Monthly Archives: June 2013

Building a large bristle bot with my son

2013-06-30 18.47.59In the spirit of being a maker-dad, my son got this bristle-bot kit for christmas.  A little preemptive since he was only 2 and a half.  Well he is 3 now and been carrying around the box screaming robot for awhile — I thought it was time we put it together.



2013-06-30 17.57.32


He’s pretty amp’d up about putting this together.





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A little upgrade for the hackRF

2013-06-21 20.09.03There’s actually a nice svg template located in the git repo which follows the ‘sick of beige‘ mantra.  Cut time was only about 6 minutes with some thin acrylic… I used nuts as spacers seeing how the board was designed generously and there’s nothing near the corners.  Turned out pretty well, the screw heads on the bottom provide a good footing.  I was tempted to put rubber feet on on it but the screws were good enough for me.  Now I don’t feel odd with a bare circuit board flopping around.


Playing around with the HackRF SDR

2013-06-19 20.51.18

Lucky me! I was selected for the HackRF beta program and received my board from Michael Ossmann / Great Scott Gadgets.  If you don’t know what the HackRF is, its an SDR (or Software Defined Radio), read more here.

I’m running Mint 14, I already had a previous install of gnu radio I was using with a rtl-sdr. I was able to get things up and running pretty easily. First I grabbed the hackrf firmware release package, and the hackrf host tools.  Then I built the host tools and updated the firmware.  At this point I thought I would be good, but it appeared that I had to update my rtl-sdr package as the hackrf source wasn’t present.  After that I was pretty golden and was able to get a FM demod sketch running pretty quickly.

2013-06-19 23.03.16By default the Jawbreaker is tied to an internal pcb trace that acts like an antenna, it’s just that antenna is pretty horrible.  Luckily I already ordered some parts from amazon.  A 2.4ghz +10db gain antenna, and a SMA to RP-SMA adapter.  The HackRF uses SMA, where as most wifi antennas are RP-SMA.  After cutting the trace to disconnect the antenna (R44), putting the adapter and my massive antenna on it… I was getting a good feed of data.


2013-06-19 23.20.00

I used a sketch that someone had made from the HackRF mailing list, it worked pretty good.  I already made my own FM demod using the RTL-SDR so I understand how it works, except this one was more elaborate.  I’ll investigate this more as I learn gnu radio a little better.  For now I at least got things up and running.


What I’ve been up to redux

Again I’ve been ignoring my personal projects for the chipKIT design challenge. Our entry (with a few guys from my hackerspace) is a KeeLoq shield, and Key Fob. Design Files / Firmware / Libraries are available here on github.

If you would like to vote for us, go here. Our Entry Number is ck765.

Here’s the video entry for the shield.