Over on Hackaday.io, [bobricius] took this technology and designed something great. It’s a GSM cell phone with a case made out of FR4. It’s beautiful, and if you’re ever in need of a beautifully crafted burner phone, this is the one to build.
The components, libraries, and toolchains to build a cellphone from scratch have been around for a very long time. Several years ago, the MIT Media Lab prototyped a very simple cellphone on a single piece of FR4. It made calls, but not much else. It was ugly, but it worked. [Bobricius] took the idea and ran with it.
Continue reading “Building Beautiful Cell Phones Out Of FR4”
What’s the most un-intrusive GPS you’ve ever seen? How about for a bike? Redditor [Fyodel] has built a Teensy-based GPS/GSM tracker that slides into your bike’s handlebars and really is out of sight.
The tracker operates on T-Mobile’s 2G service band — which will enable the device to work until about 2020 — since AT/T is phasing out their service come January. Since each positioning message averages 60 bytes, an IoT data plan is sufficient for moderate usage, with plans to switch over to a narrow-band LTE service when it becomes more affordable. [Fyodel] admits that battery life isn’t ideal at the moment, but plans to make it more efficient by using a motion sensor to ensure it’s only on when it needs to be.
Continue reading “Barely-There GSM GPS Tracker”
Just over a year ago, Particle (formerly Spark), makers of the very popular Core and Particle Photon WiFi development kits, released the first juicy tidbits for a very interesting piece of hardware. It was the Electron, a cheap, all-in-one cellular development kit with an even more interesting data plan. Particle would offer their own cellular service, allowing their tiny board to send or receive 1 Megabyte for $3.00 a month, without any contracts.
Thousands of people found this an interesting proposition and the Electron crowdfunding campaign took off like a rocket. Now, after a year of development and manufacturing, these tiny cellular boards are finally shipping out to backers and today the Electron officially launches.
Particle was kind enough to provide Hackaday with an Electron kit for a review. The short version of this review is the Electron is a great development platform, but Particle pulled off a small revolution in cellular communications and the Internet of Things
Continue reading “Particle Electron – The Solution To Cellular Things”
[Rossum] developed a host board that makes it easy to drive a TFT screen using an inexpensive microcontroller. He’s looked around at a bunch of LCD’s that are easy to get your hands on and decided that the iPod Nano 2G screens are the right balance of performance (176×132 TFT) and low cost ($1-$5). They’re not particularly difficult to talk to, but with 22 pins they’re a bit hardware hungry.
He takes us through the signal sniffing he used to figure out the communications process. From there he harness the power of an ARM Cortex M0 processor, which he’s worked with in the past, to drive the screen. His implementation results in a driver board called the SmartLCD that takes care of the screen’s parallel protocol, power, and backlight. From there it’s just four connections and you can use a small microcontroller like the Arduino seen above with ease. See what it can do after the break.
Continue reading “SmartLCD makes video for microcontrollers easy”
It seems that the iPhone 2g and 3g are the newest phones to get Android 2.2, codenamed Froyo. The process for installing Froyo if you have a jailbroken device seems to get even easier every time, with this revision being as simple as adding a repository, downloading Froyo, and pressing go. Follow the link for a wonderful step by step guide, complete with screenshots to take out all of the guess work. Android on iPhone sure has come a long way since the first time we covered it.
Android, on the iPhone? We’ve covered iPhone Linux before… and if you look back, we mentioned the possibility of porting Android to the iPhone (even way back in 2008!). Well we are proud to announce that The Future is Now! The details are a little slim so far, but the iPhone is seen running a stock Android 1.6 install (Donut), and has support for Wifi, GSM networks, and even uses openiBoot to dual boot to the regular iPhone OS if you aren’t particularly committed. Right now the developers are considering it an Alpha version, and have provided all you need to perform this particular brand of Cult of Apple heresy. One catch though, the developers say that they only have it working on the 2G models, so sorry all you 3G(S) folks (for now). Dont get too down, and keep an eye open, something like this is bound to attract new talent to push the movement.
Anyone out there with a 2G and some free time? We would love to see some users showing off Hackaday on their hacked up iPhone!
The iPod Touch 2G jailbreak was first shown in January. It had to be applied every time the iPod was booted. The iphone-dev team just released the 24kpwn LLB patch to allow for a persistent jailbreak. The team had been hanging on to this patch because there was the possibility the exploit could be used on future iPhone versions. Unfortunately, a group started selling the code, so the team was forced to release it for free. iPod owners are certainly happy though. There is a tutorial available for updating a factory reset iPod (backup link). The team will include the patch in future official tools.
UPDATE: [cptfalcon] pointed out a post that covers the technical details of the exploit.