Pumping Station: One was at the Chicago South Side Mini Maker Faire next to the Ford City Mall this weekend teaching people how to build Noise-o-Trons.
Thanks to the volunteers who came out and helped us, and to everyone who attended the faire! It was a big success, and we couldn’t have done it without you. We hope to see everyone again next year. We had a lot of kids and adults alike come through and build circuits with us!
Special thanks also goes to the participants of our Pre-Maker Faire Poker Night!
Poker Night was a huge success! We had a great time playing, and we raised some money to help pay for the Noise-o-Tron kits we used at the Maker Faire. Congratulations to the winners of the raffle.
Some of us also stopped by the teen hackerspace Level Up inside the Ford City Mall.
They put a lot of effort into helping organize the Maker Faire, so check them out!
Update V2!: The grand prize will include a BeagleBoard.org Mesanger bag and BeagleBoard.org leather notebook (paper).
UPDATE: Prizes have been announced!
One prize will be the book Make an Arduino-Controlled Robot, part of the Make Projects book series. The grand prize will be a shiny new BeagleBone Black!
So, come on out, and try your luck! You just might be the winner of one of these amazing prizes!
You are all invited to an exciting night of gambling-free poker!
Players of all skill levels are welcome! We will be playing Texas Hold ‘Em to raise money for the Noise-o-tron kits we will be teaching people how to build at the South Side Mini Maker Faire this Saturday. We provide this demo for free to Maker Faire attendees, and we’d like to keep it that way so we can help educate as many people as possible! Food will be provided; feel free to bring your own drinks.
So how does the gambling-free part work? The entry fee for playing at a table is $10, and you’ll get a stack of chips to play with. When you are done playing, you turn in your chips for raffle tickets. Each dollar in chips that you have will convert to 1 raffle ticket. At the end of the night, we will have a raffle for 1st and 2nd prizes. Don’t worry, you do -not- have to be present at the raffle drawing to win. As long as you’ve turned in your chips, you have a chance of winning. We will notify the winners via email, and you will get your prize ASAP. What prizes do we offer? You’ll just have to wait and find out! We promise that you’ll like them.
Also: We are looking for a third dealer. Justin and I will be dealing all night, but we would really appreciate it if someone would volunteer to help us deal another table.
On March 26th, our PR director forwarded an email to one of our mailing lists. This email detailed the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, which was to happen in a little over a month. I decided that PS:1 needed to have a presence there, and it couldn’t just be a booth with some folks sitting behind it talking about hackerspaces all day. An electronic project was very much within my skillset, but I didn’t want it to become yet another ‘how to solder’ class — they had one or two of those already. I wanted something that could be assembled quickly and offered a chance to talk about electronics if the assembler was interested. If they weren’t, they should have a fun doodad to walk away with.
The final revision of the board art
I needed a project, something that would engage kids and adults. Something that was easy to assemble, cheap and offered a chance to learn a little bit about electronics (but didn’t require it!). I recalled a field trip I went on in high school. We went to an engineering firm or something, and they had us assemble little crystal radios on card stock. There were just four components that twisted together on the back, then you hooked up the crystal earset and bam! crappy radio. I settled on a crappy optical theremin – using a photoresistor to modulate the pitch of a buzzer. Thinking about it, I decided I could probably manage something pretty cool with five components or less if I used a microcontroller of some sort. I settled on the Atmel ATTiny45, which is an AVR in an 8 pin DIP package. Some clever folks have already ported the Arduino libraries to work on these small chips, so all I had to do was come up with a design and write a few lines of code. I won’t bore you with excessive details, you can check out the github repo.
I had a number of parents and teachers assemble kits, too.
Justin helping someone out
I learned a lot with this project, and I think some other people did too. I had kids as young as 5 assemble these boards with guidance, some of them with surprisingly little help. Everyone seemed to like them, and I ran out of components for kits. I’m calling it a huge success, and I hope that this project is replicated and taken to other faires, expos and ‘learn electronics’ nights. –Derek
NERP (The Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi embedded systems interest group) will meet Monday August 13th at 7:00pm. During the last meeting we talked about what the Raspberry Pi is and the nature of its capabilities. Jay showed a couple of videos to demo the HDMI output and described the process of setting up a new RPi. Drew Fustini took notes and has posted some comments and resources on the PS:One public list.
After the meeting, a few people stayed around to try some fun but not completely simple experiments with the RPi’s serial port. Using what I learned in the NERP serial port experiments, I made a RPi demo for to the Evanston Mini Maker Faire. The demo involved adding a 1984 Televideo 910 dumb terminal to a serial port on the Pi. The terminal is text only and displays characters as green on black. In addition to the normal gui session on the LCD screen, the RPi ran a separate user login on the dumb terminal. The LCD screen showed a video clip every 40 seconds, and the terminal showed a root login. Quite a number of people stopped by to check out the terminal and were surprised to learn about the Raspberry Pi’s role in making the demo run. More images of the Raspberry Pi at the Faire, and more technnical photos are at http://kineticsandelectronics.com/RPi-makerfaire
On Monday 8/13, Drew will demo some of the basic applications that one might run on the Pi, and possibly discuss some issues around the subject of hardware interfacing. Open discussion is always welcome. An hour before the NERP meeting begins, Jay will be available to help anyone who has a RPi and would like help installing the basic operating system and apps. Jay starts at 6pm. The regular meeting is at 7pm.
The Great Global Hackerspace Challenge was an amazing experience. We were thrilled to be able to participate — the wonderful ideas that our fellow hackers came up with and the ingenious ways they implemented them were a constant font of inspiration as we hacked away on our biosensor. It is a great honor to know that we have been selected, along with Build Brighton and Hackerspace Charlotte as semi-finalists. The team will be heading to San Fransisco on May 20 for Maker Faire for the final judging.
This summer PS:One participated in a secret project. VIMBY contacted us and told us to be prepared to receive an envelope from Mitch Altman one Wednesday with our challenge inside. The above video is the first in a series called Take On The Machine. Each participating space, NYC Resistor, Artisan’s Asylum, The Transistor, and Crash Space and us will have an episode airing with their project featured.
Stay tuned to find out what we did with our VIMBY money.