Category Archives: Uncategorized

Announcing the Pumping Station: One newsletter

As part of a series of efforts to improve communications both within PS:1 and with the wider community, we are launching an email newsletter.

The content and format of the newsletter will undoubtedly evolve over time. The newsletter will of course publicize upcoming events and important news or announcements. It will also spotlight the innumerable people and projects that make PS:1 such a vibrant community.

Why is this happening?
Perhaps the most basic reason is to reach a bigger cross-section of the membership. The Google Group is a valuable resource, but participation is fairly low, not just in terms of the number of people who post, but also in terms of the number of people subscribed at all.

Beyond that, there’s a lot of stuff happening on a daily basis at PS:1 that simply isn’t publicized in any venue at all right now. If you’ve ever attended a member meeting, you know that individuals and groups are constantly up to amazing things in the space. Find out what your fellow makers are doing!

Finally, PS:1 very badly needs a way to engage the wider community, including mission-aligned organizations in the Chicago area; individuals who have found our website or come on a tour but aren’t yet ready to join; or really anyone who participates in or supports the maker community.

How will it work?
We expect to send out 1 or 2 newsletters per month. The hope is that as we get into a groove, we can hit a more regular cadence. Newsletter content will also be posted online so that non-subscribers can access it.

Needless to say, we will follow normal email best practices: we aren’t going to share your contact info with anyone, and anyone can unsubscribe at any time.

What will happen next?
If you are a current PS:1 member, you will receive the first newsletter soon, which will include instructions for managing your subscription. Anyone can sign up on the PS:1 website, and we will be posting reminders on the Google Group.

Can you contribute?
Would I have asked this leading question if the answer was no? We love, love, love submissions or even just content ideas from members. Please send your thoughts to press@pumpingstationone.org.

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Pumping Station: One building up for sale

When PS:One expanded in 2017, we negotiated a five-year lease with an option to renew for another five years.

At the time, the building was owned by the Khouri brothers, Tony and Dan. Recently the brothers divided their ownership. Tony moved his business closer to his home, and Dan took sole ownership of the building.

A few days ago, the brothers let us know that Dan would like to sell the building and is making preparations to do so. Any new owner would be obligated to honor the lease, including the renewal clause. Even in the event of a sale, PS:One retains the right to stay in its current location for up to eight more years.

Or possibly longer. Another option that has been long discussed is PS:One buying the building ourselves. Alternatively, a trust could by the building on our behalf. Similar arrangements have been made by the Milwaukee makerspace and others.

A third option is to remain a tenant under new owners. And, of course, a final possibility is to move to a new location. Moving is logistically complicated, but it also offers an opportunity to consider the long-term needs of a growing membership.

No changes are imminent, but we do need to begin the hard work of educating ourselves and laying the groundwork for an eventual decision. Likely steps include:

  • Understanding our legal rights as tenants
  • Talking to lenders about the financing options available to us
  • Establishing a capital fund
  • Setting fundraising goals and soliciting donors
  • Appraising the building and surveying the local real estate market

But the most important next step is tapping the expertise and seeking the input of our membership base. We plan to hold an ongoing series of conversations, both in-person and online, to ensure that members have full insight into the process as it unfolds. As always, we will be reliant on dedicated volunteers to ensure that PS:One continues to fulfill its mission and thrive.

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Free Class: Leatherworking with Common Household Objects

In this free one hour make & take, you’ll explore ways to add texture and shape to vegetable tanned leather using common household objects! The class will be Thursday, November 9, 2017 upstairs in the Arts & Crafts Area at 7:00 – 8:00 PM.

The instructor, Tamara Clammer, is a Seattle based leatherworker and the Maker Advocate at Brown Paper Tickets.

If you can’t attend this class, you can also join her at Maker Fest at the Niles-Maine District Library from 12:00 – 3:30 pm on November 11th.

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Block Rockin’ Knits

The arts and crafts area has a sewing table with a pinable canvas surface for pattern design, and this is also great for blocking hand knitted items. 

Blocking means stretching the knitted item and steaming it to get a better shape. Acrylic, wool, alpaca and pretty much any fiber used to make a knitted item tends to roll at the edges and be floppy until it is blocked. Factory knitwear is blocked as well as hand knits.

I discovered a new tool called blocking wires which I used on this large lace shawl I recently completed. The wires can be run through the edges and pinned. Using the wires allowed for needing less pins and getting tension faster for the rectangular shape. I steamed the whole piece with a sewing iron and could see it adjust, tightening and relaxing, along the pattern.

Many people wash an item and block it into shape to dry, then steam it. A hat can be blocked on a large party balloon or a Styrofoam head form like the kind sold in beauty supply shops. Steam alone does a good job of getting a crisp shape for your knitted item. Just be careful to hover a steam iron a few inches above the item to not scorch or melt the fibers.

 

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“In Between” by CODYRYANDESIGN

Hey All,

Just wanted to share a labor of love I’ve been working on for the past month or so. It’s a night light/table center-piece/ whatever you want it to be LED illuminaire.

Acrylic rods over an individually addressable LED matrix (WS2812b) encased in a single solid piece of acrylic and driven by an Arduino Nano. I shaved down the acrylic over each LED to just a few millimeters to create a natural diffusing lens over each LED.

It also reacts to external lights sources (and sometimes its own…still working on that). When there is a lot of light it gets brighter and vice versa. The patterns and colors are completely random and the Arduino script is based off DedeHai’s original linked here. More of my work can be found at www.codyryandesign.com. You can also Instagram follow me @codyryandesign. Thank you for letting me share!

Huge thanks to my brilliant girlfriend Jessica for standing in for a few shots!

         

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Artemis 1 – Getting a Closer Look at Totality

Some fellow hackers and makers (and former PS:One members) shared an exciting project with us and we’d like to help them get the word out.

The Artemis 1 is on a mission to send a high altitude balloon into near-space on August, 21st, 2017 to film the total solar eclipse.  It’s a collaboration between the South Side Hacker Space and Chicago’s Remote Astronaut Crew.

 

 

The team is one of many participating in this NASA sponsored program, where launches all across the country will simultaneously capture video and still images of the eclipse from altitudes of 100,000 feet and more.  You can learn more about the program here:

http://eclipse.montana.edu

Artemis 1, like many before, is looking toward the sky for opportunities to teach, learn, and grow.  Leading by example through hands-on experimentation with measurable results is the best way to instill a passion for learning and a drive to reach higher.

 

Artemis 1 seeks your vital support on this campaign and the fundraising page can be found here:

https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/experience-the-2017-eclipse-with-us-artemis-i/x/16686555

 

More information can be found on the Artemis 1 website:

http://artemis.one

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NERP Tonite: MOSFETs with Ste!

Mosfets – They can be “on” — They can be “off” — They can even be in between! Tonight at NERP, entrepreneur, engineer, and really good teacher Ste Kulov will guide us into the world of mosfets. Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors if you want to impress your friends.

N-Channel MOSFET [wikipedia]
Since mosfets are a wide and deep subject, I asked Ste where he wanted to focus his talk. With great economy of words, he said it better than I could.

“Most of the generic stuff, fairly quickly.  A few simple examples I was probably going to cover are: making a logic inverter, a logic controlled load-switch, and reverse battery protection. Simulating in LTspice [circuit CAD], since I can draw that stuff in two seconds and put it on the screen.  If you want to do a power MOSFET application, I would need to see the datasheet for it.  Also keep in mind that high current stuff is no good for breadboards. If you need a list:  4 vs 3 terminal, body diode, Rds(on), gate drive, switching speed, N-channel, P-channel, CMOS digital logic, CMOS analog switches.”

NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago. NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago. Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at

www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/­
and
http://pumpingstationone.org/­

Tags: electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source, raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Pumping Station One

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Bronze Casting!!!!!!

As you may have noticed, the Small Metals area has moved to where hot metals used to live. The process has been gradual but successful. We conducted an experiment over the weekend involving plaster investment and molten bronze. There were many variables in this process including new-to-the-space machinery: the kiln, the electric melting furnace, and the vacuum investment table. As well as different materials used, possibly expired flux, a new kind of plaster, and a type of bronze that had been melted a number of times before. All in all it was a great success. Here is a brief overview along with some photos to enjoy.

Seen here is the kiln at a glowing red temperature of 1,500 degrees. The molten bronze getting ready for the pour. Also seen in this picture is the vacuum table for the cast to help pull the metal through the investment.
The Termolyne mini melt electric melting furnace! Bronze has a melting point of 1,742 degrees 
The pour!

 

Fresh out of the pickle!

Finished rings! All of them (except the black stone in the middle) were cast at PS1.

-Ella Gentz
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Pumping Station: One needs Makers for Maker Faire Chicago!

Maker Faire Chicago BadgeDo you make things at Pumping Station: One? Do you want to volunteer and help us show the awesomeness of PS:One at Maker Faire? We need you! Pumping Station: One will have a Makerspace booth at Maker Faire Chicago, April 22nd-23rd 2017, and we want to help you exhibit your stuff! Click HERE for our volunteer and exhibition form and let us know when you want to show your work, or when you’re free to help us set up and run our booth.

Call to MakersIf you have a larger project, or a demo, or something that you just want to show independently, you can go HERE to fill out an independent Maker Exhibit application, and make sure you let them know you want to be set up near the Pumping Station: One booth. We want a HUGE PS1 presence at this Chicago Maker Faire, so please, sign up, tell your friends, and let them know we need Makers!

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