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April 25 2015
NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago. NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago.
Rob Riggs AKA Colorado Rob is a PS:1 member, software engineer, ham radio operator, electronics hobbyist and entrepreneur.*
At NERP on Monday, Rob will be giving a presentation on the STM Nucleo boards. These are 12 distinct but similar ARM development boards from ST Micro. These are simple, easy to use and only $10. They have Arduino- compatible hardware interface for add-on boards (Arduino Shields), as well as their own interface that exposes additional rich features specific to the STM32 microcontrollers.
We will talk a bit about why Rob chose ARM for his next project, why he specifically chose STM, and the capabilities of the various Nucleo boards. We will cover the mbed.org development site, the development process, and the libraries available. We will also provide a brief overview of doing a bit more low-level development using STM32CubeMX and STM’s HAL (hardware abstraction layer) libraries using the GNU ARM toolchain on Windows, Linux, and OS X.
*Copy for this announcement was supplied by Rob. Thanks Rob!
Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at
NERP – Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi
NERP is Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station One in Chicago. (Chicago’s oldest and finest hackerspace.) NERP…
Monday, Apr 27, 2015, 7:00 PM
Doors open at 6:30pm.
NERP is free and open to the public.
Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics com
Tags: electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source,
raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Element14, Pumping Station One
OMG’s Team Steve (Power Wheels Racing Series team) has received most of its electronics parts for the car, including cells for two batteries, and some monster Anderson connectors.
In terms of funding, we’re $15 away from goal. Any money we don’t use this year is going towards next year’s car.
OK, so you probably didn’t get tickets to a certain event on Saturday in Munster, IN, and want to commiserate by drinking and brewing beer. Or, maybe you did, and you want a good excuse to drink a certain limited edition beer you just acquired with people who will immediately become your best friends! *hint hint* So come to Beer Church’s Lark Dord Day!
We will attempt a brave and daring feat for the first time in PS:One history – brewing a Russian Imperial Stout. And not just any Russian Imperial Stout. The goal: to brew a beer so alcoholic it poses a fire hazard, with a mouth feel comparable to 15w30 motor oil, that is darker than the CEO of Comcast’s soul!
Noon-ish, this Sunday. 21+ only. Etc. 12:30 PM.
In nomine Barley,
Beer Pope (Eastern Orthodox)
I just got back from taking my kids to spend a week with my mom, but before I did I snuck into the woodshop for an evening to jumpstart an early Mother’s Day present for her: replacement drawers for her kitchen. She’s been managing with one functioning drawer in there for ages due to broken boxes, busted rails, broken face frames – the kitchen is an early 1970s relic, really. A few hours of work and $20 worth of plywood scrap later, I had them ready to haul to Iowa:
Drawers are a quick build, and a great refresher on some of the woodshop tools.
Over the course of the week we spent at her place, I fixed up her frames, added sturdier drawer supports, installed the new rails and boxes, and put on her old hardware – from the outside you can’t tell anything is different on the ones I finished. I also cut out a sagging cabinet shelf and installed a new one. I left two drawers unfinished, because one of her fronts was missing – I brought the matching front home to bring into the shop and try my hand at copying it. Even with the installation only half done, though, she’s gained a lot of function.
Mother’s Day is just about two weeks away. If your mom has a house full of projects (I suspect this is very common), pop in and use the tools to cross something off her list!
April 21 2015
TOG’s lease on Chancery lane expires in the next few days, but since they’re not ready to tear the place down just yet, we’ve been given a minor reprieve. We can stay on month-to-month for a little while. It’s a very busy time for us at the moment, so it kinda suits us to hold on for a little bit, until we get some events out of the way. We’re still preparing for the move, so watch this space or join our mailing list / twitter feed for updates.
Those of you who’ve been to the hackspace in the last week will have noticed that new workbenches have been installed in the workshop. There’s a shelf for storage beneath each bench and which should allow the vast majority of equipment in there to have a permanent (and tidy!) home. We’ve also boarded the workshop side of the partition wall and there’ll be some shelves appearing on that wall over the next week or two for the storage of smaller things like boxes of screws & plugs, nails etc.
Enjoy your workshop, and make cool stuff!
April 19 2015
TOG members and Capital Brewers return to TOG HQ this coming Sunday. Hearty brews are on the menu, in both brewing with guidance and instructions from the experts, and tasting craft beer made earlier!
A very rough time-line of a brew day is as follows:
- 10:30am – 12pm: Heating water, water treatment and mashing grain
- 12pm – 2pm: Boiling & beer tasting from previous brews and visitors beers
- 2pm – 4pm: Cooling and clean up
Every brew day is slightly different with a mix of brewers, recipes and techniques. This weekend Michelle will be brewing a pale ale, similar to something you would get from Sierra Nevada. We will be bottling the mixed berry cider kit that was bottled last month so that should be ready when we meet again in September.
The long term goal would be to get a full set of brewing equipment that TOG members can use themselves at the space and make your own beer, cider or wine whenever you like! All you need are the ingredients. This is a monthly event that usually happens the first/second weekend in a month so if you can’t make this brew day there will always be another opportunity.
Its always a fun and engaging day, the cost is free (donations are welcome) so come along, ask questions and even help with the brewing!
Video from one of the brewdays day:
April 16 2015
April 14 2015
I finally got around to using Python mode for Processing 2.x. I have used pyprocessing for 1.x in the past but the current version is supported by the official IDE. While I am not very good in either, I am more comfortable with Python over Java, Processing’s default language.
I create a few simple “sketches” to get used to the format. After comparison of a few animations in both languages, Python mode was noticeably slower – around 2-3 FPS versus > 15. I worked around this issue by saving each frame as an image and combining them with GIMP to make a .GIF animation. Here are a few sketch outputs – both static and dynamic.
April 13 2015
What happens when the forces of government surveillance are confronted
by the combined power of the world’s most renowned technologists,
whistleblowers and privacy activists? Answer: meltdown!
On Monday 20th April, c-base will host the launch of this very
initiative. Code Red involves such figures as Tor’s Jacob Appelbaum,
former NSA technical director William Binney, crypto pioneer Whitfield
Diffie, security guru Bruce Schneier along with a spectrum of
influential activists from US presidential candidates to hard-core
privacy campaigners in fifteen countries.
Led by Simon Davies – father of the international privacy activist
movement, and Annie Machon – former MI5 intelligence officer turned
whistleblower, Code Red aims to raise the heat on resistance to the
surveillance state. It will be a strategic think-tank, clearing house
and network hub for technologists and activists across the world. In
this event, Davies and Machon will outline their plans and set out
Code Red’s program for the coming year
April 10 2015
Hopefully a few crafters out there will appreciate the measures we’ve taken to protect tools that have been loaned to the group. Deterring misuse is only one feature of this upcycled sheet metal enclosure. It’s also incredibly stylish! A padlock could easily be added in the future, but surely it won’t come to that.
…or will it?
For our next movie night we’d like to screen the documentary 1971: “On March 8, 1971 eight ordinary citizens broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, a town just outside Philadelphia, took hundreds of secret files, and shared them with the public. In doing so, they uncovered the FBI’s vast and illegal regime of spying and intimidation of Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.”
Adam Forsyth, the son of one of the eight, who called themselves the Citizens’ Commission, will be giving a talk after the screening. The screening is open to the public and BYOB. Some snacks will be provided.
Sign up for the movie here: http://www.meetup.com/Pumping-Station-One/events/221330710/
When: Sunday April 19th, 5 PM
Where: Pumping Station: One Electronics Lab upstairs
Dublin is lucky enough to have great speakers pass through town on occasion and on Wednesday the 22nd April 2015, Runa A. Sandvik (@runasand) and Per Thorsheim (@thorsheim) have kindly offered to speak in TOG from 7pm. The format for the evening is a general meet and greet, but both speakers have offered to give a presentation on a topic of their choice.
Anyone one interested in privacy, security, journalism, Tor and/or has previously attended a CryptoParty would be wise to attend. Doors are from 7pm and bring any projects with you you would like to share with other attendees. This is a free event, open to the public and no need to book. See you Wednesday.
Runa A. Sandvik is an independent privacy and security researcher, working at the intersection of technology, law and policy. She contributes to The Tor Project, writes for Forbes, and is a technical advisor to both the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the TrueCrypt Audit project.
Per Thorsheim as founder/organizer of PasswordsCon.org, his topic of choice is of course passwords, but in a much bigger context than most people imagine. Passwords, pins, biometrics, 2-factor authentication, security/usability and all the way into surveillance and protecting your health, kids and life itself.
In following the internet chatter about the FTDI bricked-chip dust up some months ago I came across mention of a Silicon Labs USB-Serial chip, the CP2110, that worked a bit different. The device enumerates as a regular HID device and uses a standard OS driver rather than a manufacturer specific one. Being a HID device, there is no COM port. Instead you link a library into your application that knows how to engage the standard HID driver to talk to the chip in a serial-like fashion. In effect, this moves the driver from the OS to your application.
So I grabbed some of the chips and made up an OSHPark board that implemented the minimum passives and broke out the pins. Tonight, during Builder’s Night Out, I finally got around to soldering it up. The worst part about the CP2110 is that it is a 4mm x 4mm QFN with a 0.5mm pin pitch. I used the space’s 50W laser to make a solder paste stencil out of some of the giant roll of 3 mil mylar we have. My first go at it with one pass of the solder paste squeegee didn’t put down enough paste on the QFN and my second go with 3 or 4 passes in orthogonal directions put down too much solder paste. There is probably a middle ground there.
Anyway, I used the space’s Zallus reflow toaster oven to reflow that second paste attempt and wound up with a number of the QFN pins shorted together. (I should have wiped the paste off and looked for that middle ground.) To fix the shorts I used the space’s hot air rework gun to pull the QFN chip off. That allowed me to solder wick the pads to a point free of shorts and then use the hot air gun once again to put the chip back. I over heated and burnt the tantalum caps and the LEDs in that rework process. So I used the hot air gun to remove those components and then hand soldered replacements back on to the board.
The moment of truth came when I plugged the freshly soldered board into my laptop’s USB port. I fully expected it to say “over current limit”, but to my delight it happily installed the HID driver! I’m looking forward to trying out the link library.
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