Insulation Installation Collaboration

If you’ve been by the space lately, it might feel a little warmer and brighter than it typically feels in winter. That is thanks to around 30 4×8 foot insulation panels that SSD members and guests installed on the ceiling during the first week of December.

Over 80 person-hours went into the project. Four meetups were scheduled in late November for Nov 29, Dec 1, Dec 2, and Dec 3, where groups of 3-6 people dedicated a few hours of their afternoon/evening to paint, cut-to-size, and/or harness the tiles between the ceiling trusses with wire.

With an extra session or two to wrap up hanging tiles in the larger sections, and a pre-open-house clean-up call on Tuesday Dec 5 that brought support from members not otherwise involved in the installation, our main room was back in business in a week! These tiles should go a long way toward making our space more comfortable in both winter and summer.

The white paint, applied with Tim’s sprayer to the underside of all the tiles, really shows off Dan’s lighting better (compare before, with the accent lighting shining onto a dingy-brown ceiling surface, to this):

Special thanks to Alex for procuring and donating the tiles along with organizing the meetups, Specter for inspiration & instigation, Gary for loaning the scaffolding, as well as all members & guests who helped paint, cut, hang, and/or tidy up.

There remains a bit left to finish up on the west side of the room: a corridor of mini-panels where the next rafter is relatively inaccessible, and canvas to cover the opening above the Snackerspace. Look for another Meetup coming in January where we will address these remaining areas.

Photos courtesy of Ted, Dan and Liz.

Fall BBQ and Space Improvement 2017

This past Saturday we held a BBQ / space-improvement day at the space.

A few of the things we tackled were: organizing and assessing accumulated electronics and computer equipment, affixing whiteboards into 4 of the panels on the mainroom bay door, insulating the woodshop bay door, installing peg board and clamp rack in the woodshop, and mending the sewing shelf.

The electronics-organizing endeavor resulted in the herding together of a few shelve’s-worth of items recognized to have been around long enough that they are probably ready to be weaned. There is a sign (courtesy of Dan, i.e. not your average-everyday-ordinary sign) installed on the shelves containing said items. Stop by the space on a Tuesday evening in the coming weeks if you are interested in adopting any of these things.

Special kudos to Carter, John M and John W for taking charge on the various special installation tasks; to the electronics crew for all their hard work in disassembly, assessment and rearrangement; to Grillmaster Chrobi for cooking up the feast, and to all who showed up to commune, help out, and eat tasty BBQ and treats (thanks again Dan also for making the pumpkin bars!)

Stay tuned to our Meetup page for these and other events (including a series of upcoming Robotics workshops hosted by Carter starting this week). We will hold another BBQ/Cleanup event next spring 🙂

SSD Shows Off at Maker Faire

The 2017 Denver Maker Faire was held this past weekend and was a huge success. Solid State Depot showed off the new logo as well as personal projects from members. Dan’s “retro computer” was a big hit playing hi-lo written in Basic.

John M. brought his bare bones $2 Doppler radar sensor made of two transistors and an oscillator, hooked up to an oscilloscope to produce velocity data about objects at a distance. Andrew brought his inverted pendulum.  Using a linear rail, a pendulum is balanced and maintains stability via a PID control loop. This is a classical example of non-linear control theory and requires a combination of mechatronics and control.

Brandon displayed video of the collaborative SSD eclipse balloon launch with VR goggles.

The Maker Faire also hosted the Sparkfun AVC and Combat Bot Division with weight classes from 1 to 30 lbs.

Carter built a 3 lbs “beetle” weight class robot named “Captain Hook” which managed to stay relatively intact while up against Poison Arrow, a 250 lbs BattleBot.

Maker Faire Denver is produced by Colorado Maker Hub, a nonprofit organization that celebrates the Maker Movement and fosters the maker ecosystem.

Sneak peek at the new logo

Introducing the new logo for Solid State Depot!  With Denver Maker Faire coming this weekend, we decided that it was time to roll out our new logo.  Our first use of it was etching a new LED sign for our door, using our laser cutter.

New stickers and new business cards.

The first sticker went to join the world’s largest sticker ball over at StickerGiant.