Open source hardware and the web


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Open source hardware is a term slowly working its way into many new projects and efforts, but what is it? There are a few definitions, some of which come from “open source software,” which is usually considered software’s “source code under a license (or arrangement such as the public domain) that permits users to study, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified form.” So how does this translate to hardware? This session will focus on electronic hardware, the layers they can be divided into, different document types, licensing concerns, and a show-and-tell of hardware. Because of the openness of the movement it is increasingly being tied to Web 2.0 services.

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  • Open source hardware and the web

    1. Open Source Hardware ...and the web Definitions, licensing, challenges, debates and how the web is used to “make things”... Limor Fried & Phillip Torrone
    2. I see no social imperative for free hardware designs like the imperative for free software. Freedom to copy software is an important right because it is easy now--any computer user can do it. Freedom to copy hardware is not as important, because copying hardware is hard to do. On "Free Hardware" Richard Stallman - Linux Today, 1999
    3. What is Open source hardware?
    4. There are a few definitions, some of which come from "open source software," which is usually considered software's "source code under a license (or arrangement such as the public domain) that permits users to study, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified form." So how does this translate to hardware? Electronic hardware can be divided up into layers, each of which could have different document types and licensing concerns.
    5. It’s a “6” layer burrito
    6. Hardware / Mechanical Diagrams Dimensions for enclosures, mechanical subsystems, etc. For 2D models, preferred document type is vector graphics file, with dimension prints, DXF, or AI, etc. Materials. RepRap - motor drive screw block, open source 3D printer.
    7. Schematics & Circuit Diagrams Symbolic diagrams of electronic circuitry, includes parts list (sometimes inclusively). Preferred document type is any sort of image (PDF, BMP, GIF, PNG, etc). Often paired with matching layout diagram. Chumby - Power supply, open source beanbag computer.
    8. Parts List (BOM) What parts are used, where to get them, part numbers, etc. Ideally - have data sheets, generic, easy to get, notes and specifications. No fucking NDAs please. Standard format is a text file, BOM (bill of materials). Often included with or part of the Parts list from the open source Roland 303 MIDI synth schematic. clone, the x0xb0x.
    9. Parts lists from the open source embedded Asterisk IP PBX
    10. Layout Diagrams Diagrams of the physical layout of electronic circuitry, including the placement of parts, the PCB copper prints, and a drill file. This is often paired with a schematic. Preferred distribution is Gerber RS274x and Excellon (for drills). These are like PostScript for printers but the primitives aren't text and arcs, they're lines of solder and components. Make: Daisy - Open source MP3 player.
    11. Core/Firmware The source code runs on a microcontroller/microprocessor often in C, Assembly. In some cases, the code may be the design of the chip hardware itself (in VHDL/Verilog/RTL, etc...). Preferred distribution: text file with source code in it, as well as compiled 'binary' for the chip. Language and architecture is irrelevant. Open core 8080 compatible CPU code snippet from executing the 8080 instruction set.
    12. Software/API The source code that communicates or is used with the electronics from a computer (if applicable). Any drivers necessary for the chipset. Preferred format is source code and binaries. We don’t think tools count. Arduino IDE
    13. BugLabs - Eclipse IDE
    14. Licensing Because hardware is mostly based on patents, not copyright, different licenses may be better. Creative Commons, GPL / LGPL, BSD, MIT Chumby HDK License (3/07) The TAPR Open Hardware License (2/07, not used?)
    15. Adafruit uses...
    16. Evil Mad Scientists uses... Copyright... Attribution-Share Alike 3.0: GPL: GNU Free Documentation License GNU_Free_Documentation_License Circuit board was design - in gEDA PCB:
    17. Arduino... CC’ed with trademarked name Is Arduino open-source? Yes. The source code for the Java environment is released under the GPL, the C/C++ microcontroller libraries under the LGPL, and the schematics and CAD files under Creative Commons Attribution Share- Alike licenses. I want to design my own board; what should I do? The reference designs for the Arduino boards are available from the hardware page. They're licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license, so you are free to use and adapt them for your own needs without asking permission or paying a fee. If you're looking to make something of interest to the community, we'd encourage you to discuss your ideas on the hardware development forum so that potential users can offer suggestions. What should I call my boards? If you're making your own board, come up with your own name! This will allow people identify you with your products and help you to build a brand. Be creative: try to suggest what people might use the board for, or emphasize the form factor, or just pick a random word that sounds cool. "Arduino" is a trademark of Arduino team and should not be used for unofficial variants. If you're interested in having your design included in the official Arduino product line, please see the So you want to make an Arduino document and contact the Arduino team. Note that while we don't attempt to restrict uses of the "duino" suffix, its use causes the Italians on the team to cringe (apparently it sounds terrible); you might want to avoid it.
    18. DIY Drones Code License: Apache License 2.0 Content License: Creative Commons 3.0 BY-SA ArduPilot is a full-featured autopilot based on the Arduino open-source hardware platform. It uses infrared (thermopile) sensors for stabilization and GPS for navigation. The hardware is available from Sparkfun for $24.95. The software comes in two varieties: 1.0 (navigation- only, requires a third-party stabilization system) and 2.0 (navigation and stabilization integrated into one). Both require the free Arduino IDE to edit and upload the code to the Ardupilot board.
    19. TAPR Open Hardware License ("OHL") “The TAPR Open Hardware License ("OHL") provides a framework for hardware projects that is similar to the one used for Open Source software. This isn't as straight-forward as it seems because legal concepts that work well for software (such as copyright and copyleft) don't neatly fit when dealing with hardware products and the documentation used to create them”. TAPR = “Tucson Amateur Packet Radio” - they no longer has any direct connections with Tuscon, Arizona.
    20. Does anyone use TAPR? We’re not sure... But we get asked a lot... In a recent email with TAPR - John w9DDD wrote... “All TAPR projects were pretty much designed prior to the writing of the OHL document. HPSDR projects which TAPR supports by making them available as kits or A&T units were done originally under the NCL (non- commercial). Recently the [discontinued] Penelope project was released to OHL.”
    21. Chumby HDK License Agreement "Chumby HDK" means the schematics, mask works, flat patterns, and specifications for the Chumby Device provided by Chumby under this Agreement. Chumby grants you a license to use the Chumby HDK to hack your Chumby Device. In return, we ask that you: keep the Chumby Service on an even playing field with any other service you want to point your Chumby Device to; grant us a license related to your modifications and derivatives, when and if you make them available to others; and agree to the other terms... 3.2 License to Modified Devices. You retain your ownership rights in your innovations. If you publish, distribute, or otherwise make available any Modified Device or any related descriptions or specifications, you hereby automatically grant to Chumby a non-exclusive, transferable, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, and worldwide right and license under all Intellectual Property Rights to use, reproduce, modify, create derivative works of, and distribute and to make, have made, use, import, offer to sell and sell, and otherwise exploit such Modified Devices and any modifications, improvements, or enhancements they embody.
    22. (Some) Business models Arduino - Assembled dev boards (100k units), resellers / direct Chumby - Direct to customer (VC funded) BugLabs - Direct to customer (VC funded) BeagleBoard - DigiKey & TI sponsored (one to watch) Makerbot / RepRap / Fab@Home - 3rd party sells kits (VC funded) Rowetel - 3rd party manufacturing DIY Drones - 3rd party manufacturing Adafruit - kits, direct to customer/wholesale/rev share Evil Mad Scientist laboratories - kits, direct to customer/wholesale MAKE - Halo / reselling kits, some dev funding... SparkFun - Halo / Ecosystem + rev share
    23. Where is the web in all this?
    24. Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP
    25. - VPS ($80 plan)
    26. &
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    30. &
    46. Sample CPM for online videos (MAKE) - 30 days... $268 (1,579,108 views) = $0.16 cpm YouTube: $327.88 (488,020 views) = $0.67 cpm Metacafe: $122.04 (24,407 views) = $4.99 cpm Revver: $566.35 (91,108 views) = $6.21 cpm Selling the SIM card reader kit: 200 kits @ $17 = $3,400 (33,000 views first week) = $103.03 cpm Currently 148K views...
    47. Sample CPM for online videos (MAKE) - 30 days... $268 (1,579,108 views) = $0.16 cpm YouTube: $327.88 (488,020 views) = $0.67 cpm Metacafe: $122.04 (24,407 views) = $4.99 cpm Revver: $566.35 (91,108 views) = $6.21 cpm Selling the SIM card reader kit: 200 kits @ $17 = $3,400 (33,000 views first week) = $103.03 cpm Currently 148K views...
    49. /
    50. /
    54. Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP
    55. / (free stuff + pick ups)