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Radio Revolution

Wireless activism and propaganda over distributed wireless networks

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Radio Revolution is a low cost, open source local captive portal used to spread information and propaganda easily and without restrictions.

[the challenge]

Once again, we are living in an era of global unrest and instability. Corrupt governments, unruly dictators, and bitter conflicts are frequently met with public protest and outcry. Sometimes, this activism is welcome, often, it is not. In areas where free speech is under threat and protesters face police brutality, gathering is difficult and posting information to the internet could be illegal.

[the solution]
Radio Revolution seeks to give activists another tool to spread their messages, anywhere, at any time. Imagine taping up posters in a subway car, in a government office, or on a military base. To do this, Radio Revolution creates a small, localized wi-fi hotspot that looks like free internet. Users can connect to it, but they are met with a message upon connecting, similar to the captive portals in hotels or airports. In doing so, information can be spread about anonymously and locally, and very easily.

[the revolution]

Radio Revolution aims to be a low cost, effective way to distribute information that people will notice. It can be carried around easily, so wherever you go, your message can be spread. And because the hotspot is 'invisible' and not easily traceable, the message being broadcast doesn't have to conform to free speech laws, striking an effective balance between online and real protest. By doing so, activism can be brought into new places and situations easily without the logistical issues. Potential uses extend beyond political speech: Radio Revolution could be used to post and important information after a disaster, give directions to refugees, and in any other situation where lives are at risk, communications networks aren't readily available, and messages need to get out.

[the technology]

Radio Revolution is based on the esp8266 chipset to keep costs as low as possible. All the software runs on it. Power is provided via the USB-A plug, so it can be connected to any power bank or wall charger to run. All editing software is ran on Radio Revolution: simply connect to the online control panel on the hotspot to change the message being broadcast easily.

  • 1 × ESP8266 2017 hardware hacker bread and butter
  • 1 × 3v3 voltage regulator Turns USB-level power into ESP-level power
  • 1 × USB connector It's everywhere, I guess
  • 1 × PCB Possibly Purple
  • 1 × Other good stuff Decoupling caps, resistors, possibly a blue LED?

View all 6 components

  • Day 1

    qquuiinn04/10/2017 at 07:28 0 comments

    So I probably need to sleep, but here's what needs to happen between now and the end of the month, besides more tidying up and general polishing of the project page to rake in those skulls.

    • Get esp8266 to start serving pages correctly
    • Make HTML/javascipt look the way it should
    • Get onboard site editor working (hardest part)
    • Figure out some sort of low-level security for the whole thing

    Right now actually making the finished hardware is the last thing on my mind. I can just do everything on my WeMos D1, then at the last minute, slap things together in EDA software and order enough boards for Best Product. Besides, the hardest part will be the code, considering I know nothing about networking or JS. Fun stuff!

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