Cyrozap's Tech Projects

Computers. Circuits. Code.

Peek Linux With GSM Support

The Peek is a mobile device that uses a GSM radio to get your email and display it. Basically, it's a single-purpose email device.

A month or two ago, I bought a Peek on eBay for $22. I thought it might be useful, but it ended up being useless without the Peek service. So far, I've managed to upgrade the firmware, but I still need the Peek service to get it to work. Peek customer support has been unresponsive to my request to activate my Peek, so I now want to install Linux on this thing to at least get SOME functionality out of it. Unfortunately, without the GSM radio drivers of the TI Locosto chip, this device is still useless (even on Linux). My new side project is to now get access to TI's Locosto dev info so I can make binary drivers for the chip for Linux. I would only be able to make binaries because of TI's NDA.

Any help with this would be appreciated!

Here's some info on the Peek's hardware:

Any Recommendations for Prusa Mendel Parts?

Progress on the RepRap has slowed to a crawl and it's really bumming me out. Building from kits is SO much easier than sourcing the parts yourself. I've probably gotten the final cost estimate into the $600-$700 range by now.

Anyway, I need your help. I just need to print out the new X-carriage, get some M3x25mm bolts, buy some MDF for the Y-stage, and get a hot end. However, I don't really know what to get. What are the recommended dimensions for the Y-stage (LM8UU bearings)? What's the best hot-end for 3mm PLA that I can get in the U.S. for a Wades extruder?

Feel free to comment with your suggestions!

Stupid Circuit Prototype...

Ok, I've built this thing TWICE on two different boards now and I still haven't managed to get it to work with the programmer!


If you want to help me, see the post I made on the MakerBot Google Group.

RepRap Prusa Mendel 8mm Rods

A week ago, I bought three 3' lengths of 8mm smooth rod for my Prusa Mendel because I wanted to use LM8UU bearings. After receiving the rod and cutting it, I've fond that they make a huge difference in reducing play between the linear bearings and the rods. With 5/16" rod, you could feel the bearings wiggle. Now there is no wiggle at all! If you're building a "United States customary units" Prusa Mendel and are ordering online and might use LM8UU bearings now or in the future, get 8mm rods. They're only a $1 more each on McMaster-Carr, so it's not a huge expense.

tl;dr: Get 8mm smooth rods. They're the best.

Vimeo Free Music Exploit

Well, calling this an "exploit" is really stretching the truth a bit— all I did was poke around in Chrome's Developer Tools. Basically, to download any track for free, all you have to do is go to and put the music track ID after the equals sign, where the pound signs are. The track ID is the ###### at the end of any link.

I was going to notify Vimeo of this huge security hole, but then, after test-downloading a track (it has since been deleted from my computer), I noticed that the bitrate of the file was 64kbps. 64kbps is good enough quality to give you a sense of the song but too poor quality to use in a video or listen to regularly. This way, they can give you a full preview of the song without worrying about piracy of the full-length song preview.

Clever Vimeo.

My Current MakerBot Setup

I haven't added any good pictures or videos of my work area in a while so, a few days ago, I decided to take some with my Nikon D5100.

Cool Stuff

The parts for the Unicorn circuit board arrived! The circuit boards themselves sill aren't here, of course (cheap shipping from China is cheap and slow). Anyway, I went through the parts I received and, lo and behold, I got one wrong. Thankfully, it was only the switch—I had ordered a surface-mount version instead of a through-hole version. The good news is I can still use the switch. I have corrected the part number and price in the part list spreadsheet.

On a slightly related subject, I finally assembled the Magnetic Rotary Encoder board!

Magnetic Rotary Encoder

It's pretty cool. The surface-mount soldering, while not impossible, is still a pain in the butt. Also, getting the rosin flux off the board was fairly difficult, too. I feel like Hackaday did a how-to for using flux, but I can't find the post right now. If any of you has a good method or a link to a good method of removing rosin flux, leave a comment.

Unicorn Pen Plotter Circuit Component Cost

Ok, so I'm a few days late with ordering the parts. No big deal, right? Anyway, I got them ordered today and it ended up costing around $16 (including shipping, from Digi-key). That parts cost reflects a full set of RoHS-compliant and lead-free parts, so it is possible to get the parts cheaper. Tentative BOM after the break.

Those LM8UU Bearings Sure Are Noisy!

Well, the cheap-o linear bearings work! However, they are quite noisy (not unexpected). Unfortunately, I have to print a new set of parts that incorporate the LM8UU holder design to get them to work well with the machine.