Monthly Archives: January 2012

How Do They Do That?

via Nuts and Volts

Reverse engineering is one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors in electronics. I’m talking about replicating the functionality of a device that you’ve seen or read about but that’s too expensive or otherwise unavailable. There are numerous issues involved in reverse engineering — from creating a schematic to locating parts. Moreover, you have to understand what’s going on, both mechanically and electronically. In my experience, seemingly simple devices are often the most challenging. However, there are methods you can use to glean an understanding of just about any device on the market.

Wireless (Hacking Commodity Wireless, Practical Wireless, Contiki OS, CWIG)

via OSHUG

At the fifteenth OSHUG meeting we'll be taking a look at wireless technologies. We will hear how you can repurpose low cost commodity equipment, we will be given an introduction to RF basics, we will learn about the Contiki operating system, and we will be introduced to Ciseco's new Wireless Internet Gateway.

Hacking Commodity Wireless

Many people build their hacks from the ground up, but those short of time sometimes prefer to repurpose cheap off-the-shelf components that can be made to fit the bill. A good example being a wireless thermometer for external use, where an off-the-shelf device provides an inexpensive option complete with the requisite weatherproof packaging. However, such devices typically use proprietary protocols and good documentation is rarely available. This talk will look at how to interface such devices where a degree of reverse-engineering is frequently required.

Paul Tanner is a consultant, developer and maker in wood, metal, plastic, electronics and software. His day job is IT-based business improvement for SMEs. By night he turns energy nut, creating tools to optimise energy use. Paul graduated in electronics and was responsible for hardware and software product development and customer services in several product and service start-ups, switching to consulting in 2000.

Practical Wireless

Adding wireless connectivity to your latest open hardware project is not difficult, provided that you take the time to understand some of the principles of RF communication. In this talk we will learn about the basics of wireless propagation, and take a look at some of the low cost modules which now make adding wireless even easier.

Ken Boak joined BBC Research Department after graduating and worked on digital picture processing of HDTV images, and coding algorithms for video distribution around studios. Since then, Ken has worked in laboratory instrumentation, telecommunications, low power wireless and consumer electronics produced in the Far East. With an interest in renewables, Ken now develops laboratory instruments to teach undergraduates the principles of photovoltaic and wind power. Outside of work, Ken is interested in smart wireless sensors, open source hardware and low cost solutions for the Internet of Things.

An Introduction to the Contiki O/S

This talk is aimed to introduce the Contiki OS and some of the development hardware. We will learn about the process of bootstrapping the development environment and there will be a hands-on tutorial.

Ilya Dmitrichenko was born in Soviet Latvia in 1985, grew up and attended a secondary school there, and moved to UK as soon as Latvia joined the EU. He attended the biggest university in London and was rather disappointed with the education, but nevertheless carried on and had fun working on a final year engineering project which served as an introduction to the topic of this talk. Ilya is interested in various aspects of hardware and software, spanning from WSN to DSP and several other random fields.

CWIG — The Ciseco Wireless Internet Gateway

The CWIG is a new open hardware device that is designed to be the "one and only" platform you'd need for a wireless gateway. It employs the same ATmega328 microcontroller that is familiar to Arduino users and supports Ciseco's TI CC1110-based XRF module, XBee, Bluetooth, RFM12B, X10/HomeEasy, FRAM, SD, Ethernet and over-the-air programming with AVRDude. It's sized to be housed in a low cost, compact enclosure and to be cheap to build using through-hole components. In this talk we will be given an introduction to the CWIG and also to the XRF wireless UART and programmable RF module.

Miles Hodkinson's twenty-odd year relationship with IT ended around six years ago when he decided that it was time to do something completely different. He had looked around without success for something to log and control his wind turbine, solar panels and Lister single cylinder engine, and found that nothing was flexible enough for the money he wanted to pay (tens of pounds per device), so he decided he would try and build it himself. After a number of years working on a human-focused method of networking originally built using XBee modules and now termed LLAP, his company developed the TI CC1110-based XRF module.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the talks will start at 18:30 prompt.

Wireless (Hacking Commodity Wireless, Practical Wireless, Contiki OS, CWIG)

via OSHUG

At the fifteenth OSHUG meeting we'll be taking a look at wireless technologies. We will hear how you can repurpose low cost commodity equipment, we will be given an introduction to RF basics, we will learn about the Contiki operating system, and we will be introduced to Ciseco's new Wireless Internet Gateway.

Hacking Commodity Wireless

Many people build their hacks from the ground up, but those short of time sometimes prefer to repurpose cheap off-the-shelf components that can be made to fit the bill. A good example being a wireless thermometer for external use, where an off-the-shelf device provides an inexpensive option complete with the requisite weatherproof packaging. However, such devices typically use proprietary protocols and good documentation is rarely available. This talk will look at how to interface such devices where a degree of reverse-engineering is frequently required.

Paul Tanner is a consultant, developer and maker in wood, metal, plastic, electronics and software. His day job is IT-based business improvement for SMEs. By night he turns energy nut, creating tools to optimise energy use. Paul graduated in electronics and was responsible for hardware and software product development and customer services in several product and service start-ups, switching to consulting in 2000.

Practical Wireless

Adding wireless connectivity to your latest open hardware project is not difficult, provided that you take the time to understand some of the principles of RF communication. In this talk we will learn about the basics of wireless propagation, and take a look at some of the low cost modules which now make adding wireless even easier.

Ken Boak joined BBC Research Department after graduating and worked on digital picture processing of HDTV images, and coding algorithms for video distribution around studios. Since then, Ken has worked in laboratory instrumentation, telecommunications, low power wireless and consumer electronics produced in the Far East. With an interest in renewables, Ken now develops laboratory instruments to teach undergraduates the principles of photovoltaic and wind power. Outside of work, Ken is interested in smart wireless sensors, open source hardware and low cost solutions for the Internet of Things.

An Introduction to the Contiki O/S

This talk is aimed to introduce the Contiki OS and some of the development hardware. We will learn about the process of bootstrapping the development environment and there will be a hands-on tutorial.

Ilya Dmitrichenko was born in Soviet Latvia in 1985, grew up and attended a secondary school there, and moved to UK as soon as Latvia joined the EU. He attended the biggest university in London and was rather disappointed with the education, but nevertheless carried on and had fun working on a final year engineering project which served as an introduction to the topic of this talk. Ilya is interested in various aspects of hardware and software, spanning from WSN to DSP and several other random fields.

CWIG — The Ciseco Wireless Internet Gateway

The CWIG is a new open hardware device that is designed to be the "one and only" platform you'd need for a wireless gateway. It employs the same ATmega328 microcontroller that is familiar to Arduino users and supports Ciseco's TI CC1110-based XRF module, XBee, Bluetooth, RFM12B, X10/HomeEasy, FRAM, SD, Ethernet and over-the-air programming with AVRDude. It's sized to be housed in a low cost, compact enclosure and to be cheap to build using through-hole components. In this talk we will be given an introduction to the CWIG and also to the XRF wireless UART and programmable RF module.

Miles Hodkinson's twenty-odd year relationship with IT ended around six years ago when he decided that it was time to do something completely different. He had looked around without success for something to log and control his wind turbine, solar panels and Lister single cylinder engine, and found that nothing was flexible enough for the money he wanted to pay (tens of pounds per device), so he decided he would try and build it himself. After a number of years working on a human-focused method of networking originally built using XBee modules and now termed LLAP, his company developed the TI CC1110-based XRF module.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the talks will start at 18:30 prompt.