Category Archives: New Equipment

Beer Church Extreme Makeover: Bar Edition 10/7

Oh come all ye faithful! Beer Church has 3 beers in the fermenter, and some of them are just about ready to go in a keg to get all carbonated and cold and… we don’t have any taps on our bar, or a fridge with lines! This Sunday, we’ll fix that (or get started on it, anyway)! Come help us turn our bar (thanks Greg for building it) into a real bar, with taps!

Beer Church’s first 3 beers

We’ll start off with a quick introduction to Pumping Station: One for newbies (you don’t have to be a member to attend Beer Church), with beers in hand. Bring your favorite unusual beer to share, and we’ll all get to try something new and exciting. We’ll check out the Raspberry Pi powered computerized brewing system that we’ve got going and go over our last few successful brews. The focus for project work will be on improving our dispensing and keg system, but if we have enough people we might go nuts and brew something!

The Meat

  • When: 12PM Noon, Sunday 10/7/2012
  • Where: 3519 N Elston, Chicago IL
  • What: Potluck beer tasting, brewing discussion, and fridge/taps buildout!
  • Why: Because you like beer and people who build things.
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Beer Church – Sunday the 22nd!

Beer Church returns! Do you like science, doing things rather than buying them already done, and beer? Then this event is for you!

Beer tasting: bring a few bottles of something you like that you think others may not know. We will do a potluck beer tasting. Tiny beer steins (for tiny beers) will be provided but bring your own chalice/mug/other drink receptacle if you prefer. Homebrews are highly esteemed, and you will get some beer peer review from your peers in beer!

After (and during) the tasting, we’ll discuss the science of beer brewing and other scientific questions and pursuits. Peer review of projects will happen if people have something to show; 300 seconds of non-fame with frequent interruptions.

For this Beer Church event, we’ll be exploring homebrewing at the space further. Last time we broached the subject and had some homebrews brought down from the Evanston Homebrewing club – this week we have a fridge that could get modded to be set up as environmental control for brewing and we’ll look at the possibility of using the safe room as a cold storage location. An unknown (to me at least) benefactor has also deposited a carboy and a corking machine on premesis! I’m not sure whether we can use those (holler if they’re yours) but I’m hoping so.

You are of course welcome to come even if you do not consume beer or other alcoholic beverages! You must be 21 to drink at beer church. Come on down to 3519 N Elston at 12:00 PM on 7/22!

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Belt Sanders, Swordsmithing & Free Watermelon

It’s hot out. So very hot out. Jewel was selling watermelons. That’s a no-brainer right there.

Except… I couldn’t find a large knife at PS1 to cut it! Oh no! However, belt sanders are pretty good at sharpening metal… and we had this practice sword lying around (not sharp by any remote stretch). Fix that, boom!

Sword: at the ready

Now to put on my war face. Watermelon, I will sup on your flesh tonight! Today is a good day to die. Kaplah.

Watermelon vs. Sword

P.S. we’ve got some watermelon left, come and get it!

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Van de Graaf generator

I like High Voltage

Van de Graaf generator

Steve lets his hair down and puts it to use evaluating the performance of the high voltage Van de Graaf generator. Hair is a natural high voltage corona detector since the strands stand up as they become charged by the electric field. The generator was basically junk when it arrived at the space, so Steve used the opportunity to experiment with different collector electrode geometries and belt materials. The most obvious change in the machine is the belt material. Several types were tried out. In terms of producing a charge and being mechanically stable, nylon fabric with a stitched seam is so far the best. The Van de Graff will deliver approximately 1 inch sparks about 2 seconds apart. And yes, they hurt.

Can the particle accelerator be far behind?

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Bend me; Brake me. PS:One gives itself a Bending Brake

We have a new tool in the space, a small sheet metal brake. It was PS:One designed, built, and tested.

It has a 12″ width capacity, and we’re still up in the air as to what it’s vertical capacity is. So far we’ve bent some 16ga steel, and 20ga aluminum. It does the job beautifully.

We have a wiki page for it already: Sheet Metal Brake – 12 inch  So come on in, and get bending!

It’s in the shop.  Steve or Nerobro will be happy to show you how to use it.

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What’s infrared and white and smells like burning?

Pumping Station: One is now the proud new owner of an 30 Watt Epilog Mini 24 laser cutter!  If you aren’t familiar, a laser cutter can cut detailed parts out of wood, acrylic, and other materials, and it can engrave images onto even more.  We’ve already been busy cutting our logo into everything that isn’t nailed down (and doesn’t contain pvc), but we also have certification process ready for any member who wants to fire the lazzzor themselves.  Ask about it on the mailing list or come to a meeting to see it in action!

* Ok, it’s not exactly white. Wordplay is hard.

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PS:One has a new fan.

I’m one of Pumping Station: One’s newest members.  Ever since I attended my first meeting I fell in love with the atmosphere and people.  One of the first ideas I had was to figure out a way to reuse some of the old projects that are just gathering dust.

My idea came to me when Mitch Altman stopped by the space to teach a soldering lesson.  One of the kits that were offered was Adafruit’s mini POV.  This got me inspired to find a way to use the spoke POV kits that were currently on the TRON bike.  So I found an old fan, and replaced the blades with a scroll-cut plywood frame and attached the spoke pov kits to it.  After the POVs were attached I took some L brackets and extended the front cover so it would fit over the POVs.

So without further ado, Pumping Station: One’s newest fan:

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