HacDC starts funding for USRP2 – Bringing RF / software radio research to DC!

Do you wish you had truly universal communication device? A device that is a cell phone and can connect using GPRS, 802.11 Wi-Fi, 802.16 WiMax, a satellite hookup or any emerging standard, as well as GPS, GLONASS or both?

The HacDC has started a fundraising campaign to acquire a Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRPv2) from Ettus Research.

Some projects that the USRP can be used for:

  • RFID reader
  • RF Test Equipment
  • Cellular base station
  • GPS receiver
  • FM radio receiver
  • FM radio transmitter
  • Digital television decoder
  • Passive radar
  • An amateur radio

HacDC will use the USRPv2 to research Radio Frequency (RF) / Software Radio! / Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and open up classes and teach these subjects to the DC community. As always our classes and study groups our free and open to the public, so donate, join (www.hacdc.org) and help build a new RF / software radio group in DC!

DONATE HERE: http://pledgie.com/campaigns/4801

Below are the details of the USRPv2 from Ettus’ website:

The Universal Software Radio Peripheral product family allows you to create a software radio using any computer with a USB2 or Gigagbit ethernet port. Various plug-on daughterboards allow the USRP and USRP2 to be used on different radio frequency bands. Daughterboards are available from DC to 5.9 GHz at this time. The entire design of the USRP family is open source.

The USRP and USRP2 work with GNU Radio, a free-software (open source) framework for the creation of software defined radios. GNU Radio works on all of the following operating systems:

* Linux
* Windows
* Max OS X, PPC and Intel processors
* FreeBSD and NetBSD

Picture below available via carrierdetect under Creative Commons Share Alike Attribution license:


High-energy Cosmic Rays …

… a Sign of Dark Matter or a Nearby Quasar?

There is a really interesting article over on Ars Technica about a
high-alitiude baloon flight in Antarctica has turned up very surprisng
results.  Both of the main explanations are fascinating:

The straightforward explanation requires an unidentified astrophysical
object spitting out high-energy electrons in our neighborhood. The more
exotic solution suggests that dark matter particles enabled by the
existence of extra dimensions may be annihilating nearby. Either of these
options seems pretty exciting.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081119-faster-than-the-speed-of-dark-annihilations-above-antarctica.html

Thanks Mark!

HacDC Training: Introduction to Python


WHERE: HacDC 1525 Newton ST NW Washington D.C. 20010
WHEN:   Saturday August 30, 2008 from 1:00PM – 4:00PM

WHO:     Rob Seger

So you’ve got this great new idea, but it requires a computer.. The
blasted thing just doesn’t do what you need it to do out of the box.
You’ve got a few options: you can give up on your project (I’m just
saying..), you can find a programmer to whisper sweet nothings to your
expensive doorstop (you may have to bribe them), or you can master the
art of pillow talk for your processor. Presumably, you’re interested
in the last option. While I can’t promise you that you’ll become the
Fabio of circuitry over-night, I can promise you’ll know how to
motivate that doorstop of yours if you attend my class.
In a less-than-formal environment, I plan to take you from not even
having python installed to understanding the fundamentals of
programming. If all goes well, you should be able to create fairly
complicated programs, understand (and know how to find) the python
online documentation, and have this irrational urge to learn more. For
those with some background in programming, we’ll be covering:
variables, if-statements, looping, fundamental data structures,
functions, and modules. If that didn’t make any sense, or you don’t
already know how to do all that in python, this is the class for you!

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Gaming / Music Charity Event Friday outside Philadelphia

My fellow DCers! This Friday some friends of HacDC will be putting on a gaming and music event outside of Philadelphia (Bellmawr, NJ) – I wanted to throw this out to anyone interested in going. I will be heading up there Friday afternoon (around noon) and we may have an extra seat or two, anyone interested please email me at email hidden; JavaScript is required. For more information check out their post:

Hey everyone, wanted to let you know that me and a few friends of mine are going to be putting on a fundraiser in South Jersey for the American Cancer Society. We’ll have live music from some local bands and Japanese Punk Band Peelander Z, in addition we’ll have TVs set up for gaming, everything from old school Nintendo to Xbox 360s. There will be a few tournaments for Halo 3, Rock Band, Soul Calibur IV, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl with great prizes. If you have a chance stop by the Station 33 Fire Hall in Bellmawr, NJ on the 22nd of August at 4pm.

Tickets are $20 at the door, for more info go to http://www.extinctionlevelevents.com or email email hidden; JavaScript is required

Thanks and hope to see you there!

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