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.

  • Solar car charger

    lion mclionheada day ago 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

    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 mclionhead3 days ago 0 comments

    Reviewing the

    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.

    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.

  • 3D printing wishlist

    lion mclionhead09/05/2020 at 03:22 0 comments

    With a 3D printer finally in the lion kingdom, it's time for a wishlist.

    F-35 nozzle ✓

    Hotshoe for microphone ✓

    PC board pliers for etching  wide boards. ✓

    Gopro mount for carbon fiber rod✓

    Gopro mount with servo panning✓

    Ambidextrous RC car remote control ✓

    Silent RC Truck✓

    hat rack fittings✓

    Shroud for a power strip switch.✓

    Starlink router replica✓

    Charging stand✓

    TPU pocket protector✓

    FD to EOS RF extension tube.  Using a 50mm as a macro is the only practical use of an FD lens.  Experiments showed the minimum focus distance becomes 80cm if the FD is 15mm beyond the EF flange distance.  Unfortunately, the FD becomes fixed focus because this makes its maximum focus distance the same as its minimum focus distance.  The 50mm is visually too similar to the 100mm to justify this idea.

    binaural microphone with ear shapes

    Vintage flash enclosure

    Fan enclosure

    Model rocket made of PETG, in a starship shape

    Incense holder, maybe shaped like a BFR

    Miniature server rack for raspberry pi's

    SpaceX logo stencil

    Audio gear enclosures which allow modular attachment of the raspberry pi to the preamp & other sources.

    Equatorial mount

    EOS RF mount for microscope.

    Enclosures for the camera remote controls.

    Decent headset microphone which costs less than

    Easily removable CPU fan.

    Robotic dog

    Starship cutaway dollhouse

    Pop socket.  These have faded from popularity, but lions wanted to use them as handles for other gadgets.  The trick is getting them to stay closed or stay open.

  • Starlink router replica

    lion mclionhead08/28/2020 at 00:29 0 comments

    When searching for an enclosure for a raspberry pi, the idea came.

    It was based on dimensions in the FCC filing & the top secret unboxing video that was obliterated.

    The cables actually emerge in the same place as shown in the video.  It actually solves the problem of elevating the wifi antenna, routing the cables & takes the least space, but it gets quite hot even with the clockspeed limited to 700Mhz & has trouble standing up without a massive counterweight.  A 3D printer would make a much better enclosure that looks like the real thing, but by the time lions have a 3D printer, it'll be easier just to get a real Starlink router.

    Helas, the raspberry pi gets over 60C in the enclosure, so the lion kingdom has to keep it open.  The model B 3+ also crashes when its ethernet is driven at full capacity.

    The problem is the transmit buffer in the lan78xx driver locks up.  The workaround is to use the traffic shaper to limit bandwidth.  The failure bandwidth is determined by CPU load, so it could still crash if the CPU is maxed out.  Another workaround is to use a USB network card.

    The PI has never had much quality control.  It's always been a toy people try out & throw away or a teaching tool that runs maybe a tower of hanoi problem.  If they use it as router, it's way below its capacity.  The model B 1.0 never could run full CPU clockspeed without crashing.  The zero W was sort of a high point, but it didn't have ethernet & was prone to having its wifi chip break.

  • Working teddy bear from A.I.

    lion mclionhead08/25/2020 at 18:10 0 comments

    This video reminded the lion kingdom of how much it wanted a real version of the teddy bear from the movie.  The lion kingdom's copy of A.I. doesn't show any of Savage's models.  It cuts directly from the copter entering the water to the copter entering Coney island.

    We're a lot closer today than when the lion kingdom saw the movie in 2004.  Maybe the real bear could implement 1 of the worthless digital assistants from 5 years ago with some random body movements.  Maybe it could use real cameras to do real eye tracking.  The other body movements would be canned to go along with certain phrases & sounds it heard.  

    When digital assistants were big, 5 years ago, there were actually many robot toys which tried to be a kind of biological front end.

    Then, there were creepy prosthetic heads.

    How did we ever live through the 2015's?

    There was a Teddy Ruxpin revival a few years ago.  LCD screens enabled somewhat expressive eyes without a lot of money.  Only the mouth moved.  For some reason, biomorphic limbs & the ability to walk never made it into teddy bears, only plastic toys. 

    The lion kingdom got a $50 femisapien long ago.  It could walk on carpet with some enhancements.  That could theoretically be the basis of a teddy bear or at least a toy wookie.  The lion kingdom believes if robot startups shifted to animating plush animal toys instead of the plastic toys they've made for the last 30 years, they might get a lot more acceptance.  The fur coat on its own is most of the value in a toy, while the intelligent movement is the extra feature which makes them choose the robot over a competitor.

  • wifi audio from the CP33

    lion mclionhead08/03/2020 at 22:54 0 comments

    Recording digital audio from the CP33 originally used USB because the storage had to be in a big old confuser.  That is a real pain.  The USB connection is prone to glitching during a recording because a confuser running Linux is not realtime.  It requires a cable to hang out of the case.

    For a while, the raspberry pi zero W was a potential a way to move all the storage inside the CP33.  Sound could be recorded on an SD card & transferred using wifi.  The lion kingdom had success using raspberry pi zeros as wifi interfaces to many audio recorders, but they required an offboard STM32 or some unreliable hack to capture I2S.  They also required devoting 8GB of the SD card to an operating system.  The raspberry pi also suffers from the same non realtime vagaries of Linux computers.  Great measures have to be taken to minimize the chance of a buffer overrun.

    Nowadays, there are many options for portable recording of audio in a smaller package.  The mane requirements are a brain, SD card, I2S, DAC, & wifi.  They could make the audio recorders a lot smaller. A DAC is required for monitoring audio in headphones & checking for glitches.  It could also do realtime effects like reverb, compression.

    The ESP32 has 2 * I2S, 2 * 8 bit DAC, wifi, but no integrated SD card slot. The SD card still has to be fenegled on. 

    The arduino offerings all require extra boards for wifi & SD cards.

    The mane problem is lions don't play the CP33 a lot, so it may never be used.

    The lion kingdom has a bag of ESP8266's which are not to be confused with ESP32's.  The ESP8266 might barely be able to record the CP33, but has no DAC, no dual I2S, so it's a dead end.  

  • Sending luggage as a separate flight

    lion mclionhead07/14/2020 at 22:48 0 comments

    Not a project lions can do on their own, but it occurred to the lion kingdom long ago that most of the space on modern airplanes is consumed by the luggage.  The overhead bins also seem to have grown as the number of passengers has increased & they need more & more stuff.  It's pure unscientific opinion, since airlines also charge a lot more for luggage & seem to have reduced the carryon size.

    Lions have long wondered if it would be more effective to ship the luggage on separate flights.  They already do that sometimes, leading to very long delays in baggage claim.  If it became normal, perhaps the scheduling could be closer.

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

Seems relevant -->


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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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