EHSM-2014 CFP

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

Exceptionally Hard & Soft Meeting
pushing the frontiers of open source and DIY
DESY, Hamburg site, June 27-29 2014
http://ehsm.eu
@ehsmeeting

Collaboration between open source and research communities empowers open hardware to explore new grounds and hopefully deliver on the “third industrial revolution”. The first edition of the Exceptionally Hard and Soft Meeting featured lectures delivered by international makers, hackers, scientists and engineers on topics such as nuclear fusion, chip design, vacuum equipment machining, and applied quantum physics. Tutorials gave a welcoming hands-on introduction to people of all levels, including kids.

EHSM is back in summer 2014 for another edition of the most cutting-edge open source conference. This year we are proud to welcome you to an exceptional venue: DESY, Europe’s second-largest particle physics laboratory!

Previous EHSM lectures may be viewed at: http://ehsm.eu/2012/media.html

ATTEND WITHOUT PRESENTING:
Attendance is open to all curious minds.

EHSM is entirely supported by its attendees and sponsors. To help us make this event happen, please donate and/or order your ticket as soon as possible by visiting our website http://ehsm.eu.
Prices are:

  • 45E – student/low-income online registration
  • 95E – online registration
  • 110E – door ticket
  • 272E – supporter ticket, with our thanks and your name on the website.
  • 1337E – gold supporter ticket, with our thanks and your company/project logo on the website and the printed programme.

EHSM is a non-profit event where the majority of the budget covers speakers’ travel and transportation of exhibition equipment.

SPEAKERS: SUBMIT YOUR PRESENTATION
Is there a device in your basement that demonstrates violations of Bell’s inequalities? We want to see it in action. Are you starting up a company to build nuclear fusion reactors? Tell us about it. Does your open source hardware or software run some complex, advanced and beautiful scientific instruments? We are eager to learn about it. Do you have stories to tell about your former job manufacturing ultra high vacuum equipment in the Soviet Union? We want to hear about your experiences. Do you have a great design for a difficult open source product that can be useful to millions? Team up with the people who can help implement your ideas.

Whoever you are, wherever you come from, you are welcome to present technologically awesome work at EHSM. Travel assistance and visa invitation letters provided upon request. All lectures are in English.

This year, we will try to improve the conference’s documentation by publishing proceedings. When relevant, please send us a paper on
your presentation topic. We are OK with previously published work, we simply expect high quality and up-to-date content.

To submit your presentation, send a mail to team@ehsm.eu with typically the following information:

  • Your name(s). You can be anonymous if you prefer.
  • Short bio
  • Title of the presentation
  • Abstract
  • How much time you would like
  • Full paper (if applicable)
  • Links to more information (if available)
  • Contact information (e-mail + mobile phone if possible)
  • If you need us to arrange your trip:
  • Where you would be traveling from
  • If you need accommodation in Hamburg

We will again have an exhibition area where you can show and demonstrate your work – write to the same email address to apply for space. If you are bringing bulky or high-power equipment, make sure to let us know:

  • What surface you would use
  • What assistance you would need for equipment transport between your lab and the conference
  • If you need 3-phase electric power (note that Germany uses 230V/400V 50Hz)
  • What the peak power of your installation would be

Tutorials on any technology topic are also welcome, and may cater to all levels, including beginners and kids.

We are counting on you to make this event awesome. Feel free to nominate other speakers that you would like to see at the conference, too – just write us a quick note and we will contact them.

KEY INFORMATION:
Conference starts: morning of June 27th, 2014
Conference ends: evening of June 29th, 2014
Early registration fee ends: February 1st, 2014
Please submit lectures, tutorials and exhibits before: May 15th, 2014

Conference location:
DESY
Notkestrasse 85
22607 Hamburg, Germany

WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU IN HAMBURG!
– EHSM e.V. <http://ehsm.eu>

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EHSM schedule published!

The EHSM team proudly present… highlights from the schedule of the Exceptionally Hard and Soft Meeting! [Berlin Dec 28-30 http://ehsm.eu]

(Full schedule there)

Day#1 11:45 – 13:00
Keynote Speech: Will Jack – “I built myself a nuclear fusion reactor when I was 16″

Will Jack is a 17 year old high school student from the US who enjoys nothing more than building nuclear fusion reactors in his basement. He will present his work on the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion reactors that he has built, speaking not only about the theory behind them, but how he developed them, his current work, and his goals for the future as well. This keynote speech is not about cloud computing.

Day#1 10:30 – 11:45
Bionerd23 – Radioactivity is in the air for you and me

An anonymous woman who goes by the handle of “bionerd23″ will give you a very comprehensive, bottom-up view of man-made and natural nuclear radiation and how you can detect it. Mind you – when we say “comprehensive”, this means things like building yourself ion chambers for detecting radiation, and studying and operating a small-scale homemade fusion reactor. Have a look at her excellent videos.

Day#1 17:30 – 18:00
Evangelia Gousiou – The CERN Open Hardware License

Last year, CERN launched a new open hardware license. Evangelia Gousiou will tell you about this endeavour which was created to govern the use, copying, modification and distribution of hardware design documentation and the manufacture and distribution of products in the spirit of knowledge and technology dissemination.

Day#2 10:00 – 11:15
Ben Krasnow – Homebuilt X-ray backscatter imaging system (airport body scanner)

Ben Krasnow, “Hacker Extraordinaire” at video game company Valve, built an X- ray backscatter imaging system from parts found on eBay. This system works by scanning a very thin beam of X-rays across the target, and measures the amount of backscatter for a given beam position. He might also talk about Raman spectroscopy and other hacks, stay tuned.

Day#3 12:30 – 13:00
Aleksander Zawada – DIY triodes and other vacuum tubes

Aleksander runs “Prywatna Wytwórnia Lamp” (PWL), a one-man DIY vacuum tube laboratory in Warsaw. The name translates to “Private Tube Manufacturer” – a pun on PWLR (“National Tube Manufacturer”), the first Polish tube manufacturer after WWII. There, he makes not only triodes, but also canal ray tubes, a RGB magic eye, several Crookes tubes, Geiger tubes, and many other incredibly amazing devices. This is serious stuff – he starts with raw materials like glass, metal and phosphor powders.

Day#3 18:15 – 19:30
Jasper Nance – Microsecond High Speed Photography and Scanning Electron Microscope

She will present these projects from the perspective of using community resources, specifically those from Heatsync Labs, Arizona’s first hackerspace. This includes materials, people, expertise, and crowdsourcing to scrounge and hack together technologically challenging endeavours. The projects are not an end in themselves, but rather serve as hackable platforms for both community and educational outreach to teach skills and develop new and hackable ways of doing difficult and expensive tasks.

Day#3 15:45 – 17:00
Harald Welte – Osmocom

Harald Welte will present the Osmocom project he founded. In particular, there will be OsmocomBB, a free software GSM stack evolved enough to actually make phone calls and send SMS (plus all the possible explorations of the GSM system), and OsmoSDR, a small-size, low-cost software defined radio device.

Haven’t got enough? Read our complete schedule that we just published.

Liked what you saw? Your ticket awaits you here.
Online pre-sale ends December 16th, and tickets at the door will be more expensive.

EHSM will be held at TU Berlin from December 28th to 30th.

Help us spread the word about EHSM: post http://ehsm.eu to your social media channels, forward this email to your friends and colleagues, write blog posts…
See you in Berlin!

– the EHSM team <http://ehsm.eu>

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EHSM: new speakers announced


Despite all the discussions about open hardware, it appears obvious that many techniques and technologies remain highly proprietary. Ubiquitous areas such as thin films (which modern touchscreens depend on), spintronics (which enable high-capacity hard disks) and logic design techniques (used to build microprocessors) remain carefully avoided by most hardware hackers. The Exceptionally Hard and Soft Meeting, to be held in Berlin on December 28-30 2012, will allow you to learn about DIY and open source projects going in such directions and meet the people behind them.

We are pleased to announce today that the following new speakers are keen on presenting their amazing work at EHSM:

  • Jasper Nance will present her Microsecond High Speed Photography and Scanning Electron Microscope projects from the perspective of using community resources, specifically those from Heatsync Labs, Arizona’s first hackerspace. This includes materials, people, expertise, and crowdsourcing to scrounge and hack together technologically challenging endeavours. The projects are not an end in themselves, but rather serve as hackable platforms for both community and educational outreach to teach skills and develop new and hackable ways of doing difficult and expensive tasks.
    For a quick glimpse at Jasper’s projects, be sure to check her impressive photo portfolio.
  • An anonymous woman who goes by the handle of “bionerd23″ will give you a very comprehensive, bottom-up view of man-made and natural nuclear radiation and how you can detect it. Mind you – when we say “comprehensive”, this means things like building yourself ion chambers for detecting radiation, and studying and operating a small-scale homemade fusion reactor. Have a look at her excellent videos.
  • (See ehsm.eu for more speakers and to propose a talk or workshop)

    We are an independent organization without any big sponsoring or grants, so we rely on you, the attendee, to crowdfund this conference. So help us make this event possible and order your ticket soon. The prices are nevertheless very cheap for a conference of this quality, and we have an “early bird” price running until July 15th. See http://ehsm.eu/tickets.html and thank you for your support!
    Looking forward to seeing you in Berlin,
    – the EHSM organizing comittee

    Website
    Follow EHSM on Twitter

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EHSM 2012 CFP

Exceptionally Hard & Soft Meeting
exploring the frontiers of open source and DIY
Berlin, December 28-30 2012

Some electronics books from the 50s claimed making triode tubes would be an impossible endeavour for amateurs. Today, there are at least two DIY laboratories making not only triodes but also all sorts of vacuum electron devices.

Three years after the first GPS satellite was launched, few people used the technology, which was perceived as very complicated and expensive. Yet, someone successfully operated his homebrew receiver made from hundreds of that time’s electronic parts.

These days, microchips are often thought to be impenetrable and
impossible to manufacture without large-scale facilities. But many individuals are reverse engineering microelectronics designs, often breaking security systems based on the obscurity of the silicon layout. Some are even devising DIY methods to replicate parts of the microchip manufacturing process, with impressive results.

What are the frontiers of DIY technology? The first Exceptionally Hard & Soft Meeting (EHSM) will feature presentations of the brightest DIY achievements. But we do not want to stop at DIY. In fact, we should not, because teamwork is the only way to get the big things done.

The open source ethos is about keeping the freedom and openness of DIY when many people are involved. At a time when thousands of developers from hundreds of companies contribute to Linux and the world’s largest physics laboratories share openly licensed hardware designs on OHWR, we will explore the cutting-edge open source hardware and software practices.

This premiere of the EHSM will be held in Berlin on December 28-30 2012. Everyone is welcome to attend it. Curiosity is enough to qualify, and we have kept the minimal entrance fee affordable. Please order your ticket as soon as possible, to help us make this event happen.

They are already coming
To give you an idea of what is coming up, we are pleased to announce that the following speakers will be presenting their awesome work:

  • Jeffrey Gough will talk about and demonstrate metalwork techniques. How to go beyond extruded ABS coming from a 3D printer? There might even be a hands-on workshop coming up, stay tuned.
  • Shawn Tan has been working on a new open source microprocessor design and will introduce it at EHSM.
  • Ben Krasnow makes all sorts of seemingly impossible science experiments at home, such as creating aerogel (yes, that thing on spacecraft), Pop Rocks candy, or building a scanning electron microscope. He will talk about a yet undisclosed but promising topic.

More speakers will be announced as we confirm them, check this space!

Tickets and funding
EHSM is entirely supported by its attendees and sponsors. To help us make this event happen, please donate and/or order your ticket as soon as possible. EHSM is a non-profit event and most of the money will be used to cover speakers’ travel expenses.

Submit your presentation
Since we do not pretend to be aware of all the amazing tech out there, we are expecting your proposals.

Send a mail to orga AT ehsm.eu with at least the following information:

  • Name of the speaker
  • Short bio of the speaker and/or his/her team
  • Speaker contact information (e-mail + mobile phone if possible)
  • Where the speaker will be traveling from
  • Title of the presentation
  • Abstract
  • Links to more information (if available)

The standard format for presentations is one-hour lectures, but we are flexible. Write us a note if you have special time or other requirements.

We are waiting for your presentations in these areas:

  • Open hardware
  • Big open source project management
  • Licensing and business models for open source
  • Manufacturing: metalwork, glass blowing, …
  • Electronics engineering
  • Signal processing
  • Radars
  • Semiconductors
  • Rocket science
  • Thin film technologies
  • Hardware acceleration
  • Satellite design
  • Vacuum electron devices
  • Millimeter wave technology
  • Reverse engineering
  • Applied quantum physics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Nuclear science
  • Nanotechnologies
  • Ultra high speed photography

…and anything awesome which is not listed here.

If you know of someone else’s work that would be relevant, feel free to tip us! (orga AT ehsm.eu)

For academia
While researchers are most welcome to present their work at EHSM, please note that this is not a traditional academic conference. We will not formally publish proceedings(*), and we do not claim affiliation with any institution. We are also OK with previously published work, we simply expect high-quality presentations.

(*) Contrary to the practice of most academic publishers, we will, however, do our best to ensure the free dissemination of information.

Dates
Doors open: December 28th, 2012, 09:00
Doors close: December 30th, 2012, 18:00
Early registration fee ends: July 15th, 2012
Submission deadline: November 21st, 2012
Notifications of acceptance : November 28th, 2012 (or sooner)
Full programme published: November 28th, 2012

Venue
TU Berlin, Hörsaalgebäude Elektrotechnik
Lecture room HE101
Straße des 17. Juni 136
10623 Berlin, Germany
U Bahn: Ernst-Reuter-Platz

We thank TU Berlin and Freitagsrunde for providing the venue.

WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU IN BERLIN!
– the EHSM organizing committee

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The OV-D20 radio-club in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen

Located close to the north-west border of the city, far from the popular districts, the D20 “Ortsverbände” of the national amateur radio club is certainly one of the most active grassroots tech clubs in Berlin.

As with many amateur radio clubs, the first thing you notice is that the average age is high. And they know how to appreciate vintage equipment. We can find, for example, a neat exhibition of electronic glassware.


And how about this “Made in DDR” transceiver?

The electronics lab comes with a mix of old (but does such stuff really get old?) and more modern equipment. Do not miss the SMD tools at the right – which were refreshing to see after I have been called “totally crazy” for hand-soldering a 0402 component on top of another in a well-known Berlin hackerspace. Phew, some people really need to catch up with technology.

There can be very interesting things being built there, such as this modified TV antenna that can now be used to… talk to AMSAT satellites and the ISS (yes, the space station) on the VHF band, using for example the APRS digital protocol. So… if you’re growing sick of being told about mediocre computer-controlled plastic extruders and microcontroller+LED kits, pay them a visit. It’s probably going to be worth the rather long travel time.

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TDC core test results

The test results for the FPGA time to digital converter (TDC) core are available from OHWR. Except from one problem which I believe is due to external signal integrity problems, the core worked well on the SPEC. From these tests, the 2-sigma precision is +/- 52 ps.

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Observing internal FPGA signals

By Werner Almesberger

Sometimes, when debugging some firmware or hardware, it is necessary to see how the internal state of a chip changes in response to external signals.

With microcontrollers, this can be accomplished by adding code that toggles some pin that is then used for debugging, and watching that pin with an oscilloscope. Such a pin can also serve as sophisticated trigger, e.g., to capture some input signal only when an error is detected.

With M1, we can do the same, e.g., make LM32 or Navre toggle an I/O under software control. But we can do better: we can also route “hardware” signals directly, without involving software.

Here are three ways to do this:

  1. Change the Verilog to properly route the signal to the output pad. This is nice and clean but has the following disadvantages:
    • need to run the full build process for each change of taps,
    • need to edit the sources (and remember to undo all the changes once the problem is fixed),
    • the signals need to be propagated step by step up the module hierarchy (*), which means a lot of small changes in many files,

      (*) Verilog should support also direct references that “jump” the hierarchy, but this doesn’t seem to be properly implemented in the Xilinx tools.

  2. The pros just edit the FPGA with a WYSIWYG editor (Part three shows how to route signals to a pad). What I don’t like about this is that it’s not script-friendly. I’d also suspect that the changes are lost or at least in danger when re-synthesizing.
  3. Like above, but edit non-interactively. This is an experimental hack I’ve now implemented.

Read the rest from the Milkymist mailing list

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