Posts Tagged ‘wireless technologies’

A GPS without GPS

Monday, July 11th, 2011

gsmlocalizerWow, that sounds weird. It’s actually a mini GSM-based localizer without any GPS devices attached. It’s an old device with the cheaper SimCom module SIM900.  Here is a complete working GSM localizator which is pretty cheap and small too.

As introduction, this system allows localization without directly using GPS technology; we are able to locate the desired object fairly precisely by using database availability together with the geographic position of the cells themselves. In some country the cell coordinates are not publicly known (i.e. in Italy). If so, where do we find such data? Through Google Maps… Google has been able to store billions of data regarding the location of its clients’ cell phones. But how does GSM localization work? The radio mobile network is made up of a number of adjacent radio cells, each of which is characterized by an identifier consisting of four data: a progressive number (Cell ID), a code related to the area in which that given cell is (LAC, or Local Area Code), the code of national network to which the cell belongs (MCC, an acronym for  Mobile Country Code), and finally the company code (MNC, or Mobile Network Code), which obviously identifies the phone company itself. For this reason, once a cell name and coordinates are known, and considering the maximum distance allowed between this cell and a phone  before the phone connects to a new cell, it is possible to find out, approximately, the most distant position of the phone itself. For example, if the maximum distance has been determined to be one mile, the cell phone can be within a one-mile radius. It can be deduced that the more cells are found in a given area, the more precisely one can determine where the phone is located (up to 200-350 feet). The idea of employing only a GSM device to build a remote localization system occurred to us when we realized that Google Maps Mobile, which had been conceived to allow smartphones equipped with a GPS receiver to use Google for satellite navigation, was extended to all cell phones, as long as they were able to support GPRS or UMTS data.  Naturally, this method allows but for a rough estimate: determining the precise position of the cell phone hinges on data regarding the coverage of a given cell which can only be provided by the Google server.

DataCell

The circuit

Compared to traditional localizers based on GPS, this device presents many advantages, primarily because it is lighter and less bulky, has a cost lesser and greater autonomy to exercise. This means that about one battery lithium ion, such as 1 Ah, our tracker can be in operation for several days (it all depends on the number of SMS that have to do). A locator based on cellular network may answare more immediately: the GPS receiver may take several minutes to determine its position. Our tracker works battery and thus can be brought on by people who may have the need to ask help or be tracked, but also placed on board motor vehicles (without installation) or simply introduced in goods in transit. To avoid unnecessarily draining the battery, the localizator provides its position via SMS, on requesto with a simple phone call. Among the functions implemented there is the SOS: By pressing the button the localizator sends a text message asking for help, containing the coordinates of position, the sending can be done to a maximum of eight thelephone numbers. When queried or with the autoreport function, sends an SMS with the localization.To know the location of remote device must send an SMS request cell is connected and sends a request (via GPRS) to Google’s site, the latter responds with the coordinates and the figure for the precision. Everything happens in seconds.

0908_Schema

Well, you can get hell of these stuff from link provided afterward. Design files and the firmware are included. A fun stuff to experiment with at your disposal. Mini GSM localizer without GPS at open-electronics.org.

All images are courtesy of open-electronics.org

Wireless explanations

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Wireless-Internet-Security.jpg

Consumers today can choose from WHDI, wireless HD, WiDi, wireless USB and Wi-Fi Direct. Confused? Check out our guide to these emerging wireless streaming-media technologies.

WHDI

Wireless Home Digital Interface, or WHDI, was finalized in 2009 to give consumers a way to link the PC to the TV. Think of it as the wireless equivalent of HDMI. The technology has a latency of less than 1 millisecond, which means it’s good enough not just for watching movies but should also work well to stream games from your browser to the TV.

WHDI can stream 1080p video at up to 3 Gbps (gigabits per second). All you need is a wireless HDI dongle that can plug into your laptop and a little receiver that goes behind the TV. That set will cost about RM464.48 and will be available early next year.

Meanwhile, TV makers such as Sharp and LG are rolling out TVs with built-in support for WHDI standard.

Slowly, the WHDI consortium hopes to convince PC makers integrate WHDI chips into laptops, similar to the way Wi-Fi chips are built in today.

WirelessHD

While other wireless technologies focus on streaming content from the PC to the TV, WirelessHD targets the most common electronic eyesore in homes: the black HDMI cables that snake out from behind the TV towards the set-top box, PC or the DVD player.

If built into TV sets, WirelessHD can offer fast data transfers of up to 10 GBps to 28 Gbps. That makes it the fastest of the lot for point-to-point data transfer.

So far, TV makers such as Panasonic, LG and Vizio have said they will offer wireless-HD–enabled sets by the end of the year. (more…)

Talking Tire Monitor detects traction & Tire Pressure

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

tire-pressure-monitoring

Some cars have tire pressure monitoring systems for a while now, but this new system from Schrader Electronics takes that useful concept into the future.

It’s not quite explained whether this wireless Talking Tire Monitoring System actually talks to you, but one way or another it notifies you when your tire pressure is low. But it’s a whole lot smarter than that, showing you how much tread is left on those tires, and even sensing slippery road conditions in real time, notifying you how much traction your tires are getting.

In other aspect, it also could help motorists significantly reduce their carbon tyreprint as vehicles with properly inflated tyres boast an improved fuel efficiency. In addition, underinflated tyres wear out quicker and need replacing more frequently.

Courtesy Guardian via  Dvice

Open source satellites

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

machineSat.jpg

After three years of research and one year of experience as a satellite engineer, Song Hojun has found that it is possible to launch and operate a personal satellite at a fairly reasonable price. In addition, he has for the past five years been exploring ways to integrate the concept of a personal satellite project into cultural contexts and into his artistic practice.

mpSatEvent.jpg
All the satellite-related systems (except for the rocket to launch it) are DIY programs — designed so that regular people may also have the chance of developing and eventually launching their own.

Song have presented this system and how it works at the Machine Project, Los Angeles on 2010, 25th April.

For the people who want to study or getting a clearer picture of the involving mechanisme, they can download Song’s book from Google Books here.

Courtesy: Open Source Satellite Initiative via Make

How to decode infrared transmission

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

rc5-decoding-explained.jpg

Alright, here we’re going for chapter on Manchester Encoding. Brian J Hoskins did just that when building this RC5 decoder. This protocol is widely used in television remote controls. You use them on a daily basis, don’t you think it’s time you understood what’s going on? Check out his writeup and learn the dark art of invisible light communication. Or just skip the learning and follow this how-to.

courtesy: Hack a day

How to build your own RFID reader

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

DIY RFID

Do you have any idea on how easy it is to build your own RFID reader? Well, we stumbled upon some sites that’ll give you some clearer picture on how to make this thing happens. As pointed out by hackaday,

[Klulukasz] left a comment pointing to this DIY RFID reader that was a final project in 2006 for a class at Cornell University. It is well documented and includes not only a schematic and code, but an explanation of the design considerations used during the build. The project uses an ATmega32 and the parts list priced out at about $50 at the time. There were plenty of responses to theRFID spoofer post pointing out that there are readers available for $40, but we want the fun of building our own.

A bit more vague with the details but no less interesting is this other simple RFID reader design.

Courtesy: hackaday

Radio monitoring book re-released under a Creative Commons license

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

skips-book.jpg

Make contributor T.J. “Skip” Arey says:

Many of you know that, some time back, I authored a book called Radio Monitoring — A How To Guide. Originally published by Index Publishing Group and later released by Paladin Press, is had two very successful editions that sold for many years. This book has recently gone out of print but I am pleased to say that I have now released it on line (for FREE) via Creative Commons license. I admit that a few points are a bit dated but the book still has a lot to offer the beginner or even experienced radio hobbyist. You can download a copy thanks to the North American Shortwave Association (NASWA) who have consented to be the primary online source for distribution. The hobby has been good to me over the years. I am happy to give this book back to the radio community. Enjoy.

Courtesy: Naswa.net via Make

Open Source Lion-Tracking Collars In the Works

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

liongps.jpg

Want to help save some lions in Kenya? Well, help these guys make some open source lion-tracking collars, complete with GPS and GSM on board.

Lions are not doing too well in Kenya, with only 2,000 or so left. Two groups called Lion Guardians and Living with Lions are dedicated to studying and saving the diminished lion population. In order to help them out, Justin Downs of Brooklyn’s GRND Lab built them a solar-powered treehouse last year. Now, he’s working on some of the aforementioned collars to help them track the lions.

He’s looking for donations on Kickstarter for the project now, so if your passions create a Venn diagram between open-source hardware and lions, well, here you go.

Source Kickstarter via Clay Shirky

More functional GPS in minutes

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

wince_desktop2.png

Sparky with his hack to allow interaction with the core of an Aldi GO Cruise 4300 GPS Windows CE OS. All that’s required is a few programs and registry edits to the GPS, which anyone can accomplish within a few minutes. But, suggested you go slow and double-check your work, anyway; nobody wants a bricked system. After you’re done you can run such great programs like the one Sparky suggest for 4WD enthusiasts,Ozi Explorer.

via Hack a Day

Arduino balloon tracking

Friday, March 19th, 2010

The Ferret is a high-altitude balloon tracking hardware package. Created by [Adam Greig] and [Jon Sowman], it uses an Arduino to gather NMEA data from a GPS unit, format the data into a string, and transmit that string on narrow-band FM. The project, built in one afternoon, is a tribute to the prototyping simplicity the Arduino provides.

The unit was powered by four AA batteries, using the Arduino’s on board voltage regulator. This provided a bit of heat which helps in the frigid reaches of the upper atmosphere. The bundle above was put in a project box and attached to the outside of the balloon’s payload, then covered with foam for warmth and moisture resistance. This tracking is a lot less complicated than some of the photography setups we’ve seen for balloons. It’s also more versatile because it broadcasts the GPS data so that many people can track it, rather than just logging its location.

Courtesy: Hackaday