Pi Zero


Today we received our first Pi Zero, Priced at just $5, we were lucky to get one the 100 orders available from Adafruit at 2am on Thanksgiving morning. Now just to figure out what project we are going to utilize this in 🙂

Pi Zero features:

  • A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
    • 1GHz ARM11 core (40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1)
  • 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • A micro-SD card slot
  • A mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output
  • Micro-USB sockets for data and power
  • An unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header
    • Identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2B
  • An unpopulated composite video header
  • Our small form factor, at 65mm x 30mm x 5mm

Skyhook Bitcoin ATM


NESIT has acquired Project Skyhook, The Open-Source Bitcoin ATM. By Open-Source we mean free as-in freedom and by Bitcoin ATM we mean Cash in, BTC out. The goal for NESIT is not to make money from the ATM unit. The concept is more community driven, the idea being that if Bitcoin ATMs are widely available for people to use, Bitcoin adoption will proliferate. NESIT hopes to help be a pioneer in the local area to educate people on this fairly new concept.

Aside from this machine one of our members also built his own version as you may recall a few months ago ::HERE::

How to search twitter based on geo location, geocode, or GPS

Here’s a quick four step process to search twitter based on geolocation.

  1. Goto http://mygeoposition.com/ enter an address and click calculate geodata.
  2. Copy the latitude (x,y)
  3. This will be a number such as 38.7687740,-77.1570900
  4. Open twitter and in the search field enter: “geocode:38.7687740,-77.1570900,1km” without quotes. changing 1km for the radius you’d like to search.

All of your results will correspond to the coordinates your search is based on.


2014 Elections

Thursday 5/1/2014 @ 7:30pm we will be having our yearly board meeting and having elections for our new board member positions. It’s open to the public , so if you would like a good feel for how NESIT works, and like boring jibberjabber then come on down and hang out.

Fix for a Bleeding Heart (On Debian 7)

CVE-2014-0160 or as it’s popularly known (as of today) Bleeding Heart is a problem with versions of SSL between 1.0.1 up to 1.0.1f that revolves around the improper handling of Heartbeat Extension packets.  Long story short: someone could get their hands on your secure keys if it’s left exploitable.  Long story available at NIST.gov and OpenSSL.org.

So what to do!  If you’re on Debian update your repositories (generally “sudo apt-get update”) then update openssl with “apt-get install openssl”.  After that you may want to run “service apache2 restart” if it won’t screw anything up and you’re running the apache2 server.  Just for good measure.

For reference the patched version that OpenSSL updates to should be greater than 1.0.1e-2+deb7u5.  If it’s not, something’s up with your repositories.  Go download it manually from packages.debian.org.

To Catch a Thief

Due to my car getting broken into 2 times in the past few weeks, I decided to use the opportunity to make a project out of it. One of our members had bought a Seeed Studio GPRS Arduino shield last year for a project but it was sitting around collecting dust so I asked him if i could borrow it.
The device uses an unlocked SIM card to send out sms text messages. (Can also be used for voice and data too). I worked with a few guys at NESIT to figure out the best plan to trigger the device. Our option was to connect the interior light to pin2 on the Arduino so that when the light turned on the 12volts would trigger the shield to send the SMS. Also added a 10kΩ resistor inline to drop the voltage down to so it wasn’t feeding a full 12v back into the Arduino. To power the device i was originally going to go with a 9v battery but since my cars cigarette lighter stays on when the car is off I decided to use this to power the device so I didnt have to worry about the 9v battery dying.
So hacking up an old phone charge wire I then used a perf board to solder together a 0.1uF capacitor and a LM7805 voltage regulator to drop the voltage from 12v to 5v to feed into the Arduino. Also added a 5.1k. resistor to ground. This is the design that member Cobey had drawn up for the connections.

The SIM card that he had no longer worked since it was over a year so I stopped by Walmart and bought an AT&T gophone SIM card for $10 and a recharge/refill card for $15. It was as simple as calling the number provided on the package and putting in the refill card pin info, and giving the GPRS shield’s IMEI printed on the SIM900 chip.

So after a few tests I finally got it working, so all’s i need to do is hook it up to my lighter, then hook pin2 up to my interior light underneath the dash

When my original $15 is up AT&T said I can convert my gophone plan over to text only for $5/month, so its pretty cheap.

If you would like to build a similar device the cheapest ive seen for an arduino clone is $13.50 ::HERE::

And for the GPRS Shield was $30 ::HERE::

Find yourself a nice case for them (I ended up using a weatherproof AT&T DSL box) and you’ll be off and running for about $70 total including the SIM card and first month.

The Arduino source code is available ::HERE:: you just need to change the phone number to your own number and upload it to your Arduino.

Thanks to Cobey,Devin, and Gary for helping out with the project, one of the great things about a hackerspace is you have people to turn to when you have questions. I’ll be updating soon with results if my device is triggered 🙂

Fixing A Broken XBox360

One of our members, Cobey, had a XBox given to him that would boot up but wouldnt show any video. Most of the time you would the notorious red ring of death. This one didn’t have the ring though. He wanted to try to fix it anyhow. One of our other members Gary had brought in a hot air SMD chip remover,

2014-01-09 23.28.25

so after taking the systemboard out of the case,
2014-01-09 23.29.37
we injected some flux underneath the chip and slowly started heating up the GPU.

2014-01-09 23.30.34
After getting to a few hundred degrees we slowly cooled it off then let it sit for a bit. After putting it back in the case we tested it out and …SUCCESS!

2014-01-09 23.28.20

Build Your Own PIC Programmer

When: Monday, January 6, 2014
Time: 7:00pm
Cost: $25 Per Person (10 Seats Available)

Learn to build your own PIC programming kit. Price includes your own ready-to-build an open source Microchip PIC programmer for the USB port that you will put together and solder.

This DIY PIC programmer is a continuation of our PIC programming basics tutorial. By building and using this USB PIC programmer, you can program microchip PIC series of 10F, 12F, 16F, 18F, 24F, 30F. This is also an EEPROM programmer as it supports 12Cxx EEPROM. The hardware is as simple as possible, the current version only contains one PIC18F2550, 4 mosfets, and besides the connectors a hand full of passive components.
We will be using this same programmer in future PIC classes @ NESIT
Click to Purchase Your Ticket ON EventBrite

Over Engineered Fishtank

So before our move into the new space, one of our old members had made a mineral oil based fish tank.
When we were vandalized the fish tank was damaged, essential pushed off the desk onto the floor where it smashed the tank. While cleaning it up I checked the motherboard etc to see if they still worked. They fired up with no issue 🙂 .

So I decided that it needed a new home and brought in a 5 gallon tank from home that wasn’t being used. Unfortunately for me I didn’t take into factor the cost of mineral oil (roughly $23/gallon) So $100 later i had enough mineral oil from a local Feed store. We wanted to use the computer as our login computer for guests to leave their contact info when visiting the space. I didn’t want the computer on a desk again and opted to build a L-shaped half-wall to house the entire project.

We had some 2×3’s laying around from a kitchen project that never happened so i decided to use those. Upon building the frame for it i notice half of the board were either severely warped or twisted. I tried to compensate for the curves by cutting and measuring from those. Bad move on my part, the thing was hideous looking.

Decided to scrap that design and start new, had a friend come by that help start the frame again, this time trying to bend the boards into place to straighten them.

Now that the frame was pretty much done I started looking into the leftover supplies from the old woodworking shop that we moved into. We had some nice wood paneling in the pile of wood so I used that for the sides and tacked on some thin molding wood to They also had plenty of counter top Formica and mdf boards so i decided on going with a nice clean design for the top, the hardest part of the hole design was the cement support beam was in the way where the counter met the wall, so i had to curve the top and the Formica to accommodate it. Bought a quart of contact cement to adhere the Formica to the wood, then using a router we carved out around the Formica to make the top and sides meet with a nice edge.
Next thing to do was to wire up the outlets for the fish tank lights and the computer.

Finally added some accent LED lighting underneath the top

So the total cost of the project (besides the $100 in mineral oil) was only about $30 , since we had most of the wood and formica left over from the previous tenants. Thanks to my Uncle John for helping with the build.

TODO: Still have to finish shelving on the back of the halfwall, it’ll house our video game consoles (NES, Super NES, Atari 2600, PS2, Xbox, NEO GEO) on pull out shelves.

3D Printing for the masses

Please visit http://www.crowdrise.com/3D-Printer and donate today and help us bring this technology into the hands of people who otherwise would never have such an opportunity.

3D printing is the process by which objects are created by adding layer upon layer of substance until a object is rendered into reality. NESIT Inc is seeking donations to purchase a 3D printer to make this technology available to the community for education, art, and research.

The way a 3D printer functions, an object is designed in CAD/CAM software then transformed into GCODES. These GCODES tell the 3D printer where to position and add material for the 3D Print. At NESIT we plan to teach as many people as possible how to use 3D printing, how to design objects, and how to turn them into reality.

As we teach and instruct more and more people how to use 3D printing technology it is our hope that some people will use this printer to create artistic works, perform biomedical research, and create and invent new things.

The 3D printer we feel would most easily accomplish this mission is MakerBots Replicator 2. The printer available for about 2,200.00 dollars allows its user to print to a resolution of about 100 microns and build objects to fit within it’s 410 cubic inch build platform.

– See more at: http://www.crowdrise.com/3D-Printer