Lots going on at VCW and the Makerspace today, as part of Tech Week. We’ve got SMT soldering demos going, instruction writing (to go with the new Arduino kits), tinkering with LoRa radios, 3D printing, and more!
Tonight, Steve was hard at work on building out the weaving studio in the garage area. It’s great to have the concrete floors available for this sort of work, for obvious reasons:
We gained a new tool in our computer toolkit: a USB-to-IDE/SATA hard drive adapter. This is something I bought for consolidating data off a pile of hard drives from several generations of old computers. It worked great for that job, but now that it’s done I don’t need it anymore – free to borrow or use it at makerspace.
Slightly less visibly – we’re a bit closer to having a new web server, which should be considerably quicker, quieter, more reliable, and more power efficient. Current plans are to provide it with battery backup via a Toyota-makerspace collaboration, perhaps with solar power at some stage! More details to come.
One of the perks of Makerspace membership is access to the 4-post car hoist at the VCW.
I just wanted to share a recent success story from this afternoon: a WoF revealed that my car needed a couple suspension bushings replaced – the shop doing the WoF quoted about $110 to do the job, parts included. As car repair jobs go, I think that was a reasonable estimate. But, I was able to get OEM parts for well under half that amount, and – using the hoist – easily do the job in about 45 minutes this afternoon including cleanup!
Apologies for the low quality photo – just wanted to share some progress with the Pact scoreboard over the last few weeks. The PCBs are mostly assembled, the board itself is mostly ready. Next up: buttons and Arduino firmware!
It was a quiet Saturday this weekend, unless you were either a Jaffa rolling down Baldwin St, or the new 3D printer. We’ve been requested to make a hundred or so of these Grommets for the Loom Room:They’re used like this, in table-top looms:
We’ve had a few recent “Arduinos for Absolute Beginners” classes on, two at the makerspace and one at Hive – all have been successful and a lot of fun! I’ve found it particularly interesting to observe the different programming approaches taken by older vs younger students, and how well the different notification methods influenced people to bring USB cables and computers to the class :).
Last Saturday, we adapted and installed a fixture from the old location at King Edward Court in the Valley Workspace – the bare copper wires for hanging LEDs!
As usual, if you miss one of our events, either post on the mailing list or come to the next open workshop and we can often get you caught up.
The courier showed up today, with a really neat new board from Adafruit – the Feather M0 Express. It is essentially a break out board for the Microchip (formerly Atmel) ATSAMD21G18, which is the same ARM M0+ micro used in the Arduino Zero, plus a 2MB flash memory, RGB LED, and a LiPoly charger. It’s not too expensive at $20USD, nice and tiny, and I think could be a real hit.
Using the Feather M0 Express from Arduino IDE almost couldn’t be easier – just add the Adafruit Board Manager URL to your Arduino IDE settings, then install the “Adafruit SAMD Boards” – instructions at https://learn.adafruit.com/add-boards-arduino-v164 .
Learn how to use an Arduino, a little bit of programming, and a little bit of
electronics. Absolutely no prior experience required!
What is an Arduino? Have a look at this video.
May 4th (7pm start) and 6th (2pm start), 2-3 hours, at the Dunedin Makerspace 11 Allen St. North East Valley.
We’ve been doing a bit of work on the maker space lately, and this website too!
For the last several years, our website has been hosted on a VPS provided by Blair (thanks so much!) Now that we’ve got a reliable Internet connection at the makerspace though, we’re able to host the site from an on-site computer that’s already hosting the Valley Workspace, Dunedin Electric Bikes, and Quarantine Island sites, and some makerspace affiliated projects like Dunedin food truck tracker foodoo.nz. If you’re interested in how the Internet works, want to host a site, or have fun ideas for things to connect to the machine, just say the word!
As part of the website move, I’ve upgraded the WordPress install, and am planning to embark on a clean out of the Users (we’ve apparently got ~45k) and Comments databases. I’ll try to keep from deleting legitimate accounts, but if your dspace account disappears, just let me know and I can restore it.
Finally, some donated lights were installed last weekend, in the room adjoining the bike workshop, to light up that web server!
I was recently tinkering with a thing at work, and was surprised to find that a couple internal parts of this thing are 3D printed using a printer of the same type we’ve got at the makerspace!
This is a Thinklabs One digital stethoscope, available for sale online through mainstream retailers for about $500USD. Check out the grey plastic ring around the blue part.