Sell Various Trinkets

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List your specific ideas for items or services we (the ATX Hackerspace) might design, produce, and sell/perform.


(tentative wording here.. subject to further refinement) Posting of ideas here specifically allows the ATX Hackerspace, and interested individuals working for its direct benefit, non-exclusive rights to investigate and monetize these ideas. The producer of the product is entitled to fair compensation, but the hackerspace shall be considered the primary beneficiary, not receiving less than half the profit after expenses.

(questionable- "The inventor shall have no right of refusal over specific license terms for items produced by entities that exercise this non-exclusive right and demand no obligation from the hackerspace, whether financial, time or other)" - the intent here is to avoid licensing squabbles, if someone wants to produce a design and offers the minimum profit sharing percentage without requiring us to do or pay anything, let them.


- Soldering challenge Hacker Achievement badges:

Design and sell kits offering multiple, increasing levels of difficulty and devilishness that might require some clever skills on the part of the user to successfully complete.

Higher-end kits would have more quantity and smaller-sized parts, requiring more sophisticated tools and skills to assemble- such as: hot air, reflow, software coding & firmware updates, hand-wound inductors/antennas, reverse-engineering protocols or circuits, and so on.

The items will function in some not-necessarily-useful way when completed successfully; and perhaps in lesser ways when partially completed (like, a power supply circuit with a LED indicator; that feeds into the rest of the circuit.).

Maybe some badges would be functional devices that have been "broken" or disabled in some way and you are tasked with diagnosing and fixing it, or devising a workaround.

The finished product is intended more as a display/brag piece than as a useful tool, but there's no reason it couldn't be both. (example: a sonar measuring stick).

Examples (these are wildly speculative about the difficulty, mostly intended as food-for-thought):


alternating flashing LED lights. IR transmitter/receiver pair (press button on one, the other lights up, or buzzes or beeps or whatever).

Medium (more parts, more soldering, larger surface-mount stuff, more thought involved)

- Power supply circuit, 3vdc to 5vac @ 5hz (so its in the visible range) to 3vdc. - Coded sender unit and generic receiver, arduino sketch provided with some very basic API calls like "send(raw)" and "receive(raw)", and a display module with simple API. Using a logic analyzer, decode sender's message protocol. Write a sketch that decodes the message and displays it. - Etching, lasering, vinyl-cuttering, or 3d printing required (maybe you have to alter a case design so that the USB port is accessible, or so that the lid will clear some tall part).

Hard (specialized equipment needed maybe, smaller surface-mount stuff, more sophisticated design, fabrication, debugging, or reverse-engineering required)

-BGA soldering? -FPGA -tiniest SMD components? -delicate materials -etching or milling required -calibration of resistor/capacitor values required using high-frequency oscilloscope or some other specialized tool. -circuits with subtle design problems but easy verification: maybe an incorrect value of capacitor or reversed part that causes a circuit breaker to trip every time you push a button.

- The "Ultimeter" -

A self-contained device (with extensively configurable connector options) that diagnoses and helps tune spark-ignition engines. Aimed primarily at older vehicles that don't already have CAN-bus or similar.

Form factor, a ruggedized-but-smooth-feeling, hand-sized, oblong box with a few rubbery buttons and a modestly-sized LED or OLED screen, maybe 2" x 4". Like a nice tool should feel (like it could be dropped without harm, and used pretty well by those with more intuition than knowledge).

It has an SD memory card slot in the side (easier to handle than the microSD ones), a USB (slave) port, and a solidly-spec'd internal rechargable battery, with external charger/power port.


"Sample Mode":

- Attach two accelerometers (magnetic, or a clip or clamp) to the throttle linkages on my old bmw motorcycle's 2 carburetors. - Attach vaccum sensors to the two carburetors vacuum ports (1 per side). - Clip a wire to the ignition coil trigger lead. - Clip a wire to battery +. - Clip a wire to battery - (or a solid chassis ground). - Attach a piezo-disc knock sensor, perhaps with a wing nut and bolt for a solid vibrational connection. - (open question- design a detachable sensor for crankshaft TDC, working with engines that don't have one built-in. perhaps an optical sensor and illuminator that could be inserted in the viewport, sensing a fresh paint mark on the flywheel).

- Turn device on, switch device to "Sample" mode. - optionally, select custom detailed log levels like higher frequency device sampling. - Go for a drive, at various speeds, for some amount of time.

- Device logs telemetry from the various sensors for later processing. - Certain real-time data displayed on screen during evaluation.

- Download data to PC for post processing by any tool desired.

- OR, switch device to "diagnose" mode.

"Diagnose Mode":

- Select a broad category like "electrical", or "performance". - Select a stored data log. - Device evaluates various diagnostic computed properties to characterize the observed behavior and/or suggest adjustments. - Points ignition only: The coil wire could be disconnected from the coil (and connected to the device), and another lead from the device to the ignition coil, allowing the device to trigger the coil(s) directly, dynamically advancing or delaying the ignition relative to the input signal; while the driver drives. The purpose would be to help the user optimize the ignition timing (initial advance position only or also the advance curve). - Points ignition only: shorting out the coil wire when individual specific cylinders fire, measure whether and how much the idle RPM changes with each - this helps tell us whether the cylinders are in balance overall. If all the cylinders fed by a single carburetor are running worse than the others, perhaps the carburetor has some issue. If only one cylinder in 6 is different, maybe it has a burned valve or a fouled plug or a degraded ignition wire, etc.

Here are some examples of diagnostic questions that might be useful. Some of them could be rider-oriented like measuring acceleration in curves or stopping performance.

- At what combinations of RPM, vacuum, and throttle position were knocking or pinging detected? - (if TDC sensor is available) How much should I advance or retard the timing in order to maximize performance and minimize detonation given the current fuel and weather conditions? - Are my throttle cables synchronized? Are the carburetor idle and air/fuel settings correct and balanced?

"Challenge Mode" ?

 - download & share 
 - how about challenging a driver to get somewhere without exceeding some G-force limit or speed, then upload a secure/verifiable receipt for the achievement or score?
 - geocaching or other location-aware modes?