Monthly Archives: July 2013

Spatial Interfaces Workshop August 21st 8pm

Spatial Interfaces Workshop

Come learn about and hack with Greenhouse, a creative coding platform for spatial interfaces that are multi-screen, multi-device and multi-user. Bring your kinects, leaps, smartphones and arduinos to interface with your computer in physical space. Engineers from Oblong Industries will on on hand to help.

Working knowledge of C++ is recommended and a Mac laptop with Xcode installed is required to participate.

Learn more at

Workshop is open to the public and free of charge. August 21st Starting at 8pm at Crashspace

Sugru Build Night Results

Instructables & Sugru

We had out first Instructables Build Night recently and a few of the members wrote up Instructables showing what they did with the Sugru… here they are:

Thanks to Instructables, Sugru, and everyone who took part in the event. We’ll be hosting another Instructables Build Night in August, so keep an eye on the calendar.

Found @ CRASH Space No. 4: Pager Motors as Insects

Pager motors are small motors with a lopsided weight on the end that were developed to shake pagers (link provided for those born in or after the ’90s). They now shake phones, electric razors, toothbrushes, etc.  The particular pager motor for this project was another scrapped-off-the-floor find. Most likely it fell onto floor and hid under the couch during a Mega-Take-Apart excited to be free from a toothbrush.  I made a moth with it.

Which one is alive?

Which one is alive?

The most common quick projects to make with pager motors are vibration robots. That is mostly what you’ll find when searching for pager motor.  The most complete full scale project with etched circuit board and rechargeable batter was the PingBot. It is a great tutorial. Read it and learn.  I also really enjoyed the Tomato Pollinator and Seed Spreader too since they were practical tools instead of just more clutter.  The Instructables most useful to me for making the moth were the Solar Cockroach and the Vibroclip.  If you want to make a tiny car or RC copter, David Cook of Robot Room has written an excellent tutorial on how to remove the the weight.

More pictures and videos of the moth project process are on Flickr.

Moth 1 Facing Camera


What I learned

  • Hot glue does not stick to parchment paper (and that is useful)
  • Although the electronics seemed to work perfectly in the breadboard, there really isn’t enough current going through the “eyes” once it all metamorphoses into a moth. Direct sunlight was required, and even that resulted in fiddly behavior.  The photocells are in parallel to reduce resistance, but 2 were not enough.  The motor couldn’t always draw enough current to get the load going and it would stop when the battery got warm.  More photocells (in parallel) would definitely be something to try.
  • Don’t rush soldering. Really. Festina lente. Will I never learn? Bad soldering introduces electrical noise and I really had no margin for that. Also, soldering near hot glue can cause problems.
  • A transistor or mosfet as an amplifier might mean I can still only use two photo resistors, but more other parts… hmmmmm… trade offs.  (An example of a adjustable sensitivity photocell relay trigger)
  • Put the eyes on the TOP of the moth’s head and make sure cells are in the same plane so they both get direct light.

Tools Used:

  • Hot Glue Gun (Shop One, right hand side upper shelves or in the drawers on the bench below)
  • Soldering Iron (Shop One, top of right bench)
  • Wire Strippers (Shop One drawers on right bench)
  • Pliers (Shop One drawers on right bench)
  • Scissors (Shop One drawers on right bench)

Parts & Supplies Used:

  • Hot Glue (BYO)
  • Parchment Paper (my stash but any non-porous, non-heat reactive surface will do)
  • Pager Motor (found on the floor, really)
  • CR2032  Battery (Next time maybe 2, battery box in back left of Shop 1)
  • CR2032 Battery Holder (found in battery box)
  • 26 Gauge Solid Core Wire (wire is at the mid-point of the right benches in Shop 1)
  • Stainless Steel Wire (for antennae,  found in nut and bolt rack near back door in Shop 2)
  • Plastic shopping bag (for wings)
  • 3 white paper clips (for legs)
  • LED Socket (any header will do, optional)
  • 2 10K Ohm Photo Resistors (next time, try multiple per eye – there are some in the little drawer extravaganza in Shop 1)
  • Breadboard for knocking out prototype (My stash. Never leave home without one. )


Delaware RepRap Prusa i3 Mendel Build Class


Our friend John Abella (of the Maker Faire 3D Printer Village and Delaware Makerspace Barrel of Makers) is running a two-day RepRap build workshop in Wilmington Delaware, October 5th and 6th.   Attendees will be building Prusa i3 printers with all top-shelf parts:  milled frames from Josef Prusa, genuine J-head hotends from, stainless threaded rods and hardened chromed smooth rods.

The workshop is being held at the Wilmington DoubleTree Hotel, and will have catered food for attendees.   Every person attending will leave with tools and basic supplies to maintain their printer and get started printing.   The workshop fee – all inclusive –  is $999.

Click here for the official flyer for the event

More info and class registration can be found here:

Raspberry Pi Roadshow Visit – August 9th – 6:00 PM

  RSVP: LVL1 is very proud to be hosting Rob Bishop from the Raspberry Pi foundation for a visit to Louisville on August 9th, at 6 PM! This month, Rob will be traveling through the US, taking a look at all the cool Raspberry Pi projects people are working on, talking about the Pi and [...]

Baltimore Hackerspace Member Designs Modern Tube Hi-Fi System

A member of ours has been hard at work designing a really sweet modern/retro hybrid audio amplifier with a built in media center.  It’s open source, hackable, and sounds awesome.  He’s currently running a kickstarter to kick off getting them produced.  You can check out the kickstarter here.  I asked Jason to do a little writeup on his experience building the amplifier, and tell us more of the details inside.  He shares his experience below;

My name is Jason Perkins. I am co-founder of Tubecore and joined Baltimore Hackerspace in May 2013. I joined wanting to learn more about CNC machining and needed a home to prototype a project I had designed. The project started out as a modern tube amplifier built into a bluetooth speaker, but what I ended up with was a bit more.

A month after I joined I had completed the first prototype for my modern Hi-Fi audio system. Unfortunately, a week later it was destroyed by a rogue CNC at a friends house. The machine is called Kronos, is DIY and is the fastest robot I have ever seen up close. Kronos has a jog speed of 14” a second and that’s how quickly Kronos killed Duo v1.0. I highly recommend Kronos CNC to anyone looking for a Pro Level CNC that can machine billet aluminum and is advertised as being accurate down to .001” (1 mil.), while free jogging @ 14” a sec. I also highly recommend kill switches, since topping out the -z axis is what caused it to scare the crap out of me.

After we extinguished Duo v1.0, I used the opportunity to redesign and was able to make some huge improvements to the Cabinet’s engineering, the system’s design and peak performance.

The cabinets are solid hardwood. In this case African Sapele. The cabinet’s 7/8” thick main body is four pieces cut and mitered from a single board with horizontal grain that is matched all the way around. The face of the box is a burl mahogany and requires 38 precise machining operations to complete and features safe zones where additional sensors and optical hardware can be added.

The drivers are 4” full-range, composite cone drivers with machined aluminum horns and santoprene surrounds. They live in their own sealed enclosures, which are hand tuned for L-R balance and peak performance. I find these little reference-class drivers produce a big sound; warm mids and screaming highs. They reproduce clear audio from around 125Hz to well over 20Khz and are crossed at 120.

To fill in the lows I sourced the world’s smallest long-throw subwoofer and dedicated the center of the cabinet to being a ported sub enclosure. Thanks to sapele’s high density, each driver enclosure is essentially it’s own isolated environment. At high volume the case has a solid bass response that is unmatched by anything it’s size. With the sub added, the Duo’s combined tuned frequency response is 40Hz – 20KHz; clean.

For amplification I used a tube hybrid design that supplies 100w to the full range drivers and 30w to the sub. Tubecore is open source and it is my goal to have the final schematics along with the cabinet face (safe zone) diagram online by January 2014 after we produce the initial order.

Baltimore Hackerspace Member Designs Modern Tube Hi-Fi System

With two primary functions, the Duo is a modern tube hybrid audio system that is Bluetooth enabled and features an onboard XBMC media center powered by Raspberry Pi. The raspberry is ported to the back panel and housed internally within a shielded electronics compartment which keeps the amps free of interference.

XBMC is the world’s most popular open source media center. Many would argue that XBMC is the only thing you need plugged into an HD screen. I say it’s one of two things you need plugged into your TV.

The last feature is my favorite: the control knob. The top-mounted control knob is machined from solid aluminum and countersunk into the cabinet. It controls all of the analog features including, volume, power and source selection.

The control surface features a 3” diameter and responds to the slightest touch. No data for you, but it is smooth. I really enjoy being able to “turn up the music,” for a change.

All in all, I never could have finished this project without the space. To everyone that helped me with anything, thanks, it was all for this. We will know within 45 days just how popular the Duo will be and look forward to building many more.

The post Baltimore Hackerspace Member Designs Modern Tube Hi-Fi System appeared first on Baltimore Hackerspace.

Hackathon: Soundflower

Von Freitag den 2. August abends bis Samstag den 3. August 2013 findet im shackspace der “Soundflower” Hackathon statt.

Reminder: Wenn ihr vor habt zu kommen, tragt euch bitte in den Doodle ein.

Die Teilnahme bietet die Möglichkeit sich Fähigkeiten in den Bereichen Multimedia, Verteilte Infrastruktur, Web Development, Shell Skripting, CAD Design und Elektronik anzueignen, oder Anderen zu vermitteln.

Soundflower wird eine Klanginstallation in den Räumen des shackspace inspiriert von Moids 2.0 von Soichiro Mihara. Dabei sollen viele Lautsprecher in der Installation angebracht und einzeln angesteuert werden.

Die Ideen reichen von Geräuschkulissen simulieren (z.B. Urwald, Großstadt, …) über Interaktivität mittels Sensoren, Steuerung per Webinterface, Gestaltung per CAD und Rapid Prototyping, Computing auf verteilten Systemen bis hin zu Vertualisierung der Umgebung für Dolby Systeme und was Dir sonst noch einfällt.

Welche Features genau ausgearbeitet werden hängt von dir und allen anderen die mitmachen ab.

Grober Ablauf:

  • Am Freitag Abend (ab 19.00) werden wir nach einem Brainstorming, Interesse und vorhandenen Skills gemeinsam entscheiden an welchen Themengebieten wir hacken wollen und entsprechend Teams bilden.
  • Freitag Nacht werden wir vieles Ausprobieren und Dinge werden passieren.
  • Im weiteren werden sich die Teams hart rocken und sich gegenseitig durch kommunizierten Fortschritt motivieren.
  • Gegen Samstag Abend werden wir die Ergebnisse zusammenführen und dokumentieren.

Als Ergebnis entsteht Soundflower v1.

Wichtig: Falls ihr unbenötigte Kopfhörer (auch Chinacrap In-Ear) oder kleine Lauptsprecher habt dürft ihr diese gerne mitbringen und in die Installation einarbeiten.

Zum Event:
Eintritt frei! (Spenden an shack e.V. sind gerne gesehen) Jeder ist willkommen!
Um formlose Anmeldung (Doodle) wird gebeten.
Datum: Freitag, 02. August 2013, ab 19:00 Uhr bis Samstag 03. August 2013
Anfahrt: U4/U9 Haltestelle “Im Degen”, Ulmer Straße 255, Stuttgart Wangen (gegenüber Kulturhaus Arena)

Foto: Sound Flower by Risigma



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Here’s to the Third Annual Urbana-Champaign Mini Maker Faire!

“Make, create, craft, recycle, build, think, play, and be insipred by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, music, science and technology.”

Makerspace Urbana is proud to announce that we will be hosting the third annual Urbana-Champaign Mini Maker Faire located at the Independent Media Center in downtown Urbana. The Faire will be held this year on Saturday September 21, from 10am-4pm. Because the Urbana Arts Grant has graciously funded this event, it is free to all member of the community and participating makers.


Last year we had 19 makers participate in the event, and over 400 community members were in attendance! There was a diverse array of makers, including finger knitters, to soldering, a tube player, to (one of our favorite activities) 3D printing.


The Urbana-Champaign Mini Maker Faire takes after its enormous parent event, Maker Faire, which hosts 90,000 visitors in San Mateo, California every spring. It began back in 2005 by the people behind MAKE and CRAFT magazines. Since then, Mini Maker Faires have started to sprout up around the United States, including events in in Austin, Detroit, and New York City.

The Urbana-Champaign Mini Maker Faire will be a smaller, community-focused event, but will follow the Maker Faire model of celebrating do-it-yourself creativity and tinkering.

Featuring both established and emerging local makers, the UCMMF is a family-friendly celebration featuring rockets and robots, DIY science and technology, alternative energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music, and educational workshops and instillations.

We would like to see this the 2013 UCMMF be the biggest and best event yet! But we still need makers… we want ALL THE MAKERS. So if you or someone you know is inspired to inspire others, fill out our Call for Makers form. 

Arduino U – 19:00, Wednesday 14th August

Transistors and Rainbows – second try?transister rainbow

Doug was unable to attend last Arduino U, so these topics may still be a good choice to have a look at.

It seems that many folk with no background in electronics find it a bit daunting trying to work out how to connect up things like relays and motors to their Arduino using transistors.  The week, Doug would like to spend some time demonstrating some VERY basic transister circuits.  No prior knowledge needed: this will be about making some simple circuits work with an Arduino, not the finer points of how transistors work or how to choose the best one when “well, it’s not getting hot yet” will do!  (Electronics enthiusiasts: be prepared to wince at the generalisations, shudder at the selection methods and howl with outrage at the shoddy theory!)

If the group has a little more Arduino knowledge, Doug would like to introduce a couple of “weather sensors”:  The DGT22 temperature and humidity sensor and the BMP085 temperature and pressure sensor.  Libraries and example sketches to make a simple weather station are available from a number of online sources and Doug has a couple of the sensors available to demonstrate.

Bring a friend and come out to play with some open-source technology.  Beginners are welcome – but please BRING YOU LAPTOP if you want to get the most out of your visit.   $10 in the tin supports the existance of our geek-friendly hackspace.  Knowledgeable members are generally at your disposal to help you get started,  troubleshoot a particular electronics or code issue or simply  suggest resources.

While there are usually one or two spare Arduino’s available for beginners to tinker with and explore, it is preferable if you can bring your own.