Saturday, 5 April 2014

3rd April - FreeCAD, fun and fixing things.

April's first regular Thursday hack session saw some ongoing tinkering on a variety of projects as well as some new bits of kit being experimented with...

FreeCAD was out in force with Robin demonstrating how to get started to a number of interested 3D printer owners.

A number of the hackspace members have used OpenSCAD previously it'll be interesting to see which software people end up using in the future.

Not content with just using FreeCAD to model 3D objects Robin was also putting it through it's paces by modelling a new part for his cable measuring system.

Hackspace regular Duncan was taking the chance to learn about FreeCAD, as well as working on resuscitating a flatscreen TV by replacing a number of bulging capacitors. Sadly not all of the capacitors needed were on hand, so the TV is still a work in progress but watch the blog for updates in the future.

Alan Wood was hard at work on some TVRRUG electronics sets, while a variety of other folks looked at projects including digitally controllable LED strips, resetting Bluetooth modules, servo controlled water valves, using a 'Shrimp' to control a row of (Cylon like) LEDs, and attempting to program a PIC from OSX.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Cylons and Toasters

Amongst the projects being worked on there was a Cylon circuit, to have a travelling lit LED move backwards and forwards across 6 LEDs and beginning diagnosing while it wasn't working as expected.

There was also work on fixing a toaster which was successfully fixed and tested.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

3D printer invasion..

Here are some picks from last Thursdays ( 06/02/2014) session:


Lots of 3D printing this week we had 3 or 4 RepRaps in operation


Duncan concentrating on his clever screw clamp 3D design idea for the study lamp below.


We even had one of RepRap Pro's new printers in the house (with some teething issues unfortunately)


More technology being considered for salvaged parts


Robin is re-housing one of his PCs into a much smaller casing

Friday, 31 January 2014

Hack Session - 30th January - what a great evening

Another great evening at our regular Thursday session.
There was 3D printing, Ukulele tuning, cable measurer being made and an aluminium part for a torch being milled.
There was also some great conversations about Python being used to control stepper motors on the Raspberry Pi and also Python for Geology and using a CNC machines to make guitars.

3D Printing some teeth

The very teeth that were printed.
Say Cheese

Testing optical reader from a ball mouse
to be use in cable measuring system
Yes, that's an Arduino Uno

No idea, looks like a speaker in a box

We were treated to some Ukulele music

Spinning wool

3D printers 

Mysterious bit of metal being milled

Friday, 24 January 2014

SHH holds it's second SMD workshop

Well at last nights meeting (23rd January 2014) we held our second Surface Mount Design workshop in Farnborough. This time around we had 8 keen participants tackling construction of the updated PiBot addon interface for RaspeberryPi.
The workshop covered basic Surface mount assembly and solder reflow techniques using both hot plates and heat pencils. I have collected some pictures from the event below.

Thanks to everyone that participated it was a great session and lasted well into the evening!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Hacking Resolutions 2014 - Paul

What we have been up to last year and aiming for this year:

Paul - Last year I assembled from a kit a Lumiphone. Which is essentially a hand held theremin allowing you to alter the volume and pitch. My second attempt at soldering since my AS level electronics days, my first was a blinky robot LED badge at the Elephant & Castle Mini-Maker Faire earlier that year. I attempted to make a remote controlled flying TARDIS using a lightweight RC helicopter for the rotor and remote control aspects. Unfortunately the weight to lift to ratio was very narrow meaning I had to make the TARDIS frame weigh less than 3 grams. Before I could test if tissue paper was light enough 3 of the fine wires were torn from their contact points while removing it from storage, still it was an interesting learning experience.
I also started work on making a handheld portable SNES Emulator using a Raspberry Pi. This was driven from a desire to play the old SNES games from my youth and the fact that in the intervening years I had managed to lose the power supply, RF cable and both controllers. It's quite an ambitious project given my level of expertise but it's allowed me to get my hands on a Raspberry Pi and gain familiarity with it as well as with the GPIO and more soldering.
This year, now that all the individual components work, I'll be focusing on learning and using a 3D design tool to custom make a case to hold them all including the controller, battery and display and getting it 3D printed. I'll also be working on a project to make T-shirt with 80s Battlestar Galactica Cylon with 6 LEDs to have a light scan back and forth.

Hacking Resolutions 2014 - Albert

What we have been up to last year and aiming for this year:

I am beginning a new after school computing club at my kids school.
Last year it was all the Code Club course 1 content using Scratch and the kids loved it and you could see some of them found it interesting and fun. So, this year the plan is to be a bit more adventurous and introduce physical computing using Arduino.
At the Hackspace on the 9th Jan 2014 I designed a small circuit with 3 LEDs, 2 buttons and a piezo buzzer and created demonstration code showing all the LEDS flashing together, then when a button is pressed they do a chasing sequence and when the button is pressed again it plays a tune. With just this demo the children (11-12) will learn about for variables, for loops, while looks and if statements.
I needed to do it last night as only the afternoon before did the teacher coordinating the after school club agree to meet to at 12:15 on the 10th Jan.
Amazing how much you forget and out of practice the brain gets on coding and wiring when not used.
This year I plan to blog how each session of the club goes and so the hackspace will feature heavily as I expect most of the work I do for the club will be on Thursday evening.