Author Archive

Make anything a Drone: a first person video camera rig.

TinyCamera_13 Radio control flying is traditionally done “line of sight.”  That is, you stand in one place, and watch your toy fly around.  Modern electronics means we can get little cameras, that hobby size aircraft can easily lift.  For example, that little camera package you see there, is 17.5 grams.

My previous camera package fried when I hooked the wrong power supply up to it a few weeks ago.  For the record, putting 12.6v from a LiPo battery pack, doesn’t do good things for the health of a 3.3v video transmitter.

TinyCamera_01Here were my ingredients.  Not quite mise en place but definitely close enough for hackerspace work.

We have some protoboard, my new transmitter, my old transmitter, the video camera, some pin headers, a JST style battery connector, a set of dip switches, and most importantly, a voltage regulator.  That last bit is to stop me from frying the camera or transmitter on accident again.

TinyCamera_06When doing protoboard assemblies, it’s always a good idea to dry fit everything.

In a fit of bad practice, I have no decoupling (capacitors) to support my voltage regulator.  As with many things in electronics.. sometimes it works even if you do it a bit wrong.  If the video signal ends up being poor, I can always add more power filtering later.

TinyCamera_14When I first fried the video transmitter, I thought it had shorted out against my quadcopters chassis.  It’s not a good idea to leave power rails exposed, so there’s a good bit of hot glue on the bottom of the board.
Once that was done, I powered it up, and made sure I could change channels using the DIP switches, and that the video was clear in my goggles.

TinyCamera_11Antennas are a funny thing.  Most people doing FPV use circularly polarized antennas.  I didn’t have any small coax handy when I built this the first time, so I just reused my conventional antenna.  That little black wire, is a full wave antenna at 5.8ghz!

Other than being twice the weight of the previous camera rig I was running, I’m quite happy with how this turned out.

Keep making stuff!

PS: If you’d like more detail on the build:


07 2015

Bike Night – Fixing bikes in February

Hello everyone!  It’s been cold.  It’s been snowy.  But some of you people are still riding your bicycles.  Being cold and snowy doesn’t stop the need for maintenance.  Every other week is Bike Night at PS:1, and we’ve got our doors open for you.

Sometimes we bring in things to show off.  Sometimes we teach.  Usually we work on interesting bike projects.  (Learning how to wrap bars, building a bike from the frame up, etc) Last night was playing bike doctor more than “here’s fun stuff to work on.”  We had two patients last night.

Bike maintenance at PumpingStation

Bike maintenance at PumpingStation: One








Patient #1 received a new chain and sprockets to replace a stretched set.  And, the rider discovered the magic of clipless pedals last year, so replaced his platforms with some SPD pedals.

Patient #2 had some cheesy short term replacement pedals replaced with some very nice platforms, and had it’s headset rebuilt.

Does your bike need a tuneup?  Do you have questions about picking a new bike this spring?  Do you want to learn a new bicycle related skill?  Come visit us, we’ll be gathering in the shop March 5 at 7PM.



02 2014

A cubists blinky LED. 64 of them to be accurate.

Last night was a busy night at the space.  Toba was working on a project that will be the subject of a later post.  Ryan and Steve were working on repairing our laser cutter.  And Loclhst, James and I did a little bit of making.  (An ironic activity at a maker space.)

There is something that’s just.. right about someone soldering at PS:1 while drinking cheap American beer and soldering some artsy-fartsy LED toy.

James completed two levels of his cube.  Localhst did two of his own two.  He also built a 12 volt power supply to drive a solder fume extraction fan.

One of the LED cubes did reach a functional level of completion.  If you’d like to see more of the process, and a little more commentary, stop on by my blog:

And here’s what the end result looked like: YouTube Preview Image

Obviously it’s not finished yet.  Steve gave me a laser cut project box to put my cube in.  Hopefully James and Loclhst will finish their cubes soon too.

And as always, come on by, there’s usually something interesting going on!




03 2012

Bend me; Brake me. PS:One gives itself a Bending Brake

We have a new tool in the space, a small sheet metal brake. It was PS:One designed, built, and tested.

It has a 12″ width capacity, and we’re still up in the air as to what it’s vertical capacity is. So far we’ve bent some 16ga steel, and 20ga aluminum. It does the job beautifully.

We have a wiki page for it already: Sheet Metal Brake – 12 inch  So come on in, and get bending!

It’s in the shop.  Steve or Nerobro will be happy to show you how to use it.


03 2012