PROTOTYPE: Bus Pirate/Logic Analyzer with Ice40 FPGA

Bus Pirate “Ultra” taps an iCE40 FPGA to power a combined Bus Pirate interface and logic analyzer that is infinity hackable. Previous Bus Pirates relied on the hardware peripherals available in a microcontroller, which vary in features and have the occasional bug. With an FPGA we can implement practically any peripheral with all the fixes […]

Shenzhen to Hong Kong on High Speed Rail

Even though Shenzhen and Hong Kong are basically the same city on opposite sides of a border, it’s still a frustratingly long trip to Hong Kong Central for a Reuben at Morty’s Deli. The new high speed rail line linking downtown Shenzhen to downtown Hong Kong makes the trip in just 15 minutes. A lot […]

HOW-TO: Add live websites to GIT without interruptions or security risks

Over at the DEV site we’ve been using GIT repositories hosted at BitBucket.org to push (deploy) changes to the live server instantly. It’s way slicker than uploading changed files by FTP, which has no roll back if something goes wrong. It also solves one of our China internet problems: routing to Bitbucket is much more […]

HOW TO: Chinese work permit and residency visa

First we started a Chinese company, then we got a bank account and import export permit. The last major thing is a work permit and residency visa. Americans, Canadians, and soon Australians, all get an automatic 10 year multiple entry visas for China. It’s quite common for foreigners to post up in China for years […]

HOW TO: China import/export permit and company bank

Last week we described the painful process of opening a Chinese company. That was actually the fast and easy part. There’s still a pile of paperwork and months of waiting ahead. This week we look at the proper, and improper, ways to export from China. A Chinese import export permit is permission to exchange foreign […]

HOW TO: Start a Chinese Company

While Shenzhen is becoming “Hollywood for Makers”, and not always in a good way, there don’t seem to be a lot of foreign open hardware/maker/start-up/accelerated/innovated/incubated people starting Chinese companies. As far as we know, we are the first foreign owned open hardware centric Chinese company in Shenzhen. With everything going on here, we definitely wont […]

DP 2016: Live from China!

Today Dangerous Prototypes is a legal Chinese company! 100% legit with import/export license, work permits, visas, and an office in Huaqiangbei (the world’s largest electronics market). It is likely the only Open Hardware centric WFOE (Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise) in Shenzhen, and perhaps China. It took over a year to complete the process, and we […]

Screw it, lets go live! Dev site launch

Dirt cheap SLA 3d prints, custom color PCBs, and not-ripping-you-off pogo test pins are now available at dev.dangerousprototypes.com! We built a bunch of new, no nonsense, instant pricing services modeled after the simplicity of DirtyPCBs.com, please help us test them! Dirty SLA 3D prints – $0.95 per gram for beautiful white SLA 3D prints. Upload […]

Help with Xvfb, Eagle, and permissions on Ubuntu?

Trying to get Eagle working on a headless Ubuntu box using X virtual frame buffer. It sometimes kind of works, and there’s a general feeling that permissions are involved. xvfb-run -a /opt/eagle-7.3.0/bin/eagle -C’EXPORT IMAGE schematic.png 600; QUIT’ /var/www/dangercore/temp_upload/bp.sch xvfb-run -a /opt/eagle-7.3.0/bin/eagle -C’RUN /var/www/dangercore/eagle/ulp/bom.ulp; QUIT;’ /var/www/dangercore/temp_upload/bp.sch Two commands need to be run. The first is a […]

On the first day of Taobao Christmas

Taobao, the Chinese shopping site that combines eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba, recently got a lot easier for foreigners to use. As Sjaak documented in his Taobao buying adventures a few years ago, most foreigners use an agency that takes payment via Paypal, purchases your babies, and forwards them to you via DHL or airmail. Even […]