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Hi, and welcome.


This attempts to be a free-form, (mostly un-cohosted) podcast about tech-oriented hobby-projects. Do not proceed if you're looking for a high-quality production.

On a semi-biweekly basis, Michai and optional cohost talk about software, electronics and mechanical engineering from a hands-on point of view. Most of the time, that means giving excuses for not having done any work at all.

Aug 12, 2020

The thrilling tale of 4 months of doing pretty much nothing interesting is coming to a podcast near you today!

After hearing about the hilarious exploding electrolytic, we continue with some lame or slightly-less-lame tools one can just buy off-the-shelf: using H-field probes for injecting magnetic fields into a PCB, the Aim-TTi I-prober 520 for measuring magnetic fields and current, and a simple but superhandy USB power meter.

(I guess it's just a matter of time before all this deteriorates into an unboxing-podcast...)

Various IRL events were canceled, so a YT livestream from a friend of mine got me thinking about 3D printing again. I settled on using a commercial 3D printing-service instead of DIY, and that suits me fine for now. This episode lists some criteria that may help you trying to decide between using a printing-service or getting your own printer, and if so, which printing-method suits you best.

Lo and behold, I actually made something as well: a LED planet decoration thing using 3D printed "planet" and acrylic rings around it, that light up when LEDs shine onto them. For simulating visual effects, I tried and liked the Cairo 2D graphics library (for C).

Links in order of appearance:

And some fluffy pics:

cross section

QCAD: 2D cross section of planet decoration's "planet sphere". The shape itself, and dimensions therein ("A", "B" etc.) can be read and used by OpenSCAD (3D) for extrusion. Pretty cool.



OpenSCAD: extruded 3D shape, resulting from rotating the 2D cross section 360 degrees.


sphere with disk

A transparent engraved disk of acrylic fits between the 2 halves of the sphere.


planet rings

Planet decoration in action. 


with laptop

(laptop shown, to get an impression of the size of the decoration)


LEDstrip in sphere

A piece of LEDstrip sitting snugly inside the bottom half of the planet-sphere in the center, shining outwards into the transparent acrylic sheet.


uSD old board

LED driver, old board with flaws...


uSD new board

...and new version, with fewer flaws.


USB power meter

You DESERVE one of these if you make USB-powered crap. 


to the earth

Shoot your zapper at uranus! A dirty mind is a joy forever, and so is having a NES.