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Rube Goldberg DoorBell Lives

I finally got my rube goldberg doorbell into an installable state. On the left is the door button detector. It is an ESP8266 ESP-07 making use of the U.FL connector to allow the WiFi signal to punch through from my basement to the 2nd floor where the router is located. On the right is another ESP8266 and a doorbell transformer. Just barely peaking out from under that module is an actual doorbell.

A key aspect of the system is that the door button module doesn’t communicate directly with the door bell module. Both modules log into a Mosquitto MQTT broker. The button module “publishes” events on the MQTT topic of “DoorBell” and the bell module subscribes to the MQTT topic of DoorBell. Later, I can split the topic names and have something like OpenHAB conditionally copy events from one topic to the other depending on the time of day. OpenHAB can also translate MQTT events to a service like Notify My Android so that my phone buzzes in response to a door button push.

I am excited to install this at home and see how it does!

Kids Make the Darndest Things

Our maker world is full of dangerous things like power tools, computers, and stuff that blows up to make awesome projects; things that no child should be using (normally), but that does not need to stop your child from working on a project of their own.  Here we will see examples of young makers and projects that us, more experienced makers, can do with them.  After all kids can make the darndest things.

My list for amazing kids is long and at the top is my very own nephew, Nate.  Endlessly fascinated by science and the human body he, with some help from his father, has started a podcast.  At the mature age of 5 he is interviewing scientists from all over the country.  Covering topics from cell biology to Santa, this small scientist will knock your socks off.  Each episode ends with him telling his dad he can stop the recording now and it’s the most adorable thing ever.

The Show About Science

Follow Nate on twitter

 

A great way to get your young scientist started is in the kitchen.  Your kitchen is the lab you use every day to change the state of things from liquid to gas, and excite molecules in all sorts of ways.  If you’re like me, you’ll want to brush up on your own kitchen science with a few episodes of Alton Brown’s show “Good Eats“.  Once that is done grab your mini lab partner and get cooking.  Here is a link to some fun experiments to get you started.

Kitchen Experiments

 

Projects for young makers don’t have to stay confined to the kitchen.  From electronics to kite building there are lots of ways to keep them in the shop and away from the television.  The best way is to start with the basics and learning  the hand full of essential skills every maker needs.  Here are a few helpful links for you and your small maker.

Skills Every Young Maker Needs

Projects for Young Makers

 

So get out there fellow makers and help make the next generation great while making great memories!

lynxis: Bisecting coreboot with LAVA

Since long time ago I was inspired of the features of LAVA (Linaro Automated Validation). Lava was developed by Linaro to do automatic test on real hardware. It's written in python and based on a lot small daemons and one django application. It's scheduling submitted tests on hardware depending on the rights and availability. Setting up an own instance isn't so hard, there is an video howto. But Lava is changing it's basic device model to pipeline devices to make it more flexible because the old device model was quite limited. Our instance is available under https://lava.coreboot.org. Atm. there is only one device (x60) and we're looking for help to add more devices.

coreboot is under heavy development around 200 commits a month. Sometime breaks, most time because somebody refactored code and made it simpler. There are many devices supported by coreboot, but commits aren't tested on every hardware. Which means it broke on some hardware. And here the bisect loop begins.

Lava is the perfect place to do bisecting. You can submit a Testjob via commandline, track Job and wait until it's done. Lava itself takes cares that a job doesn't take to long. To break down the task into smaller peaces:

  • checkout a revision
  • compile coreboot
  • copy artefact somewhere where Lava can access it (http-server)
  • submit a lava testjob
  • lava deploys your image and do some tests

git-bisect does the binary search for the broken revision, checks out the next commit which needs to be tested. But somebody have to tell git-bisect if this is a good or bad revision. Or you use git bisect run. git bisect run a small script and uses the return code to know if this is a good or bad revision. There is also a third command skip, to skip the revision if the compilation fails. git-bisect would do the full bisect job, but to use lava, it needs a Lava Test Job. Under https://github.com/lynxis/coreboot-lava-bisect is my x60 bisect script together with a Lava Test Job for the x60. It only checks if coreboot is booting. But you might want to test something else. Is the cdrom is showing up? Is the wifi card properly detected? Checkout the lava documentation for more information about how to write a Lava Testjob or a Lava Test.

To communicate with Lava on the shell you need to have lava-tool running on your workstation. See https://validation.linaro.org/static/docs/overview.html

With lava-tool submit-job $URL job.yml you can submit a job and get the JobId. And check the status of your job with lava-tool job-status $URL $JOBID. Depending on the job-status the script must set the exit code. My bisect script for coreboot is https://github.com/lynxis/coreboot-lava-bisect

cd coreboot
# CPU make -j$CPU
export CPU=4
# your login user name for the lava.coreboot.org
# you can also use LAVAURL="https://$LAVAUSER@lava.coreboot.fe80.eu/RPC2"
export LAVAUSER=lynxis
# used by lava to download the coreboot.rom
export COREBOOTURL=https://fe80.eu/bisect/coreboot.rom
# used as a target by *scp*
export COREBOOT_SCP_URL=lynxis@fe80.eu:/var/www/bisect/coreboot.rom
git bisect start
git bisect bad <REV>
git bisect good <REV>
git bisect run /path/to/this/dir/bisect.sh

lynxis: Bisecting coreboot with LAVA

Since long time ago I was inspired of the features of LAVA (Linaro Automated Validation). Lava was developed by Linaro to do automatic test on real hardware. It's written in python and based on a lot small daemons and one django application. It's scheduling submitted tests on hardware depending on the rights and availability. Setting up an own instance isn't so hard, there is an video howto. But Lava is changing it's basic device model to pipeline devices to make it more flexible because the old device model was quite limited. Our instance is available under https://lava.coreboot.org. Atm. there is only one device (x60) and we're looking for help to add more devices.

coreboot is under heavy development around 200 commits a month. Sometime breaks, most time because somebody refactored code and made it simpler. There are many devices supported by coreboot, but commits aren't tested on every hardware. Which means it broke on some hardware. And here the bisect loop begins.

Lava is the perfect place to do bisecting. You can submit a Testjob via commandline, track Job and wait until it's done. Lava itself takes cares that a job doesn't take to long. To break down the task into smaller peaces:

  • checkout a revision
  • compile coreboot
  • copy artefact somewhere where Lava can access it (http-server)
  • submit a lava testjob
  • lava deploys your image and do some tests

Git itself supplies a command for bisecting and can run a certain script. So git-bisect does the binary search for the broken revision, checks out the next commit which needs to be tested. git bisect run a small script and uses the return code to know if this is a good or bad revision. Or if the compilation fails, skip revision.

Before the bisecting can begin, it needs a Lava Test Job written in yml. Under https://github.com/lynxis/coreboot-lava-bisect is my x60 bisect script together with a Lava Test Job for the x60. It only checks if coreboot is booting. But you might want to test something else, is the cdrom is showing up? Is the wifi card properly detected? Checkout the lava documentation for more information about how to write a Lava Testjob or a Lava Test.

To communicate with Lava on the shell you need to have lava-tool running on your workstation. See https://validation.linaro.org/static/docs/overview.html

With lava-tool submit-job $URL job.yml you can submit a job and get the JobId. And check the status of your job with lava-tool job-status $URL $JOBID. Depending on the job-status the script must set the exit code. My bisect script for coreboot is https://github.com:lynxis/coreboot-lava-bisect

cd coreboot
# CPU make -j$CPU
export CPU=4
# your login user name for the lava.coreboot.org
# you can also use LAVAURL="https://$LAVAUSER@lava.coreboot.fe80.eu/RPC2"
export LAVAUSER=lynxis
# used by lava to download the coreboot.rom
export COREBOOTURL=https://fe80.eu/bisect/coreboot.rom
# used as a target by *scp*
export COREBOOT_SCP_URL=lynxis@fe80.eu:/var/www/coreboot.rom
git bisect start
git bisect bad <REV>
git bisect good <REV>
git bisect run /path/to/this/dir/bisect.sh

Brewers “Equipment Day” (Saturday March 12th, 2pm)

We are having an informal “brewing equipment day” on March 12th in the new TOG space at 2pm. The goal is to meet up for a few hours to clean up a corner to store the brewing equipment. This is an opportunity for people who had offered to donate brewing equipment to TOG to bring in their gear and give it a home. We will also be giving tours of the space to show anyone around who hasn’t seen the space yet. In short this is what we will be doing:

– Clean up the potential brewing corner
– Give tours of the space to those who haven’t seen it yet
– Make an inventory of all of the brewing equipment
– Label all of the equipment
– Make a plan/list of what else we need if anything
– Pick a date for the first brew-day of the new space

The goal of the brewers within TOG is to establish and maintain a high end brewing system to give brewers of all levels access to equipment that they might not have at home. This would enable all members to brew beer, wine, mead or cider in the space without needing to own any equipment, they merely need to purchase ingredients. As the spring/summer approaches we will start up the monthly brew days again with a bit more structure. We will brew a beer in advance for the open socials along with members brewing their own beer too.

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Rebuilding The Kraken

"The Kraken" is one of Freeside's 3D printers, designed and built by a former member. It is the light blue printer sitting off to the side on most photos of our 3D printing zone - sadly, the machine has never printed quite right and it's been down for repairs more often than it's been usable. It's design had some major flaws, particularly in the frame that was fairly unstable. When it did print it would make great looking parts, but the bed leveling was fickle and imprecise. With the AO-100 and more recently the Mini, there wasn't a lot of reason for our members to use it.

So I decided to rectify that and rebuild it completely from the ground up into a RepRap "Wilson", a popular design reworked from the Prusa i3. I chose this particular build because there are a lot of information available and a great set of info and instructions on both the RepRap wiki page about it, and the github page for the parts. It's a well known RepRap and has been tried and true by a lot of people.


The other reason I chose it was because I could build the Wilson utilizing 100% of parts salvaged from the old Kraken. The goal for the rebuild was to recycle every nut and bolt and try to keep the total cost as close to zero as possible.

From start to finish, the rebuild took about 3 months working off and on a few hours a week. The initial tear down took a couple of hours at the end of November 2015, where everything was counted and bagged and boxed up. At that point I ordered some new ABS to print the frame parts, and a couple weeks printing things on both the Mini, and my personal 3D printers at home. In trying to keep with the look of the old machine, I printed in "Sky Blue" ABS. The final product is actually really nice to look at!

Rebuilding The Kraken

Rebuilding The Kraken


While I was in the process of building The Kraken, I decided to go ahead and build my own Wilson from parts from a failed RepRap build of my own last year. So in a lot of these photos you will see an identical looking black Wilson. For my own, I bought some "hidden" corner brackets to help with the structural rigidity of the machine, as well as some corner braces I had from my previous build attempt, and used the spares for The Kraken. I definitely recommend this for anyone building a Wilson as it greatly improves the strength of the frame.

Rebuilding The Kraken

Rebuilding The Kraken


Some time ago, The Kraken's original J-Head hotend was replaced with a Budaschnozzle 2.0, since that is what we already have installed on our LulzBot AO-100, and having the same hotends allows us to keep fewer type of replacement parts on hand. We bought a replacement PTFE tube to convert it from 1.75mm to 3mm filament to be consistent with our other 2 printers - again, so we don't have to keep two types of filament on hand - and the nozzle was cleaned of old filament. It was left soaking in acetone overnight, then scrubbed with a fine wire brush.

Rebuilding The Kraken

Rebuilding The Kraken


We bought a new aluminum Y carriage to replace the old acrylic one. The aluminum carriage is lighter and more sturdy than acrylic, which has a tendency to flex and torque, so the new design will be able to print at much higher speeds than before. We kept the same heated bed, but replaced the glass print surface with an aluminum plate covered in PEI. Aluminum is a good bed surface as it dissipates heat more evenly, but it also lets us install and use an inductive Z probe to auto bed tramming, a stand out feature of the Mini that I have since upgraded my own printers with.

Rebuilding The Kraken
 
Rebuilding The Kraken
The RAMPS board had to be modified as it was missing the + voltage for the endstops, which the inductive sensor needed. Once that was added, the board was installed and the wiring was quick. I used some left over cable management from my previous 3D printer builds as well as my personal Wilson to help keep all of the stray wires in check, which the old Kraken suffered from. I also replaced the old server PSU with a more common project PSU found in Freeside's obtanium.

Rebuilding The Kraken

The machine was upgraded to the latest version of Marlin and configured to use the auto bed tramming feature. There is still some fine tuning in the firmware to be done, but overall the printer is running great. I'm really looking forward to seeing projects from our members come off of the machine!

Links:

Wilson on Thingiverse
Build log for the Kraken rebuild
Inductive sensor Z probe
Aluminum plate print bed
0.03" PEI sheet print surface
3M adhesive sheet to adhere PEI to aluminum surface
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Maker Inspiration

Thinking about starting a new project?  Your going to need some motivation and inspiration to get started.  The problem is that the internet is a big place, and often makers ask where is a good site to find fun projects and inspiration.  These are a few of the spots I use regularly to find new approaches and techniques for my next project.  Everything from step by step guides which get the maker-juices flowing to TED talks that get me thinking different.

Make Magazine:

First lets talk about the elephant in the room; one of the largest resources for makers everywhere is Make magazine, which has been publishing articles in print and digital form since 2005. This gives them a solid name (and market) in the world of Making. Covering everything from wood working to Arduino programming you will find plenty of projects that will take you down the make-rabbit hole.  Their step by step guides are easy to follow and well written; including parts and tool lists to make sure you finish with something to show off to your friends and family.

 

Adafruit:

The nerd in me can’t write about maker project inspiration with out talking about Adafruit.  Adafruit is a distributor and creator of all things ardino and raspberry pi.  Not only can you find just about any component for your breadboard but they will also show you how to get started.  Learn.adafruit is full of videos and step by step guides to teach you how to add bluetooth, LED’s and more to your next build- big or small.  Each tutorial features links to parts right on one page, so getting started is easy.

Maker Inspiration

 

Pintrest:

I consider my self to be an avid pinner.  It’s rare that I start or finish a project with out a few hours on Pinterest.  There is almost nothing you can’t find after using their search feature; amazing design and ingenuous engineering will quickly fill your pinning feed with tons of ideas.  The downside is that you will find less step by step guides and more general inspiration, though some pins will take you to the sites with simple to detailed directions – so clicking the link may be worth a try.  Woodturning, Metal Casting, and paper crafts are just some of the things you will find to get you started.

Maker Inspiration

 

TWIT:

There are countless podcasts about making things, some good and some dismal; however at the top of my list is a podcast on the TWIT network called “Know How”.  The two hosts are great and the production quality is second to none.  It’s more like a show on network television than a show you watch on your mobil device. You would be a ‘twit’ not to check them out when looking for inspiration.

Maker Inspiration

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Goodbye Old TOG, Hello New

At the stroke of midnight just past, the original TOG organisation that was started back in 2009 ceased to be. At our AGM in January, we voted to wind up that organisation. From today, our new TOG Hackerspace DAC will continue to take us forward.

Last summer we started a process of building a new legal and organisational structure that would better serve the members and the organisation itself. We started a new company with a new constitution, elected directors and moved to a new space with a new lease. We set up a new bank account, created a new method for members to join and restarted all of our regular evenings and events. If you’re interested in joining us, drop in to see us anytime or contact us online. We’ll be glad to give you a tour of our space and tell you about some of our activities.

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Elektronenrad: Cargo Circus 2016!

Ab März ist der Cargo Circus wieder regulär geöffnet. Wie gewohnt gibt es feinstes Lastenrad am Stück.

Zur Probefahrt in unserer Filiale in Berlin stehen bereit:

  • KIFFY Fix Nummer 1
  • eBullitt Shimano STePS mit Alfine 8 DI-2 und BionX P-Serie mit Deore
  • Urban Arrow Family mit aktuellem BOSCH active Motor
  • BULLITT Race Alfine8 mit Gates Carboon Drive CRX und Pepper XT(!)
  • Bicicapace Speciale ala Sig. Francesco
  • und NEU 2016 ständig ab Lager verfügbar: All Colors, all Extras!!!

Elektronenrad: Cargo Circus 2016!

Elektronenrad: Cargo Circus 2016!