Monthly Archives: October 2014

BinarySpace V2.0

It’s been more than two years since I sent out an email to the House4Hack mailinglist to find out if there would be any interest in a hackerspace in the Vaal Triangle. It started small enough with just a few friends playing with 3d printers and enjoying some beer. We outgrew my computer room in a few months and now two years later we have outgrown my workshop.

It’s time to expand BinarySpace and move into a new chapter: BinarySpace V2.0

We have been very fortunate to be able to run a MakerSpace the past two years with minimal costs, but unfortunately expansion means a bigger space and better tools which cost money. I’ve been thinking about a membership option for months now and discussed it with various members from BinarySpace and other local hackerspaces. The general consensus is that it is the way to go, but lots of people expressed concern that it would chase new and existing members away. Also you have a bit of the chicken and egg problem: Makers/Hackers have no problem paying for a space with nice tools and workspace, but you need the income to create the space and get the tools. This means that your initial members will be paying fees for a space with minimal tools until the cashflow is there to improve tools and space.

The one thing everybody agrees on though is getting a bigger space (the last few meetups got a bit cramped). Myself and a few members have been looking at various options to get a new space with minimal risk (ie. somebody getting stuck with a huge rent bill and nobody is contributing). Chris came to the rescue with a space double the size, not far from our current space and rent agreement that works for both parties.

So we are going ahead and creating BinarySpace V2.0 with different membership options. This is new territory for us, but I guess if we don’t try, we won’t know.

Our new space becomes available on the 1st of December and the plan is to start fixing and organizing the new space on Saturday the 6th of December. We will also be having an election for a management team on the 4th of December 2014 (essentially the last meetup at our current space).

We added a new wiki with some starting information on the new space which will hopefully grow with information as we figure it out. I’m sure not everybody will agree with everything but instead of getting negative, please talk to us. BinarySpace is a member community owned and run by it’s members. This means that if you want to change things, then make it happen :)

Lets see what happens :)

Tom (BinarySpace Co-Founder)

To infinity and beyond! aka last night’s meetup – 24/10/2014

Even though the weather was not ideal, lots of people went through heavy rain and strong winds to attend our weekly meetup last night. The main topic of the evening was our Infinity Mirror project build. Whats an infinity mirror? The Wikipedia entry describes it as

… a set of mirrors, one fully reflective mirror and one one-way mirror, set up so that the one-way or partially reflective mirror reflects an image back onto the fully reflective mirror, in a recursive manner, creating a series of smaller and smaller reflections that recede into an infinite distance

Add some led strips to it and you get some awesome portal looking effects:

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A total of 9 infinity mirrors were built last night and they looked awesome. We had blue/red or green strips available and while everybody were mostly interested in the blue leds originally (Bunch of Geeks!) they quickly conceded that the other colors looked awesome as well.

This was a relatively easy build and just about everybody had theirs finished before the end of the night (good thing too since we also emptied the keg early).

The parts of the mirror consisted of wooden rings that were cut with a cnc, a normal mirror, a 1-way mirror (sold by our glass supplier as ‘stopsil’ glass), the led strip with color of your choice and various screws and glue.

DSC_7491As usual with our projects there were no strict set of instructions and after explaining the basic idea everybody got to work on their mirrors. Some were assembled one way and others were assembled another way. Lots of discussions were had about how this effect can be used around the home (baby rooms, stepping stones, etc) and also about swopping out the fixed color led strips with some addressable RGB strips to create time keeping pieces (also known as clocks).

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Org and Kobus from House4Hack also took the long drive to the Vaal to join in the build :) You guys are always welcome!

Other projects that went on in the background was among other Bertrand working on a new raspberry pi project and Sebastian showing of his wifi controlled sumobot!

All in all it was a successful night and everybody left with a smile and an awesome display piece.

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Thanks to everybody who attended last night!

P.S – For the last few weeks we have been having some serious space issues since we’ve gotten more regular hackers/meetups. We currently have a plan in motion for more space and we’ll be sharing those details soon :)

Filament width sensor, mini quadcopter and more … (Meetup 10/17/2014)

We had another awesome meetup last night, lots of different projects going on and some more new faces.

Chris showed of his filament width sensor , we built the pcb last week in the reflow oven. He got it to work and was testing it the past week. Looks like it works great. Next step is to integrate it into a 3d printer so that it can measure and adjust the printing according to the actual diameter of the filament.

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Some of the other projects currently happening is the LED POV Globe that Albert and Gerhard designed. We cut their first prototype last night and they hope to have it spinning by the next meetup. It’s an impressive design and I can’t wait to see it in action:

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Another project that grabbed every-bodies attention was the mini-quad experiments that Romeo is busy with. He got his hands on some of the motors used in the Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter. Last night the goal was to get them spinning and lifting a basic lasercut frame.

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After some power tests it was decided to tie it down to the table… (before someone loses an eye)

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Success!! (Though not stable by any means…). Here is a video of the first lift:


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(Some more raw video footage here)

Next up is some control electronics and with a bit of luck there will be a bunch of these flying around at BinarySpace soon…

Other projects worked on included the sumobot builds, standalone arduino compatible boards etc. There was so much cool stuff going on that I never got to my own projects :p

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All in all it was a good evening. Thanks to all and see everybody next week for the Infinity Mirror build :)

T

 

Google Cardboard Event

Last night we had our Google Cardboard event, and what fun it was. Lee did the presentation and helped everybody get up and running with their Google cardboard setup (even if they used an iPhone ;))

DSC_7453There are a variety of cool apps available from flying demo’s to first person shooters. You can even watch YouTube videos in a very cinematic experience!

DSC_7447The rest of the evening was spent with everybody staring at their phones and behaving strangely…

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Thanks to everybody who joined us last night and a special thanks to Lee who organised everything. Hope you guys enjoyed it!

Till next time :)