NERP Next: Up to Speed on Motors (Jan 30th)

If you’re a maker, hacker or DIY person, you don’t need to understand how a motor works “under the hood” to use it. However, a bit of theory will help you make the best design choices for your thing that runs in circles. At the next NERP, Jerry Morrow will bring us up to speed on motor technology.

 

Jerry’s presentation is a full overview of DC and Brushless DC (BLDC) motors and their associated drive circutriy.  Topics include the physics of electric motors, DC motor operation, motor bridges/inverters, control topologies, motor terminology, brushless DC motor operation, hall effect and encoder position feedback, current and velocity control, Park/Clarke transformations, and Space Vector Modulation (oooh..).

People need to make things go ’round. Car wheels, train wheels, drone propellers, compressors and fans in HVAC and refrigeration, hard drives (at least for the moment), reclining seats, robots, power tools, and on and on. Motors are everywhere. The variety of sizes, shapes, and internal structures is bewildering. About the only functional elements that the different types have in common is a moving part and a stationary part joined by a changing magnetic field. Whether or how you can controll the speed, direction, torque, or power consumption depends on the type of motor. Electric motors have been around for about 150 years. Most of the older classes of motor types are still in use, still useful, and still suited to new design.

We are seeing a revolution in motor technology. Software is eating the world, and it’s finding electric motors pretty tasty. The new generation of motors depends on embedded processors to the extent that the software is as much a part of the motor as the shaft. Sophisticated driver algorithms (and in some cases new materials) are making motors smaller, stronger, and more efficient. In addition to making better citizens of existing applications, the improvements open doors to new classes of applications.

Jerry Morrow is, or has been, a bass player, electrical and computer engineering student, home rehabber, sound technician, electro-mechanical actuation software engineer, Japanese student, father, and maker, and member of Pumping Station One,  He prefers the command line, VI editor, and makefiles over IDEs, and wont hold it against you if you don’t.

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. 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, Pumping Station One

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We wish you a Shiny New…Toaster Oven

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The kitchen area has some new devices to ring in a proper feast for the New Year!

We now have an AirCrazy on Demand popcorn popper that does not smell like coffee!  It has a hopper for easy popcorn storage and proper serving size dispensing.

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The Microwave has full functioning button panels!

I will show you how long your food has to cook, for now.
I will show you how long your food has to cook, for now…

Behold, a toaster oven!

Go on, make some toast.  You know you want to. It can also bake small items quite efficiently.

be good to me.
be good to me.

Please enjoy, but keep in mind their proper food only use and area safety. Please maintain their cleanliness!

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Curse your sudden but inevitable Cookie Decorating

Natural Enemies
Natural Enemies

A gathering of PS:One members came out to try their hand at decorator frosting piping.shelly-explaining-things

A magical reindeer guided the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blood, sweat and tears were offered.

 

 

 

Grand amounts of fat and sugar were brought to one glorious offering.

this is how it is done
this is how it is done
everything naughty
everything naughty
Behold, the rose! You can do it too!
Behold, the rose! You can do it too!

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And the results were amazing!

Fantastic Creations
Fantastic Creations
Wee little houses
Wee little houses
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Wear a Circuit Workshop

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Participants with their finished circuit patches at Sunday’s Wear-A-Circuit workshop.

I make knitted circuit boards on my knitting machine. Sunday I brought in a stack of 3″ x 5″ knitted proto-boards for us to turn into wearable electronics.

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Soldering LEDs and batteries 2016-10-30-16-36-34img_20161030_174439_30604255612_o  colleen-circuit-highres_455653410

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doug attaches his to a hat

 

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Colleen used the four rows to make a zig zag pattern.

 

 

 

The event  attracted a number of spectators, curious about my original knitted circuit design.

Their discussion encouraged me to look into doing this again, perhaps using more complex, interactive projects.

So if you’re interested in participating, keep an eye out here for updates. And if you have suggestions/feedback on the future of these workshops, do get in touch!

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Fare thee well, Tardis, until we meet again

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I first noticed PS:1 because of the sign on the door – the, “Yes we have a Tardis” message. I was intrigued enough to cross the street, look up and see, yep, there’s a Tardis up there. A freaking Tardis!

‘Clearly, this is the place for me,’ I thought.

Fast forward several years.  PS:1 has changed and grown, getting bigger and better, but sadly, the Tardis, has not weathered (pun intended) the years well. I have been on the roof several times over the years.  Each time I stopped to take a look at the Tardis, noting that maybe with some TLC, it could be restored to its former glory as a beacon for folks who wanted to find a place to be whimsical, playful, and creative.

Over the past year particularly, it became extremely obvious that it was suffering real damage, and if there was going to be any chance of saving it, the time had come to try. At best, I figured we could disassemble and rebuild it, and even possibly use it to hide the new dust collector. Upon investigation, we determined that the wood was rotted through, and that it was a real hazard to everyone and everything on Elston Ave. below.  A bad storm would likely have ripped off large chunks, sending them flying straight into a law suit.

So Ken, Andy, and I, with assistance from Kyle who happened to have a pickup truck with an empty bed, the disassembly and lowered the pieces to the street below. Most were lowered by some rope Andy just happened to have; some pieces we simply chucked overboard (always timed so nobody was anywhere near PS:1). Given how heavy some of the parts were, I’m quite impressed with the folks who got it up there in the first place!

After the large pieces came down, Kyle sent up some garbage bags and we cleaned up the rest, leaving little to indicate that anything had ever been up there. Mike Skilton was on hand to help unload Kyle’s truck and cut the chunks down to dumpster size.  As I write this, a fair number of the pieces are sitting on a pallet on the loading dock, waiting for the dumpster to be emptied so they can be thrown away.

This makes me sad.

The Tardis has been around since very early days. It can be seen on PS:1’s Flickr pool going back to the original space. The Tardis is an emblem of the spirit of the space, and demonstrates what can be done by a group of individuals with a common purpose: to make something awesome that makes others happy. Personally, I think of PS:1 not as a collection of tools and equipment, but of interesting people who want to make and do interesting things – and who can and do come together from time to time to make PS:1 itself better. PS:1 is the place it is because of people helping each other. To anyone who has installed something, volunteered for a committee, fixed equipment, or shared an idea to make the place better for everyone, I say this: you have made PS:1 more than just a random collection of tools. You have made it a community.
I propose that it is time for the community to come together once again to build Tardis 2.0. I whipped up a rough design that would use a steel skeleton clad in weatherproof paneling.  In addition to having its windows lit up, it could enclose a weather station and even a webcam.

 

I believe the PS:1 folks can bring their skills to replace the empty space on the roof with a better, more durable Tardis that will continue to elicit smiles and curiosity from passers-by (I can think of three separate times when people have shown up for the open house because they wanted to know what PS:1 was solely because they saw the Tardis on the roof) and hopefully will see it like I did: as an sign that this small beige building is a great community and space for people to have fun and be creative.


Last chance to see:

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Wear-A-Circuit Workshop on Sunday

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Circuit Patches are wearable circuit boards made from knitted yarn and wire. I’m doing a workshop Sunday using these. Check it out!

I use a knitting machine to make the patches. Add snap buttons and  attach the circuits to anything you like.

Rapid prototyping for Wearables!

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I made these patches for my workshop this Sunday, 3-5pm. Participants will receive a 3″ x 5.5″ knitted proto-boards in black, pink, or teal. Solder LEDs and a battery on it, and you can add lights to your clothes, just in time for Halloween.

 

Of course, there’s lots of things beyond LEDs you could add– I’m hoping to do workshops for interactive circuits using the knitted protoboards in the future.

I’ve made a number of circuits with this method so far, often in black. For this workshop, we’re adding  fun colors: circuit-board-teal and… pink! I  couldn’t resist adding 10mm gumdrop LEDs to the pink protoboard pictured above.

We’ll have some of those jumbo LEDs for the workshop, but also smaller ones in blue, yellow, red, white. I’ve even got some color-change and flicker LEDs.

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Power is supplied by a hidden battery pack.

If you’d like to participate, please RSVP. Hope to see you Sunday! (Bring a shirt or a hat or a bag so you can add snaps to mount your circuit on it.)

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My new favorite machine: the snap press applies snap buttons without sewing.

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