Free Stuff - September 2023
The September recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Erik. Erik is an Ojibwe filmmaker and artist. He has only had his amateur radio license for a short while but he is already assisting in running community demonstrations on how amateur radio can help in emergency situations. We are sending Erik a HackRF One so he can build a mobile training station and take his emergency preparedness demonstrations on the road to Native communities. As an avid camper and road tripper, Erik is also excited to eventually take his demonstrations into wilderness settings and rural communities. We look forward to seeing Erik’s mobile training station and getting updates on where he has taken it.
Free Stuff - August 2023
The August recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is The Factory, a student-run hardware design lab at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. The Factory aims to give students access to advanced tools for their hardware projects, space to work on their projects, and support in developing technical skills.
The Factory has previously offered workshops on VIM, VHDL, C, and PC building. They also run a Hackathon called The Forge. In one instance of The Forge students formed teams and built a line tracing robot to race against the other teams. In non-event related times, students in this lab have completed projects such as an IoT system for the trash cans on the McGill campus to alert the cleaning teams when a trash can is full, custom video game controllers, and an automated watering system for plants. About 40-50 students currently frequent The Factory, and they are all passionate about electronics, hardware, and related research.
We are sending The Factory a HackRF One so their lab members can fulfill their hopes of offering workshops and creating materials on wireless systems, satellite communication, and spectrum analysis. Good luck and have fun!
Free Stuff - July 2023
The July recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Joona. Joona plans to use the YARD Stick One we are sending him to develop and test radios. He will be writing documentation and creating tutorials on his projects.
Free Stuff - June 2023
The June recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Daniel. Dan is planning to use the HackRF One we are sending him to run workshops in his school and with his amateur radio group. He will also be creating videos with his new HackRF One on his YouTube channel “Radio Dan ZL2DTL”. Please welcome Radio Dan to the software-defined radio community!
Free Stuff - May 2023
The May recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is the UCLA IEEE Wireless, RF, and Analog Project (WRAP). Participants in this club have the opportunity to learn hands-on radio engineering skills by designing, building, and testing a 2-way radio system capable of operating in the 100s of MHz. Through this project, students can learn digital and analog radio techniques like implementing filters and a mixer from discrete diodes and using coils for up/downconversion. WRAP asked for a HackRF One to aid in debugging wireless links, where they will use the HackRF One both as a modulated waveform generator for receiver testing and a real-time spectrum analyzer for transmitter and device debugging. We really look forward to seeing their end projects.
Free Stuff - April 2023
The April recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Adnane. Adnane is a software development and cybersecurity student in SoliCode School in Tangier, Morocco. He is always looking for new tools and technologies to enhance his learning and explore new avenues in the field. Adnane is planning to use his HackRF One to learn more about wireless security testing, digital signal analysis, and software-defined radio. He will share his knowledge and skills in the SoliCode Cybersecurity Club. Good luck and have fun!
Free Stuff - March 2023
The March recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Jan. Jan is the author and maintainer of RadioLib, an open-source library for embedded devices controlling various wireless radio modules like SX1276, CC1101 or RF69.
We are sending Jan a HackRF One to aid in the development of RadioLib. Until now, Jan has been doing development using an RTL dongle. The lack of TX ability, and other issues, have made the dongle a bit less than practical. We hope the HackRF One helps, and we look forward to watching this project continue to evolve!
Free Stuff - February 2023
The February recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Mihajlo. Mihajlo is a student in Serbia who will be studying Electrical Engineering in college. He plans to use the HackRF One we are sending him to teach people in his community about SDR, RF, LRPT images from NOAA, and other fun signals. Mihajlo is also an open source contributer to projects focused on providing simple scripts and instructions to set up low-cost base stations. We are proud to support Mihajlo in his projects as he gives back to his community in so many ways!
Free Stuff - January 2023
The January recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Guillermo. Guillermo is from Spain. He had a career in computer security about ten years ago before switching to another career. He’s back now and excited to use the HackRF One we are sending him to explore interesting topics like RF, Lora, Zigbee, and BLE. We are happy to support Guillermo on his journey back into computer security.
Free Stuff - December 2022
The December recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Shiva. Shiva is new to hardware and IoT. We have sent Shiva a GreatFET One so they can do some research on devices they have in their own home. We are looking forward to hearing about their results!
Free Stuff - November 2022
The November recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Alex of the CCCSBG Hackerspace. A group of people at the CCCSBG Hackerspace are making an effort to explore the protocol spoken between ancient IBM3270 terminal equipment and their controller. Alex points out that Andrew Kay has done similar work for text-only traffic , but mentions that his hackerspace wants to chip away at the graphics capabilities of the IBM 3270. We have sent Alex and CCCSBG a GreatFET One so they can sniff the traffic that is going through the NS DP8340 and NS DP8341 chips on the devices.
Free Stuff - October 2022
The October recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is M0nkeyDrag0n! M0nkeyDrag0n has requested a GreatFET One in order to explore a potential bug he found in Windows. We love supporting researchers and look forward to hearing about what M0nkeyDrag0n finds.
Free Stuff - September 2022
The September recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Brett! Brett volunteers at the Wasatch 100 in Utah. The Wasatch 100 is a 100 mile endurance run through the Wasatch National Forest. Brett is planning to use the HackRF One we are sending him to streamline the race aid station communications. We look forward to seeing the solution he comes up with.
Free Stuff - August 2022
The August recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Trevor! Trevor is working on a project called Hack365 where he is attempting to blog about one hack (or make or break or fix or learn) each day until next DEF CON. We are excited by how enthusiastic Trevor is about documentation, sharing his experiences with the community, and learning new things. One of the projects Trevor plans to take on is learning about his ceiling fan’s RF receiver, which is an excellent place to start when you are learning about RF. Trevor plans to share his progress with the DEF CON group DC612 as he progresses. We wish Trevor happy hacking and hope he continues to share what he learns so all of the community can benefit!
Free Stuff - July 2022
The July recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Manoj Kumar Mondal from India! Manoj requested a HackRF so he could take some security courses at his university; having a HackRF is a pre-requisite for the course. We look forward to hearing from Manoj as he progresses through the course!
Free Stuff - June 2022
The June recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Kyle from SkullSpace. SkullSpace is a hackerspace located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Kyle plans to put together a group of SDR and wireless enthusiasts. This group will put on classes, host labs, and lead projects that help the community learn more about SDR and wireless. If you are ever in Winnipeg on a Tuesday evening we hope you take advantage of SkullSpace’s open night and check out their hackerspace!
Free Stuff - May 2022
The May recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is C.J. who is a Broadway tour sound engineer that works backstage with wireless RF microphones. Every week the tour moves to a new location and C.J. has to re-coordinate wireless frequencies for the show. He’s hoping to use the HackRF we are sending him to improve his RF monitoring and create more precise RF layouts for the travelling shows.
Free Stuff - April 2022
The April recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Anmol, a high school student in India! Anmol learned about Great Scott Gadgets after watching Michael Ossmann’s video on complex numbers, which is part of his Software Defined Radio with HackRF training video series. Anmol is the IT president of their school and is excited to use the HackRF we will be sending them to share the world of Software Defined Radio with other students.
Free Stuff - March 2022
The March recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Katerina Autumnrain! Katerina had such an enthusiastic and detailed application to the Free Stuff Program that we just had to send her the HackRF One she requested. In her application she had this to say:
“I believe that the HackRF could enable me to open up the oft more confusing aspects of radio, particularly modulation modes like QAM and digital systems like satellites and P25/DMR. I’d also like to try and promote the higher frequencies (33cm and beyond). Once the bandwidth and frequency limitation is lifted I can more or less apply that knowledge I’d gain from those systems and make both learning experiences and some pretty neat tech for people to explore, utilize, and build themselves. I ultimately believe I could cultivate a sort of resurgence in radio geekery in my area, as it unfortunately seems to be on the downturn somewhat, and promote higher levels of curiosity.”
It’ll be really exciting to follow Katerina’s updates on her HackRF-fueled radio journey!
Free Stuff - February 2022
The February recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Matthew Hilts! Matthew is a student at the University of Dayton who will be spending his Spring semester learning about and using GNU Radio. To help enhance his studies we have sent Matthew a HackRF One. We look forward to hearing about what he learns!
Free Stuff - January 2022
The January recipient for the Great Scott Gadgets Free Stuff Program is Rüzgar Erik and the Sivas Science High School Science and Tech Club! The club has about 35 students who meet weekly to learn about various topics and develop their own projects. We will be sending this club their very own HackRF One so they can upgrade from their current SDR which they made from an old tv tuner SDR and Rüzgar Erik’s Baofeng radio.
Once they have received their HackRF One, the club will try to receive images from NOAA, find number stations, and dive into the world of RF.
Free Stuff Program Refresh
Free Stuff is a program where we at Great Scott Gadgets give free hardware to a person or group once per month. We’ve been running this program since February 2015 by having interested parties email us their free stuff requests.
Starting now, Great Scott Gadgets has a new Free Stuff Program application process where, instead of emailing us, anyone interested in getting free hardware from Great Scott Gadgets can apply using our new application link. The application link and extra details on the Free Stuff Program are available on our Free Stuff page.
Free Stuff recipients are chosen once per month out of all applications we have received over the last twelve months. We typically give out one piece of hardware free of cost, pay for shipping, and feature Free Stuff recipients on our blog. With this refresh of the Free Stuff Program we are currently at zero applications so now is the best time to apply. We look forward to seeing your applications!
Free Stuff, October 2021–December 2021
Charles, a computer science student in the UK, asked us for a HackRF One because he wants to learn about device interactivity and to search for potential vulnerablities in his own devices.
The Free Stuff recipient for November is UW Orbital, a new student design team at the University of Waterloo (Canada) with over 40 active members. They are developing a 3U CubeSat for the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC). They say, “The team is working on an imaging payload that will allow amateur SDR radio operators from around the world to request an image of their location from orbit, with the goal of attracting beginners to ham radio as a hobby and providing education in communications systems. The HackRF One will be crucial to the team’s prototyping phase to test uplinks and downlinks to the CubeSat, and could potentially even be used as the team’s ground station transceiver.”
Noah in Kentucky asked us for an Ubertooth One for his son Saul to use in an upcoming STEM night at his school. Saul wants to help other kids learn about wireless technology, so he’s planning to demonstrate something exciting.
Free Stuff, July 2021–September 2021
July’s recipient is Nick with Urban Rivers. This organization is building a floating park in the Chicago River that has been getting a lot of bird layovers. Nick wants to integrate a HackRF One into Motus Wildlife Tracking System to study migratory patterns and capture a more complete picture of avian travel.
Tandin is a person of many talents, technical and artistic, in Bhutan. They asked for an Ubertooth One for fun, experimentation, and learning.
Free Stuff, April 2021–June 2021
Eric wrote to us on behalf of the Chaffey High School (Ontario, CA) Tech Club, asking for a HackRF One. He’ll be graduating from the University of Tulsa soon and as a past president of the club, he zooms into the club’s meetings to offer help with computer science and cybersecurity topics. Now he’ll be able to help the students use a HackRF One for their own projects. They’ll also be holding workshops on RC Car Hacking, Listening to and Broadcasting AM/FM Radio Signals, and Mapping Planes with ADS-B Signals.
The Free Stuff recipient for May is João Pedro Polito, a student at the Universidade Federal de São João del Rei, Brasil. He needs a HackRF One for a ground station for nanosats and stratospheric balloons.
In June, Amy asked us for a HackRF One to explore the intersection of radio and cybersecurity. She’s studying for her CISSP certification and is the only woman in her local Amateur Radio club, so she wants to mentor and encourage others to join the community.
Free Stuff, January 2021–March 2021
The first Free Stuff recipient of 2021 is Christos Voutichtis, an artist in Gemany who asked for a HackRF One for his project, Order of Sound. He tells us, “This is an arrangement of five complex antenna receivers which make the electromagnetic waves that permanently surround us audible. This data, which we perceive as sound, is processed in a program (VVVV) that I have designed which enables the analysis to translate them into graphical elements, which are then rendered as an abstract architecture in the form of a real-time projection. The viewer enters an immersive megastructure of abstract data landscapes in a highly aestheticized, scenographic context. The visualization is created as a 3-D virtual Space and allows the participant to wander through emerging data structures.”
In February, we received a HackRF One request from Anil Karki, the president of Innovative Ghar Nepal, a non-profit for the development of innovative products and services in Nepal.‘Ghar’ in Nepali means ‘Home’and their organization is a home for students, developers, makers, technologists, and artists to gather to promote, educate, explore, create and share their skills and curiosity. They need their new HackRF One for their autonomous medical drone project.
Mike in New Jersey asked us for an early graduation present: a YARD Stick One to develop an app for use in his new job.
Free Stuff, October 2020–December 2020
Kyle Kaminky from Arvada, Colorado emailed us in October to ask for a HackRF One. He’s an EE with a young family who told us, “After becoming familiar with my HackRF One and GNU Radio, I hope to use it to begin making tutorials on wireless communications and other RF topics. I picture a series of follow-on classes to Michael Ossmann’s DSP course. I would also enjoy getting enough experience and expertise to be able to write my own GNU Radio blocks and post them online for others to use to aid in their SDR projects. Ultimately I want to get others excited and informed about SDRs and the awesome things they can do.” He also told us to hold him accountable, so let’s have an update, Kyle.
For November, we sent a handful of Throwing Star LAN Tap Kits to Bobby Dominguez in New Mexico because he wants to learn about networking and soldering.
James is a teenager in Australia who is really interested in experimenting with RF and hacking embedded devices, so we sent him a YARD Stick One.
Free Stuff, July 2020–September 2020
Anna from South Carolina had a lame quarantined birthday in July, so we sent her a present- a GreatFET One. She recently started taking cybersecurity classes and wants to learn about hardware hacking.
Ed from the Suffolk County (NY) Radio Club wrote to us in August to ask for free stuff for learning activities with their new members, mainly scouts and their parents. We sent a bunch of Throwing Star LAN Tap Kits, and hopefully they’ll be able to get together to use them soon.
Axell Macclawd is a security researcher in Brazil. He requested a HackRF One for his project developing open source equipment and techniques to fight cargo theft and protect drivers, a large problem in Brazil. Drivers are held hostage and sometimes killed by thieves who use jammers to thwart the transportation companies’ GPS and GSM trackers. Axell’s goal is to prevent more loss of life.
Free Stuff, April 2020–June 2020
Dave Ferguson of the Woodinville (WA) Emergency Communications Team asked us for a HackRF One in April. This volunteer ARES group is turning a donated fire department aid truck into a mobile communications center that will service local public events (runs, bike rides, etc.) as well as provide essential communications via ham radio during emergencies. Their new HackRF One will allow them to watch communications across the entire spectrum and to potentially automate their systems.
We sent a couple of YARD Stick Ones to the MCH2021 Badge Team. We can’t say any more than that, other than they are planning to make something really cool. And we sure are looking forward to 2021 and in-person hacker camps!
Tim Fogle had some Good Ideas in June, so we sent him a GreatFET One. He wants to build a neighbor for CTF challenges.
Free Stuff, January 2020–March 2020
The Free Stuff recipient for January was Gabriel Sheeley, who runs an electrical engineering/embedded software meetup in Columbus, Ohio. They do do everything from soldering workshops, to tearing apart smart TVs, to automating chicken coops to keep out raccoons. Gabriel asked for a YARD Stick One to use in a talk about RF hacking, and now that the meetup is remote, the group will have to take turns with their new gadget.
We sent a HackRF One to the CU Boulder Sounding Rocket Lab Avionics Team for their ground station. They told us that they are “building an 18-foot-tall rocket from scratch (all student-built) that will leave this humble planet for a brief period of time, before drifting gracefully back to earth and our eagerly waiting hands. We intend to shatter the records for collegiate and amateur rocketry at our upcoming launch later this year. Our most up-to-date simulations project a maximum altitude of 190km and speeds topping out at Mach 7. During the entire flight we aim to maintain contact with the vehicle so we can continuously monitor its physical (and emotional) state.”
We are looking forward to attending the launch, hopefully in 2021.
In March, Luis Salha asked us for a YARD Stick One to use for RF encryption research for his current Swiss army knife project BlackBox. He says he’s been experimenting with RF capture, analysis, replay, and brute force attacks, and he hopes to learn more about key rolling/hopping and cracking keeloq encryption using readily available hardware.
Free Stuff Update, September 2019–December 2019
In September, we gave Chuck McManis a GreatFET One to experiment with. He owes us an update!
Paul wrote to us from his shed in County Kildare to ask us for a few Throwing Star LAN Tap Kits to teach his kids how to solder.
Way back in the Before Times, the organizers of the WOPR Summit 0x01 asked us to contribute a couple of GreatFET Ones for a hardware hacking booth. They planned to let attendees use the GreatFET Ones to run through some hands-on demos, then give them to the most passionate experimenters. That was a GreatPlan, but sweeping gesture. They are hoping to have a virtual event sometime in September 2020.
Daniel Valdez, a student from Mexico City, requested a YARD Stick One. He is working on the development of a communication system through a router that sends a series of packets to an embedded system in order to automate control of devices in the home. He also wants to test the security protocols in the transmission of data from the different devices connected to the router.
Daniel Valdez, un estudiante de la Cuidad de México, solicitó un YARD Stick Uno. Está trabajando en el desarrollo de un sistema de comunicación por medio de un rúter que envía una serie de paquetes a un sistema embebido para poder tener el control de una casa por medio de domótica. Él también quiere probar la seguridad para establecer los protocolos de seguridad en lo que es la trasmisión de datos de los diferentes dispositivos comunicados con el rúter.
Free Stuff, July and August 2019
Julio y August 2019
This summer we heard from two biomedical engineers. Juan Ignacio Cerrudo es nuestro receptor de julio. Él es el Jefe de Trabajos Prácticos en Laboratorio de Prototipado Electrónico y 3D en la Universidad Nacional de Entre Ríos (Argentina). He plans to use his HackRF One to assess security in medical devices and in classes to introduce students to signal processing.
Roy Morris with Gift of Life International asked us for a HackRF One in August. Roy travels throughout the developing world helping children with congenital heart defects receive the medical care they need. He’s going to use the HackRF One to troubleshoot the aging telemetry systems that send medical data to patient monitors.
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.
Free Stuff, May and June 2019
We sent a bunch of Throwing Star LAN Tap Kits to a high school in California in May. The computer science department will use them in several classes.
Brooklyn Research is an interdisciplinary creative space focused on technological innovation. They provide a platform for established artists, technologists, and researchers to foster engaging discourse and experimentation. One of their groups is going to use their new HackRF One to experiment with finding a way to translate satellite signals to G-Code for a printer which will deposit nutritional paste for a slime mold culture. That slime mold culture will be a pretty artifact/visualization of the satellite signal as it grows and expands based on where the nutrients have been deposited. The shape of the slime mold growth then may be used for experimenting with new antenna shapes.
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).
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.
Free Stuff, June and July 2018
El destinario de Cosas Gratis para junio es Gabriel Martín Miguel de Salamanca, España. Él quiere hacer una plataforma de radio asequible a los nuevos radioaficionados para acercarles las nuevas formas de hacer radio. Él tiene un grupo de Facebook sobre SDR para usuarios, programadores y radioficionados en español, tanto en España como en latinoamerica, aqui: facebook.com/groups
CTRL-H Hackerspace of Portland, Oregon asked us for a HackRF One. They plan to use it for SDR workshops and their Electronics Lab Radio Closet, where they'll be capturing and hosting as much data as possible through SDR. It looks like they have made some fabulous spaces for creating, learning and hanging — check them out here: pdxhs.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, May 2018
We sent Oleksandr Tytko a HackRF One. He is studying at Lyceum No 1, Chernivtsi, Ukraine. He and his classmates plan to use the HackRF One to learn about SDR and to write and test their own code. He is also very enthusiastic about starting an open source project studying the influence of radio frequencies on plants and people. He sent us a picture of the greenhouse in his local Botanic Garden where he plans to do the research:
Dan Groeneveld is an instructor at Northland Pioneer College in Show Low, Arizona. He is going to be teaching net security and pentesting courses this autumn, so we sent him some Throwing Star LAN Tap Kits. He is looking forward to teaching his students LAN Tap principles and soldering basics. We can't wait to see pictures of them in their lab.
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, April 2018
April's Free Stuff recipient is EFF (The Electronic Frontier Foundation). EFF is a nonprofit organization that defends civil liberties in the digital world.
From their website:
Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.
Andrés Arrieta, Technology Projects Manager, has asked for a HackRF One because:
At EFF we are looking how technologies impact our rights in our daily lives. Research has already shown many vulnerabilities in the standards in implementation of mobile communications and we want to continue research in this space. Understanding how 2G-4G have really been implemented not only by Telcos but also in Baseband and how users' privacy is impacted by this. Beyond that we'd like to explore the possibilities of offering more secure communications to users and the different ways this could happen.
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, March 2018
The Free Stuff recipient for March is Jan van Katwijk, a hobby programmer from the Netherlands. He plans to use his new HackRF One to finish his work on DAB software by providing a library for HackRF, then for experimenting with wideband receiving issues. His current developments include software support for ACARS and ADS-B decoding.sdfsdfdsf A full overview of his work is available here and here.
Free Stuff, January and February 2018
Drumroll, please! The free stuff recipients for January and February were:
Rushabh Vyas, who is a graduate student at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI, is receiving four LAN Tap Throwing Star kits for use in his digital escape room projects and in his cybersecurity group, TheDen.
His current forensics class is using a bomb-defusal scenario. He reports: “End goal for the forensics students is to be able to get access to Arduino code (by completing various forensics tasks such as steganalysis, data decoding, and artifact analysis), analyze the code, and be able to cut the correct colored wire for defusal in ~60 minutes.”
Check out Rushabh’s links here:
We sent a HackRF One to the University of Toronto Aerospace Team, Space Systems Division. They are a team of 40 undergraduates who are working on an open source CubeSat for carrying out microbiology experiments in space! Their first satellite, HeronMk II, is slated to launch in early 2020.
One of their team leads, Siddarth Mahendraker, tells us:
“We plan to use the HackRF to build a programmatic interface to our radio communications system, in conjunction with GNURadio. This will make it significantly easier for us to test our on-board computer systems, downlink payload data, and integrate and test additional satellite subsystems”
HERON Mk II is a 3U Cubesat designed and built by the Space Systems division of the University of Toronto Aerospace Team to perform sophisticated microbiology experiments in orbit. The organism of interest is C. Albicans, a yeast that is commonly found in the human gut flora that may undergo changes in its virulence and drug resistance when experiencing microgravity.
Here is their website:
We also gave away two HackRF Ones in February:
One went to Brian Granby, a PhD student at Liverpool John Moores University. He is doing security research, conducting a study into emerging sensors technologies; with a particular focus surrounding network security of RF connected devices. His main focus is on the potential threats of residential and commercial gas supplier technologies found in smart meters.
The other we are sending to Sudip Kar of Bangalore. He is going to use his HackRF One to introduce SDR to small village schools by helping them to set up their own weather stations that can track NOAA satellites. He is going to send us pictures after the students finish their year-end exams and start using the HackRF later this spring.
2017 Free Stuff Update
In 2017, we read a whole bunch of requests for free stuff, and we were really impressed with the many excellent submissions we received. Since our last free stuff update, we have given away 16 HackRFs and several Throwing Star LAN Tap Kits to researchers, makerspaces, amateur radio groups, and educators. The 2017 free stuff receipients included:
- Dr. Fernando Pena Campos — HackRF One for wireless communications education at the university undergraduate level
- New Hampshire Hacker's Association (NEHA) meetup — HackRF One for SDR workshops
- Reforge Charleston — Throwing Star LAN Tap Kits and a HackRF One for an education based non-profit makerspace
- Cal Poly Amateur Radio Club — HackRF One (with a Clear Acrylic Case) for the equipment shack (special thanks for the T-shirts!)
- University of Michigan Rocketry Team — HackRF One (and a Clear Acrylic Case) to help with the development and prototyping of a "from scratch" GPS receiver and other avionics systems
- Fred Pelland — HackRF for an amateur radio group
- Sebastien Mrozek, teacher at Elsa-Brändström-Schule, a secondary school in Elmshorn, Germany — HackRF One for the school's electronics lab
- Juan Moreno, professor at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid — HackRF One to help develop an SDR focused Massive Open Online Course (coming soon: https://miriadax.net/web/software-defined-radio-101-with-rtl-sdr)
- Marco Manzoni/Skyward Environmental Rocketry — HackRF One for use in the development of the RF system of a student-made rocket
- Make Riga Hackerspace — HackRF one to help this hackerspace's members accomplish interesting projects, like "aiming to reach 100km with a large model rocket + balloon (thus their own gps solution), and another member is rolling out his own gsm stack"
- Bill — HackRF One for an SDR workshop given at the New Mexico Hamfest
- Carlos Yero for Abertay University Ethical Hacking Society — HackRF One "to be available to all students working on the Ethical Hacking degree with aim to overcome fear of SDR complexities"
- Fellow open source hardware designer Manuel Domke of 13-37.org — HackRF to use as a spectrum analyzer for EMC product compliance testing
Sometimes, free stuff recipients send us pictures, like this one from Elsa-Brändström-Schule in Germany (we love it when free stuff receipients send us pictures; it increases the general level of warm fuzzies):
We'll be doing more free stuff updates shortly, so check back soon! Also, please keep the free stuff requests coming. For information about how to request free Great Scott Gadgets hardware, please visit the Free Stuff page.
Free Stuff, January–June 2016
It's been a while since we've posted, but yes, we are still giving away free stuff! Even though we can't respond to each and every email, we do read and carefully consider all of them, and we choose at least one awesome group, project, or individual each month to send some free hardware to. Here are the free stuff recipients for the first half of 2016.
ADS-B Out Open Source Project
We gave a HackRF One to developer and pilot Christopher Young, whose latest development project is an in-flight ADS-B Out transponder. ADS-B Out allows pilots to broadcast position, ground speed, and altitude to air traffic controllers and aircraft that are equipped with ADS-B In. This project benefits general aviation pilots because NextGen, the FAA's new plan to increase aviation safety, mandates that all aircraft be equipped with ADS-B Out by the year 2020. Christopher's open source design is intended give pilots a more affordable means of complying with the new requirement (ADS-B out is a piece of avionics equipment that normally costs thousands of dollars). Chris is also the creator of the stratux project, an affordable open source aviation weather and traffic receiver solution based on low-cost SDRs, so we are excited to put a HackRF into his capable hands.
Visible Light Communication Research
We gave a HackRF One to Alexis Duque, a Phd candidate at INSA in Lyon, France. He is researching the possibilities of visible light communication, and wants to use SDR hardware and GNURadio for some tests. He plans to donate his HackRF to CorteXlab at INSA after the research is complete.
We received a free stuff request for a YARD Stick One from Pedro, a high school student at a technical school in southern Brazil who has started a hackerspace called Fablab with a group of his friends. Their school has given them space to work in, but due to equipment costs and crippling taxes imposed on electronics equipment there, they have been unable to find the funds to stock their lab and are relying on donations from the community. We sent them a YARD Stick One so that their group can experiment with communications with a drone they received from a local university.
Argentinian Meetup Group
Speaking of South America, we gave a HackRF to Martin Gallo, coordinator of TandilSec, a meetup group in Tandil, Argentina who discuss infosec topics and learn about current trends. They have recently been experimenting with is SDR, and HackRF One was their hardware of choice.
We gave a HackRF One to the Qspectrumanalyzer open source project because it currently only supports rtl-sdr, and the developer of that program wanted to change that. He tells us that a popular request from users is that they would like to see support for HackRF One.
Amateur Radio Equipment Repair
Pavel is a ham radio operator, self-described tinkerer, and software developer. He is involved with a local amateur radio club, but lives in an area where good radio equipment is difficult to obtain, and the equipment they are able to get their hands on is usually in need of repair. Pavel asked us for a HackRF One to diagnose and test problems, which will help him repair the radio equipment of other amateur radio operators in his community.
Stay tuned; more free stuff updates are on the way! Visit our free stuff page to learn how to submit a request.
Free Stuff, May–December 2015
The Great Scott Gadgets team has been hard at work sorting through all the Free Stuff requests for 2015, and now we are finally ready to announce the winners for May through December. We've had many interesting submissions, and we've enjoyed learning about all the ideas you have had for open source projects and education. After much discussion and some tough decisions, we've chosen the following seven individuals and groups to receive free hardware from Great Scott Gadgets.
Open Source Project: Universal Drone API Generator
Richard Doell wrote to us requesting a HackRF One for a project idea he is working on. We were intrigued by the project, and very excited to hear that it is going to be open source. Richard has a background in robotics and computer vision, and he wants to create a universal automatic drone API generator for hobbyists and robotics junkies that will allow remote control vehicles to be controlled from a computer using GNU Radio. His HackRF One will enable him to collect data from the RC vehicles' transmitters. Keep us updated about the progress of your project, Richard!
Information Security Workshops
Stefan Hessel (of the blog Causa Finita) is a security expert who works at the Department of Law and Informatics at Saarland University in Germany. After work, he gets involved in his community through an IT working group, offering free classes at a local clubhouse that help beginners develop skills and knowledge in the areas of Internet safety and security. Stefan asked us to donate a HackRF One to help him teach the basics of SDR to the people who attend his classes and to demonstrate ways that attackers could gain access to private data through hardware hacking. Thanks Stefan, for sharing your expertise and using your workshops to bring awareness to these issues.
Liquid Fueled Rocket Building
Let's Build Rockets is a talented group of young amateur engineers who are designing and building a flyable, liquid-fueled rocket. This has proved challenging because currently most of the commercially available model rocket engine systems and electronics components are designed for solid-fueled rockets. Therefore they have had to design, manufacture, and test all of the system's components themselves. They are planning to use their free HackRF One as a receiver in the downlink portion of the rocket's control system, the design of which is based on the Copenhagen Suborbitals Sapphire Telemetry System. The downlink transfers mission data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, compass, GPS, pressure and temperature sensors of the engine and fuel tanks, and atmospheric temperature sensors to a ground control station. Eric Simms wrote to us on behalf of Let's Build Rockets, saying:
“The communication that the HackRF enables will help us recover the rocket after the launch and analyze potential failure points. After doing lots of research, the HackRF is the most accessible receiver we've found, requiring the least amount of additional hardware and providing opportunities for future expansion.”
Let's Build Rockets is publishing all of their design files, code, and test data on github so that others can benefit from their learning and experience. We're excited to support this awesome, educational, open source project. Rocket on!
The Wantagh-Levittown Volunteer Ambulance Corps is a dedicated group of paramedics and dispatchers who provide emergency services to their community by answering 911 calls. While each ambulance in their facility has its own radio, this small nonprofit organization has had a difficult time finding the funds to invest in a radio for communications training. Their free HackRF One will enable them to receive and decode multiple simultaneous transmissions on their county's radio system. Mark Tomlin, Chief of Operations, wrote to us saying,
“Communications are vital in EMS, just as important as the vital signs of the patient themselves. Missing information from an incomplete report can be devastating to a patients outcome. Presenting ones self to the doctor correctly on the other end of the radio can be the difference in getting the order for the medication or not. These are things that can only come with experience. We now have the opportunity to present our experience to those who were not physically present at the time of notification. This should greatly improve the time it takes a new provider to get up to speed on medical control notifications.”
We are happy to put a free HackRF into the hands of someone who can use it to make the world a better place. It's very satisfying knowing that somewhere in New York, a HackRF One is enabling communication that could save lives.
MIT Splash Program
Every November, high school students from around the country and even around the world come to MIT for a program called Splash. It is a weekend where they can engage in unique and valuable learning experiences that are unavailable in a normal classroom setting. Riley Drake wrote to us asking for a HackRF One for a Software Defined Radio course he is planning to teach at Splash 2016, which will cover topics such as Digital Signal Processing, Decibels, Data Types, Sample Rates, Negative Frequencies, Quantization Error and Complex Numbers in Digital Signal Processing (course structure mirrors Michael Ossmann's online lessons). Having a HackRF One available for the class will allow students to run their code on a real radio and promote a discussion of the legal and regulatory issues of SDR. Good luck with your class Riley, and please send us pictures! We'd love to know how it goes.
Hacklab Almeria is a growing group of developers and enthusiasts in Spain that are learning and collaborating together. When they first wrote to us in October of 2015, they had 30 members, but when we contacted them last month that number had increased to 50. Jesus Marin Garcia asked for several Throwing Star LAN Tap Kits for a workshop the group are offering to their newer members on electronics fundamentals and soldering. Spread the word, and good luck with your workshop!
András Retzler is the developer of a remote spectrum monitoring solution called OpenWebRX that gives users access to multiple SDR receivers worldwide. We gave András a free HackRF One, which he is using to improve support for that project. If you haven't already seen OpenWebRX, you should certainly check it out—it's really cool. He also plans to use his HackRF One to serve as a test station for another of his open source projects, qtcsdr, an open source amateur radio transceiver design using a Raspberry Pi 2 as a transmitter and an RTL-SDR as a receiver. As a company that is built on open source principles, we are very enthusiastic about supporting open source projects, and we are especially happy to help András with OpenWebRX.
Thanks again to everyone who has sent us a free stuff request. We are almost all caught up now, and we will announce winners for the first few months of 2016 soon. If you have an idea for a project using Great Scott Gadgets hardware and could benefit from free stuff, don't hesitate to tell us about it. If you don't ask, we can't say yes!
Free Stuff, April 2015
My, how time flies! The Great Scott Gadgets team has been busy, but we haven't forgotten all of your requests for FREE STUFF! We are working towards getting caught up, so please bear with us as we sort it all out. April had a lot of good submissions, and we are excited to reward several of you with free open source hardware. And to make up for being so behind, we even awarded a YARD Stick One this time, and we shipped it when it was brand new! Read on to learn about April's winning Free Stuff submissions.
Damon Wascom wrote to us requesting a HackRF One to assist AMSAT in testing transmission lines and filters for the next FOX-1C and Fox-1D CubeSats. Damon gave many convincing reasons and compelling arguments as to why we should award him a HackRF One for his project, but perhaps most compellingly Damon wrote:
"It would be awesome to apply this legendary and revolutionary RF hacking tool of the decade into the hacking together of the next amateur built, amateur radio spacecraft!"
Yup! Damon, make it so.
Jesus Sanchez wrote to us on behalf of the Advanced Communications Research Laboratory he founded at his university last February. The Advanced Communications Research Laboratory encourages its members to conduct research in the wide field of SDR and to promote open source software and hardware. We are happy to support these goals by awarding the Advanced Communications Research Laboratory a free HackRF One!
Tamer Çelik is a member of Hackerspace Istanbul. Tamer plans to use his HackRF One to introduce SDR to his hackerspace as well as other hackerspaces in his area. Tamer, thanks for spreading the word and sharing SDR technology with your community!
David De La Hoz Joaquin is a student of Systems and Computer Engineering at Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. David plans to use his HackRF One in his research. He will also be giving talks about SDR at his school and beyond. David is even planning to start a hackerspace at his school. Good luck David!
José Perez Junior is a graduate student at ABC Federal University in Santo André, Brazil. He plans to use his HackRF One to teach students at the university about RF and SDR. He also plans to use it for his own research on SDR and electronic motor control. Congratulations José, and let us know how your research goes!
Sean Semple wrote to us as president of the Association of Cyber Engineers (ACE) at Louisiana Tech University. ACE is an organization that was established a couple of years ago to promote the new Cyber Engineering degree program at Louisiana Tech, but also to help students learn about the cyber landscape as early in their career as possible. Great Scott Gadgets is happy to provide ACE with their very own YARD Stick One!
Once again, thanks to everyone that sent us a request. If you didn't send us a request, why not? It never hurts to ask. We look forward to seeing what you come up with next!
Free Stuff, March 2015
We've fallen behind on shipping Free Stuff and even further behind on announcements, but we're catching up!
Tariq Ahmad wrote to us representing the M5 hackerspace at UMASS Amherst. M5 has several ongoing projects including their Experimental College where students can take as well as teach classes just for the sake of learning. Tariq, we hope you and everyone at M5 can learn some new skills with your new HackRF One!
Black Hat Student Pass
If you are a full-time university student and would like a free ticket to this summer's Black Hat Briefings, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org today. We have two tickets to give away, and we would like to give them to students who share our interests. You must meet Black Hat's criteria, and you will be responsible for your own travel and lodging.
We'll be busy at Black Hat USA this year. I'm teaching two sessions of my Software Defined Radio class, and I will be giving a talk at the Briefings about the NSA Playset. Additionally, Taylor and I will show off a new project called YARD Stick One at the Black Hat Arsenal.
Free Stuff, February 2015
Great Scott Gadgets is pleased to announce the recipients of our inaugural Free Stuff give-away. This being our first give-away, we got a little overexcited and ended up giving away 5 HackRF One units to people who made requests in February! We were excited to see so much interest in our Free Stuff program, and after much deliberation we were able to narrow the field down to these 5 entrants. Congratulations, and we can't wait to see what you do with your HackRF Ones!
Alex Page wrote to us representing the Interlock hackerspace in Rochester, New York, which has recently begun hosting SDR meetups. They have been encouraging those new to SDR as well as seasoned veterans, and they have made a space where they can all interact. We are awarding Interlock a HackRF One unit to encourage this sharing of knowledge. Thanks Alex, and keep up the good work.
JinGen Lim is a promising student and developer from Singapore. When HackRF One was released he used it as an inspiration to build his own open source device called CCManager. We awarded JinGen a HackRF One unit to see what he can come up with next. Thanks for making your ideas open source JinGen!
Rajesh Kannan is a licensed amateur radio operator and enthusiast as well as a rather successful amateur meteorologist. Rajesh has plans to use his HackRF One to help develop an HRPT satellite receiver with a group of students in India. Thanks Rajesh for igniting the RF spark in the next generation!
Taavi Laadung is a graduate student at the Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia. He is working on a nanosatellite project and plans to use the HackRF One that we give him to help build a ground station. Thanks Taavi for including the HackRF One in your research.
Chris Johns is a student at Spokane Community College in Spokane, Washington, and with the help of a few other members of their technology club Chris plans to use his HackRF One to start an amateur digital TV station. It's an interesting proposition, and we thank you for trying it out, Chris. Good luck!
Thanks to everyone that sent us a request. If you didn’t send us a request, why not? It never hurts to ask. We look forward to seeing what you come up with next!