Bringing Practical Pedagogy and Sustainable Enterprise to Makerspaces

This article by Will Holman ( @objectguerilla ) really resonated with me. Makerspaces really need all these things to help would-be makers develop their skills and create sustainable enterprises.

From https://placesjournal.org/article/makerspace-towards-a-new-civic-infrastructure/ :

The movement will need to embrace spaces that feature both traditional and advanced fabrication tools at affordable prices; that provide not only for tooling but also for assembly; that offer wrap-around business services for maker enterprises; that develop maker education into a rigorous pedagogy; and that help build a sustainable market for maker-made goods and services.

Photo credit

Found via https://impactdesignhub.org/2015/12/11/what-makerspaces-need-to-be-sustainable/

The Audacity of Spacecraft

I have no Morse skillz (yet), but I managed to use my iPhone to capture the audio of the CW beacon of the XW-2A cubesat as it passed through the skies to the West of our home, loaded it into Audacity and looked at the waveform to find the signature “CAMSAT” word that the spacecraft includes in its CW transmission:

XW_2A

Too coolūüôā

Got GPSD Working on the Raspberry Pi

Took just a little digging to find¬†the correct commands to get my Arduino + Adafruit GPS based “clock” to talk to gpsd on the Raspberry Pi (the Arduino is powered and connected to a¬†USB port on the Raspberry Pi.) ¬†First, I did

sudo apt-get install gpsd
sudo apt-get install gpsd-clients
sudo dpkg-reconfigure gpsd

(using /dev/ttyACM0) when prompted and then

cgps

for the display below

IMG_4538

Clock is running https://github.com/allendav/GPSClock code

XW-2E

Using CubicSDR,¬†a¬†rtl-sdr dongle and the tracking software I’m developing (and a nice Arrow II dual band yagi), I picked up the CW beacon for the recently launched XW-2E cubesat this morning (see the portion of the waterfall display circled in red

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 9.06.33 AM

Raspberry Pi + RTL-SDR Working

First, I used parts of this gist by floehopper to set up rtl-sdr utilities on the Raspberry Pi (already running Raspbian with a 8 GB flash card at its disposal):

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get update
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get upgrade
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ vi no-rtl.conf

blacklist dvb_usb_rtl28xxu
blacklist rtl2832
blacklist rtl2830

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo mv no-rtl.conf /etc/modprobe.d/

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get install git-core
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get install git
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get install cmake
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get install build-essential

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ git clone git://git.osmocom.org/rtl-sdr.git
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ cd rtl-sdr/
pi@raspberrypi ~/rtl-sdr $ mkdir build
pi@raspberrypi ~/rtl-sdr $ cd build
pi@raspberrypi ~/rtl-sdr/build $ cmake ../ -DINSTALL_UDEV_RULES=ON
pi@raspberrypi ~/rtl-sdr/build $ make
pi@raspberrypi ~/rtl-sdr/build $ sudo make install
pi@raspberrypi ~/rtl-sdr/build $ sudo ldconfig
pi@raspberrypi ~/rtl-sdr/build $ cd ~
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo cp ./rtl-sdr/rtl-sdr.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo reboot

Then, I added sox (to get the play command):

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get install sox libsox-fmt-all

I hooked up a speaker to the Raspberry Pi audio port and then tuned and listened to Puget Sound’s favorite packet frequency:

rtl_fm -f 144390000 -M fm -s 12k - | play -r 12k -t s16 -L -c 1 -

Worked nicely. Need to add squelch argument and combine this with the demodulator I’ve been working on.¬† Satellite tracking with automatic recording of space station packets is the ultimate goal.

Hopefully Less Crashy Now

New firmware (thanks steveis), recalibrated, fixed some incorrect settings in the transmitter too.  Setup autolevel correctly this time.  Still waiting for replacement arm.  Soon.

FullSizeRender 16

GPS and Arduino UTC Clock Boxing

IMG_0870.JPG

After sitting (and running) on my desk in a breadboard for forever, the GPS and Arduino powered UTC clock is finally getting properly housed in a project box. Now just waiting on a couple connector blocks and some wire for the harness.