Tag Archives: wireless

Reverse Engineering Wireless Temperature Probes

via Hackaday » hardware

[bhunting] lives right up against the Rockies, and for a while he’s wanted to measure the temperature variations against the inside of his hour against the temperature swings outside. The sensible way to do this would be to put a few wireless temperature-logging probes around the house, and log all that data with a computer. A temperature sensor, microcontroller, wireless module, battery, case, and miscellaneous parts meant each node in the sensor grid would cost about $10. The other day, [bhunting] came across the exact same thing in the clearance bin of Walmart – $10 for a wireless temperature sensor, and the only thing he would have to do is reverse engineer the protocol.

These wireless temperature sensors are exactly what you would expect for a cheap piece of Chinese electronics found in the clearance bin at Walmart. There’s a small radio operating at 433MHz, a temperature sensor, and a microcontroller under a blob of epoxy. The microcontroller and transmitter board in the temperature sensor were only attached by a ribbon cable, and each of the lines were labeled. After finding power and ground, [bhunting] took a scope to the wires that provided the data to the radio and took a look at it with a logic analyzer.

After a bit of work, [bhunting] was able to figure out how the temperature sensor sent data back to the base station, and with a bit of surgery to one of these base stations, he had a way to read the temperature data with an Arduino. From there, it’s just a data logging problem that’s easily solved with Excel, and [bhunting] has exactly what he originally wanted, thanks to a find in the Walmart clearance bin.


Filed under: hardware, home hacks

Radio Pt. 3 (OpenBeacon, HPSDR, Ruling Drones)

via OSHUG

The thirty-ninth meeting will feature an update on the HPSDR project, which we first heard about back in October 2010 at OSHUG #5. There will also be talks on Bluetooth Low Energy programming and OpenBeacon, and making drones play by the rules.

Low Power to the People - take back Bluetooth Low Energy control!

 —Programming BLE the hard way: bare metal programming of nRF51 BLE tokens for fun and profit.

The talk will start with a brief overview of the Bluetooth Low Energy advertisement protocol and how to implement bare-metal BLE on top of the ARM-based nRF51 chip — without using the manufacturer provided Bluetooth stack. The general development flow will be explored along with some useful examples, closing with some mischief that can be caused using this knowledge :-)

The latest version of the OpenBeacon tag design is supposed to be the ultimate hacking, fuzzing and pen testing tool for Bluetooth Low Energy. The hardware schematics and the PCB layout were released under the CC attribution license. We strongly believe that the future of the Internet of Things can be privacy enabled and can work distributed, without selling your soul to large cloud services.

Milosch Meriac has over 20 years experience in the information security business and hardware design. He is currently living in Cambridge where he works for ARM on securing the Internet of Things. In his private time he loves making and grokking things. He is currently playing with RGB strips to create light paintings.

Milosch is the co-founder of active and passive RFID open source projects like Sputnik/OpenBeacon, OpenPCD and OpenPICC, and is committed to RFID related security research. He broke the iCLASS RFID security system and was involved in breaking Mifare Classic security.

As a member of the Blinkenlights Stereoscope Core Team Milosch designed the 2.4GHz OpenBeacon-based dimmmer/Ethernet dardware that was used in the Toronto City Hall Installation. As one of the three maintainers of the former Xbox-Linux Project he helped to break Xbox security and to port the first Linux system to the Xbox. His focus is on hardware development, embedded systems, RF designs, active and passive RFID hardware development, custom-tailoring of embedded Linux hardware platforms, real time systems, IT-security and reverse engineering.

OpenHPSDR Update

A review of hardware and software progress of the High Performance Software Define Radio, an open source hardware and software project being developed by an international group of ham radio enthusiasts.

John Melton has held a ham radio license since 1984 and has developed several open source Linux applications, including ground station software for working digital satellites and software defined radios. He is a retired software engineer after 48 years developing software for several computer manufacturers including Burroughs Corporation, ICL, Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corporation.

Ruling Drones

The danger of drones not sticking to regulations have been a challenge that has been recently in the news. An attempt is being made to see if it would be possible to produce notification when regulation is breached. The plan is to use ArduPilotMega and use a modified version Arducopter so geofencing could be achieved in various areas and a GSM interface is going to be used communicate to the ground monitoring station. The modification of flight controller and ground controller in future would involve the ability to verify authenticity of the geofencing and update the geofencing over the air using GPRS/3G/433 Mhz link and usage of TPM to verify the changes to the code applied.

Anish Mohammed has been an electronics hobbyist and software hacker since his early teens. He spent almost a decade in research and development in security and cryptography. He has most recently developed an active interersts in crypto currency space and ethics of AI (Dexethics.com). He is currently on the board of advisors for Ripple Labs and EA Ventures. He is a confirmed UAV addict who owns a dozen AHRS/Autopilots, both open and partially closed, with interests in multicopters, fixed wings and rovers.

Note: Please aim to arrive by 18:15 as the first talk will start at 18:30 prompt.

Sponsored by:

A Wireless Web-Connected Morse Code Keyer

via Hackaday » hardware

[Kevin] recently scored a Morse code keyer/sounder unit from the 1920s on eBay. While many hams would love to use an old keyer for CW, [Kevin] took a different route and repurposed it into a wireless web-connected morse code keyer.

[Kevin] mounted an Arduino Yun under the keyer, which listens for user input and provides web connectivity. The Yun connects to [Kevin]’s open-source web API he calls “morsel,” which allows it to send and receive messages with other morsel users. When a message is keyed in, the Yun publishes it to the API. When another keyer queries the API for incoming messages, the Yun downloads the morse sequence and replays it on the sounder.

[Kevin] also added some copper electrodes to the top of his enclosure, which act as capacitive buttons while keeping the keyer’s old-school appearance. The left button replays the most recently received message, and the right button sets the playback speed. Check out the video after the break to hear and see the keyer in action.

Thanks for the tip,  [Jarrod].


Filed under: hardware

Wireless Controlled Robotic Hand made with Arduino Lilypad

via Arduino Blog

wireless robotic hand

Gabri295 published on Instructable a tutorial for a project created during his last year of high school.  It’s  an artificial hand controlled by a glove with 5 flex sensors and Arduino Lilypad . The artificial hand reproduces the movements of the hand wearing the glove.

The components you need to control glove are:
• an elastic glove;
• Lilypad Arduino board (there are different versions, which usually only have 4 analog inputs, so pay attention and buy the one in the image);
• Shield to connect the Xbee module;
• 5 Flex sensors;
• 5 resistors: 47 K?;
• battery pack with 3×1.5 V batteries (Lilypad can be powered from 2.7 to 5.5 V, so 4.5 V it’s ok);
• LilyPad FTDI adapter (quite optional).

The materials needed for the robotic hand are:

• a steel structure for the palm of the hand and wood for the fingers;
• Arduino UNO board;
• 5 servomotors;
• to connect the servomotors I used the Robot_Shield from FuturaElettronica, which has also a switching regulator to power the entire circuit, but you can use any shield made for that;
• Shield to connect the XBee module (I made an horrible one, but it’s economic and I needed to make it small because of the size of the Robot_Shield, you can buy even XBee shields which have also pins to connect the servomotors);
• fishing wires;
• 9 V Battery.

Below you can take a look at the schematic and then follow the steps to make one yourself!

 

 

schematic-hand

Monitoring your Gas Consumption with a JeeNode and a nRF24L01+

via Hack a Day» hardware

[Sven337] just blogged about a gas consumption monitoring setup he finished not long ago. As his gas meter was located outside his apartment and nowhere near any electrical outlet, a battery-powered platform that could wirelessly send the current consumption data to his Raspberry Pi was required. His final solution therefore consists of a JeeNode coupled with the well known nRF24L01+ wireless transmitter, powered by 3 supposedly dead alkaline batteries.

[Sven337] carefully looked at the different techniques available to read the data from his meter. At first he had thought of using a reflective sensor to detect the number 6 which (in France at least) is designed to reflect light very well. He then finally settled for a magnetic based solution, as the Actaris G4 gas meter has a small depression intended for magnetic sensors. The PCB you see in the picture above therefore has a reed sensor and a debug LED. The four wires go to a plastic enclosure containing the JeeNode, a couple of LEDs and a reset switch. Using another nRF24L01, the Raspberry Pi finally receives the pulse count and reports it to an eeePC which takes care of the storage and graphing.


Filed under: hardware, Raspberry Pi

Rubber band launcher: no droids were harmed!

via Arduino Blog

Anniken Andee

Jonathan from Anikken wrote us to show how Andee is more than just a Bluetooth shield. Not only does it allow to wirelessly connect and control the Arduino from any Android phone, but it comes with its own library for the Arduino IDE, to easily customise the smartphone user interface by doing the coding in the Arduino IDE itself without  any Android programming.

He then created some action with it producing a Rubber band launcher and a cool video to see how it works:

I got the inspiration to build this rubber band launcher after watching a video of a rubber band gattling gun. I originally intended to build a rubber band gattling gun turret that I can control with my smartphone using stuff that I could find in my home and office.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough materials lying around to get it done. Instead, using whatever I had, I improvised and made a simpler version – the Rubber Band Launcher Mark I. (I’m calling it Mark I because I’m in the process of upgrading this model).

The launcher  was built using some plywood, cardboard, cable ties, some screws, two servos, the Arduino Uno, and the Annikken Andee.

He started with a piece of plywood that he found in his office, he cut it up and mounted two servos to it using screws and cable ties : one servo controls the firing of the rubber band, the other controls the up/down movement. He then mounted the machine onto a cardboard box  filled it with heavy objects to prevent the launcher from topping over.

All in all, the total time taken to construct it took less than three hours. Not bad, right? Follow the instructions, check the code and make it yourself here.

Sending data over Bluetooth Low Energy with a cheap nRF24L01+ module

via Hack a Day» hardware

nRF24L01+ modules like the one shown above are a great way to send data wirelessly between your projects. They can be found on many websites for less than $1.50

a piece and many libraries exist for them. After having thoroughly looked at the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) specifications, [Dimitry] managed to find a way to broadcast BLE data with an nRF24L01+.

Luckily enough, BLE and nRF24L01+ data packets have the same preambles. However, the latter can’t send more than 32bytes in a packet and can’t hop between frequencies as fast as the BLE specification wants. [Dimitry] found the solution when he discovered that he could send unsolicited advertisements on three specific channels. In the end, considering the 32 bytes the nRF24L01+ can send, you’ll need to use 3 bytes for the CRC, 2 for the packet header, 6 for the MAC address and 5 for devices attributes. This leaves us with 16 bytes of pure data or 14 bytes to split between data and name if you want your project to have one.


Filed under: hardware, wireless hacks

My open-source, do-it-yourself cellphone (built with Arduino).

via Arduino Blog

DIY cellphone (in hand)

For a little over a year, I’ve been working on an open-source, DIY cellphone as part of my PhD research at the MIT Media Lab. The current version of the phone is based on the Arduino GSM shield and Arduino GSM library. It sports a deliberately low-resolution screen (8 characters, each a 5×7 matrix of LEDs), a laser-cut wooden enclosure, flexure (living hinge) buttons, and a ~1000-line Arduino program that powers the user interface. The phone can make and receive phone calls and text messages, includes a phone book and caller id, and keeps the time. Everything you’d expect from a 20-year old Nokia! (Except snake.) I’ve been using various iterations of the project as my primary cellphone for the past six months or so.

DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)

The phone is open-source and the design files are available on GitHub (hardware, software). Assembly instructions are on my website, although I wouldn’t recommend making your own unless you have experience with soldering surface mount components.

Second DIY cellphone workshop

Of course, it’s not just me that’s been building these phones. I’ve run two workshops in which other people have made them for themselves. A few people have been building them on their own, including someone who posted his result on Twitter.

Ben Peters' Phone.Dena's purpleheart phoneNadya and Jeff making cellphones

Here you can see some the variations on the enclosure that my friends have made. On the left is a 3d-printed case by Ben Peters, the middle is a CNC-milled purpleheart wood case by Dena Molnar, and on the right is a hand-cut cardboard case by Jeffrey Warren.

DIY Cellphone Prototypes

The phone has undergone numerous revisions as I’ve tried to get it into a robust, useable form. Here you can see some of those variations. I started with an LCD screen like those found on old Nokia phones, but it would break after a month or so in my pocket, so I switched to the more-robust LED matrix. The enclosure has had a few tweaks as well, primarily to find a good design for the flexure buttons.

DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the current incarnation. It seems to be relatively robust, simple enough to assemble by hand, and functional enough to use everyday (although a long way from a smart phone). That’s my DIY cellphone.

A DIY magnetic levitation vehicle to inspire future engineers

via Arduino Blog

DIY maglev

Next to our Arduino booth at Makerfaire Bay Area we had a cool project created by Antipodes, a girls robotics team headquartered in Pacifica, California, USA. It’s a Do It Yourself (DIY) remote controlled (RC) model maglev with electromagnetic propulsion, or shortly called maglev.

A maglev is just like a conventional train but instead of wheels it has magnets and it levitates!

The team did a great job not only for the results achieved but especially in sharing the project’s documentation, detailed with all the steps for the construction through videos and pictures so that others can more easily follow in their footsteps.

DIY maglev

 

The maglev, which won the Maker Faire Editor’s Choice blue ribbon,  contains Arduino UNO, Arduino  Wireless Protoshield, plus many other components you can explore in their videos below and in the project page.

 

Welcome Arduino Yún – the first member of a series of wifi products combining Arduino with Linux

via Arduino Blog

Arduino Yun - iso

 

Massimo Banzi announced it some minutes ago during his annual “The state of Arduino” presentation at Maker Faire Bay Area:  Arduino Yún  is the first of a revolutionary family of wifi products combining Arduino with Linux.

Yún means “cloud” in chinese language,  as the purpose of this board to make it simple to connect to complex web services directly from Arduino.

ArduinoYun - scheme

Designed in collaboration with Dog Hunter, a company with extensive experience with Linux, the board adopts the Linino distribution which provides signed packages to ensure the authenticity of the software installed on the device.

Historically, interfacing Arduino with complex web services has been quite a challenge due to the limited memory available and they tend to use verbose text based formats like XML that require quite a lot or ram to parse. On the Arduino Yún we have created the Bridge library which delegates all network connections and processing of HTTP transactions to the Linux machine.

Arduino Yún is the combination of a classic Arduino Leonardo (based on the Atmega32U4 processor) with a Wifi system-on-a-chip running Linino (a MIPS GNU/Linux based on OpenWRT). It’s based on the ATMega32u4 microcontroller and on the Atheros AR9331, a system on a chip running Linino, a customized version of OpenWRT, the most used Linux distribution for embedded devices.

Like a Leonardo, it has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator and a micro USB connector.

Arduino_Yun
Like any modern computer, it’s Wi-Fi enabled, it has a Standard-A type USB connector to which you can connect your USB devices and it has a micro-SD card plug, for additional storage.

The Yún ATMega32u4 can be programmed as a standard Arduino board by plugging it to your computer with the micro USB connector. And you can also program it via Wi-Fi.

When the Yún is turned on for the first time, it becomes an Access Point, creating a Wi-Fi network named “Arduino”. Open your browser and go to the webpanel: configure the board by entering your Wi-Fi network name, type and password. Click the “Configure” button to restart the board and have it join your home network. Opening the IDE, you’ll see it listed in the “Port” sub menu with its IP address instead of the serial port name.

Using the Bridge library in your sketches, you can link the 32u4 to Linux, launching programs and scripts, passing them parameters (sensor readings for example) and reading their output, thus creating a strong integration between the creativity of your sketch and the power of Linux. The Yún supports Shell and Python scripts out-of-the-box but you can install a wide range of open source software and tools.

For the Linux geek in you, Yún can be reached with SSH:  that means you’ll be able to customize it in whatever way. And you’ll always be able to reset it to its factory settings.

On top of that to make it even simpler to create complex applications we’ve partnered with the innovative startup Temboo which provides normalized access to 100+ APIs from a single point of contact allowing developers to mix and match data coming from multiple platforms (for example Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare but even FedEx or PayPal).

Arduino Yún will be available at the end of June at the price of 69$ + taxes.

 

Sensor Networks (Contiki, Low Power Wireless Sensors, quick2link)

via OSHUG

At the twenty-sixth meeting we will have talks on Contiki, the open source operating system for the Internet of Things, low power wireless sensors and quick2link, a protocol for distributed sensor/actuator networks.

An Introduction to the Contiki O/S

This talk aims to introduce the Contiki OS and some of the development hardware that is used with it. 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.

Note that this talk was originally scheduled for OSHUG #15.

Low Power Wireless Sensors around the Home

Have you ever wondered how much electricity the kettle used this week, what effect installing that loft insulation had on the temperature of the living room, or how humid the loft is?

Small low power wireless nodes make it very easy to deploy a network of sensors to monitor, for example, electrical power, temperature and humidity around the home or office.

This talk will give practical examples of connecting low power wireless sensor nodes to the Web using RFM12B/SRF/XRF 433MHz/868MHz wireless modules, Arduino-based hardware and firmware, and a Raspberry Pi base station running the Emoncms open-source web-application to log, process and visualise the data. Experience will be drawn from OpenEnergyMonitor, a project to develop open source energy monitoring tools to help us relate to our use of energy, energy systems and the challenge of sustainable energy.

Glyn Hudson is a hardware developer for the OpenEnergyMonitor project. Together with Trystan Lea he runs the OpenEnergyMonitor website and online shop. Glyn has a passion for open hardware, sustainable energy and rock climbing… in no particular order!

quick2link

Romilly Cocking spent the ten years before his 'retirement' as an agile software developer, coach and trainer. He spent the first two years of retirement experimenting with robotics. Then Raspberry Pi came along, and now Romilly works full-time running Quick2Wire.

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

Sponsored by:

Kindleberry Pi the second

via Raspberry Pi

Did you get a nice shiny new Paperwhite Kindle to replace your old one? (I haven’t yet. I’m waiting until the inevitable moment when I drop my Kindle Touch and break the screen; I’m currently on my third.) If you did, you might be interested to learn that when you’re not using it to read books or jailbreaking it so you can change the wallpaper, you can use your Paperwhite as a wireless, ultra low-power display for your Raspberry Pi.

We featured the original Kindleberry Pi hack from Ponnuki back in September. That hack required cables, and only worked on the old Kindle 3 (the version with the keyboard), not any later versions – plus, it looked a bit odd because to keep the screen in landscape mode you had to turn the whole assembly on its side, so the keyboard was rotated by 90 degrees. The new Kindle 5 (the Paperwhite) has no keyboard, a faster refresh rate, and a backlight that can be turned on in dark conditions. So Max Ogden has polished Ponnuki’s original Kindleberry Pi idea, and produced a really tidy piece of kit: a Raspberry Pi with a Paperwhite display, a wireless keyboard and a tiny wireless router. He says:

The advantages of the Kindleberry are pretty desirable for me:

  • Week-long battery life: the Pi and the Kindle both have low power ARM processors so you can use any USB charger to power them
  • The Kindle screen is designed for use in direct sunlight
  • The whole setup is small enough to carry around in a pouch inside my normal backpack along with my normal laptop. I work from coffee shops in Oakland and often move around by bicycle during the day — now I can work from almost anywhere and still be at least a little productive.

Here at the Foundation, we’re watching the development of e-ink products with great interest. At the moment it’s nigh-on impossible to buy an e-ink display as a consumer unless it comes bundled as part of an e-reader like a Kindle or a Nook; and that makes them very expensive. The technology has all kinds of potential for applications we want to see the Pi being used for: the low energy requirement makes an e-ink screen a perfect choice for places where you’re off the grid or reliant on solar power. We’re looking forward to seeing prices come down and displays becoming more easily available to consumers.

Obviously, you’re not going to be watching video on an e-ink display any time soon; the refresh rates just aren’t there yet, and if they ever do get there, it won’t be for many years. But for everything else, e-ink’s a great choice. Max says that the Paperwhite’s refresh rate added to the tiny lag that you get using a wireless keyboard means that he sees a ~200ms screen delay when using the Kindleberry Pi, but that this is barely noticeable when typing.

Max has made code and a list of required hardware available at his website.

 

Enabling F-bus communications with Arduino

via Arduino Blog

It’s always nice to see how creative makers approach communication issues in DIY projects, and today we would like to highlight the approach followed by Alex, from InsideGadgets.

On his website, he provides a detailed tutorial on how to use an old Nokia 6110 (or any derivatives) to send SMS messages by exploiting the Nokia’s F-bus, a simple bi-directional and full-duplex serial protocol.

After considerable reverse engineering work, made possible by useful online documentation, Alex finally managed to send a SMS from his Arduino board, connected to the phone, thanks to AVR libraries made available by AVRFreaks.

More information can be found on InsideGadget.

[Via: Inside Gadgets]

An Arduino-controlled RGB lamp

via Arduino Blog

On his blog, Miguel presents one of his latest projects:

This project shows the operation of an RGB lamp using a digital LED strip. After activating the bluetooth connection, the user can open the GUI on the PC to control the lamp. The program shows a hue palette divided into 30 rods, one for each LED of the strip.
By clicking & dragging the mouse cursor it is possible to make your own patterns,. To remove a color, the user can simply click on a rod while pressing the spacebar, which switches off the selected LED.

Part list: wooden support, RGB digitally-addressable LED strip, microcontroller (Arduino Pro Mini, for example), Bluetooth or USB wire.

More information on this project can be found on Miguel’s blog, while a brief video about its operation can be found here; the code of the project can be found on Github. The project’s page on Thingiverse can be found here.

[Via: Miguel's blog]

 

A cheap WiFi interface for Arduino

via Arduino Blog

In this tutorial, Luca shows how to add WiFi connectivity to your Arduino boards without using a WiFi shield. Instead, he has combined a standard Ethernet shield with a commercial (and quite cheap) WiFi router:

I found the TL-WR702N nano router by TP-LINK that, with a cost of about 20€ on eBay, can work also as a wireless client: in this mode the router acts like a “bridge” between the device connected to its ethernet port and a Wi-fi network.

After a simple setup, where Luca configured the router as a WiFi client, the Arduino board has become accessible from the wireless network. Enjoy! :)

[Via: Luca's blog]