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October 06 2017

Soldering class tomorrow, Oct 7

October 05 2017

Locktoberfest 2017!

 

Locktoberfest is a party! First things first, we’re here to have fun. What’s fun for us? Lockpicking! Also: brats and…. you! Locktoberfest is open to everyone, from world class lockpickers to those interested in learning for the first time.

Locktoberfest is a day of learningteaching, and competitions (serious and frivolous) related to lockpicking.

The Chicago chapter of TOOOL has been getting together to play with locks for a while now and we decided that “October” is just as good an excuse for a party as any. Come on out and join us!

 

Please help us know the head-count and register here: Registration

The post Locktoberfest 2017! appeared first on Pumping Station: One.

October 04 2017

Halloween and 10th Anniversary Party

October 01 2017

Soldering Party for Great (Social) Justice with HeatSeek, Thursday Oct 5, 6-9pm

September 18 2017

Baltimore Node 8th Anniversary Party!

September 13 2017

2017 Group Portraits
Giant D20: I made my favorite theatre director cry…

September 12 2017

#Noisebridge10th – A Hackerspace Anniversary

September 07 2017

Join the Nottinghack Crapathon on Saturday, 21 October!

It’s time again for the annual…

NOTTINGHAM HACKSPACE CRAPATHON!

Saturday, 21 October!

Poster for the CRAPATHON

Conceptualise and create projects with no value whatsoever!

  1. Create a problem no one has!
  2. Design a solution!
  3. Build it!
  4. Demo it!
  5. Win a crap award!

Rough schedule will be:

  • 12:00PM – It starts! There’s a spiel! You can use things! Go!
  • 7:00PM – You’re done! Stop making stuff! Eat food!
  • 8:00PM – Demos! Voting! Awards! Socialise! (Bring a bottle)
  • Late: GO HOME!

Stuck for ideas? Some of the Crapathon entries over the past two years were:

  • Spray can shaker
  • Fan-powered ghost
  • Magic Hate Ball
  • Bunny Ocarinas
  • Monkey with rolling eyes
  • Cheesoid the Robot
  • Suggestions box that automatically shreds and files all submissions
  • Robot that badly plays the Theremin so you don’t have to
  • Automatic face-recognising laser blinder
  • Rocket salad launcher
  • A box for THE ONE TRUE GOD

This is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Work individually or in teams. Spectators also welcome!

September 01 2017

LEARN ALL THE THINGS in September

August 30 2017

Amateur Digital Archeology at Def Con 25

August 25 2017

Find out how to help out at the Team Social on Saturday, 30 September!

Are you a Nottingham Hackspace member?

Have you wanted to help out?

Have you wanted to join a team, but wasn’t sure how?

Have you wanted to have a nice meal with nice people and find out how to help?

We’re having a Team Social on Saturday, 30 September.

Starting around noon, this will give you a chance to find out about the various teams, ways you can volunteer at the space, and get involved!

This is also a potluck event, so bring along a nice dish and plenty of enthusiasm!

Make conversation with Alexa at the next Notts Dev Workshop!

Notts Dev Workshop

Nottingham Hackspace is happy to host the next Notts Dev Workshop on Thursday, 7 September, from 5:30pm until 8:30pm.

In this workshop, Steven Pears will be going through the stages of building two Alexa Skills using C# and AWS Lambda, as well as how users can take advantage of them through an Amazon Echo Dot.

As the popularity of smart speakers in the home rises, we’ll look at how to get users to interact with the Alexa assistant, discussing the underlying structures and adding functionality.

For this workshop, you’ll need:

  • Laptop
  • Visual Studio 2017
  • AWS Toolkit for .NET
  • AWS account

To sign up for this free workshop, join the Notts Dev Workshop Meetup group.

August 24 2017

Our next laser class is September 9th

August 19 2017

CANstruction 2017!

Please vote TODAY for our team’s entry for CANstruction!

https://canstructionchicago.org/vote-here/

We’ve been working at PS:One for several weeks to cut template boards on the ShopBot, and we just recently constructed our sculpture of WALL-E and EVE

Here’s a time-lapse video of our build 

Canstruction is a unique world wide charity which hosts competitions, exhibitions and events showcasing colossal structures made entirely out of full cans of food.

Canstruction Chicago (under the umbrella of Canstruction) is a design/build event which benefits the Greater Chicago Chicago Food Depository. Teams comprised of professionals from the AEC industry fundraise for, design, and build structures composed of non perishable food items. These “Cansculptures” are housed in the first floor of the Merchandise Mart and are on display to the public as a giant art exhibition. The “Cansculptures” are judged in various categories by a celebrity chef and prominent members of the AEC industry. Canstruction Chicago culminates in an awards presentation and cocktail party at the Merchandise Mart.

WALL-Eat

Working to eliminate food waste and reliEVE hunger

In our world today, 40% of all food goes to waste. Fast forward 700 years and we might find WALL-E, a hardworking and lovable robot, all alone on Earth,  compacting debris into solid block structures. WALL-E knows all too well what waste looks like, yet remains hopeful that life may again be sustained on Earth. Upon meeting an advanced search-droid named EVE, WALL-E discovers companionship and how, together, they can nurture Earth back to a healthy balance and sustain all living creatures. With the help of our sponsors, WALL-E and EVE are working to educate humans about food waste and reliEVE hunger.

 

The post CANstruction 2017! appeared first on Pumping Station: One.

August 18 2017

Pseudonymous Identities with TAILS Workshop on September 10

August 16 2017

Tuesday Sweep: 15 August 2017

Your weekly reminder to back up your data, update software and otherwise pay attention to your digital environment. (Oh, and to go to the CRASH Space meeting…)

Jump in Here

  • Welcome. If you haven’t been following along, it’s okay. You’re not behind, you’re just where you are.
  • I highly recommend the coach tool at the Crash Override Network has a great step by step break down for many of the same introductory steps we did here.
  • Feeling more ambitious? Review the list of OneThing articles and pick one to catch up on.

Sweep

The basics.

  • Updated software recently? Pick a new device to check on today.
  • Backups still up and running? When was the last time you made a clean disk image? Here’s a new great article on how to design a backup system.
  • App and Password Gardening: Delete a low quality app from your phone or delete an account that you don’t need that doesn’t make you happy. Digital cruft builds up. Delete it. If you’re keeping it, can you move the password to your password manager (delete it from everywhere else) and add two factor authorization?
  • Move to offline archive & delete your histories where you can find them.
  • Double check privacy settings on your phone, social media accounts. The folks running the companies can change the TOS and add “features” before you notice them.

Learn

Where do you scan for news?

Reflect

Feeling dumb or stupid about how not-l33t you are? Angsting over some silly thing you “know better than to do.” Stop. That isn’t useful. Regret is only of use if it prompts an actual change in behavior. Maybe it’s NOT you that sucks. Could be it’s the technology and you could come up with a fix that would help lots of people. Look forward and make a plan.

Engage

We are a community. You are a welcome part of it.

  •  Did you learn something cool in your sweep? Make something? Share it!
  • Speak up
  • Give
  • Show up at CRASH Space tonight!

August 08 2017

Tuesday Sweep: 8 August 2017

Your weekly reminder to back up your data, update software and otherwise pay attention to your digital environment. (Oh, and to go to the CRASH Space meeting…)

Jump in Here

  • Welcome. If you haven’t been following along, it’s okay. You’re not behind, you’re just where you are.
  • I highly recommend the coach tool at the Crash Override Network has a great step by step break down for many of the same introductory steps we did here.
  • Feeling more ambitious? Review the list of OneThing articles and pick one to catch up on.

Sweep

The basics.

  • Updated software recently? Pick a new device to check on today.
  • Backups still up and running? When was the last time you made a clean disk image? Here’s a new great article on how to design a backup system.
  • App and Password Gardening: Delete a low quality app from your phone or delete an account that you don’t need that doesn’t make you happy. Digital cruft builds up. Delete it. If you’re keeping it, can you move the password to your password manager (delete it from everywhere else) and add two factor authorization?
  • Move to offline archive & delete your histories where you can find them.
  • Double check privacy settings on your phone, social media accounts. The folks running the companies can change the TOS and add “features” before you notice them.

Learn

Where do you scan for news?

Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin. 

— “Various techniques used in connection with random digits” by John von Neumann in Monte Carlo Method (1951)

The Wired the article “Meet Alex, the Russian Casino Hacker Who Makes Millions Targeting Slot Machines,” brought to my attention via Schneier, highlights what some observational legwork, patience and a big payout can accomplish.  The failure to use a proper random number algorithm put these machines at risk, but what constitutes “proper random number algorithm”?  In security there is the concept of  practically or semantically secure vs perfectly secure. Your system is “secure enough” if it would take an obscene amount of time and effort, that you don’t think anyone would bother to spend, to crack it. As computer speeds ramp up, and well paying jobs for people go down, it will be hard to overestimate just how much work people will be willing to do for a payoff.  What the folks were doing IN the casinos was pretty mind numbingly boring.  Better get some better random number generators (Or, you know, make it easier to get more interesting, better paying work. Security isn’t just crypto). To understand what “better” means in this context – check out the following resources.

Reflect

Feeling dumb or stupid about how not-l33t you are? Angsting over some silly thing you “know better than to do.” Stop. That isn’t useful. Regret is only of use if it prompts an actual change in behavior. Maybe it’s NOT you that sucks. Could be it’s the technology and you could come up with a fix that would help lots of people. Look forward and make a plan.

Engage

We are a community. You are a welcome part of it.

  •  Did you learn something cool in your sweep? Make something? Share it!
  • Speak up
  • Give
  • Show up at CRASH Space tonight!

August 05 2017

Artemis 1 – Getting a Closer Look at Totality

Some fellow hackers and makers (and former PS:One members) shared an exciting project with us and we’d like to help them get the word out.

The Artemis 1 is on a mission to send a high altitude balloon into near-space on August, 21st, 2017 to film the total solar eclipse.  It’s a collaboration between the South Side Hacker Space and Chicago’s Remote Astronaut Crew.

 

 

The team is one of many participating in this NASA sponsored program, where launches all across the country will simultaneously capture video and still images of the eclipse from altitudes of 100,000 feet and more.  You can learn more about the program here:

http://eclipse.montana.edu

Artemis 1, like many before, is looking toward the sky for opportunities to teach, learn, and grow.  Leading by example through hands-on experimentation with measurable results is the best way to instill a passion for learning and a drive to reach higher.

 

Artemis 1 seeks your vital support on this campaign and the fundraising page can be found here:

https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/experience-the-2017-eclipse-with-us-artemis-i/x/16686555

 

More information can be found on the Artemis 1 website:

http://artemis.one

The post Artemis 1 – Getting a Closer Look at Totality appeared first on Pumping Station: One.

August 03 2017

Designing A USB Breakout Board!

I often need to intercept USB signals for decoding and measurement purposes.  I cut a cable apart last time I needed one but to be honest I much prefer doing things properly.  I also noticed that nobody seems to sell a similar product on Ebay, Aliexpress or Amazon!  I did find a vendor in the USA on tindie:


USB Inspector Image Copyright - Misperry via Tindie
https://www.tindie.com/products/misperry/usb-inspector/?pt=full_prod_search

I also found this product on tindie which is similar but has a current monitoring circuit built in:

https://www.tindie.com/products/Kaktus/usbuddy-usb-development-tool/?pt=full_prod_search

A friend of mine and blog reader found this one:

https://friedcircuits.us/50?search=usb

Either of these products would work for my purposes but the first product's shipping costs from the USA seem a little extravagant and I only wanted one or two.

The second product uses pin headers to allow connection which are a bit close together for my liking. It's often the way of things.  When I cannot obtain what I want I make my own!

The circuit is very simple:


The PCB layout is a little more complicated.  I would like to keep the board as small as possible but maintain the recommended conductor impedance that a USB cable should have.  By maintaining the impedance it means that signals can be correctly measured and power is not needlessly wasted.  The USB specification document is possibly one of the hardest pieces of technical literature I have had to read.  I don't recommend it unless absolutely necessary:

http://www.usb.org/developers/docs/usb20_docs/#usb20spec

There is also a standard for USB cables which dilutes the information into a slightly more readable format (note - I am being overly sarcastic):

BS EN 62680-2-3:2015

The standard is not free to read however...but memberships to local and university libraries yields useful results.

A USB 2.0 cable must have many specifications but the two most critical that I am interested in are:

  • Cable impedance - 76.5 Ω to 103.5 Ω
  • Current carrying capability - 500 mA (standard) or 1.5 A from a dedicated charging port.

The information on the current carrying capability is confusing as there is mention of 5 amps on the wikipedia article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#Power-use_topology

So based upon the above information we need to ensure the board layout has tracks capable of carrying 1.5 Amps of current at 5 Vdc and that the data pairs D+ and D- are routed as a differential pair with 90 ohms impedance.  I picked 90 ohms as a reasonable middle value and it was cited in this application note from Silicon Labs:

https://www.silabs.com/documents/public/application-notes/AN0046.pdf

Here is a useful article on layout guidelines for differential pairs:

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1144365

Basically I want to make sure my breakout board doesn't ruin the USB signals by interrupting them. USB cables are actually proper transmission lines and the cable should be screened and the internal cables twisted to maintain uniform impedance.  The D+ and D- tracks which are differential signals will need to be routed close together above a solid ground plane (Microstrip transmission line) ensuring that both tracks are exactly the same length.  Most PCB routing software like eagle have built in calculators and tools to assist with this.

Here is an excellent (and free) online trace width calculator:

http://www.4pcb.com/trace-width-calculator.html

I entered the following information into the calculator:

  • Current: 1.5 Amps (I'm going with the lower value specified)
  • Copper thickness: 35 µm (Standard 1 oz copper thickness for FR4 PCB material)
  • Temperature Rise: 10 °C (Just a guess)
  • Ambient Temperature: 25 °C (Just a guess)
  • Trace Length: 35 mm (just a guess for now)

I'm only going to have a two layer PCB so I'm only interested in external traces.  Here is what the calculator came up with:

  • Required Trace Width: 525.491 µm or 0.525491 mm
  • Resistance: 33.612 mΩ
  • Voltage Drop: 50.419 mV
  • Power Loss: 75.628 mW

So that sets the PCB track thickness to be at least 0.6 mm.  I may well go with 1 mm as space should not be a problem.

Next we need to set the track impedance above a ground plane which is otherwise known as a microstrip transmission line.  Here is another very useful (and free) calculator:

https://www.eeweb.com/toolbox/edge-coupled-microstrip-impedance

If people need to read up on what an edge coupled microstrip layout is then please check out the link below.  It is essentially a method of setting the impedance of PCB tracks based upon the thickness and width of the track, the thickness of the dielectric material (FR4 PCB) and Wheeler's Equation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microstrip

Transmission line theory is complicated and to be honest I have no intention of attempting to simplify it...I'm not sure that I could.  Basically this is some of the RF black magic people talk about.... I'm trying to keep things simple.  I would suggest that anyone who is serious about electronics and electrical signal propagation needs to have a basic understanding of transmission line theory and how to layout PCB tracks to properly interface connectors with circuits.

Here is what I fed into to the calculator:

Trace Thickness: 35 µm (Standard 1 oz copper thickness for FR4 PCB material)
Substrate Height: 1.6 mm (Standard FR4 PCB)
Trace Width: 1.5 mm (I chose 1 mm value above but went for 1.5 mm to get the right impedance)
Trace Spacing: 0.12 mm (I chose this value as a guess after trying a few different values)
Substrate Dielectric: 4 (This is the relative permittivity of FR4 PCB material)

The calculated result gives a differential impedance of 89.8 Ω - close enough!  So all that's needed is to set the D+ and D- tracks to be 0.12 mm apart and 1.5 mm thick and try to keep the tracks the same length...If we manage that we have the 89.8 Ω impedance needed to ensure that the USB signals remain unaffected when we use the PCB.

Now that we have all of the track properties calculated we can design the PCB layout.  There is a tool in Eagle for doing this that ensures that the differential tracks are routed together.  You have to label the net names with an 'underscore P' and an 'underscore N'.  I set the label for my D+ and D- nets to 'TEST_P' and 'TEST-_N' but any sensible names will do.  I then routed the +V and GND tracks manually and then set the autorouter to route the top layer.  I cannot seem to get the differential pair tool to work otherwise.  Here is what the board layout looks like:


Edit - I have updated the design after some valuable feedback from Aamir Ahmed Khan (Thank you!) - I did not remember to set the track separation distance in my original layout, I have rectified that and my calculations.  Here is the new and now hopefully correct layout.  (Note to self - I should not rush when designing PCB layouts and writing informative blog posts!).  I found the easiest way to do this was to set the grid to 0.2 mm spacing with the alternative at 0.1 mm and route the differential tracks by hand one after the other.  That enabled me to ensure the tracks were correctly separated and of the correct thickness.  I also set the ground plane isolation to be 0 .2 mm to ensure the track on the bottom layer was correctly isolated...Lets see if this works!  I hope the PCB fabricators are able to etch the board for me with such precise track isolation...I can always run a scalpel down the gap though.

I will probably get the whole thing manufactured by Elecrow and for that I will need a bill of materials.

Qty Device Package Parts Vendor Part Number Description






1 USB 2.0 Socket USB X1 Farnell 2134385 AMP USB 2.0 connector 4 Ring_Test 1X01_LONGPAD +V, D+, D-, GND Ebay.co.uk 292175228920 Ring Test Connector 1 M02PTH3 1X02_LONGPADS JP7 Farnell 3418285 Standard 2-pin 0.1" header pins 1 USB 2.0 Connector USB-A-H JP1 Farnell 1696544 USB Connectors







Here is the PCB render:




My plan is to have ten boards made, keep two for myself and flog the rest!

That's all for now - Langster!
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