Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
NBN cable rules spark electricity network push-back
Thursday, 03 September 2015 12:56

Stop us if you've heard this one before: the federal government has managed to alienate important stakeholders in the telecommunications industry, and they're pushing back.

This time, its the companies that own retail electricity infrastructure. As part of the multi-technology model that mandated an end to the fibre-to-the-premises rollout, the government also mandated the transfer of HFC network assets to nbn TM .

Since part of the push-back from the electricity networks is about cost, it looks like the Patented Malcolm Turnbull NBN Forward Cost Estimator will need another workout.

To make sure the network could support future upgrades like

Hackaday Prize Semifinalist: A Mobile Node
Saturday, 05 September 2015 01:01

The future is the Internet of Things, or so we’re told, and with that comes the requirement for sensors attached to the Internet that also relay GPS and location data. [Camilo]’s MobileNodes do just that. He’s designed a single device that will listen to any sensor, upload that data to the Internet over GSM or GPRS, and push all that data to the cloud.

The MobileNode is a small circular (7cm) PCB with a standard ATMega32u4 microcontroller. Attached to this PCB are GSM/GPRS and GPS/GLONASS modules to receive GPS signals and relay all that data to the cloud. To this, …read more

Basically, It’s an ESP8266
Sunday, 30 August 2015 13:01

Before the Arduino, there was the Parallax Basic Stamp. It was an easy-to-use PIC chip on a PCB that you programmed in BASIC — a story of those humble beginnings was published earlier this week. Before that, even, legions of small computers from TRS-80s to Commodore 64s and even Altairs were commanded primarily by the BASIC language. BASIC was easy to run on a small machine and very simple to learn. Old fashioned BASICs are difficult to use to write huge systems, but a lot of small computers aren’t going to run very large programs anyway.

The ESP8266 is more …read more

If Our Eyes Could See Wireless Signals, They Wouldn’t Look Like This.
Sunday, 30 August 2015 07:01

A neat visualization of wireless signals was released last week showing off what our world might look like if we could see radio signals. While it’s an awesome visual effect, it’s really not what we would see. At least not with our puny human eyes.

The app uses data like WiFi hotspots, cell towers, and other wireless devices to create an augmented reality effect showing where the signals are propagating from. Site specific versions of the app also include the wired communication infrastructure as well to give a complete window into the science-fiction-sounding title of “infosphere”.

But like a user …read more

nbn™'s Sky Muster satellite lands in French Guiana
Thursday, 27 August 2015 09:36
NBN SkyMuster satellite rocket

The Ariane 5 rocket. VA-226, that will carry the first NBN satellite into orbit

PICS nbn TM , the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) is just 34 days away from putting its very own satellite into orbit, and the organisation's communications operatives are starting to reveal a little about the bird.

Here, for example, is a picture of the satellite.

NBN SkyMuster satellite

nbn TM 's SkyMuster satellite. Click here to embiggen

Here it is packed up into the

Reverse Engineering a Different Kind of Bus
Friday, 28 August 2015 19:01

Radio enthusiasts have a long history of eavesdropping on non-broadcast stations–police, fire, and public transportation frequencies, for example. These days, though, a lot of interesting communications are digital. When [bastibl] wanted to read data displayed on bus stop signs, he turned to software defined radio. He used gr-fosphor to monitor the radio spectrum as buses drove by and discovered a strong signal near 151 MHz (see photo below).

That, however, was just the start. Using a variety of tools, he figured out the modulation scheme, how the data framing worked, and even the error correction scheme. Armed with all the …read more

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