Solder Party

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Saturday’s Solder Party was fantastic! We got all the circuit boards trimmed and tinned.

I’m thinking of doing this again for future projects (and I’m looking for circuit knit ideas and collaborators!). A few things I learned from Saturday’s event that will be helpful:

  • Removing the scrap wire  beforehand would be helpful and/or we need better diagonal cutters in the lab.
  • A piece of cardboard behind the board keeps flux off the table, and provides a guide for blocking the knit.
  • Boards to practice on would be helpful. Also, wetting down the boards will prevent scorch marks.
  • We have replacement soldering iron tips in the lab.
  • Bacon really is the best pizza topping and La Villa is the Pizza In A Bag place.

We didn’t get everything done, so I’m hanging out in the lab this week to finish. (Jay Hopkins apparently has become addicted to soldering knit circuit boards, and has been working on them even when I’m not around! Thanks, Jay!)

Everett took great pictures. I’ve posted a few here but you can find the entire album on our Meet Up page. Please visit, and tag yourselves!

 

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16

10 2014

NERP Tonight — JTAG on the Brain

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.

Electric_hair_curler / Brain-Machine Interface

Joao (“Gamblit” on the PS:One mailing list) will give an introduction to JTAG at NERP on Monday. JTAG is an important tool for embedded developers, manufacturers, and hardware hackers who do reverse engineering. The JTAG interface is included in all but the smallest processors. For use in degugging, JTAG provides real-time read/write access to a chip’s cpu, i/o systems, ram, and mass storage. It gives a user live access points inside a running cpu from which they can take over its brain, or just burn a fresh rom.

Physically, JTAG consists of a small set of pins on a microprocessor, a hardware interface device, a cable connected to a host computer, and a (not physical) protocol. JTAG is most generally useful for programming the flash in embedded controllers. That much is simple. The rest, of course is software.

Joao’s tools and target will include:

– Linux Host (Fedora VM)
– GDB (GNU Debugger) and DDD as debuggers
– No IDE (VIM and direct GCC if I need it)
– Olimex USB JTAG and TIAO USB generic interface
– Olimex Atmega128 board (Atmel Atmega128 MCU)

Joao says:
I’ll be talking about flash programming and debugging software running on a
micro-controller. I’ll also be showing that it can read and set
micro-controller pins but not getting into depth about how that actually
works, as that would need some additional low-level explanation. Depending
on feedback and available time I might explore a bit of it.
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. The next meeting is October
13th, 2014.

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

12

10 2014

Laser cut some simple masks for Halloween

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There are a lot of online mask patterns that can be printed and cut out with scissors, but it would be much nicer to laser cut one. Let the laser do the hard work. I did these four mask designs tonight; they are perfect for a last minute costume for makers on the go or their kids. Now you can put the roll of toilet tissue back and do better than being a mummy this year. Download the patterns on Thingiverse here. 

11

10 2014

Halloween Party

Pumping Station: One is having a Halloween Party! The theme for this party is: MONSTER MASH! Bring your best ghouls, wights, Frankensteins, wizards, and werewolves to celebrate the holiday with us.

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The party will start at 20:00 on Saturday, November 1st. We’ll have some beer and food available, even a Pumpkin Ale which we will be brewing at PS:One this Sunday! If you want anything in particular, feel free to BYOB.

Entrance to the party is free, but a donation of $5 to support the hackerspace is suggested. While it’s not required, you can RSVP on the meetup group to let us know you’re coming.

(We would also really appreciate if anyone wants to come by Sunday morning to help with the cleanup.)

10

10 2014

Brew day 10/12 @ noon!

If you’d like to get into beer brewing or are already a brewer, or just like & appreciate beer, then come down to the space at noon on Sunday.  We’ll be having a beer tasting and brew day. We’ll likely taste a brew we made recently and make something new. Justin will be the brewmaster. Of course, you must be at least 21. See you Sunday!

You can RSVP on meetup if you like but it’s not required.

09

10 2014

Solder Party this Saturday

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This Saturday I’m celebrating my birthday with a solder party in the PS:One Electronics Lab. Everyone is invited to join me in building a large electronic art work for my upcoming gallery show No-Fi, at Chicago Artists Coalition.

There’ll be pizza, cake, drinks, and lots of knitted circuit boards. Come any time and stay as long as you like. We’ll be there til we run out of things to solder and/or food. Please RSVP on Meet Up so we can plan ahead.

06

10 2014

Dream Hackers Field Trip

Lucid Dream: Any dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming.

Dream Hackers Club took a field trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art to practice reality checking this past Thursday.

Reality Check: Any act that can be done to help determine whether one is awake or in a dream state.

We practiced building reality checking habits such as reality checking while entering a new room. We also practiced reality checking when we encountered anything dreamlike, which was often since we were surrounded by surrealist art. Later, we enacted lucid dreaming scenes to help us practice making purposeful decisions when we become lucid.

If you would like to find out how you can attended our next field trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art with FREE museum admission come to Dream Hackers Club this Sunday at 7 pm in the craft room.

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03

10 2014

Moldy Kodachrome under the SEM

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This past week I had the chance to look at a damaged piece of Kodachrome film using the SEM. Many thanks to Ryan for being an SEM sensei and preparing my sample!

I had recently acquired a box of sixty year old slides from my grandfather, visibly moldy and containing almost no recognizable subjects. The Kodachrome frames are unlabeled except for one: “Pat” written in pencil. I digitized them using a high res flatbed scanner and the resulting images are abstracted, textural, wrinkled, aged, rotten layers of purples and browns. In a few of the slides, a section of a window is visible, a head of a horse, two posed women. Pat turned out to be totally enshrouded in a mold veil, like most of the images. She along with the other photographic subjects had been displaced by  abstracted, festering growths.

Sinewy veins stretch across, interspersed with round sacs and sac covered cylindrical pellets. Some other spherical growth breaks the surface creating a hungry alien mouth form. These images got me thinking about the many complicated layers of cultural artifacts. The film slides are part of my family archive, they indicate 1950’s photo technology, they’re fragile physical objects susceptible to mold growths. What do valued objects/ object of nostalgia become when they are separated from their initial purpose? What does it mean to keep a box of film if the intended images are no longer there? The photographer, the creator of the original image, has been deprived of his control as biological functions resulting from imperfect environment and time have taken over.

In a sense, I hope to continue the life of these objects by pushing them into their new life as veiled, abstracted images, reminders that physical world continually effects our efforts to preserve and keep stagnant. While I don’t know who Pat is, or what she looks like, I have a pretty incredible image of something related to her.

Leica Cambridge Ltd.

Leica Cambridge Ltd.

Leica Cambridge Ltd.

 

 

 

 

03

10 2014

NERP Tonight: A Simple Wireless Link for Serial Data

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.

Amongst the Maker community ZigBee® is usually thought of alongside the XBee® modules from Digi Corporation. The little blue irregular-hexagon shaped boards mean “wireless data” to a lot of folks. XBee is in fact the name of a family of wireless data modules that share the same form factor and blue color. The family includes ZigBee modules, DigiMesh modules, WiFi modules, and IEEE802.15.4 radios. Depending on the model, the data radios can do point-to-point, peer-to-peer, star, and mesh networks.

If you’d like to play around with wireless data a good place to start is replacing a serial cable with an XBee Series 1 module. There are two power levels to choose from: a 1mW module that can work to a distance of 300ft, and a 60 mW module that can work to a distance of one mile (in perfect conditions).

The Series 1 modules are usually used as IEEE 802.15.4 data radios. ZigBee and several other protocols are built on top of 802.15.4.The 802.15.4 spec provides the physical and MAC layers to serve higer level protocols. It’s a just enough support to get bytes sent from A to B. One nice thing about working close to the metal is that, once the hardware is set up, it’s fairly easy to push bytes around. You can even make up your own simple ad-hoc protocols if needed.

Tonight at NERP, I’ll show how to set up a wireless data link between two devices that can communicate at 300 to 115200 baud. I’ll show XBee XPB24-AWI-001’s moving serial data, and how to set up and test the modules using the X-CTU software from Digi.

As a side-note, the Internet of Things is creating a demand for better and cheaper wireless data connections. It is common for the Things to speak a local protocol that is propietary or unique to their class of device and for the relevant parts of the machine to machine dialog to be passed upstream through a server or bridge.

ZigBee® is a trademark of the ZigBee Consortium

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. The next meeting is September 29th, 2014.
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

29

09 2014

Last 36 hours for submissions!

designcontestWe’re down to the wire here, everyone! This is your last chance to submit designs before the deadline! Get ‘em in before the voting starts in 2 days!

You can submit your entries throughout this month of September, with the deadline on the 30th. after that will be a week of member voting. The winning submission will get a complete set of the shirt (any size), sticker, and pin, as well as a “special meet and greet with the president of Pumping Station: One” (Bry asked me to include that last bit).

Guidelines for submissions:

  • Designs are for the tees, 1″ buttons, and 3″ stickers(round or square, depending on the chosen design). Unless you think the design will be optimized to look good in all three formats, I suggest you edit your designs for each application. By all means, have the same elements in each, but keep in mind that the button has less space for detail than the shirt.
  • Unless you’re designing in vector format, make sure your original copy will be of sufficient size and detail. The canvas you work in should be about 10″ wide by 15″ tall and at LEAST 400PPI if not working in vector.
  • Be excellant! No inappropriate themes. Remember that PS: One is a safe space, I know we have just f@*!ing do it as a central theme, but keep it PG or your entry will be invalid for the contest.

Send your submissions to info@pumpingstationone.org with “Design Contest Submission” in the Subject line

29

09 2014