Monthly Archives: September 2013

Culturele Zondag 6 Oktober

culurele zondag

Op 6 oktober wordt het ruig in de binnenstad van Enschede. Dan vindt de Culturele Zondag plaats van 13.00 tot 17.00 uur op het Ei van Ko, de Raadhuisstraat en in Achter ’t Hofje. Stevige bands van rock tot punk, singer/songwriters, rauwe kunst, tattoo art, rough fashion, foto-exposities, hackers, DJ en synthesizer- workshops en nog veel meer. Kinderen kunnen meedoen met een stoere stripquiz en een stripworkshop.

TkkrLab doet hier ook aan mee, we staat ‘Achter ‘t Hofje’ om hier onze workshop Arduino en solderen te geven. Tevens demonstreren we onze 3D printer en diverse andere creaties van onze deelnemers.

Kijk hier voor het hele programma van de Culturele Zondag.


VHS LED Matrix Badge

A few months ago we were talking about the Defcon and HOPE convention badges are and how awesome it would be if we could make one for VHS. “It can’t be that hard” we said. We will just put an Arduino on a board and put a LED matrix on it. It won’t take longer than weekend to build, a week or so of programming and we’ll be good to go. ~2 full months later just in time for SHHH 29 and we have a prototype!

The badge has 2 LED Matrix (8×8) next to each other, in a 8×16 matrix. Each pixel in the matrix can be either RED or GREEN, or any variation between the two.

The badge has a tiny microphone‎ built into the board, that is connected to one of the analog pins on the microcontroller. It can be used for an equalizer or other interesting projects.

The board has a 4 way joystick with a centre button in the bottom left and a single button in the bottom right. We hope people will make simple pixel based games

We added a Complex Programmable Logic Device (CPLD) to controlling the LED matrix and decoding the button presses. It also has the added advantage that people can learn about Verilog and VHDL. (Note: The CPLD will come pre-programmed so you don’t need to know Verilog and VHDL to get started) There are three exposed digital pins that are connected directly to the microcontroller for adding your own peripherals.

JTAG programming and debugging of the CPLD, SPI, I2C, AVR debugWire, Arduino bootloader and a few other nice features.


Bill of Materials

  • 2x – GYXM-1588-AURG – LED Matrix 8×16, 2 color (Red, Green)
  • 1x – ATmega168-PV – Arduino 168
  • 1x – 5M40ZE64 – CPLD (Complex Programmable Logic Device)
  • 1x – BL-5F – 3.7v, 950 mA (Nokia cell phone batteries)

Full bill of materials

Source and board design files
The board design files and example source code can be found on VHS’s github. Pull requests, comments and suggestions are welcome!

The board design and source code will be released under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Allowing anyone to copy, edit, and create their own updated versions of these boards as long as they provide attribution and share their changes under the same licence.

One of the design goals of this project is to make it as cheap as possible. We wanted to keep it cheap so the cost of the board would not be a barrier to playing with one. Unfortunately we did not count on the chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, and September equinox holidays. This prevented us from getting the boards printed in China in time for SHHH. We ended up getting the first run of boards printed in Vancouver at a considerable premium.

$20 for VHS members.
We have ~30 boards available.

If you have experience surface mount soldering, and would like to start playing with the board early, contact us.

We need your help
We have ~30 boards that need to be solder before SHHH on Oct 5th. We need people with experience soldering surface mount components to help us get these boards together.

Please contact Richard Sim .
We will be at the space all this week.

We are looking for feedback on this version of the boards so we can make revisions and possibly make a Kickstarter. The boards are open source, the firmware and example code will also be open source on Github.

We will be running a series of classes on the design process that went into the board, manufacturing, etc, and using it as a teaching platform for AVR-GCC, and Verilog/VHDL

Creative Commons LicenceVHS LED Matrix Badge by Richard Sim. Updated project files can be found here . This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Maui Makers on KAOI Radio on 3d Printers

On Saturday Sept 28, 2013, Jerry Isdale, (me) founder of Maui Makers, was a guest on the KAOI Radio talk show “Maui Online”. KAOI broadcasts on 96.7FM and 1110AM. The primary topic of the ~2 hour show was 3D Printing. There were a breaks every 15 min or so – I had not realized how this breaks up a conversation. The off-air conversations were also fun, but not recorded. The show was fun and they want to have me/us back to talk about the whole breadth of Makers.

You can download the show or listen to the MP3s from the Maui Q&A website or listen hear:

Sumobot Workshop – Friday, 10/4!

  On Friday, October 4th, LVL1′s own Brian Wagner will be teaching a workshop on Sumobot Construction and programming!  Brian spent his summer vacation designing and prototyping the “BaxterBot” board, a circuitboard which drives motors, IR sensors, sonar, and many, many more, and is Arduino compatible!  For a mere $60, you get all the electronics [...]

The 30C3 wiki is online: Travel, venue and accommodation information published

It’s getting colder outside, and the summer is long gone. There are only a few months left before the next congress starts. So for us, it is time for us to start preparing congress and for you it might be the time to start planning your trip. To assist you with your planning, there is the congress wiki!.

For now its focus is providing information for your personal preperation:

As we are still working on the structure of the wiki, it is not yet possible to sign up – that will change within the next weeks. Once everything is prepared, we will provide you the same features as last year. We will allow you to register and thus present your own projects, you can also register assemblies with your peer group, and you can announce hacktivities that are scheduled in a global calendar within the wiki. The latter is our new word for the former “workshops” as the term isn’t doing justice to the variety of workshops and hands-on-events, meetings and gaterings, small scale talks, contests, filmscreenings, art events and other activities that are contributed by all our participants during the congress, besides the “big talks” in the main halls. As last year it’s up to you to organize and schedule the hacktivities – autonomous and decentral.

So even if the Wiki is not yet fully functional, we like to encourage you to start planning the projects you want to do and represent, the assemblies you want to form and hacktivities you want to run during congress.

If you have any additions for the wiki or if you find any errors don’t hesitate to contact us, we will add your edits meanwhile until the logins are possible.

Sparkfun National Tour comes to Maui Oct 19 2013

Maui Makers, in cooperation with County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development Maui Economic Development Board and Maui County Office of Economic Development, is proud to bring Sparkfun ElectronicsNational Tour to Maui to teach an “Introduction To Arduino” workshop on Oct 19th.

Update Oct 2 – Although the seats w/kits are sold out (2weeks ahead of time!), this is still an excellent 8hour training w/lunch. There are a total of 20 kits. We are keeping 5 for use in future workshops. Doubling up on them is really a good way to learn basics. You can buy your own arduino (and parts) at local Radio Shack stores, or online from a variety of vendors. Maui Makers plans to have some special ones in stock later this year.

Update Oct 10 – Attendees will need to complete a Sparkfun Liability Waver.

Attendees will get a full day of instruction in the use of the Arduino Microcontroller, and 15 attendees get to keep their Sparkfun Inventors Kit (a $99.95 value, plus shipping!). 8hour Workshop with kit and lunch is $55. Without the kit (but with lunch) is $25.
Sparkfun Inventors Kit V3

The kit is a great way to get started with programming and hardware interaction with the Arduino programming language. The SIK includes everything you need to complete 15 circuits that will teach you how to read sensors, display information on an LCD, drive motors, and more. You don’t need any previous programming or electronics experience to use this kit.

The workshop is intended for students of all ages (well maybe 4th grade up with parent) as well as teachers, librarians, after-school coordinators, and other educators, showing how electronics can be a vital part of education. Whether you’ve never played around with DIY electronics or you are a seasoned pro, we will give you the tools, knowledge, and skills you need to explore the wonderful world of how electronics fits with STEAM.
Please join us in revolutionizing the way electronics are taught in our high schools, middle schools, libraries, after-school programs, and even elementary schools! With your help, we can change the face of education!

The class will be held at MEDB’s facility in Kihei from 9am-5pm with an hour for lunch (included).
Please bring your laptop to install/use the software if possible. ( )
We will have a very limited number of laptops for others to use (mostly those NOT getting a kit)

Register at

Attendees will need to fill out a Sparkfun Liability Waver.

Let’s make a tablet!

UPDATE: I’ve since returned this unit to the vendor. It’s really bad. The native screen resolution is abysmally small, plus is a weird value such that none of my OSes could handle it. The device did its own down-sampling, but did a terrible job of it. Also, the touch sensing was almost completely broken.

Apparently, there is a thing with these small displays where they advertise them as “1080p input!”, meaning they will make attempts to downsample a 1080p data stream to whatever their native resolution is. The resolution on this one was actually 800×480. I couldn’t get Linux Mint or Windows 7 to display on it at the native resolution. It would take other resolutions and do some pretty awful down-sampling, but it always managed to cut off the edges enough that the taskbar and window title bar were never visible.

The touch feature was also almost completely broken, as well. I tried it on Linux Mint first, trying a variety of different drivers available for the device. All Linux drivers from this manufacturer were compiled from source. I tried the one copy named “Linux” on the included CD and tried two copies downloaded from their website for “Ubuntu 6.06″ and “Debian K26″. Of course, if we’re compiling from source, why would we need separate sets of source code? But anyway, at first it didn’t seem to work, so I thought I just failed to install the drivers, but things that happened later changed my mind. Windows 7 found a HID driver for it, identified it correctly, but it still didn’t work correctly. I also tried to download the latest driver off of their website, but their ZIP file is corrupted and won’t open with either the Windows Compressed Files utility or 7-Zip.

Moving on with the driver found for me by Microsoft, I now tried using the touch screen as the primary display, disabled my main monitor, unplugged my mouse, and restarted the computer, thinking it might help stabilizing the situation. I finally realized that I had seen the same behavior on Linux, I just hadn’t yet figured out what was going on because Mint wasn’t showing a cursor for the touch events and Windows did. It had the axises completely swapped, and also reversed, so dragging down the screen moved the cursor left. Also, it had no concept of a continuous drag event. It would sometimes drag, sometimes spawn a series of rapid clicks instead.

In other words: complete, unworkable garbage.

I’d be interested to hear from people if they have a recommendation for a simple touch screen. I think I’d like at least 15″ size, and I’m a little concerned about the popularity of multi-point capacitive sensing over the older-style, one-point-only resistive sensing. Yes, the capacitive is more precise, but the resistive doesn’t freak out if it gets just a little damp.


So here is my latest toy. It is the Lilliput 7″ SKD Open Frame Touch Screen VGA Monitor with HDMI, DVI Input (note: this is not a referral link). You can see more pictures of the device on my Tumblr page. I’m thinking of either building my own tablet computer or a sort of remote control system. It’ll end up being a little chunky, but I don’t mind.

The natural DIY platform for such a project is the RaspberryPi. I’m thinking I want to take the stock Raspbian distro and hack together my own window manager for it to suit the small, restricted dimensions of the system. I’d like something halfway between a CLI interface with its infinite possibility and a GUI interface with its emphasis on geometric arrangement.

Anywah, I’ll keep everyone posted with my progress.

u23 2013 in Köln

Auch dieses Jahr veranstaltet der Kölner CCC wieder sein Jugendprojekt u23. Das u23 ist ein Projekt für junge Hacker und Haecksen bis 23 Jahre. An sieben Terminen werden die Teilnehmer gemeinsam mit den Tutoren die Grundlagen der Mikrocontroller-Programmierung erlernen und in kleinen Gruppen eigene Projekte auf dem STM32F4-Entwickerboard umsetzen.

Vom 19.10.2013 bis 25.11.2013 werden sich die Teilnehmer jeden Montag treffen und mit den Grundlagen der Programmiersprache C beschäftigen, um sich anschließend mit der Hilfe von präparierten Anwendungsfällen immer tiefer in die Materie der Mikrocontroller-Programmierung einarbeiten zu können. Nachdem alle nötigen Grundlagen geschaffen sind, werden die Teilnehmer in kleinen Gruppen eigenverantwortlich an Projekten arbeiten. Mögliche Themenbereiche sind dabei weitgefächert. Neben Projekten mit LED-Displays oder Thermodruckern sind auch Arbeiten mit Infrarotempfängern oder Barcodescannern denkbar.
Die Arbeit in den Gruppen wird durch die Eigeninitiative der Teilnehmer angetrieben und bietet darüber hinaus die Möglichkeit, außerhalb der Vortragstermine am gemeinsamen Projekt in den Clubräumen des Chaos Computer Club Cologne weiter zu arbeiten. Das u23 endet mit einer öffentlichen Vorstellung der Projekte zum offenen Vortragstermin OpenChaos Ende November.

Der Chaos Computer Club Cologne veranstaltet das u23 im jährlichen Rhythmus bereits zum zehnten Mal. In der Vergangenheit behandelten wir beispielsweise Themen rund um Hardwarebastelei, Softwareentwicklung, Grundlagen der Netzwerktechnik oder Spieleentwicklung mit Mikrocontrollern.

Alle Informationen und die Möglichkeit zur Anmeldung gibt es auf der Projektseite.

Nova Labs Partners with ACM for STEM Career Fair

DULLES, VA — Nova Labs partnered with the DC chapter of ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) to encourage young people to pursue careers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) at the NSF’s STEM career fair at the Dulles Town Center mall September 27th and 28th.

Nova Labs members Brian Briggman, Amar Zumkhawala, and Brian Jacoby were on hand Friday to demonstrate 3D printing in action and to field questions. Amar is also ACM DC Chapter President and a member of the latest 3D Printer build group.

“It was rewarding to hear such varied questions from interested kids,” Amar said.

Briggman exhibited his T-Max 2.0, which he debuted at the New York Maker Faire this past weekend.  His project received an editor’s choice award for the extensive use of open-source hardware and software components and design methods used in its construction.

Members Craig Trader, Jim Sheedfar and Scott Harris worked the tables on Saturday.

Nova Labs members Brian, Amar and Brian

Nova Labs members Brian, Amar and Brian

Amar printing chess pieces as a demonstration.

Amar printing chess pieces as a demonstration.

Among the items printed were Minecraft characters since they seemed recognizable to the attendees (though likely a mystery to those over 20).

Minecraft fan and 3d-printed character

Minecraft fan and 3d-printed character

This t-shirt was spotted and everyone was delighted to compare it to the printed object.

Young girl stops to touch 3d-printed objects

Young girl stops to touch 3d-printed objects

Young scientist examines Amar's chess pieces

Young scientist examines Amar’s chess pieces

These two pictures courtesy of DC ACM Member Gene Gaines.