October is Open Hardware Month

October is right around the corner, which means it’s time to get ready for Open Hardware Month! This year with the theme is Label and Certify to the spotlight on two ways to help the world know your hardware is Open Source:

Label and Certify This Open Hardware Month

Open Hardware Facts

Inspired by our Executive Director Alicia Gibb, and created by board member Jeffrey Yoo Warren, the Open Hardware Facts Generator helps you declare the licenses used in your project using a format similar to the US Nutrition Facts Label. Listing your licenses in one prominent place (such as the README of your repository) helps users immediately know what they can and can’t do with your source, rather than having to browse through individual files.

OSHWA Certification

The OSHWA Certification continues to grow, with almost 1,000 projects from over 40 countries! If you’re not yet familiar, the certification program provides a way for consumers to immediately recognize hardware whose meaning of “Open” conforms to the OSHW Definition. It also provides a directory for OSHW creators, which stands as evidence that your product is in compliance with the OSHW Definition.

Hosting and Joining OHM Events

We invite individuals and companies alike to host events relating to the theme, or supporting Open Hardware more generally. Unlike previous years, we expect most events to be virtual due to COVID-19. Thankfully, both labeling and certifying can be done from home! If you choose to host an in-person event, we expect you to follow all local health guidelines to help keep our community safe. Find what you need to plan an OHM event at the OHM website.

Looking for an OHM event to join? As events are submitted and approved, they’ll be listed on the OHM website as well. For virtual events, we’ll also list the online platform being used and the event’s time zone.

October is Open Hardware Month

DIN SPEC 3105: industry specification published for Open Source Hardware

The German standards body DIN now has a specification for Open Source Hardware documentation:

GitLab: Open Hardware Standards

Open Source Hardware: Technical Documentation Requirements

The published specification is available from DIN:

Screenshot from 2020-08-03 09-00-11

Jérémy Bonvoisin wrote on Twitter:

The icing on the cake: this is the first standard to be published by DIN under cc license and to adopt an open and community based process for any of the new version to come! It’s both a progress for open source hardware AND for standardisation processes as such!

More information is available in this paper by Jérémy BonvoisinJenny MolloyMartin Haeuer, and Tobias Wenzel:

Standardisation of practices in Open Source Hardware

Standardisation is an important component in the maturation of any field of technology. It contributes to the formation of a recognisable identity and enables interactions with a wider community. This article reviews past and current standardisation initiatives in the field of Open Source Hardware (OSH). While early initiatives focused on aspects such as licencing, intellectual property and documentation formats, recent efforts extend to ways for users to exercise their rights under open licences and to keep OSH projects discoverable and accessible online. We specifically introduce two standards that are currently being released and call for early users and contributors, the DIN SPEC 3105 and the Open Know How Manifest Specification. Finally, we reflect on challenges around standardisation in the community and relevant areas for future development such as an open tool chain, modularity and hardware specific interface standards.

DIN SPEC 3105: industry specification published for Open Source Hardware

“Why (and how) public institutions should release more of their hardware designs as Open-Source Hardware”

cernopensourcelhc

Javier Serrano of the Open Hardware group at CERN has written a new blog post:

 

Preliminary note: this article is co-authored with Carlos Serrano. Javier is with CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland. Carlos is with LBNL, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA, USA. Both CERN and LBNL have public statements on their mission, which includes the maximisation of positive impact of their developments on society. The means employed for reaching those goals differ, of course, as a function of the circumstances of each development and, to a lesser extent, are also subject to opinion. This article presents the personal opinions of the authors, hoping to foster productive discussion, and is in no way intended to represent an official communication from either LBNL or CERN. A pdf version is available in the Open Hardware Repository, with a few extra footnotes in places where more detail might be welcome by some but could otherwise interfere with the reading flow in Medium.
“Why (and how) public institutions should release more of their hardware designs as Open-Source Hardware”

MNT Reform: Introducing the Much More Personal Computer

The Reform laptop from Lukas and Greta at MNT Research in Berlin has now launched on CrowdSupply:

product-mnt-reform_jpg_project-body

MNT Reform

The open source DIY laptop for hacking, customization, and privacy

Mobile personal computers are becoming more and more opaque, vendor controlled, and hard to repair. Modern laptops have secret schematics, glued-in batteries, and components not under user control, like the Intel Management Engine or the Apple T2 security chip. Many people decide to tape over the built-in cameras of their laptops because they don’t know if they can trust the device or the software running on it.

Reform goes in the opposite direction. It is designed to be as open and transparent as possible, and to support a free and open source software stack from the ground up. It invites you to take a look under the hood, customize the documented electronics, and even repair it youself if you like. The Reform laptop has no built-in surveillance technologies, cameras, or microphones, so you can be confident that it will never spy on you. Built not around Intel technology, but NXP i.MX8M with 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 cores, Reform has a much simpler architecture than conventional laptops. This simplicity also makes for a more pleasant developer experience.

20200422-reform-hero_jpg_project-body

We are excited to have helped MNT prototype parts of the Reform:

Trackball

The new Reform trackball has five buttons, so you don’t have to worry anymore about how to do a middle click or use the trackball as a scroll wheel (hold bottom left or right button and roll the ball up and down). Of course, because our trackball firmware is open source, you can adjust the button functions to behave exactly as you like. We developed a custom SLA-printed mechanical housing for the trackball. For the ball’s optical motion tracking, we are using a Pixart PAT9125EL laser sensor interfacing with a ATmega32U2 MCU with open source firmware.

Trackpad

If you prefer a trackpad over the trackball, you can choose it as an option. The trackball and trackpad are interchangeable modules. The trackpad is based on the capacitive multi-touch sensor module TPS65-201A-S by Azoteq. Like the trackball, we drive it with a custom ATmega32U2 PCB and our own open source firmware.

And it is excellent to see that it is certified OSHW:

Certifications

Reform is open source hardware certified by OSHWA (Open Source Hardware Association)DE000017.

Licenses are:

  • CERN OHL-2.0-S (hardware)
  • GPL 3.0 (software, firmware)
  • CC-BY-SA 4.0 (documentation, artwork)
MNT Reform: Introducing the Much More Personal Computer

OSHWA virtual talk: Open Source Nostalgia with Libi Rose Striegl

Screenshot from 2020-04-22 21-53-47

Join OSHWA this Wednesday, April 22nd, for a live virtual talk:

Open Source Nostalgia

Speaker: Libi Rose Striegl

Using open source projects to enable modern use of retro-tech is a
foundational part of my art practice. Open source practices are a
central part of my teaching. This forms a base for art and teaching
around technology that is empowering and joyful while still coming
from a place of critical learning.

The talk will be streamed live on OSHWA’s YouTube channel.

To join the discussion, visit the #oshwtalks channel on the OSHWA Discord server.

OSHWA virtual talk: Open Source Nostalgia with Libi Rose Striegl

Adafruit submitting OSHW certifications for boards

adafruit-oshwa

Exciting news from the Adafruit team, they have started the Open Source Hardware certification process for a bunch of their boards:

Adafruit submitting OSHW certifications for boards

Adafruit is an Open Source Hardware and Software company. To that end, Adafruit has begun working to submit many of their boards for certification by the Open Source Hardware Association. According to OSHWA:

“The certification program exists to make it easy for creators and users to identify hardware that follows the community definition of open source hardware maintained by OSHWA. Hardware projects that display the certification logo are licensed and documented in a way that makes it easy for users to use and build upon them.”

By registering their boards with OSHWA, Adafruit aims to ensure users that the products they sell are open-source, and easy to learn about.

Here are the boards that have recently been submitted:

CircuitPython Boards

FeatherWings

Keep an eye out for more updates on this process.

Adafruit submitting OSHW certifications for boards

Linux on Open Source Hardware with Open Source chip design

I attended the 36th Chaos Communication Congress (36c3) during the last
week of 2019 in Leipzig, Germany.  It was an amazing event and Hackaday has good coverage.  All the talks are available online including my talk:

Screenshot from 2020-01-10 14-59-10

Linux on Open Source Hardware with Open Source chip design

Want to run Linux on open hardware? This talk will explore Open Source Hardware projects capable of that task, and explore how RISC-V and free software FPGA projects can be leveraged to create libre systems.

The video is also available on YouTube:

My slides are on SlideShare:

Screenshot from 2020-01-12 13-13-03.png

The slides are also available as a PDF on GitHub.

Linux on Open Source Hardware with Open Source chip design

Open Source Hardware in industry – meet DIN SPEC 3105

Martin Häuer of Open Source Ecology Germany gave a talk at 36c3 about a recent effort to create a standard for Open Source Hardware with DIN (the German Institute for Standardization):
Screenshot from 2020-01-11 11-20-39

Open Source Hardware in industry – meet DIN SPEC 3105

Compared to software, the open source approach is relatively new to most actors in the field of (mechanical) hardware.

Plus Open Source Hardware faces some special issues. A yet missing definition of its “source code” is one of them (+ patent law, liability, engineers that do not know how to work with git, costly prototyping…)

DIN SPEC 3105 will be/is the first official standard for Open Source Hardware and also the first official standard ever published under a free license (CC-BY-SA 4.0; that was a lot of lobby work 😉 ). It defines the technology-specific “source” of Open Source Hardware and aims to build a bridge between research institutes, public authority, industry and the worldwide open source community.

Here is a PDF of the slides: OSH Standardisation-36c3

Screenshot from 2020-01-11 11-23-34To look into the standards themselves:

Additional information is hosted on GitLab:

Technology-specific Documentation Criteria (TsDC) specify the requirements for the technical documentation of Open Source Hardware (OSH). A TsDC is created (yet manually) by OSH projects/developers and is a subset of the TsDC database (TsDC-DB) provided in this repository. The concept of a TsDC was initially mentioned in DIN SPEC 3105-1 (since v0.3) and probably will be mainly used in this context.

Learn more about Open Source Ecology Germany on their website:

Screenshot from 2020-01-11 11-31-00

Enable a sustainable way of life and the emergence of an open source economy through self-created and freely available means of production .

Open Source Hardware in industry – meet DIN SPEC 3105

Talk about Open Source Hardware tonight at Chaos Communication Congress (36c3)

I am speaking tonight 19:45 at the Chaos Communication Congress (36c3) in Leipzig, Germany, on the Critical Decentralization Cluster stage:

Introduction to Open Source Hardware, OSHWA and the Open Hardware Summit

Screenshot from 2019-12-27 15-22-55.png
PDF of the slides is available for download from GitHub.

 

Talk about Open Source Hardware tonight at Chaos Communication Congress (36c3)

Open Hardware Month hackchat today (October 23)

Join Hackaday on Wednesday, October 23 at 12:00PM US Pacific time for the Open Hardware Month Hack Chat with Michael Weinberg!

OpenHardwareMonthHackChat3-01.jpg

It seems like everything and everyone has a special day set aside on the calendar. You know the drill – aheadline declaring it National Grilled Cheese Day (sorry, you missed it – April 12) or National Bundt Pan Day (not even kidding, November 15). It seems only fair with all these silly recognition days floating around that we in the hacking community should have a day of our own, too, or even a whole month. That’s why the Open Source Hardware Association declared the entire month of October to be Open Hardware Month.

Open hardware is all about accessible, collaborative processes that let everyone see and understand the hardware they’re using. The technological underpinnings of our lives are increasingly hidden from us, locked away as corporate secrets. Open hardware tries to turn that on its head and open up devices to everyone, giving them the freedom to not only use their devices but to truly understand what’s happening in them, and perhaps repair, extend, and even modify them to do something new and useful. Celebrating that and getting the message out to the general public is certainly something worth doing.

Michael Weinberg is a board member at OSHWA, and he’ll be joining the Hack Chat on October 23 (National Boston Cream Pie Day) to discuss Open Hardware Month and open-source hardware in general. We’ll learn about some of the events planned for Open Hardware Month, how open hardware is perceived beyond the hacker community, and what’s on tap for the 10th anniversary Open Hardware Summit in 2020.

join-hack-chatOur Hack Chats are live community events in the Hackaday.io Hack Chat group messaging. This week we’ll be sitting down on Wednesday, October 23 at 12:00 PM Pacific time. If time zones have got you down, we have a handy time zone converter.

Click that speech bubble to the right, and you’ll be taken directly to the Hack Chat group on Hackaday.io. You don’t have to wait until Wednesday; join whenever you want and you can see what the community is talking about.

Open Hardware Month hackchat today (October 23)