User Tools

Site Tools

TAG: software

3D Printer Hacking - Carbon as a printing bed surface

This is going to be very experimental and sorry for the short notice :) Since we now have a relatively efficient video stream relaying capability thanks to mjpeg-relay and a highly anticipated set of carbon sheets arrived today, it is time to remove the Kapton-Tape from the the 3D printer and replace it with a 0.5 mm carbon sheet. So, if you're interested, put on some music you like and watch the process live on picoPrint FrameCam Live-Feed.

Apollo, we have a problem...

Another Hackathon-Weekend passed by and the DSpace-Client and its backends are really shaping up nicely. A lot of code was refactored during the weekend, taking full advantage of amd, backbone and ender now. The first real-time data sharing overlay was tested successfully as well, so we managed to get a lot of the basic features we imagine to have in DSpace working.

Common Table of Geiger-Müller tubes

You can edit this page of the wiki without login to add or update the table. Just use the edit button at the top of the menu on the left. This wiki page should serve as a common place where we can note/compare/discuss our reference conversion settings to have a more reliable data basis for our calculations and equivalencies.

Darkmatter - A new theme for LEDE/OpenWRT

Darkmatter is an alternative HTML5 theme for LuCI that has evolved from luci-theme-bootstrap & luci-theme-material, in an attempt to bring a more concise, clean and visually pleasing UX to LEDE/OpenWRT. Check it out, help testing on different devices with different configurations and submit fixes if you can. All is welcome and needed to improve it further.


DSpace aims to enable people to find, collect, edit, structure and share any kind of information in a real-time, massive-collaboration, augmented-reality-environment (like wikipedia), based on a very common ground: The map of the area, where people actually are, around their Geolocation.

DSpace Development Updates

After the last collaborative hacking session on DSpace, the client developed and changed a lot. We've already integrated automated testing, using phantomjs and travis, the primary git repo changed from Apollo to github, in order to facilitate Pull-Requests and combined issue tracking. From now on, please don't push DSpace stuff to the Apollo-NG Repo's but use the github repo's as your origin. Every push to develop branch on github is automatically synced to the Apollo-NG repo and then automagica…

DSpace Introduction

A short talk introducing the ideas and concepts of DSpace and social mapping, assembled entirely on an open-source stack of modern web technologies like websockets and node.js and free/open data-providers like OpenStreetMap. The Event begins at 1700UTC with Beer and Pizza at the TNG office. Our talk is scheduled from 1900-1945UTC (2100-2145MEST) TNG Technology Consulting GmbH Betastraße 13a 85774 Unterföhring

DSpace Progress

A lot is happening and a a few more people have started to contribute their time, skills and knowledge to push DSpace into the realm of reality. Last Saturday, Niklas Cathor, also a strong supporter of federated technology, dropped by and joined the hackparty to just start hacking on moving us to amd.

Elasticsearch Garbage Collector

If you're using Elasticsearch you'll sooner or later have to deal with diskspace issues. The setup I currently have to manage gathers 200 to 300 million docs per 24 hours and a solution was needed to always guarantee enough free diskspace so that Elasticsearch wouldn't fail.

Exciting News: MediaGoblin moves to SQL tomorrow

A7B5BC2V79RH. Helping upstream projects directly seems to be a much more logical choice to put work into, instead of rewriting code to enhance it for oneself only. Today, the development time was invested into the new video.js interface for MediaGoblin, to give it a real “production grade” finish with MediaGoblin visual identity and to make it easier for other hackers in the future, to change the skins to their liking.

EZVD - Easy Voltage-Divider Calc-/Simulator

[EZVD Output on the console (python/ncurses)] If you want to learn more about voltage-dividers or need a tool to design/verify voltage-divider resistor selection for your next electronic engineering project, try EZVD - Easy Voltage-Divider Calc-/Simulator

EZVD - Easy Voltage-Divider Calc-/Simulator

When you migrate from just learning by copying open-source hardware designs/schematics towards creating your own electronic designs and solutions, you'll sooner or later will be confronted with the task of designing and selecting the right resistors for a certain voltage divider.

Fixes for chrony & RTC on Odroid C1 Linux 3.10.67 (ARMv7)

For a long time, all machines in Apollo-NG's infrastructure use chrony as a replacement for the usual ntpd package. chrony can be compared to ntpd like nginx can be compared to Apache, newer, much more lightweight approach and some additional very nice features. While nginx has replaced most of the Apache installations these days, chrony still isn't adopted as a good alternative by most people yet.

FOSS Data-Logging for Junsi iCharger

Batteries in general and lithium based batteries in particular require special attention, when it comes to charging and balancing. For this reason, the lab has a Junsi iCharger 1010B+, which offers a complete battery management solution for virtually every battery technology out there and some non-battery related features as well (like DC-Motor burn-in and foam-cutting programs).

Generating Entropy From Radioactive Decay With PiGI

Continuing on the final aspect of JamesT's very nice exploration of PiGI, we want to further examine the possibilities to create randomness from the output of a Geiger-counter. Of course we are using a PiGI as testbed for our experiments. True randomness, in the sense of “provably unpredictable” is not easily available on a computer. Good arguments can be made that the available sources of entropy like clock jitter, floating analog inputs, network traffic etc, combined with the algorithmic magi…

GeoIP Database Magic-Safety-Updater

In the past several months it sometimes just so happened, that the geoipupdate tool, available on many GNU/Linux systems to update MaxMind's GeoIP databases just failed. It exited fine but left a corrupt database, unreadable to the application depending on it. In this particular environment, GeoIP lookup is a mission-critical dependency, so it was time to come up with a little cron/logger/geoipupdate assisted bash magic, to update MaxMind's GeoIP Databases automatically and with two fallback saf…

Global Cloudmap Distribution Service Disruption

[Last available cloudmap from 2015-12-04] In case you're one of those people using xfce-planet or otherwise depend on our global cloudmap service (introduced here), you'll probably already have noticed that the image wasn't updated for 6 days now. The service itself is running on our side, but it seems as if MTSAT (covering 145E) doesn't send any more images since 2015-12-04. We'll try to get some more information about the outage to provide fresh, free and silky-smooth cloudmaps for everyone a…

Harder Soft-Unbricking a Ubiquiti Unifi UAP-Pro AP

[ubiquiti-unifi-uap-pro-inside-with-serial-debug-connected] Re-deploying the Ubiquiti Unifi UAP-Pro with OpenWRT (instead of Unifi) at the new base-camp revealed a problem: it simply didn't work anymore. No DHCP reaction, no default IP, nothing. Except for the LED blinking white after a reset, it seemed completely broken. Opening the case and attaching a terminal to the serial console, revealed bootloader output that wasn't promising but at least it wasn't completely dead. So we had to get our …

HOWTO - Update Zebra Printer Firmware on Linux

In case you're in the field and confronted with the task to update a Zebra Printer's Firmware but don't want (or can't) use Zebra's windows-only ZDownloader or Zebra Setup Utilities (both don't seem to work from within Wine) - don't worry: It's actually way easier than it is on Windows and requires only two tools you should have installed on any GNU/Linux or UNIX system anyways: unzip and netcat.

HOWTO stream ISS HDEV on the desktop background

In case you haven't noticed yet, NASA has put a new experiment on the International Space Station, which is called High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV). You can watch it online via ustream. The experiment's primary purpose is to generate long-term test data, if cheap off-the-shelf consumer HD cameras can be used in space instead of extremely expensive purpose-built “space” cameras. As a benefit, now all people can watch the world from above, in near-realtime, so thank you guys for sharing.

HOWTO: Hacking seamless SVG background tiles

Image creation/manipulation is an essential part of UI design and, with Photoshop gone, GIMP and Inkscape came to the rescue. Almost all graphics used in the Apollo-NG realm are created with Inkscape. With many people already using Inkscape and it being a vector oriented tool creating SVGs, it was just a matter of time until the SVG standard and its implementations matured and spread. Some features, such as SMIL animation and SVG Fonts are not as widely supported. There are many SVG authoring to…

HOWTO: Set up and secure a local Spark-Core Cloud

It took quite a bit of tinkering and a couple of clarifying sessions on IRC (Thanks to lbt and aholler for their input and support), to deploy the local Spark-Cloud test setup and interpret/abstract the scattered docs into one whole system view model. But why go through all this hassle, when you can just comfortably use the “official” cloud service to develop & manage your cores instantly?

Learning to build a simple metric scraper robot

I know that we usually fly over webpages just scanning text for keywords and structural bits and pieces of information, with the least amount of attention we can spare. We often don't really read anymore. But today I would like you to slow down, take a moment, get your favorite beverage and sit down to actually read this, because a part of my current work presented a perfect opportunity to go into learning, knowledge transfer, inspiration and of course the misconception of originality as well.

New Reflow Toaster build with picoReflow

Here is another beautiful automated reflow toaster oven build, which makes use of our open-sourced picoReflow DIY PID conrolled Reflow Oven Software and some bootstrapping concepts & ideas: <> It's great to see how the concept and software are spreading fast and spawn a whole new generation of inexpensive, modular and autonomous/remote-controlled PID temperature control approaches for all different kinds of applications, perfectly easy to a…

NFM GNU-Radio Receiver for RTL/OsmoSDR

Soon after the release of RTL-SDR a lot of people started to play with software defined radios. Although the Elonics E4000 tuner and the Realtek RTL2832U Chip are a long way from the quality and performance/stability of an USRP(2), the price of $11 - EUR30 makes these devices an ideal beginners device for SDR experiments, without having to invest +$1k into hardware.

Off-Board build-environment for ARM

To compile your own image you have to build a toolchain able to produce binary files that can run on the Netus G20. It's powered by a ARM926EJ-S™ ARM® Thumb® Processor, which means that you have to prepare a (cross)compiler for ARMV5TE architecture. Although it's possible to compile a lot of packages on the SKU itself, it's far more convenient and faster to compile the packages on a more powerful system

OnePlus One - Automount MTP device with Gentoo

Since the Android folks decided that MTP should be the way to connect Android devices via USB I ran into some trouble while trying to get comfortable access to the OnePlus One. There are a couple of forum threads and blog entries out there how to hack some udev rules and use scripts that try to automount the MTPFS. Some recommend mtpfs others use go-mtpfs or jmtpfs. I've tried them all and the result was still not what I wanted to have. Why can't I just plug it in and have it pop up in thunar, l…

Open and fresh global cloudmaps for the planet

Back in the early 90's, when I first tried GNU/Linux, there weren't many things I could really do with my X session, due to lack of knowledge, skill, confidence and available open-source software. However, I did play with xearth, a program that renders a somewhat accurate image of our planet. A couple of years later it was replaced by xplanet which offered a lot more features and eye-candy options.

Personal Log: PiGI Testing

Some time ago i stumbled upon the PiGI project, joined the chatroom and somehow convinced chrono to send me a prototype board. Thanks for that! So here will be a summary of my testing of the PiGI. The Geiger-Mueller-Tube I bought an old russian SBM-20 tube on ebay for 26$ and soldered some cable to both ends and isolated the ends with heat-shrink tubing. Then i soldered it to my PiGI with some leads that I thougt had sufficient isolation for high voltages.

Personal Log: The Post-Snowden Age

In 2013, some tech guy with a conscience got fed up covering up. He had access to many secret documents proving at which scale people are being unlawfully monitored and all of their information/communication behavior is logged and stored. He became a hero when he released documents showing the audacity, capacity and greediness of these “agencies” in full detail: People all over the world are constantly being spied upon by the NSA, GCHQ the BND and all the other players around the world. We have …


More and more semiconductors are produced in packages (the chip's case) which have become impossible to hand solder with a solder iron. The switch from through-hole (THT) to surface mount technology (SMT) has actually made hand soldering much easier (although still many believe the opposite to be true) but now we are faced with BGA and other packaging forms which only have contacts on the bottom of the chip.

PiGI Software Hacking & Hackathon

For the last couple of days we've been really busy pushing the pyGI/webGI software suite that goes alongside the PiGI to make it a really useful geiger counter and we're very proud and happy to show you some of our preliminary results. Our goal was simple: Build the most cost-effective, non-profit, open-source geiger counter and offer more features with an easy to use interface than any other commercially available solution. Even now in the early states we already have achieved that goal.

Playing with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner in Flightgear

For as long as I can remember, Aviation always sparked my interest, so it was only natural that, as a kid, I bought the F/A 18 Interceptor Flight Simulator to play Pilot on my Amiga 500 back in the 80/90 era. We've even had weekend sleepovers where a couple of friends and I took over the attic of another friend and built “cockpits” out of cardboard with cut-outs for our monitors. We basically ignored the combat aspect of it, I was just interested in the machine and flying through below the Golde…

Position to Timezone Tracking

The task seems trivial at first glance: Develop a system that automagically identifies the timezone of Odyssey (Command-Module)'s current position and changes the timezone as soon as a timezone-border is crossed accordingly. It proved to be a bit more difficult, since time borders are not systematic, but chaotic, following political (national) borders, making a simple mapping almost impossible or at least very costly in terms of performance and maintenance (time borders and DST usage change of…

Project Release: UCSSPM

The Unified Clear-Sky Solar output Prediction Model is an open-source clear-sky prediction model, incorporating math algorithms based on latest research by the Environmental and Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a few veteran but still valid and publicly available NOAA/NASA computations. It has been around for a while but received a major revision, code refactoring and got bumped to primary project status, since it's becoming an essential tool in predicting…

Random numbers: The fast and the furious

The expression security = usability-1 can be interpreted in many ways. Either things become far too complicated, so that regular users just don't want to be bothered with them or the amount of energy it takes to complete a security-related task is just insane.

Sharing is caring - not tracking

Operating and providing a website for a project always inherently leads to finding ways, to let more people know about your content. Social media bookmarking is a great way to do just that. But, as every so often, many people compromise comfort for reasonable security, including some javascript $social_media_provider offers to easily integrate it, allowing $social_media_provider to track each visit a user makes on any other website, that includes just the button/badge. Most users aren't even awa…


Check it out on github: <> Overview pyGI Server The pyGi server component is implemented in python and uses the RPi.GPIO python library to take care of handling the interrupts, generated by the impulses coming from the PiGI.

Software & hardware ecosystems as permanent sustainable culture

When you offer free services, funny things do happen: Some people seem to have found their way to the Apollo-NG pads and started to collaboratively work on a document about software and hardware ecosystems as a permanent sustainable culture. So if you're interested in the subject and would like to participate, please join the discussion on the mentioned pad:

Spark-Core Hacking: Read MQ2 sensor data

The Aquarius (Landing-Module) needs a galley in order to prepare and cook food but due to unforeseen personal circumstances I had to invest into this infrastructure way before than it was actually necessary - since the base trailer for the LM isn't available yet. So I've started to build a prototype kitchen with all that is needed for functional and fun food hacking. One of the primary energy carriers selected for cooking is gas. That can be either LPG (Propane/Butane) or Methane (delivered by u…

The DARC Knight rises

It seems like it's time to pre-warm our oscillators and prepare our SDRs for more DARC action in the near future. For more than the last 4 month, the traffic to The DARC side of Munich revealed an interesting pattern: There was a steady increase of traffic coming first from the big European & Asian automobile manufacturers, then from automotive subcontractors globally and now from Asian electronics manufacturers.

The DARC side of Munich

When you live in Munich and use public transportation, especially Buses and Trams, you will have noticed that during the last couple of month a lot of new displays appeared at almost any station which had no real-time info display before. They obviously have no cables/connections and no visible antennas, so I kept wondering:

Unified Clear-Sky Solar output Prediction Model

Using the sun as a sustainable energy source isn't really a new invention. Plants have been relying on it for millions of years and have developed and optimized the process of photosynthesis over a very long bio-evolutionary period. Almost everybody appreciates the comfort, when it's warm and the sun is shining but we very often forget how hard our ability to actually survive as a species, is linked to solar output: