Teardown 2019

by Crowd Supply and Make+Think+Code @ PNCA

Our second annual party for hacking, discovering, and sharing hardware

View all updates Jun 10, 2019


This is the complete list of Teardown 2019 sessions organized alphabetically by title within the following catagories:

Panels & Discussions

I Want to be an Engineer Panel: Perspectives on Getting Started in Engineering

Panel moderated by Josh Lifton | @crowd_supply | Saturday 4-5 PM @ Mediatheque

Join our amazing panelists for a lively discussion:

  • Alex Glow: Hackster.io resident hardware nerd
  • Andrew Greenberg: OreSat, Portland State University professor, The TOVA Company CTO
  • Grant Imahara: White Rabbit Project host, former MythBuster, special FX modelmaker
  • Heather Knight: Oregon State University robotics professor, Robot Film Festival
  • Helen Leigh: Hacker, writer, lecturer, musician, artist, nerd
  • Sophi Kravitz: Hackaday, Supplyframe, NYC Resistor

Manufacturing Panel: The Trials and Tribulations and Making Stuff

Panel moderated by Josh Lifton | @crowd_supply | Sunday 4-5 PM @ Mediatheque

Join our amazing panelists for a lively discussion:

  • Jason Kridner: BeagleBoard.org founder
  • Jeff Keyzer: MightOhm.com, former Valve hardware engineer
  • Mihir Shah: Royal Circuits, PCBLayout.com, formerly at Tesla
  • Nadya Peek: University of Washington professor, formerly MIT Center for Bits and Atoms
  • Piotr Esden-Tempski: 1BitSquared co-owner
  • Steve Hodges: Microsoft Research

We Are Women in Tech: Qorvo Luncheon

Discussion hosted by Brandi Frye | @QorvoInc | Saturday 12-1:30 PM @ Hammer Board Room

Grab some lunch and join your fellow women for a roundtable discussion about what it’s like to be a woman working in tech. Come prepared to share your experiences and learn from your peers. Brandi Frye, Qorvo’s Corporate Vice President of Marketing and a 25-year tech veteran, will host the discussion.


Car Teardown

Demo by Will Caruana | @WillCaruana | During breaks @ parking lot

“Need a car, the rest is fairly easy.” We’ll show off some Macchina tools for debugging, reverse engineering, and modifying cars.

Bio: Will is a community evangelist for Macchina, the Minnesota-based company of car nerds that makes tools for rooting your ride.

Giant Board

Demo by Chris Alessandro | @groguard | During breaks @ Commons

This is a live demonstration of Giant Board and some projects, including a small robot, made with Giant Board and FeatherWing boards.

Bio: Chris is a self-taught electronics and software developer from Phoenix, Arizona. He’s been making and breaking microcontrollers, handhelds, and single-board computers for several years. Giant Board is his first Crowd Supply project.

Lime Software-Defined Radio Showcase

Demos by Lime Microsystems | @LimeMicro | During breaks @ Commons

This collection of live demonstrations show off the popular SDR technologies by Lime Microsystems, including LimeSDR, LimeSDR Mini, LimeNET, LimeRFE, and the upcoming CrowdCell. These demos complement the Democratizing Wireless Networks talk and the Using LimeNET Micro as a GSM Base Station and Spectrum Scanner workshop.

Bio: Based in Guildford, England, Lime Microsystems creates field-programmable RF (FPRF) transceivers for a wide variety of wireless broadband systems. These transceivers offer an unprecedented level of programmability and allow system designers to create systems and networks that can be programmed to run on the vast majority of frequency bands and standards. Lime’s technology is used in numerous applications, including consumer, M2M, military, emergency services, and wireless infrastructure.

OreSat: A 2U Cubesat

Demos by the Portland State Aerospace Society | @pdxaerospace | During breaks @ Commons

Come see demonstrations of the various systems that will make up Oregon’s first satellite, which is due to launch in the fall of 2020. These demos are a follow-up to last year’s Open Source Space talk by Andrew Greenberg.

Bio: The Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS) is affiliated with Portland State University.

Programmable-Air Demos

Demo by Amitabh Shrivastava | @tinkrmind | During breaks @ Commons

Programmable-Air is an open source hardware kit that allows makers to experiment with inflatable soft robots. This demo table will have an origami gripper, a crawling soft robot, an airbrush, squishy switches, a vacuum pick-and-place, and more!

Bio: These demos complement the Programmable-Air talk, the description of which has biographical information for Amitabh.

SignalBlox: Open Source Hardware for Multichannel Signal Processing

Demo by Brewster LaMacchia | https://clk.works/ | During breaks @ Commons

We’ll demonstrate various SignalBlox system components along with Analog Devices’ SHARC Audio Module. These components allow for the creation of sophisticated audio signal processing systems with off-the-shelf hardware.

Bio: Brewster is also leading the Learn to solder: Build a 555 Metronome workshop and giving the Resistor Noise in Audio: Scientific Ignorance and the Sound of Angels Dancing on the Head of a Pin talk, the description of which has more biographical information.

Teletype Mediated Time Travel

Demo by Russell Senior | @rssenior | During breaks @ Commons

My first real computing experience was mediated through a Teletype Model 33 ASR in high school. The actual computer was miles away, and during lunch a few of us learned by typing into the wonderfully loud clackity-clack-clack contraption, printing on a continuous roll of paper and recording locally on paper punch tape. In the last few decades, I’ve dreamed about recreating this experience. Regrettably, surviving Model 33’s are rare and often expensive and usually broken. Recently, I found @33asr on Twitter and Twitch.tv, a person in the Boston area with a similar formative experience who has reconditioned one and streams shows twice weekly, a constant series of “oh no!” surprise and delight over some mismatch of expectations while trying to fit the anachronism of the Model 33 into a semi-modern computing context. To achieve something similar I am intent on turning a recently purchased IBM Wheelwriter into an interactive teletype. A time machine, able to transcend 40 years.

Bio: A Portland native, Russell was inspired by good science teachers in high school to pursue physics and engineering. In college, he got excited about computers and spent two decades thinking about sciencey questions and helping out with measurement and analysis relating to exposure assessment. Since the mid-aughts, he’s been involved with the Personal Telco Project, a nonprofit that advocates for better telecommunications policy while building open-access, public Wi-Fi networks. In that role, he has worked a lot on embedded Linux, mostly OpenWrt. He sometimes hangs out at DorkbotPDX and occasionally helps out with Futel.


Church of Robotron

Installation by the Church of Robotron | http://churchofrobotron.com/ | Ongoing @ main entrance

The Church of Robotron is a mobile training facility that uses hazardous environments, religious indoctrination, and emotional triggers to promote the development of the skills necessary to survive in a hostile post-human environment. We hope to use our field installation to educate and indoctrinate people about the robot uprising in progress.

Bio: The Church of Robotron is a subgroup of the human family concerned with our survival after the Robotrons decide that the human race is inefficient and must be destroyed.

Close Call

Installation by Dan Good | http://www.dangood.org/ | Ongoing @ Design Corridor

This block piece sculpture accompanies my Eliminating Fillet Welds in Stainless Steel Block Sculptures talk. The sculpture is 63” h x 18” w x 16” d and weighs around 100 lb.

Bio: See the biographical information provided in the description of Dan’s talk.

iCEBreaker FPGA LED Cubes and Panels

Installation by Piotr Esden-Tempski & Bob Miller | @esden & @kernlbob | Ongoing @ Design Corridor

We will be displaying some colorful and interesting LED Cubes and LED Panels driven by the iCEBreaker FPGA. They show graphical effects and games on a large number of LEDs in an innovative configuration. This demonstrates the power of FPGAs in artistic applications.

Bios: Bob enjoyed writing software at hardware companies. Some of his favorites were Convex Computer, Silicon Graphics, and TiVo. He is now retired and is using his golden years to improve his coding. This installation complements the iCEBreaker FPGA workshop, the description of which has biographical information for Piotr.

Loop Pod

Installation by Joshua Hibbard | @Jhibbard | Ongoing @ Design Corridor

A web-based MIDI controller using outdated iPod 2s.

Bio: Joshua is a student at PNCA who takes courses with Make+Think+Code.

Robot Sumo

Installation by Everyone | Ongoing @ Commons

Are you bad at building robots? Do you enjoy cheap, shoddy technology? Do you like watching lousy robots trying to smash each other? Look no further than Robot Sumo! Robot Sumo is a robot fighting competition for the unmotivated, ungifted, or simply confused, where robots made from whatever’s lying around fight it out in “hand-to-hand” sumo wrestling. Last year, one contestant was made from a stale baguette. This is an opportunity for Teardown participants to embrace their inner under-achiever and resurrect old, broken tech into a genuinely mediocre robot! We had a bunch of rules last year, but no one followed them. This year, the only rule is to come prepared to cheer on your favorites and heckle the competition. Bring your own robot or build one from scratch. May the worst robot win!

Scrap Swap

Installation by Everyone | Ongoing @ Commons

Think of all the spare reels of LEDs, bags of connectors, trays of multiplexers, and boxes of dev boards that lie fallow in your garage/basement/workbench/drawer/shelves/pockets. Multiply that by 250 to get the entire expected inventory of scrap among Teardown attendees. Now, imagine redistributing it all so it gets put to good use. Enter the Scrap Swap room! Bring your scrap! Take someone else’s scrap! We’ll find something to do with anything that’s left over. (Use good judgment - e.g., no toxic waste.)


A Five-minute Video in a Ten-minute Bag

Talk by Chris Gammell | @Chris_Gammell | Saturday 2:30-3 PM @ Hammer Board Room

Learn how to make super low-overhead video content that looks decent and helps others learn about your technical area of expertise. Attendees will learn how to get started without much gear and learn some of the tips and tricks I have used to post a video nearly every weekday for the past six months.

Bio: Chris is an electronics designer and a content creator. He consults on electronics projects large and small as part of his design consultancy, Analog Life, LLC. Outside of consulting, Chris makes videos about KiCad and how to design electronics via his online course, Contextual Electronics. In his spare time, he also hosts The Amp Hour podcast.

Avoid Re-Spins! Designing PCBs in the Age of Prototyping

Talk by Mihir Shah | @RoyalCircuits | Saturday 5-5:30 PM @ Hammer Board Room

With PCBs becoming easier to design and order quickly, learning how to design effectively - with the manufacturer in mind - can save you thousands of dollars and weeks in manufacturing and debugging time. In this talk, I will go over how PCBs are actually fabricated and priced, some cost and time-saving design tips, and a little bit about the industry at large - who is building what, who is brokering to whom, and the best way to get immediate information on your build status!

Bio: Mihir is Director of Special Projects at Royal Circuits, and the founder and CEO of PCBLayout.com. A former electrical engineer at Tesla and Taser, he now helps Royal Circuits constantly push the limits of manufacturability and build more complex boards faster and more cost-effectively. In addition, he works on a variety of different programs and partnerships that allow Royal Circuits to continue bringing value to its customers and the larger hardware community. This includes tools ranging from augmented reality of manufacturing APIs, to partnerships with CAD tools like EAGLE and Altium.

Better Electronics with Jupyter Notebooks

Talk by Chris Osterwood | @osterwood | Saturday 4:30-5 PM @ Hammer Board Room

Python and Jupyter Notebooks are powerful tools to accelerate and improve your electronics design process. In this talk, see how you can use Notebooks to design regulators and input protection, check the impact of component tolerance on your design, simulate electrical circuits in SPICE, and test your embedded device.

Bio: Chris is founder of Capable Robot Components, a company building infrastructure for mobile robots. He has spoken at the Embedded Vision Summit and ROSCON about the selection and testing of 3D vision sensors.

Cat-herding Development Boards in Debian

Talk by Vagrant Cascadian | @vagrant | Sunday 4:30-5 PM @ Hammer Board Room

Debian supports a growing number of development boards, mostly running one of Debian’s several ARM architectures. More boards are released to the wild every month! Sometimes they go feral, abandoned by their manufacturers and supported by volunteer communities. A few of the more recent ones even act suspiciously like laptops. The challenge is that they are all so similarly different. In order to boot Debian on a new, unique board, changes may be required in several packages, some needing coordination upstream, and some packaging changes may be specific to Debian. I’ll touch on my workflows, communication channels, observation habits, and such, to share ideas on how you too can partake in the fun!

Bio: Vagrant Cascadian maintains a variety of firmware packages in Debian, including u-boot, arm-trusted-firmware and most recently opensbi. In support of reproducible builds, Vagrant maintains a build zoo of over 20 boards constantly rebuilding all of Debian. In the right context, Vagrant enjoys being thrown around even more than tinkering with firmware.

Crowd Supply Q&A + Lightning Talks

Discussion hosted by Josh Lifton | @crowd_supply | Sunday 2:30-3:30 PM @ Mediatheque

I’ll give a brief overview of what’s been happening at Crowd Supply and what’s in the pipeline. Then you can pelt me with questions. This will naturally (d)evolve into lighning talks and mob rule. Never given a talk before? No problem! We’re friendly.

Bio: Josh is the co-founder and president of Crowd Supply.

Democratizing Wireless Networks

Talk by Ebrahim Bushehri | @LimeMicro | Saturday 5-5:30 PM @ Mediatheque

The next generation of wireless communication systems will be based on open source principles and technology. In this talk, I’ll go over the groundwork we are currently laying to make this happen, give examples of specific projects, and give a sneak peek at what lies ahead. This talk complements the Lime Software-Defined Radio Showcase of demos and the Using LimeNET Micro as a GSM Base Station and Spectrum Scanner workshop.

Bio: Ebrahim is the founder and CEO of Lime Microsystems, a cutting-edge fabless semiconductor company specializing in top-of-the-line field-programmable radio frequency (FPRF) transceivers.

Eliminating Fillet Welds in Stainless Steel Block Sculptures

Talk by Dan Good | http://www.dangood.org/ | Sunday 11:30-noon @ Mediatheque

Welding produces very strong metal joints, but that’s not the only consideration when you’re making art. I set out to build the geometric blocky sculptures I was drawing in CAD and spent years figuring out how to make them both beautiful and structurally sound. Here, I’ll go through the design process and show what’s going on on the inside.

Bio: Dan is an artist and engineer who tries to do both together. He has a PhD in electrical engineering and an MFA in electronic music, and it turns out this is what happened. He’s been making sculptures like this for nearly a decade, shown in dozens of shows, and more than ten of his sculptures have found permanent homes. The Close Call sculpture will also be on display at Teardown.

e-Paper MegaInfoDump

Talk by Zach Archer | zach@controlzinc.com | Friday 5-5:30 PM @ Mediatheque

I started an open-source library called FancyEPD, with the intention of supporting every e-Paper display I could get my hands on. FancyEPD can draw grayscale images, supports image compression, and has a “fast” animation mode. I stopped developing FancyEPD last year when I realized it had grown beyond my ability to maintain. In this talk, I’ll discuss the amazing ecosystem of e-Paper displays, the physics of e-Paper technologies, how to avoid issues like stuck pixels (burn-in), why I shut down FancyEPD, and the lessons learned.

Bio: Zach builds interactive installations, custom lighting, and responsive websites. Last year, he presented Programming For the Eye at Teardown and Live-Coding a 40-Foot LED Sign at the Hackaday Superconference. He is known for coding graphics and visuals, and enjoys architecting complex systems to be manageable and scalable.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Firmware (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Talk by Stephano Cetola | @stephano | Sunday 4-4:30 PM @ Hammer Board Room

Someone once described microcode as “the computer inside your computer.” Today, there are many computers inside your computer, as well as inside modern servers, embedded devices, and quite possibly your toothbrush. Firmware is the code that runs on these tiny machines and allows the hardware to communicate with what most engineers consider software. It is, then, no surprise that firmware has been at the heart of many recent security issues. Presentations and panels about firmware security are now the norm at events like RSA, Hack in the Box, and Defcon. This talk is an introduction to the concept of firmware as embodied by BIOS, UEFI, ARM Trusted Firmware, Coreboot, LinuxBoot, and U-Boot. We will confine ourselves to microprocessor-based systems, covering both ARM and x86, and provide simple examples of how you can start hacking on firmware in your own systems for fun or profit.

Bio: Stephano is an Open Source Program Manager at Intel contributing to TianoCore and CHIPSEC. His main focus is on community engagement and improving the developer experience. In his former lives he was an embedded software engineer, a public health educator, and a cook. In his free time he enjoys exploring the thermal tolerances of electronic circuits, turning FPGAs into intentional radiators, and breaking cyber-physical systems.

Expressive Robots

Talk by Heather Knight | @heatherknight | Saturday 1:30-2:30 PM @ Mediatheque

Performance, acting, and art have unique practices in terms of repeatably conveying character, motivations, and relationships to a human audience that may benefit the development of everyday robots. Entertainment also offers venues for deploying robots and potentially new approaches to constructing knowledge about social robots, and avenues for collecting data from large numbers of people at a time, e.g., in a performance setting or in the wild. This talk will share examples of simple robot expressions from robot furniture to dancing robot jellyfish to robots that tell jokes on stage.

Bio: Heather is an Assistant Professor of Robotics at Oregon State University and directs the CHARISMA Robotics Lab (Collaborative Humans and Robotics: Interaction, Sociability, Machine learning and Art). Their main research contributions are in Human-Robot Interaction and Social Robotics, two fields which seek to optimize the human-robot interface, integrating the fields of engineering, programming, electrical engineering, psychology, and entertainment.

Hacking Hardware with Disabled Artists for Unexpected Innovations

Talk by Daniel Rolnik | https://portlandartandlearningstudio.com/ | Saturday 10-10:30 AM @ Mediatheque

We would like you to become our technologist-in-residence at the Portland Art & Learning Studio - a 10,000 sqft studio for artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Create tech alongside the company of our artists for the purposes of unexpected innovations!

Bio: Daniel is the gallery director of the Portland Art & Learning Studio, which is a program of the nonprofit Albertina Kerr. He is formerly the World’s Most Adorable Art Critic.

How to Bring Up a New PCB

Talk by Scott Dixon | @scott_dixon | Sunday 10-10:30 AM @ Mediatheque

After a new PCB design has been assembled, it’s time to test and debug it. This is often called “board bringup” and it is something which is seldom explicitly taught. There are a number of things which can be done, both in the initial design stage and during the bring-up process to make it easier to get a new design tested and running.

Bio: I’ve spent the last five years working for a local custom design company doing embedded electronics. Personal interests include electronics and robotics. I also help out at PSU with electronics prototyping and with the OreSat cubesat project.

IoT Power and Connectivity Overview

Talk by James Blankley | @MolexConnectors | Saturday 11-11:30 @ Mediatheque

The Internet of Things evokes visions of tiny, persistent devices seamlessly embedded into our surroundings. Yet these things need power and connectivity. How do we square these competing requirements? In this talk, I cover the latest technology trends coming out of Molex’s power solutions and micro solutions (i.e., connectors smaller than a dime) business units to power and connect the Internet of Things at ever-smaller scales.

Bio: James started at Molex in 2010 as an intern with a double major in International Business and Marketing. His experience at Molex includes Customer Service and Lead Management. In his current role, James is the Industry Marketing Analyst for Connected Home/IoT. He is responsible for global marketing for IoT and business development in the Americas region.

It’s 8051s All the Way Down

Talk by Adrian Studer | @adistuder | Saturday 3-3:30 PM @ Hammer Board Room

In a typical teardown, we crack open the case, take out the circuit board, follow the traces, and look up the datasheets of all the chips. But what’s going on inside those ICs? And how can we find out? Join me on my journey of reverse engineering the innards of a small ISM radio IC, from the architecture in the datasheet to the disassembled firmware.

Bio: Working on enterprise software by day, Adrian prefers low-level embedded projects at night. When not reverse engineering radio ICs, he uses them to build the dAISy AIS receiver, a popular gadget that tracks ships.

Keeping Customers Happy Through Yield Monitoring and Process Control

Talk by Brad Silvers | @QorvoInc | Friday 4:30-5 PM @ Mediatheque

Few customer issues simply appear. Most leave signals along the way: odd inspection findings at QA, yield loss, new failure modes. In order to detect issues before our customer does, Qorvo employs extensive monitoring to detect these clues real time. We’ll walk through the how and why of yield limits and process monitoring and discuss some real world examples.

Bio: Brad has over 10 years of experience in customer quality quality roles with both automotive and major cell phone manufacturers. In his current role at Qorvo, he uses his experience in wafer fabrication and back-end processing to catch problems before they get to the customer.

Learning Electronics and Software - The Rainy Way!

Talk by Alvaro Prieto | @alvaroprieto | Friday 4-4:30 PM @ Mediatheque

The best way for me to learn something is by doing it (and making mistakes.) This year, I decided to build a weather station and want to share what I learned along the way. I designed circuit boards and wrote firmware and software in order to make it happen. Designing electronics to go outside was an entirely new endeavor for me. I had to learn about weatherproofing, solar panels, battery management, wireless bootloaders, low-power design, sqlite databases, web frontends for data visualization, and much more! As usual, I made many mistakes along the way and learned many new useful tricks.

Bio: Alvaro is a firmware/hardware engineer that loves making stuff! He gave a talk last year about cheese making.

Long-tail Hardware

Talk by Steve Hodges | https://aka.ms/shodges | Saturday 9-10 AM @ Mediatheque

Recent technologies have made it easier to get certain types of product to market, even for niche products in the so-called ‘long tail.’ Downloadable goods like books, music, movies, and apps are great examples. However, getting a new hardware device to market typically still requires a great deal of expertise. In this talk I will describe why the innovations behind downloadable products are necessary but not sufficient for hardware devices. Based on first-hand experience of device manufacture at scales from hundreds to millions, I will highlight the outstanding challenges faced when transitioning a hardware prototype into a product. I will explain how further technological innovation has the potential to change dynamics in the device market. My aim is to make low-volume manufacture of ‘long-tail hardware’ more accessible, enabling a wider variety of products. Ultimately, I believe this will drive innovation and increase customer choice.

Bio: Steve Hodges is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft where he combines device-related research insights with emerging technologies to create new hardware concepts, tools, and technologies. By seeding adoption of these beyond the lab, he ultimately aims to demonstrate new ways in which technology can empower individuals, organizations, and communities. Examples of his work include Azure Sphere, BBC micro:bit, Sensecam, .NET Gadgeteer, the EPC, and software-defined batteries.

Making USB Accessible: Developing Ultra-low-cost, Open USB Tools

Talk by Kate Temkin & Mikaela Szekely | @ktemkin & @Qyriad | Sunday 1:30-2:30 PM @ Mediatheque

Working with USB designs is often more difficult than it should be. Whether creating USB hardware/software, reverse engineering a USB protocol, or experimenting with USB, engineers and enthusiasts are all too often stymied by the state of USB tooling - existing USB tools are often limited, expensive, and difficult to use. We introduce a new collection of fully-open-source USB hardware and software tools geared towards making USB accessible. We’ll share the techniques we’ve used in developing an ultra-low-cost, open-hardware, high-speed USB analyzer; demonstrate the analysis software we’ve developed, and describe how our software and hardware integrate with the broader open hardware USB community (including projects like OpenVizsla). We also discuss some of the related open software, open gateware, and open hardware projects, including tools developed both by us and by other members of the community. Join us!

Bios: Kate Temkin leads the software development team at Great Scott Gadgets. Kate is a seasoned USB researcher, and maintains a variety of open source hardware and software tools, including FaceDancer and GreatFET, and has discovered a number of well-known USB vulnerabilities, including CVE-2018-6242, which famously allowed full exploitation of the Nintendo Switch. When not researching hardware security herself, her passions include making hardware and reverse engineering more accessible to everyone who wants to learn. Kate has given talks and keynotes at venues including 34C3, Hardwear.io, ShmooCon, ToorCon, TROOPERS, and many more. She also has authored full curricula for several university-level engineering courses, and routinely gives trainings on USB security.

Mikaela Szekely is an open source software and hardware enthusiast with a long-standing interest in USB, embedded systems, and the (ab)use of arbitrary code execution vulnerabilities on video game consoles. At the confluence of these interests, she maintains fusée-launcher, an open source USB exploit tool and firmware loader for the Nintendo Switch. When not maintaining her own tools, Mikaela contributes to a variety of open source projects, makes truly terrible puns, and hones her computer science skills in scenic Colorado.

Measuring Embedded Machine Learning

Talk by Alasdair Allan | @aallan | Saturday 2:30-3:30 PM @ Mediatheque

While machine learning is traditionally associated with heavy-duty, power-hungry processors, the future of machine learning is on the edge and on small, embedded devices that can run for a year or more on a single coin cell battery. Deep learning can be very energy-efficient, and allows us to makes sense of sensor data. It can turn raw accelerometer data into information about whether a machine is working well or malfunctioning, or recognize voice commands from a microphone feed. The ability to run trained networks “at the edge” nearer the data without the cloud - or even without even a network connection - means that we can interpret sensor data in real-time, pulling signal from the data without storing potentially privacy infringing data in the cloud. This talk shows you how to use machine learning on your own problems, whether you’re using your laptop, a Raspberry Pi, or an ARM Cortex M micro-controller. It looks at the latest hardware intended to speed up machine learning inferencing on the edge, and gives benchmarks as to which platform is fastest.

Bio: Alasdair is a scientist, author, hacker, maker, and journalist. An expert on the Internet of Things and sensor systems, he’s famous for hacking hotel radios, deploying mesh networked sensors through the Moscone Center during Google I/O, and for being behind one of the first big mobile privacy scandals when, back in 2011, he revealed that Apple’s iPhone was tracking user location constantly. He has written eight books, and writes regularly for Hackster.io, Hackaday, and other outlets. A former astronomer, he also built a peer-to-peer autonomous telescope network that detected what was, at the time, the most distant object ever discovered.

Never Mind the Factory: Punk Manufacturing for a Better World

Talk by Rob Ryan-Silva | @DAI_Maker_Lab | Saturday 4-4:30 PM @ Hammer Board Room

There is a lot of talk in hardware circles about the difficult road to manufacturing. But is mass manufacturing always a prerequisite to making an impact with hardware? This talk will explore how punk rock, 3D-printed landmines, queer zines, Cambodian kids’ toys, Soviet cassette trading, and badgelife could point the way to an alternate approach to scale – an approach that could even offer a better life for people in developing countries through hardware.

Bio: Rob Ryan-Silva is an aid worker with almost 25 years of experience in international development. He runs the DAI Maker Lab, where he applies emerging tools and approaches to build hardware and capacities around building hardware in support of foreign aid projects worldwide.

Onion Routing: an Internet Where Privacy is an Option

Talk by Gaba E. | @gaba | Sunday 9-10 AM @ Mediatheque

Tor is open source software, a community, a network, and a nonprofit organization that moves its development forward. We advocate for infrastructure that allows people to communicate and use the Internet anonymously. How does Tor work? How is it related to VPNs? What are its Onion Services? Is Tor “enough” for privacy? In this talk I’m going to go through all these questions and give a short overview of which features and bugs we are working on in the next year.

Bio: Gaba is a software engineer turned project manager. She organizes projects at Tor for anti-censorship, metrics, and core teams.

Open Security Keys… Made in Italy!

Talk by Emanuele Cesena | @0x0ece | Saturday 11:30-noon @ Mediatheque

Ever wanted to make your own security key? Either the hardware from scratch or just add the functionality to your own device? Well, now you can. Solo is the first open source security key to implement the newest FIDO2 protocol for two-factor authentication or passwordless login, and you can take either its schematics or firmware to make your own. In this talk we’ll share our experiences building Solo and our other open source security keys, covering the motivations, the design, the manufacturing process, and our future roadmap. We recently moved production from China to Italy, and we’ll describe the hitches we had transitioning to a new manufacturer as well as what we gained in terms of security, trust, breadth of services, and even costs.

Bio: Emanuele is a Security Engineer at Pinterest, focused on product security, and co-founder at SoloKeys, where he makes open source hardware for secure authentication. Previously, he was co-founder and CTO at Theneeds (acquired by Shopkick), and a researcher in the security group at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy. Emanuele holds a PhD in Mathematics with a thesis in elliptic curve cryptography. His specialties are secure cloud computing and privacy, and he’s passionate about emerging technologies. His upcoming Somu project will be launching soon on Crowd Supply.


Talk by Amitabh Shrivastava | @tinkrmind | Sunday 5-5:30 PM @ Mediatheque

Programmable-Air is an open source hardware kit that allows makers to experiment with inflatable soft robots. In this talk, I will share my journey in the field of soft robotics, describe the making of Programmable-Air, and do a live demo of controlling soft robots! This talk complements the Programmable-Air Demos.

Bio: Amitabh is a master’s student at NYU’s ITP. He is a maker, physicist, embedded engineer, programmer, and machinist rolled into one. He has presented Programmable-Air as a talk at Open Hardware Summit ‘18 at MIT, as a workshop at various events at NYU, and as a demo at Maker Faire ‘18, NYC, MIT Media Lab, and Pratt Institute.

Resistor Noise in Audio: Scientific Ignorance and the Sound of Angels Dancing on the Head of a Pin

Talk by Brewster LaMacchia | https://clk.works/ | Sunday 2:30-3:30 PM @ Hammer Board Room

The audio business seems to generate no end of snake-oil pedlars with devices that violate the known laws of physics. In this session, we’ll take a look at the most basic electrical component, resistors, and see what audio measurements can tell us about them. There are some “take home” activities you can do on your computer with free software to listen for yourself the effect that noise has on music reproduction.

Bio: Brewster works with digital signal processing (DSP) in communications, industrial, and audio applications. In the 90s he helped developed one of the first tools to support graphical code generation for embedded real-time multiprocessor DSP software. More recently he has worked extensively on consumer playback for the latest 2D & 3D audio formats. As a founder of Clockworks Signal Processing, Brewster focuses on developing open source hardware for large channel count signal processing systems. Outside of electronics, he’s the public outreach coordinator for the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club and organizes events attended by hundreds of people per year to look through volunteers’ telescopes. Brewster is also leading the Learn to solder: Build a 555 Metronome workshop and giving the SignalBlox: Open Source Hardware for Multichannel Signal Processing demo.

Sound Hacking and Music Machines

Talk by Helen Leigh | @helenleigh | Friday 2:30-3:30 PM @ Mediatheque

I will talk about how music has been influenced by making and hacking. I’ll give a whistle-stop tour of some key points in music hacking history, including 1940s Musique Concrete and Daphne Oram’s work on early electronic music at the BBC. I’ll then showcase some of the strange and wonderful projects coming out of the London and Berlin music hacker scenes, including a pipe organ made of Furbies, a sound art marble run, robotic music machines and singing plants. Finally, I’ll talk about some of the projects I’ve been making over the past year, including a tiny capacitive touch circuit sculpture harp, a DIY gesture controlled wearable instrument I designed for Imogen Heap, and a percussive MIDI instrument thing.

Bio: Helen is a creative technologist, author, and maker, with a focus on playful use of new technologies. She is published by McGraw Hill and has written for Hackspace Magazine, National Geographic, and Intel. Helen developed a Design, Coding, and Electronics Course for the Royal Court of Oman and lectures on electronics, physical computing, and music technology in London. Helen is from Wales, lives in Berlin, and is often found in London or Chicago. You can say hello, ask questions, or show off your DIY electronics on Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube.

Supercharge Your Hardware (Old and New) with CircuitPython

Talk by Scott Shawcroft | @tannewt | Sunday 10:30-11 AM @ Mediatheque

CircuitPython makes programming hardware easier than ever by bringing the popular Python language to modern, inexpensive 32-bit microcontrollers. This doesn’t need to be limited to modern hardware though. By pairing a modern microcontroller running CircuitPython and a vintage computer, such as a GameBoy or Yamaha piano keyboard, you can unlock the unique characteristics of these vintage devices. In this talk, you’ll learn the basics of how CircuitPython makes coding easy, how it works under the hood, and how to extend CircuitPython with C. As an example, we’ll supercharge a Nintendo GameBoy with CircuitPython. By the end of the talk, you’ll be able to supercharge your own hardware project with CircuitPython.

Bio: Scott is the project lead for CircuitPython and is sponsored by Adafruit Industries, an open source electronics company. After a number of years at Google working in the cloud, Scott left to learn about electronics on his own. He began freelancing a year later for Adafruit on what became CircuitPython. Now, CircuitPython ships on thousands of electronics every month, introducing new coders to Python on hardware. Scott’s hobby is bringing CircuitPython to as many devices as possible, including those he finds at thrift stores such as GameBoys and Yamaha Keyboards.

Tiny Blimp! (How to Work on a Project for an Hour at a Time for Two Years)

Talk by Sophi Kravitz | @sophikravitz | Saturday 10:30-11 AM @ Mediatheque

Building a thing that flies is complicated. There are already plenty of challenges in designing something small where the batteries need to last. Adding in communications systems that need to… communicate creates a whole new level of stress. And plopping weight constraints, helium shortages, and aerodynamic controls on top takes toy blimp design to a whole new level. Fun!

Bio: Sophi Kravitz is an art-engineer who has designed control systems for room-sized process equipment, robotics large and small, and crazy art installations, and built props and FX for movies in a past career (if it was a bleeding body part on TV in the 90s, she may have made it). She’s currently working on a project that contains linkages, a quantified-self object, and some blinky because all the things are better with LEDs.

Wearable Tech: Designing for the Human Body

Talk by Sophy Wong | @sophywong | Sunday 11-11:30 AM @ Mediatheque

I design DIY wearable tech projects. From game controllers to LED cosplay, I love the challenge of designing tech for the human body. Let’s look at best practices, tips, and tricks for designing and building wearable hardware!

Bio: Sophy is a designer and maker whose projects range from period costumes to Arduino-driven wearable tech. Her work has been featured in Make: Magazine and Tested.com, and she writes tutorials for HackSpace Magazine and Adafruit. Sophy has spoken on wearable tech and design at Maker Faire Bay Area, Maker Faire New York, Seattle Mini Maker Faire, GeekGirlCon in Seattle, and Microsoft. Sophy documents her work at SophyWong.com and YouTube. Her new book, Wearable Tech Projects, is available from Raspberry Pi Press.


Arduino Debugging | Sponsored by Microchip

Workshop by Bob Martin | https://www.microchip.com/ | Sunday 10-noon & 2:30-5:30 PM @ Room 510

Workshop participants receive an ATmega328P Xplained Mini evaluation kit which can emulate an Arduino Nano. We’ll go through the process of programming the board to look like an Arduino Nano, upload a sketch, and then proceed to import a sketch into Atmel Studio for source-level debugging. I cover the aspects of how Arduino turns AVR devices into Arduino-bootloader-ready devices and basic AVR GPIO operation. Prerequisites are Windows 7 or 10 OS (multi-OS support in MPLAB X arriving later this year), Atmel Studio (latest version) installed, and latest version (>= 1.8.1) of Arduino IDE installed (do not install the one from the Windows App Store but use the actual native installer). This workshop will have two sessions covering the same material.

Bio: Bob (a.k.a. Wizard of Make) is a Senior Staff Engineer at Microchip.

Fomu: Python, RISC-V, and FPGA

Workshop by Sean Cross | @xobs | Sunday 10-noon @ MTC Classroom

Fomu is an FPGA that fits inside your USB port and has an entirely open source toolchain. We’ll use Fomu to explore embedded Python, RISC-V soft cores, and bare-metal FPGAs. An adventure down the stack. We’ll blink an LED in three different ways. Or possibly do something else.

Bio: Sean has worked on open hardware projects for quite some time, ranging from the Novena open source laptop to the more recent Fomu FPGA-in-your-USB port project.

Getting Started with PocketBeagle®: Hands-on Coding

Workshop by Jason Kridner | @Jadon | Saturday 2:30-5:30 PM @ MTC Classroom

PocketBeagle® from BeagleBoard.org® is a low-cost, tiny 1 GHz Linux computer you can use to build anything from home automation systems to robots. Its tiny size and ease of connecting peripherals and wireless communications makes it perfect for IoT/IIoT applications. Attend this PocketBeagle® workshop to learn the basics of coding with open source, Linux-based software using the online Cloud9 IDE. Add sensors and outputs, from add-on boards to circuits, and try your hand at your own design. Bring your own laptop and pair up with a partner to enjoy developing with easy-to-use hardware, software, and sensors.

Bio: Jason Kridner is a founder of the BeagleBoard.org® Foundation, a US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing education in and collaboration around the design and use of open source software and hardware in embedded computing for over 10 years. A 25-year veteran of Texas Instruments, he is a software architecture manager and has been a featured keynote speaker at many Maker Faires and industry and educational conferences.

Getting Started with XTRX Software-Defined Radio

Workshop by Sergey Kostanbaev | @fairwaves | Saturday 2:30-5:30 PM @ Room 510

XTRX is a small, embeddable SDR in a miniPCIe form factor. From HAM radio projects to LTE base stations, with XTRX, you can prototype and go to production with the same board. We’ll go through what you can do with the XTRX, how to build software, how to setup your dev environment, and some fun demos and examples.

Bio: Programming and HAM hardware projects were Sergey’s childhood hobbies, using an 80286 and building a lot of AM receivers from scratch. Sergey graduated from Moscow Engineering Physics Institute in applied mathematics and later got a PhD in that area. He leads XTRX development at Fairwaves.

iCEBreaker FPGA

Workshop by Piotr Esden-Tempski | @esden | Saturday 10-noon @ MTC Classroom

A hands-on crash-course in Verilog and FPGAs in general. It is self-guided and self-paced. Instructors and assistants are here to answer questions, not drone on with text-laden slides. This workshop uses all open source hardware and software. Thanks to sponsorship from Lattice Semiconductor, a limited number of participants will walk away with their own iCEBreaker FPGA dev board. This workshop complements the iCEBreaker FPGA LED Cubes and Panels installation.

Bio: Piotr Esden-Tempski is co-owner of 1BitSquared, where he designs, maintains, and manufactures 1BitSquared’s products. He has a graduate degree in computer science from the Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences in Germany. He has designed and built open hardware and contributed to open source projects since he was in high school.

Learn to Solder: Build a 555 Metronome | Sponsored by Mouser

Workshop by Brewster LaMacchia | https://clk.works/ | Friday 3:30-5:30 PM & Saturday 10-noon @ MTC Lab

Audio Builders Workshop (ABW), a working group of the Boston section of the Audio Engineering Society, created these kits as a way for people new to DIY audio projects to gain some experience and help them tackle more advanced projects. Even if you’ve never touched a soldering iron before or can’t tell a resistor from a capacitor, this session will be perfect for you to build a working audio project. If you’re an experienced builder looking for an easy way to host STEM events, ABW also created a Host Guide to help you plan and run an event with the kits, which will be available from Crowd Supply at a reduced price when ordered in quantity. Come to this session to see how much fun it is for everyone and develop ideas to incorporate the learn to solder materials into your own events. This workshop will have two sessions covering the same material.

Bio: Brewster is also giving the SignalBlox: Open Source Hardware for Multichannel Signal Processing demo and giving the Resistor Noise in Audio: Scientific Ignorance and the Sound of Angels Dancing on the Head of a Pin talk, the description of which has more biographical information.

Qwiic NFCPROM Badge | Sponsored by Royal Circuits

Workshop by Greg Steiert | @fpgahelper | Friday 3:30-5:30 PM @ MTC Classroom

Your Teardown 2019 name badge will never run out of batteries, because it doesn’t have any. However, it does have a programmable ROM accessible and powered via your phone’s NFC reader. In this workshop, you’ll learn the basics of NFC, how to read from and write to your badge, and what secrets your badge holds.

Bio: Greg designed the name badges for Teardown 2019! He’s an engineer with a broad background who works at Lattice Semiconductor.

RF Primer and Intro to IoT Antenna Design | Sponsored by Molex

Workshop by Matt McWhinney | @MolexConnectors | Friday 3:30-5:30 PM & Sunday 10-noon @ Hammer Board Room

We will review RF basics (frequencies, protocols, antenna types) and then spend time discussing best practices of how to design antennas into your IoT device. We will cover both SMT and cabled antennas. By joining us, you will become much more aware of what you need to do to ensure optimal antenna performance in your system. This workshop will have two sessions covering the same material.

Bio: Matt is an electrical engineer and works at Molex as a business development manager in the antenna business unit. Matt works with system designers to help them make smart RF design choices and also translate specific customer and market needs into new and custom products. Prior to working at Molex, Matt worked at Littelfuse and Eaton, doing the same thing in automotive and commercial vehicle electronics.

Soldering the CircuitPython on the nRF52840

Workshop by Thomas Hudson | @hydronics1 | Sunday 2:30-5:30 PM @ MTC Lab

In three hours, we’ll solder a mostly bare PCB with parts that will allow us to program the nRF52840 ARM Cortex M4 with CircuitPython. Once done soldering, the module shows up as a flash drive on your PC with all the practice scripts. Check out the nRF52840 reference PCB layout, CircuitPython sample class outline, and full soldering and Web BLE tutorial.

Bio: Thomas is a mechatronics engineer in Portland, Oregon, where he builds exhibits at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), teaches electronics tinkering at Portland Community College (PCC), builds research devices for the honeybees, and participates in DorkbotPDX.

Using LimeNET Micro as a GSM Base Station and Spectrum Scanner | Sponsored by Lime Microsystems

Workshop by Danny Webster | @LimeMicro | Friday 3:30-5:30 PM & Saturday 10-noon @ Room 510

We’ll have 20 LimeNET Micro boards on hand for participants to learn how to set up a GSM base station and spectrum scanner. This workshop complements the Lime Software-Defined Radio Showcase of demos and the Democratizing Wireless Networks talk.

Bio: Danny is an engineer at Lime Microsystems, a cutting-edge fabless semiconductor company specializing in top-of-the-line field-programmable radio frequency (FPRF) transceivers.

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