Parker talks with Brandon Satrom of Particle about the future of IoT and then design and prototype an IoT device.
Agustin Pelaez and Cameron Klotz of Ubidots talk about what is IoT and how to start an IoT Project.
John Adams joins Parker and Stephen to discuss IoT Security, Crappy IoT Devices, and WS2812B LEDs.
Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.
In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.
In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.
Parker also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.
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.
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
Hello and welcome to the macro fam engineering podcast where your hosts Parker Dolan, and Steven Craig, this is episode 67.
If you enjoy listening to the map, please let others know about us. Tell your co workers, your friends, your family loved ones and share it on social media at macro fab. Or follow us on Facebook.
I think we have an Instagram as well.
Yeah, yeah, we do. Yeah. Probably at macro fed, probably
something like that. I don't know what Instagram uses for. Maybe it's like, hashtag macro fab.
It's it's one of those things. I'm too old to really understand all this kid's stuff. We're millennials, we should understand. I should know all of this, but I don't. Okay, so at some time, during the show, we're gonna have a secret code word that will announce. If you email us the code word and your address, we'll send you some cool macro fab swag. The email is podcast at macro fab.com. So watch out for the code word. Yeah. And
if you have any suggestions that you want to hear about on the show, I was about to say, like see on the show, but it's a podcast. So you don't really use your eyeballs.
Actually, though. So that was something that I was gonna bring up, because we haven't? Well, it shouldn't say that we haven't. I don't know, when the last time we discussed this. For those who are listening, we do have show notes that we write every single week that has all kinds of information about what we talked about. If you want to check out the show notes, we have them up at macro fab.com/blog. Yeah, if you navigate to the blog, then that'll take you to a place where you can look at all the podcast episodes. So you know if we talk about a data sheet if we have a guest we have images of all the things we talked about we have links to everything stats. Yeah, so I you know, I can't remember the last time we we said that. So if you if you're interested in following along, instead of having to go and search for it yourself. We have it all written out for you.
And you can actually comment on the podcast there too. I try. I think it uses discuss, discuss, discuss. i It's that's not how you when you look at it. That's not how you would pronounce it, though. That's how you're supposed to pronounce it. Yeah, it's got a cue in it. Oh, come on.
So we got some cool stuff coming up this week. Parker you want to?
Yeah. So next Tuesday. Josh will be very happy. Well, this is we're going to actually calibrate the space echo on Facebook Live next Tuesday at 4pm. Central time. Or for other Texans out there. tst.
Standard Texas time.
CST Cst. So yeah, well, we'll be doing the full calibration stepping through the the service manual. We'll be using some new test gear. So you can you can check it out and have some fun with it. Yeah. Cool. What else?
Earlier this week I was working on Well, that's not I guess that's done. What's coming up?
Well, okay. Yeah. Okay. So what have you been working on? Barger?
Um, so earlier this week, my I ordered a particle photon. This is coming off from last weeks where we were talking about Internet of useful things. Right. And I was gonna talk about working on the compressor and making it IoT unified ish.
Right. Well, we've been working on the compressor a lot recently. Yeah, it's kind of been a fun ordeal.
Yeah, it's so cool. The thing about it is it's very simple. Yeah. And so it's very easy to figure out what data you want to get from it. Yes, the runtime and how much water's it's spitting out and all that good stuff.
So what have you found with a particle, so it's really easy to
get it working in terms of like just getting data from the actual hardware device. They got a really cool app called Tinker, which basically lets you control IO pins, and C IO pins, like just like the raw data that's coming from the pins, which is really cool. You can't really do too much about it. Well, not too much about it, but not too much with it. It's more like a tech demo, know that they had.
But if you want to see if a pin changes state, you
can like light up the onboard LED with it. Oh, yeah. And then I wrote some test code up, I probably should post the test code on the via blog post. But basically, it was basically sampling a pin. And if it's a high state on the pin, I'd light up the LED and it's low state, I dim the LED. And I'm also reporting that up with their publish command. They have a huge API that you can run on the particle photon.
Right, which makes it super easy to report data. Yeah,
so basically, I was just reporting an event. Yeah, no data, which is like one I'm like compressors on compressors off
well, but reporting the event. You have a couple of there's some arguments you can you can report a string with data with data.
And then you can give it how long you want to be active for, which is the TTL. Time, right? And you can set the public or privates, depending on if you want more people to basically look at the data for. You want to have access control, basically.
Right. But there's still historical data, right? Yep. It still hangs on to it. Yes, yeah.
So that's about as far as I've gotten so far, I started doing a lot of research into like, what I want to go on from there, cuz I'm like, Cool, we get that. But you have to go on to it's like, they call it the console. And basically, you can see all your devices on the list. And then you can see their states and all that good stuff, which is cool. Except that's kind of useless in terms of being actually useful. Sure. Because now you you have all this data, but you don't, you can't put it anywhere or push it anywhere. Because what I want, what I want to do is where's the data? They do? Oh, so when you buy their hardware, you get access to their servers, basically. Gotcha. So it's, that's how they make money is you buy the hardware and their software, because they're actually a software company? Or at least that's how they build themselves. And then Joe, yeah, you
so you don't have to have like a monthly subscription. No, you don't. Okay. Okay. But can you grab the data back?
Yes, they have an API with this part. I haven't figured out yet. But they have an API that you can have RESTful API, which basically means you can, you know, it will tell stuff, that it's got data. That makes sense. Yeah, I'm, I might be butchering, that. Makes sense. Because I don't know too much about that stuff yet. That's one thing I've really want to learn about is the software side. And that's the problem I've been having with IoT, like. tutorials, I guess is a good word for it online, is they all all of them are geared for software engineers, or developers. Basically, it's their they more focused on the hardware, and then the software and they're like, here's the API, go nuts with it. But here's how a wire works. Here's how you line up an LED. You know, I want to know how to use the API cuz I have no idea how to use
them. Right. That's the hard part. Well, for us, yeah, right. Right. Right.
We should get those. Uh, your your are buddies from the Houston.
The iron your iron yard. Yeah. Gone. And Brian Dorton. And man keys.
Yeah, we should get them back on because they can probably help us out. We should collab
with them and do it. Because because Brian was doing the IoT barbecue. Yeah. And he had all that down. Yeah, we'll put them
into the shop. And we can do like a Facebook Live event of like, just figuring that crap out.
Yeah. You know, actually, it's funny because our two, I guess expertise don't really mix. They're they're very separate. Yep. So putting us together. They'd probably be like API. That's easy. Here you go. Exactly.
Yeah. And they're like, oh, what? How does an LED work?
What is this thing? Wire?
Yeah. How does? How do what is electron?
Yeah, I'm magnets. How do they work? Yeah, exactly.
So but if anyone out there knows of a tutorial, especially one that focuses on the Particle Photon API. Yeah. That's more geared toward hardware engineer. Let me know. I really, really like step by step examples. Yeah, like, I hate reading a book and being like, this command does this. I'm like, No, I want to know how it works. You're
like, yeah, just if you do this, it works. Yep. Yeah. But a lot of software's like that. If you do this, it works. Kinda. Yeah. Well, I'm not a software guy. Well,
because a lot of people keep pointing me to like, oh, yeah, you learn Python. I'm like, I can use whatever coding language you want me to use? Right? My background is C. I'll write a PI base. I'll write a Python script and look like see. Yeah, well, you're doing a C format style, right? Like, actually, that's how my Perl code looks.
One of our test jigs, one of our one of our previous employees, help program, some of the code for the test jig, and he did it all in Python. And I was looking at I was like, how the hell does this work? It seemed really confusing. And then And then, you know, a couple minutes of studying, it's like, wow, this is actually really easy, but it looks nothing like C No. So I don't know it was.
You can write it to it depends on what you learn as your background. Yeah, if you learn C as your background, you tend to write programs to mimic that style. And though you might be using different function calls or different syntax. It's got that same style of method methodology behind it. Yeah. Because I mean, I learned assembly first. Yeah. And so when you actually look at my code a lot, like how I structure functions
is move W Come on.
I will do like, I'll do certain things first in a function show for other things.
You will write which you can do, but it doesn't matter on a higher level scale. No. Yeah. I don't know. See is kind of globally. I don't know. I'm probably stepping out of my own boundaries here. But in terms of like, firmware programming, sees kind of it right.
Yeah, you actually program the photon, or particle or whatever. I think particles accompany photons the device, okay. Right. You actually program it and see, well, C++,
it's C with a giant wrapper of Arduino functions.
Yeah, actually, they have a really nice IDE that you can get. They have a web ID and then a local one.
Right? So I'm using the local file in the cloud, basically, actually,
when you use the local one, it compiles in the cloud as well. Oh, really? Yeah. And it pushes it directly to your device if you want it to. Wow, yeah. Over like you program it over the the ether.
That's cool. That's really cool. Excellent. You know what, what's super nice about that. One of the things I freakin hate is when you have to, like you get a new ID and you have to like start linking all this crap together. And you have to find tutorials on how to get everything to start. If you have it all in the cloud, and it's guaranteed to start,
then that's pretty cool until their servers go down know your internet doesn't work, right? Or,
or the company goes out of business. And they're like, sorry, we no longer support this. Yeah. Or they shut you out of your garage because you can't open
an angry tweet.
Oh, that's great. So the the photon, only 20 bucks, right?
Yes. That's not bad. No, yeah. So I already started the hardware design, basically, as a carrier board for that, that photon, plus an accelerometer plus power. And then basically, while that is being built at macro fab, I'm going to just start doing the server code. Cool, because all I wanted to do is given a set of parameters, I can I can, like hard coded into a config file. Email me. Like, you know, compressor has been running for 30 minutes, you should probably check on that. Right? Right. Stuff like that. I only want like high level alerts, kind of like a SCADA system. Right? You don't care that, you know, the PID Loop is actually working correctly. You want when it's not working?
Yeah, just flagged me. Actually, we were talking earlier this week about setting up a preventative maintenance plan. And a suggestion that I was thinking, let's just use photons, stick them to a machine and it just pings you and says, Hey, you know, you need to change this fluid or Yeah, I mean, so yeah, that's
actually, um, because you brought that up, and I was thinking of using the Amazon Dash buttons, because you hack them. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And put your own code on them. And I was thinking, what if you put those at all the maintenance locations? And so when you do the maintenance, you just press that button? And it means it just registers that you did it? I mean, sure, if you don't do it, and just press it anyways, if the system doesn't know that there's a little bit of honor. A little bit of honor system, and it says, This person press this button at that point. So you know, you know, who to track down when when that, you know, the washer burns up or whatever, right?
Yeah, I've kind of been looking into those those buttons to hacking them for our one of our supply cabinets, because we've talked about it before on the podcast, I built a bunch of benches and did a bunch of conveyor stuff for the floor. Now I'm trying to like unify and standardize our benches, because some of our operators have the same needlenose pliers, and some have a different version, which isn't a problem. But it's like, everyone should have the same part. And I'm making this cabinet right now. And I was thinking about putting those buttons in front of every item such that the person who manages the cabinet. If they run out, they just press the button and it shows up. Yep. shows up in two days. Yeah, it makes it super easy. Unless someone goes in there and just start spamming the button. Another honor system that we need to work out. Yep.
Well, you can probably filter it. Yeah. Cool. So Steven, yeah. You talked earlier about this test equipment that we got in when we were talking about the space echo.
Yeah, so So Pat Hensley is a long term listener of the podcast. In fact, I think he said he He began listening on episode number one. Yeah. So he's been with us from the beginning. He went, he's gone through the crappy times. Oh, he's gone through all the times. And he's, he's, he's been a listener for a long time. So he's the mainstream sales manager over at Tektronix. And Keith Lee. Out in Austin. Yeah. So he actually let us borrow a Keithley DMM 7510 multimeter, which
is the slickest piece of gear I've ever laid my hands on. Oh, well, at least at the fab. No, ever. Wow. Well. No, there was a definitely a big pricey piece of equipment that but I didn't at UT. No, actually at UT was old, like old shit. And I was working in oil and gas field. You got some? Like, it was all hand me down stuff in terms of like, I didn't get any brand new shit. Yeah. But like, some of that equipment that was like 10,000 plus dollars. So this is the best in my opinion that we've been able to have, like, you know, it's, I mean, it looks brand new.
Oh, yeah, it's killer. And it came on proof case. So yeah, that case is it's monster big Pelican case. Yeah,
it's a phone 80 times bigger than the multimeter. You know,
I thought it was gonna be a lot bigger than it was analog. Well,
I think it's the right weight. I thought it was gonna be ginormous, given the case that came
in. Yeah. So I went to Keith Lee's website just to kind of see where this thing sits. Because Because when I when I first contacted Pat Hensley, about getting one of these, he was like, yeah, here, why don't you use this one? I was like, okay, cool. And I went to their website. From the website, it looks like this is the top of the line multimeter that they offer? Yeah, it's like the top. So I have a couple specs here. So the
incoming advertisement for Keithley. Pat did not ask for one, but we're gonna give him one well,
okay. But this is the specs just because I think it's cool. I'm not trying to sell it here. So it's a it's a seven and a half digit, which basically the voltage sensitivity is down in the 10s of nano volt range, which is ridiculous.
Yeah, my favorite. The first thing we did was we loop a big loop of wire, and then like, depending on the phase off the fluorescent lights, yeah, you picked up tons of noise. Yeah, you can pick up a lot of actually almost to the millivolt range.
Well, yeah, if you have it, right, fluorescence kind of emit a whole bunch of crap. So so we had this thing reads all the way down to the 10 nano volt range. It has a current sensitivity of one pico amp, so 10 to the negative 12 amps and don't cough on your leads, right? It'll it'll it has a sensitivity for resistance down to one micro ohm and it does for wire syncing, right? Yes, yeah, it has four terminals on the front, and some terminals on the back. But it can do it does four wire if you choose to do that. So the accuracy across one year is 14 ppm. So I think that's point 00. What's that mean?
over one year,
uh, that was that's how, if you had drawn the calibration is or the same reading will only change by 14 parts per million in one year for voltage. So if you want
to, that's actually you know, this is kind of off way off I was like, is that because the position of the Earth around the Sun,
you know, I had a professor at a&m, that he discussed that different times in the year, different weather conditions. Different Seasons basically has impacts on silicon transistors. And so also time of day has an impact so that the DC accuracy can cause
drift. No, we should make transistors that operate better at night and you can come vampires just make sure they don't sparkle.
Oh, no, that's not a vampire. That's That's something else. Something else. Yeah. No, that is not a vampire. So yeah, DC voltage accuracy across one year is 14 ppm. The current accuracy is 60 ppm, and the resistance is 24 ppm. All that means is it's just it's badass. Yeah, it's not really at all. Yeah, very, very little. So I got all of this. Or I asked Pat to borrow this. Because I have, or I purchased years ago, a DC voltage standard. Yep. Which is basically a device that outputs a very accurate DC voltage so that you can calibrate other things with it. Yep. So if you want to calibrate, you know, one of your multimeters you can use this voltage references that kind of stuff, right? So, I bought this thing. It's an electronic Development Corporation. DC. They are but their voltage standard division is not. It got purchased by another company called cron height. That's KR O H N dash H i d cron high.
Are they still in Boston?
I believe so. Yeah. EDC, I believe no, you know, EDC. I think they're in Washington now. Washington, DC. St. Mary. Yeah. Yeah. So So Cronkhite now owns this. And the model number is the 501 J. And basically what it is, it's a 24 bit DC standard that can have that has multiple ranges. I love that switches on that thing. Oh, yeah. It's got 24 switches on the front that for each bit? No, it's great. You don't actually select a voltage like with a keypad or potentially ometer. You literally have to split switch bits. Yeah,
you'd basically take the voltage, it's up to 10 volts, basically. Right? Yeah. And so basically, you have to calculate what binary number voltage you want, right?
So each switch is like the first switch, if you flip it on, the output is 5.12 volts. The next switch, if you flip it on, it's 2.56, then 1.28 and all the way down the line. And so if you want to do five volts, you can't flip on the first switch. Because you go over five you have to flip up, you have to keep calculating down in binary, what it's going to be it's, it's actually kind of fun. So I've had this this voltage standard, I bought it off on eBay. And I bought it knowing it didn't work. I think I paid 50 bucks for it. And another 50 to ship it because it's like 12 pounds or something like that. It's actually not as heavy as I thought it'd be either. No, because it doesn't have like a big monster transformer in it. Yeah, it's
got a good sized one just hanging off the back, but the inside is pretty empty.
Yeah. There's not a whole lot going on in a DC voltage standard.
It's got some pretty awesome custom parts in it though. Yeah.
So the thing is, when I first bought it, it wasn't working. So of course I was just, you know, I'm like I can fix this. So I just started you know, thou shalt check voltages I just started run through voltages, power supplies dead. That's like the best kind of fix ever because
Well, yours is broken. Well, yeah, well that couldn't mean there's something else wrong but you can use to get power up again.
Yeah, and especially with old gear the fuse might have just gone bad itself. I've had that tons of times.
Just got put 22 LR casing in there so exactly the same size as what a three ag fuse
is that no no then the three a G's are the regulars I think yeah, that's the five millimeter by 20 millimeter. Yeah. Yeah. You're talking about the big beefy dude like the ones that we hadn't reflow oven right. The ones
those are way bigger than three ag
Yeah. Yeah, whatever. What I don't know my fuses that well. I mean, either. AGC, AGC, those are the standard ones. Yeah. The five by 20. Okay, regardless, the the power supply, so probing it. I knew it needed a bow. I don't use
don't use ammo for fuses. There's a mythbuster episode about ammo. Yeah. Bullet. You see the mythbuster episodes. So old school cars, because I always they use like mini fuses and blade fuses for cars.
Well, you're kidding what you're saying they put like 22 shells in there. Yeah. Yeah. They shoot, right? No, yeah,
they explode when you're ampro. Yes. Yeah. Mythbusters did a whole video about that notion. ages ago. Yeah.
Okay, well, yeah, don't do that. That's kind of dumb. Don't put aluminum foil in there, too. There's a reason the fuse is there,
but not pennies. That's just a big fusible link at that point. Fusible Link is just a bigger fuse.
You know what? I've been in that situation before where I don't have a fuse and I have something that needs a fuse. The simple answer is a thing that goes in a fuse holder is a fuse. So put a fuse in there. Nothing else goes in there.
Yeah, I definitely had some really bad fuse field fixes that.
Oh, roll up some aluminum foil and shove it into 18 gauge wire.
I mean, it's smaller than the wire that's going into and out of it. So it'll burn up first, right? Yeah, that's
exactly how it works.
That's actually how, I don't know if it's nowadays but it used to be for alternators and cars. You they would use a fusible link which was basically a piece of wire that was slightly thinner than the wire coming like charge coming off your alternator. So it's the first to go and it had thinner insulation that was specially designed to like not catch on fire basically.
So they designed a fuse,
what's called a fusible link. Well, okay, so a few. I think the difference is a fuse is replaceable. A Fusible Link basically burns the whole thing up
You know, why is it called a fuse? If its purpose is to not use unfused? Yeah. There's one of our listeners probably knows that they're probably screaming at us right now.
Yeah. 75 year old gray beards. Like I remember when we didn't have uses. Yeah, you just
stick your thumb in there,
click your thumb and stick it in there and see if it works. Okay, back on top of
the power supply on this DC voltage standard. Had it was bad. It was bad. Yes, it was bad. I found two voltage regulators that were not voltage regulating. So one of them is actually a Raytheon part of Raytheon. RCW 4194 TK
so how do you get that part then? eBay. Someone just had old stock,
you know, and I checked and this was years ago that I bought it I checked today, there's still more stock of that product, same seller, you know, and yeah, probably. It's a plus minus 15. Regulator all in one package. But in like the big circle, yeah. No, and transistors, yeah. Not the to threes. But the, the, you know, like Bear. It's like t 19. or something. Yeah. And it's got eight pins or something like that. Okay, so get this has this funky heatsink that goes on top of it. It's like this copper that? I don't know. It
looks like they basically took a copper pipe. Yeah. And they, they cut it to length and expand and they put something inside and then expanded it and had sharp edges, which poked it all out. Right. So and then it kind of looks like a Chinese finger trap.
Yeah, kinda. Oh, if you take a Chinese finger picture and you squish it together. Yes. It looks like that. Yeah, it looks like that. Yep. So whoever whoever first manufactured this or the EDC or what is it? Yeah, they glued the heatsink to the top of this thing. So I was able to extract it from the board, but I couldn't get the heatsink off the old regulator, but here's the thing. The heatsink is symmetric on both sides. So I just flipped it over with the old regulator on it and shoved it on the left leads. All right, so I have a new regulator that has a heatsink hanging off of it that has glued to the end of it. The old regular carcass. Yeah.
The old part, hey, the way I think
about it is it's more metal. It's more mass, it's probably dissipating more heat
properly. Yeah. And then the
other regulator I replaced is not that special. It's an LM 770 805. But it's in a to three, three package. Yeah, so I think that's five watts, whereas the regular to 221 Watt, that's a patient. And, you know, I looked at the spectrum of pretty
gnarly heatsink on as well, but it's a normal light extruded aluminum.
Yes, it looks big, but I bet you it's not that great. Yeah. But but the whole device dissipates 40 Watts, so I really have no clue where that 40 Watts is coming from or going to, but that's what they say it dissipates.
Oh, you mean that's your the entire voltage standard takes 40 watts. Yeah. As as a whole. Probably those ginormous op amp custom op amps that? Yeah. Yeah. Like the, like two inches by two inches.
Yeah, they're like molded plastic bricks. Yeah. With with a whole op amp circuit in there. And it's funny, because there's all of those,
it'd be really cool to get one of those. Yeah. And then take that part. And then seeing it like a 3d x ray of it. To see what's actually inside of there.
A ua 741 It's just like, it's just a side. Yes. Yeah. And then they and then the price is like 50 bucks. And
yeah, and that's probably some like, custom. It probably uses discrete parts. Oh, I guarantee it's just discrete transistors and resistors and stuff inside of it. And then they just they Guman
inside of a plastic enclosure. Yeah. But they're huge. And there's like six of them inside this now. And it's funny because they're all around the one component the edges on everything, and it's just a Zener diode. But it's like it's a special Zener diode Zener diode that's high precision and low temperature drift and all of that stuff.
So that that diode, this is this was built back in the 80s.
So actually, I think it's the 90s But yeah, okay, so do you think
they laser trim that diode or do they just test a lot too? They got oh and a lot
bended Lapindo guarantee that a lot been that. Yeah. No. That would have been like super cutting edge. Now. Yeah. I can you laser trim a zener. And you can laser
trim why you resistor
here, but I mean, the actual, like the Zener effect is based off of the doping so I don't know how you might be able to just
laser it off, or you can or you can just use an impact or impact more crap into it. Oh, yeah.
Just keep blasting you with stuff.
Maybe I have no idea. Yeah, this is way out of our field.
I studied semiconductor physics in at a&m.
I took one class. I'm an expert now. No, I took
that was my main focus. So a lot, then there's probably a way to do it. Yeah. But I can almost guarantee they're locked in. Regardless, the thing works. And a story. That's that's where we're at. And we
did actually start a little bit of calibration today just messing with it. Well, and
the thing was, I tried calibrating it months ago with a buddy of mine has a really nice Fluke meter. The big one that the I don't know, I don't remember the model number. It's expensive.
The Luke dollar signs. Yeah, right. Right, a fluke dollar signs, I mean,
and it measures down to 10s of micro volts. So that's nothing. That's that's, that's good. That's just a handheld meter. That's pretty damn good. And when I measured with that fluke, this thing was fairly good on what I'm measuring now with this. Keithley? It's not bad, but it's not great. Oh, yeah, it's definitely way out of spec, though. Yeah, cuz most of the spec is, you know, like the for the high the highest range, like the 5.12 volts, the acceptable tolerance is plus minus 25 micro volts. Well, when I put it on there, it's 270 micro volts. Now, that's only 270. micro volts is not much, but it's way out of spec. Luckily, every single switch has a pot assigned to it, you just turn the button. That's it.
And we were seeing those when you just the the the the geometry of the trim pot basically in there. Yeah. Is it has some lag. It's what's this? So there's definitely some capacitance on the front end, right. I was thinking, what if we put a load a small load on across the the leads, basically? Yeah, just to kind of keep that capacitance edge off. Have
some have enough current flowing, that it just drains quick?
Yeah. So that way, when you're adjusting it, you have more feedback, faster feedback, because that was actually the thing we were noticing as you adjust it, and you're like, okay, okay, and then you would stop, and then it would just shoot right past your spot.
Yeah, that's the bane of most calibration. Yeah. So I'm thinking if
we put like a like a, you know, 100k. Across leads.
So the the rated output current on this is 50 milliamp, so it can actually push some some juice.
So I wonder if that if the voltage that you set it to changes, depending on load, then or does it have feedback for that?
I'm sure it has feedback test that? Yeah, yeah. Well, because right now I have the output of this directly into the multimeter. And I checked the input impedance, it's 10 mega ohm. So there's nothing flowing
couple add a couple electrons. That's it right? There. There's
absolutely nothing flowing effectively. So yeah, we should put a load on it. The thing is, also, we started calibrating it, but we weren't using the voltage sensing. Yeah. So for those who haven't dealt with this before, if you want a really accurate result, measuring voltage, you have to cancel out the effects of the cables that you use to connect devices together. And one of the ways to do that is to use a four wire system. So two of the wires are actually have the current flowing through it. And then other two wires, you place them as close to the body of the load that you're measuring. And then you can offset the the the, you know, effects of the wire.
There's probably a good article out there about that. Yeah, but you there, we should find one and put it in the I know, Dave Jones has done good videos on that. Find a video and post that. Yeah, yes. I'd like to watch a video more about that kind of stuff.
Yeah, and I would like to use that. My goal is to make short wires, four of them. And they're basically the output connects as with a short of wires to the meter as possible.
coming tomorrow are coming tomorrow and like the meter is actually plugged directly into
inside. Standard. Yeah. So yeah, we'll be we'll be playing with that. And we'll have a pretty badass Moulton standard after this. Yeah, I mean, it wasn't bad before but now it's going to be killer. Yeah. And I trust the
fix the 10 to the negative five, six, switch.
When it's Oh, yeah, yeah. Long story, but effectively, my electronic shaman Hmm. spilt beer on it. Oh, what? actually kind of close my electronic shop can leak. When there's understatement when there's a lot of rain. And recently there was a lot of rain in Houston and I got a at some splashes inside the device. And so that kind of seized up one of the switches on the front, but just re soldering it seemed to fix it. Now it's a little twitchy. So but at least it works. I bet you would also Jack with the calibration. That's why we're having to calibrate it now. Yeah. So we'll have a pretty cool, wholesome standard to test other stuff with.
Yep. I'm looking forward to actually using it for voltage references. That's what I want to use it for.
Oh, yeah. So and we were mentioning earlier that we're going to be doing a live calibration of the space echo, which is a project that's been going on for far too long.
It's been done. It just hasn't been calibrated. Yeah,
yeah, no, we got we replaced everything, everything in there. And all we have to do is turn some pots. And so I that was another reason why I asked Pat for the multimeter. So that we can kind of use it as an excuse to do this face echo and just be done with it. And we're gonna have a piece of gear from the 70s. That is calibrated with something that can read nano volts. Yes. So it's way overkill, but it'll be fun. And we'll be doing that live. Once again. That's Tuesday at 4pm. Cst. Next week. Yep. On Facebook on Yes.
On Facebook apart and tweets and crap about that, too. So
Oh, yeah. Well, we'll be we'll be letting everyone know. So. And I just want to say thanks, Pat, for everything you've done. Yep. And for getting that out to us. So it's going to be a bunch of fun.
Okay, RFO time. That's right. We went a little long on all that stuff. But that's fine. Because that's, that's Oh, no, it was a lot of fun. Adjusting the potentialities and I think today, we're probably do a bit more tomorrow. Yeah. So on the RFO rapid fire opinion. Yeah, three articles like usual. The first one is reverse engineering Space Invaders soundchip, found on Hackaday. The second one is Sai phi, or sai five, raises $8.5 million for licensable custom microcontrollers, which was found on VentureBeat and then crashed advertising sign reveals face recognition command line logs found on twitter. Hmm, that one's gonna be very interesting, because we haven't seen that yet. I have not seen that I was really want to get to that one. Really hoping Josh would be here because he'd be like, Oh, really?
how I want to my opinions on that one. But the first one is reverse engineering Space Invaders. soundchip. On Hackaday. And this is by actually, our friend Al Williams wrote the article,
right? Yeah. He was a guest on the podcast. And the
guy who did this is Ken sheriff. Who's a renowned hacker. Hardware guy.
That's putting it lightly I would put it Yeah.
Well, especially if you're doing what he did, yeah. So base kind of,
he loved caps, lots of chips and reverse engineers. And by just looking at the hardware, like the actual he looks
at the metal metal. Yeah, that's ridiculous.
So the chip is the 76477 complex sound generation chip, which was used in Space Invaders. It was used in a lot of early arcade. Yes, synthesizers. All this stuff.
So he takes
high rez pictures. Yeah. And then like ridiculously reverse engineers, the gate logic, that this how this works. So here's a theory of how that chip works
too. Right? Right. So so it ends up kind of being a little bit educational, but a lot of just, uh, wow, this is cool kind of stuff. He's not going down to 100%. He doesn't do every single transistor, he'll do like,
giant. This, this area over here does is the VCO. Right, rather synthesized the voltage controlled oscillator.
But the cool thing is, too is he'll take an image of a single transistor and kind of dissect
it. Yes. How they built it, right. Like there's some jumper areas that they basically use a very dope piece of silicon, so that it wouldn't interfere with the metal. But you they could still flow electrons a different direction. Yeah, it's kind of funky stuff. And well,
he also shows like, this is if you ever see this, this is an NPN. And this is a PNP. He just by looking at the metal, he could tell you what type of transistor and so cool.
So that's really cool. The link will be down below, according
and actually on this one. That was almost all BJTs on the inside of this. There wasn't a whole lot of CMOS if I remember. I don't remember. I think it's old enough that it was like
oh, this would be Probably all moss at that time or not, not enmasse nos? Yeah, the moss Nimeth. Because this will be, what? Mid, mid early 70s? So, so see moss existed then. So it might have been sea moss. But then Hari, who, who? I don't know if Atari developed the chip, I think ti made the chip. But Atari back then. Especially the Atari 2600. They, they used n MOS, then they really? Yeah, so the 6502 or 6507, the riot chip and the TIA inside the Atari 2600 are all and moss. There's no CMOS in there. Because it was cheaper to make. Oh, yeah. Cuz you only have basically one transistor design for everything. Right makes it bigger.
But back then didn't matter. Your your big anyway. Exactly.
Yeah. Because your technology was not was not small.
Right. There was a trade off there. Yeah, so we'll we'll have the the article posted up on the on the on the show notes.
But really cool stuff. I think we might have talked about this stuff before.
There was a cost. There's a website, I think it's what's the processor that's in the NDS Nintendo 6502. I think it's called Visual 6502 is the website. It actually is a simulation of the processor, and it shows it shows every layer of the processor, and you can run code on it basic. Well, you can run like this goofy simulation, but it shows it shows every transistor turning on and off. It's freakin cool. That's cool. I think we talked about something we talked about that too. We've had a couple of these. They never get old. Yeah. Okay, what's nice,
psi five raises $8.5 million for licensable. Custom microcontrollers. So we've talked about these guys before. Yeah, they basically made the RISC V, which is a free open instruction set for microcontrollers. And an architecture stuff. Because usually you have like an ARM instruction set, or the you have the Intel instruction set. But those are closed source. Right? I mean, you can get access to them and know what they are. But you don't know how it's implemented under the hood. Verse This is all about, you know, metal level, metal level of how the instruction set is implemented. The the is a is what they call it. And they, what was interesting about this article was sure you can open source up, how do you make money doing this? Because they're getting investment in this kind of stuff to do this stuff. And it's like Linux, word, Linux is open source, right? How do you make money on it? Was it a fedora? And there's, I think Buju is trying to make money on it too. It's basically you sell, cut, you know, customizing it, and support. So that's what they are doing. Oh, that's cool. And then probably sell the hardware as well. Because they have the Hi Fi high five one, which is the villain board that sells for 59 bucks. Okay, they chose the Arduino format. Which I guess is fine, because you have all the third party support in terms of hardware that plugs into it. Well,
and you know, I wouldn't be surprised if they're hoping that there is a community that helps build all the background infrastructure. Oh, make
it work with the Arduino IDE. Well, yeah,
right. Yeah. Gosh, what the the 6800 processors? 6805. I can't remember that. Which is the most one of the most popular processors. The 60 68k.
Is that it? I can't remember Motorola. Yes. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. 68k.
I can't remember there was a there was a project that would that happened recently, where some guys used that for as their main processor. And it's old as hell. And someone asked them, Why do you use it? And they're like, because there is so much code written by community. Do they not at 51? That's right. That's right. I shouldn't Yeah. At 51. Yeah.
And they're like, I want to code Silicon Labs. My controllers have an 8051 core. You What's funny, though, is one. This is kind of a side beef, I guess with with Silicon Labs on this is one of the main things that they they advertised about, for the reason why they use the ad 51 is, oh, there's a lot of code that runs on it. I'm like, sure. But if you have the source, what if you have the source code anyways? It's C, it will compile to whatever platform you you point it to. Yeah, that's true. Yeah. So it doesn't have to run at 51 it can be a 68
they get they get a good deal on the map. asks for all the ad 51.
Well know that that architectures open for the Silicon Labs at 51. Yeah, at 51 is they got a good deal. It's free. I guess when you say a guy a good deal, I assume they hand in money or whatever,
money exchanged hands somewhere. I'll have to but regardless,
no, cuz I think the patents have expired this why the 8051 has kind of grown back in terms of this kind of stuff, right? Because it's for free.
But so is the risk five, by C five. Yeah. So but it's kind of weird, like, okay, I get it. It's cool to have open source everything. And as engineers like to be able to understand everything down to the fundamental operation. That's great. But at the same time, like, what does this do for me?
Oh, yeah. Well, it's like, who cares? It's more of a security. I think, nowadays, it's more of a security thing. With, you know, all the hardware down to the gates. You know, there's no binary blobs that can have a backdoor, or anything like that. Like if you made a a ay, or an instruction set that doesn't have a backdoor built into it. So basically, you can design a network switch or router or whatever, it doesn't have basically a built in backdoor that you can't get rid
of. So it's trusted. Because you know, everything that goes on. That's the that's the idea behind Linux,
you don't have to trust someone else. That's yeah, that's the idea behind Linux is since there's so much everything's open, anyone can look at it and find issues.
Nobody can hide crap in there. Exactly. Whereas that's actually hardware security issues are actually it's a big deal nowadays. Because it happens.
Yeah, actually, we were going to talk about this last week, but it was kind of not our deal, I guess. Because Intel had a hardware issue. Is it a hardware issue? I can't remember something with their think northbridge had a a memory issue. What was it? Do it now? I'm stretching.
The North bid was what sniffing data and sending it
because that will No no, it's like overloading something. And they were able and someone was able to get access to some sub part of this.
Oh, it was it was just an insecurity and someone could backdoor crack. Yeah, but it's like,
oh, Intel chipsets for like the past like 12 or 15 years had this thing in it.
But it's like that. Remember, maybe you've seen this? Maybe you haven't? Like you used to be able to break into Windows 95 By going through like a printer print. And
like, for some reason print the login screen, right? Yeah, print the login screen. And if you want to, like help, or something like that, it would just bypass the password. Yeah. And now that will be the secret code word.
Oh, bypass the password bypass the password. Yeah, that's the secret code. If you send that into podcast at macro fab.com. We'll send you some sweet gear. Yep. So
that's that? Yeah, that's that. Okay. The next one. I
want to hear about this, because this is fresh to me, too. Okay.
I actually did I did the most amount of research about this one too, in terms of like, just reading what other people are saying about it. So you mean you did more than like a minute? Yeah, exactly. did two minutes worth of research? Crashed advertising sign reveals facial recognition command line logs, the actual title is code, but it's not code. Okay. Basically, there's a, I can't remember where it was that it's like it's somewhere in Europe, okay, that this happened. There's a, like a pizza place or something had a, a advertising sign. That was a LCD screen, okay, and the ad crashed. And on the desktop was a command line log. And it shows all the stuff of facial recognition. Like it would say stuff like, adolescent male, not smiling. And then like, next person would be like, adolescent male smiling. And then it would give like average heights and all this other information in there.
It was data mining, people who looked at this ad, yeah.
Oh, and it wasn't keeping personal data or anything, but it was just like, you know, Ram data, just stick to it. And so I was looking through and this is on Twitter. I saw it. I was looking at all the replies. And apparently the company that developed that software report, or one of the guys replied, basically, I don't know where's the company replied but someone else someone said, this is the or involved? Yeah, one way in one way or another, and the company is correct. K ri O 's. And if you go to their website, they have all their information about what they do. And it's actually makes from a business standpoint, this is like amazing. So what what their software does is it can do in store analytics, live heat mapping of your store, you can do VIP treatment for customers. So like, if if they have a customer, or someone that's like wandering your store matches a certain profile of how they look at stuff, then they can target that they can you can your your employees can go and target that person to make a sale. Hmm. It's just like, it's amazing.
I see like, videos, they trade in on a guy, he's not wearing shoes, and they're like, go sell shoes to this man.
No, that's actually one thing they say is yes, they call intelligent digital signage is if they, you know, a kid isn't going to want to buy shoes. But if you if you say adolescent male or kid is in front of your sign, show the latest video game that's in his age brackets. Hmm. And and then if it's some like, you know, soccer mom, oh, these shoes.
That's kind of scary. But at the same time, if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Because Oh, yeah,
that's all the time totally does. But those people like freaking out about this online? Well, you know, it's like, okay, sure. You're freaking out about it. But Digital Media Online has been doing this since the beginning. Yeah, Amazon new and Amazon? Does it the the most like evil, like take your recent stuff you searched for? And say, Boy, you didn't like that one. But what about this one that's in the same category, right? Bought this? And that's actually, if you were at a store, and you're looking at something, and then if an advert popped up and said, Well, you're taking a long time look at this. What about this product? That's kind of the same, but it's slightly different for these reasons that
you're being injected into an algorithm somewhere?
Well, no, is from that standpoint, though, it kind of makes it so you can do a better decision about a product,
right? They're always learning you can do
it that way. At least though.
Well, okay. So when I first saw this, I was like, you know, I don't want to be on a videotape. I don't want people looking at me. And then I realized, like, every store, you go into your security camera, shoot, like, if you go to like Burger King, you can see the security camera of yourself yourself. Yeah. So I mean, we've already we've surrendered. Our right to be
I put this way is if you're in a public space, at least in America, at least if you're in a public place, you can be recorded. Yeah. Okay. And if you're on someone's private property, they should be able to record you because that's their space. Right? So if it's a private establishment, recording you what's your I mean, there's a course there's stipulations like,
oh, yeah, we're getting
you're on the edge. There's there's definitely walls and boundaries you had to put up, right. Like, you shouldn't be recorded, you know, taking a pee in the bathroom. Or in a changing room, or anything like that. Yeah, whatever.
It's regarding. That guy probably needs paper towels.
Yeah. Oh, like a McDonald's be like, You sounds like you're taking a longer bowel movement than usual. You should like, you know, eat a salad, like recommend the salad at McDonald's and said the burger,
we're heading that direction. I guarantee you, we're heading that way. It's dietary decision. Here's, here's the one. And there's a lot more than this. But this is the one that I thought of that, like really kills me. One of these days, there's going to be eye tracking. And when it comes down to putting an advertisement on your screen, it will pause the advertisement unless you look at it. Yeah, cuz that will happen. Because well, there's already eye tracking is just where it's at, like, existing by See,
I know you're saying because when, like if I'm on YouTube, and there's an ad that pops up and it's an ad, I can't skip in five seconds. I just mute it and get to know. And I'll come back in 30 seconds when we rewind the video and play it again. Eventually, yes, there'll be like, it'd be like a webcam, the webcam that's on top your monitor will be built into your monitor. And then you can't access YouTube unless YouTube says you know, add verification, drink Mountain Dew
ingest Doritos. You Have a Monster energy drink. You need to be fueled for gaming.
Watch this 32nd ad about donkeys.
Donkeys what? The wheels have come off the podcast finally. Right there. Yeah, cheers.
Just like yeah, donkeys Oh, yeah.
Good one that burger. So we're getting spied on. That's the That's the bottom line, but not necessarily got
it since is the pizza place? If it's a fat person, it's just like a greasy like pepperoni pizza. Yeah, but the skinny person walks by goes, has a salad
go away. It's like a salad. Not fatty. No.
It's I mean, my pizza place in salt salad. They'd be like, whatever. Greasy pepperoni pizza. Yeah,
it kind of reminds me of like, remember in Back to the Future. When Marty goes to the future back to feature two. When he goes to the future, and he sees jaws and like Jaws like comes down and like attacks him? Or whatever. Like the 3d Joe Yeah, like if it could detect that he was a good candidate to eat the you know, jaws to eat that kind of crap. It's coming just what's going yeah, just wait,
especially with you know, our computer phones that we keep in our pockets. Computer phones that's right now it's even easier because that's you know, it's radiating personal data all the time.
Oh, yeah. No, give up give up completely give up if you don't want well no, there's you don't want to be known by people you got to go.
Privacy that should be understood. But I don't see why people are so freaking out because it's all anonymous so it's not like seeming Craig looked at you know this you know the Book of I'm what books do you read?
Dungeons and Dragons on the shelf? Oh, thank you. Yes, exactly. Every night before bed my wife actually reads that as I fall asleep any glass that's what is this? Some kind of like weird security camera to Barnes and Nobles. Actually, that gets way creepier. Because why would I be reading Ken hat and a Barnes and Noble. We need to finish this podcast.
This is dumb. I actually think this kind of data collections interesting. Especially the heat map stuff. That's actually I'm
way more interesting. When you say heat map. Do you mean like there's more people in the Senate
look at this stuff for longer, and then no one's paying attention to this display? So it's like a giant 3d histogram. Yeah. And actually websites use that all the time to figure out what kind of marketing works what kind of colors grab people's attention.
Right. So you know, Macy's, does it what what style of clothing are people gravitating towards malls or,
or not even just styles but how is the display set up? And so they can a B test? Yes, a B testing is huge in online marketing, but it's kind of a really hard thing to do in physical brick and mortar. Mortal brick and mortar mortar,
brick and mortars glass doors Yeah, yeah. Wheels are falling off so hard, right? Like 10 is so far. You want to sign
so that was the engineering podcast. This was episode 67.
We are your host Parker Dolan and Steven, Greg, please everyone take it easy.
Agustin Pelaez and Cameron Klotz of Ubidots talk about what is IoT and how to start an IoT Project.
John Adams joins Parker and Stephen to discuss IoT Security, Crappy IoT Devices, and WS2812B LEDs.
Parker talks with Brandon Satrom of Particle about the future of IoT and then design and prototype an IoT device.