then brought it back to my lab in Singapore and tore it apart. Obviously, it suffered some kind of severe trauma. I’m particularly enamored with the way the silicon melted — instead of revealing crystalline facets at the former wirebond pads, a smooth, remodeled and rather amorphous surface is revealed with rivulets of silicon radiating from the craters. Now that’s hot!

Winner, Name that Ware August 2015

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Last month’s ware is a controller board for a cutting machine, made by Polar-Mohr. The specific part number printed on the board is Polar SK 020162, which I’m guessing corresponds with this machine. Henry Valta pretty much nailed it, by guessing it as a Baum SK66 cutting circuit board. I’m not quite sure what the relationship is between Baumfolder and Polar-Mohr corporation, but it seems to be close enough that they share controller boards. Congrats, email me for your prize!

I do have to give a shout-out to zebonaut for noting the use of “V” designators for discrete semiconductors and linking it to German/DIN-compliant origins. I’m pretty good at picking out PCBs made by Japanese manufacturers, and this little factoid will now help me identify PCBs of EU/German design origin.

Name that Ware August 2015

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

The Ware for August 2015 is shown below.

I found this kicking around in the South China Material market this past June. It is indeed a production board (and still in use today!), so there is a definitive answer to this month’s challenge sitting somewhere in the cloud. The extensive use of CD4000 series CMOS chips in this board brings a little grin to my face — haven’t seen one of those in ages (except for the CD4066, which is still pretty handy even in contemporary situations).

Also, as a bonus, I found this in the same shop. This one isn’t for guessing, just for looking at. I’m a fan of FANUC.

As an administrative note, images from this site and the kosagi wiki, and a few other miscellaneous services, will be off-line for a bit on September 2nd. There’s maintenance work scheduled on the power grid at my flat, and so my servers will be brought off-line. If all goes well, it’ll be just 15 minutes. However, if the mains breaker to my unit doesn’t automatically reset, it could be up to a few hours before someone can get to it. I’ll be somewhere in Black Rock City, far from the Internet, while this all goes down…so if something really unfortunate happens, it could be a week before things get restored from backups.

Winner, Name that Ware July 2015

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

The Ware for July 2015 was a bootlegged version of CAPCOM’s Carrier Air Wing. Congrats to pdw for nailing it, email me for your prize!

And a big thanks to Felipe Sanches for contributing last month’s ware and helping to judge the winner.

Name that Ware, July 2015

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

The Ware for July 2015 is shown below:

Ahh…hardware from the 80’s/early 90’s. My favorite era, when circuit board traces were laid out freehand using pen or tape and 74-series logic gates were still a thing. Thanks to Felipe Sanches for providing the ware, and to xobs for taking the photos while he was in Brazil for his keynote at FISL16!

Sorry for the lack of updates on this blog, it’s been a busy summer. To get a whiff of what I’ve been up to, check out my article in Wired Magazine on trends enabling the decentralization of innovation in hardware and Jinjoo’s blog-in-progress on the manufacturing bootcamp I held this summer in Shenzhen for MIT Media Lab students, which also happened to be the inaugural application of our new Orchard IoT Platform.