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Silly hardware wishlist

Too simple for a project page & which may never happen.

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Replacing the TOSLINK on the ultimate amplifier with USB which can be captured.  It could finally be plugged into multiple computers instead of the 1 with the TOSLINK output.  There is an ancient STM32 discovery board which could be dropped in.

Something which can measure the duration of long delays down to the microsecond, but that might evolve into a super oscilloscope of some kind.  It would measure delays up to 1 second.  It would be USB controlled.  The mane problem with a super oscilloscope is the low I/O speed of a microcontroller & small memory buffer.  The best microcontroller would be limited to buffering maybe 1megbyte at 40Mhz.  Buffering over USB would be limited to 1.5Mhz.  It could capture long delays down to 1us.  

Capacitive multiplier for the preamp.

  • Real pterodactyl glider

    lion mclionhead05/31/2021 at 02:22 0 comments

    The RC pterodactyl in Wargames symbolized Steven Falcon's supreme intelligence over ordinary people who just flew model cessnas.  The lion kingdom believes the movie prop actually flew.  

    It had transparent vertical stabilizers in a few frames.  It raised its legs to pitch up & lowered its legs to pitch down, as a form of weight shift.  It turned its head to yaw.  There are ways to get wing warping by making large servo horns.

    There are very low fidelity toy pterodactyls from China.  The movie prop was a glider rather than an ornithopter.  A higher quality movie prop replica would require manely a lot of old fashioned latex & canvas modeling.  

  • Repurpose a vintage remote control

    lion mclionhead04/10/2021 at 23:24 1 comment

    The lion kingdom's beloved 20 year old remote control has become quite packed with new functions, though it's still not as functional as it was controlling its original HTR-5230.

    Helas, it's 1 of a kind.  It may never die, but if it goes, it could be replaced by the cheapest multifunction remote.

    https://www.amazon.com/Chunghop-Universal-Learning-Function-L336/dp/B07C97YBBC

    But the lion kingdom has been intrigued by vintage remote controls from the peak of consumer electronic history, the 1980's.  After much research, the ultimate remote control was the Mitsubishi VS-457R remote control.

    Helas, there is no VS-457R remote documented on the internet.  There are only photos of a VS-405R which came 1 year later.  These ebay photos still show exactly what the lion kingdom remembers about the 457: the giant LED bar on top, the rectangular status LED, the VCR/TV switch, the engraved volume buttons, the thin form factor with bend on the bottom, the AAA battery compartment, the metal plate with peel off cover.  Don't forget the "expand" button, which delayed 1 of the speakers to simulate stereo.  Then, there was the separate audio program button.  Is gootube ever going to have a separate audio program or fake stereo?

    It has the strange table on the back with "hyper" channels.  Never did figure out what it was for.  It may look very primitive by today's standards, but to a 10 year old lion long ago, it was living in the future.  For someone who dropped $3000 into Japan's economy for a TV, Japan would provide only the most luxurious remote control.  Of course, the only VCR which it controlled in VCR mode was Mitsubishi's top of the line HS-421UR, $900 in those days.

    Although lions were told it was 8 heads, the internet only shows a 4 head.  It also didn't last as long as cheaper VCR's.  The TV remote actually replicated very little of the VCR's remote.  You still needed the VCR remote to do any on screen programming, slow motion, frame advance.  It was a complete waste of money just to have 8 more buttons work on the TV remote.  A smarter lion could have hacked any VCR to accept the Mitsubishi codes.

    Between the 2 remotes & the front panel, we had 3 copies of the play button, but there were even more on the front panel.



    An older lion just sees a high pass filter where it says "picture" & "detail", but tweeking those square tact buttons & perfectly damped pots sure felt good in the day.  It was the peak of prosumer non S-VHS, non D-VHS, good old VHS.

    The VCR remote would also make a very nice modern retro controller. 


    Those tiny square buttons don't look like much, but they felt really precise in 1986.  These 80's controllers felt really solid by today's standards.

    Good luck ever finding a screen cap of the programmed recording interface.  The lion kingdom family actually acquired the TV some time between 1985 & 1986 & it lasted 10 years with 1 replacement of a deflection transistor.

    It had a hidden panel with real nice MHPS2283 push switches.  The audible click is essential.  There's absolutely no record of mid 80's giant TV's on the internet.  The current gootube generation is just too young. 

  • Swamp coolers

    lion mclionhead04/01/2021 at 09:06 0 comments

    Long a dream for lions, a practical way to have a swamp cooler has emerged.  Basically a stationary atomizer on a tripod would be placed in a fixed position in front of the F-35 nozzle.  It wouldn't look like an afterburner & the nozzle would have to be manually pointed at it, but given the nozzle direction being static during the hottest time of day, it would work.  The atomizer would be fed by a simple tube & aquarium pump.  

    A 2nd atomizer for running could be placed on the camera pole & aimed with the existing camera pointer.  It would have a more limited supply of water, but it might be enough to cool off a lion running next to it.  It would also spray anyone nearby, but few animals come near the mane.

  • 3D printed heat sink

    lion mclionhead03/29/2021 at 19:43 0 comments

    The best 3D printed heat sink is made of PETG filled with copper filings to get it to conduct heat.  The only brand was kexcelled petg which is no longer produced.  The best solution nowadays is copper filled PLA at $50 for a tiny amount.

    https://www.matterhackers.com/store/l/proto-pasta-copper-composite-htpla-05kg/sk/M0FYXMW3

    Another idea which might work is making thin walled PETG filled with thermal paste.  Thermal paste is more expensive than copper PLA.  

  • Piano booster box

    lion mclionhead03/16/2021 at 04:31 0 comments

    Previously, there was an idea to break out the front panel metronome controls to an outboard keypad & display.  

    https://hackaday.io/project/80525/log/175545-outboard-front-panel-standing-up

    A more practical idea is to pass the headphone output into an outboard box which mixes an outboard metronome with the headphones.  It would have preset tempos & a display.  It wouldn't put the metronome sound in any recordings.  This of course, could be combined with the Wifi recording idea

    https://hackaday.io/project/162680/log/181769-wifi-audio-from-the-cp33

    It would now be a raspberry pi 4 outside the keyboard, with the existing board of 10 years staying inside the keyboard to capture the I2S signal & send it over USB.  The pi would have a standard web interface on a phone.  It would add metronome sounds, reverb, dynamic range compression, recording, & VU meters.  Recent experience with the ALSA mmap mode showed the latency of audio processing in Linux can be imperceptible if you just don't use any hyped libraries.  

    Helas, the reverb & compression could never be as good in realtime as it is in Cinelerra.  That uses long windowed FFT's & readahead buffers.   It would have to use really short FFT's or FIR filters.

  • Solar car charger

    lion mclionhead03/02/2021 at 21:06 0 comments

    The car battery loses 16Ah every 2 months it isn't driven.  Letting it drop & recharging it every 2 months isn't a solution.  Borrowing $4 million for a house with a real garage isn't affordable, so something had to be done to top it off without manes voltage.

    A $15 solar panel 

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B089793L93


    didn't work so well, either. Wiring it as 5S2P, it gave 15V 75mA in direct sunlight. It gave 3.5V 3.5mA in the shade. If it was wired in 10S, it would give 7V 1.5mA in the shade. It needs to get above 15V to charge.

    The car burns 270mAh every day, requiring 3.6 hours in direct sunlight to recharge. Being parked in direct sunlight would destroy the paint. Open circuit voltage goes to 30V, so it would need protection diodes to avoid blowing up the car if the battery was disconnected.

    A more expensive solar panel, filling the entire windshield would probably do it.  It's a question of how much of a solar panel lions can afford before it becomes cheaper to let the battery degrade, how much of a solar panel can fit in the car.

    Having a removable battery top off the car wouldn't work, either.  It would have to withstand high temperatures & be 16V 10Ah, very expensive.  It would be completely discharged every month, subject to the same degradation, so a car battery rated for 8 years would get charged by another expensive battery which degraded over 8 years.

  • Bare screen & keyboard laptop

    lion mclionhead03/01/2021 at 00:07 0 comments

    Reviewing the 

    https://frame.work/

    modular laptop, it's not much different than the others, very small screen, very bulky, no stated battery life but it's probably awful.  There was also the raspberry pi laptop, the OLPC laptop, the netbook revolution.  Laptops just can't be every high performing unless they're designed as 1 piece.

    Lions believe the ideal way to get a modular laptop is a bare screen & keyboard with no computing in the lap part.  The CPU, RAM & storage would be a separate brick which would fit in a backpack or a pocket.  Maybe the computing could be a phone.  It would need 2 batteries.  It would drive the screen & keyboard over wireless.  There were wireless display standards 15 years ago, but probably nothing that can drive modern resolutions with a low amount of power.  Maybe something could be hacked.

  • Elbow massager

    lion mclionhead10/31/2020 at 05:45 0 comments

    Fan that tracks your face using machine vision.

    Paw crank for winding filament on the Ender 3.  This needs a clutch for normal printing, but it would be useful for pre-measuring the amount of filament for the next print.  

    The craziest idea is a motorized elbow massager which passively massages while being worn.  Lions have always had a slight numbness in their left paw & massaging the elbow near the nerve tends to relieve it.  The problem happens in the right paw when running.  A passive massager would be worn on the right elbow when running & left elbow when sitting still.

    There are balloon pants for massaging legs & elbow massagers which require active manipulation.  Lions want to wear it & forget it.

    The lion kingdom's biomedical wishlist extends to dreams of a passive, motorized scalp massager.

  • Better CPU fan attachment

    lion mclionhead10/14/2020 at 03:00 0 comments

    It should be easily removable for cleaning, manely.  They all have excellent airflow, nowadays.  Even better would be a blower attachment with a filter.

    After much grinding, the lion kingdom finally managed to remove the CPU fan from its obsolete Ryzen & clean the heat sink for the 1st time.  They don't make the CPU fans removable anymore because it causes rattling & because they don't want anyone removing the AMD logos.  This limits cleaning.


    Theoretically, the CPU never exceeds PLA melting temperatures, so it should be possible to print a decent fan attachment.  All the stock CPU fans for the last 15 years have had excellent airflow.  It was only the lion kingdom's 1999 era celeron & 1997 era cyrix which had horrible airflow.  Still, attaching a blower to a CPU in order to truly blast it remanes a dream.  This was somewhat achieved with the celeron. It was harder to clean than a fan & took a lot more space, but a filter could be attached to it.

    Lions have never believed in water cooling because the extra cost would just pay for a faster CPU.  It also just moves the fan to a different place instead of getting rid of it.

  • Animatronic Robotech mecha

    lion mclionhead09/25/2020 at 06:34 0 comments

    Given unlimited time, money, & storage, the lion kingdom's favorite mecha from the series was the alpha fighter & the cyclone in season 3.  

    https://www.amazon.com/Toynami-Robotech-New-Generation-Beta/dp/B004D5R3RG

    There are a few Robotech toys still being sold, manely from the Macross series.  There's only 1 alpha fighter, for a lot of money.  They're of varying quality & not animatronic.  The TV show was subsidized by selling toys, so season 3 obviously flopped for them to be selling no toys for it.  Something that transformed autonomously in front of your eyes would be a hit.  Not sure it could transform & walk, but it definitely couldn't fly.

    7 months after the note,

    someone actually produced an animatronic transformers toy, for $700.  It's not very faithful to the fine details, but it actually transforms the way it did in the cartoon & looks roughly like optimus prime.  It has fairly biomorphic movement in humanoid mode & actually drives in truck mode, though there was no demo of it turning.  It must have taken quite a bit of miniaturization to cram all those servos in.  Helas, it's a lot more functional as a truck than an airplane.  Robotech never had any transforming trucks.  Its only wheeled transformer was the motorcycle.

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Starhawk wrote 04/25/2020 at 05:37 point

Seems relevant --> https://i.imgur.com/aLKt7Of.jpg

;)

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Daniel Dunn wrote 03/15/2019 at 08:10 point

Have you heard of Yggdrasil? A network of solar powered mesh repeaters with commodity long range WiFi hotspots plus long range microwave links for the super long distances seems like it could be a great way to extend the range.

Organizations the size of ham clubs could probably set up 25km 100mbps links without too much difficulty if they had line of sight, and people who wanted to use them could do so via the public internet or via directional WiFi, all transparently, keeping the same IP no matter how you connect.

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