Open Source Hardware Camp 2015, Sat 26 & Sun 27th September.


Registration is now open for OSHCamp 2015. This year we will have 13 talks
and 7 workshops, details of which can be found below.

The Wuthering Bytes Festival Day programme has also been published and
details can be found at:

Closing keynote to be added, which is a talk by Eva Pascoe.

For the first time the BCS Open Source Specialist Group will also be
hosting an event called “Open for Business” on Monday 28th September, with
days also on open data and more, hosted by Calderdale Council, across Tues
29th Sept - Thurs 1st October. Details should be up on the website within
the next day or so!




OSHCamp 2015 — 26th & 27th September at Hebden Bridge Town Hall, St.
George’s Street, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7BY.


Open Source Hardware Camp will take place in the Pennine town of
Hebden Bridge. For the third year running it is being hosted as part
of the technology festival, Wuthering Bytes.

Note that a social is planned for the Saturday evening.

Hebden Bridge is approximately 1 hour by rail from Leeds and
Manchester. Budget accommodation is available at the Hebden Bridge
Hostel, with private rooms available and discounts for group bookings.
Details of other local accommodation can be found at

Any questions should be directed to the Discussion List.

— Saturday :: Talks

  • Research led reality – how rhetoric and research shapes the maker movement

Over the past 10 years there has been an exponential rise in research
about makerspaces, alongside rhetoric about the ‘maker movement’ going

This talk will give a sweeping overview of the past decade, focusing
on the relationship between rhetoric, research and reality – (is there
more to it than alliteration?) It will attempt to answer these three

What are the promises of the maker movement and does the evidence
built up by the research so far prove them? What does the research
tell us about the differences between the UK and USA maker movement?
Who is funding all the research and what are their motivations and

Hannah Stewart is a Research Associate at the Royal College of Art and
an independent researcher. Alongside Andrew Sleigh she was
commissioned to produce the UK Makerspaces Open Dataset for NESTA. Her
Phd research with the Creative Exchange focused on the values and
practices of the makerspace, indieweb and open data communities.

  • Confusion of Things — The IoT Hardware Kerfuffle

While the definition of the term IoT (i.e: Internet of Things) is as
cloudy as the “cloud”, everyone seems to be doing it. With excitement
levels reaching stratospheric levels, the amount of buzzword-driven
articles and colourful (and oh so unnecessary) abstract vector
drawings that depict toasters communicating with cars have essentially
made lives of many engineers who just want to build things a living

This talk will strip back the layers of marketing and aim to answer
the question: “Which hardware platform should you use for building
connected devices?”. With the plethora of chips/single board computers
and specifically IoT-branded offerings out there, the platform choice
does get a little difficult at times. By breaking down the application
at hand into certain key requirement categories, this process could be
simplified. There will also be mention of some of the most popular
hardware platforms and how they differ from each other.

Omer Kilic is an embedded systems engineer who likes tinkering with
small computers of all shapes and sizes. He works at the various
intersections of hardware and software engineering practices and likes
good beer.

  • Disrupting the IoT by leveraging the ESP8266 for big data

The ESP8266 is as a cheap, self-contained WIFI module; for £3 you can
add WIFI to your microcontroller project.

Recently, the toolchain for compiling custom firmware for the module’s
SOC has been ported to the Arduino IDE, making it possible for
beginners to deploy the ESP8266 as a complete IoT wireless

This talk will cover: ESP8266 capabilities, the rest of the ESP8266
family members, using the module as a WIFI gateway with AT commands,
uploading your own firmware using the recent Arduino port, and
projects utilising the module.

Matthew Venn is a freelance engineer and workshop facilitator. As a
qualified electronic engineer, he has worked with Arcola Energy, BOC,
RS, Sustrans, Bristol Braille Technology and others on various
projects ranging from bicycle powered cinemas to fuel cell theatre

Matthew’s hands-on STEM workshops have proven successful with over
5,000 children taking part worldwide over the last 3 years. Recent
workshops include the London School’s Hydrogen cell Challenge, an
aerial photography project for Island Hydrogen and building solar mood
lamps for the Abu Dhabi Science Festival.

When he’s not inventing new ways of getting people excited about
engineering, Matthew plays music, invents puzzle boxes, practices
martial arts and is a director of Bristol Hackspace.

  • Controlling a CNC milling machine with a BeagleBone Black and Machinekit

A journey into the wonderful world of CNC machining. This talk will
look at the modification of an old milling machine, retrofitting it
with new electronics for improved performance and open source software
control. Also covered will be things learnt along the way and how to
take an idea through to machined part.

Stuart Childs enjoys designing and building physical projects, has
exhibited at every Maker Faire UK event and worked at Arduino
specialists, oomlout. He is a supporter of Open Knowledge and has
helped in running their annual OKFest and OKCon events in 2012, 2013
and 2014.

  • Speculative Hardware in Abstract Culture

Derek will talk about open hardware as a speculative practice in
abstract culture. Derek’s talk will be grounded in his experience with
the Arts Council England R&D projects at the Digital Research Unit 10
years ago that commissioned innovative DIY/open hardware and
audiovisual software tools and software art released under a free/open
licenses. His talk will work with the design-fictional concept of
noise to explore the function of open hardware in abstract culture. In
the talk Derek will give a brief account of abstract culture in
contemporary practice where artists are directly involved in making
hardware and software works realised by the use of free and open
source technologies.

Derek Hales is an independent researcher in the field of abstract
culture. He has worked in academic and para-academic contexts of
artist-led R&D and cultural production. He co-founded the Digital
Research a semi-autonomous art-technology research facility based at
the media centre Huddersfield and at Bates Mill, Huddersfield until
2009, where he worked on projects with the universities of Leeds,
Bradford and Huddersfield.

He has previously been funded by Arts Council England, the Arts and
Humanities Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Science
Research Council and the Higher Education Innovation Fund. His
pataphysical take on speculative hardware in abstract culture was
recently published as a chapter in the book ‘Deleuze and Design’
(2015) by Edinburgh University Press. Derek is currently completing
his Phd with the Royal College of Art. He is a director of Bridge
Rectifier, Hebden Bridge Hackspace.

  • How to Openwash Your Product and Make Your Millions!

Open Hardware has sparked a home brew electronics revolution. The
current wave of 3D printers, drones and development boards are in the
most part built on Open Hardware. As a result Open Hardware or Open
Source Hardware have become terms with which many new products would
like to be associated with, it’s rare to see an electronics
Kickstarter project without the claim of being Open Source. It would
seem however that in some cases the understanding of what constitutes
Open Hardware is different to the original definition.

Openwashing is a term that refers to dubious vendor claims about
openness, and assumes, perhaps wrongly, that the misunderstanding of
the Open Source definition is intentional.

Benjamin Gray is a proponent of Open Hardware, founder of MeArm, an
open source robot arm manufacturer and phenoptix, a now retired maker
business. Ben graduated from the University of Exeter with a chemistry
degree and a fledgling phenoptix before moving to Nottingham to
complete a PhD in theoretical physical chemistry. With 11 years of
Maker business experience under his belt he’s set out on a new
adventure manufacturing the MeArm, a pocket sized robot arm.

  • Simulating and benchmarking the Adapteva Parallella board

The Adapteva Epiphany is a fascinating combination of old and new: a
brand new, energy-efficient SoC processor that makes use of an old
idea in concurrency: communicating sequential processes. This talk
will be a deep-dive into the design of the Epiphany from the point of
view of a software developer. We will look at the design of the
Epiphany through the lens of a new simulator for the chip, and explore
the SDK through a series of new benchmarks.

Sarah Mount is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University
of Wolverhampton, with particular interests in concurrency,
parallelism and dynamic languages.

  • Introducing a fun documentation standard to share your project

DokuBricks is a new open source hardware (OSH) documentation software
we developed to make it easier for you to document your project well.
After all, sharing instructions in a way that is useful to others is
the whole purpose of OSH! With the tool, you click together your
documentation in a descriptive and modular fashion and create
dependencies. An associated database allows to easily reuse functional
modules of projects, which in turn grows the impact and recognition of
the creator of the original project.

The ideas behind this free and open source documentation standard will
be presented along with other OSH projects of ours in the Cambridge
network. Our vision is to make OSH development and sharing easier and
specifically more attractive to scientists - a group that develops a
large amount of functional devices on a routine basis but rarely
shares that insight.

Tobias Wenzel “Tobey” is a Winton Scholar at the University of
Cambridge who channels most of his enthusiasm into his Bioengineering
work. He has build a range of equipment but is generally more involved
in meta-projects that enable greater community impact to further
technological development and access to it. He is a passionate
promoter of hands-on education and loves to socialise with people
sharing his can-do attitude. The DokuBricks project is a collaborative
effort involving the IRNAS institute, OpenPlants, Tobey’s colleague,
Johan Henriksson, and more enthusiastic helpers.

  • C88 — possibly the world’s lowest spec PC

What happens when somebody designs a CPU simply to prove to themselves
that they can? The result is minimal and has few practical
applications but could be a great learning tool. C88 is an 8 bit
computer with only 8 bytes of memory, it represents a bare minimum
computer architecture. It was inspired by the world’s first
stored-program computer, the SSEM, more commonly known as The
Manchester Baby. It’s fully open source and there is even a simulator
that runs in your browser.

Daniel Bailey is studying electronics at the University of York, has a
scholarship with ARM and is a member of York Hackspace.

  • Using open source processors and fabrics for scale-out compute

Using open source processors and fabrics for scale-out compute
systems. This talk will give an overview of the challenges faced by
the industry and the technical approach we are taking.

Rob Taylor has been working commercially with Linux and Open Source
technologies since the late 90’s. He founded two Open Source
consultancies, Collabora and Codethink, and is now founding a new
company to bring Open Source Hardware to the enterprise market.

  • WSPR, You Versus the Atmosphere: Pushing the limits of radio with
    minimal hardware

WSPR is a transmission protocol designed to test the radio propagation
properties of the atmosphere using very low powered transmission.

This talk will describe the problem of unpredictable atmospheric
propagation, give an overview of WSPR, and show some of the ways to
set up a WSPR station as both a transmitter or a receiver.

  • Jenny List is an electronic engineer and radio amateur who has
    worked in the is an electronic engineer and radio amateur who has
    worked in the start-up, Language Spy, aiming to democratise access to
    language corpora and lexical data.

  • Low level Ethernet on micros and FPGA

Forget about ISO 7 layer abstractions, Berkley sockets, huge APIs and
even operating systems. This is about taking direct control of
Ethernet hardware with a micro or even an FPGA and finding that it’s
not that hard. Standard C code running on an ARM CortexM4 micro
supporting ARP, UDP and enough ICMP to PING ! And a quick tour of
doing the same thing in VHDL on a low cost FPGA.

Michael Kellett is an independent Electronic design engineer with
analogue and digital hardware experience starting with HiFi audio in
the 1970s, though designing microphones, accelerometers, test gear and
active suspension controls. Now he’ll design anything electronic
(nothing evil) for anyone but with a preference for low power
analogue, small micros and things with FPGAs in them.

  • Open Hardware Licensing - it’s easier than you think

There are several hundred different free and open source software
licences making licence compatibility a nightmare, but at the moment
only a handful of open hardware licences (and let’s hope it stays that
way). Andrew explains why licences are important, how to select a
suitable licence for your project, and how to avoid getting too
ambitious about what a licence can actually achieve.

Andrew Katz is a lawyer with 21 years’ experience in technology law.
He has advised a number of open source software projects, and more
recently has become active in open hardware licensing. He’s been
involved in drafting the Solderpad Licence, and the CERN Open Hardware
licence and has published and lectured widely. Andrew is Managing
Partner of Moorcrofts LLP, a boutique corporate/tech law firm based in
the Thames Valley.

  • Compered by:

Dr Jeremy Bennett is founder and Chief Executive of Embecosm, a
consultancy specializing in the development of open source compiler
tool chains.

— Sunday :: Workshops

Some workshops will provide tools, boards and components etc. However,
subject to demand this may involve an element of sharing and please
feel free to bring along equipment and components, but note that you
must be able to take full responsibility for your own personal safety
and that of others in respect to these. Common sense must be

  • 3D modelling with Node.js

Come along and learn how to use the open source Frameworx library and
some simple Javascript code to quickly build beautiful and intricate
3D models ready to send to your printer or favourite 3D print agency.

Fractal trees, structural trusses, jewellery, molecular models - if
it’s made of sticks Frameworx can model it!

Ben Jefferson is a software engineer who initially trained as an
architect (as in buildings not Ben was tech director at Leeds based
web agency Sense Internet for 10 years and is now a freelance software
engineer and IT consultant. His combined interest in structures,
fractals, computing and innovation set Ben on a mission to model and
3D print a “Fractal Truss”. After trying many different open source 3D
modelling packages Ben found that none of them leant themselves to
fast algorithmic generation of multi-million facet 3D models - thus
Frameworx was born. Frameworx is now used all over the world including
in labs working at the cutting edge of 3D printing technology.

Workshop notes: bring along a laptop which has node.js and MeshLab (or
similar STL file viewer) installed. A basic knowledge of Javascript
coding is required.

  • A hands-on introduction to ESP8266: Sensors for the Home

This workshop will introduce attendees to the popular low-cost WiFi
enabled ESP8266 platform and go through a series of practical
exercises focusing around a sensor device for the home. The device
will get temperature/humidity, PIR activity and ambient light readings
from the sensors on the purpose built demo board and report them back
to the local “hub” and/or a cloud service.

The exercises will run on the NodeMCU firmware, which is based on the
Lua programming language. Before we get to the sensor readings part,
there will be a quick introduction to the language and the platform
with trivial exercises such as controlling GPIOs, using timers and
various other fundamentals.

Run by: OmerKilic.

Workshop notes: bring along a laptop (Windows/Linux/OSX), your charger
and a Micro USB cable. Please have your root/admin credentials handy
in case you need to install any required software components during
the workshop.

  • Learn KiCad by building an ESP8266 sensor board

The ESP8266 is a WIFI gateway for microcontrollers. It can also have
its firmware replaced with custom code that makes it even easier to
build distributed sensors.

KiCad is a free, open source, electronics CAD tool for designing
circuit boards. It’s recently undergone a rapid expansion and change
due to CERN funding. Consequently lots of documentation is now out of

In this workshop you’ll learn how to use the new KiCad by building a
circuit board that provides the ESP8266 with 3.3v regulated power from
a 5v input (easily powered with a phone charger), headers for serial
programming and a temperature or light sensor.

Thanks to our workshop sponsors OSHPark, each participant will get
vouchers to have their board made free of charge.

Run by: Matthew Venn.

Workshop notes: please bring a laptop computer with KiCad installed.
Note that installation can take quite a while as it needs to be
compiled from source code.

  • A £100 3D printed digital microscope, anyone?

3D printing brought incredible examples of Open Labware to life. My
personal favourite (to be published soon): My colleague Richard
Bowman’s Raspberry Pi driven digital microscope, about the size of two
fists, which allows a sample positioning of 1micrometer for X,Y and Z
axis with its 3-printed flex-structures. Fun for you and Christmas for
your kids!

The kit (3D printed components and other bits including an optional
raspberry pi) will be made available. The exact cost will depend on
the 3D printing contractor I will use but should lie significantly
under £100. At home you can extend the microscope in order to automate
the three axes, if you wish.

Run by: TobiasWenzel.

Workshop notes: please bring a laptop and, if you like, your own
raspberry pi. A steady hand will be beneficial for the assembly!

  • Arduino-based wearable electronics with the Seahorse

The Seahorse is a flexible kit based on the breadboard
design and Cuttlefish PCB.

The kit allows you to create a fully functional Arduino compatible
computer, powering two LEDs and an IR receiver and transmitter. The
board is fully extensible, making it easy to connect to a range of
other peripherals via conductive thread.

During this workshop, which lasts for the complete afternoon, you will
solder up the circuit board, program it, and then sew it to a T-shirt.

Run by: Dr Jeremy Bennett.

Workshop notes: please bring a T-shirt or other item of clothing to
which you wish to attach the seahorse.

  • Assembling the OSHCamp kit

Get help with assembling this year’s kit.

Chelsea Back is a trainee engineer and is working towards a degree in
Electronic Engineering. She enjoys building microcontroller projects
and teaching people how to solder, and is currently getting to grips
with schematic capture and PCB layout.

Workshop notes: bring along the OSHCamp 2015 kit.

  • Baremetal ARM programming (not on the website yet)

Details TBC. Will be run by Ken Boak.


  • There are separate tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • A light lunch and refreshments will be provided each day.
  • Please aim to arrive between 09:00 and 09:15 on the Saturday as the
    event will start at 09:20 prompt.