Great Scott Gadgets

open source tools for innovative people


Free Stuff, April 2019

More students! The TARDIS Team from Sapienza University of Rome, Italy was selected for the [REXUS/BEXUS] (http://rexusbexus.net/) program. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA), in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), jointly allow students from universities and higher education colleges across Europe to carry out scientific and technological experiments on research rockets and balloons.

Their experiment, named TARDIS (Tracking and Attitude Radio-based Determination in Stratosphere), will be launched on a balloon in October from Kiruna (Sweden), reaching 30 km of altitude. The experiment’s main objectives are to determine the position and the attitude of the balloon by digital processing of VOR navigation system signals.

And, yes, their acronym, [TARDIS] (https://tardis.s5lab.space/), may have influenced our choice this month!


Free Stuff, March 2019

More students got free stuff in March. The University of Split - Flow Design Team makes autonomous drones and will use their new HackRF One to improve their score in competitions. They will be competing in the [AUVSI SUAS] (http://www.auvsi-suas.org/) again this year. They won the Most Stubborn Team Award last year!


Free Stuff, February 2019

HHSec received an Ubertooth One as the Free Stuff recipients for February. They are a group of students from the Hague University of Applied Sciences and plan to use it in their IoT research. They look like an enterprising team and we are happy to encourage them.


Free Stuff, January 2019

January was a strange month for the freestuff mailbox. We had some pranksters and people who never replied, so we didn’t send anything. Instead, we are going to reopen January for submissions. Starting… now!

If you’d like to be considered to receive free hardware from Great Scott Gadgets, please visit the Free Stuff page and send us a message with lots of details about your project. We have a GreatFET One just dying to escape the lab!


Free Stuff, December 2018

In December, we sent a HackRF One to Jærgruppen av NRRL Norsk Radio Relae Liga, an amateur radio group in southwest Norway. They run radio courses every year and work with their local scouting groups. They hope to use their new HackRF in this year’s JOTA (Jamboree on the Air).


GreatFET One Has Arrived

It’s happenning! We started shipping GreatFET One to resellers last week, which means that very soon (probably even today) it will be available for you to order online from your favorite reseller of Great Scott Gadgets products. Hint: if your shop of choice doesn’t carry it yet, let them know you’re interested!

It was January of 2016 when Mike Ossmann gave his firetalk at Shmoocon titled GreatFET: A Preview, in which he explained how he bought the GoodFET project from Travis Goodspeed in a Las Vegas bar for $5. That was the beginning of the project that came to be known (humorously, at first) as GreatFET. At that time, GreatFET One was known as Azalea, and was still in the development stage. Three years and countless hours of engineering, development, and manufacturing effort later, we have completed the first production run.

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GreatFET One is a general purpose (and like all of our tools, open source) USB peripheral. When we say it’s general purpose, we mean that there are a whole lot of interesting things a hardware hacker, or maker, or tinkerer can customize it to do, especially through the addition of add-on boards called neighbors. But you don’t need to add anything on to start using this versatile this tool; there is plenty of USB hackery to be accomplished with GreatFET One on its own. Check out what Kate Temkin has been up to over the last year or so!

Very soon, we will also start offering a clear acrylic case and Daffodil, a solderless breadboard neighbour. To learn more about the GreatFET project and to see which resellers are already stocking GreatFET One, visit the GreatFET One product page.


Goodbye, Dominic

Just over ten years ago I sent my first email to Dominic Spill:

“We haven’t met, Dominic, but I hope you don’t mind being included on this message. I thought you two might be interested in some work I finally got around to writing up. . .”

I had been exploring the use of software-defined radio for Bluetooth monitoring and had found Dominic’s paper on the subject. He and I quickly began collaborating on the development of tools and techniques that improved upon the methods in his paper. Just three months later, we presented Building an All-Channel Bluetooth Monitor at ShmooCon 2009.

We met in person for the first time the day before our talk at ShmooCon, and we have been friends and research partners ever since.

Over the next two years I learned electronics and designed Ubertooth One, a low cost test tool that implemented some of the techniques Dominic and I had developed. Ultimately this me led to create Great Scott Gadgets as a way to put such tools into the hands of innovative people around the world.

When Great Scott Gadgets began to become too much work for me alone, Dominic was the first person I turned to for help. He took over development and support for the Ubertooth project as a remote contractor while I turned my attention to developing new tools and growing the company.

Eventually Dominic moved to the United States and joined the GSG team in Colorado as a full-time employee. He played a key role in research and development, provided technical support for our resellers and end users, led our software development efforts, mentored interns, kept our internal IT systems up and running, and even cleaned the refrigerator. His humor, creativity, and patience have been felt by every member of the team.

For ten years Dominic and I have continued collaborating on research and developing new tools. I’ve lost count of the number of conference presentations we’ve given together and of how many times one of us has turned to the other and said, “Here’s a crazy idea. . .”

Yesterday was Dominic’s last day at Great Scott Gadgets. Having decided that he needed a change, he will pursue new adventures.

We will miss Dominic greatly. He will always be a part of the GSG family.


Free Stuff, October 2018

The Free Stuff recipient for October is the Wave Farm. Wave Farm is a non-profit arts organization driven by experimentation with broadcast media and the airwaves. Wave Farm programs provide access to transmission technologies and support artists and organizations that engage with media as an art form. The Wave Farm Artist Residency Program is located on 29 bucolic acres in New York’s Upper Hudson Valley and supports new transmission art work by visiting artists from around the globe. Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM is a full-power non-commercial FM radio station committed to radio as a platform for community engagement and artistic experimentation. They do some really interesting stuff - their pond has its own station! Check them out! wavefarm.org


Free Stuff, September 2018

Bridgewire Makerspace in Sparks, Nevada asked for a HackRF One to use in the Hamshack/wireless research station they are putting together in their electronics shop. Their space is open around the clock for members to create, learn and share. They are a member-funded and -run 501c3 organization that provides a space for working on projects and sharing ideas and knowledge. Check out their website here: bridgewire.org

If you’d like to submit your project idea for consideration to receive free hardware from Great Scott Gadgets, please visit the Free Stuff page and send us a message!


Free Stuff, August 2018

Matthias Carneiro is a PhD student in Montpellier, France. He asked for a HackRF One to use in his research on SDR implementation in nanosatellite constellations. When he completes his PhD, he is going to donate the HackRF One to the university for the use of other students.


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