Category Archives: Hacks

Workshop: Lighting With Arduino, Sunday, October 25th, Noon – 5 PM

Have you been interested in Arduino microcontrollers? Don’t know where to start?
This workshop will teach you all the basics while you build a small project.

At the end of this workshop you will go home with an Arduino controlling a color changing LED strip.

Included in the workshops fees is a full Arduino starter kit. This includes an Arduino, color changing LED strip, knobs, buttons, and more.

This is an intro course, no previous Arduino or programing experience is needed or expected.

What is an Arduino?
An Arduino board is an open-source, easy-to-use device that enables makers, students, hobbyists, artists, programmers, and professionals to make their projects come to life. If you can imagine it, you can build it with an arduino.

What makes Arduino so great?

  • Inexpensive – Arduino boards are relatively inexpensive compared to other microcontroller platforms. The least expensive version of the Arduino module can be assembled by hand, and even the pre-assembled Arduino modules cost less than $50
    Cross-platform – The Arduino Software runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
    Simple, clear programming environment – The Arduino Software is easy-to-use for beginners, yet flexible enough for advanced users to take advantage of as well.

Where:
The Vancouver Hackspace,
1715 Cook Street #104, Vancouver, BC, Canada

When
Sunday, October 25th, 2015
12:00 Noon – 5 pm

Who:
Limit of ~10 people, RSVP on eventbrite.
The workshop is open to non VHS member.
VHS members receive a discount on the fees.

Note: If you are a minor, a parent or guardian will need to sign a liability waiver for you and accompany you while you are at the workshop.

Equipment
You must bring your own laptop (Windows or Mac)

Parts included with the workshop
These parts are included and used for the workshop, and are yours to take home:

Helpful links

Photon Extrusion

Our old Makerbot case sitting in the scrap parts bin has been resurrected as a grow case for my terrariums! All it took was an afternoon, some scrap plastic sheets, a few LED strips + power supply, and liberal use of a hot glue gun.

ready to go

Photon Extrusion

printing some plants

Photon Extrusion

lights off

Do you like candy? I like candy.

Here’s a very brief overview of the thought process for building something to amuse and frighten your neighbours.

I originally wrote this up on May 31st and posted it elsewhere, but I thought I’d give the VHS regulars time to explore it on their own before I ruined the surprise.

Some of the readers may recognise this big red button o’ fun:

When somebody holds it, it starts up an air raid siren that can get really loud. Unfortunately, it spins up very slowly, so people let off as soon as they figure out what the button does. That results in one tiny little blip of the siren, barely enough to bother anyone. That’s no good at all!

 

So for this build, I didn’t want to spend very long at it, and attempted to do everything very roughly and as quickly as possible. I found all of the appropriate components kicking around, and designed around those.

Here’s what I came up with:

Do you like candy? I like candy.

 

I found a transformer with outputs that measure at about 12VAC. 10:1 winding ratio, I guess. After rectification and smoothing, it’s a little over 18VDC. On the right side, I used an ALA2F12, a 12V relay. The transistor is a 2N3604, just a very generic NPN BJT because this application doesn’t require anything special.

The original button was just the AC line voltage to the fuse, then through the switch to the load. Very simple.

 

Okay. Starting from the left:

  • Transformer outputs at 12 volts or so,
  • through the half-wave rectifier diode (1N4007 I think) – results in 12 * root 2, about 18V,
  • big filtering capacitor (200v, 820uF),
  • 1MΩ bleeder resistor so the system doesn’t hold charge indefinitely,
  • original switch (connected to the big red button),
  • 100Ω resistor(to prevent sparks)
  • into timing cap (160v, 220uF) – charges to full very quickly,
  • another bleeder resistor,
  • Rb controlling current going into the transistor’s base (more on this later),
  • BJT  base.
  • At the top: resistor controlling going into the relay coil,
  • relay coil,
  • BJT collector going to ground.

 

Because I’m abusing a 12V relay by driving it with 18V, I had to compensate for that a little. According to the data sheet, the coil is nominally 272Ω, taking 43mA of current. Ignoring the transistor’s collector-emitter voltage (probably ~0.2V): 18v / 43mA – 272Ω = 146Ω. So I tossed a 150Ω resistor in series with the coil, and it seems to work.

 

For the base of the transistor, this resistor (along with the capacitor) is what controls the active time of the system. It also controls the maximum current that can conduct through the collector-emitter junction of the 3604. Typically the gain of those are in the 70-100 range, so current going into the base should be Ib = 43mA/100 = 0.43mA. Base-emitter junction is around 0.7v, so the base resistor can be figured out by 18v – 0.7v / Ib when the base cap is fully charged. Overdrive Ib to 1mA to ensure max-on, so I used 18kΩ.

I tested everything to check timing issues, overheating, etc., and it works well. The relay gets latched for about 7 seconds, which is perfect. If I cared about being more precise with that, or wanted to change the timing values, it’s pretty simple to treat that portion as an RC circuit and tweak the resistor or capacitor values.

So I built it.

Do you like candy? I like candy. Do you like candy? I like candy. Do you like candy? I like candy. Do you like candy? I like candy. Do you like candy? I like candy. Do you like candy? I like candy. Do you like candy? I like candy. Do you like candy? I like candy. Do you like candy? I like candy. Do you like candy? I like candy.

Perfect! Start to finish, including laser cutting, about seven hours. Not counting the abortive first attempt last week.

So before, when newcomers pressed the button, there was only a very short blip of the air raid siren. Now, the thing latched for a good seven seconds. And it gets very loud in that time.

 

The real purpose of this hack (and doing a write-up) is to encourage more members to go out and hack something! I haven’t seen anything really cool in a while.

 

Enjoy!

Jarrett

Schlage BE365 deadbolt hacking

We have a keypad dead bolt on the front door that has been slated for adaption to rfid for ages.  About 6 months ago we dismantled the lock and tapped the wiring to the solenoid.  The solenoid is tiny, it doesn’t open the lock, just engages the knob so human power can open the lock (hence you get 2 years on a 9V battery).  The tapping was tricky, we had to use wirewrap wire to pass the signal through the tiny wire channel from the outside of the door to the rear panel.  The lock has been functioning for 6 months with this tap in place so the job was successful.

This weekend we finally put a scope on the wiring to the solenoid to characterise it so we can emulate the keypad electronics with an Arduino.  This scope trace shows the bolt being withdraw by the keypad electronics.  It applies 5V in one direction, waits about 10s for someone to unlock the door and then applies 5V in the other direction to disengage the knob from the bolt.  As the scope trace shows, it is 5V @ 100ms, easy to emulate.

Schlage BE365 deadbolt hacking

The goal is for the powered down state to revert to keypad usage ie. we can give out keypad codes over the phone when the power/internet are out.  Here is the schematic of the shield we’ve built.  It turns out that the voltage applied is actually 5V but the rest of the original design is still appropriate.

Schlage BE365 deadbolt hacking

Next week hopefully we’ll get the shield installed and wired up to the Pi managing the system.

SMD May – programming jig

 

This week we’re building Logic Pirate open hardware logic analysers at VHS in our SMD workshops.  The ICSP header is 0.05″ pitch so I came up with a top and bottom programming jig to load the initial firmware.  Tickets are closed, if there is demand we’ll re-run the workshop later this year.

The LP is currently OOS at Seeed (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/Logic-Pirate-p-1750.html), I’m selling the extra PCBs on Tindie (https://www.tindie.com/products/TomKeddie/logic-pirate-dangerous-prototypes-pcb-only).

The doco page on the LP is at http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Logic_Pirate. As above you need a pickit to program the initial bootloader and firmware image. The hex file can be found at http://dangerous-prototypes-open-hardware.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/Logic_Pirate/AN1388_Source_Code_V2012_10_05/PIC32_Bootloaders/Firmware/logic_pirate_combined_2013-06-25.hex.

The Mouser project is at http://www.mouser.com/ProjectManager/ProjectDetail.aspx?AccessID=0a63fc5366

Hack the sky, man! Hive76 helps sky write a message over Eraserhood

When I saw  this poster on the right in the lobby of our studio building I thought it looked neat, but it wasn’t until the mastermind Dave Kyu visited that Hive76 was convinced to participate in WriteSky. Well, he mostly convinced me, as I ended up as the only contributor, but I am glad that Hive76 was able to host the collaboration meeting with our fellow group, artists that work in 319 N 11th St, members of Grizzly Grizzly and Tiger Strikes Asteroid.

We met on one Wednesday open house to figure out exactly what message we would write over our neighborhood. I don’t have a lot of history collaborating with other artists, but after the experience I had using Dave’s process and the smart 319 Artists Mary Smull, Jacque Liu, Sarah Kate Burgess, and Jaime Alvarez, I am looking forward to my next collaboration. It was a pleasure brainstorming, discussing, and compromising to come up with what we think is the perfect sentiment to be written in the sky for a few minutes. What message is that?Ah, but ours and the two other collaborative groups’ messages are secret up until the actual writing. We want it to be a surprise.

If you can make it this Saturday, please come to The Eraserhood at 11:30am and look up. Weather permitting, you’ll see three wonderful messages written in vaporized canola oil over the Philadelphia skyline. It will be visible for about 15 miles, but the best view will be directly underneath. If you see the writing in the sky, tag it with #WriteSky and it will appear on the page: http://writesky.com/photos/

Keep looking up!

Philly Tech Week 2014: Hive76 DIY Music Night

If you’re into music, making music, or making things that make music, you won’t want to miss this! If you’ve been to the space before, you’ll know that we run on a steady diet of tunes. And on Thursday, we’ll have all our audio and music-centric projects out in what is sure to be the loudest night of PTW. No RSVP necessary.

When: Thursday, April 17 from 6PM to 10PM

Where: Hive76

Philly Tech Week 2014: Hive76 Open House

This is a weekly open house for Hive 76, where folks drop by to work on software, hardware, or any other DIY projects that may be of interest. The open house gives people a chance to meet the members and to see what kind of projects Hive76 likes to work on. Feel free to bring your own work along and ask questions! No RSVP necessary.

When: Wednesday, April 9 from 7 PM to 10 PM

Where: Hive76

A Twist on Tech!

On Wednesday, Feb 19th 5:30-8:00 p.m Hive 76 will be at The Philadelphia Museum of Art! 

Portfolio-pmoa

Come out and support us on this PAY WHAT YOU WISH ADMISSION night. Let us share and explain some of our great projects while you view some of the Museum’s amazing collection for as little as a penny!

Correct Hive E-bast.