I have been working on a project that I would like to share with you.
Some time ago I noticed that it was really hard to use NFC on embedded
prototyping platforms (mbed, Arduino, etc) because of the lack of software
Because of this I started developing a NFC library for embedded devices
that supports tag reading, tag emulation and peer-to-peer (SNEP/Android
beam) and it now works pretty well!
To complete the development and make it available I am currently running a
campaign for an open-source NFC development board which is mbed enabled
(there is an ARM Cortex-M0 onboard you can reprogram using the mbed.org
online platform). The board will be OSHW and I will open-source the NFC
library as well.
There is 48 hours left on the campaign that you can find here:
Sorry for the bit of self-promotion but I really think this could be
valuable to some of you!
Just to let folks know that another talk has been added to the
programme for this year's OSHCamp: an introduction to Baserock, a
system for building custom embedded Linux distros directly from git,
closely tracking the upstream projects and without packaging.
"Baserock is a new set of open source tools for creating "appliance"
operating system images. The aim is to close the gap between source
code repositories and the code running on a device. This talk will go
over Baserock's philosophy, what it provides and how you can try it
Sam Thursfield likes it when technology is surprising in a good way
but does not like it when it is surprising in a bad way. He spends a
lot of time trying to reduce the amount of code that is required to do
things. He has been known to play the trombone in and around
Looking forward to find out more!
In the past few week I have got slightly involved with one project that
some of you might appreciate. I suppose that some of you Amy have heard of
a recently developed Rust programming language by Mozilla foundation. It's
primarily aims are to reduce safety critical errors at compiler level and
provide simple abstractions to the programmer normally seen in higher level
languages, such as Ruby and Python, yet being a systems language that may
potentially be used for an OS implementation instead of aging suspects.
I do find Rust a pretty amazing language, and indeed, building on years of
compiler practice, it has the real potential of becoming the next big
affair of many embedded systems engineers. It doesn't, however, introduce a
big overhead in code execution.
The particular project that I have spent some time with is titled Zinc. It
aims to implement an RTOS-like system that is capable of running on
bare-metal microcontroller chips. Please check it out and drop any feedback
to myself or as a question on the mailing list.
Rumour has it that if you visit the Element14 icecream stand at
Towerbridge between 1:30 and 3pm and ask for "ExtraRaspberry" you'll get
a Raspberry Pi B+ with your icecream.
Registration is now open for OSHCamp 2014 and this year we will have
in total 12 talks and 8 workshops — details below.
Details for the Wuthering Bytes Festival Day on the Friday are yet to
be announced, but there are some pretty great talks lined up, on
topics ranging from development and testing of rockets, to being a
computer programmer in the early 1960s. Speakers include Sophie
Wilson, co-inventor of the ARM processor, and Open Rights Group. So,
if you are considering attending on the Friday also, I wouldn't hang
about as tickets are limited and likely to go fast!
OSHCamp 2014 — 16 & 17th August at Hebden Bridge Town Hall, St.
George's Street,Hebden Bridge, HX7 7BY.
Open Source Hardware Camp will take place in the Pennine town of
Hebden Bridge. For the second year running it is being hosted as part
of the technology festival, Wuthering Bytes. However, this year
OSHCamp will have the Waterfront Hall to itself on the Saturday and
Sunday, with a separate Festival Day taking place on the Friday and
with talks on a broader selection of technical topics.
Details of the OSHUG talks and workshops can be found below and the
Wuthering Bytes website will be updated in due course with details of
the complete programme of events.
Note that socials are planned for both the Friday and Saturday
evenings, with the former being hosted at the Town Hall and where
there will be a bar, food available and music and a live performance,
and the latter will be hosted at a local hostelry that serves food.
Hebden Bridge is approximately 1 hour by rail from Leeds and
Manchester. Budget accommodation is available at the Hebden Bridge
Hostel, with private rooms available and discounts for group bookings.
Details of other local accommodation can be found at
— Saturday :: Talks
* Linux bootloaders and kernel configuration
Linux is popular in embedded devices, but most use it once the kernel
has booted and don't consider how it was started. This talk explores
just what happens when you first start an embedded device that is
running Linux, and will look at common bootloaders, such as U-Boot,
along with kernel boot options. Finally, we will look at useful kernel
configuration options for embedded devices.
Melanie Rhianna Lewis started a life long love of electronics as a
child when her Dad helped her make a "crystal" radio with an ear
piece, a coil of wire, a diode and a radiator! At the same time the
home computer revolution started and she would lust after the "build
your own computers" advertised in the electronics magazines of the
time. She never got one but did end up the proud owner of a BBC Micro.
Melanie learnt everything she could about the machine and including
assembler, operating systems, drivers, interrupt, and, thanks to the
circuit diagram in the Advanced User Guide, digital electronics. After
the BBC Micro came the Acorn Archimedes and so started a long
relationship with ARM processors. In the 90s Melanie became interested
in Linux and then developed one of the first ARM Linux distributions
running on an Acorn RISC PC. The hobby became a job and Melanie
currently works for an embedded device consultancy near Bradford where
a lot of her work is still with ARM processors. Recently Melanie
became a sporty person and now spends a lot of her time hitting girls.
She will probably bore you with tails of roller derby!
* Open source archaeological geophysics - is it achievable?
The advance of technology into Archaeology has allowed geophysical
surveys to "peer into the ground" and direct the diggers to the most
likely "targets". However, as anyone whose watched Time Team will
know, using Resistivity and Magnetometry doesn't always guarantee
results. Such equipment is not usually within the financial reach of
most hobbyists. However, the recent explosion of the Arduino, Pi and
other cheap electronics has meant making such surveying equipment may
A small research project involving an informal collaboration between
members of the Derbyshire Archaeological Society (DAS) & Derby Makers
is exploring whether a high accuracy GPS unit, Magnetometer and a
resistivity probe can be made and yield worthwhile results within a
budget of £1,000. DAS has kindly funded this research and we are about
50% of the way through the GPS project. This talk will introduce the
project and take a look at progress to date.
Tony Brookes was firstly an engineer and then worked in IT for a while
(!) Now working part-time, hobbies easily fill the time available.
Drawn to archaeological and historical research by way of Time Team,
he now tries to apply open source software (Scribus, Inkscape, Qgis)
and hardware (Arduino, et al) to investigating parish history and
other interesting topics.
* An open source aquaponics control system
Aquaponics is a closed system of food production that farms fish
alongside vegetables, and this talk will look at the development of an
open source aquaponics control system for the Incredible AquaGarden
project in Todmorden, highlighting certain features of the design and
exploring some of the difficulties encountered and how these have been
A control and monitoring system with an event-driven 'flowchart'
interface will be presented, where data about aspects such as pH,
temperature and light level etc. are collected and logged in order to
monitor the environment. The system responds dynamically to control
the level of water in the plant growing bed, to maximise the yield.
Some design decisions and technical aspects of the system will be
demonstrated and discussed, together with the open source model for
sustaining the project.
Finally, we will look at the operational Node-RED installation in
Todmorden, showing how the system is collecting readings and
controlling the water level, and we'll talk about how MQTT has been
used to loosely couple the code running on the Arduino with Node-RED
on a Raspberry Pi.
Gareth Coleman is a inventive hardware hacker who's talent lies in
connecting diverse devices. Dr Naomi Rosenberg is a freelance software
developer with a background in formal logic who works on a wide
variety of platforms. They both get a especially enthusiastic about
open hardware, free software and empowering humans.
* From Idea to Finished Product: A Tale of DFM and CEM
With numerous easily accessible embedded platforms around and concepts
such as rapid prototyping and crowdfunding now being useful things as
opposed to just buzzwords, designing the Next Big Thing without
leaving your study is becoming a common story for makers and
While it is true that going from an idea to a finished product has
never been easier thanks to the abundance of design resources and
affordable manufacturing services, designing for volume manufacturing
requires a different mindset that usually does not apply to casual
weekend hacks. From component choice to packaging and logistics, there
are several elements that needs to be taken into consideration, as
they may cause significant headaches otherwise.
This talk will provide an overview of electronics manufacturing
process, covering details such as managing design data, handling
dependencies, component and process choices, testing and certification
and several other aspects of DFM: Design for Manufacturability.
Omer Kilic is an Embedded Systems hacker who likes tinkering, a lot.
He also likes tiny computers, things that just work and good beer.
* Driving milling machines with Linux
Driving a milling machine with Linux is fairly easy and LinuxCNC
(previously known as “EMC”) even provides a real-time distribution
install disk. However, driving the machine is only half the story and
gcode generation is at least as important.
This talk will share experiences using a mill and a router with Linux,
looking at PCB manufacture, engraving, 3D milling, casting, tool
paths, materials, tools and parametric design.
Matt Venn has run hundreds of creative science workshops for thousands
of children and adults around the world. For the last year, he has
been working with teachers in preparation for the computer science
curriculum changes; creating and leading courses, workshops and
When he's not inventing new ways of getting people excited about
science, Matt plays music, invents puzzle boxes, practices martial
arts and maintains bikes.
* Oxford Flood Network - easier to Apologise Than to Ask Permission
Oxford Flood Network is a citizen sensing project which monitors water
levels around the city, in streams, rivers and even under floorboards,
sending water levels back to the Internet using low-powered wireless.
The network explores the possibilities of a smart city that is created
by its citizens, rather than a more typical top-down deployment.
Sensor networks are generally used to collect data about us for
reasons and agendas chosen by others, but we can build sensor networks
too; crowd-sourced data can be gathered for your agenda — providing
evidence for your issues.
In this talk we will hear how Oxford Flood Network has developed an
open source model for hardware and software, and the challenges of
sticking mysterious boxes under bridges.
Ben Ward is founder of Love Hz, promoting the use of white space
spectrum for open innovation in the Internet of Things. A survivor of
the dotcom bubble, subsea bandwidth glut and the UK broadband wars,
he's still surprisingly optimistic about the future.
* An introduction to writing applications for the Parallella board
Parallella is a credit card-sized computer with a many-core
accelerator that allows it to achieve high floating-point performance
while consuming only a few watts. In this talk we will take a look at
the Epiphany architecture and how to use the eSDK to write highly
parallel applications for it, using hardware and software features to
benchmark code and optimise performance.
Simon Cook leads Embecosm's work on LLVM and is author of the standard
guide to the LLVM assembler. He is also an expert on low-energy
compilation and is lead engineer on the MAGEEC project. Simon holds a
double first class honors degree in Computer Science and Electronics
from Bristol University.
* Radio Then and Pararchive: decentralised, pervasive, and open story telling
Radio Then is a citywide cultural history experience, telling stories
about Manchester’s jazz and popular music heritage using a small,
Arduino-powered radio. Participants explore the city and tune in to
archival broadcasts related to places, people, and events of note. In
actual fact, the ‘radio’ contains GPS and audio breakouts to track its
location and cue audio tracks depending on its coordinates.
The project is being created to showcase findings from Pararchive, an
AHRC project being conducted by the University of Leeds, in
partnership with the BBC, National Media Museum, Science Museum Group,
and Manchester Digital Laboratory, among others. Pararchive represents
an opportunity for members of the public to engage with archives,
decentralising the material from archive holders, and offering
alternative and personal perspectives on events.
James Medd is an artist, musician, and maker based in Manchester. He
teaches all things digital in the north west of the UK, and creates
whimsical, entertaining, and accessible interactive artworks. He
currently leads Arduino Manchester, a community group for Arduino
users in Manchester, and will be developing more interactive audio
experiences at Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio later this year, as
a winner of their graduate and new talent competition.
* Commercialising your ideas
Whether you're taking the time to build something fun, or have a
solution to a problem you have faced, you are 'in your own right' an
One of the biggest challenges inventors face isn't making their
product work, it's generating a living to continue inventing. Having
spent over a decade in both sales and business development I have
witnessed people use various methods to overcome this hurdle. I hope
to share with you some of my experiences to provide you with some
ideas you can take away and use when looking to turn a hobby or bright
idea into a financial success. Our topic of conversation will take us
from having a light bulb moment, to securing orders and reaping the
William Stone is the Head of Channel Strategy for hardware
manufacturer, Ciseco. He is responsible for various commercial areas
of the business including the very familiar responsibility of growing
Ciseco's rapidly expanding chain of partners and distributors. Now
with 36 recognized distributors worldwide, Ciseco has a growing
presence and reputation in electronics manufacturing and Internet of
* OpenTRV: energy technology that saves householders money
The OpenTRV project aims to provide software, hardware designs and
excellent interoperability to allow UK and EU householders to as much
as halve their heating bills and carbon footprint with simple to fit
hardware costing around £100 per house. Everything is freely available
under liberal licensing — even our 3D printed enclosures — to enable
adoption and cost savings.
Damon Hart-Davis gets excited about electronics, parallelism,
robotics, distributed systems and resource efficiency, and solar PV
and halving space-heating carbon footprint with cheap microcontrollers
(OpenTRV) are two of his current passions. Damon has been working on
“mission-critical” systems in banking for most of the last 20 years
and before that founded one of the first UK Internet Service
* Interfacing with SPI and I2C
SPI and I2C are industry standard methods of interfacing IO devices to
micro-controllers and CPUs using just a few connections. SPI requires
four wires and I2C just two.
This talk introduces SPI and I2C. It describes how they work and how
you use them. It will look at common IO devices that connect via SPI
or I2C. Finally it will look at controlling SPI and I2C devices from
two example controllers, the Arduino and the Raspberry PI, in
languages such as C and Python.
Speaker: Melanie Rhianna Lewis.
Paul Tanner is a consultant, developer and maker in wood, metal,
plastic, electronics and software. His day job is IT-based business
improvement for SMEs. By night he turns energy nut, creating tools to
optimise energy use. Paul graduated in electronics and was responsible
for hardware and software product development and customer services in
several product and service start-ups, switching to consulting in
— Sunday :: Workshops
Some workshops will provide tools, boards and components etc. However,
subject to demand this may involve an element of sharing and please
feel free to bring along equipment and components, but note that you
must be able to take full responsibility for your own personal safety
and that of others in respect to these. Common sense must be
* Let's build a flood network for Hebden Bridge!
Split into two teams, one will attempt to install flood sensors on the
beautiful Hebden Water just outside the venue, while the other links
these these to the Internet using readily available technology.
Proven hardware designs will be used to show you how can send water
levels back to the Internet using low-powered wireless links, and
sustainable approaches to citizen sensing will be explored.
Run by: Ben Ward.
Workshop notes: you may want to bring wellies if you plan to join the
sensor installation team! Also feel free to bring sensors and boards
that you think may be useful.
* Building applications that sense and respond to the real world
Following on from their talk, Naomi and Gareth will be joined by Paulo
Marini, the Tormorden project's resident aquaponicist. Together they
will facilitate a hack session to help you build applications that
respond to the real world.
Run by: Gareth Coleman and Dr Naomi Rosenberg.
Workshop notes: Bring your own hardware to work on, such as Raspberry
Pi and Arduino etc. if you can, and they'll try to find ways to get
your projects connected.
* Do you want to build a robot? #meArm assembly workshop
How about starting with an Arm? With just a screwdriver and enthusiasm
you can build an Open Source Robot Arm. If you bring an Arduino or Pi
with you, you're free to stay on with your meArm and tinker with the
The meArm is a project to get low cost robot arms into the hands of as
many people as possible. Started in February this year it's made fast
progress through open development. Already "home brew" (those not from
the laser forges of phenoptix in Nottingham) versions have been
spotted in the UK, Switzerland, the USA and Mexico!
Ben Gray is a proponent of Open Hardware and founder of phenoptix, a
maker business based in Beeston, Nottinghamshire. Ben graduated from
the University of Exeter with a chemistry degree and a fledgling
phenoptix before moving to Nottingham to complete a PhD in theoretical
physical chemistry. Through the open hardware movement he has been
able explore the wonderful world of electronics and take phenoptix
from a pocket money project to the full time job it is today.
Workshop notes: Bring along a laptop and, if you like, an Arduino or
* Introduction to Bus Pirate
The Bus Pirate is a universal open source hardware device that can be
used to communicate using various buses, such as SPI, I2C, UART and
JTAG, with various devices. The Bus Pirate is, per the designers,
intended to "Eliminate a ton of early prototyping effort with new or
This tutorial will introduce the Bus Pirate. Describe how to configure
it and install the software required to use it. It will then look at
some basic interfacing to devices via SPI and I2C. It will work
through how you can 'sniff' buses. Finally it will look at use the Bus
Pirate as a simple frequency measurement and generator device.
Run by: Melanie Rhianna Lewis.
Workshop notes: bring along a laptop (Bus Pirate is supported under
Windows, Linux and OSX) and, if you can, some hardware to debug. There
will be a limited number of Bus Pirates available, but if you have one
please bring it along.
* Building your first Parallella application
This workshop follows on from the previous day's talk and participants
will build a simple project which targets the Parallella board and
uses all 16 cores of the Epiphany floating-point accelerator.
Run by: Simon Cook.
Workshop notes: Please bring along a laptop and, if you have one, a
Parallella board (a limited number of boards will be available for use
by those who do not own one).
The real world works concurrently and so can you
This workshop will take you through the basics of embedded concurrent
programming using an XMOS multi-core startKIT. We will cover basic
parallel processing extensions to C (XC) using tasks, interfaces,
timers and ports. We will also get some insight into our running code
using xSCOPE, a real-time debugging system built in to the XMOS tools.
In addition we will use software modules to drop in rich functionality
from the open source xCORE libraries.
Run by: Alan Wood.
Workshop notes: bring along a laptop and any devices you would like to
* Design a PCB Shrimp and have it fabricated
The Shrimp is a super low cost Arduino clone. It makes an excellent
teaching resource, and is usually delivered as a 'breaded shrimp' -
using a breadboard. For hackers, it's a great way to knock up a quick,
cheap microcontroller circuit.
In this workshop we'll make a PCB version of the shrimp — a more
robust and Arduino shield compatible version — and you will be guided
through the process of drawing the schematic, laying out the PCB and
optionally placing an order with OSHPark for your very own PCB shrimp.
Participants will be working in pairs. Boards will cost about £6 each.
Kits of components can conveniently be ordered from shrimping.itfor
Run by: Matt Venn.
Workshop notes: bring along a laptop.
* OpenTRV build and getting started
Kits will be available to solder and boards and cables to buy, along
with valves that will be used to demonstrate how you can use
Arduino-based technology to halve your heating bill.
Run by: Damon Hart-Davis.
Workshop notes: Please bring your own soldering iron, solder and AA
batteries if you would like to build a kit to take away, and be aware
that SMD soldering experience and a steady hand will be required to
solder the TMP112 temperature sensor.
* There are separate tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
* A light lunch and refreshments will be provided each day.
* Please aim to arrive between 09:00 and 09:15 on the Saturday as the
event will start at 09:20 prompt.
With thanks to sponsors:
* DesignSpark - http://www.rs-online.com/designspark/electronics/
* XMOS - http://www.xmos.com