We’re so happy to have made it to the cover of Baltimore Sun newspaper. Grab yourself a print copy today, or check out the online edition here.
We’re really excited to see this feature on the cover of this week’s city paper. Finally, us and the other hackerspaces in the area; Baltimore Node, Unallocated Space (and The Foundery, BUGSS, etc) are getting some recognition for what we all offer the community and the cool stuff that we all having going on.
Hopefully this article will inspire others in the surrounding area to participate in more of these kinds activities. If you’re not in the Baltimore area, well you should read it anyway and hit up your local hackerspace!
A member of ours has been hard at work designing a really sweet modern/retro hybrid audio amplifier with a built in media center. It’s open source, hackable, and sounds awesome. He’s currently running a kickstarter to kick off getting them produced. You can check out the kickstarter here. I asked Jason to do a little writeup on his experience building the amplifier, and tell us more of the details inside. He shares his experience below;
My name is Jason Perkins. I am co-founder of Tubecore and joined Baltimore Hackerspace in May 2013. I joined wanting to learn more about CNC machining and needed a home to prototype a project I had designed. The project started out as a modern tube amplifier built into a bluetooth speaker, but what I ended up with was a bit more.
A month after I joined I had completed the first prototype for my modern Hi-Fi audio system. Unfortunately, a week later it was destroyed by a rogue CNC at a friends house. The machine is called Kronos, is DIY and is the fastest robot I have ever seen up close. Kronos has a jog speed of 14” a second and that’s how quickly Kronos killed Duo v1.0. I highly recommend Kronos CNC to anyone looking for a Pro Level CNC that can machine billet aluminum and is advertised as being accurate down to .001” (1 mil.), while free jogging @ 14” a sec. I also highly recommend kill switches, since topping out the -z axis is what caused it to scare the crap out of me.
After we extinguished Duo v1.0, I used the opportunity to redesign and was able to make some huge improvements to the Cabinet’s engineering, the system’s design and peak performance.
The cabinets are solid hardwood. In this case African Sapele. The cabinet’s 7/8” thick main body is four pieces cut and mitered from a single board with horizontal grain that is matched all the way around. The face of the box is a burl mahogany and requires 38 precise machining operations to complete and features safe zones where additional sensors and optical hardware can be added.
The drivers are 4” full-range, composite cone drivers with machined aluminum horns and santoprene surrounds. They live in their own sealed enclosures, which are hand tuned for L-R balance and peak performance. I find these little reference-class drivers produce a big sound; warm mids and screaming highs. They reproduce clear audio from around 125Hz to well over 20Khz and are crossed at 120.
Cody sent us the good news that he followed our tutorial on hacking a toy tron disc into a super cool prop. He also upgraded some of the features in the process by adding some rare earth magnets to the design he is able to mount it to a possible tron suit, and aligning the netduino with the cover so it can be removed and reprogrammed without taking the entire thing apart.
Cody made a quick video showing the animations. Even though this project was around 3 years ago, it’s still nice to see it kicking!
We are so excited that we won the Level 3 ChipKit Design Challenge. Please view the other levels and contestants here. Thank you everyone who voted for us. With the winnings we will be gaining some new tools from Microchip and Digilent.
If you want to look at the published files design and source files, they are available on github. There are 2 sets of hardware and firmware. The hand held keyfob schematic / firmware, and the chipkit shield schematic / library.
If by chance you haven’t seen our entry video yet, check it out.