Lockpicking @ Science Gallery SECRET Exhibition

Jester here, I have been invited to run a 2 hour hands on lockpicking workshop in the Science Gallery as part of their SECRET Exhibition on the 10th and 15th of September 2015. The first date sold out quicker than I would get around to putting up a blog post, so allow me to tell you about the 2nd one.

The event description is on the Science Gallery website is HERE. In the 2 hour session I will include 30 minutes of presentation slides showing the inside of a lock, and how we manipulate the lock without the use of a key. I will also show examples of other types of locks that you might see on a regular basis, and the possible insecurities of these locks. This is followed by us giving lockpicking a go ourselves. The Science Gallery were kind enough to supply locks and lockpicks for the session, but I will also bring along some of TOG’s collection from the Ha’penny Bridge.

If you are interested, I have placed the booking form below, or please jump over to the Science Gallery booking page HERE and grab yourself a place


Wieder da: Jockis SMD-Lötworkshop

Es wird mal wieder Zeit: Unser Mitglied Jocki wird am zweiten Septemberwochenende zum fünften Mal seinen SMD-Lötworkshop abhalten und wieder einmal zeigen, dass SMD-Löten per Hand kein Hexenwerk ist, solange man einen Lötkolben richtig herum halten kann.

Im Laufe von vier Stunden werden die Teilnehmer Jockis TinyMega zusammenlöten — ein kleines, Breadboard-kompatibles AVR-Entwicklungsboard mit USB-Anschluss, das auf Atmels Microcontroller ATmega32U4 aufbaut. Ihr lernt also nicht nur SMD-Löten, sondern habt hinterher noch eine passende Ausgangsbasis für Eure eigenen Microcontroller-Entwicklungen!

Im Vergleich zu den ersten Workshops wurden die Boards sogar noch verbessert: Wer Schaltungen mit kleinerer Betriebsspannung als 5V bauen will, z.B. 3,3V, kann jetzt direkt auf dem Board einen Spannungsregler auflöten und damit alle Teile inklusive des Mikrocontrollers passend betreiben; ein Regler für 3,3V ist im Bausatz bereits enthalten.

Die bisherigen Iterationen des Workshops waren bereits große Erfolge — trotz anfänglicher Berührungsängste („Wie soll ich das denn bitte löten, ich kann das ja kaum sehen!“) liegt die Erfolgsquote der Workshops bisher bei 99% — nur einer von 75 Teilnehmern ging ohne funktionierendes Board nach Hause.

Bilder vom ersten, zweiten und dritten Workshop finden sich in unserer Gallery.

Es gibt drei mögliche Termine mit einer Dauer von je ca. vier Stunden. Pro Termin ist Platz für acht Teilnehmer, um verbindliche Anmeldung per Doodle wird daher gebeten. Der Kostenpunkt ist 13€ für Mitglieder bzw. 15€ für Nichtmitglieder, darin sind 10€ für den Bausatz bereits enthalten. Bitte bringt das Geld möglichst abgezählt mit.

Falls Ihr Pech habt und alle für Euch passenden Termine schon voll sind, schreibt einfach eine kurze Mail an und Ihr kommt auf die Warteliste bzw. werdet als Erste informiert, wenn es wieder einen Workshop gibt.


  • SMD-Löttechniken
  • Hilfe bei Inbetriebnahme der Boards


  • Grundlegende Lötkenntnisse (Durchlochbauteile)


  • optional Notebook und Mini-USB-Kabel, wenn Ihr direkt mit dem Board arbeiten wollt
  • Mini-USB-Kabel können auch vor Ort für 1€ erworben werden


  • Termine: 11.9. 18:00, 12.9. 10:00, 12.9. 15:00
  • Teilnehmer: Maximal acht pro Termin
  • Kosten: 10€ für den Bausatz, zzgl. 3€ Teilnahmebeitrag für Mitglieder, 5€ für Nichtmitglieder. Der Teilnahmebeitrag geht direkt an den Verein.
  • Anmeldung: verbindlich per Doodle; first come first serve
  • Anfahrt: U4/U9 Haltestelle “Im Degen”, Ulmer Straße 255, Stuttgart Wangen (gegenüber Kulturhaus Arena)

Wieder da: Jockis SMD-Lötworkshop

Ars Electronics Stream day 2 meetup

09/06/2015 11:00
09/06/2015 12:00
09/06/2015 11:00
09/06/2015 12:00

Thank you for participating to our marathon of labs "Around the world of labs in 48 hours", organized by Makery in Linz during the Ars Electronica Festival  2015 from Friday, September 4th 17 pm to Sunday, September 6th, 17 pm. And welcome !The site on which will be displayed our marathon: (we miss your infos...)


Ars Electronics Stream day 1 meetup

09/05/2015 12:00
09/05/2015 13:00
09/05/2015 12:00
09/05/2015 13:00

Thank you for participating to our marathon of labs "Around the world of labs in 48 hours", organized by Makery in Linz during the Ars Electronica Festival  2015 from Friday, September 4th 17 pm to Sunday, September 6th, 17 pm. And welcome !The site on which will be displayed our marathon: (we miss your infos...)



Workshop: Programmierung in Nix

Am Samstag den 5. September 2015 ab 15 Uhr freut sich shackspace einen Workshop zur Programmierung in Nix anbieten zu können.

Nix ist eine rein funktionale Programmiersprache welche z.B. in NixOS zur Systembeschreibung verwendet wird. Nix kann aber auch unter Mac OSX oder anderen POSIX-Systemen verwendet werden um, analog zu homebrew, zusätzliche Software zu verwalten.

Der Workshop ist als betreutes Programmieren aufgebaut und wird an 30 Fragestellungen die folgenden Punkte behandeln:

  • Attribute Sets
  • Listen
  • Funktionen
  • with, import & inherit
  • Das Nix Typensystem
  • Assertions
  • map & fold

Achtung: wer im Nix programmieren Workshop auf dem CCCamp2015 dabei war: der Fragenkatalog wurde wesentlich erweitert und Wiederholung schadet auch nicht Workshop: Programmierung in Nix

Zum Event:
Eintritt frei! (Spenden an shack e.V. sind gerne gesehen) Jeder ist willkommen!
Datum: Samstag, 5. September 2015, ab 15 Uhr
Anfahrt: U4/U9 Haltestelle “Im Degen”, Ulmer Straße 255, Stuttgart Wangen (gegenüber Kulturhaus Arena)

Workshop: Programmierung in Nix


Board Game Night


As many of you may be aware, we’ve been thinking long and hard about running game nights in Tog for a while now. You may have even played a few games with us at one of our open socials, but finally the stars have aligned and we’re now running a regular Board Game Night on the first Friday of the month 6:30 to 10:30pm starting from THIS FRIDAY, 4th September.

The basic concept of Board Game Night is that once per month a game is selected as the main focus of the night, and we’ll try to get a few copies of the game (when possible) so that everyone that comes can play and enjoy that game. It wont always be possible to have multiple copies, so we will have other similarly themed games going on simultaneously when that’s not possible.

It’s free and open to everyone, so just come down and play some games!


For our first night, we’re kicking off with Splendor as our main game of choice. We will of course have others available including Small World, Ticket to Ride, Boss Monster and others should we get a big group enough together.

Splendor is a game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops—all in order to acquire the most prestige points. If you’re wealthy enough, you might even receive a visit from a noble at some point, which of course will further increase your prestige.” BoardGameGeek



n00b hacks harder

This is Tim:

Tim's only somewhat a n00b.  Tim is an electronics expert, and music hacker; so much so, he created a synthesizer for the Nintendo DS.  Sometimes he just needs a little help with the hardware. 

n00b hacks harder

Tim sometimes needs help with his hardware hacking game, to build electronics enclosures and stage accessories for his performances.  Tim frequently visits 23b Shop, Mag Labs, and Null Space Labs to do just that.  Clearly a hackerspace connoisseur.

Tim uses his product to perform live chiptune compositions, you may remember one such performance from Sparklecon.

n00b hacks harder

Here's a sample of some of Tim's trial-by-fire exploits. 

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n00b hacks harder

Tim has even gone through the trouble to learn Solidworks to up his game. The process was non-trivial and sometimes painful, but it paid off with awesome looking results.

n00b hacks hardern00b hacks harder

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n00b hacks harder

Recently, Tim asked for advice on how to hack is new things.  "Maybe I can use the CNC mill to make the holes in this enclosure?"  

n00b hacks harder

The Bridge Troll scoffed, "You've only got a dozen holes!  Carefully measure and lay out the panel, and drill away at home!  You don't need us to do this child's job!"

 CNC milling can be a challenging option, and certainly not one for the inexperienced.  CNC is a great option when you're making many copies of the same thing, or if something needs to be quite precise.  This is a box with some holes for big knobs, it probably doesn't need to be engineered to aircraft-grade standards.  "Go drill that on your drill press, and stop bothering me," I think to myself. 

Turns out, the Dunning-Kruger effect also works in reverse.  "Their research also suggests that conversely, highly skilled individuals may underestimate their relative competence, erroneously assuming that tasks that are easy for them also are easy for others."


n00b hacks harder

 "I started off taping the design to the box so that all of the holes would be properly lined up. Then I used a punch to make sure every hole had a proper center point."  Too bad we didn't think to mention a center point doesn't do much good without a subsequent center drill (before the real drill)

"Some of the holes could be made on the drill press, but because of the side of the part and the bends in it, some of them had to be done "freehand". That's what really gets me into trouble!"  NO, DON'T DO IT, TIM!!!

"Even stuff I drilled with the drill press was not immune to wandering, somehow."

n00b hacks harder
As I begin to sarcastically joke, "I remember MY first time drilling thin aluminum," it dawns on me that it wasn't so long ago that it was in fact my first time drilling holes in thin aluminum, and they looked every bit as gnawed and chewed by robotic zombie rodents. 

Unfortunately, the diagnosis for recovery on this part was not good.  It's much more difficult to put metal back on than it is to take off, and the top half of this enclosure seemed beyond salvation. 

Undeterred by so much tilting at windmills, Tim came back to the shop last night with a flat, laser-cut panel of acrylic, determined to replace the now-scrapped curved top by bending a new one. 

"Roh'kay Raggy" my inner Scooby-Doo taunts from just beneath my conscious level.   Let me guide you, Tim. 

We improvised a bending jig by comparing the scrapped top panel to some pieces of wood and bar stock we had laying around the shop.

Getting ready to bend, I ask Tim, "Do you have any pieces to practice on?"


"Allow me to get you something to practice on first, before we scrap the one good part you have."  Good lesson to learn right here, if you're going to make one single piece, you might as well make three, because you're going to scrap two in the process.

Turns out propane was a little too aggressive

n00b hacks harder

Aaah, much better with the Harbor Freight heat gun. 

Bend one went well.

n00b hacks harder

Another one of those voices bubbled up from my subconscious once again. 

"Did you consider a bend allowance?"

"What's a bend allowance?"


n00b hacks harder

When you make a bend in material, a portion of the material on the outer edge of the bend is stretched around the bend, while the material on the inner edge is compressed. 

When this happens, the material deforms, stretches, and shrinks in predictable ways, based on the magical "K factor" of the material.  Copypasta for clarity -

"K-factor is a ratio of location of the neutral line to the material thickness as defined by t/T where t = location of the neutral line and T = material thickness. The K-Factor formulation does not take the forming stresses into account but is simply a geometric calculation of the location of the neutral line after the forces are applied and is thus the roll-up of all the unknown (error) factors for a given setup. The K-factor depends on many factors including the material, the type of bending operation (coining, bottoming, air-bending, etc.) the tools, etc. and is typically between 0.3 to 0.5."

Fortunately for Tim, without knowing the K factor (or needing to know, for that matter), his bends were PERFECT. 

Unfortunately for Tim, he didn't account for the bend allowance, making his part a little bit short across the top.  He made the executive decision to cut a slit down the top of the part, and will patch it later with another flat piece of acrylic bonded to the top.  "It's not a bug, it's a feature!"

Nice save, and a VAST improvement from his first attempt a week or so ago. 

n00b hacks harder

Well done, Tim.