Posted on September 7th, 2013 by at0mbxmb • Filed under Events • No Comments
Interested in learning to code or improving your skills? Join this group, led by our very own Officer and professional Software Engineer Michelle Leonhart (@at0mbxmb) every week!
When: Every Wednesday from 8pm – 10pm
Skill range: All. Total n00bs to professional developers.
Access: Open to the Public.
RSVP: Here. RSVP is not required, but definitely helps us know how many people to plan for. Space is limited, so arrive on time to guarantee yourself a seat!
1. Bring your own laptop
2. Be nice or we will remove you
Structure: There is no formal instruction. Once a week we will meet up to work on our projects and help each other out along the way. If you’re new, this is a great place to come and get direction and advice from more experienced developers. If you’re experienced, let’s make some crazy **** together!
While we’re here, Crashspace is OPEN, meaning members may come work on their own projects for their own purposes at the same time.
Michelle Leonhart is a professional Software Engineer currently working for the company behind the iOS & Android app textPlus. When not coding for work or fun, she works as a Director of the LA Makerspace, and co-runs the hackerspace Crashspace. In the past, she has worked with the MythBusters on the Discovery Channel, coached an all-girls FIRST Robotics FTC team, and designed and taught a number of classes, including DIY LED Lanterns for Kids. She enjoys nerding around, helpings kids be awesome at tech, and encouraging little girls to tell anybody who says engineering isn’t cool to go kick rocks.
Questions? Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on August 15th, 2013 by carlyn • Filed under How To • 2 Comments
So there was a delay this week in the F@CS series. Why? Because I met my match in a part that is taking more research than I originally intended. It has the location of a factory printed on it so I’m doing a bit more humanities-style research on it. Please stay tuned.
The change-of-course-project is a mod of an USB LED light. I stumbled onto an inspiring Instructable by Winged Fist called Dieselpunk USB Lamp that has links to other Dieselpunk and Steampunk style mods for modern technology. My version uses more lamp-parts and 10mm LED, but the spirit is the same.
More pictures are up in a flickr set, including the original USB LED find from our donations pile.
If you decide to make your own, please note two important missing pieces from the Instructable: any mention of a current limiting resistor or a link to how to solder wires together. It is tiny, but you can see a resistor soldered to the lead wire of the LED in the Instructable. I would have liked him to call that out as important. I know the original current limiting resistor in my hacked object came out in the dismantle.
To make a lot of these without designing a PCB or soldering wires together, go to Mouser and order something like the Visual Communications Company’s CNX LED Socket with the integrated resistor option. They’ll be more stable than a wire to wire connection and the LED can be swapped in the future. Some items in the line have lens accessories. Also, they are less than a dollar if you are getting the part without lead wires.
We cleaned up the Metal Shop to better accommodate the lathe and make room for new tools (maybe a desktop CNC is coming soon).
We cleaned up the “office” to make a sewing room. We’ve a couple machines and serge that are all ready to go. This is just in time for upcoming Public Meeting on Tuesday at 8p and our next ELWire Class. I hope people will come by and use these new resources.
Thanks to Metal, Steve, Kayla, James, Sam, and whoever else keep this place running.
We’ll get back to making things for our friends.
Here is a video of Steve and Sam’s latest tesla coil (Tesla One):
Posted on August 7th, 2013 by carlyn • Filed under How To • No Comments
Tactile momentary switches are magic.
Think of all the giant heavy toggle switches and spring-based momentary push buttons on some of the older electronics you’ve seen and we still have. Crazy satisfying to play with but heavy, clunky and big.
Now picture tactile switches, or tact switches, that still manage to have a physical snap and yet are tiny. Their physicality comes from the deformation of a metal dome that may or may not also serve as one of the electrical contacts. The clicky seal-intact indicator on jar lids is that kind of spring.
These switches represent a huge step in miniaturization and production automation. The technical drawing (shown middle left) was captured from the oldest patent I could find using this technology. Everything else I saw from before this before was using coil springs. Current patents filed are all about improving reliability, manufacturing and size. There are some others in F@CS No. 5 Flickr set and I’ll be posting more.
The reason I’m writing about them for this series is because someone kindly donated a handful of 12mm tact switches to our parts bins. I enjoy poking around to see what new stash has shown up in the unlabeled drawers. So this is a little how to on how to use them in finished projects (not just exposed on breadboards or raw pcbs) and a bit of a buying guide if you want to source your own.
Posted on July 31st, 2013 by outlawpoet • Filed under Events • No Comments
Come learn about and hack with Greenhouse, a creative coding platform for spatial interfaces that are multi-screen, multi-device and multi-user. Bring your kinects, leaps, smartphones and arduinos to interface with your computer in physical space. Engineers from Oblong Industries will on on hand to help.
Learn more at greenhouse.oblong.com.
Workshop is open to the public and free of charge. August 21st Starting at 8pm at Crashspace