K2HAX is on the air! With our move to the new space, we have access to the roof. On a beautiful fall day, Chris Olin and I put up a 30’ fiberglass mast on a tripod base (not attached to the roof). Then we hoisted up a trapped dipole for 10-80 meters and a G5RV. The dipole is oriented SW-NE, the G5RV is SE-NW. We also put up a 2m/70 cm J-Pole for VHF/UHF. All the feedlines were run with previously used 8/U down to our space (about 150’) and into the Ham Shack.
We initially had a Kenwood TS-530s transceiver and roller tuner setup for HF and we made a few contacts. We wanted to get the Yaesu FT-857GX out of the storage container and try it out. That is setup now along with an automatic tuner. Reception seems decent. We are waiting on an operable microphone to get back on the air. Bill, Von, Rowan, and Steve are working on that. We will be working on CAT control and a hook-up for using SDR like functionality with Ham Radio Deluxe, allowing us to get into the digital communication modes.
The Yaesu FT-8800 VHF/UHF rig is working well, K2HAX normally monitors 146.61 (N2MPE local ARES/RACES repeater) while someone is in the shack. We have cables for programming this rig on order and also have a cable for use with the PacComm TNC for packet, etc.
We also have a desktop PC with a nice monitor setup for use with the transceivers. We are waiting on a 2 port serial card to communicate with the radios. The remote programming of the radios and the option for digital mode communications (PSK, Packet, etc) opens up with the PC.
Our bench includes power supplies, frequency counters, various multi-meters and hand tools. We have a great selection of soldering tools for discrete and SMT component work. We have a variable temperature iron and a variable speed and temperature blower for re-work. On order is a Hakko 808 de-soldering tool. We have 2 antenna analyzers, a new Comet and an older MFJ. Several bench projects are already underway including Jamie’s whispering clocks, many cable hacks for the radios, and Walter’s attempts to repair blown audio equipment.
Ham radio is witnessing a rebirth in popularity. Emergency preparedness at the county/state/and national level has recognized the value of Ham radio as the most dependable means for communication during an emergency. Interlock members have participated in local POD drills, Ginna nuclear event practice response teams and are regular attendees at the local ARES/RACES meetings. Ham Radio can provide texting, TV and many other familiar forms of communication without any annoying infrastructure. We can DX with Ham operators around the world, by voice and many new and old digital modes. SDR is an emerging technology applied to Ham radio; opening up some fantastic possibilities for low power operation, contesting, and pulling weak signals out of the noise.
Ham radio is growing in popularity. Interlock Hams would love to introduce anyone interested to the hobby and answer any questions you may have.
from Antitree on November 27th, 20110 Comments
Android right now makes up 52% of the smartphone market share and a third of the tablets. I’ve been focused on Android lately and wanted to do an introduction to the hackability of these devices. From a security perspective, Android offers some interesting opportunities: rooting your phone, hacking an app, or malware analysis. For the hardware hackers, Google and others are offering hardware tools that can plug into your Android device to enable use them for your hardware projects. If you’re interested in the creative path, it’s really easy to get started doing app development.
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from Antitree on September 7th, 20110 Comments
Have you ever wanted to watch a hard drive get shredded in seconds, see a box of RAM that was 800 pounds, or wander through a 100,000 square foot grave yard of electronics? So did we, and our tour of Regional Computer Recycling and Recovery was just that. RCR&R is one of the major electronics recyclers in the Rochester area, and we were lucky enough to get a tour of their facilities. They outlined the process from beginning to end of how a computer is received, processed, parted out, and eventually recycled.
A group of us were guided around the RCR&R facility after learning about the organization. Vice president Charlie McKernen teamed up with client service representative Tom Smith to show us the facility, answer our questions, and keep us on track when our attention strayed to the many items sitting on the giant shelves. One of the first stops was a hard drive shredder which chopped through the devices like butter, leaving just a pile of scraps after a few sparks. We walked by workers parting out the computers, placing each into a corresponding box that would eventually be shipped out for recycling by a facility specifically designed to process that part. Charlie was able to easily answer our questions on degaussing and secure hard drive wiping methods, and they all seemed to be up to speed on the latest compliance requirements and best practices when it came to security.
The tour happened on the same day that the Democrat and Chronicle published an article discussing a New York State law touting a state wide, free e-waste recycling program. Passed in May, the law will make electronics manufacturers responsible for the waste generated when a computer is recycled. Current NYS law allows computers to be thrown out as part of your regular trash, leaking contaminants into the ground. Hazardous metals like lead and mercury, and the chemicals that make plastics flame retardant can cause damage to the environment. The new law aims to get consumers recycling their old electronics by offsetting the cost back to the manufacturers.
You can visit the RCR&R website for more information about their facility and services, and be sure to check out their Electronics Cafe eBay store if you’re interested in seeing all of the fun stuff they have for sale.
EDIT: Their facility is 100,000 sqft in Victor and their Central Ave. location is 20,000 sqft.
from Antitree on December 28th, 20101 Comment
Last Saturday, Interlock celebrated its one year anniversary. Although this wasn’t the original date of our inception, it was the agreed upon time to meet, discuss what we did the year before, announce plans for the year after, decide upon the budget, and share ideas that could help improve Interlock as a whole.
Our first year was packed with tasks necessary for putting together a hackerspace from the ground up. Starting out, we were a group of people meeting in a coffee shop with an idea and we quickly transitioned into getting a space to call home, incorporating the organization and designing the bylaws for the group. We worked with community leaders to attend events like Barcamp Rochester and partnered up with our friends at CoWorking Rochester for lightning talks. And in between all of that, we tried to make time for our personal projects.
It was fun to hear what members had been working on in the space this year. Arduinos, Apple 2c+ hacking, knitting, networking, photography, infosec, robotics, ham radio, makerbot plans, virtualization, lock picking, phone systems, classes, aerial photography, are just a few of the projects we worked on.
This coming year, we have some exciting new ideas for everyone and the members have even more ideas for their own projects. Some of those ideas are about improving Interlock for the public and our community like offering different membership options. We’re also working on ideas for a project we can work on as a group.
Finally as part of our business planning, we reviewed our financial situation and approved a budget. You can take a look at our costs and where the money goes from 2010 below.
A thanks goes out to all of our members and friends who donate their time, money, and ideas to our cause. We seriously couldn’t have done it without you.
from Antitree on December 16th, 20100 Comments
Join us on August 24th for a 6 week class as we join O’Reilly’s training class. http://training.oreilly.com/arduino/
For those of you that are new to Arduinos:
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. link
What you’ll learn:
- Use Processing to create basic software applications
- Make your own drawing and animation tools
- Create a GUI (Graphical User Interface) to control your software
- Use an Arduino to provide physical controls for your drawing and animation tools
We’d like to find out how many people are coming so if you’re interested, please sign up on our Meetup.com page: http://meetup.com/u/jvS
from Antitree on August 13th, 20100 Comments