Bidirectional IP with New Packet Radio

There are a few options if you want to network computers on amateur radio. There are WiFi hacks of sort, and of course there’s always packet radio. New Packet Radio, a project from [f4hdk] that’s now on hackaday.io, is unlike anything we’ve seen before. It’s a modem that’s ready to go, uses standard 433 ISM band chips, should only cost $80 to build, and it supports bidirectional IP traffic.

The introductory documentation for this project (PDF) lays out the use case, protocol, and hardware for NPR. It’s based on chips designed for the 433MHz ISM band, specifically the SI4463 ISM band radio from Silicon Labs. Off the shelf amplifiers are used, and the rest of the modem consists of an Mbed Nucleo and a Wiznet W5500 Ethernet module. There is one single modem type for masters and clients. The network is designed so that a master serves as a bridge between Hamnet, a high-speed mesh network that can connect to the wider Internet. This master connects to up to seven clients simultaneously. Alternatively, there is a point-to-point configuration that allows two clients to connect to each other at about 200 kbps.

Being a 434 MHz device, this just isn’t going to fly in the US, but the relevant chip will work with the 915 MHz ISM band. This is a great solution to IP over radio, and like a number of popular amateur radio projects, it started with the hardware hackers first.

NPR Science Friday Roundup

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UPDATE: Listen to the segment here.

Did you know I’m going to be a guest on NPR Science Friday today? If this is the first you’re hearing about it you need to sign up for the mailing list (there’s a sign-up form in the right hand column of this page).

If you’ve already listened to the show and found your way here for the goods on the projects, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Join us after the break for project links and details.

Continue reading “NPR Science Friday Roundup”

Multi-camera rig makes trees say cheese

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[Nick Nichols] set out to take a photograph of a full redwood tree. Here’s the catch, these redwoods are over 300 feet tall and they’re not just standing in the middle of a vast desert. If the photo is taken from a distance, you will only capture the top part of these majestic beauties. How can you take the shot from close up? Build a custom rig to take multiple shots and stitch them together for a composite photo.

[Nichols] built the rig to hold three cameras focused to the left, middle, and right of the tree. The frame includes a gyroscope to keep the cameras steady. By lowering the cameras from the top to the bottom of the redwood they were able to capture 84 pictures to assemble the final shot. The result is featured in the October edition of National Geographic magazine. We’ve included the final picture and embedded a video of the rig in action after the break. Continue reading “Multi-camera rig makes trees say cheese”

Mister Jalopy on NPR


[Mister Jalopy] is an outspoken recycler. He believes it is wrong that we live in a “throw away culture” and we here at Hackaday tend to agree. There is so much potential left in products, long after they may have given up their original purpose. He has been pushing to get companies to work with the public, to encourage re purposing and hacking. The belief is that it can only improve a company’s relationship with their customers.

[Mister Jalopy] appeared on National Public Radio today. They discussed the benefits of making your own stuff, as well as the legalities involved with modifying off the shelf products.

We covered his open house last October. Tons of fascinating stuff there.

[via Hoopty Rides]