Archive for the ‘#liveupdates’ Category

Shenzhen to Hong Kong on High Speed Rail

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Even though Shenzhen and Hong Kong are basically the same city on opposite sides of a border, it's still a frustratingly long trip to Hong Kong Central for a Reuben at Morty's Deli. The new high speed rail line linking downtown Shenzhen to downtown Hong Kong makes the trip in...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Shenzhen | 2 Comments »

BUS PIRATE: USB Micro B connector test

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

USB Micro B is the connector of the moment, but we haven't had a very good time working with it. The bog-standard Chinese generic Micro B connectors on Bus Pirate v5 and Bus Pirate NG1 break constantly. We tested a Micro B connector with through-hole support tabs on the latest...

Posted in #liveupdates, Bus Pirate, USB | 4 Comments »

How to measure laser cut length or time?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

To price laser cutting online we need to extract two pieces of info from uploaded design files. The area of a box surrounding the design, called the bounding box, is the amount of material needed. The length of all the cuts in the design can be used as a rough...

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Posted in #liveupdates, site | 5 Comments »

HOW-TO: Add live websites to GIT without interruptions or security risks

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Over at the DEV site we've been using GIT repositories hosted at to push (deploy) changes to the live server instantly. It's way slicker than uploading changed files by FTP, which has no roll back if something goes wrong. It also solves one of our China internet problems: routing...

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Posted in #liveupdates, how-to, site | 3 Comments »

Owning DirtyPCBs: an opportunity lost

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

With the Chinese company out of the way, I've had some time to work on projects and plan what to do next. One thing I have to do is own DirtyPCBs, I've failed at some basic stuff. was a joke. It started as a quick script so our team...

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Posted in #liveupdates, | 23 Comments »

HOW TO: Chinese work permit and residency visa

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

First we started a Chinese company, then we got a bank account and import export permit. The last major thing is a work permit and residency visa. Americans, Canadians, and soon Australians, all get an automatic 10 year multiple entry visas for China. It's quite common for foreigners to post...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Chinese Company, Shenzhen | 3 Comments »

HOW TO: China import/export permit and company bank

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Last week we described the painful process of opening a Chinese company. That was actually the fast and easy part. There's still a pile of paperwork and months of waiting ahead. This week we look at the proper, and improper, ways to export from China. A Chinese import export permit...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Chinese Company, Shenzhen | 3 Comments »

HOW TO: Start a Chinese Company

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

While Shenzhen is becoming “Hollywood for Makers”, and not always in a good way, there don't seem to be a lot of foreign open hardware/maker/start-up/accelerated/innovated/incubated people starting Chinese companies. As far as we know, we are the first foreign owned open hardware centric Chinese company in Shenzhen. With everything going...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Chinese Company, Shenzhen | 25 Comments »

DP 2016: Live from China!

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Today Dangerous Prototypes is a legal Chinese company! 100% legit with import/export license, work permits, visas, and an office in Huaqiangbei (the world's largest electronics market). It is likely the only Open Hardware centric WFOE (Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise) in Shenzhen, and perhaps China. It took over a year to...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Chinese Company, Shenzhen | 21 Comments »

Screw it, lets go live! Dev site launch

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Dirt cheap SLA 3d prints, custom color PCBs, and not-ripping-you-off pogo test pins are now available at! We built a bunch of new, no nonsense, instant pricing services modeled after the simplicity of, please help us test them! Dirty SLA 3D prints – $0.95 per gram for beautiful...

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Posted in #liveupdates, site | 20 Comments »

Help with Xvfb, Eagle, and permissions on Ubuntu?

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Trying to get Eagle working on a headless Ubuntu box using X virtual frame buffer. It sometimes kind of works, and there's a general feeling that permissions are involved. xvfb-run -a /opt/eagle-7.3.0/bin/eagle -C'EXPORT IMAGE schematic.png 600; QUIT' /var/www/dangercore/temp_upload/bp.sch xvfb-run -a /opt/eagle-7.3.0/bin/eagle -C'RUN /var/www/dangercore/eagle/ulp/bom.ulp; QUIT;' /var/www/dangercore/temp_upload/bp.sch Two commands need to be...

Posted in #liveupdates | 16 Comments »

Bay Area Maker Faire 2015

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Please have a free Sierra Nevada for us at Friday night's Maker party, we're skipping this one. Too much going on here in Mom's basement to venture out into the sunlight. If you're at the faire early you can still check Noisebridge hacker space and recreate the Mission District Taco...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Maker Faire | No Comments »

3D model .STL to .PNG preview

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Bing search sucks. Tried a bunch of ways to get image previews from 3d model .STL files. OpenSCAD does a decent and fast preview, but you gotta figure out where to put the camera for a good scene. The Linux repositories with OpenSCAD are outdated so you have to compile...

Posted in #liveupdates, site | 4 Comments »

CNC3020 assembled in 30 minutes

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Got it bolted together in less than an hour. Works. Except the safety stop that is, it does not work at all. Next the software.

Posted in #liveupdates | 9 Comments »

CNC3020 milling machine arrives

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Hacker Camp Shenzhen volume 4 was a huge success! It seemed like half the hackers were playing with CNC mills of some sort. On the second day of camp I spent an awesome afternoon brainstorming CNC PCB making with Drew and hunting Depu market for copper clad, rivets and other...

Posted in #liveupdates | 4 Comments »

On the second day of Taobaomas

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

It is 8:30pm in China. Time to review today's Taobaomas haul. Taobao recently started taking foreign debit and credit cards, so for the first time I feel fully Taobao-enabled. Today we have another load of food imports. Hope thus isn't annoying you too much, I just want to show the...

Posted in #liveupdates | No Comments »

On the first day of Taobao Christmas

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Taobao, the Chinese shopping site that combines eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba, recently got a lot easier for foreigners to use. As Sjaak documented in his Taobao buying adventures a few years ago, most foreigners use an agency that takes payment via Paypal, purchases your babies, and forwards them to you...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Shenzhen, What did you buy? | 18 Comments »

PCB Christmas Tree Ornaments

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Our office Christmas Tree is decorated with PCBs this year. Bitmap images of classic Christmas iconography were imported into Eagle for the board outlines. Decoration was supposed to be exposed silver areas but something went wrong. Instead, we just traced over the masked copper with markers. Should you like your...

Posted in #liveupdates | No Comments »

Maker Villa Penang workshop

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Maker Villa Penang started out with a breakfast of local street food at the historic Ren I Tang hotel, we grabbed a bag of Indian pastries and curry dips on the corner and met the group. Hackers with style. Maker Villa Penang rented this entire building in a UNESCO world...

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Posted in #liveupdates | No Comments »

Maker Villa Penang introduction

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

William @ SGmakers threw a Hacker Villa in Penang Malaysia after attending (and sponsoring) Hacker Camp Shenzhen. We got to attend the first two days full of hacks, food, and making new friends. Penang is an island, and UNESCO world heritage site, just off the coast of Malaysia. Its renound...

Posted in #liveupdates | 1 Comment »

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Recent Comments

  • Joe Desbonnet: Ya, I can recommend the low melting point solder. I used brand 'ChipQuik' and it's amazingly easy to use.
  • Jerome: I need a new BusPirate for the Fablab ;) Many thanks!
  • Max: Seems like an unexpectedly violent way to remove the chip indeed. A hot air station should of course do the job just fine, but in...
  • jose: Part removal described here is pure butchery, the cheapest hot air station will do a fast and clean job removing the QFP, heat air to...
  • Cody: Yes please