Reason # 1 Why Hackerspaces Rock – The people

This post has been a little over due, not a little, a lot and thanks to Dan’s persistence here it is.

During February I was searching for ways to create more permanent arduino based solutions when I stumbled upon a neat kit from a Hackerspace out in Provo Utah named The Transistor. I contacted them before I purchased any to see if they had any “Gorduino” PCBs lying around as I didn’t have anything on hand to make my own (the kit is barebones, no PCB, just the caps/crystal/voltage reg/chip). A great guy name Deven replied and we chatted about things. During our exchange he mentioned sending me stuff at the space.

That was during February when I had been taking a break from the hackerspace as I was between jobs (unexpectedly, the best kind) dealing with some personal “stuff” and so I didn’t actually show up at the space till the end of February when I’d secured a job so that I could pay my dues. Much to my surprise at the space there was a little cardboard box addressed to me. Deven had sent me a box with a bunch of random junk from his desk, which included a servo, switches, a couple arduino kits with some PCBs and more. Way awesome!!!! The note inside read.

Sorry, I Couldn’t find a Gorduino that wasn’t being used. Please enjoy some random shit I had close to my desk. Consider it a hackerspace warming gift.

-The Transistor

I have to say that it caught me completely by surprise and I was touched! There is something about Hackerspaces that brings people together that are made of some pretty awesome stuff. One of my joys of being part of SSD is that I get to meet so many different people who all share a common thread of being willing to be giving of their time and talents to help others. So thanks again The Transistor for the awesome warming gift! We’ll keep you posted about the crazy things we do with the stuff you sent!

Ross

Wearable LEDs Update

Just a quick note on a couple of our wearable technology (WT) projects: Liz’s raincoat and John’s top hat.

Raincoat: This was Liz’s first real WT project taken to completion, and there was definitely some “pound to fit, paint to match” involved in order to meet her goal of having it ready in time to wear to Ignite Boulder 14. She attached diffused RGB LEDs (and some beads for additional diffusing) to each button on her coat, wired them up to a power source and an Arduino onto which she sketched 2 programs: a slowly-changing color mode and flashing rainbow. In the next few weeks she plans to improve both hardware and software so that it will be beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.

Top Hat: John English added an individually programmable LED strip to a top hat. This is one component of his wardrobe for Burning Man and Apogaea this year, but he also wanted to heat up Nederland’s Frozen Dead Guy Days with it. He is currently serving up two patterns of light, also using an Arduino: a rotating rainbow pattern and another using an accelerometer, which makes the LED strip change color based on his head / hat position.

John is no stranger to making costumes and other props for Burning Man and Apogaea, so expect more like this to come.

See additional photos and video of both projects in our Wearable Technology Flickr group.