Project 1: Connecting to the internet

Connecting to the internet with a raspberry pi required some trial and error. In order to connect to the network you need all the right configurations set for the specific network, otherwise it will always fail to connect.

Steps I took to connect:

  1. Hook up one of the compatible wifi usb sticks with your raspberry pi after you have booted up.
  2. go to the wifi configuration under preferences in the main menu inside of the Debian GUI.
  3. go to the manage networks tab and scan for available networks.
  4. once you have found a network, press add.
  5. The SSID is the name of the network
  6. To determine Authentication, Encryption, and EAP method, open up system preferences on your mac, go to network, and find the same network you are attempting to connect to with your raspberry pi, I was connected to “newschool”. It should describe the EAP authentication method next to “Authenticated via …” where it will show one of the many methods. On the raspberry pi, select that EAP method, mine was “PEAP”. For Authentication, you will need to go into advanced settings where it will list the name of the network along with its security. Mine was “WPA2 Enterprise”
  7. In raspbian network gui, go back to the current status tab and connect. It will take a moment. Once connected it will say complete
  8. open up a Midori window and type something in!

Adafruit 8X8 LED matrix


The Adafruit 8X8 matrix conveniently comes with the their GFX library which makes it increadibly easy to create shapes and animations on the 8×8 led grid.

Before making any visuals, some soldering is required to get the matrix running and working with the Arduino. The tutorial can be found here.

As a group between Zanzie,Kim, and I, we were able to make several simple bitmap images and animations.

Project 1: moving forward with RaspberryPi

In order to receive police radio signals and output the data to an Arduino, A few options were presented to me.

Originally i wanted to be mostly dependent on hardware, meaning that I would use a traditional radio setup with a tuner. Sparkfun’s Si4702 FM radio reciever board looked promising until I read the datasheet. The chip can’t tune to frequencies above 108MHz FM. Unfortunately Manhattan precincts all broadcast well above that frequency – mostly broadcasting above 400 MHz. 🙁

A few alternatives were brought to my attention.

1.) I could use a Raspberry Pi (which i have no previous experience with) and SDR usb dongle to pick up on specific frequencies, that could later be output to an Arduino via an audio jack that would oscillate between 0V and +5V.

2.) I could purchase a premade radio scanner and hack it to fit my project. Such scanners can be found on EBAY. A list of top of the line hobby radio scanners are here.

3.) A more advanced radio tuning chip is in the making that would likely give me the reception I need. the chip is capable of receiving between 50 MHz and 1000 MHz!! This range is astounding… but it looks like it is still in development. If and when it comes out, this chip could come in handy.

At the moment, I am using Raspberry Pi and SDR.
I am currently running Raspbian. I have purchased and am waiting for:

  • wireless mouse and keyboard
  • dvi to hdmi converter
  • SDR usb dongle and antenna
  • BNC female to MCX male dongle
  • mini haptic motors

Once I have received those I will:

setup the Raspberry Pi with the RTL2832U SDR usb dongle. For that I will need follow this Raspberry Pi forum post on setting it up through command line.

Utilize the documentation on how to use what is called demod.

If I can get past that I will move onto getting audio output from the Pi.

Beyond that, will be the next steps of the project.

  • set up communication with Arduino
  • make haptic components respond according to the audio
  • design the hoodie and integrate the electronic components

Project 1: next steps

In order to receive police radio information, parse it, and output a response to another device, like an Arduino and create the wearable, I will need to complete these two tutorials:

Adafruit’s raspberry pi SDR police radio scanner guide comes with a list of components needed to turn a raspbery pi’s computing power into a radio.


A nice instructables guide shows that it is possible for an Arduino to read radio frequency! It’s quite the hacky process because Arduino can only read between 0V and +5V, there are a few steps to transform the radio wave to fit. This combined with the raspbery Pi, and i should be able to hook up some vibration motors to place around the hoodie to create haptic feed back for the wearer.

Project 1 initial steps

The project:

I will make a wearable device in collaboration with my previous suitemate and founder of K2O, James Halls Collins. The first version of the wearable will be an iteration of their “BADMAN” hoodie. Electronics will be integrated into the hoodie so that it will be able to pick up on police radio frequencies within the Brooklyn/Manhattan area.

The goal:
In response to recent events culminating from Ferguson, Missouri the wearable seeks to create greater balance between police and citizen – particularly providing wearers of the hoodie with the advantage of a live instrument for detecting police proximity. The hoodie will translate the radio waves into some sort of haptic or visual feedback mechanism embedded within the garment that will give the perception of proximity.

I have already received James approval to move ahead with the project.

next steps:

figure out a design for the hoodie based on the components I will be using.

Determine what technologies i need in order to interface with hertzian space.

A few items I have come across that i am considering/doing research on:

Software Defined Radio

conductive thread

Neo Pixel

Arduino Uno, Lillypad or Adafruit Gemma

EL Wire

fiber optic fabric

PIR motion sensor game

PIR Motion Sensor Circuit

Components list:

Potentiometer x2, Piezo Buzzer x1, Wire, LED x2, Arduino Uno, 220 Ohm resistor x2

The PIR sensor in fritzing is not representative of the sensor we used. The sensor used for this can be found at Adafruit.

How the game works:

The red LED represents the status of the motion sensor, when it is lit, the sensor is armed and ready. The green LED indicates when the sensor has been triggered. One potentiometer controls the “pace” while the other controls “wait” to make the game a little more challenging. The buzzer will tick, and when the buzzer makes the go noise, you have to waive your hand frantically in front of the sensor before you run out of time. If you succeed in triggering the sensor, then it buzzes a satisfying tune. Conversely, if you lose then it triggers a sad tune. The motion sensor waits about 14 seconds before the next cycle of the game starts.

The rearm function has one minor drawback, mostly due to the inconsistencies in the motion sensor, and that the wait time is hardcoded to 14 seconds, even though the wait time could be higher or lower than that.


For all the fun things you can do with the PIR sensor from Adafruit, it has one major drawback. There is a delay, often inconsistent, every time the sensor is triggered. While it can be adjusted sightly, it ultimately comes down to cheap hardware not doing the job right.


here is the code:

const int digitalInPin = 8;
const int armedLedPin = 3;
const int motionLedPin = 2;
int time;
int x = 14; //takes about 14 seconds to rearm sensor
void setup() {
void loop() {
int motionVal = motionRead(digitalInPin,1000);
if(motionVal > 0) {
} else if (motionVal < 1) { digitalWrite(motionLedPin,LOW); digitalWrite(armedLedPin,HIGH); } Serial.println(time); rearm(); } int motionRead(int pin, int wait) { delay(wait); int sensorRead = digitalRead(pin); return(sensorRead); } void rearm() { time = x; for(int x; x>0; x–) {

Reading Response to Dunne & Raby

As I read both the readings I was thinking about what my project should be. Before I could figure out what the project was going to be I needed to pose some questions. This is the result of the new questions and understandings that I arrived at after the readings:

I was particularly interesting in the Dunne & Rabby reading about Hertzian space because they made me aware of a space that previously I had no idea existed beyond my phone’s recognition of wifi and a car radio’s ability to receive music signals from towers. There are so many terms and new vocabulary for describing Hetzian space and those who have found way to interact with and utilize it. Hertzian space is an area beyond normal human perception, which is why the vocabulary around it is so odd. It has to be very specific in order to describe this very particular area of the universe – the spectrum. A word has to be invented to designate something as existing because thats how humans communicate concepts, ideas, and things – especially things beyond which can be understood using our built in biological sensors. Senses such as taste, touch, sight, hearing, and smell can be used to share an experience with other humans because they have the same sensory abilities. For example, An apple is equally understood between two individuals from opposite sides of the globe as a fruit because it is sweet when eaten. it feels waxy to the touch and we can see that it grows on trees and that it has a stem. All of these features, which we can detect using our external sensory functions, of an apple make up how we, as humans define it to be an apple. But how do you understand something entirely that is beyond our natural human sensory perception? How do you describe such a thing? It is abstract if it has not been grounded in reality through our senses. Another language is required to describe realms beyond human perception: math. Mathematical equations can describe natural phenomenons that are beyond normal human perception. For instance Hertzian space is made up of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is understood in terms of frequency and is visualized as oscillating waves. However, this is still an abstraction of the original form and it is still removed from our senses. It is not truly representative.

How can we make Hertzian space into a place? How can we make Hertzian space more tangible? In what ways can we visualize Hertzian space? It is omnipresent, yet the only way we understand it to exist is the moment we lose connection to the internet and have to reconnect. Only in moments where we require access to the internet, but cannot get on, do we realize its existence, other wise we take it for granted that we can search wikipedia and surf google.

As James Hunter puts it, “we create ‘place’ only through continual acts of seizure.” That is, a space is something that doesn’t exist, is not defined, yet is everywhere and is only turned into place when something grabs your attention, pulling you away from your normal monotonous flow. Place is created where disruptions push an pull the normal current of time as perceived by a human. Hertzian space, at the moment, is disrupting people all the time when their internet goes out, but in a way that isn’t enjoyable, gainful, or fun. There were a few examples of people who were actively seizing hertzian space by searching for natural radio frequencies traveling through space and interacting with Earths ionosphere. What if there were some way to disrupt ones normal flow of activity by making them more aware of the dense radioscape they are surrounded by? How could the invisible become visible, tangible, and real to the human senses? These are questions I am beginning to ask as well as think about ways in which the questions can be materialized into a project.

Images related to Pallasmaa

Buildings inspired by nature, and not.

Examples of human center design and non human center design.

8 Spruce Street Downtown Manhattan. Designed by Frank Gehry.

Stata Center at MIT, Cambridge also designed by Frank Gehry.

Denver Art Museum in Denver, Co. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, also assistant architect of the Freedom Tower.

Guggenheim Museum, NY designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Lideta Mercado, Ethiopia, designed by Xavier Vilalta

guggenheim Denver Art Museum MIT Stata Center 8 Spruce Street Detail14mercatolideta-xvstudio-04