NERP on Monday: STM’s ARM-based Nucleo Boards

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

Chicago, IL
326 members

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…

Next Meetup

Bring questions, demos, personal research, etc. to share.

Monday, Apr 27, 2015, 7:00 PM
8 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

and

http://pumpingstationone.org/

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

25

04 2015

Lark Dord Day

#include <stdbeerchurchannounce.h>

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,
Ryan
Beer Pope (Eastern Orthodox)

25

04 2015

Mother’s Day approaching!

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:

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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.

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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!

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25

04 2015

1971 Movie Night

“Before Watergate, Wikileaks, and Edward Snowden, there was Media, Pennsylvania.”

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.”

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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

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10

04 2015

NERP 4/13/15: Wireless Data, the Small Inventor, and the FCC

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.
These days embedded computing “means” wireless data. Wireless chips and modules are cheap and easy to get. Small inventors (e.g. individuals or low-funded ad-hoc groups) are getting all kinds of ideas for wireless projects and products for the IoT (Internet of Things), wearables, WiFi, ZigBee, BLE, etc.

ESP8266-Sparkfun-item-13252

A SparkFun ESP8266 WiFi radio. Small and cheap. All the cool kids want one.

Because offcc-seal_rgb_emboss-on-white FCC requirements, the path to market for traditional wireless devices can be long, complex, and expensive. Unfortunately, the regulations are hard to read, even when made “accessible”. The “modular” data radio is an FCC innovation that is supposed to lift some of the regulatory burden off makers of small-run products. Does it?

NERP has several questions about inventing wireless devices that can be sold to end-users. For example:

  • What is FCC certification?
  • For small inventors doing small wireless products, is FCC certification necessary?
  • Are there combinations of power and frequency that are exempt from oversight?
  • What are some design choices can make compliance cheaper, easier, and faster to get?
  • What are the steps to certification? Where do you start?
  • How much of the process can you do by yourself? Whom do you need to hire?

Elite-logo-largeThe FCC has an interest in pretty much any device that emits radio waves. Steve Laya from Elite Electronic Engineering, Inc. in Downers Grove will help us understand how FCC regs relate to Maker/Hacker/DIY inventors and entrepreneurs.
Elite does electronics compliance testing for a number of industries and government agencies. For the FCC, they do the actual tests and issue certifications of compliance. Bring Questions!

Attending NERP is free, and no one is compensated for organizing or presenting. Nothing in NERP presentations constitutes actual legal or engineering advice. If you need the help or advice of a lawyer or engineer, please hire one.

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at

NERP – Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi

Chicago, IL
312 members

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…

Next Meetup

Bring questions, demos, personal research, etc. to share.

Monday, Apr 13, 2015, 7:00 PM
5 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

and

http://pumpingstationone.org/

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

09

04 2015

International Tabletop Day 2015

International tabletop day

International Tabletop Day

Want to hang out with a group of fun geeky people at a Hackerspace and play some awesome games? How about homemade snacks and homebrew beer? Still not awesome enough for you? Well, how about we hack an Xbox Kinect and scan you, then 3D print a custom game piece with your face on it, or make custom game counters on a laser cutter?

Come on by Pumping Station: One, Chicago’s biggest Hackerspace, on April 11th and have some fun and maybe even learn a few skills! Bring your favorite games, or if you want some supreme geeky-points, bring a game you designed and play-test it with us [we can even discuss how to spruce-up your game with lasercut or 3D printed pieces, hint-hint]!

This event is public, so bring your family, friends, or just awesome gamers you know and wanna hang out with! If you want to take part in making the 3D printed game pieces, or laser cutting custom counters, we do ask for a minimum of $1 suggested donation to cover materials. If you want to see this stuff continue into the future, please donate more! Proceeds will go to Pumping Station: One’s donation box.

04

04 2015

Knit a Working Loudspeaker

knitted speaker

I’ve been working on an embedded speaker design off and on for the last few years, and finally got around to posting an Instructable for it.

I created knitted and non-knitted versions, and am quite happy with how it turned out. The secret is using dipolar magnets and hard drive magnets are a cheap way to do this. (Plus, a really big amp.)

Props to Sache for lending her glue and paper expertise!

01

04 2015

NERP Tonite! The Tiva-C 32-bit Microcontroller and Launchpad demo board

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.
med_ek-tm4c123gxl_tivalp_angle_new
Since the days of Windows 3.1, personal computers have used 32 bit CPUs. It was a simple world. Microcontrollers were 8-bit and PC’s were 32-bit. Due to crazy cheap and small single board computers, multimedia-capable CPUs are doing tasks formerly done by 8-bit MCUs. But there are also lots of 32-bit microcontrollers. The casual distinction between a computer module and an MCU is whether the unit normally runs a general purpose operating system like Linux or Android.

Why would a designer choose a dumb ‘ol microcontroller over a module with HDMI? In many cases an MCU with a slow clock can do I/O related real-time tasks that are difficult (or impossible) to code on a RPi. Built in peripherals like timers and A2D have always simplified MCU board design, and wireless drivers as on-chip peripherals are becoming common. If 0.5mm pin spacing doesn’t scare you, you can design your own system from the board up. Microcontrollers aren’t going away any time soon, especially in industrial measurement and control applications.

Several months ago NERP looked at the Teensy 3, an MCU module that uses a 32-bit ARM “M4″ based microcontroller IC made by ST Electronics. In ARM land, M designates a microcontroller. The Texas Instruments Tiva-C series (formerly Stellaris) MCU ICs are also based on an ARM M4 design. The Tiva-C family’s main advantage is super low power consumption. As with lots of other MCU families (at TI and others), there is an Arduino-like development environment for rapid prototyping. TI calls it’s MCU demo boards Launchpads. Daughterboards (“shields”) are called booster packs. At NERP tonight we’ll see a Tiva-C launchpad and the “sensor hub” booster pack running with Energia, TI’s Arduino-based IDE.

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at
http://www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/
and
http://pumpingstationone.org/
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

30

03 2015

Saturday 3/21: Chicago GNU/Linux User Group meeting

chicagolug-logo

WHEN: Saturday March 21, 2015, at 02:00 PM

Linux Charcuterie – How the Linux Sausage is Made

Ian McLeod will take a look at the entire chain of building a distribution from start to finish, exploring how source is packaged and built, and then complex combinations of packages are joined together to make a cohesive Linux distribution. His talk will include include details of how this all works in a diverse set of environments – from aging x86 hardware to public cloud environments, Linux containers, and immutable systems.

Fedora and Project Atomic

Sten Turpin will build on Ian’s talk, giving an overview of Red Hat’s new, container-focused platform, Project Atomic. Basing his talk around the Fedora-based version of the project, he’ll demonstrate how to deploy and use Project Atomic on the Amazon AWS infrastructure.

Foodstuffs

We will have food! Probably pizza! At least a few of us typically bring some beverage to share, as well. We’re a community-run organization, so we recommend bringing a few dollars if you’d like to partake of the food. No one will be denied a slice of tasty pizza for inability to chip-in, though.

Here is the event on Meetup.com:

March Meeting of the ChicagoLUG

Saturday, Mar 21, 2015, 2:00 PM

Pumping Station One
3519 N Elston Chicago, IL

17 Free Software Users Attending

We will have two talks at this meeting:Ian McLeod (Red Hat) will an give an end-to-end explanation of how Fedora is constructed and released.Sten Turpin (Red Hat) will be presenting a demo of Fedora Atomic with Cockpit and Docker running on AWS.

Check out this Meetup →

Original post: http://chicagolug.org/meetings/2015-03-21.html

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18

03 2015

Pi Day Party – Recap

Thanks to Lyn and everyone who came for an awesome Pi Day celebration this past Saturday, 3/14/15. This year is an extra special Pi Day since we had pi to 4 digits (3.1415).

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Skittles and Justin make an Irish Car Bomb pie

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The final result

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Raspberry pie

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Pie cutting

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Flourless chocolate cake in front

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Raspberry close up

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We had 3 apple pies

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17

03 2015