• Go Ahead, Push My Buttons

    Monstatek02/16/2024 at 11:16 3 comments

    Screen test video that was requested by one of our backers. Beta prototype of the M1.

  • Dress for Success

    Monstatek02/14/2024 at 05:31 0 comments

    Initial stages of the enclosure design process.

  • Fully Funded on Kickstarter!!

    Monstatek02/10/2024 at 16:46 0 comments

    We’re so thankful to the community. Our kickstarter campaign is off to a great start, and we couldn’t have done it without your support.

  • Now on Kickstarter!!

    Monstatek02/06/2024 at 21:55 0 comments

    Now on Kickstarter!!

    Hello everyone, we're thrilled to share that the M1 has just launched on Kickstarter. Our team has put our hearts and souls into this project, and we would be truly grateful for your support. By backing us, you’ll be giving us a chance to bring this project to life. We’d like to offer you exclusive early-bird prices and invite you to become a part of our growing community. We sincerely appreciate any support in spreading the word about our Kickstarter campaign on social media, forums, and with your friends. Your support means the world to us – thank you so much for your consideration.

  • Paint the Town Infrared

    Monstatek10/25/2023 at 09:59 1 comment

    When it came to infrared, we had a few basic criteria:

    • handle a wide range of IR protocols and frequencies, given the diverse range of devices the M1 might interact with.
    • ensure reliable communication over varying distances and in different environments (a highly sensitive IR receiver would be beneficial).
    • filter out and reject interference from other electronic devices or sources of noise is crucial for reliable communication.

    So, we looked at the Vishay IR Receiver Modules. Specifically the tsop753 and its sensitivity around the 38kHz band-pass center frequency. This was necessary to guarantee that our device's IR transmitter is in harmony with the TSOP753's reception capabilities. A cool thing about the TSOP753 is its improved immunity against ambient light. It also has a low profile of 2.35mm, which helps with a compact device like ours. It’s reliable and widely available. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    Working with IR receivers and components, here's what we further considered:

    • pay close attention to the modulation frequencies of IR signals; they're crucial for accurate signal detection.
    • factor in the duty cycle because it directly influences signal clarity and how the receiver interprets it.
    • Familiarization with the unique sequence of pulses and spaces for each IR protocol, ensuring our system interprets commands correctly.
    • Pay mind to protocol-specific starting or ending sequences, as they help in distinguishing signals.

  • Mind the Gap - Sub-1 GHz

    Monstatek10/22/2023 at 06:02 0 comments

    Crucial to devices such as ours is the Sub-1 GHz transceiver. We definitely wanted to employ a transceiver that is capable throughout a wide range of frequencies. (Refer to Frequency Range in chart below). The Si4463 transceiver boasts optimal sensitivity, allowing it to discern even very faint signals. Additionally, its robust power output ensures extended range communication capabilities. And it’s nice to have data rates up to 1 megabyte per second as opposed to only 500 kilobytes per second.

  • Need for Speed - Our Choice of MCU

    Monstatek10/21/2023 at 05:58 0 comments

    After extensive testing of various microcontroller units, we narrowed it down to two contenders.

    We liked the Bluetooth capabilities of the STM32WB, but were underwhelmed by its overall performance. Besides, Bluetooth was already integrated in our wireless components. In the end, the H series of MCUs from STM microcontrollers was the only way to fly.

    Beyond sheer performance, we chose the STM32H5 series over the STM32WB series for its enhanced security features. The STM32H5 offers a robust suite of security capabilities including hardware side security. Moreover, the STM32H5's ability to securely store cryptographic keys was something we hoped we could integrate, especially when considering applications like Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), where the integrity and confidentiality of stored keys are paramount.

  • It’s all Part of the Plan - Schematics

    Monstatek10/21/2023 at 04:47 0 comments

    Look what I’ve found! Some old schematics that I hope you find interesting. Way too much coffee and not enough sleep went into this process, but I was quite pleased with how our plans had taken shape.

  • The M1 is Born

    Monstatek10/08/2023 at 07:02 0 comments

    The M1 was born from a simple wish  to create a tool that makes sophisticated tech accessible to anyone. Those open-source gadgets we were so fond of weren’t just nifty tools, but the spark for a neat idea we were eager to chase. They showed what can happen when curious minds come together to tinker and explore. The charm of retro game consoles wasn’t just about nostalgia, but a nod to simplicity and fun.

    The M1 is more than just a gadget; it’s our way of saying that tech shouldn’t be a tough nut to crack. It’s about creating a culture of open exploration, where getting to grips with technology is an enjoyable experience, not a daunting chore.

    We even made an instagram page :)

  • Exploration

    Monstatek10/08/2023 at 06:55 0 comments

    A while back, we got our hands on a bunch of RFID cards and some infrared components. While RFID (Radio-frequency identification) and infrared technology have been around for a while, they still hold lots of possibilities waiting to be explored. We began with a simple aim: to understand and test the limitations and capabilities of these technologies, and perhaps, to create something new and exciting along the way.
    The first part of our project was centered around RFID technology. Each RFID card has a unique identifier which can be read by an RFID reader.
    We ordered an ESP32 and RFID module and set to work. Why ESP32? (We'll get to that later!)  Then we set up a workplace access system using RFID cards and a reader connected to a microcontroller.

    Moving onto infrared devices. After watching some Andreas Spiess videos on infrared (IR) communication, I was highly motivated. With a breadboard, IR receiver and transmitter in hand, we began decoding and replicating IR signals from my TV remote control, guided by Spiess's detailed demonstrations. My simple setup on a breadboard successfully communicated with my TV, and yielded a few ideas for our own device.

    Eventually, we stumbled upon a bunch of projects on Hackaday that were working on RFID/NFC technologies to create a communication channel for IoT devices. The prototype showcased the potential of combining these technologies for enhanced functionality in smart devices and home automation.
    Every day that I continue to test and experiment, I am repeatedly struck by the wide possibilities of RFID and infrared. Through sharing my experiences and learning from others, I am eager to see where this takes us. Whether it's creating or designing a fun gadget, or sharing a project with others, the adventure is far from over.

    Our Vision

    Those open-source devices we admired so much really were the source of inspiration for Monstatek. Our dream of a multi-tool for hackers, along with our nostalgia for the charm of retro game consoles, led to "unnintendo-ed" consequences.

    The "inspiration."

    Initial design concept.
    Our mission is to improve people's understanding of technology and remove the obstacles that stop them from  exploring the digital world. We're all about empowering users through knowledge and providing the right tools. One monster tool for all.