Arduino Night (23 Jan, 7-10 PM)

We are back to the regularly scheduled time!

Sorry for the late notice. I put it off too long :(

We will be covering 16×2 LCD screens. Don’t worry if you don’t have one. I will be bringing plenty, and we have lots at the space too :) We will come back to LCDs at a later date. So if you miss this one it’s okay!

Agenda:

  1. Intro to 16×2 displays
  2. What are they useful for?
  3. How do you interface with them?
  4. Wiring the LCD up
  5. Hello World example
  6. Displaying multiple lines
  7. Overwriting/Updating text

If you cannot attend the class in person, E-Mail arduino@unallocatedspace.org and ask to be added to the Google Hangout. The hangout will be started just before class (6:45-7:15 PM). If you have not gotten an invite by 7:15 PM, then please E-Mail arduino@unallocatedspace.org.

The slides for the upcoming and previous classes can be found here. The slides are generally made during the three days before a class.

Required Items:

  1. An Arduino board of some kind (Uno, Due, Mega, Boarduino, Duemilanove, etc)
  2. If your board does not have USB programming built in, you will need a programmer (AVRISP, Bus Pirate, Bus Blaster, AVR Dragon, another Arduino, etc)
  3. Breadboard (the long one if possible, though the small square-ish ones are okay for now)
  4. USB cable for your board and/or programmer
  5. Laptop with the Arduino IDE installed (Linux, Windows, or Mac)
  6. Jumper wires for your breadboard

Provided Items:

  1. Breadboard and jumpers (if you don’t have any of either)
  2. Potentiometer (if you don’t have one)
  3. 16×2 LCD

Since Unallocated Space runs off of donations, we would like to mention that the recommended donation for this class is $5. It is by no means a requirement, but it does help us keep the lights on! Attendance to the space, and this class, is 100% free to all!

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Barcode Shmarcode 2015

Forgotten and DA ran Barcode Shmarcode at Shmoocon again this year. Competition details can be found at http://www.shmoocon.org/barcode_shmarcode. This is our second year running the contest and the 7th year for the contest overall.

This years theme was Steam Punk. We thought we might see mostly goggles/bracers/hats and maybe a weapon or two.

This year we had 12 valid entries and a couple that didn’t scan correctly. Sadly, we didn’t get a weapon, but we did the see the rest along with some other interesting things.

Winners
@ArmyTra1n3d – “21 Shmoo Salute”
21 Shmoo Salute
Arion Rhod – “Captain Shmoocon”
Captain Shmoocon
@Hypoweb – “Steam Punk Box”
Steam Punk Box

Other Entries
Flasktastic
Flasktastic
Flasktastic2

Tandy (not valid as it didn’t scan) –
disappointing but cool …. Same person had a piece of holographic glass that didn’t scan either. I was hoping it would. It wouldn’t photograph well enough to show sadly.
Tandy

Calvin & Hobbs presenting “Two for One”
Two for One

“Shmoo Steam Punk”
Steam Punk Compact Mirror

“Shmoo Pacifier”
Shmoo Pacifier
Shmoo Pacifier2

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Arduino Night

THIS CLASS STARTS AT 8, NOT 7!!!!!
In the last class we went over the basics of serial communication.  This class will dive a little deeper into serial by using Python to talk to the Arduino instead of the Arduino IDE’s serial monitor.  This will enable the sending of more complicated data than just ASCII strings.
This means that everyone will need to have Python 2.7 and pyserial installed.  Please see the pyserial page to download and install pyserial after installing Python.  For those on Linux, you should be able to install both from your package manager.  Feel free to E-Mail arduino@unallocatedspace.org if you have questions about how to install Python or pyserial.
 
Agenda:
     1. Using the Python interactive shell
     2. Connecting to the Arduino
     3. Sending and receiving data
     4. Create an echo sketch
     5. Create an LED dimming sketch
     6. Create sketch to read analog values
If you cannot attend the class in person, E-Mail arduino@unallocatedspace.org and ask to be added to the Google Hangout. The hangout will generally be started just before class (7:45-8:15 PM). If you do not have an invite by 8:15, please E-Mail arduino@unallocatedspace.org.
The slides for the upcoming and previous classes can be found at https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BzpbYvv0G2kMTURwUVhhMWFXX0k&usp=sharing.  The slides are generally made during the three days before a class.
Required Items:
     1. An Arduino board of some kind (Uno, Due, Mega, Boarduino, Duemilanove, etc)
     2. If your board does not have USB programming built in, you will need a programmer (AVRISP, Bus Pirate, Bus Blaster, AVR Dragon, another Arduino, etc)
     3. Breadboard (the long one if possible, though the small square-ish ones are okay for now)
     4. USB cable for your board and/or programmer
     5. Laptop with the Arduino IDE installed (Linux, Windows, or Mac)
     6. Jumper wires for your breadboard
Provided Items:
     1. Breadboard and jumpers (if you don’t have any of either)
     2. LEDs
     3. Resistors (200-1,000 Ohm)

Since Unallocated Space runs off of donations, we would like to mention that the recommended donation for this class is $5. It is by no means a requirement, but it does help us keep the lights on!  Attendance to the space, and this class, is 100% free to all!

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Artemis Night @ Unallocated Space – Jan 31st

Come out to Unallocated Space Saturday, Jan 31st for a special LAN gaming night featuring Artemis Space Bridge Simulator, the awesome game where you get to crew your very own spaceship. (Think the bridge on Star Trek. Yes, this is going to be GREAT!!)

If you already have the game, good. If not, don’t worry. We have enough licensed copies to cover everyone who wants to play.

Come on out and let’s go where no man has gone before (or lately anyway.)

Bring $5 and we’ll order pizza. Who wants to touch some stars?

5:30 – Doors open and begin setup

6:30 – Engage Coop Mission. (Also, order PIZZA!)

7:30 – PVP Mission. Make it so. (and eat PIZZA!)

8:30 – More PVP or We try Gomi’s super secret special mission.

9:30 – until – Whatever people want to run of the above options… Have fun! Nukes Away!

RSVP Here!

 

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SDRCON

Come out to SDRcon on January 10th, 2015 starting at 10AM!

What is SDRcon? It is a whole day dedicated to Software Defined Radio and radio in general. There will be hands on activities as well as a few talks. This is not just for hams! The topics will include:

  • Building GNU Radio from source.
    • This will be spread out throughout the day. Please come prepared with a new Ubuntu 14.04 LTS installation, not on a VM. The more RAM and CPU cores the better. More details on this in another thread.
  • Building an FM radio receiver in GNU Radio
  • How to get your ham license
  • Show and Tell of various SDR hardware.
    • Some of the hardware covered: RTL-SDR, HackRF One, AirSpy, and others.
  • Field Day
  • FDLog field day logging software
  • Digital Modes and what they sound like.
  • Ham equipment raffle
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Arduino Night (5 Dec 7-10 PM)

Having finished the seven segment projects, it’s time to move on to something a little more demanding. We will take a look at serial communications with the Arduino. We will go over what serial actually is, and how it is sent. Then we will dig into actually communicating between the laptop and Arduino by having the Arduino simply echo back whatever it gets. After that we will change the design so that the data sent from the laptop will change the brightness of an LED. If time permits, we will go over SoftwareSerial and use it to connect two Arduino’s together.

Agenda:
1. What is serial
2. 8N1 encoding
3. UARTs
4. Using the serial library
5. Create sketch to talk to the Arduino over serial
6. Set LED brightness with serial
7. Time permitting:
a. SoftwareSerial
b. Connect to another Arduino with SoftwareSerial

If you cannot attend the class in person, E-Mail arduino@unallocatedspace.org and ask to be added to the Google Hangout. The hangout will be started just before class (6:45-7:15 PM). If you have not gotten an invite by 7:15 PM, then please E-Mail arduino@unallocatedspace.org.

The slides for the upcoming and previous classes can be found here. The slides are generally made during the three days before a class.

Required Items:
1. An Arduino board of some kind (Uno, Due, Mega, Boarduino, Duemilanove, etc)
2. If your board does not have USB programming built in, you will need a programmer (AVRISP, Bus Pirate, Bus Blaster, AVR Dragon, another Arduino, etc)
3. Breadboard (the long one if possible, though the small square-ish ones are okay for now)
4. USB cable for your board and/or programmer
5. Laptop with the Arduino IDE installed (Linux, Windows, or Mac)
6. Jumper wires for your breadboard

Provided Items:
1. Breadboard and jumpers (if you don’t have any of either)
2. Resistors (200 – 500 Ohm)

Since Unallocated Space runs off of donations, we would like to mention that the recommended donation for this class is $5. It is by no means a requirement, but it does help us keep the lights on! Attendance to the space, and this class, is 100% free to all!

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FPGA Night (2 Dec, 7-10 PM)

We will continue work on the spectrum analyzer project. This class will focus on testing the uart_comms module (handles the serial protocol) and using it to control the frequency of a sine wave. This code will be used in the final code as a way of ensuring things are working properly. The next step will be setting up the buffering between the analog side and the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) block. See the bottom for a description of the final class project.

USB to Serial: Attendees will need an USB to serial converter either built in, or external. Make sure the USB to serial converter uses 3.3 volts, and not 5 volts! If you borrowed one last class, please make sure to bring it with you!

Python Requirement: *All* classes from this point on will require Python with pyserial (http://pyserial.sourceforge.net/) installed. This project will be using Python for serial communication to the FPGA.

The slides for the upcoming and previous classes can be found here. The slides are generally made during the three days before a class.

Agenda:
1. Update LEDs based on data sent from laptop
2. Create the master VHDL file that will contain all spectrum analyzer related modules
3. Create DDS sine wave generator
4. Set DDS up so that the frequency can be changed using uart_comms
5. Test DDS frequency changing with R2R DAC and o’scope

If you would like to join the class, then please E-Mail fpga@unallocatedspace.org. The class is now to a point where you need to know VHDL prior to joining. We also stream the class on Google Hangouts. Please send an E-Mail to fpga@unallocatedspace.org if you would like to join the Google Hangout.

**IMPORTANT** You *MUST* have ISE (not Vivado!) installed prior to the start of class!!! ISE can take upwards of 30 minutes to an hour to install. We will not have time to wait for ISE to be installed. Please go to here and download the ISE Design Suite package for your operating system. If you have licensing or installation issues, please contact fpga@unallocatedspace.org

Required Items:
1. FPGA development board with Spartan 3 or Spartan 6
2. USB cable for programming
3. JTAG programmer if your board does not have USB
4. Laptop **with ISE installed** and either wired or wireless network connectivity

Provided Items:
1. USB to serial converter (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009T2ZR6W/) – Only one left!

Description of Final Class Project: We will be designing a fairly simple spectrum analyzer. The Fourier transform will be displayed on a VGA monitor. Depending on FPGA resources and complexity, we might implement filters and DDC/DUC (Digital Down Conversion / Digital Up Conversion). We will be using AD9283-50 50 MHz ADCs for the analog sampling. The instructor code is currently up at https://github.com/Unallocated/FPGA_NIGHT/tree/development/final_project. The instructor code is subject to change as it is the working copy with lots of experiments.

We have been given ‘academic’ status from Digilent Inc (http://www.digilentinc.com). This means that the instructor can (sometimes) purchase boards from Digilent at the academic price. This discount will only apply to people who are attending the class regularly and is on a case-by-case basis from Digilent.

Since Unallocated Space runs off of donations, we would like to mention that the recommended donation for this class is $5. It is by no means a requirement! Attendance to the space, and this class, is 100% free to all!

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NSM Intro and Discussion

Over time, I’ve heard many people ask various questions about Network Security Monitoring (NSM)…. there seems to be a few people that work NSM and a few that are curious…

What I expect to cover:
What is Network Security Monitoring (NSM)?
What tools are available? What do they give you and how to use them together?
Incoming class based on Snort and NSM
Fun discussions

I don’t know if this will go for 90 minutes or 3 hours, it depends a lot on the amount of questions/discussion points we have. Either way, it will be a fun learning experience. Hope to see you there this Saturday starting at 7pm.

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Arduino Night (21 Nov, 7-10 PM)

We will continue working with the 7 segments. This class will introduce bit shifting and creating custom functions. Both of these topics will be used to display things on the 7 segments.

If you have your own 7 segment, feel free to bring it. There will be several to choose from if you need one.

Agenda:
1. Review of arrays
2. Packing data into bytes
3. Explanation of bit shifting
4. Use bit shifting to display digits on a 7 segment
5. How to create functions
6. Create a function to display a digit on a 7 segment

If you cannot attend the class in person, E-Mail arduino@unallocatedspace.org and ask to be added to the Google Hangout. The hangout will be started just before class (6:45-7:00 PM).

The slides for the upcoming and previous classes can be found here. The slides are generally made during the three days before a class.

Required Items:
1. An Arduino board of some kind (Uno, Due, Mega, Boarduino, Duemilanove, etc)
2. If your board does not have USB programming built in, you will need a programmer (AVRISP, Bus Pirate, Bus Blaster, AVR Dragon, another Arduino, etc)
3. Breadboard (the long one if possible, though the small square-ish ones are okay for now)
4. USB cable for your board and/or programmer
5. Laptop with the Arduino IDE installed (Linux, Windows, or Mac)
6. Jumper wires for your breadboard

Provided Items:
1. Breadboard and jumpers (if you don’t have any of either)
2. Resistors (200 – 500 Ohm)
3. 7 segment display

Since Unallocated Space runs off of donations, we would like to mention that the recommended donation for this class is $5. It is by no means a requirement, but it does help us keep the lights on! Attendance to the space, and this class, is 100% free to all!

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Brick Nation

Official site: http://bricknationmd.com/

More info here: http://patch.com/maryland/laurel/brick-nation-lego-fan-event-enthusiast-all-ages-0

Should be a lot of fun, for kids of ALL ages :P

Unallocated Space will be represented there. Please come by our table and say ‘Hi’ or if you have time to help man the table, we are in need of volunteers!! :D

—————-

Brick Nation, a Lego Fan event for enthusiast of all ages. Brick Nation is being created to increase awareness of the fact that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are all in play when it comes to LEGO and other construction toys. Creative arts, the sometimes forgotten form of education, can be expressed with LEGO. Families will be able to participate in unique Lego building activities and attractions.

Listed below are some of the actives that you will find at “BRICK NATION” are:

Lego charades – It is Pictionary, except you build your clues with LEGO pieces.
Rubber band race – Build a Lego rubber band powered car and race it against other contestants
Robot rumble – Two Lego remote control robots battle to push the other robot out of the ring.
Lego trivia – Find out how much you really know about Lego
Tower challenge – Build the tallest Lego tower before before time runs out.
Lego obstacle course – Operate our Lego remote control 4×4 Crawler through are Lego obstacle course.
Creation station – Is a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment for both Parents and children.

Vendors will be offering all things LEGO, including new and retired LEGO sets, mini figures, custom-molded weapons, unique models, jewelry and… really… everything you ever imagined.

The 501st “Old Line Garrison” a premier Star Wars Costuming group will be at “BRICK NATION” On Saturday November 15th.

All proceeds from the door will go to The “WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT” this event is our preferred platform for giving back to our community and honoring those who protect us.

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