SMA-Q2 also known as SMA TIME is a Chinese smartwatch featuring a color Memory LCD, heart rate sensor and a NRF52832 Bluetooth SoC to drive it all.

Its low price, cool features and simple construction make it look like a prefect platform for an open source smartwatch firmware.

Hey everyone, I have been staying at a hotel for a while. It’s one of those modern ones with smart TVs and other connected goodies. I got curious and opened Wireshark, as any tinkerer would do.

I was very surprised to see a huge amount of UDP traffic on port 2046. I looked it up but the results were far from useful. This wasn’t a standard port, so I would have to figure it out manually.

At first, I suspected that the data might be a television stream for the TVs, but the packet length seemed too small, even for a single video frame.

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the first thing i thought when we setup our bee hive was “i wonder how you could count the number of bees coming and going?”

after a little research i discovered it seems noone has a good non intrusive system for doing it yet. it can apparently be useful for all sorts of hive health checking.

the first thing to do was collect some sample data. a raspberry pi, a standard pi camera and a solar panel is a pretty simple thing to get going and at 1 frame every 10 seconds you get 5,000+ images over a day (6am to 9pm).

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I have once stumbled upon an interesting article from 2018 published on, discussing about provisions on connecting an 8″ floppy disk drive to a PC. You know, those huge “boat anchors” that accept flexible disks just four inches shy of an LP record, in exchange of a couple of hundred kilobytes data storage. That sort of type. The experiment there was to connect that big ol’ mainframe-era drive to a normal PC, as to be used under DOS as an archival tool. In 2019, the author got mixed results from his experiments: he was able to fool the system BIOS, tricking the 8″ drive to work with a geometry that of a 5 1/4″ 1,2MB DS HD drive. For the rest, he’d use a proprietary controller card paired with some paid software.

As a follow-up to his article, I’ve decided to tinker around on how to have fun with these clunkin’ beasts using a classic PC equipped with a vanilla floppy-disk controller (FDC); without any commercial hardware, software, or some USB controlled thing-a-magic with Windows 10 support. Besides, 8 inch drives predate PCs as we know them, and classic floppy drives with PCs were mostly used during the DOS/Win9x decades. Behold!

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As a professional embedded software developer, I cannot get on-board with the software side of things. It’s all great for hobbyist use and genuinely does make life easier, however from the prospective of building a career in embedded electronics, it’s my opinion that the Arduino ecosystem is a hinderance.

Ever since the Pi 2 model B went to a 4-core processor, disk IO has often been the primary bottleneck for my Pi projects.

You can use microSD cards, which aren’t horrible, but… well, nevermind, they’re pretty bad as a primary disk. Or you can plug in a USB 3.0 SSD and get decent speed, but you end up with a cabling mess and lose bandwidth and latency to a USB-to-SATA or USB-to-NVMe adapter.

The Pi 4 actually has an x1 PCI Express gen 2.0 lane, but the USB 3.0 controller chip populates that bus on the model B. The Compute Module 4, however doesn’t presume anything—it exposes the PCIe lane directly to any card it plugs into.

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More than 700 thousand human deaths from mosquito bites are observed annually in the world. It is more than 2 times the number of annual murders in the world. In this regard, the invention of new more effective methods of protection against mosquitoes is necessary. In this article for the first time, comprehensive studies of mosquito neutralization using machine vision and a 1 W power laser are considered. Developed laser installation with Raspberry Pi that changing the direction of the laser with a galvanometer. We developed a program for mosquito tracking in real. The possibility of using deep neural networks, Haar cascades, machine learning for mosquito recognition was considered. We considered in detail the classification problems of mosquitoes in images. A recommendation is given for the implementation of this device based on a microcontroller for subsequent use as part of an unmanned aerial vehicle. Any harmful insects in the fields can be used as objects for control.

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I made a control board for the Microsoft Sculpt wireless keyboard that converts it to wired USB, and now my favorite keyboard is even better.

In this guide I will explain how to receive SMS messages and forward them to your Telegram account using Raspberry PI Zero W and Wireshare GSM hat.

I recently received an Inkplate, and while I’m in the middle of a few interesting projects already, I couldn’t let it sit there unused. Until I get a longer chunk of time to turn it into something really nifty — maybe an embedded debugging helper of some kind — it can at least mean I no longer need to have open.

I recently made a post about how I was able to configure the new tab page in my browser to display my org agenda. Since then I’ve been working on another project similar to that, trying to take the concept even further.

A while ago I purchased an Inkplate 6 during its crowd funding stage on Crowd Supply, with the exact intention of creating something like this.

At the core of the Inkplate 6 is the ESP32. An Arduino-compatible micro-controller with integrated Bluetooth and WiFi. It draws very little power, which makes it ideal for something like this, as I leave on 247. It also has the benefit of being able to pull from the Arduino community, benefiting from the many libraries people have created.

The way it works is very similar to the org agenda new tab page. It leverages the exact same agenda-html script, which has been modified to export a text version of the agenda, as well as the HTML version I already used. This script is run by a cron job every 5 minutes. The ESP32 fetches this text agenda export and prints it verbatim onto the screen. This happens on a loop, also every 5 minutes, so it’s always up to date with any changes I make to my org files. The Arduino sketch for this project can be found on my github here.

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The ESP32 is a cheap microcontroller providing built-in Bluetooth and Wifi support, many GPIOs and analog inputs, etc. It’s extremely low price (a few dollars) makes it very attractive and it is being used in an increasing number of boards. A wide range of “unknown/secret” development boards targeting audio applications are based on the ESP32 and can be found on Alibaba/AliExpress. While most of them target the development of “intelligent speakers” (e.g., Alexa, etc.), they host all the components to carry out real-time DSP applications and can therefore be used to develop digital musical instruments, effect processors, synthesizer hardware, etc. The TTGO T-Audio or the ESP32 Audio Dev Kit are good examples of such boards.

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I fancied getting an eink screen to use for future projects. I bought a wee one with a raspberry pi “hat” attached. However, I realised later that I could maybe just re-purpose an old Amazon Kindle ebook reader.

I’ve messed with Kindles before, ages ago: I ported an Infocom interpreter and a Manga reader to it. I managed to get Amazon’s own software to load them as “Kindlets” and show them integrated into their ebook reader. However, now I just want a nice cheap Linux based eink development platform.

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The Motorola MC14500B1 is a 1-bit processor introduced in 1976. While a 1-bit processor might seem almost useless,2 it was marketed as an Industrial Control Unit for applications that made simple decisions based on Boolean logic, for example, air conditioning, motor control, or traffic lights…

First occurrence on eth0:2010 Winterlan, the LackRack is the ultimate, low-cost, high shininess solution for your modular datacenter-in-the-living-room. Featuring the LACK (side table) from Ikea, the LackRack is an easy-to-implement, exact-fit datacenter building block. It’s a little known fact that we have seen Google engineers tinker with Lack tables since way back in 2009.

This repo only contains the code that runs on the Kindle. It periodically fetches an image to be displayed on the screen and suspends the device to RAM (which is very power efficient) until the next screen update.

This code does not render the dashboard itself. It’s expected that what to display on the screen is rendered elsewhere and can be fetchd via HTTP(s). This is both more power efficient and allows you to use any tool you like to produce the dashboard image.

In my case I use a dashbling dashboard that I render into a PNG screenshot on a server.

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Share and discuss cool hack projects.

Created on Sep 11, 2020
By @gurlic