All posts by jbunker

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

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Announcing the OpenDoor Hackathon!

Pumping Station: One will be participating in the OpenDoor Hackathon!

The OpenDoor Hackathon is a hackathon to benefit the members of hacker/maker/artist/co-working spaces by creating a standardized, Open Source access and membership management system that can be used by everyone. At the end of the hackathon, the systems (or subsystems) created by each space will be voted upon, and the best system (or combination of systems) will be chosen. Implementing the system afterward is, of course, optional.

Why are we doing this?
I know, the word “standardized” sends chills down my spine too, but I assure you that this is a good thing! Deciding upon a common system would enable the following things:

  • The ability to share membership between spaces
  • Crowd-sourced security enhancements and feature additions
  • Easier membership management
  • A warm fuzzy feeling of being connected with other spaces

What we’re envisioning (and what many of you already have) is a sort of Reciprocikey or Space Passport system. We believe that the only way to create such an awesome system is to work together on it!

When is the OpenDoor Hackathon?
The OpenDoor Hackathon will begin on Saturday, December 11th at 2pm PST, ending 24 hours later at 2pm PST on Sunday, December 12th.

How do I sign up?
You can register your space’s team at the Eventbrite here!

Join the conversation at!

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Join the 10.10.10 Hack-A-Thon!

In the interest of efficiency, the following post has largely been copied (and modified) from Jigsaw Renaissance, a hackerspace in Seattle! Thanks Jigsaw!



Use your powers of Geek for Good! First responders in crisis situations need better tools. Come participate at the 10.10.10 hack-a-thon to help them out!

What: a 24-hour hack-a-thon with food and drinks provided. Starting ideas on what to build can be found here.

Why: the reasoning is two-fold: altruistic – to build ways to assist first responders in crisis situations. selfish – you (and the space you participate with) are eligible to win $1010.

How: Register (for free). Event runs from 9a Saturday to 9a Sunday CST. Weird timing, I know, but it’s (inter)national!

Where: The Chicago event is being hosted by Pumping Station: One. Associating with PS:One and attending at PS:One  are mutually exclusive and are not required. (ex: you can mark PS:One  as your space, but not attend physically; you can attend at PS:One  but mark another space as your connection; you can hang out with us while we code and not do anything; etc) Check out the eventbrite to register!

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Geeks Without Borders is Coming to Pumping Station: One

A small group from Geeks Without Borders will be visiting us on Friday, September 17th!

Who are Geeks Without Borders? From their wiki:

Geeks Without Borders ( is an international coalition of passionate problem solvers working together to assist people whose survival is threatened by lack of access to technology or communications due to violence, neglect, or catastrophe.

How do we do this? There are three main components:

Digital Mountaintop (DMT)

The Digital Mountaintop is a free, open communications hub, accessible via voice, text (SMS), plain old telephone (POTS), Skype (SIP), Google Voice, Twitter, Facebook, Email, Instant Messaging (IM)…and as many other networks we can connect to. In crisis situations, neighbors can ask for help simply by sending sending a message to the DMT, as long as they (or someone they know) can connect via any of the messaging or real-time communication methods it supports.

Cloud Collective (CC)

Geeks are naturally passionate problem solvers. The Cloud Collective is crowd-sourced problem solving in the cloud. Geeks and other technology-friendly people actively listen to the DMT via existing social networks like Twitter and Facebook. This is already happening, as we’ve learned through amazing stories about Geeks all over the world donating time, expertise, project management skills and resources during 9-11 in 2001, the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Hatian earthquake in 2010. The CC is not meant to replace first-responders or boots on the ground, rather, it’s designed to empower them. It’s neighbors helping neighbors.

Water in the Well (WW)

In situations where human lives are threatened, there is no way to accurately predict the needs of a community in distress. A solution could be something as simple as being able to receive a wireless text message that indicates whether or not a well 5 miles away has water in it. WW allows for the easy creation and deployment of applications that sit on top of the DMT; applications custom built by members of the CC and rapidly deployed in response to requests shouted from the DMT.

A small group from Geeks Without Borders is currently traveling across the continent, speaking at hackerspaces and makerspaces to spread awareness of their missions and goals.

The official launch of Geeks Without Borders will take place on 10.10.10 (42 in binary!), so come see the talk on Friday, September 17th and learn how you can use your inner geek to save the world!

For more information on Geeks Without Borders, their hackerspace/makerspace tour, and their mission, visit their website!

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El-Cheapo Remote-Control Delta Arm

While surfing the net yesterday, myself and fellow members of PS:One came across a home built delta bot. What an awesome idea! I wanted to build one too, so today I scrounged around PS:One to see what we had laying around.

I managed to find a box with RC stuff in it… including 3 servos. Remembering that Josh had bought an erector set last night, I set to work putting together the “arms” of the delta bot. After they were assembled, I started getting lazy… so instead of using metal or wood to build a base for something I knew was temporary, I slapped the rest of it together with cardboard and hot glue!

Not bad, for an hour of work, I think.

Note: The motor on the end of the arms serves no purpose except as a weight… I wanted to see if the assembly could hold it.

Delta Arm from tensorflux on Vimeo.

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