Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Extra Life

by Aaron

Need one more chance?

LaserCutter+3Dprinter+LED= 1UP

Slapdash Sled on Snowflakes Notice

by Aaron

Kramer and Andrew made this sled after a recent serious snow. They used the CNC to make the side-ribs, a piece of shower board for the bottom from the stockpile, chair recovered from "longterm storage"(trash bin), and LED's from former project for the badazz nightrider lights. Fastest sled on the slope, but like many beautiful fast things, it crashed into some snow and got messed up.

shower board - fast but fragile

Cooked Quad - Snow Lessons Learned

by Aaron

Andy sez -
Things I learned:

1) When a mini quad falls into half a foot of fresh snow, it makes a quad-sized hole, jumps in it, and then covers itself over, rendering itself completely invisible.

2) When removed from the snow, every possible nook and cranny of the quad will be filled with snow, to a degree of precision that strains belief.

3) This is important - when you then put the quad in the over to remove the snow, take off the propellers.

4) Quads don't make much lift with circular propellers.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Underwater Circuit Board Laminator

by Aaron
 This is an underwater circuit board laminator for fixing film to copper clad board. I find this a touch crazy, but Dupont says it eliminates air bubbles, therefore we hacked our own tool per usual. I have no plans to stick my hands in there, but if it improve badge production quality, I'm glad to let someone else do it.

Bone Conductor Transducer on My Skull

by Aaron
 Thad made a project using the Bone Conductor Transducer from AdaFruit. He put it on my skull, and there was music in my head.

Thad sez-
I built an amp to go from a headphone jack to the bone conductor above, and got requests for a parts list.  The schematic is attached, it's from the 'typical applications' section of the LM386 datasheet, as 'amplifier with gain = 200'.  

Other parts I used:
- 9V battery
- battery clip
- male headphone jack
- 1.5 inch square pcb

The wires pulled off of the bone conductor easily.  After I re-soldered them, I glued them to the top.

I don't know about practical application, but it's fun.

FitzKits - A Lean Pipe Building Solution

by Aaron

Custom gaming setup built from FitzKits

FitzKits is a lean pipe system for building stuff fast and easy. I had the pleasure of volunteering some help to friend and FitzKits' owner, Cody, who I met through hackerspace mailing lists. He recently front paged Hack-a-Day with a new instructable on building custom computer/gaming desks.

I thought it was time to talk about FitzKits a bit as an example of makerspace adventures. As I said, we met through a mailing list. He was looking to build something for 3D printing enthusiasts. My interest was in learning about makery startup businesses, it gave me chance to design physical objects for an end-user, and I figured it would be a lot fun. It was.

Since then FitzKits has worked with schools, businesses, and various makerspaces including HackRVA to create custom work space solutions.

So far, HackRVA'ers have made a rolling tool-cart, a 3D printing stand, an electronics work bench, a couple desks, and a partial light kit(never really finished) for the space, most of the materials donated to us by FitzKits. I have plans to build a "WALL OF MONITORS" on our coding/game-making(playing?) computer station to go with the Oculus Rift and other hardware.

One of the highlights of FitzKits is it allows for trial&error as well as reconfiguration. One of the desks I made was no longer needed, so we salvaged the pipe and brackets to be made into the "WALL OF MONITORS" eventually (looking for a deal on a pallet of flat screens).
Well, I could include tales of Kickstarter, Start-Up Weekend, meeting Mark Fraunfelder, prototyping, and other collaborative creativity, but I'll save that for another time.

For those interested in starting a business from their maker aspirations, FitzKits shows the power of participating with makerspaces and that a person can take a novel idea to market by engaging with and contributing to the DIY community.

"The Spooklet" Zine

by Aaron
Before there was internet, there were zine's. They have an important place in history w/r/t DIY culuture. The Spooklet is a yearly zine put together by Catherine and friends. Several HackRVA'ers have contributed to the zine this year and in the past. Zine's are a great way to try your hand in self-publishing as well as creating a physical object that is special to its creators and those in the Zine scene.