Close-Haul Communications, Inc. is an open source wireless hardware company founded in 2009 by Robin Coxe and Tux the Polyester Penguin. Our tagline, Closing Gaps, Opening Access, captures our intention to design and build affordable, open wireless infrastructure hardware that enables people to create cellular networks outside the walled gardens of telecom monopolies. Close-Haul Communications is a charter member of the Open Source Hardware Association. Our first design, the GAPfiller GSM900, is intended as a prototyping platform for OpenBTS research and has been optimized for the GSM 900 band (GAP= GSM Access Point). The GAPfiller GSM900 is a mezzanine card compatible with the Ettus Research USRP series of software defined radio baseboards. Although not yet released commercially, the GAPfiller GSM900 board is open-source hardware covered under the CERN Open Hardware License, version 1.2.
The design files (OrCAD schematics, PADS PCB layout, Gerber files, and supporting documentation) were uploaded to Github on 7 January 2014. FPGA firmware and Linux driver modifications will be necessary to run OpenBTS or osmo-trx on the GAPfiller900. Stay tuned for more details.
In the summer of 2011, Robin joined Analog Devices Lyric Labs as a digital design engineer working on R&D for new communications infrastructure chips. Close-Haul-related activities have been relegated to the back burner for the better part of two years. However, Tux the Polyester Penguin wants to assure everyone that we still pay Delaware franchise tax and file our Annual Reports, so Close-Haul does in fact live on! Our focus in 2014 will be on developing an extremely compact multi-mode cellular basestation built around the AD9361 RF Agile Transceiver and a Xilinx Zynq SoC that contains FPGA programmable logic tightly coupled with a 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 microprocessor running Linux.