Archive for the ‘Class/Workshop’Category

Last Night’s CNC Build Club


We had a great meeting last night.  We had over a dozen people working together to wire up a CNC control box.  At one point we had three soldering irons going at the same time.  Here is the pile of parts we started with.

Starting Pile Of CNC Parts


Here are some people wiring the box.  A really nice job was done using wire ferruls wherever we could.  How many hands can fit in that little box?

CNC Team Work

Here is the nearly completed box.

Box Almost Done


Thanks to Chris, Matt, Aeva, Patrick, Donald, Steve, Jason & Alex, Cat, John, Will, Gabe, Norm, Allen and Colin.  Next week we will be testing the motors, adding limit switches and configuring the software.

We will start with Mach3, then switch to EMC2 when we find a dedicated PC for that.  Chris and John I think mentioned they do time at Free Geek.  I am sure they could find a little PC.

Special thanks to Automation Technologies Inc for giving/lending all the parts.

– Bart




04 2013

Orientation for the new and/or curious: 4th Sundays at 4pm (N00bs’ Paradise)

120px-Rainbow_At_Maraetai_Beach_New_ZealandInterested in learning a little about PS:One?

New to PS:One and want to learn how to get along here?

Come join us on the 4th Sunday of every month at 4pm for N00bs’ Paradise: an event specifically for the new and/or curious about PS:One.

You’ll learn:

  • how to immediately get started learning and doing awesome things at PS:One
  • the one and only rule you need to remember at PS:One
  • what mailing lists and IRC channels you should join
  • how to get discounts on classes, tee-shirts, stuff around town, and even monthly dues!
  • how to get certified on equipment
  • how to donate stuff to PS:One
  • how to create a new class, event, group, meeting, or what have you
  • do-ocracy and how to do-ocratize things

The basics:

  • Who: anyone who wants to learn more about PS:One and how it works
  • When: Sunday April 28th, 4 pm until about 6pm (and every 4th Sunday thereafter)
  • Where: PS:One 1st floor lounge
  • Cost: free

Here are the class notes – please feel free to read beforehand (Note: these notes are not a good substitute for class attendance).


04 2013

CNC Build Club

Automation Technologies 3D Gantry

The CNC Build Club meets just about every Thursday at 7:00pm.  This is a weekly meeting of Chicago area people passionate about designing, building and learning how to use digital fabrication equipment.  Non members are welcome .  Each meeting starts with a round robin introduction followed by a little discussion and often a presentation or training session.  We also often have a group project going on.

This week we are going to start putting together a small CNC milling machine.  The machine was lent to us by Automation Technologies Inc.  Right now the machine is just the mechanical platform.  We need to add the motor controls, limits switches and setup some software.  The goal is to create an easy to use work center that we will do some projects on.  The plan is to sell the machine at a discount to someone in the group when we are finished. If you don’t know anything about CNC, don’t worry, you can still help.  The goal is to teach, learn and use.


We have a meetup group you can follow for upcoming events

We have a Google Group too.



04 2013

NERP tonight: The revolution is over! Let the battles begin!

NERP is not exclusively raspberry pi, the small computer interest group at
Pumping Station:One in Chicago.

There are a bunch of credit card size and smaller computers out there, but the
one closest to the Raspberry Pi in purpose and features is the Beagle Bone. The
BeagleBone is a credit-card sized Linux computer that connects with the Internet
and runs software such as Android 4.0 and Ubuntu. NERP first saw the Beagle
Board during Drew’s high-level overview in March.


The current Beagle Bone (~$89) costs more than the Raspberry Pi, but the Bone
has better perfomance. Tomorrow, 4/23/13, will publicly announce a
new, more powerful, more featureful, and cheaper Beagle Bone. The price for the
new board will put it closer to the Pi. The revolution is over, but the
competiton for the smallest, most powerful, most versatile, and cheapest
embeddable computer has just begun. Adafruit, one of several Beagle Bone
resellers, is getting revved up for the new release.

Tonight Brian Chamberlain will give an in depth introduction to writing code on
the Beagle Bone. Brian’s talk will  “…cover how to setup and run remote
debugging on a BeagleBone from within the Eclipse IDE. It will include a
walkthrough of the key steps for setting things up. Then a demonstration of how
to step through lines of code, inspect variables, and generally cause havoc on a
simple program running remotely on the BeagleBone. Also, as a segway from our
normal RaspberryPi discussions there will be a brief overview of the BeagleBone,
its features, and how it compares to the RaspberryPi.”

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One

NERP meets at 7pm 4-22-13 at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in
Chicago. NERP is free and open to the public.

Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics . com


04 2013

CNC Build Club

Every Thursday night…

The CNC Build Club meets to build, use and learn about CNC machines.

April 18th at 7:00 PM.
Open to non- members

Quantum Delta 3D printer

Quantum Delta 3D printer

Over the last three weeks we built this little delta 3D printer.
There are a few little changes to make to it this week, like a spool holder on top.

This medium sized CNC Router Read the rest of this entry →


04 2013




I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from the NERP FPGA workshop we did a couple weeks back.  There were a few people who asked me to post the Verilog code that went along with the two demos we did.  I added comments to the Verilog files in an attempt to clear up a lot of the stuff we cruised through to avoid turning this purely into a Verilog class.  The most useful comments will be in the VGA controller module we wrote: vga640x480.v.  Anyway, all the required project files to synthesize the logic we wrote are right here:

The software we used to build everything is the Xilinx ISE WebPACK 13.4.  You have to register with Xilinx and generate/download a license on their website to use the software.  Just remember that the above project will only work on the Digilent Nexys2-1200 board that I was using.

If you’re interested in grabbing a budget board for messing around with FPGAs or CPLDs, there are a few notable options:

  1. Papilio One
  2. CoolRunner-II
  3. DE0-Nano
  4. Basys2
  5. XuLA-200
  6. BORA

Also, thanks to Drew Fustini for the lovely photos you ‘re seeing above.  Actually, this whole FPGA thing was Drew’s idea.  So, if you were really itching to do some Raspberry Pi that week and walked in to find a bunch of nerds talking about programmable logic gates, then all your blame should be focused towards him.  On the other hand, if you enjoyed this FPGA crash-course you should thank him for that and any subsequent class/workshop he forces me to do.



04 2013

Beer Church Tasting & Tour – Ours & Theirs: Revolution Brewery

Hello all beer brewers, hackers, and those just interested in the methods of making and tasting beers. This Saturday the 13th of April at 12:30PM we’ll be meeting up at Pumping Station: One to taste our own beers and anything you feel the need to share with us. We’ll try at least 3 of our own homebrews made by Beer Church, followed by a short work session and introduction to our own beer making equipment.

Revolution Brewery Tour

At 2:15PM we’ll head over to Revolution Brewery’s Kedzie location for a private tour with only our group. Up to 40 people can participate and will share the total $75 fee for the tour – which comes with 2 complementary samples of Revolution’s beers. With just 8 people, we’d pay less than $10 each. The tour will involve visiting and seeing the workings of the production brewery that Revolution uses to create such brews as Cross of Gold which they generously donated 2 kegs of for our Locktoberfest event last fall – and we enjoyed for some time afterward at our bar.

We expect the tour to teach us aspiring brewers a great deal about how a “real” brewery works, given that we’ll have the ear of one of Revolution’s staff throughout. After the tour we’ll have a few sips of their brew and head back to PS:One. If we’re feeling up to it, perhaps we’ll create something off the cuff. The new fermenter is nearly complete thanks by the large to the efforts of Tucker & the contributions of some Beer Church regulars last weekend, and will at least be able to support a simple Ale fermentation.

We hope to see you this Saturday for a pleasant afternoon.


When: Saturday, April 13 2013 at 12:30PM until 4:00PM or later.
Where: 3519 N Elston, Chicago IL
Why: Because you like making & tasting beer.
Who: Anyone 21 years of age or older.
What: Beer tasting, brewery tour, potential beer brewing


04 2013

Blacksmithing 101 Classes

Both the fire poker and the railroad spike knife classes will be offered on SUNDAY April 14th at Pumping Station:One.
knife forge
Ever thought of Blacksmithing as a way to relieve stress? Well then, sign up for THE FIRE POKER CLASS where you will make a fire poker to soothe your
anger while also pleasing your inner pyro . You will learn to taper & draw, twist, and to scroll some steel. And you get to take it home and show it off!

Or, if you are more into stabbing junk mail through the heart, make yourself a RAIL ROAD SPIKE letter opener! You’ll learn to sledge, taper & draw, and maybe even twist your handle.

Please sign up for your preferred class and time using the booking link HERE!


  • $40 for members ($50 for non-members) for the two and a half hour long instruction & materials needed for the *fire poker class*
  • $25 for members ($30 for non-members) for the *rail road spike* class.

Both classes will also certify members to use the forge!
What you need to know:IMG_20130210_122708_948

1. If you have a nice pair of safety glasses, bring them – we have some available, but they may not be comfortable.
2. Wear ONLY cotton clothing and closed toe shoes (preferably leather with rubber soles) Any other fabric may catch fire and will melt onto your skin and continue burning you which is never fun. A lightweight, long-sleeved shirt is preferable to protect from flying slag.
3. Bring a water bottle- forging is hot work.
4. Your off hand (non hammering hand) will be holding the steel and will require a glove (though two gloves is REALLY preferable). Please bring well fitting all LEATHER gloves if you have some (calf skin gloves work best). This helps reduce chafing and prevents burns. Your hammer hand does not have to be gloved, but better safe than sorry.
5. This activity has a high risk of burns – you will be dealing with glowing hot steel, sparks, and hot slag. Wearing appropriate clothing and gloves minimizes this risk, but accidents still happen. You have been warned, now come have some fun!

• Please try to arrive 5-10 minutes early so we can get started
right away.


03 2013

Elementary Fourier Analysis, Sunday March 24th at 1PM

Sines, sines, everywhere a sine.

Engraving of Fourier.

This is a Fourier. We will not be analyzing it.

This 2.5 hour class will cover:

  • When and why does the fourier transform ‘work’? (Convergence conditions, etc)
  • What does linear algebra have to do with Fourier analysis? (A lot.)
  • How do we know it works? (Somewhat rigorous derivation)
  • Are there similar concepts/tools worth knowing? (Yes.)

The overarching goal is to demystify the magic formulas
and give a more conceptual grounding in what’s going on.

Recommended background: Calculus II (integration),
trig identities, and basic knowledge of complex numbers, with a
provided cheat sheet and a refresher/intro to those tools at noon.

  • When: Sunday March 24th at 1PM
  • Where: Pumping Station: One Electronics Lab, 3519 N Elston Ave
  • What: Deltas, epsilons, bases, sines.
  • Who: All are welcome, PS:One members or not. Please RSVP to by Saturday so I can make enough handouts.
  • Cost: Free!


03 2013

Introduction to PS:One: N00bs’ Paradise March 24th at 4pm

Are you interested in learning about PS:One or are generally just new around here?

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and you’re hardly alone.

We’ve decided to create a formal way of teaching curious new folk how the PS:One community works.

Meet with PS:One old-timers (including at least one former president) to learn the many ways to get involved, and the opportunities available to PS:One members, plus hacks for getting around easier.

You’ll learn:

  • the one and only rule you need to remember at PS:One!
  • what mailing lists and IRC channels you should join
  • how to get discounts on classes, tee-shirts, stuff around town, and even monthly dues!
  • how to get certified on equipment
  • how to donate equipment to PS:One
  • how to create a class, event, group, meeting, or what have you
  • how to request a class, event, group, whatever
  • how to blog
  • the wiki.
  • do-ocracy and how to do-ocratize things

The basics:

  • Who: anyone who wants to learn more about PS:One and how it works
  • When: Sunday March 24th, 4 pm until about 6pm
  • Where: PS:One 1st floor lounge
  • Cost: free

Here are the class notes – please feel free to read beforehand (Note: these notes are not a good substitute for class attendance).


03 2013