Learning Arduino at the Hackerspace

An introduction to the arduino, the development software, and interfacing with basic hardware. The class will be broken up into two days, split one week apart. The first session will be an introduction to the arduino, and coding, and simple examples

The second session will be a deeper dive into the world of arduino using examples

No experience with arduino is necessary.

What to bring: 1 laptop
Cost:$100 for non-members, $90 for members

What you ge for $100 :

Instruction – we are going to be working through this fantastic manual from Sparkfun

Sparkfun Inventors Kit

When: Wednesday 2/15 7:30 to 9:30pm, and Wednesday 2/22 7:30 to 9:30pm

Where: Solid State Depot

Total Students: 8 (to see ammount of seats remaining see the eventbrite page)

Teachers: Paul Sobczak and Chris Davidoff

Sign up: EventBrite

Sparkfun is located right here on the Front Range, but our class will be held at Solid State Depot, Boulder’s Local Hackerspace.

Stephen in the news

Member Stephen Chavez has been making waves again — following his presentation with an SSD member at Defcon 24, he travelled to China and won an award at the GeekPwn 2016 hacking contest.  And now, just after his graduation from Metro State University in Denver, he has been featured on Denver’s 9News.

Stephen and friends have been hacking his electric wheelchair with the goal to make it semi-autonomous.  Unable to talk, he uses a computer keyboard to communicate; a task that cannot be done while controlling the chair’s joystick. As a result, he cannot “talk” and “walk” at the same time.  With a semi-autonomous chair, he can set it to follow a friend or drive on a path while avoiding obstacles — freeing his hands to type and communicate.

Stephen’s wheel chair is a product of PGDT.  The chair utilizes a proprietary protocol that runs over the same CAN interface found in all late model cars and trucks.  PGDT calls the protocol R-net.  R-net is deployed on the wheelchair to allow the various devices and interfaces on the vehicle to communicate with each other.  There are no public documents about the R-net protocol.  Stephen worked with a team of hackers to reverse-engineer this protocol and take control of the wheelchair’s internal network.  “We’ve learned that power wheelchair hacking is also closely related to car hacking”

Stephen Chavez. Photo by Sara Hertwig

Stephen Chavez.
Photo by Sara Hertwig

ElectroPumpkins for Halloween

An Arduino, a bit of ws2812 LED strip, and some sanded acrylic tube make the perfect light for a jack-o-lantern.  If you’ve ever wanted to play with the intelligent LEDs like the ws2812, I highly recommend using FastLED to drive them.  The library has a good set of examples bundled with it, one of which is the Fire2012 example.  You can see that in action in the embedded video below.  For these two pumpkins, I used some very simple code that cycles them through the HSV color wheel at 100% saturation and 100% value.  See the code at the end of the post.

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And now for the code:

 

#include "FastLED.h"
#define NUM_LEDS 20
#define LED_PIN 5

// Define the array of leds
CRGB leds[NUM_LEDS];

void setup() { 
   FastLED.addLeds<WS2812, LED_PIN, BGR>(leds, NUM_LEDS);
}

#define HUE_DELTA 1
#define TIMEOUT 200

void loop() {
   static uint8_t hue = 0;
   // Turn the LED on, then pause
   for( int idx = 0; idx < NUM_LEDS; idx++)
   {
      leds[idx].setHSV( hue, 0xff, 0xff);
   }
   FastLED.show();
   delay(TIMEOUT);
   hue += HUE_DELTA;
}

 

CNC Drawing class

Thursday night’s CNC Basics class went well, and will likely be a recurring class.  Be sure to keep looking on our Meetup page for the next one if you missed it.

 

10/27/2016 - CNC Basics, Phase 1: drawing

10/27/2016 – CNC Basics, Phase 1: drawing

Fall Fixin’ Stuff BBQ

This past weekend, about a dozen or so of our members spent part of Sunday afternoon spiffing up the space and enjoying a tasty BBQ. 20161023_192001
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We had a crew working magic in the electronics room (behold the new ‘wall of resistance’), and another group that built a sturdy (and mobile!) base for one of our main room center tables.

A few more of us spent some time clearing the dust in the wood shop and doing some general straightening up in other parts of the space. And we couldn’t have asked for a nicer fall afternoon to open the doors and enjoy each other’s company while munching on burgers, brats, veggies, potato salad, fruit and cookies!

We had a similar event at the end of June, which resulted in a new wall-mounted table being built for the main room (seen in the background of the middle photo above). The dedication of our members is immeasurable and paramount to creating and recreating our useful and fun space. A warm and hearty thank you to all who participated in these events!

Denver Mini Maker Faire 2016 recap in pictures

SSD members turned out in force the the mini maker fair held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the crowd was fantastic.

Jim’s Drawbot was a huge draw — one girl adored it and was thrilled when he gave her the drawing it had just made!

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Terry’s soccer scoring system got the most interest and kids loved rolling tennis balls through the goalposts and watching it mark their point.  Pictured behind is the mini version of John English’s Soundpuddle, set up by Tijlon.

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Jennifer’s automatic dog play system also entertains kids pretty well!

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Dan’s remote car had lots of kids mugging for its camera.

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I had lots of fun walking around with my video T-shirt and explaining how it worked.  Mostly though, kids just stared at it, mesmerized.

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Turnout was excellent for other booths, with the return of many popular exhibits and new ones, too.

One of my all-time favorites is a group that deconstructs old pinball machine mechanisms and explain how they work. Very hands-on, it’s much easier to see how a mechanical score counter works than an electronic one.

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Denhac had a lockpicking workshop, where kids could try to escape from handcuffs. They also had some great lights in the darker area of the Faire

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Zoe Doubleday’s Haptika series of therapy gloves were a hit —

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I didn’t get the guy who made these beautiful electronic quilts — he was one of many participants who also did amazing things:

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Human foosball, of course!

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I fell in love with these hacked furby skeletons!

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Looking forward to future Mini Maker Faires!

LED tattoo

Sarah shows off her shiniest tattoo, made with temporary tattoo paper, copper foil, and circuit stickers.  She’s also experimenting with conductive ink instead of the foil.

LED tattoo

LED tattoo

New lights for the high bay

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The original fluorescent lights.

 

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Our new snazzy LED lights

Fluorescent lights suck.  Aside from the minor mercury toxicity hazard if they’re broken and the mediocre light quality, the bigger problem for us is getting up to the ceiling to replace them.  At 8′ long, they’re a bit ungainly when at the top of a ladder that is barely stabilized.  Needless to say, between the standard laziness, and the instinct of self-preservation, we haven’t changed many of the burnt out tubes since we moved into this space.  In fact, we are finally down to 6 lit tubes, so we were getting to the limit of barely usable light.

LED lights are cool.  That’s the basic premise of switching our lighting out in our high bay lately.  Of course, you’re going to get that response from a bunch of self-proclaimed LED freaks 😉  We were getting to the end of the life on the remaining fluorescent tubes, and had to do something.  One of our long time members, Dan Julio, offered up some of the control boards from one of his lighting projects.  These boards, combined with LED strips make up our new lights.  Some of the main features include:

  • dimmable –  this allows us to set the light level for meetups or for work
  • Zone control – with this feature, we can keep the work lights on while dimming or turning off the lights over the wall that the projector shines against.
  • Color wash on the ceiling – Otherwise known as “party mode”.  This gives us the ability to change the mood of the space.
  • Control via mobile or web portals.
  • Control via panel mounted on the wall.

Several members joined with Dan on a Saturday to finish up the marathon of work he had already put in.

Way to go Dan for designing and building out the system, and thanks to the SSD members who helped install it!

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Valentine’s Day Mode

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Party Mode!

Cleanup aftermath

Here are the pictures from the clean up..  This is the stuff that was not labeled and needs to be gone through or its out in a week.

 

This is the new member storage…I think everyone should be able to see there labeled storage containers.

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This is the stuff on the front burner to go out the  door..  Please make arrangements if you see your stuff here.

Reach out on the Google group and let someone know sooner rather than later.

 

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Thank you to everyone that helped and if you see your stuff and you still want it, again  please reach out to someone sooner than later.

Thanks,

Chrobi

We’re at Denver Mini Maker Faire! Drop by and say hi!

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Members Jennifer, Ty and Brandon man the SSD booth at NoCo Maker Faire. Jennifer is demonstrating her A.R.F.F dog distraction device.

 

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Here member Brandon is demonstrating Oobleck, the non-newtonian fluid on a speaker.

We have a booth at the NoCo Maker Faire, drop by and say hello!

We have several projects this faire: Cymatics, A.R.F.F (Automatic Release Fun Feeder), Mini Sound Puddle (Porta-Puddle!) and last but not least, OOBLECK! Be sure to come by and see these projects!