NERP Tonite! A Red Pitaya (And a special request.)

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 at NERP, Drew Fustini will introduce us to a brand new, small single board Linux computer. The Red Pitaya is so different from, say a Raspberry Pi that comparing the two would be like comparing, well, raspberries and pitayas. The Red Pitaya (pitaya is also known as dragon fruit) does high speed high quality data acqusition and control with several kinds of i/o. Scientists and engineers can use the Red Pitaya to build custom hardware and virtual instrumentation interfaces for precise measurement and control applications. The ADC/DAC’s are very fast compared normal embedded systems. The processor configuration is also different from normal RPi class systems. To give an idea of just how different the Red Pitaya is from an RPi, the Red Pitaya’s Hello World program is a Digital Storage Oscilloscope. Drew will show us how  to get signals of various types into and out of the Red Pitaya, and some examples of time and frequency analysis can work in virtual instrumentation. Delicious. Also, Drew does Really nice slides! https://plus.google.com/photos/+DrewFustini/albums/6126873248127580209?banner=pwa

Speaking of analog — Tonight we’ll have a brief diversion into the land of discrete analog electronics. The Colpitts oscillator is an alternative to Direct Digital Synthesis for producing sine waves in the RF spectrum. Joe Talafous has been working with the Colpitts circuit, and he will show us how to get RF out of a few cheap components. I like to remember that Electronics for the DIY’er used to be “hard” before the advent of Arduino shields. Facetiously it might be said that analog RF is _real_ electronics.

A special request for a worthy cause: Cathleen Doyle (cdoyle at northbrook dot info) tells us that the Northbrook Public Library will be running a whole month of programs this June highlighting maker/diy activities. They’re hoping to find someone who could give an awesome, introductory lecture/demonstration on the many uses of Raspberry Pi’s and how they work. Would there be anyone PS:One could recommend and who would be willing? We do pay!

http://www.northbrook.info/

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

16

03 2015

I made a pretty octopus

Octopus

Messing around in Illustrator and Photoshop today.  I made an Octopus.

27

02 2015

Movie Night: Citizenfour

citizenfour

It’s Movie Night Time! This is an Oscar-award winning documentary by Laura Poitras about her and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden as he reveals the extent of the NSA’s surveillance program in 2013.

More information about the film: https://citizenfourfilm.com/about

When: Sunday March 1st, 2015 5 PM
Feel free to BYOB. Afterwards there will be discussion. This event is open to the public.

Sign up for the meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Pumping-Station-One/events/220734479/

Where: PS:One Lounge

Trailer:
YouTube Preview Image

Reddit AMA: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2wwdep/we_are_edward_snowden_laura_poitras_and_glenn

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26

02 2015

Let’s Drink and Learn About: Sangiovese

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Italian Chianti – Chianti wine always either mostly or entirely made of Sangiovese

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Italian Sangiovese from outside Chianti – Over 10% of Italy’s total wine production is Sangiovese

For the fourth installment of our monthly adult beverage appreciation event, “Let’s Drink and Learn About…”, we did a tasting of several different Sangiovese wines.  If you missed it, feel free to peruse our class notes!

Our next session will cover red Bordeaux, and its 5 constituent grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec).  This will be a joint event with South Side Hackerspace: Chicago, and will be hosted in their space (2233 S Throop St #214).  As per usual, it will be on the 3rd Friday (March 20th), and will begin at 7 PM.  There is no cost to attend the event, but please bring a bottle of wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, please) to contribute to the tasting.  You can find more info, or RSVP for the event, on our Meetup!

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Vino Nobile di Montepulciano – A more subtle and complex expression of Sangiovese from a region just to the south of Chianti

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Super Tuscan – A Tuscan wine made without at least 70% Sangiovese. This was actually predominately Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, similar to what we’ll be drinking in March!

 

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25

02 2015

Cryptoparty: March 14th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

cryptopartyLearn how to communicate securely and privately at Cryptoparty! In a world where legal and corporate protections for privacy have eroded, it is up to us to take privacy into our own hands. Cryptoparties are a global effort to educate everyday people about electronic privacy tools.

At this Cryptoparty, South Side Hackerspace member Brian Kroll will be going over how to send and receive encrypted secure e-mails with GNU Privacy Guard (GPG). This will be a hands-on presentation, so be sure to bring your laptop. For those of you without a computer, Brian will also cover e-mail encryption on an Android mobile device.

Toward the end of the event, Freddy Martinez will present on TextSecure. TextSecure is a mobile application that allows you to communicate securely over text messaging. Be sure to bring your phone if you want to setup and exchange key information using this app.

Please note, a reporter and photographer from the Chicago Reader will be present. Unless you decide otherwise, the reporter will not include information that might uniquely identify you. You will also be warned when photographs will be taken and will have the opportunity to remove yourself from any shot.

This is a party, so feel free to bring food, drink, and beer for yourself or to share.

20

02 2015

Bring-A-Hack meetup on Feb. 25th

Hackaday and Pumping Station: One are bringing the Bring-A-Hack tradition to Chicago!

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Sophi (left) at Bring-A-Hack following World Maker Faire (NYC) in 2014

Come hang out with friends in Hardware, Making and Hackaday!  We will have drinks and pizza and hacks.

Bring your blinky demos and sign up for a lightening talk (5 minutes or less).

Sophi Kravitz from Hackaday will be in town to talk about the Hackaday Prize.

hackaday-prize-2014

Hackaday Prize in 2014 offered a trip space!

WHEN:
Wednesday, February 25th, 2015, 6 – 9 pm

WHERE:
Pumping Station: One hackerspace
3519 North Elston Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618

RSVP:
This event is Free and Open to the Public.  Please RSVP on the Meetup.com page for the event, so that we will know about how many people to expect:

Bring-A-Hack meetup

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015, 6:00 PM

Upstairs of Pumping Station One
3519 N. Elston Ave Chicago, IL

12 Members Attending

From blog post: http://pumpingstationone.org/2015/02/bring-a-hack-meetup-on-feb-25th/Hackaday and Pumping Station: One are bringing the Bring-A-Hack tradition to Chicago!Come hang out with friends in Hardware, Making and Hackaday! We will have drinks and pizza and hacks.Bring your blinky demos and sign up for a lightening talk (5 minutes or less…

Check out this Meetup →

 

18

02 2015

2/15/15 – Inaugural Tanning Station: One leathercraft interest group meeting

Update: 2/15/15
Due to illness, this will be postponed to a later date. Sorry for the late notice.
-Ryan
Due to a strong showing of interest, we will be holding the first Tanning Station: One leather craft interest group meeting on Sunday, February 15th! We will meet in the textiles workshop upstairs at 7pm.
What is TS:One?
  • A forum for sharing experience and knowledge about leather, leather crafting, tooling, and leather-related topics
  • A group of craftsmen and craftswomen who will share their projects and give constructive criticism
  • A place to find project inspirations and/or help others with their projects
If you’re interested, please come at 7pm on Sunday, 2/15. Additionally, if you are experienced in leather crafting and would like to demonstrate a skill or discuss something interesting, please email me at rasputin243 [dot] gmail [dot] com or comment on this post! I would like to have one or two people present during the first meeting.
For more information, check out our wiki article!
See you on Sunday, 2/15!

06

02 2015

CNC Build Club – 2/5/2015 7:00pm

This month’s CNC Build Club meeting will be a demo night.  Bring something to show.  It can be a project you finished, something you made, a work in process or something we might think is cool.

I will be bringing several things I have recently completed.

The bipolar ORD Bot: This is a CNC machine I built for 2015 ORD Camp.  It is a super simple drawing machine with some fun math behind the motion.

The DC Power Supply Interface: This is something I did for Inventables that we will be selling soon.   It really cleans up the wiring when you use a DC power supply on a CNC machine.

The TB6600 Stepper Driver Shield:  This is another Inventables project.  The TB6600 can do a ton of cool CNC stuff.  Now you can interface it to the free grbl CNC controller.

The CNC Club is a monthly meeting of Chicago area people passionate about learning, building and using digital fabrication equipment.  It is held at the Pumping Station One Hackerspace.  It is open to non members.  We also have a Google Group called CNC Build Club.

Each meeting we talk about, build, train on and use CNC machines.  We have 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers and vinyl cutters.  Come out and join the fun.

Please RSVP on Meetup.  I will have a CNC or Inventables related door prize to a random person who RSVPs and is present at the meeting.

01

02 2015

Preliminary Crappy Robot Competition Follow-Up

Thanks to Justin and SIGBOT for sponsoring the “Dumb Robot Competition for Dummies” or the Crappy Robot Competition last night. Thanks also to everyone who came out!

We promise to upload the video that was graciously recorded by Carl and Jimmy for us in the near future. There will also be better quality pictures. There will also be more information about the competition coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy this video of the Pizza Bagel bot!

Round 1: Everett (Unilowbrow) vs. Bioguy (Senor Abrazos)

round1

30

01 2015

Really Late Wine Tasting Follow-Up

So last last Friday, the 16th, member Kyle Bieneman held a wine tasting class on Pinot Noir. I’ve been meaning to get this post up earlier, but enjoy the pictures and information from the handout:

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“It’s…thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s, you know, it’s not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and…ancient on the planet.” –Miles Raymond, Sideways

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Note: From Burgundy

The grape: Pinot Noir grows in tightly packed bunches (the “Pinot” in the name refers to the pinecone shape of the bunches). These tight bunches tend to be somewhat more susceptible to disease. Being thin-skinned, the grape is also at great risk from extremes in temperature. Fortunately, as it ripens early, it can be grown in cooler regions than heartier grapes (like Cabernet Sauvignon).

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Color: For red wines, color comes from the skins (it is not naturally present in the juice) in a process called “extraction.” Grapes go through a machine called a “crusher-destemmer,” and rather than being juiced as with white wine, the pulpy mass is then fermented in giant vats. Note that the skins will naturally float to the top, forming a “cap,” requiring some kind of system to circulate the fermenting juice (whether a “punch-down,” a “pump-over,” or some sort of a mixer).

Sometime after fermentation has completed, the “free run” is drained off. The remaining “pomace” is then pressed to extract all the remaining liquid. The free liquid is generally light in flavor and color than the pressed liquid, and so will often be aged separately, being blended only at the end to fine-tune before bottling.

Pinot Noir is thin-skinned with less color (anthocyanin) in the skins, it tends to extract less color, and thus is paler than most red wines. Being lighter in flavor, some winemakers will even leave the stems in for fermentation to impart more “tannins.”

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Tannins: Tannins are much more present in red wine than white wine, partly because they come from the skins during extraction (as well as seeds and stems, if present), and the oak barrels during aging. Tannins are traditionally used to turn hides into leather (“tanning”), hence the name. This is why bitter red wines often make your tongue feel dry and leathery. The “resolving” of tannins is a prime reason why many red wines get better with age.

Pinor Noir is notably low in tannins, and so some winemakers will leave the stems in for fermentation.

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Note: Australian

Flavors in Pinot Noir: As a lighter, more delicate wine, flavors tend toward the redder fruits such as cherry, strawberry, and raspberry. Less prominent notes might include vegetal (beets, green tomatoes, olives) or earthy (truffles, barnyard) flavors. Pinot does not typically display the darker fruit (plum) or spicier notes (cigar box) of other red wines. As a result of its lighter flavors, it tends to pair well with pork and fowl, rather than beef.

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Burgundy: Pinot Noir originates from Burgundy, a region in the east of France, between Champagne to the north, and Beaujolais to the south. Burgundy is divided into four major sub-regions (from north to south, and highest to lowest quality): Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise, and Maconnais.

However, Burgundies will generally be labeled by their village, of which there are too many to list. There are about 600 “Premier Cru” vineyards across Burgundy, and only 32 “Grand Crus,” which will be more expensive, and generally superior to, the villages. The Premier and Grand Crus are designated by the French government based on the reputation of past production.

The Grand Cru red Burgundies are some of the most expensive and sought-after wines in the world, costing nearly $1000 a bottle in good years.

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Thanks again to Kyle for these notes.

24

01 2015