Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Enter the Game Engine

game engine sphere of collision detection via
After Jok did an awesome job with a Homebrew Game class we were hooked. Video games have come a long way since Pong and Wolfenstein. We might be tackling those in the next console gaming class, but what about Doom? Doom marked a revolution in game design and customization. I don’t know about you, but I spent more creating levels for Doom than I did actually playing it. On November 17th CrashSpace will host an introductory talk about game engines and what makes the game behind your modern games tick.

doom level editor

Today’s games offer players fully immersive virtual worlds rich with realistic graphics, physics, 3-Dimensional sound and artificial intelligence. If you want learn how to build and use an engine yourself, or you simply have always wondered how these complex games are made, then join speaker Jean-Philippe Steinmetz, of Trilogy Studios, as he provides an introduction to the game engine. In this talk he will provide an in-depth look at the architecture behind a typical game engine including its motivations and history by looking at existing technologies as case studies.

8p Nov 17th at CrashSpace (link). FREEE for members. $15 suggested donation for non-members


prototype for a jacob's ladder.

We put together a makeshift jacob’s ladder tonight for fun at Radio Mondays, using a 7.5 kv neon transformer.

This is two brass tubes (one bent to put the arc point above the temporary frame), carrying high voltage arc just to the point of being capable of jumping. (the rule of thumb is 1mm per 3kv). The convection of the superheated air pulls the arc upwards, until it can’t sustain the arc, and it breaks.

Things were a little fiddly, as you can see in the above video, so we pulled out at 12kv transformer, to see if more power improved things.

The larger transformer seemed to help:


MEGA TAKE APART (October 9th)

As you may have noticed from the calendar, it’s that time again.

Electronics live a fast life. They’re useful, and exciting and shiny, and then they’re either broken or useless all too quickly. And you can’t just toss them in the garbage because they’re full of weird stuff.

But there is hope!

Through the use of 21st century super-science, old electronics, books, computers, and plastic bits can go on to live a useful life, being repaired, modified for new use, or harvested for valuable components, the remainder being safely disposed of via an accredited e-waste recycling service.

Donations help us by both giving us stock to use in awesome projects, and spare parts for other objects, and by allowing us to pick the best bits out for use and storage, and recycling the rest, which is good for our storage space, and the environment.

This Saturday from 12 – 4, I’ll be accepting and processing donations at the space. This also serves the secondary function of giving members a chance to come down and pick through the treasure, in case there’s something interesting they want for themselves, or would like to make sure I keep at the space for a future project.

time to desolder


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Simon Kit Build Night, 8pm Sept 15

The next Kit Build Night is 8pm, September 15. The kit is the Simon Kit from SparkFun:
SparkFun Simon Kit page
Assembly instructions PDF
This is a really fun kit. It blinks, it makes noises, and it’s Arduino-compatible.

Kit Build Nights are open to the public. Everyone pays for the kit, non-members pay an additional $10+ donation to have access to our tools and expertise to help build the kit. We all build the kit together. At the end of the night, you’ve built something cool you can take home and play with.

Costs: $25 for members, $35+ for non-members. (give what you can, we need it 🙂

If you’re interested in a kit, contact tod at to reserve one.
We only have 15 kits available. Payment is cash at the door on Weds night.