Do you live in the Raleigh/Durham area? Are you a fan of the Open Source movement? You’re in luck! Check out RTP 180: Open Source All The Things on September 17th (for free!). The event features guest speakers from three schools you might have heard (NC State, Duke, and UNC), as well as local members of the Open Source community. In addition to basing our operation on the tenants of Open Source, we here at Maniacal Labs enjoy supporting local people and organizations who champion the cause.

The event is free, they just ask that you RSVP (“buy” a free ticket). See the Eventbrite page for more details. We’ll be there, and we look forward to seeing you there as well!

Probably the hardest part of assembling our Binary Epoch Clock Kit is keeping the LEDs aligned and all pointing the same direction. So we designed this simple tool to help out with that process. Not only does it help keep all of the LEDs aligned, but it makes soldering them in much, much quicker.

Normally, per our instructions, you would solder the LEDs in four at a time. But with this, simply insert all of the LEDs and then fit the jig onto the front of the clock PCB. It will hold all of the LEDs in place and correctly aligned while the board is flipped over. No need to even bend the leads over, to hold them in place, before soldering!

If you have access to a 3D printer, you can grab the model file from Thingiverse and print your own.

I just have one question for you! LAAAASERS?!?!

If you have cats, like I do, lasers are probably on their brain most of the time. My cat, Skeletor, has a severe addiction to lasers and is demanding of them every day. Recently, when my wife and I were going to be on vacation for a week, she joked that she wished there was something that would automatically move a laser pointer around a room and automatically turn on every few hours.

The first part was easy and I quickly found the FroliCat BOLT. But the second part was a bit harder; everything I could find turned off automatically but not on. Challenge Accepted!

Read on for instructions on how to hack a FroliCat BOLT to automatically turn itself on.

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