Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS
For those interested, there is now a transcript available for episode 125.
Welcome, Ian from Dangerous Prototypes!
- Ian created the Bus Pirate and was later convinced to start selling it while he was a contributor to Hack a Day.
- It and all the other Dangerous Prototypes parts are sold through Seeed Studio, in Shenzhen China.
- All Dangerous Prototypes hardware is OSHW and is not released under a license. They consider it to be public domain.
- Ian got re-started on hardware while in grad school working on Berkeley Smartdust (with TinyOS), which was not user friendly at the time.
- These days Ian has been travelling to many of the Maker Faires around the world and showcasing the marketplaces and the hackerspaces nearby on YouTube.
- He recently interviewed Mitch from Hackvana about navigating the Shenzhen supply chain:
- Ian has a made presentation about how to get your open hardware manufactured, based on a talk given at Maker Faires and elsewhere
- The PIC24 has programmable pins for reassignment after layout. Convenient!
- The Bus Blaster is a product that allows you to debug your JTAG chain.
- The ATX power supply breakout board turns your old computer supplies into a low cost bench supply!
- If you’d like to get a case for your designs, you can now use the Dangerous Prototypes standardized “Sick of Beige” Case, based on their standardized board outlines.
- There is work done for the open source USB stack, since USB stacks have a sketchy history
- The 7400 Series Logic competition was a success this year, but may be put on hold for a while. Next year might be a test equipment design competition!
Thanks again to Ian for stopping by the show! If you’re interested in learning more about the company or contributing, stop over to Dangerous Prototypes. You can possibly even pick up a free PCB!
Did Ian really say that he is using just one MAC address for all products? Or he just uses the same one in the source code?
For one project, the #Twatch, I read the MAC out of a 24LC0048 (??) EEPROM with MAC and used it in all devices. This works great as long as you only need one per router on you network. Actually, most smart modern routers don’t even get upset by multiple identical MACs, but it’s not the best practice for sure.
There are a few alternatives. One is to use a MAC EEPROM on all boards, this would have been obvious choice but A. chip was not yet available before production, and B. I realized the issue too late in the process. The other option is to buy a MAC range and then use a production programmer to insert a unique MAC into the firmware at programming – every element of this solution is way out of my price range 🙂
Moronic? Absolutely! I totally own that ignorance 🙂 It was the second device I was involved in manufacturing and there was (as still is!) a lot to learn.
It is people like Ian and dangerous prototypes that are responsible for igniting a passion to learn electronics within me. The online community is perhaps the greatest asset to my education. I just want to say thank you to Ian and to Chris & Dave for contributing this interview and so much else to all of us who may be isolated from other hardware hackers & engineers.
Best wishes & keep your Iron hot!
covered in flux,
You must have misunderstood. All of the Dangerous Prototypes hardware I’ve ever seen have been released under licenses, and not in the public domain as defined by US copyright law. I have two projects in front of me to quickly reference. The Bus Pirate v4.0 is under the libre CC-BY-SA license. The Open Bench Logic Sniffer v1.04 is under the non-libre CC-BY-SA-NC license.
Okay, so now digging into the podcast, it sounds like Ian has switched over to “public domain” for some of his newer stuff including breakout boards. The only reason I would say raw public domain isn’t the best is that most people don’t want to be held liable for their stuff not working and want to disclaim all warantees. “This work is provided as-is…” It looks like the libre CC0 license is what he really uses, which includes such a clause, as well as internationalizes the somewhat US-specific public domain , as I understand it.
Beat me to it 🙂 Yes, it is Creative Commons Zero which disclaims liability and warranty, and provides a legal framework for countries like Germany that don’t recognize ‘public domain’ as we use it in the US.
Old projects can be re-released CC-0 too, it’s just that we generally only move on it during a revision or with a specific request. I’d issue a blanket statement or something, but I think it’s safest for everyone if we actually update the licensing stated in the source and project files so there’s no misunderstandings.
The vast majority of new things, and updated revision (including the Bus Pirate) are under a public domain (creative commons zero to be exact) license. I don’t want anyone to have to hassle with licenses if they use our stuff.
There are things that have not been updated because they’re not popular or abandoned (no new revisions), or because we’re too busy playing with new prototypes to do the needed housekeeping. In some cases I have been really paranoid about using CC-0 on source that incorporates either Microchip’s MAL or sublicensed USB IDs because I’m not a lawyer and we don’t have the budget to hire one to untangle the licensing situation for us (though we are moving away from both MAL and the sublicensed USB IDs and changing licenses accordingly as we do). If you have a question about project licensing just hit us up and we’ll re-release it with the CC-0 logo etc, or explain why we’re using a tighter license.
In the case of the Logic Sniffer, it was a collaboration with the Gadget Factory a couple years ago and we both agreed to use the -NC license on it. I don’t imagine that will change.
David Robertson says
Agh! I have a project I wanted to enter in the 7400 contest but ran out of money to build it before the deadline. Was hoping I could enter it next (well, this) year, but oh well.