Archive for the ‘Announcements’Category

Prototyping a Device to Measure Child Body Fat…

EDIT: PLEASE RSVP at Pumping Station One’s Meetup page  so we know how much pizza to get! /EDIT

Save the Date: August 17 @ 7pm in Pumping Station One’s Electronics lab:

Prototyping a Device to Measure Child Body Fat: What a Research Firm Learned When It Dipped Its Toe in the Maker Movement

NORC-logo

NORC at the University of Chicago serves the public interest and improves lives through objective social science research that supports informed decision making. Working extensively with the federal government, one of NORC’s key functions is to collect high-quality data.

Historically, NORC has collected data through surveys. In recent years, NORC has also begun to capture objective measurements of the “real world” using remote devices and sensors.

To deepen its capabilities, NORC identified a pilot project where it could learn more about the Maker Movement and hackerspaces. This project was inspired by a major federal research effort designed to help scientists understand the causes of a wide variety of childhood illnesses. For this project, NORC could not find an off-the-shelf body fat measurement device that met its needs. So they embarked on an effort to prototype their own device, working with a maker consultant who is an active member of the PS:One community.

Join us for an interactive talk to see the device they developed and share what they learned about the device and about partnering with makers to create a new hardware solution.
Speakers:

Brian Whiteley is an IT Director at NORC. Among his other responsibility, he currently leads NORC’s mobile and sensor based initiatives.
Randy Horton is Managing Principal of 94 Westbound Consulting and is a product and innovation consultant to NORC.
Randy Horton
Ed Bennett is a maker consultant and an active member of the PS:One community.

———
The NORC presentation on August 17th is on the PS:One calendar in a slot normally used by NERP. 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.

07

08 2015

Radiationpalooza with Bionerd23, Ryan, and Elizabeth: Wednesday 8/12

Bionerd at ChernobylElizabeth and Ryan in Pripyat

Date: 8/12/15
Time: 7 – 10 PM
Location: Pumping Station: One, Lounge

bionerd23 has been a youtuber since 2007, but her science channel only became famous from 2012 on – that’s when she started visiting the radioactive exclusion zone of Chernobyl. Being on semester break in Chicago, this physics student will explain the basics of radiation and the devices that measure it to you – followed by insights into her trip to the Chernobyl zone with Ryan & Elizabeth. The three will give you personal insights on what it’s like to walk the abandoned, radioactive ghost town of Pripyat, including photos, video, and artifacts from the zone. They will give live demonstrations of radiation measuring equipment, including Geiger counters, quartz fiber and TLD dosimeters, NaI(Tl) scintillators, and gamma spectroscopy. They will also examine samples from Chernobyl under PS:One’s scanning electron microscope using secondary electron imaging and energy-dispersive x-ray (EDX) spectroscopy.

Bios:

bionerd23. Female homo sapiens sapiens (confirmed via PCR). Born in an ancient decade of mullet haired people. Resides around the radioactive wasteland of Chernobyl and frequently posts photon based imagery of her natural habitat on youtube. She recently appeared in the documentary movie “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” (aired on PBS on July 28 & 29 2015).

Ryan Pierce. Male homo sapiens sapiens (assumed but untested via PCR). PS:One member since 2012. Collects and repairs Geiger counters. Maintains PS:One’s SEM. Travelled to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in 2013 with someone he had never met, based on the popularity of her youtube channel. Currently serves as PS:One’s Secretary.

Elizabeth Koprucki. Female homo sapiens sapiens (PCR testing refused, leading Ryan to hypothesize she may have DNA of reptilian origin.) PS:One member since 2012. Former PS:One CNC Area Host. Currently employed as Assistant Director of Fab Lab and Design at Chicago Innovation Exchange, University of Chicago. Her first time leaving the country was her 2013 vacation to Chernobyl.

02

08 2015

NERP tonite! Cypress Semiconductor’s PSOC IC’s

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.

Tonight at NERP, professional maker/hacker/DIY’er Bart Dring will introduce Cypress Semiconductor’s PSOC IC’s. PSOCs are odd beasts. They’ve been around since 2002, but there seems to be a growing interest in their peculiar mix of capabilities.

Cypress_April2015_pg4b

From the PSOC website http://www.cypress.com/products/programmable-system-chip-psoc

[Disclaimer: I have not used the PSOC product or its dev tools. -Ed]

“PSoC® is the world’s only programmable embedded System-on-Chip integrating an MCU core [ARM, of course], high-performance Programmable Analog Blocks, PLD-based Programmable Digital Blocks, Programmable Interconnect and Routing, and CapSense.  All new PSoC devices feature the industry standard ARM® Cortex® MCU cores.”

The development tools don’t sound to shabby either:

“PSoC Creator is a free Integrated Design Environment (IDE) which allows concurrent hardware and application firmware design… PSoC systems are designed using classic, familiar schematic capture supported by over 120 pre-verified, production-ready PSoC Components™.

Some of the config is done by drag-and-drop in a GUI.

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: PSOC, ARM, electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source,
raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Element14, Pumping Station One

20

07 2015

NERP Tonite!

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.

Tonight the NERP agaenda is free-form. Hang out, talk embedded, show-and-tell, it’s all possible!

Also:
In April Steve Laya from Eliete Electronic Engineering visited NERP to acquaint us with the process of getting FCC certification for a new product. I’m not sure how he did it, but he made the subject entertaining if not a little bit fun. Steve was kind enough to send his slides so that we could make them available. The pdf is here. Elite-FCC-Presentation-NERP-4-13-2015

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 Station One

 

11

05 2015

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

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

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

NERP Tonite! A Red Pitaya (And a special request.)

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.
Tonight at NERP, Drew Fustini will introduce us to a brand new, small single board Linux computer. The Red Pitaya is so different from, say a Raspberry Pi that comparing the two would be like comparing, well, raspberries and pitayas. The Red Pitaya (pitaya is also known as dragon fruit) does high speed high quality data acqusition and control with several kinds of i/o. Scientists and engineers can use the Red Pitaya to build custom hardware and virtual instrumentation interfaces for precise measurement and control applications. The ADC/DAC’s are very fast compared normal embedded systems. The processor configuration is also different from normal RPi class systems. To give an idea of just how different the Red Pitaya is from an RPi, the Red Pitaya’s Hello World program is a Digital Storage Oscilloscope. Drew will show us how  to get signals of various types into and out of the Red Pitaya, and some examples of time and frequency analysis can work in virtual instrumentation. Delicious. Also, Drew does Really nice slides! https://plus.google.com/photos/+DrewFustini/albums/6126873248127580209?banner=pwa

Speaking of analog — Tonight we’ll have a brief diversion into the land of discrete analog electronics. The Colpitts oscillator is an alternative to Direct Digital Synthesis for producing sine waves in the RF spectrum. Joe Talafous has been working with the Colpitts circuit, and he will show us how to get RF out of a few cheap components. I like to remember that Electronics for the DIY’er used to be “hard” before the advent of Arduino shields. Facetiously it might be said that analog RF is _real_ electronics.

A special request for a worthy cause: Cathleen Doyle (cdoyle at northbrook dot info) tells us that the Northbrook Public Library will be running a whole month of programs this June highlighting maker/diy activities. They’re hoping to find someone who could give an awesome, introductory lecture/demonstration on the many uses of Raspberry Pi’s and how they work. Would there be anyone PS:One could recommend and who would be willing? We do pay!

http://www.northbrook.info/

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

16

03 2015

Let’s Drink and Learn About: Sangiovese

IMG_2993

Italian Chianti – Chianti wine always either mostly or entirely made of Sangiovese

IMG_2992

Italian Sangiovese from outside Chianti – Over 10% of Italy’s total wine production is Sangiovese

For the fourth installment of our monthly adult beverage appreciation event, “Let’s Drink and Learn About…”, we did a tasting of several different Sangiovese wines.  If you missed it, feel free to peruse our class notes!

Our next session will cover red Bordeaux, and its 5 constituent grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec).  This will be a joint event with South Side Hackerspace: Chicago, and will be hosted in their space (2233 S Throop St #214).  As per usual, it will be on the 3rd Friday (March 20th), and will begin at 7 PM.  There is no cost to attend the event, but please bring a bottle of wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, please) to contribute to the tasting.  You can find more info, or RSVP for the event, on our Meetup!

IMG_2991

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano – A more subtle and complex expression of Sangiovese from a region just to the south of Chianti

IMG_2994

Super Tuscan – A Tuscan wine made without at least 70% Sangiovese. This was actually predominately Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, similar to what we’ll be drinking in March!

 

Tags: ,

25

02 2015