Great Scott Gadgets

open source tools for innovative people


Free Stuff - June 2022

The June recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Kyle from SkullSpace. SkullSpace is a hackerspace located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Kyle plans to put together a group of SDR and wireless enthusiasts. This group will put on classes, host labs, and lead projects that help the community learn more about SDR and wireless. If you are ever in Winnipeg on a Tuesday evening we hope you take advantage of SkullSpace’s open night and check out their hackerspace!


FPGA Substitution on LUNA

This is a cross post from our LUNA project page on Crowd Supply.

Global supply chain issues continue to be difficult to traverse, but once in a while we do get a little bit lucky! In a previous update [1] we mentioned that Lattice had pushed out the lead time on our FPGAs for LUNA from 30 weeks to 60 weeks. Well, the expected delivery date for those FPGAs got pushed out again. Thankfully, we were able to purchase another ECP5 part for the first batch of LUNAs from an authorized Lattice distributor in a 381-ball package rather than a 256-ball package. We already have the 381-ball FPGAs in hand, so we don’t have to worry about those lead times changing again. We are still waiting on other components though, so with this FPGA substitution our estimated shipping date for LUNA will still be December 2022.

Changes to LUNA

Both FPGAs are from the same manufacturer and are part of the same line. The firmware and software we are creating will work the same regardless of which of the FPGAs is present on a given LUNA board. The primary difference impacting LUNA is that the substitute FPGA is slightly bigger than the original FPGA we had picked out. The original FPGA was 14x14 mm and the substitute FPGA is 17x17 mm. To accommodate this change in size we expect to increase the board area of LUNA to 51x51 mm instead of its original 48x48 mm.

LUNA with size increase

This change adds 297 millimetres squared of available space. 93 millimetres squared of the extra space will be taken up by the bigger FPGA which leaves 204 millimeteres squared to use. The Great Scott Gadgets team has not yet settled on what we will be doing with the extra space but we will update you all as soon as we finalize our decisions. If you would like to make requests for or share your thoughts on what to use this space for, please come discuss in our Discord server.

[1] https://www.crowdsupply.com/great-scott-gadgets/luna/updates/luna-delayed


Free Stuff - May 2022

The May recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is C.J. who is a Broadway tour sound engineer that works backstage with wireless RF microphones. Every week the tour moves to a new location and C.J. has to re-coordinate wireless frequencies for the show. He’s hoping to use the HackRF we are sending him to improve his RF monitoring and create more precise RF layouts for the travelling shows.


Free Stuff - April 2022

The April recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Anmol, a high school student in India! Anmol learned about Great Scott Gadgets after watching Michael Ossmann’s video on complex numbers, which is part of his Software Defined Radio with HackRF training video series. Anmol is the IT president of their school and is excited to use the HackRF we will be sending them to share the world of Software Defined Radio with other students.


Free Stuff - March 2022

The March recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Katerina Autumnrain! Katerina had such an enthusiastic and detailed application to the Free Stuff Program that we just had to send her the HackRF One she requested. In her application she had this to say:

“I believe that the HackRF could enable me to open up the oft more confusing aspects of radio, particularly modulation modes like QAM and digital systems like satellites and P25/DMR. I’d also like to try and promote the higher frequencies (33cm and beyond). Once the bandwidth and frequency limitation is lifted I can more or less apply that knowledge I’d gain from those systems and make both learning experiences and some pretty neat tech for people to explore, utilize, and build themselves. I ultimately believe I could cultivate a sort of resurgence in radio geekery in my area, as it unfortunately seems to be on the downturn somewhat, and promote higher levels of curiosity.”

It’ll be really exciting to follow Katerina’s updates on her HackRF-fueled radio journey!


Free Stuff - February 2022

The February recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Matthew Hilts! Matthew is a student at the University of Dayton who will be spending his Spring semester learning about and using GNU Radio. To help enhance his studies we have sent Matthew a HackRF One. We look forward to hearing about what he learns!


Free Stuff - January 2022

The January recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Rüzgar Erik and the Sivas Science High School Science and Tech Club! The club has about 35 students who meet weekly to learn about various topics and develop their own projects. We will be sending this club their very own HackRF One so they can upgrade from their current SDR which they made from an old tv tuner SDR and Rüzgar Erik’s Baofeng radio.

Once they have received their HackRF One, the club will try to receive images from NOAA, find number stations, and dive into the world of RF.


Free Stuff Program Refresh

Free Stuff is a program where we at Great Scott Gadgets give free hardware to a person or group once per month. We’ve been running this program since February 2015 by having interested parties email us their free stuff requests.

Starting now, Great Scott Gadgets has a new Free Stuff Program application process where, instead of emailing us, anyone interested in getting free hardware from Great Scott Gadgets can apply using our new application link. The application link and extra details on the Free Stuff Program are available on our Free Stuff page.

Free Stuff recipients are chosen once per month out of all applications we have received over the last twelve months. We typically give out one piece of hardware free of cost, pay for shipping, and feature Free Stuff recipients on our blog. With this refresh of the Free Stuff Program we are currently at zero applications so now is the best time to apply. We look forward to seeing your applications!


Free Stuff, October 2021–December 2021

October

Charles, a computer science student in the UK, asked us for a HackRF One because he wants to learn about device interactivity and to search for potential vulnerablities in his own devices.

November

The Free Stuff recipient for November is UW Orbital, a new student design team at the University of Waterloo (Canada) with over 40 active members. They are developing a 3U CubeSat for the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC). They say, “The team is working on an imaging payload that will allow amateur SDR radio operators from around the world to request an image of their location from orbit, with the goal of attracting beginners to ham radio as a hobby and providing education in communications systems. The HackRF One will be crucial to the team’s prototyping phase to test uplinks and downlinks to the CubeSat, and could potentially even be used as the team’s ground station transceiver.”

December

Noah in Kentucky asked us for an Ubertooth One for his son Saul to use in an upcoming STEM night at his school. Saul wants to help other kids learn about wireless technology, so he’s planning to demonstrate something exciting.


Free Stuff, July 2021–September 2021

July

July’s recipient is Nick with Urban Rivers. This organization is building a floating park in the Chicago River that has been getting a lot of bird layovers. Nick wants to integrate a HackRF One into Motus Wildlife Tracking System to study migratory patterns and capture a more complete picture of avian travel.

August

Kevin runs the Roanoke Robotics Club and asked us for Free Stuff to teach kids about electronics, etc. We sent a box of Throwing Star LAN Tap Kits so they can practice soldering.

September

Tandin is a person of many talents, technical and artistic, in Bhutan. They asked for an Ubertooth One for fun, experimentation, and learning.


subscribe to GSG feed