Werner Almesberger | 3 Sep 20:31 2015

FCC and EU declare war

Heise published the following article today (in German), describing
that the EU is basically implementing a ban of non-closed software
on any device that uses the wireless spectrum:


This follows precedent by the FCC, affecting the 5 GHz band
(interestingly, Google and FCC themselves currently find the
document at apps.fcc.gov, but all the links lead to what's
basically an error page, announcing a maintenance downtime
on September 8):


This article explains the background ...


... yet, "the easiest thing for us to do is lock down all the
middleware" could be pretty much described as the sum of our fears.

This seems to be a major land grab, basically evicting open soft-
and hardware from the radio spectrum.

How do we fight back ?

- Werner

Werner Almesberger | 1 Sep 23:53 2015

Anelok: OTF proposal

Paul Boddie wrote:
> [...] the Open Technology Fund [2].
> [2] https://www.opentechfund.org/

This looks interesting indeed. During the last days, Dave and I
have prepared a proposal and I've submitted it just now.

I hope the submission went through - the deadline said tonight
just before midnight, but the status changed to "Closed" before
that. The system accepted the submission anyway, so there's
hope that I made it in time.

Below is the submitted material.

Thanks a lot !

- Werner

---------------------------------- Cut here -----------------------------------

Project name: Anelok
Duration: 7 months
Contact name: Werner Almesberger
Contact email: werner <at> almesberger.net [1]

    Status: It Exists! (Alpha/Beta)
    Focus: Awareness of privacy and security threats, Security from danger or
threat online
(Continue reading)

Rafael Ignacio Zurita | 31 Aug 13:58 2015

soldering mk20 mk22 - power test problem

I have soldered pin 6 (VREGIN) and 23 (VSS) :

(red line is pin 6, black is 23)

I put 5v from USB pc port in pin 6 (VREGIN) and GND from USB pc port on pin 23.
Then, I tested pin 5 (VOUT33, white line in picture), guessing that I
would get 3.3v from internal regulator.
But no :(  on pin 6 and GND I get 5.02V, and testing pin 5 and GND I
get 4.96V, but no 3.3V as expected.

Should I put capacitors first before test? Is it needed all the VSS
soldered before this kind of test?
Could somebody with knowledge on this kind of MCUs tell me if this is
the proper effect with this minimal test?

Thanks in advance and reading to realize if this is correct.


Rafael Ignacio Zurita | 28 Aug 19:43 2015

Re: diy pcb making problem

On Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 9:09 AM, Christoph Pulster
<openmoko@...> wrote:
>> Maybe add a bit of 30% peroxide until the color gets more blueish.
> Similar advice on my side: use more peroxide, test with your
> girlsfriends hair until color gets more blond.
> And dont forget to share some pics :)

Hehe.. No sure if gf would like to let me to try that ;-))
I am sharing, how does it look so far?


Rafael Ignacio Zurita | 27 Aug 16:08 2015

diy pcb making problem (acid + oxygenated water)

Hi, I have been trying to make a diy pcb.
Before I have had success, but I do not know really now (in my new diy
lab) what is the problem.

I am using toner transfer and acid to make the board. My problem is
the acid part.
What I am seeing is that the toner is removed when I am trying to
remove the copper with acid. Then, the board left ruin :(

 I show two pictures :

first, the toner transfer looks okey for me :

Then, when I put the board for a few minutes in the acid 50% +
oxygenated water 50% I get this board with destroyed tracks :(

If somebody has some ideas about this kind of making the board and
this problem I would appreciate some help.

Thanks in advance,
P.S. The board is for using a mk20dx256 from freescale

Werner Almesberger | 23 Aug 04:07 2015

Anelok: save the slider !

Anelok's capacitive slider has made a terrible mistake - it has
caused embarrassment for its boss. Worse yet, the slider gives
no sign of accepting the blame and removing itself gracefully.
If Werner has learned anything from his work in China, it is
that such a transgression must not go unpunished.

Will the slider be destroyed by Werner's just anger ? He already
added button shortcuts (cursor up, left, and down, or the
corresponding vi cursor keys, for top, middle, and bottom "soft"
button) to the simulator ... and kinda likes the result.


Time is running out for the slider ! Only you can save it !

The following quests await the champion who rushes to the
slider's aid:

- locate the Gloves of Fumbling [cursed], understand how they
  were supposed to work, and discover the source of their
  (hint: fw/2014/touch.c)

- cleverly devise a way to remove the curse;

- implement and test your solution; (*)

- send your code to the Dark Oracle (Werner, wearing another of
  his many faces), have its fitness judged, and have it stand
  trial on Werner's devices.
(Continue reading)

Werner Almesberger | 21 Aug 09:39 2015

Anelok: Passfort

Nick also spotted this new competitor of Anelok, called Passfort,
and found it "eerily similar":


Let's compare:

Feature			Passfort		Anelok
-----------------------	-----------------------	-----------------
Openness		Closed			Open
Display			1.44" color		1.3" monochrome
Input			Touch screen		Slider
Storage			Internal		uSD
Wired connectivity	USB 2.0			USB 2.0, Full-speed
Wireless connectivity	BT 4.0			BTLE
Rfkill			?			Hardware
Power source		Rechargeable cell	Replaceable AAA
Battery life		7 days / charge (*)	~5 months (*)
Form factor		Keychain		Lighter
Size (bounding box)	47 x 38 x 14 mm		52 x 45 x 14 mm
Price			USD 59			TBD, < USD 100

(*) Passfort battery life is based on 15 daily accesses "via
    Bluetooth" while Anelok estimates are based on 5 daily
    (human) interactions of 1 minute each.

They also seem to have most of the software functionality planned
for Anelok working, such as browser integration, password
generation, etc.

(Continue reading)

Werner Almesberger | 21 Aug 09:01 2015

Anelok: Kinetis W-series

Nick mentioned on IRC this board that uses a Kinetis W-series


I didn't know about this KW series, so I went to investigate.
A Kinetis-based radio could be interesting a) because the MCU
architecture would be familiar, and b) if USB is an option, too,
a single chip could do RF and be cMCU.

There are the following chips to consider: [1]

- KW01Z: sub-GHz only, used in the Orchard board, no USB
- KW2xD: 802.15.4 (wpan), no BT(LE), has USB option
- KW20Z: 802.15.4 (wpan), no USB, not yet available
- KW30Z, KW40Z: BTLE, no USB, not yet available

I inquired with Freescale support about availability and openness,
but they told me to ask a local distributor. Ah well.

In any case, it seems that no chip with both BTLE and USB is

[1] http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/taxonomy.jsp?code=KINETIS_W_SERIES

- Werner

Werner Almesberger | 21 Aug 08:22 2015

Anelok: slider woes

The capacitative slider did not like the great outdoors beyond
Berlin and proved to be a major nuisance. Much of the time, it
flat out refused to work, or it would move only part of the

I tried a few quick fixes, but they only made things worse.
Specifically, they are:

- for "on" mode, set a fixed calibration (via DEVCFG) and disable

  Theory: if auto-calibration goes astray, it can make Anelok
  unresponsive or difficult to use for a while. Using a "known
  to be good" value would avoid this problem. But then, I don't
  know whether a single such value actually exists.

- prevent entering the lower power-saving modes (DEVCFG option):

  Theory: when switching off the boost converter, slider values
  change and Anelok needs to re-calibrate to be able to still
  read the slider while the boost converter is off. If such
  re-calibration goes wrong, e.g., because there is still a
  finger on the slider when turning off, it may prevent Anelok
  from responding for a long time (eventually, periodic
  calibration should resolve the issue, but this may take some

I'm getting fed up with the messy slider. It would seem to me that
(Continue reading)

Werner Almesberger | 21 Aug 07:42 2015

Anelok at CCCamp2015, quick summary

CCCamp2015 was pretty intense. I was there mainly for Neo900, but
got to show Anelok to a few people, too. A few considered a
password safe as something a bit too pedestrian, but most liked it.
I also gave a lightning talk:


Alas, no developers, investors, press, or other magical creatures
showed up. So I'd consider the overall result more of an exercise
in how to present things (and how to do better) than anything that
would help the project to move forward at this time.

- Werner

Werner Almesberger | 14 Aug 01:40 2015

Anelok: CCCamp2015 lightning talk, final details

I now have the final details: the talk will be at Simulacron-3,
a huge tent, Saturday August 15, at 17:10

If you want to stop over at the Neo village, we're just across
the path, east of Simulacron-3.

My slides are here:

- Werner