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Hackaday Links: June 26, 2022

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Head for the hills!! We’re all doomed! A minimum of that’s the impression you would possibly get from the headlines about the monster Earth-facing sunspot this week. Whereas any sunspot that doubles in measurement inside a matter of days as AR3038 has finished is price , chances are high fairly low that it’ll trigger issues right here on Earth. About the perfect this class of sunspot can handle is an M-class photo voltaic flare, which usually trigger radio blackouts solely on the poles, and should current a radiation drawback for the crew of the ISS. So no, this sunspot might be not going to kill us all. However then once more, that is the 2020s, and just about every part unhealthy looks like it’s attainable.

Talking of unhealthy outcomes, pity the poor Sonos prospects and their ongoing battle with the corporate’s odd “glitches.” For no matter cause, prospects have been getting shipments of Sonos merchandise they by no means ordered, with at least one customer getting over $15,000 worth of products shipped. The client experiences ordering 5 Sonos objects, however the firm noticed match to fill the order six occasions, stuffing their residence with items. Sonos doesn’t look like doing a lot to make it proper; whereas providing the client free delivery labels to return the products, they had been anticipated to schlep the packages to a UPS retailer. After which there’s the cash — Sonos charged the client for all of the unordered items, and gained’t subject a refund until it’s all returned.

In case you’ve ever questioned precisely what the alerts going up and down your cable line appear like, you’ll wish to try this video from Double A Labs. Utilizing an RTL-SDR dongle and a few spectrum analyzer software program they probed the RF alerts on the cable, with some fascinating outcomes. The primary 11 minutes or so of the video are dedicated to organising the {hardware} and software program, though there’s some fascinating stuff about broadband community structure proper up at first. The scans are fascinating — you possibly can clearly see the 6-MHz quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) digital channels. We had been shocked to study that these begin at simply in regards to the FM broadcast band — about 108 MHz. There have been a few little surprises hiding within the spectrum, like two unmodulated analog TV carriers in a single spot, and the truth that there are over 400 digital channels jammed into 41 6-MHz QAM channels. Broadband certainly.

On a associated be aware, we acquired a tip this week on an RF design series on YouTube that appears fairly complete. It covers the fundamentals, from filters and impedance matching to RF oscillators and amps. Every video is from 15 to 30-ish minutes lengthy, so fairly digestible, and the manufacturing high quality is sweet. You would possibly wish to test it out if it is advisable to rise up to hurry on the Darkish Arts.

And eventually, if not one of the above tickles your fancy, or if you happen to simply actually need to loosen up, you would possibly wish to dedicate a half-hour to watching an analog plotter do its factor. It involves us from our pal CuriousMarc, who not too long ago repaired the basic Hewlett Packard 7035B X-Y recorder, a stupendous Nineteen Sixties design with some fascinating options. Chief amongst these is the usage of photochoppers to cope with the DC offset on the enter. Marc explains all of it within the authentic teardown and repair movies, leaving us with nothing however the sluggish Cartesian dance of the pen in an (virtually) unending Lissajous sample. It’s very soothing.

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