Things to avoid when sending PCBs to the fab house

Sjaak shared some tips when sending PCBs to the fab house: I usually collect a few PCB designs before sending them off to the PCB fabhouse. I prefer to use dirtypcbs.com as I know Ian from dangerousprototypes.com for a long time and think he provides good quality, and fast turn around time for your money. […]

Creating high resolution integrated circuit die photos with Hugin or ICE

Ken Shirriff has written an article describing a technique he used for making high resolution integrated circuit die photos: Have you ever wanted to take a bunch of photos of an integrated circuit die and combine them into a high-res image? The stitching software can be difficult, so I’ve written a guide to the process […]

Using the RTL-SDR dongle to detect meteors

According to AMSAT-UK, “a new paper has been released by Dr David Morgan 2W0CXV on using the RTL2841 DVB TV Dongle as a SDR processor with SpectrumLab. The paper ‘Techniques for using the RTL Dongle for Detecting Meteors’ covers the setting up and use of the dongle to receive meteor pings from the Graves Radar […]

Monitoring Android traffic with Wireshark

Ever wonder what data is being sent out by your Android device? Here’s a post from LinuxJournal outlining how to monitor your device’s WiFi traffic. The technique involves setting up a man-in-the-middle Wireless Access Point (WAP) on your Ubuntu Linux box, then connecting your Android device via WiFi to this point. Wireshark is then run […]

SMD soldering station for Weller soldering tips

Martin Kumm writes: This page provides documents about a cheap SMD solder station built as an Arduino shield (Arduino UNO). It supports active soldering tips from Weller (RT series) which contain the heating element as well as a sensor and provides a standard 3.5 mm jack. Together with the corresponding female connector you will get […]

Shmoocon 2014: vehicle infotainment data forensics

Courtney Lancaster gave this talk at Shmoocon 2014 outlining the types of information available from vehicle infotainment systems “This talk will take an in-depth look at infotainment technologies and how to forensically acquire the data associated with the functionalities that exist across various manufacturers. Furthermore, we will cover the challenges of conducting digital forensics on […]

Cleanly de-soldering a pin header

boldport has written an article describing a technique he’s used for removing the header cleanly: Know that sinking feeling after realising that you’ve soldered that 40-pin header on the wrong side of the board? I’ve come up with a technique that works for me for removing the header cleanly and I describe it in the video.

Advanced Hard Drive Caching Techniques

Petros Koutoupis at Linux Journal posted detailed information regarding hard drive caching techniques. Users of traditional hard drives who’ve been considering a switch to a solid state drive (SSD) should find this particularly interesting. Petros describes, Even today, the consumer SSD cannot compare to the capacities provided by the magnetic hard disk drive (or HDD), […]

Blackhat Euro: cheap open source USB drive write blocker

At last year’s Blackhat Europe con, Philip A. Polstra, Sr. from the University of Dubuque gave a presentation detailing how to protect your USB security drive toolkit from auto erasure by the target machine. He describes the design of an open source USB flash drive write blocker based on the FTDI VNC2 MCU. His presentation […]

iSEC Open Security video: Hacking the Wireless World

In this presentation from the iSEC Open Security Forum, September 12, 2013 in Palo Alto, CA, Balint Seeber, Applications Engineer and SDR Evangelist / Ettus Research, provides an introduction on how to analyze and hack RF communications systems using open source software and cheap radio hardware. He describes, “The focus will be on how to […]

Tracking low earth satellites using RTL-SDR

Travis Goodspeed has been experimenting with remote satellite tracking over the internet. His setup uses a satellite dish originally used with a mobile earth station on maritime vessels. Movement of the dish is accomplished with servos and an EiBotBoard” wired into a BeagleBone. Travis describes further, “My initial build using an RTL-SDR dongle. Data processing […]

Mounting an SD/MMC via parallel port using Linux

Vinod has been experimenting with mounting an SD/MMC card connected to the parallel port of his Linux desktop machine. He recounts, “For the last few days I was engaged on a mad project; I was trying to access as SD card directly via parallel port of my desktop PC with Linux. At first, I successfully […]

ATmega 644 based VGA adapter

Ryan Fanelli and David Hartino, students in Cornell University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering program, have written a detailed explanation of their ATmega 644 based VGA adapter. The pair developed this “homemade video card” as their final project in the program, pushing the envelope on MCU clock cycle optimization using only a handful of TTL logic […]

Excel-based transistor amplifier calculator

Paulo shared an Excel-based transistor amplifier calculator.  ‘Besides the basic gain and biasing calculations many others implement, this calculator can also estimate noise which is a bit more involved’: ..Because this is a circuit I use frequently, I decided to make an Excel spreadsheet to ease the calculations. The spreadsheet started as a simple resistor […]

Tips & tricks to sort and rework surface mount devices (SMD)

Tips & tricks to sort and rework surface mount devices (SMD): I’m a member of the Superstition Amateur Radio Club (SARC) and each month we have a presentation on a ham radio related subject. I volunteered to record and upload the club’s monthly presentations. There were two presentations at the March 2013 club meeting: Tips […]

Why right angle bends on a PCB are not so bad

We’ve heard it numerous times: avoid using right angle bends in PCB routing. Here’s an article from EDN magazine explaining why it’s not as bad as most people think. The article explains that the “bad” effects like increased capacitance and circuit noise only start to be a pain for designers where signal speeds are above […]

Preheating plate + tinfoil = almost reflow

Andrew Tergis presents an interesting method of reflowing SMD components using a preheating plate and tinfoil (to catch infrared energy). He also uses a Fluke temperature probe attached to the PCB to more accurately monitor temperature. This gives newcomers to reflow an idea of the pitfalls involved. Vladimir via the contact form.