Category Archives: ROAD TRIP

Power Racing Series 2017 Season

Have you heard about the Power Racing Series? It began in 2009, right here at PS1! This year, I joined the team and we went racing around the country. It was road trip season.

We made it to these cities and raced other teams at Maker Faires:

  • Kansas City, MO
  • Detroit, MI
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Nashville, TN

The first race was in Kansas City, MO. We picked up some PVC pipes for drift wheels and this awfully nice random person offered us wires to secure them to the trailer.

You can see all the go-carts zoom by in this unrealistic timelapse video at the Kansas City Maker Faire.

This walkthrough video of the pits at the Detroit Maker Faire showcases a bunch of the other teams from all over the country. There is an important reminder about sunscreen at the end.

In the Milwaukee Maker Faire, we had a night race and it was pretty cool.

The last race we went to in Nashville had the nicest paved track ever and we made a bunch of skid marks.

We also had some really good spicy margaritas.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t make the rest due to distance or scheduling conflicts but races also happened in these cities:

  • San Mateo, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Orlando, FL

The Bluesmobile and the Kart of 1000 Faces were driven between Aaron F, Andrew C, Ash J, Carlos G, Jennie P, and myself. We also had other PS1 members, Casey and Aushra, show up at some of the cities and they drove for parts of the 75 minute endurance races.

It was a lot of fun hacking away at the frames, electronics, and bodies of the go-carts. Between fixing the two carts and racing, we have also been working on new things for next season.

There is a new Catbus body being made by Aaron.

Another new Jackson Storm body being made by Jackson.

Some serious wheels are being fitted onto a new frame by Carlos.

There is a new frame being built by Andrew, which is top secret, so no photos.

There is also a new body being built by Jennie, also top secret, hence photos.

I’m putting together a motor controller.

Last but not least, there is a new drivetrain with Leaf batteries and converted alternators being built by Andrew. He was ecstatic when he got the batteries in Milwaukee.

Come check us out on Monday nights. All of these are group projects. Anybody can work on the go-carts and race them. This was my first year at Pumping Station One and my first racing season of the Power Racing Series.

I can’t wait for next year!

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Power Racing Series Meeting


This Saturday, April 30th, we will meet at 9pm in the shop to discuss our entry into the Power Racing Series. Its a friendly competition between hackerspaces where we modify ride on kids toys and race them at Maker Faires.  We have a car that works great but is in need of TLC. We have a race in San Mateo in a few weeks time and need to get it ready.  We will be discussing what needs to be done for that race and races to come. If you have experience with welding, electronics, fabrication, you are more than welcome. If you don’t have experience, come by and get some.  Continue reading Power Racing Series Meeting

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Mini Maker Faire in Chicago at Schurz High School – May 3

Reserve your spot to the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! Tickets are FREE to the public, but by reserving early you guarantee your spot. Now you can e-sign the media release on Eventbrite and skip the line! As always, your generous donations allow those who cannot otherwise afford Maker Faire to attend for free. Recommended donations are $10/adult, and $5/child under 12.

Pumping Station: One will hopefully be there with a table. Come visit us!



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CNC Steampunk Harp – The Sector67 Field Trip – Part 2


Finished Sound Board
Finished Sound Board

[See Part 1]

The sound board of the harp had always been the wild card. Elizabeth and I began the project last year knowing that we’d want to use a laser cutter to etch it with some kind of Victorianesque steampunk design involving gears. And we knew that PS:One’s Epilog, with its 24″ x 12″ bed and no feedthrough capability, simply couldn’t fit a 49″ sound board. While design focused on the brass panels, as we did have access to a CNC router, the sound board was left for later, especially because we didn’t know if we could find a smaller laser cutter with feedthrough, meaning we needed a design that could be etched in pieces, or a large laser cutter that could engrave the entire sound board at once.

Elizabeth and I were planning a trip to Madison, WI, and we heard rumors that Sector67 had a colossal Chinese import laser cutter. I reached out to them asking if they would be willing to help with this project, and Chris Meyer, director of Sector 67, responded, inviting us to their space. Knowing what we had to work with, Elizabeth was able to create the design in Adobe Illustrator. Continue reading CNC Steampunk Harp – The Sector67 Field Trip – Part 2

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Power Racing Series: PS:One GP Early-Bird Test Run Video

PS:One GP, Pumping Station: One’s Power Racing Series team, is proud to present the video evidence of our early-bird test run.  In order to earn 100 points towards the main event at Maker Faire: Detroit, we were challenged to create a video of our car driving, at full speed, on a straight-away run of, at least, 100 feet.  You can check out the proof of our progress below:

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Pumping Station: One welcomes our friends from i3Detroit!

As if we didn’t have enough excitement going on at Pumping Station: One this weekend, with the didgeridoo class and the Come On, Feel The Noise Hackathon, this weekend we will have visitors. A group of people from i3Detroit, the hackerspace in Detroit, will be visiting Pumping Station: One this weekend! They will be arriving Saturday afternoon and heading home on Sunday, so they’ll have plenty of time to explore our space and enjoy our Hackathon.

Remember, the Hackathon is open to the public. So, if you want to not only work on your projects but also enjoy the chance to meet your fellow hackers from the Motor City, make sure to come by the space this weekend!

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Car-pocolypse 010. Blogging our way to Detroit.

Start: 12:01pm

Why we departed at 12:00, I have no idea. We are three hours behind schedule but we are on our way in the midst of traffic on the Dan Ryan. We almost didn’t go, but Grandpa Kantarek twisted our arms and shamed us into keeping our promises.

Why Detroit? We’re visiting our good friends over at i3Detroit. We should hopefully arrive before 8pm Detroit time, but we’ll be keeping the entire Internet up to date on our progress and the shenanigans involved.

Current Location: Mile Marker 73. I-94, Illinois.

Update: 12:50pm.

Current Location: INDIANA.

Update: 1:10pm. First stop: Cracker Barrel. CIGARETTE.

Next Stop: Cracker Barrel. Oh my god, Cracker Barrel. The delicious, delicious food of America’s greatest restaurant chain. Hello chicken and dumplings.

Update: 2:15pm. Current Location: Leaving Cracker Barrel, barely inside of Indiana.

We all want to die, so much tasty food. If any of you reading this have never been to Cracker Barrel, you are doing something wrong with your life.

Update: 2:30pm. Current Location: Gas Station. Alignment is causing weird noises. Jim has lowered his survival rating.

Update: 2:53pm. Current Location: MICHIGAN! Been reading reddit. Cars are boring. Jim turned into a 5 year old boy when we saw the toy train store billboard. We might have to stop there.

Update: 3:17pm. Current Location: Exit 39. I-94. Michigan. Next stop: Grandpa’s Cider Mill. Note: Jim snores.

Update: 4:06pm. Current Location: I-94. Michigan. Battery is about to die. 🙁 Cider was delicious. Highly recommend visiting Grandpa’s Cider Mill in Coloma, MI. Tasty.

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