DIY SEARCH AND RESCUE!

This open source project investigates using AP beacon packet sniffing to locate people such as lost hikers, campers and even poachers in game preserves. This works anywhere- as long as wifi is enabled on the targets phone. The hardware detects the beacon frames from their cellular phone, records the GPS coordinates for use later. 2 flavors are made: one hand-held portable and the other airborne carried by plane or drone.

I was inspired by the constant stream of search and rescue operations on the television show “North Woods Law”. Each week they struggled to find lost people in the remote/rugged areas of Maine U.S.A. These areas often have no cellular service but in almost every case the target people had cellphones on them and working. As I live in Canada- we have a surplus of these situations in our vast wilderness as well.  I theorized I could use an external 2.4GHz antenna to receive the AP beacon frames from those phones ad capture that data. 

This hardware can be embedded in to any very small drone or RC aircraft. It can also be attached to existing manned aircraft already participating in the search. 

Using small drone aircraft (like the Nano Talon I use here) gives all the advantages such as flight condition tolerance, height, terrain, time of day etc that drones have over manned aircraft. They can also be sent on the full way-point mission without human intervention and tracked live from any ground station. 

What it does (both air unit and ground unit W yagi):

  • Detects all Beacons and their mac addresses within range
  • Detects All AP’s in range (not needed but why not log them anyhow)
  • Gets GPS Lat/Long positioning
  • Gets GPS UTC Time
  • Logs all the above to the SD card .csv file every time any device detected changes
  • Displays the number of clients detected, APs detected, time and Lat/Long on the OLED screen live. 
  • Air unit will eventually send telemetry to ground control for live alerts (likely using existing 433MHz telemetry already sending flight data)

BUILD

I started this build in 2018 and have proven out the Nano Talon airrframe to be a very worthy commercial candidate with good payload and HUGE flight times while operating fully autonomously. The Nano Talon breaks down small for easy transport/storage.

So far I am using the Wedmos D1 mini PRO with an external antenna (YAGI or Rubber duck) to receive the beacon frames, log them to SD Card with RSSI values (adds more precise direction finding if you fly a grid pattern) to review the MAC address list as well as plot with Google Earth/maps. I can easily transmit this via LORA or NRF module to the ground instantly as well. This will be logged as a separate version of the hardware.

I will update this and post the videos as we move forward with publishing (this will take me some time to document properly)

MEDIA

Overview Part:1

MKME TV is LIVE 24/7!

For some time now I have been working to lay the groundwork for our own networks and community collaboration tools. One piece of that I had planned was our own TV network for broadcasting our content live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Back in May I set up the MKME Live YouTube channel (separate from the MKME Lab and MKME Media channels).  This week I finally had enough funds to purchase the PC hardware needed to get the channel up and broadcasting!

The channel is up and right now is broadcasting all the archives from the MKME Lab YouTube channel.  Certain days I will devote to certain topics (today is RC Saturday with all aircraft and drones/FPV videos)

As time goes on I will hopefully have content created by others in the MKME Community.  The channel will become a tunnel through which we can all reach the world.

I have many more plans under development.  Stay tuned!

Community Update

I thought it time for a quick update and share some things going on with the YouTube channel and MKME Community lately.

The last few months have been extremely busy. A lot has gone on in the “background” and I’m excited to say that the next few months should bring more updates, announcements, new initiates and video development than any time in the history of the MKME community.

Sometime in late Q3/early Q4 2016 you will see this work start to be published.  As always, it will involve all community members as often as possible.  I truly love where things are headed thanks to all you amazing people out there.  Full details will come as I pass through some of the “gates” required to make my plans a reality.

I have also updated the store with new product lines and a new back end interface to Amazon which should make finding project parts and components easier for those interested.  Many times people ask for an Amazon parts source as they do not trust eBay- the MKME store fills that gap.

I’m currently travelling on business in Europe and due to some circumstances beyond my control- two weeks of videos cannot be published.  Once I return next week the normal schedule will resume.

Huge thanks to my Patreon supporters who make the MKME Lab videos possible.  Thanks to your support I have invested in the full Adobe software suite which will enable me to create higher quality content for the channels.  The monthly payment for the Adobe Suite would not be possible without the support of people like you.

Cheers

 

Community Blog Submissions

An exciting new development for the site is that anyone can now submit blog posts they wish to see on the site.  Complete the form below with a well written article and you will see it hosted forever on this site.

Accreditation is given to each and every author as well as a link to the URL of their choosing.

 

Here is the direct link:  MKme.org Blog Submission Form

Extras Video Series for MKme Supporters

For those not aware I started a videos series for all mkme.org supporters. Each week I try to show some behind the scenes footage, interesting projects or other random topics. If you would like to have access to these videos you only need to visit my Patreon page and place a pledge of support:

https://www.patreon.com/EricWilliam

You can pledge as little as $1. If everyone threw one dollar in the hat- imagine the difference we could make, projects we could do etc. A small pledge really does make a huge difference.

HUGE thanks to all my current Patreon supporters! You guys are amazing and I am loving having targeted videos just for you.

Important to note- I will always make free videos and content. Supporting will never be mandatory in any way.

Here’s a few examples of what lives in the mkme.org “Extras” series:

mkme extras series

mkme extras videos

mkme extras videos

mkme extras 4