All posts by jkantarek

Memorial Day Weekend

Pumping Station: One did Memorial Day weekend right in true hackerspace fashion.  A couple members got their hands on a welder for Chicago’s first annual Power Wheels Racing Series and fixed up a trashed scooter with a sweet new handle bar. One of our members graciously donated a mostly functional Commodore 128 that Nicky has already got playing some tunes.  Hopefully she’ll have an exhibit up for Geek Prom on June 13th showcasing her new found computer orchestrating!

The highlight of the weekend was the epic amount of food.  There was a Bacon Explosion, grilled pineapple, hand fried hot wings, reeses and rolo brownies and more that I can’t even remember.  I’d just like to add a quick thanks to everyone who brough food, those who cooked, cleaned and made this happen.  Lets start making up more holidays just for the sake of grilling!

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POW POW Power Wheels Racing Series

Who wants to mod and race Power Wheels?

All of you? That’s what i thought.

Chicago’s only hackerspace, Pumping Station: One, is organizing into teams, and having each team mod, race, fix, and continue racing a Power Wheels vehicle through a series of trials
and tribulations. For $40, you can have your very own semi-functional Power
Wheels, for you and your team (if you’d like to work in a group) to
modify and race!

Join in, or you will be missing the most epic event in hackerspace history: the Power Wheels Racing Series. The first Heat is Saturday June 20th, stay tuned for more details.

PPPWRS from Jeff Kantarek on Vimeo.

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Mitch Altman’s Soldering Class Roundup

Mitch Altman stopped by Pumping Station: One Thursday May 7th.  Mitch not only walked through his amazingly entertaining creations, but also a lot of background on why he does the things he does.  Most members created TVBGones which will no doubt run amok in Chicago. A few who already had the little TV dis-abler opted for a Brain Machine.  Having tried one out myself, you will go on a trip, it’s different for everyone and even if it makes you a little uncomfortable it’s worth the experience, though if you are epileptic you’re going to want to steer clear.

Thanks again Mitch for graciously coming by the space and sharing your experience and knowledge with our members.

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Buildout Weekend – Part 2: The Loft

Pumping Station: One – Loft Buildout from Jeff Kantarek on Vimeo.

We pushed hard this weekend to get the loft built. There’s a few touchups to finish but for the most part it’s up and ready.  The underside of the loft will be for mechanical work, with the intent to provide decent sound isolation to keep the noise out of the rest of the space.  The top of the loft is going to be one of two quiet lounges.

Update: Anne took some awesome shots over the weekend too, take a gander

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Mitch Altman’s Soldering Session

tvbg_model_BLKPumping Station: One will be hosting Mitch Altman, the inventor of the TV B Gone and Brain Machine,
on May 7th in leading an electronics workshop that will teach complete beginners
in less than 3 hours how to assemble, solder, and complete a TV B Gone.
After the class we may find the nearest electronics retailer and do a demonstration.

The cost of the class covers materials for the kit and hands on instruction with Mitch.  To grab a ticket head over to

Here’s the TV B Gone in action:

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Buildout Weekend

Pumping Station: One is quickly coming along.  Our floor was cleaned, sealed and painted this last weekend with a few of us pulling an all nighter to make sure it was completed for our meeting on Tuesday. Next on the docket is to build a loft that will enclose the mechanical area and create a lounge for members to have a quiet area to get work done.

Floor Paintin’ at PS:One from Nathan L. Witt on Vimeo.

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