Rant: ham radio and hacking

Bill Meara just did a great guest post at Hackday on why today’s electronics hackers should give ham radio some serious consideration. With the removal of the Morse code requirement from all licensing exams, and the use of multiple choice testing (with the questions/answers available online) there’s no excuse not to consider pursuing your Amateur […]

A look at our spammer friends

The Akismet spam filter service we use on blog comments seems to be letting lots of spam through lately. We’re moderating all comments with links, as well as first time posters. That requires human interaction and increases lag between posting and seeing a comment, so we’ll continue to look for better options. Thanks to everyone […]

Limor Fried of Adafruit named 2012 Entrepreneur of the year

Limor Fried (aka Ladyada) founder of Adafruit was named Entrepreneur of 2012 by the Entrepreneur Magazine. We really appreciate everything the Adafruit team does to carve out a space for the Open Hardware industry. Congratulations to Limor! With $10,000 her parents had allocated for her tuition, Fried bought a bulk quantity of parts and began […]

Shenzhen Hua Qiang Bei market visit report

Our mission to Shenzhen, China was two fold. We wanted to walk and map the huge Huaqiangbei electronics wholesale market. For a more in-depth review of the market check out our previous Global Geek Tour of Shenzhen, China. All our projects are built with parts from this market, understanding it better helps us reduce cost […]

Expedia customer service sucks, here’s how we hacked it

Usually we book with Orbitz, but for a few flights on the upcoming India trip we used Expedia. Some had to be canceled and rescheduled, luckily only a $20 change fee so no biggie right? Nope, Expedia was a fresh hell. 3 calls. On hold 15-45 minutes. They hung up twice. We’ve got the Skype […]

Open Hardware Summit 2012: USB and Open Hardware presentation

Here is a recording of the “USB and Open Hardware: A Sketchy History” presentation Ian gave at the Open Hardware Summit 2012. The presentation covers the history and conflicts between USB and Open Hardware. Audio feed is direct from the H1N and a lapel microphone. Shaky cam by our very own Mad Skillz. Ian tried […]

USB and Open Source presentation at the Open Hardware Summit 2012

Anxiously waiting to give the “USB and Open Source” presentation at the Open Hardware Summit 2012. The presentation covers the history and conflicts between USB and open source. Ian tried it out in a previous video, but since then we’ve refined and illustrated the presentation. You can download the latest files (Open Office Presenter, or […]

Our KiCad EDA experience with ATX breakout v2

Last week we used the open source circuit design and PCB layout program KiCad to design version 2 of the ATX Breakout Board. This came as a necessity because the free version of Eagle is restricted to 100mm x 80mm PCBs, and the current ATX breakout already uses all that space. Read our likes, dislikes, […]

Popular Science likes the Bus Pirate

The Bus Pirate gets a mention as one of Popular Science’s favorite advanced development tools! This tool greatly simplifies prototyping. It can speak most common bus protocols, which allows me to play with new chips from a serial console or in software before building hardware around them The Bus Pirate was in a great crowd. […]

Confusion over SDR# vs OpenSDRSharp

As you may have noted in our previous posts, there exists an excellent piece of software written for use with the RTL-SDR dongle known as SDR#. If you’ve tried it you know it’s incredibly user friendly and provides immediate, full-featured use of the RTL-SDR dongle out-of-the-box. The only downside, of course, is that it’s developed […]

Anti SOPA and PIPA: Your failed business model is not our problem

Another day, another industry with a failed business model wants to break the internet to survive. Yawn. Lots of sites are going black today to protest plans for American internet censorship under SOPA and PIPA. We’re going to respond with mocking. This legislative silliness will continue until the final nail is banged into the coffin […]

Genesis of the Soldering Iron Driver

We’ve been following Arhi’s work on an open source soldering station for a while now. Now that the latest version is working, he documented the complete process of designing the Soldering Iron Driver project. See his initial ideas and how they developed over 3 generations of into a final “works for me” version. Soldering Iron […]

Application to Proto Labs for a Protomold Bus Pirate case

  As we mentioned in the Bus Pirate case video, we are trying to get fcobcn’s milled Bus Pirate case turned into a molded product. Molded cases are pretty cheap, unfortunately the molds are thousands of dollars. Proto Labs offers free quick-turnaround molds to deserving projects. We believe fcobcn’s case is such a project, so […]

Editorial: Upverter, another closed source vampire exploits open hardware for ventrue capital, PR, and profit

Upverter is an online schematic layout program. Among several features, it allows a group to work on a project collaboratively. They were a big presence at the Open Hardware Summit, and have been marketing themselves as the ideal solution for open hardware collaboration. That sucks, here’s why: This is a new class of project we’re […]