Archive for the ‘Projects’Category

Beer Church Extreme Makeover: Bar Edition 10/7

Oh come all ye faithful! Beer Church has 3 beers in the fermenter, and some of them are just about ready to go in a keg to get all carbonated and cold and… we don’t have any taps on our bar, or a fridge with lines! This Sunday, we’ll fix that (or get started on it, anyway)! Come help us turn our bar (thanks Greg for building it) into a real bar, with taps!

Beer Church’s first 3 beers

We’ll start off with a quick introduction to Pumping Station: One for newbies (you don’t have to be a member to attend Beer Church), with beers in hand. Bring your favorite unusual beer to share, and we’ll all get to try something new and exciting. We’ll check out the Raspberry Pi powered computerized brewing system that we’ve got going and go over our last few successful brews. The focus for project work will be on improving our dispensing and keg system, but if we have enough people we might go nuts and brew something!

The Meat

  • When: 12PM Noon, Sunday 10/7/2012
  • Where: 3519 N Elston, Chicago IL
  • What: Potluck beer tasting, brewing discussion, and fridge/taps buildout!
  • Why: Because you like beer and people who build things.


10 2012

NERP – Raspberry Pi and Beer – Monday 9-10-12

RPi beer temp controller

The next NERP (Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi) meeting will be at 7pm Monday Sept. 10th. See the NERP Meetup page for more information on location, meeting format, etc.

NERP is Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi, and this Monday’s meeting will also discuss Android and beer.

During fermentation beer must be kept at fairly precisely controlled temperatures. The required temperature varies with the stage of fermentation and other factors.

Any self-respecting beer temperature monitor would be accessible from the ‘net, and this one is no exception. Monday, Eric Stein will show Brewing Station: One’s  Raspberry Pi based temperature monitor and controller. Eric will show how the Python code and electronics work and discuss some issues around controlling temperature. Sampling the product will have to wait until Beer Church taps the keg.

The Desktop is DEAD, Long live the Desktop: The Android 4.0 miniPC

Jay will be doing a short walk-thru and talk about the user-land experience with the new Ricomagic MK802 thumb-drive-sized pocket-computer. Jay will be demoing android 4.x, Fedora, Ubuntu and/or puppy linux on the Ricomagic MK802. The Ricomagic MK802 is a $65 Cortex A8 1GHZ processor with 1GB of DDR3 Ram, 4 GB flash, wifi and a 500MH GPU (Mali 400) with HDMI video. The small computing landscape is changing fast, and the Raspberry Pi is only part of the story.


09 2012


This is what happens when geeks get married.  Back in December, I decided that I wanted to have a photo booth at the reception, so I looked around at rentals and services and was surprised at the cost.  I then looked around at DIY photo booths and was slightly disappointed by the state of the art of the DIY photo booth – most seemed to have a big button, and Arduino, a webcam, and a full laptop.

So I designed a simple test circuit with a Canon point and shoot camera (with CHDK installed), an Arduino, and a button.  Now, months and hundreds of prototypes later, I have Photoboop! A robo party photographer that turns most cameras into photo booths or time-lapse video machines.

Thanks to the entire PS:One community for help and support while making this project a reality!

Photoboop is live on Kickstarter, Facebook, and it’s own Website.


08 2012

Introducing…Apollo 13.

Greeting everyone! I’m glad to be a part of the bloggers here at PS: One and even more excited to share the project that took me the past four months to complete. The Apollo 13.

But it’s actual name is the Maven. Because DJ Sasha happens to be the only one in the world who owns one – until you know, today.

Sasha is just one of those DJ’s that stands out to me, he’s not just putting two songs together, he’s putting on a real performance and he’s doing it with Ableton Live and the Maven. A one off piece of hardware so unique that if you know what Ableton is you drool just looking at this thing. It’s a fantastic looking device and I wish I could see the thing in person! Alas, I went entirely off of photos and four months ago began the project to replicate the device.

Click  for more pictures and video: Read the rest of this entry →


07 2012

I like High Voltage

Van de Graaf generator

Steve lets his hair down and puts it to use evaluating the performance of the high voltage Van de Graaf generator. Hair is a natural high voltage corona detector since the strands stand up as they become charged by the electric field. The generator was basically junk when it arrived at the space, so Steve used the opportunity to experiment with different collector electrode geometries and belt materials. The most obvious change in the machine is the belt material. Several types were tried out. In terms of producing a charge and being mechanically stable, nylon fabric with a stitched seam is so far the best. The Van de Graff will deliver approximately 1 inch sparks about 2 seconds apart. And yes, they hurt.

Can the particle accelerator be far behind?


05 2012

It’s a Beer Church Miracle: Time is No Object

6 days ago, we had Beer Church. It’ll definitely happen again! We read up on some science, learned some new beers, and then got right back into our projects! I hacked for 12 hours. I built a time machine, sort of.

It will send video messages to the future! Yes, yes. This it in Development and Drinking(tm) mode:

Just a few days ago, one of our members donated me a Dell Mini 9 to turn into the computer backing the Actual TARDIS project. I’ve since… altered it. By the time I’m done, you won’t think it’s a laptop.

Read the rest of this entry →


03 2012

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

Carmageddon has begun!

$30,000 well spent     We have begun building our entry for the 2012 Power Racing season. Unfortunately both our vehicles were rather mediocre last year and we are having to build from scratch.  We have our power wheel body and we spent this past weekend parting out our bill of materials and came just under budget.  The body was then scanned with lasers to make a 3D model so the frame we weld will fit the body like a glove.  Yes, we took it way to far.  But we giggled the whole time at the absurdity of using $30,000 equipment to replicate a children’s toy so it can be modified into a “big kid” toy.


02 2012

How to Make Your Own Conductive Ink!

Finished Glass Circuit

Silver Circuit Deposited on Glass

Conductive inks have a myriad of different interesting applications. As a quick, additive construction method for electronic circuits, they are especially intriguing. Unfortunately, for a long time they have been just out of reach of the hobby market. They are too expensive to buy in decent quantities, too complicated to make, too resistive to be practical, or require high annealing temperatures (which would ruin many of the materials you’d want to put traces on).

Now, though, thanks to some brilliant minds at the UIUC Materials Research Laboratory, you can make your own decent conductive ink!

For full instructions (and a video to come soon), please visit my website here!

- Jordan


02 2012