NERP Tonite!

NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago. NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago.

Tonight the NERP agaenda is free-form. Hang out, talk embedded, show-and-tell, it’s all possible!

Also:
In April Steve Laya from Eliete Electronic Engineering visited NERP to acquaint us with the process of getting FCC certification for a new product. I’m not sure how he did it, but he made the subject entertaining if not a little bit fun. Steve was kind enough to send his slides so that we could make them available. The pdf is here. Elite-FCC-Presentation-NERP-4-13-2015

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at
http://www.meetup.com NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/
and
http://pumpingstationone.org/
Doors open at 6:30pm.
NERP is free and open to the public.
Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics com
Tags: electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source,
raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Element14, Pumping Station One

 

11

05 2015

Chicago Northside Mini Makerfaire 2015

Thanks to everyone who helped make this year’s Northside Mini Makerfaire a success! Our awesome volunteers helped everyone from little kids to adults build 100 noisemaker kits. Thanks also to the donors who helped pay for the kits. Yay awesomeness!

Vinyl cut signage:
15 - 1

Dalek checking out the crappy robot contest:
20150502_140217

Noisemaker:
20150502_131056

Noisemakers and volunteers:
pic1

pic2

pic3

Ray’s chairs and tables:
pic4

Crappy robots:
20150502_140300

If you’d like to see more photos, please check out Drew Fustini’s G+ link on the mailing list. Also of note is that we are going to the Detroit Makerfaire, July 25-26th. Announcements will come soon, but email jenny@pumpingstationone.org if you are interested in volunteering for the Detroit Makerfaire.

06

05 2015

Crappy Robots Rise To Compete Once Again

Hey Hacky People,

The last crappy robot competition we ran (http://pumpingstationone.org/2015/01/the-dumbrobotcompetition-for-dummies/) went so well that we’ve decided to do it again. Bring your crappy ideas to the Chicago North Side Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, May 2, 2015. We’ll start competing at 14:00.

Sr. Abrazos (the unofficial mascot of crappy robots) dukes it out against Unilowbrow with its dukes up!

Sr. Abrazos (the unofficial mascot of crappy robots) dukes it out against Unilowbrow with its dukes up!

Sign up here: http://goo.gl/forms/Y0ykHvbsq8

View the official rules here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MgUCLj9-AUJJMmDZXbPu0UW3-rmfRhiPhXi8PMfQo-c/edit?usp=sharing

Note that the official rules are subject to change. If you are registered for the competition, you will get notice of rule changes.

Check out http://youtu.be/46ivFpsmEVQ for inspiration! HEBOCON is what inspired us to put on our own crappy robot competition!

Justin T. Conroy

Robot at Large

27

04 2015

NERP on Monday: STM’s ARM-based Nucleo Boards

NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago. NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago.

Rob Riggs AKA Colorado Rob is a PS:1 member, software engineer, ham radio operator, electronics hobbyist and entrepreneur.*

At NERP on Monday, Rob will be giving a presentation on the STM Nucleo boards. These are 12 distinct but similar ARM development boards from ST Micro. These are simple, easy to use and only $10. They have Arduino- compatible hardware interface for add-on boards (Arduino Shields), as well as their own interface that exposes additional rich features specific to the STM32 microcontrollers.

We will talk a bit about why Rob chose ARM for his next project, why he specifically chose STM, and the capabilities of the various Nucleo boards. We will cover the mbed.org development site, the development process, and the libraries available. We will also provide a brief overview of doing a bit more low-level development using STM32CubeMX and STM’s HAL (hardware abstraction layer) libraries using the GNU ARM toolchain on Windows, Linux, and OS X.

*Copy for this announcement was supplied by Rob. Thanks Rob!
Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at

NERP – Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi

Chicago, IL
326 members

NERP is Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station One in Chicago. (Chicago’s oldest and finest hackerspace.) NERP…

Next Meetup

Bring questions, demos, personal research, etc. to share.

Monday, Apr 27, 2015, 7:00 PM
8 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

and
http://pumpingstationone.org/
Doors open at 6:30pm.
NERP is free and open to the public.
Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics com
Tags: electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source,
raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Element14, Pumping Station One

25

04 2015

Lark Dord Day

#include <stdbeerchurchannounce.h>

OK, so you probably didn’t get tickets to a certain event on Saturday in Munster, IN, and want to commiserate by drinking and brewing beer. Or, maybe you did, and you want a good excuse to drink a certain limited edition beer you just acquired with people who will immediately become your best friends! *hint hint* So come to Beer Church’s Lark Dord Day!

We will attempt a brave and daring feat for the first time in PS:One history – brewing a Russian Imperial Stout. And not just any Russian Imperial Stout. The goal: to brew a beer so alcoholic it poses a fire hazard, with a mouth feel comparable to 15w30 motor oil, that is darker than the CEO of Comcast’s soul!

Noon-ish, this Sunday. 21+ only. Etc. 12:30 PM.

In nomine Barley,
Ryan
Beer Pope (Eastern Orthodox)

25

04 2015

Mother’s Day approaching!

I just got back from taking my kids to spend a week with my mom, but before I did I snuck into the woodshop for an evening to jumpstart an early Mother’s Day present for her: replacement drawers for her kitchen. She’s been managing with one functioning drawer in there for ages due to broken boxes, busted rails, broken face frames – the kitchen is an early 1970s relic, really. A few hours of work and $20 worth of plywood scrap later, I had them ready to haul to Iowa:

image image image

 

Drawers are a quick build, and a great refresher on some of the woodshop tools.

Over the course of the week we spent at her place, I fixed up her frames, added sturdier drawer supports, installed the new rails and boxes, and put on her old hardware – from the outside you can’t tell anything is different on the ones I finished. I also cut out a sagging cabinet shelf and installed a new one. I left two drawers unfinished, because one of her fronts was missing – I brought the matching front home to bring into the shop and try my hand at copying it. Even with the installation only half done, though, she’s gained a lot of function.

image

 

Mother’s Day is just about two weeks away. If your mom has a house full of projects (I suspect this is very common), pop in and use the tools to cross something off her list!

Tags: , ,

25

04 2015

1971 Movie Night

“Before Watergate, Wikileaks, and Edward Snowden, there was Media, Pennsylvania.”

For our next movie night we’d like to screen the documentary 1971: “On March 8, 1971 eight ordinary citizens broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, a town just outside Philadelphia, took hundreds of secret files, and shared them with the public. In doing so, they uncovered the FBI’s vast and illegal regime of spying and intimidation of Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.”

YouTube Preview Image

Adam Forsyth, the son of one of the eight, who called themselves the Citizens’ Commission, will be giving a talk after the screening. The screening is open to the public and BYOB. Some snacks will be provided.

Sign up for the movie here: http://www.meetup.com/Pumping-Station-One/events/221330710/

When: Sunday April 19th, 5 PM
Where: Pumping Station: One Electronics Lab upstairs

Tags: ,

10

04 2015

NERP 4/13/15: Wireless Data, the Small Inventor, and the FCC

NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago. NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago.
These days embedded computing “means” wireless data. Wireless chips and modules are cheap and easy to get. Small inventors (e.g. individuals or low-funded ad-hoc groups) are getting all kinds of ideas for wireless projects and products for the IoT (Internet of Things), wearables, WiFi, ZigBee, BLE, etc.

ESP8266-Sparkfun-item-13252

A SparkFun ESP8266 WiFi radio. Small and cheap. All the cool kids want one.

Because offcc-seal_rgb_emboss-on-white FCC requirements, the path to market for traditional wireless devices can be long, complex, and expensive. Unfortunately, the regulations are hard to read, even when made “accessible”. The “modular” data radio is an FCC innovation that is supposed to lift some of the regulatory burden off makers of small-run products. Does it?

NERP has several questions about inventing wireless devices that can be sold to end-users. For example:

  • What is FCC certification?
  • For small inventors doing small wireless products, is FCC certification necessary?
  • Are there combinations of power and frequency that are exempt from oversight?
  • What are some design choices can make compliance cheaper, easier, and faster to get?
  • What are the steps to certification? Where do you start?
  • How much of the process can you do by yourself? Whom do you need to hire?

Elite-logo-largeThe FCC has an interest in pretty much any device that emits radio waves. Steve Laya from Elite Electronic Engineering, Inc. in Downers Grove will help us understand how FCC regs relate to Maker/Hacker/DIY inventors and entrepreneurs.
Elite does electronics compliance testing for a number of industries and government agencies. For the FCC, they do the actual tests and issue certifications of compliance. Bring Questions!

Attending NERP is free, and no one is compensated for organizing or presenting. Nothing in NERP presentations constitutes actual legal or engineering advice. If you need the help or advice of a lawyer or engineer, please hire one.

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at

NERP – Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi

Chicago, IL
312 members

NERP is Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station One in Chicago. (Chicago’s oldest and finest hackerspace.) NERP…

Next Meetup

Bring questions, demos, personal research, etc. to share.

Monday, Apr 13, 2015, 7:00 PM
5 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

and
http://pumpingstationone.org/
Doors open at 6:30pm.
NERP is free and open to the public.
Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics com
Tags: electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source,
raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Element14, Pumping Station One

09

04 2015

International Tabletop Day 2015

International tabletop day

International Tabletop Day

Want to hang out with a group of fun geeky people at a Hackerspace and play some awesome games? How about homemade snacks and homebrew beer? Still not awesome enough for you? Well, how about we hack an Xbox Kinect and scan you, then 3D print a custom game piece with your face on it, or make custom game counters on a laser cutter?

Come on by Pumping Station: One, Chicago’s biggest Hackerspace, on April 11th and have some fun and maybe even learn a few skills! Bring your favorite games, or if you want some supreme geeky-points, bring a game you designed and play-test it with us [we can even discuss how to spruce-up your game with lasercut or 3D printed pieces, hint-hint]!

This event is public, so bring your family, friends, or just awesome gamers you know and wanna hang out with! If you want to take part in making the 3D printed game pieces, or laser cutting custom counters, we do ask for a minimum of $1 suggested donation to cover materials. If you want to see this stuff continue into the future, please donate more! Proceeds will go to Pumping Station: One’s donation box.

04

04 2015

Knit a Working Loudspeaker

knitted speaker

I’ve been working on an embedded speaker design off and on for the last few years, and finally got around to posting an Instructable for it.

I created knitted and non-knitted versions, and am quite happy with how it turned out. The secret is using dipolar magnets and hard drive magnets are a cheap way to do this. (Plus, a really big amp.)

Props to Sache for lending her glue and paper expertise!

01

04 2015