Hack-a-Day is a challenge to complete ~30 fun new projects in 30 days. In my case, I aimed for 20, because I knew I was getting a job and moving. I just barely made it with this last entry, a collaboration with nsh.
Music of the Spheres lets you hear songs on different tonal scales. Listen to the warped melodies. Watch the pretty planets orbit. Surely their sizes and orbits are significant and connected to the tonal scales? Go mad with afterimages of… okay, well it’s kinda fun, anyway. Demo is here, code is on github.
Two friends and I wrote the intro to “Pint-Sized”, a 90s sitcom that never existed.
We used DALL-E and stable diffusion for images, Photopea to add captions, and Google’s AI Test Kitchen for the backing music. Cheers were added with audacity. The video was edited together with ffmpeg.
I’m moving, so I have to pack. I thought I’d make it fun with two projects.
First, I entered everything I was packing into a text file. That way, I can find stuff later. I have two friends who have done something like this, so I’m curious how it will go for me.
Second, I took a time lapse video of packing. I wish I had time-lapsed moving in at my current place, but I just wasn’t set up for it. Sadly, my camera battery died after 90 minutes, so I only have a very short video. Next time I’ll plug in a power cable.
Both are much too personal for me to post on the web. If you know me well enough to know what I look like, ask and ye shall receive!
Today I learned how to make PCBs. I didn’t invent anything here, this is all pretty well known by the PCB-making community, but it’s not well-known to me. So I taught myself a bit!
The first part was the design an electronic circuit. I decided I was short on time, so I grabbed an existing schematic.
Next, I downloaded KiCAD, and recreated the circuit there. I found this video tutorial very helpful to learn kicad.
Next, I made the actual PCB layout.
To my surprise, after a little jiggling I got it down to a one-layer design.
That means home-printing would be much easier. No having to line up the two sides carefully.
I printed out the image on paper (backwards) on my toner printer, and taped it to the copper-clad PCBs.
First, I tried laminating it. Almost no ink transferred, and the paper came off easily. Then I tried ironing it, but the paper stick to the iron and not to the PCB. The tape melted on the iron. For both, I dunked them in water after, which is supposed to help loosen the paper.
Next, I tried the standard advice–sand the PCBs (I used 320 grit) and use glossy paper. This time, both pieces of paper stuck very well. I was wary about the iron coming off again, so I just left it on place on the highest heat–this worked fine for adhesion, but I had to iron out wrinkles at the end. The laminated piece had lose edges, while the ironed piece was on there totally flat.
I tried peeling off the laminated paper–oops! It peeled back and most of the ink stayed on the paper. I think if I took it off more carefully, it would have worked.
I picked at the ironed paper a bit, but it didn’t budge. I let it sit in dish soap for a while so the paper would fall apart. The first hour didn’t do anything.
Meanwhile, I made an order at PCBWay. It’s still under review.
Edit: after some advice from a friend, I peeled off this paper more aggressively, and scrubbed it off. The ink was fine. It doesn’t look great, but I think this is mostly the wrinkles during transfer. It’s a little blurry, I’ll have to do a third attempt before I try etching.