Category Archives: Class/Workshop

NERP: CircuitPython Workshop 12-17-18 with Kattni Rembor!

NERP (Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi) is PS1’s embedded programming interest group. At a special NERP on December 17, Kattni Rembor will be giving a workshop on Adafruit’s Circuit Playground Express board running CircuitPython. This is a paid event.

That’s right — the next NERP is not free and open to the public! There’s a first time for everything! Registration details here.

Kattni Rembor is an embedded software developer, technical writer, and community leader with Adafruit Industries. She joined Adafruit as a member of the CircuitPython team, and has written the definitive Getting Started guide, the library designed to make CircuitPython simple to use on Adafruit’s premier learning board, as well as many project guides and tutorials. She has helped build the amazing, supportive online community around CircuitPython and a wide variety of other open source topics.

Find Kattni on Twitter or Discord.

Workshop description

CircuitPython is Python that runs on microcontrollers. It is designed for learning and if you are new to programming or electronics, CircuitPython can help you get started with both. All you need to do is plug in a microcontroller board and start writing code.

Participants will be given a Circuit Playground Express microcontroller board to use. This beginner-friendly workshop will introduce CircuitPython and cover the basics. Then we will get into working with code. There will be a series of examples that use the various sensors, lights and switches built into the Circuit Playground Express board. We will start simply, and we will build on the concepts learned, combining them as we go to eventually build a light-up, capacitive touch tone piano.

Doors open at 6:30pm. NERP is usually free and open to the public, although this event is paid and requires registration.

For those who are interested, there will be the opportunity to stay after the break for further exploration.

Requirements

We will be using Mu as our code editor. Mu is an editor that has the serial REPL and a plotter built in, and makes getting started with CircuitPython particularly easy.

Participants must bring a laptop (ideally running Windows 10, Mac OSX, or a recent version of x86 Linux) and a compatible USB Micro cable (e.g., USB-C to USB Micro if you have a newer Mac). Be sure that your USB Micro cable includes data transfer capabilities, and is not charge-only as it will not work if it is charge only.

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Locktoberfest 2017!

 

Locktoberfest is a party! First things first, we’re here to have fun. What’s fun for us? Lockpicking! Also: brats and…. you! Locktoberfest is open to everyone, from world class lockpickers to those interested in learning for the first time.

Locktoberfest is a day of learningteaching, and competitions (serious and frivolous) related to lockpicking.

The Chicago chapter of TOOOL has been getting together to play with locks for a while now and we decided that “October” is just as good an excuse for a party as any. Come on out and join us on Saturday 14th October 2017 from 1PM to 8 PM at PS1.

The event is BYOB and BYOF, but I heard there will be some brats and pickles.

Please help us know the head-count and register here: Registration

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“Digit” Sensors

Knitted Finger Sensor from Jesse Seay on Vimeo.

I machine-knit these finger sleeves from a conductive yarn that changes resistance as the knit is stretched.

With this project, I wanted to design a glove that could be machine-knit for workshops cheaply and quickly, making a wearable bend sensor available to people with no textile skills.

With a range of sleeve sizes, users can select the sleeve with the best fit and resistance range for each digit. We attach flexible silicone wires by means of a snap press, and the wearer then sews the wire in place with a tapestry needle and yarn — very easy!  Once the sleeve is finished, the user can use the tapestry needle to easily sew the wire leads in place along a fingerless glove.

Get your own “digit” sensor at the PS1 workshop on March 25. Details and RSVP on Meetup.  (Workshop fee: $10.)

Jenna Boyles, Kyle Werle, and Christine Shallenberg beta-tested the sensors at Pumping Station: One. They selected sleeves for fit, then stitched on the wires themselves. Kyle and Christine were able to use the sensors to control an analog synth and a processing sketch.

More details here.

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Zen Woodworking Club’s Inaugural Meeting 02/13/2016

Welcome all woodworkers and would-be woodworkers to PS1’s woodworking club, currently meeting Mondays at 6:00 p.m. and hosted by Wood Shop Authorizer, Andy L.

Thanks to all who attended the first meeting of the Zen Woodworking Club!
Many diverse woodworking interests represented, from furniture design, to carving, to antique tool restoration to tool making. We did a little tool sharpening and cut some dovetails and only lost 2 pints of blood (total)…

Here’s a guy I once met, who’s method I loosely copy for introducing dovetails.  You can also see a lot of stuff for our equipment wish list in his shop!  ~ Andy L.

Next week 2/20/16: Tool tune up and steam bending demo!
Sharpening of chisels, planes, wits. Letter carving in wood AND Joe’s steam bending box debut

 

 

 

 

 

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Curse your sudden but inevitable Cookie Decorating

Natural Enemies
Natural Enemies

A gathering of PS1 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!

pinking-the-reigndeer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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Free Workshop: Earring Exposition

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When: Saturday, October 1, 2016, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Where: Arts Area (upstairs) Pumping Station: One 3519 N Elston Chicago, IL 60618

Drop in and make a pair of earrings for yourself or as a gift for someone! This is a very basic form of jewelry assembly, no prior experience is required. Learning this skill may help you financially as the “winter holiday gift season” of various faiths approaches.

Beads and findings will be supplied in nickel-free gold and silver costume metal. Bringing a pair of basic round nose pliers will be helpful if you have your own. Expect total time commitment to be in the range of 10 to 20 minutes. Please limit one project per member so the maximum number of people can participate.

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The Joy of Melting Glass in a Microwave Oven

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Samuel and Sylvia Sion brought in to last night’s member meeting an amazing impromptu class on fused glass. Glass usually has melting points higher than metal, yet there are these new miniature kilns that work inside of a conventional microwave oven! This makes fused glass work far more accessible and affordable from past days of using a larger plug-in electric kiln for hours. The time to melt an art glass cabochon was usually under five minutes with about 45 minutes needed for cooling. The larger kiln fit several pieces at once.

The microwave being used for glass fusing needs to be dedicated to art use only and never used for food again. (Cadmium and other pigments used for colorants are toxic, so this is a needed safety precaution.) Care needs to be taken to not overheat the microwave and destroy it, so letting the door stand open and the unit cool off between rounds of fusing glass is needed. Also, microwave kiln shelf paper needs to be placed on the base of the kiln to keep glass from melting onto the surface the kiln and destroying it. Heavy weight welding gloves worked as oven mitts to transfer hot kilns and the kilns rested safely on our ceramic fire bricks to cool.

Glass specifically made for fusing needs to be used for projects, like the brightly colored Dichroic glass example I made below. Dichroic and fusing glasses are the shiny, beautiful art glass pieces you always see in jewelry at art fairs. The price for making them yourself is very reasonable with this new method; you can buy enough to make several pieces for $20-$30. The kilns and tools to get started are being added to the small metals area and will be available within the following weeks.

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microwaved-dichroic-glass

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Event: Confectionery Combat! Chocolate VS Shelly and Gerald

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What:
Confectionery Combat! Chocolate VS Shelly and Gerald:

When:
Friday February 12, 6:30-8:30 pm

 

We will start with a discussion on the evil ways of this culinary foe and tactics to successfully wage war against it.

We will be making truffles, roasting nuts, coating lots of things with chocolate, and “practicing” our feeble double boiler tempering skills.  Practice is the word! Just as in war there is no guarantee of success but at least in this we will have chocolate.

This event is open to PS1 members and their guests who want to watch, sample, and participate as the space allows. (There will probably be a cap at 10 people in that small kitchen) If you know you are coming give us a holler on the member group here so we can prepare excess supplies and plan our battle strategy.  The cost is free but donations to fund our efforts will encourage more such campaigns.

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