2017-08-04 (F) Weekly Summary

This episode of Two Cyborgs and a Microphone was about exoskeletons which are external mechanical devices used to assist people. These can be used to rehabilitate people or give a stock human an advantage over others.

Brian - Left _____ Tim - Right

All the holes in the printed parts were drilled out since the tolerances on the printed parts were low. My printer could use some tuning but drilling the holes does provide a very clean surface and straight holes.

Forward array holes being "calibrated"

Components for the forward array were all given color-coded wires then short pieces of shrink tube to protect the ends from damage and shorts.

Soldered components

Three more control boards were populated with parts. The order of the parts progressed from the shallowest components, like the IC socket all the way up to the screw terminals. By doing it in this order, the parts could be placed while the board was soldered upside-down.

Populated control boards

A quick break in the laser tag action. I got another implant. This time it was a magnet behind my right ear. The purpose is to create an open-source bone-conduction hearing aid similar to the medical models which cost as much as $10K USD. This idea is not new but may be the first grinder implant behind the ear while the typical location is the tragus.

Magnet implant behind my right ear

Ten sensor boards, for five taggers, were soldered. Each side of the sensor boards were given right-angle female headers so they could attach to LED strips with right-angle male headers. This will provide the lowest profile organization without directly soldering to the light strips.

Sensor boards

Some of the hole sizes were incorrect. The most problematic mistake was drilling the laser module holes so large that they modules fell right through the holes.

Corrected laser module hole diameter

The gaping hole was fixed by printing small spacers so the modules could be glued in place. The models were a quick fix in a day filled with errors. Once affixed, the lasers were glued and held in place with rubber bands.

Laser module repair

Wires for the components at the back of the tagger were prepared. Unlike the forward components, which required soldering, the rear component wires required crimping. The interface with the switches was intended for crimped ends which were economical when purchased in bulk. Color coding for the switches was less important since the switches provided a simple contact.

Wires and crimped ends

The second interruption to the laser tag assembly was a trip to DefCon 25. I volunteered at the Biohacking Village so if you were there, there's a good chance you saw me.

The first real day of DefCon was spent volunteering and listening to talks in the village.

First day summary

The second day of DefCon started by attending a talk by Cory Doctorow who later visited the Biohacking Village while I was volunteering and spoke with me for a moment.

Cory Doctorow speaking at DefCon

The last day of DefCon started at a coffee shop where Hack a Day hosted an informal gathering to hand out swag and show off projects. I brought an unpublished project, which was a big hit with the kind of people who attend DefCon. Some of the most notorious badges appeared here, including the quad-copter badge being flown in the picture below.

Flying a custom DefCon badge

The wrap up for the Biohacking Village was the most satisfying and relaxing end to a day I can imagine. While serving the room for a full weekend, everyone seemed like an old friend by the time we closed. We hung out in the room and eventually went to a nice restaurant where we celebrated a successful DefCon.

Biohacking village gathering


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