Reader questions: Thickness of PCB traces for a 120A solenoid

George asks how thick PCB traces should be for driving a 120A solenoid:  I’m doing a board design to power a solenoid that apparently draws 120 amps, but it’s only on for about 300 ms (I imagine it has some kind of “inverse curve” looking decrease with time, I haven’t thought about it too much). […]

Chumby Hackerboard – Support THS moving efforts

Tokyo HackerSpace are moving to a new place. To support this move they teamed up with Safecast to offer the Chumby HackerBoard at ~$63, which is %30 off the normal price. The Chumby HackerBoard is a single board Linux computer, with a 454 MHz ARM processor, and 64 MB of memory. Tokyo HackerSpace in conjunction […]

Online course for Altera’s SignalTapII logic analyser simulator for FPGAs

In a previous post we wrote about Kiran’s review of Altera’s SignalTapII logic analyzer simulator for FPGAs. Jason let us know that Altera provides many free online courses for their tools, and one of them is for the SignalTapII. The course covers the following: Add one or more instances of the SignalTap II logic analyzer […]

6502 microprocessor documentary in the works

“THE 6502” is a documentary series by Jason Scott about the MOS Technology 6502 chip, the circumstances that lead to it and the experiences of assembly language programming. Funded in 2011, the project is expected to go for several years of production, interviewing dozens of figures related to this subject. Those familiar with machine language, […]

Jail breaking is not a crime petition

You bought it. You own it. Tell the Copyright Office: let me install whatever software I want on my phone, tablet, or video game system. bunnie Huang, author of Hacking the Xbox, is standing with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to defend users’ right to jailbreak. Will you sign on to bunnie’s letter to show the […]

Help NIST identify these mysterious scientific objects

The National Institute of Standards and Technology accumulates hundreds of odd scientific and technical items each year, often without knowing their exact name or purpose. They have posted photos of various vintage items, and their tentative title in an effort to identify them. In coming months, NIST will add hundreds more mystery tools to those […]

Programmable memory guide

EPROMs are old-school data storage chips with a little window that exposes the silicon inside. Once these chips are programmed, they can only be erased by shining ultraviolet light through the window. The EPROM help page is a guide to identifying and working with these devices. It also covers more modern programmable memory like EEPROM, […]

Documentation wiki now available

A new documentation wiki has replaced the old project manual pages. A bunch of stuff has already been moved and formatted for the wiki. The wiki is open for public editing. We could use your help moving and updating guides,  and adding important details from the blog comments. If you move something from the blog […]

C programmer needed for PIC support!

We’re looking for a C programmer who can add serial port output to usbpicprog. It’s all that stands in the way of bringing PIC 12F/16F/18F/ds30 programming to the Bus Pirate*. usbpicprog is an open source multi-platform programmer that uses wxWidgets toolkit and libusb. It currently sends byte commands to a USB HID driver. Your goal, […]