- Continuing from last weeks discussion of the two conference room names at MacroFab HQ.
- Emmett Naughton on twitter says: Conference Room A: The Hertz Locker and Conference Room B: The Thunder Ohm.
- Parker is making plaques for the conference room doors now out of PCBs.
- Space Echo Update! Last week Parker and Stephen asked for some clarification on some old school audio measurements so they could calibrate the Space Echo.
- Steve Kuehn a self proclaimed gray beard from Austin says the following. 0 dBm in the audio business refers to voltage level that will produce 1milliWatt into a 600 ohm load. But over the years, it refers to a voltage level even if you are not aren’t using a 600 ohm load so it is a little of a misnomer. If you do the math, 0 dBm is the same as 775mVrms sine wave signal source. -50dBm would be 2.45mVrms.
- FX DEV BOARD IS LIVE!! Check out the Crowdsupply page and get one! See Figure 1!
- Dual solderless breadboards
- 2.1 mm dc input jack for use with AC-to-AC wall wart
- +/- 15 volt @ 200 mA power supplies with over-current protection
- +1.25 to 9 V @ 150 mA adjustable power supply
- Split voltage rail (1/2*9 Volt Rail) @ 15 mA for use as a virtual ground
- User selectable power supply or 9 V battery
- User selectable power supply connections to breadboard
- ¼” input and output jacks directly connected to breadboard
- “True bypass” switching to automatically switch circuit on and off
- Multiple integrated potentiometers
- Useful diagrams and tables written directly on silkscreen
- Amazon Echo Kill Switch by Sparkfun
- ALEXA KILLSWITCH. See Figure 2.
- Build a power switch for the Amazon Echo that can be activated from a voice command
- The idea is simple: you say a particular phrase, such as “Alexa, trigger kill switch,” which activates an IFTTT applet that calls a function on the Particle Photon. The Photon controls a transistor that cuts power to the Echo.
- To turn it back on, you’ll need to press the button on the breadboard or create another IFTTT applet that causes the Photon to reconnect the power.
- Arduino powered Honeypot
- A honeypot is a device meant to attract/pre-occupy hackers, by providing something like a red herring to them; in this case, a system which looks and feels like an ancient bank credit card processing gateway from the 1980’s… complete with slow-speed 1200 baud, and uppercase-only text.
- To see it for yourself, just use PuTTY (or actual telnet) to m80.ddns.net, port 23.
- Peeqo – Robot that responds with gifs
- Best IoT “companion” robot of all time.
- Screen on the front with eyes. Has a complex animatronics inside for movement.
- Ask it to do tasks and it will respond with a relevant gif and act accordingly if it feels like it.
- Build Log!
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
About The Hosts
Parker Dillmann is MacroFab's Co-Founder, and Lead ECE with backgrounds in Embedded System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. He also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Host 2 00:10
Hello, and welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. We're your hosts, Parker Domon and Steven
Host 3 00:15
Craig. So last week, one of our listeners actually weighed in on the question we had about the conference room names.
Host 2 00:24
Now we ended up not doing a poll because someone came up with like, the best names. Yeah, it was
Host 3 00:29
Just like, okay, so So listener, Emmett notton, on Twitter, said for our large conference room, he decided it would be a good name for it to call it the Hertz locker that's in the movie. Right? And then the smaller conference room, the thunder Oh, after the movie. Perfect. Thank you. And we are going to use those. Yeah,
Host 2 00:50
I'm actually designing plaques for the doors. There will be made out of red PCBs with gold trim with white silk screen. Oh, it's gonna be amazing. Yeah, it's gonna be awesome. And then last week, we also asked our listeners to clarify the stuff we were the issues we had with the space echo. Yeah, we're calibration. And so this is from Steven. Steve Keune. Hi, guys. I am sure you have figured this out by now. But our button not just the case, zero dB in the audio business refers to the voltage level that will be produced one milliwatts into a 600. ohm load. Hang on. It's zero. dBm Oh, zero. dBm. Yeah, okay, there. Yeah, yeah, right. But over the years, it refers the voltage level, even if you're not even using the 600 ohm load, right? So it's a little bit of a misdemeanor. If you do the math six dBm is the same as 775. Milla volt RMS
Host 3 01:52
Zero dBm. He said six? Sure. Yeah, zero dBm is 775 millivolt. RMS Okay, continue.
Host 2 02:02
Sine wave signal source, minus five minus 50. dBm would be 2.45 millivolt RMS that said that one correct. I'm sorry, getting the right. And then he says, and then he goes on? He says, Yes, I am a gray beard. But he shaves every day.
Host 3 02:20
So yeah, thanks for Thanks for clearing that up. Steve. I think he runs an audio repair business out in Austin, Texas. Oh, cool. Yeah. So that's where the confusion comes in. So dBm is kind of an old antiquated way of looking at voltages. Because DBM refers to a power level not to a voltage level, its power into a 600 ohm load, and then people just stop considering using it in a 600 ohm load. So em, even though it means power, in this case, it still is a voltage. That's where the confusion comes in. Gotcha. That is confusing. Yeah. It's not a good way of doing it. That's why last week, I was like, this is kind of a crappy way. But regardless, no, no. Do we have the information? So zero? dBm is 775 millivolt RMS cool.
Host 2 03:09
And we just pipe that into our frequency generator. And as an Australian guy would say, Bob's your uncle and in like Flynn.
Host 3 03:19
Yeah, now we have something that we can actually measure.
Host 1 03:21
Yep. Cool. Thank you, Steve.
Host 3 03:25
So this week, we have a really special announcement. Finally, yeah, exactly. So actually, not very long. After I started at macro fab, I conceived an idea for the FX dev board. And if you've been listening to the podcast for a while, we've talked about the FX dev board and its evolution for quite some time now. Yep. Well, as of
Host 2 03:46
Thing like episode two or three, we talked about it actually.
Host 3 03:50
Yeah, it was it was a long time ago. And it was it was a bit of a journey to get, get moving on with it. But as of this week, the FX dev board is now live as a project on Crowd Supply. So yay, it's finally here. Whoo hoo. Like it's official, it is out there now. And that's, you know, it's feels good to actually, in a way start the project, because the projects like the design is there, but we're actually sort of beginning
Host 2 04:22
No, we're beginning the actual football. No, we have prototypes. I was not saying physical part, but we have working prototypes and all that stuff. It's like the next the the the design journey has ended and the next journey of production has begun. That's
Host 3 04:38
Right. But the first chapter is closed. Yes. Which feels really great. Yes.
Host 2 04:44
Because it's actually the first physical product. We designed that McWrap and sewing.
Host 3 04:50
That's right. Yeah. So for those who don't know or haven't heard in the in the past, the FX dev board is a PCB development board to help Make audio circuitry, mainly audio circuitry for musical instruments like synthesizers, guitar, pedals, preamps, things of that sort. Basically, it's a board that includes all the peripherals and the bread boards and the power supplies and all the connectors you need, in order to build your circuit. With the greatest ease, shall I say, it's all inclusive, you see on
Host 2 05:24
The video, the greatest accuracy possible. And some smooth voice, there was
Host 3 05:29
A, there was a little bit of marketing link in the video. So yeah, so the FX dev board has has power supplies onboard. It has potential amateurs, Jack's, it has battery connections, it has everything you need to just jump in and start building audio circuitry. And really, I came up with the idea for this about six, seven years ago. And I always wanted to make it but I kind of didn't have the time and to do a one off, it would be pretty pricey. But but really what it does is it takes all of the Drudge work out of making an audio circuit, all the stuff that you just repeat all the time, right, every every circuit you build, you have to have a power supply every circuit, you have to have jacks and potentially amateurs for, you know, pedals and things like that. And so before you even start working on any components that actually matter to change your sound, you have to build all this other crap. Not with the FX step board, it's all on the board, you just jump in wherever you want, and you're off and running. So So for instance, like a like a really standard pedal that a lot of guys build is a I've been as Tubescreamer I built one of those. Yeah, you did, actually. So I did a an analysis of the schematic and I looked at how many components, the FX dev board has on it directly and how many components you would have to buy to build it on the FX dev board. And the dev board itself comes included with something like 65% of the components for the pedal, you only have to buy like $10 worth of parts and you can build a pedal. And if you want to modify it, just pull a cap out or pull a resistor out or move things around. And you you're now modifying things. It takes like 1015 minutes to build a pedal now on the FX dev board. And man, it just makes it so
Host 2 07:18
Easy. Yeah. And the great thing about it is just I actually been using it for just doing Microcontroller Development. So yeah, yeah, buildings, you know, like, just, you know, plop my control on it. And just like I now I have my power rail right there. I actually just the Why do is I just the 4.5 mid rail, yeah, to be five volts. Yeah, yeah. And then I know, it's kind of like not supposed to be used that way, but it works.
Host 3 07:44
So there's, that's actually one thing that's interesting to bring up. Because I don't know, if I was one of the first to come up with this, I really don't know, because I really haven't seen it before. But the rails that go horizontally, across a breadboard, you have the power the power rails on the top and the bottom, I have jumpers on the side of each one of those. And by just moving the jumper, you can select what that rail is connected to, well, most,
Host 2 08:09
Most boards that are actually kinda like this, they don't have soldered in breadboards. Right. We're also the difference between I don't know if we actually didn't make this clear. Is is on on any of it is actually those breadboards have tabs on the bottom. Yeah, and they solder into the board. And so the power rails are connected directly through the jumper. And so you don't have a wire going from the jumper to the breadboard, just the supply power and ground, right, which is huge in terms of just keeping your noise down. Because now you don't have an extra six inches of you know, antenna waving in the
Host 3 08:44
Air. A lot of dev boards will give you all the power supply connections, but then you have to take a wire and put it in correct with this, you just select what the jumper has six positions, you can choose positive 15, negative 15, positive nine, positive one half of nine, ground or nothing, where nothing is not connected anything and you can use the rail for whatever you want. So just by moving a jumper, you automatically have any of those voltages right on you're ready to go. And so like a regular op amp, pin pin eight is the positive supply and pin for the negative supply. If you choose one of the rails on the top to be plus 15 and the rails on the bottom to the minus 15. It just takes two jumps, your op amp has power now it just makes it that much easier. So that's that's kind of honestly for me, when I first started designing it I got the most excited about that because I was like I hate running power. Yeah, it's just annoying because you have to do it every single time. But yeah, effective board makes it easy.
Host 2 09:44
Yeah. And it's got a really nice dual enclosure. Yeah, that's, uh, I'll put it this way. It's just the top part is my favorite part because it's actually welded seemed. Yeah, it's slick. So the outer coatings Nice.
Host 3 09:57
Yeah, the enclosure allows you to take a breadboard circuit, you seal it all up with this enclosure, you can throw it on the ground and actually use it like you would a regular guitar pedal. Which is something that, you know, good try to take just a regular breadboard that has a nine volt battery with wires and pots and stuff. Try to use that accurately at a gig or just even playing with it on the floor and is not going to look we
Host 2 10:21
Mentioned that in the video, but we don't actually show it. What we should do is, is take a video Bill, you know, we have planned like to build some circuits, extra videos for it, and then put the enclosure on it and simply drop it on the floor, plug it in and then stomp on it like a stomp box. Yeah, actually play.
Host 3 10:40
That's a great i We are going to need to do that. That's a great idea. Yeah. So yeah, just to show that like a breadboard, you can use it and not you don't have to be very delicate, delicate. Yes. Yeah. It's It's It's robust, which that would that's kind of the big point here. So the the the like I said, the FX dev board is live now on Crowd Supply. If you go to crowd supply.com, you can check out FX development board is actually the full name of it. You can go check it out and see is
Host 2 11:10
Actually something like x Dev, Dev board comm.
Host 3 11:14
That's right. So in addition to the actual device, we created FX dev board comm which has a whole bunch of extra content that helps guide you through building circuits or giving you ideas for new things. But on top of that, we actually have a whole bunch of templates available on there. So if you want to make your own pedal and then share it with everyone else, you can download our templates and plug in your parts. Another thing that we've actually included on there is PCB templates. So if you go to Mammoth electronics comm they have a whole bunch of pedal enclosures available that are pre drilled. So I've made some PCB templates that will match up to all the pre drilled holes. So if you want to take a circuit that you've built on this device, and then move it over into an actual pedal, you can just download one of my pedal templates, throw your parts on it, and it'll match up with all of the all of the holes in the enclosure.
Host 2 12:15
And then the video that we did was actually edited and pretty much directed by Josh who does our podcast and
Host 3 12:23
I'd say way more than that, I'd say 98% of it was Josh, Josh, not asleep on the couch over here. Yeah, I'm pretending like he's not here. And you can
Host 2 12:33
Check. You know, he was on the Star Wars podcast. Yep. And he also did the editing for that. So he's like, he's the mystery shadow behind the scenes.
Host 3 12:42
He's a beast. That's that's for sure. It's why he sleeps to the podcast. So nega thumbs up to Josh for helping out with the video. Go check out the video. It's four minutes and 20 seconds of Awesome.
Host 2 12:52
Is it really four minutes and 20 seconds?
Host 3 12:54
I think I think that was the ending. And yes, yeah, he's shaking his head for four minutes and 20 seconds.
Host 2 13:00
Ah, ask ask your parents what that means. Okay. I guess enough about talking about our macro fab stuff. That's like the biggest longest advertisement we've ever done for anything we've actually ever done.
Host 3 13:17
Hey, it's exciting. This has been a year in the making. Yeah.
Host 2 13:20
Pretty much a year actually a little bit longer than the year. Yeah, just a little bit more. Cuz I think we actually started this project. December November ish. We got to check the GitHub stamp. When we made that repository. Oh, yeah. It's been a long time coming. Yeah, I'm on tour fo alright. Oh, and so this is gonna be a special RFO because all three topics are about IoT.
Host 3 13:45
Oh, everyone knows we love IoT. Yeah, these are actually not bad. You have to preface it with
Host 2 13:54
The first one is SparkFun. This actually comes on the tail of the Amazon Echo, or Alexa.
Host 3 14:01
I like yeah, Alexa,
Host 2 14:03
We're Alexa was recording everything you say in the room? It's sort of conspiracy theory a little bit. So basically SparkFun made a a Amazon Echo kill switch by using a they use a IoT platform called the photon, which is by what is a company called? It's one particle.
Host 3 14:27
Yeah, right. Right. Right.
Host 2 14:29
And so when you give it the command, you know, when you say Alexa, turn off or Alexa suicide or he has a lot different commands you can
Host 3 14:39
Think of a coup was one. That was the first one.
Host 2 14:41
Yeah. It actually will send the command the using the Amazon API, it will send the command to the photon. Yeah, to cut the power completely to the Amazon Echo, right. And then to turn it back on, you either have to press a switch on the photon, or you can actually do it through a app On your phone. Pretty cool stuff.
Host 3 15:02
Yeah, that's, that's super neat. Yeah, I
Host 2 15:04
Actually, that's actually a really cool idea. I really liked that.
Host 3 15:09
So I had a thought about this. So one thing that that is a little bit annoying about this kind of setup is the fact that you're killing the power entirely to the device. How cool would it be to have kind of like a gatekeeper at the digital communication from the wireless inside the device to the processor inside the device. And when you said Alexa, it would then open up communication and allow data to come through. And as soon as it stopped, it would kill that.
Host 2 15:40
Well, that's well, that's how Google now works. Yeah, I think Siri works the same way. We're, we've talked about this before. It's got a little, it's got a coprocessor. That's low power on your phone. That's looking for that. That command. Yeah. If I say it, my phone will go blue. And yeah. Yeah, so you say the command and then it goes, Okay, now ready to go? And then I'll transmit over over 4g. Right. And I bet you they do it that way. So you don't you know, eat your data, because it will be transmitted everything we would say right now to Google servers, and eat up my bandwidth. But I guess if you're at home with Wi Fi, doesn't really matter.
Host 3 16:23
Yeah, I don't know. I just it seems killing the power is is a guaranteed
Host 2 16:30
Guaranteed way to make sure it's not going to let people know that you're murdering someone
Host 3 16:35
Or I wonder if you could just actually put like a, like a sniffer kind of thing. And just garbled the data. Just continually send like crap data on the line, you can
Host 2 16:45
Just cut the plus the you know, the data minus data positive on the USB line.
Host 3 16:49
Yeah. But then who knows what happens with Alexa when you do that? Oh, yeah. So if you if you're just jamming it with all kinds of extra crap.
Host 2 16:58
And it only takes like five, six seconds for Alexa to turn back on when you turn her on? Yeah, it's
Host 3 17:02
A no, it's a great idea. Yeah.
Host 2 17:06
And I had something to talk about this is something with Alexa to it wasn't the the article with the cops trying to, you know, subpoena Amazon, but it was something similar to that. I can't remember. Maybe I'll remember it later. Because we're all talking about IoT stuff. Anyways, that's really cool project from fun. I'm actually probably going to use something similar for doing voice commands on home when I, you know, finally started doing the home automation stuff. I think like every electrical engineer eventually tries to tackle that. That's the thing
Host 3 17:45
Because at first they look at it, they're like, Oh, this is easy. You just put this little thing and it does this and then it just blows up. Yeah. blows up, and then you never and then it never happens.
Host 2 17:52
Yeah, yeah. You have a box full of a box full of Arduinos and relays. That's right.
Host 3 17:57
And you keep telling yourself someday I'm gonna do that someday.
Host 2 18:01
Okay, next one is a another project. It's an Arduino powered honeypot. So it's not Winnie the Pooh honeypots.
Host 3 18:13
Thanks for clear, yeah.
Host 2 18:15
This is a the honeypot is what is a basically a device meant to attract and preoccupy hackers. And it's also a spy term. If you ever watch Archer, yeah, always talks about the honeypot. Right? Um, and so basically what this guy did is he made a, like an eight, I think it was like a, an old school bank serial terminal, and basically exposed it to the internet and was using Arduino as the interface. Hmm, well, and a Raspberry Pi. So the Raspberry Pi was doing the communication, basically just passing the data directly to the Arduino. And then so people were basically talking to a 80 megahertz I think 320 AP. No, it was a is a thing was the other one to 32 It doesn't really matter. Anyways talking to it, and over like a really slow connection like, you know, 1200 baud rates. Yeah, all that stuff. You can actually log into it using putty and then or or telnet. And the addresses M 80. dot d, d ns.net. Port 23.
Host 3 19:24
So you could go talk to it right now. Yeah, and try to hack it. That's cool.
Host 2 19:29
That's pretty cool. So he emulates basically that whole interface. And it it actually acts like when you log into it, it acts like a old school bank terminal interface. So you can try to log into someone's account basically. Really? Yeah, cool stuff. But yeah, apparently he gets lots of hits. Like why don't we turn it on within like 20 minutes?
Host 3 19:48
Is getting pinged. Wow. Yeah. People just sniffing around botnets stuff like that. Oh, that makes sense.
Host 2 19:55
Yeah, button that's probably running out of old 486 is where this technology was around. Cool. Yeah. Cool project. It was on Reddit will have the URL. And last last. Awesome. This was really cool. How do you pronounce that? Pico Pico? That's right. So pico is this really awesome robot? I wouldn't say he's the best robot or IoT companion. So you had the Amazon Echo and the Google whatever they call it, and then a couple other ones anyways. But I think it's the best IoT companion I've ever seen, because it actually has kind of a personality to that
Host 3 20:41
Robot. Oh, not kind of this thing has an amazing personality. Basically,
Host 2 20:45
You give it a command. So it's like Amazon Echo. Yeah. But instead of it going, Okay, let me do that for you with an LED blinking. It's got a screen on it. That's got eyeballs. Yeah. And then it responds to you with a GIF it finds on the internet that's applicable to what you said, yeah. What you said and what it thinks you want to do or what it's going to do. And it actually gets pretty moody if you piss it off.
Host 3 21:11
The thing that's crazy about it is it's not just, I mean, you could you could make a little thing that's just a screen that just plays a gift that's applicable to the situation. He built like a body for it. It was Russian.
Host 2 21:24
Yeah. And all his build log is online and all the files and everything you can build one the animatronics in this thing is amazing. Yeah.
Host 3 21:31
So you it's almost like a pet that entertains you. Yeah. It would be awesome to have them on the desk. Yes.
Host 2 21:38
Yeah. It's like Robbie, the the bank robot you have them from? Oh, I love that thing. Where is it?
Host 3 21:44
I actually set your house when we moved from the old location to the new location. And I took it home and I haven't brought it back to the office.
Host 2 21:51
Yeah, cuz I've been I've been missing feeling that, you know, I season stuff.
Host 3 21:55
My nephew's came over the other day, and they break it. I gave them probably, I don't know. 20 quarters, and it entertained them for seriously, like 30 minutes. It was amazing. Like it blew their mind that this thing would eat quarters.
Host 2 22:10
It was awesome. Hey, the first time I saw it, and that was like, what? 29 That blew my mind.
Host 3 22:16
It's awesome. Yep. We need to post pictures of Robbie. I think we had before. Well, we need to do to
Host 2 22:23
Do it again. Okay, well, posters bring into work tomorrow, so I can take a picture for the podcast. Okay. Um, and I did not remember what I was gonna talk about. Oh, that's right. Like you're on the Amazon kill switch. I could see like mob bosses and stuff having that
Host 3 22:43
Mob bosses in GTA Yeah, you show up and there's a cutscene and then like Amazon kill Alexa. Go off record. Go okay. That's That's awesome.
Host 2 22:57
Work could be work could be in like, you know, a police interrogation room in like the 50s were like
Host 3 23:05
Where's my good Alexa bad Alexa. Alexa
Host 2 23:07
Bad Alexa. So good. Alexa is recording your thinking about Alexa cuts off?
Host 3 23:11
Yeah. We so when I watched the video for Pico, earlier today, I was looking at I was like, This is MAC fab engineering in a nutshell. Oh, yeah. In a way because I mean, it's just like passing goofy gifts for anytime we ask a question. You're not going to get an answer. You're going to get a gift and we need to look at this and see how difficult it would be to make one. Yeah, cuz that would be killer to have any engineering department have one
Host 2 23:43
And like, have one on one everyone. Everyone's desk. No more could
Host 3 23:49
Ever be we just be asking it all this. Oh, it's amazing.
Host 2 23:54
Cool. And so that's that's the last RFO for this podcast, right? Yeah. Yeah, that's it. And so yeah, this was episode 50 of the macro fab engineering podcast getting close to the one year mark one year mark. That's gonna be in three episodes. Yep. Episode 53 will be the one year mark to dash one. Yes. We're going to buy season roller so be two dash one. Yeah, yeah. And now we're just keep going up.
Host 3 24:26
Host 2 24:29
I forgot where we left off on the on the outro. Episode 5050. Yeah, this was Mac five engine podcast. Then we were your host Parker Dohmen. And Steven Craig go check out the FX that board take it easy later.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai