Posts Tagged ‘hackerspace’

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

NERP on Monday — The Yocto Project™ and Open Enea Linux

NERP UN-POSTPONED! “Open Enea Linux and BeagleBone Black” is tonight, Jan 19th

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.

Mark Mills is an embedded hardware/software engineer with experience using many different hardware platforms and software systems including RTOS’s and Unix/Linux.

Tonight Mark will introduce the Yocto Project, Open Enea Linux, and do a brief demo on a BeagleBone Black.

About the Yocto Project™
The Yocto Project™ is an open source collaboration project (including TI, Intel, Freescale, and others) that provides templates, tools and methods to help you create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture. Open Enea Linux uses the Yocto Project as a base platform to make it easy to explore using a Yocto based Linux on an inexpensive development board.

About Enea
Enea is an international software company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Enea offers proprietary and Open Source operating system solutions (RTOS and Linux), including development tools, network protocols, databases and middleware. They are the third-largest player in the world for realtime operating systems.

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. The next meeting is January 5th, 2015.

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, BBB

19

01 2015

NERP on Monday! Embedded Android on the BBB and Intel Minnowboard

NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computerand 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.

android-nerp

Andrew Kilkenny is a professional embedded Android kernel hacker. At NERP on Monday he will introduce Android as an emebedded OS. He’ll show functional demos, then after the meeting have a hands-on Android compilation festival. If you want to partcipate in the hands-on part, clear out some space on your hard drive for Eclipse and the Android Libraries!

From Andrew:
The Android Operating system has revolutionized the embedded world. Originally developed for your phone, the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) enables the adaptation of the cell-phone oriented operating system into any product you can dream of. You can find Android in Airplane In-Flight-Entertainment Systems, in Washing Machines, and in Refrigerators. Any embedded system with an LCD screen can benefit from Android’s advanced Graphical User Interface (GUI) tools by rapidly developing Android Applications using the stock development environment. Join us for NERP where we explore how to use embedded Android on the BeagleBone Black (BBB) and Minowboard MAX. We’ll load the software, hop in on a command line, and twiddle some bits! We’ll also go over Android software architecture and practical applications of embedded Android. Following the NERP session there will be a guided demonstration on downloading and installing the AOSP and eclipse tools. A computer with Ubuntu (12.04 or 14.04) and lots of hard drive space will be needed to build the AOSP.
Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at

NERP – Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi

Chicago, IL
280 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, Dec 8, 2014, 7:00 PM
2 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

and

http://pumpingstationone.org/

Doors open at 6:30pm. The next meeting is December
8th, 2014.

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, IoT, Android

 

06

12 2014

NERP Tonight — Wireless Toys

NERP Tonight — Wireless Toys

The Internet of Things (IoT) need lots of options for wireless communication hardware. Lots of variables are involved in choosing the wireless chip or module that links your new Thing to all the other Things.

A popular last millimeter link is UART based serial. the big end of the link can be wifi, or uart-style data., or whatever convention you come up with. This class of hardware has been around for a long time. The serial to wifi link used to be called a com-port redirector. Commercial units could easily cost $200. The competition pressure brough on by the IoT movement has produced a crop of really inexpensive data links. They list now on Amazon for $2-$10. A lot of them have Arduino sample code available. I just bought two different boards from Amazon, and tonight I’ll evaluate one or both units and see what’s involved in making them go.
Esp8266-1

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.

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at

http://www.meetup.com…­

and

http://pumpingstation…­

Doors open at 6:30pm. The next meeting is November 24th, 2014.

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

24

11 2014

NERP Tonight — The MinnowBoard from Intel, and BeagleBone Black Internals

NERP Tonight — The MinnowBoard from Intel, and BeagleBone Black Internals

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.

The MinnowBoard is one of the newer open (or open-ish) hardware and software single board computers. The Minnowboard showcases Intel’s Atom processor. The audience is the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone crowd, but the feature set and price puts the MinnowBoard in a different class. Drew got his last week and has gotten a good overview of the system. He’ll share his findings with us tonight.

The BeagleBone is a fast-moving software project where major pieces of the system are under constant revision. I’ve been digging around the BeagleBone Black’s i/o system and playing with some configuration options. Tonight I’ll show a couple of sources of tools and code that I’ve found useful.

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at

NERP – Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi

Chicago, IL
275 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, Nov 10, 2014, 7:00 PM
6 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

and

http://pumpingstationone.org/

Doors open at 6:30pm. The next meeting is November 10th, 2014.

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

10

11 2014

NERP Tonight — Report on OHS #5 in Rome -and- An FPGA Cape for the BBB

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’s NERP will be brought to you by Drew Fustini, PS:One’s maven of all things Open Source. Drew recently got an FPGA cape for the BeagleBone. The cape is called a LOGI (http://valentfx.com/logi-bone/). He’ll show us what he learned as he road-tested the development tools and the cape.

Also tonight NERP will get a brief overview of embedded computing topics from the 5th Open Hardware Summit (OHS), held this year in Rome, Italy. Drew went so we didn’t have to.

I’m out this week, so thanks much to Drew for hosting the meeting.
-Ed

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at

NERP – Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi

Chicago, IL
271 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, Oct 27, 2014, 7:00 PM
9 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

and

http://pumpingstationone.org/

Doors open at 6:30pm. The next meeting is October
27th, 2014.

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

27

10 2014

NERP Tonight: A Simple Wireless Link for Serial Data

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.

Amongst the Maker community ZigBee® is usually thought of alongside the XBee® modules from Digi Corporation. The little blue irregular-hexagon shaped boards mean “wireless data” to a lot of folks. XBee is in fact the name of a family of wireless data modules that share the same form factor and blue color. The family includes ZigBee modules, DigiMesh modules, WiFi modules, and IEEE802.15.4 radios. Depending on the model, the data radios can do point-to-point, peer-to-peer, star, and mesh networks.

If you’d like to play around with wireless data a good place to start is replacing a serial cable with an XBee Series 1 module. There are two power levels to choose from: a 1mW module that can work to a distance of 300ft, and a 60 mW module that can work to a distance of one mile (in perfect conditions).

The Series 1 modules are usually used as IEEE 802.15.4 data radios. ZigBee and several other protocols are built on top of 802.15.4.The 802.15.4 spec provides the physical and MAC layers to serve higer level protocols. It’s a just enough support to get bytes sent from A to B. One nice thing about working close to the metal is that, once the hardware is set up, it’s fairly easy to push bytes around. You can even make up your own simple ad-hoc protocols if needed.

Tonight at NERP, I’ll show how to set up a wireless data link between two devices that can communicate at 300 to 115200 baud. I’ll show XBee XPB24-AWI-001’s moving serial data, and how to set up and test the modules using the X-CTU software from Digi.

As a side-note, the Internet of Things is creating a demand for better and cheaper wireless data connections. It is common for the Things to speak a local protocol that is propietary or unique to their class of device and for the relevant parts of the machine to machine dialog to be passed upstream through a server or bridge.

ZigBee® is a trademark of the ZigBee Consortium

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. The next meeting is September 29th, 2014.
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

29

09 2014

NERP Tonight — A Tor Relay Demo, and a Sketchy Update

NERP Tonight — A Tor Relay Demo, and a Sketchy Update
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.

Drew has put together a Tor relay using (what else) a
BeagleBone Black.
(https://www.torproject.org/index.html.en) Tonight at NERP,
he’ll show us how it’s done.
From the Tor site:
/*
Why Anonymity Matters: Tor protects you by bouncing your
communications around a distributed network of relays run
by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody
watching your Internet connection from learning what sites
you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from
learning your physical location.
*/
Use of Tor is often a sensitive discussion topic. In the
culture in which we live, there is no universal consensus
on where an individual’s right to privacy from governmental
and corporate interests ends and the larger interests of
security and commerce begin.

Tor is a tool that aims to provide user and location
anonymity on the Web. Anonymity can foster good, bad, or
indifferent ideologies and behaviors. In some contexts
anonymity can even be seen a sort of power similar to that
of a firearm. There are those who would question “a priori”
why a person would insist on total privacy unless they had
something to hide. From this perspective, using a privacy
tool is in itself suspicious. Others feel that privacy is a
basic need of human individuals, and therefore an
inalienable right. At the end of the day, technology itself
isn’t human, isn’t alive, and can’t think or feel; it’s
totally indifferent.

In tonight’s presentation we will try to stay focused on
the technology behind Tor. It’s counter intuitive to me at
least, how anonymizing technology is practically possible.
How it’s done will be an interesting study in some
non-obvious applications of low-level network programming.

Also tonight, I’ll be giving another update on development
of “Sketchy”, the network controlled servo-powered
Etch-a-Sketch.

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

http://pumpingstationone.org/

Doors open at 6:30pm. The next meeting is September
1st, 2014.

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

01

09 2014

NERP Tonight — NVIDIA’s CUDA: 192 Parallel Procesors

NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer  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, Sevin Straus will give an introduction to NVIDIA’s CUDA architecture. CUDA uses a cpu to farm out pieces of a task to the parallel processors in a video graphics chip (GPU). [more below]

NVIDIA's CUDA , NVIDIA.com

[img: large-video-dynamic-parallelism-2-en.jpg nvidia.com]

Nvidia wants lots of developers to know about CUDA. To that end, they have put together a complete development environment. In the best of all worlds, the environment should be usable on Linux after simply running “install.sh”. It’s never really that simple. Sevin has put together a working develpment system targeting the Jeston development board. Tonight he’ll show us how he did it and some of the included demos.

A sense of what CUDA is about would include these thoughts collected from various parts of the CUDA website:

CUDA® is a parallel computing platform and programming model invented by NVIDIA. It enables dramatic increases in computing performance by harnessing the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU). A GPU consists of thousands of smaller, more efficient cores designed for handling multiple tasks simultaneously.

GPU-accelerated computing is the use of a graphics processing unit (GPU) together with a CPU to accelerate the compute-intensive portions of tan application to the GPU, while the remainder of the code still runs on the CPU. From a user’s perspective, applications simply run significantly faster.

– See more at: http://www.nvidia.com/object/what-is-gpu-computing.html#sthash.hSegwmwk.dpuf

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. The next meeting is August 18th, 2014.
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

 

18

08 2014