The cornerstone of the THOTCON 0x4 design was to create a platform for a variety of electronics and radio projects. We’d like to showcase projects people have centered around this year’s AVR based PCB. The winning entry to our contest is called badgesniff and comes from Mike Ryan (@justfalter). Mike’s work is a powerful use of the radio on the badge. Not only did Mike create a custom firmware for sniffing the 802.15.4 spectrum via the badge but also a client application for saving the data to pcap files and instructions for setting up the environment on Ubuntu!
Kudos to Mike for creating such a useful tool with great documentation and instructions. His submission certainly surpassed our expectations.
We’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to explore the badge for THOTCON 0x4. If you have a project you couldn’t submit before the deadline last week we’d like to post your work here and archive
We’ve all had a full week to recover from the THOTCON and B-sides activity here in Chicago and it is time to get back to hacking. The badge that was distributed to THOTCON attendees was designed to be hacked and reused in your projects. In the spirit of badge hacking we’d like to announce our first badge hacking contest for the attendees of THOTCON 0x4.
The contest will start today and will run until 11:59 pm CT on Monday, May 27th 2013.
The rules are simple: In hacking there are no rules.
Although there are no rules your submission must be reproducible and should include:
Video Demonstration of your Badge Hack
Any applicable schematics for your hack
Any code and compile instructions
In the interest of collaborative learning any requested information about the badge for the purpose of the contest will be shared with other contest participants. All contest submissions will also be archived on the official badge website.
There will be several categories we will judge against, you’re automatically entered to each category:
Most hackerish hack (what can you hack with the badge?)
Most unorthodox hack (does your badge now dispense cat food?)
People’s choice (the tubez chuze)
The prizes will be notoriety and some 3D printed randomness courtesy of the badge crew at Workshop 88.
The astute observer will notice that the pin outs on the side of the board fit the Arduino footprint for access to many of the ATMEGA128RFA1’s peripheral systems and compatibility with most Arduino shields. The badge can be easily reprogrammed via the unpopulated ICSP header with (at least) the following methods:
If you’re looking to hack your badge over and over again we have a few left over prototyping kits we were selling during the con and you can get them for $20 plus shipping by emailing us here.
These include all the prototype rails and headers you need to use arduino shields plus the passive components necessary to power the badge from a wall wart or other external supply. The power system components are not necessary to reprogram or hack the chip.
Here are some pictures from the space the night before Thotcon. Quite a few of the boards had been poorly soldered during manufacturing, and we had to do hot-air rework on them to get them to work. Rudy was the hot-air magic man, but there were a bunch of people working to process all the badges.
A project that’s been going on at W88 for the past four or five months went public yesterday. We’ve been designing, prototyping and programming a PC board to be used as a conference badge at Thotcon 0x4, Chicago’s hacking conference. Yesterday around seven hundred badges were passed out to conference attendees, each badge having an Atmel processor, LED array, and 2.4 GHz transceiver. The badges were able to process location checkins from beacons throughout the room, display messages from the organizers, and report their own id to the network. Since the board includes the Atmel ATMega128RFA1 processor and an Arduino compatible form factor, the badges can be reused for many Arduino projects.
This was a big project for us, requiring a lot of late nights and a lot of learning. For the team, It’s the first W88 production board, the first experience with 2.4GHz networking, first double sided prototype, first time using a QFN processor package (with luck, also the last), first reflow rework experience – though we thought it could be done, there were many challenges. Not only did we get it done on time within planned cost, we had a lot of fun doing it.
Have you been dabbling in electronics and building all your circuits on breadboards? Maybe it’s time you learn how to solder with Workshop 88! Want to improve your soldering skills? Come to our soldering class and see what you can do to make you soldering better. What you need to bring: Nothing! We’ll have everything for you. What you will leave with: Knowledge of proper soldering techniques.
Workshop 88 is offering our introduction to the Arduino platform at our makerspace in Glen Ellyn. This class is for anyone (member or non-member) who wants to learn how to get started with the arduino microcontroller, regardless of experience with programming or electronics. Class attendees will learn how to configure their arduino programming environment, how to design simple circuits for interfacing with the arduino and how to write simple programs to control the arduino. What is Arduino, you ask? From their home page:
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.
If you need to get an arduino, please see the Workshop 88 Arduino Store. Sales from that store are fulfilled by amazon.com, and help support Workshop 88. Alternatively, you can order Arduino systems from several places, including Adafruit and Sparkfun. Both companies have lots of tutorials and howtos to get you started with Arduinos. If you’re looking for a local source to get Arduinos, try Trossen Robotics.
What you’ll get from this class: If you choose the registration + materials option, we will have an arduino and assortment of electronics components for you to take home after the class. (The Workshop 88 Arduino Store is by far a cheaper route to get supplies.)
In this class you will learn how to start programming in the Arduino environment including interacting with the inputs and outputs of the Arduino.You should bring: a laptop with the Arduino environment downloaded and installed. Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Image credit: By Linuswiki (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Workshop88 has been the recipient of lots of donated electronic parts. An effort of an hour a week or so over the last several months to sort through them is starting to show some results, so some random jottings on what’s back in the lab seem useful.
An awful lot of resistors are back there. If anyone needs virtually any value of 1/8th watt thru hole resistor you can probably find it, along with a pretty full set of surface mount resistors. There are also some larger wattage resistors, though they’re not as sorted out.
The thru hole or breadboard LED supply is also well stocked. Many colors and several sizes are back there.
One useful looking find last night was a half dozen PIC processors, PIC16C745. These have built in low speed USB, so they could be used in any project that needs a USB port to control or monitor something else. While not the latest part, at least they’re from this millennium.
This is just the tip of the iceberg on what’s available in the electronics bins for members. While most of what’s there is far from leading edge, for breadboarding purposes it’s ideal. One project that Jim and I have discussed is to have a simple PCB manufacture setup right in the room, so that an idea could go from concept to populated board in a couple of hours.
Blender is a power tool for rendering 3D visualizations used in creating animations, special effects, interactive 3D computer applications, video games and models for 3D printing. Historically the interface for using Blender has had the repuation of being difficult to learn to use, but recent development on Blender has been focused on improving the user interface.
This class will be an introduction to the Blender user interface (UI) including how to use the keyboard and mouse effeciently. The class will cover how to model a fairly simple object including the use of a few handy modifiers included in Blender. This class will not cover texturing, rigging, rendering, animation or the game engine, but if there is interest in these topics you should look for a future class on these advanced topics. At the end of the class you should have a firm basis to make more informed searches of how to do what you want with Blender.
Tiny85: a simple, cheap alternative to dedicating an Arduino to a long-term project
Atmel offers several processor chips in the same family as the Arduino’s ATMega328P that are often perfect for a simple permanent controller. This class introduces you to the ATTiny85, with mention of some others. You’ll leave with an ’85 running a simple blinkie with code you wrote, you ported to Tiny85, and you burned into the ’85 along with a mini shield to use an Arduino as a programmer for the ’85 and many other Atmel chips.
The class is open to Arduino users with at least basic programming skills. (You’ll need to be able to modify the Blink sketch.) You’ll need to bring a working Arduino (or clone), a laptop with the Arduino 1.0.4 development environment, and a breadboard. We’ll supply a Tiny85.