We’ve decided to build an entry for this year’s Power Racing Series race at the 2012 NYC Maker faire! Some of our members have been interested in doing similar things for a while, and having a PPPRS event this close was motivation enough to get of our lazy butts and do something about it.
The first steps were to procure a power wheels vehicle, motors, and batteries. A power wheels Xtreme Machine, some EV warrior motors, and a pair of brand new optima yellowtop D34′s fit the bill just fine.
first, we had to do a test-fit just to see if any of us could still fit in there. Some of us could, some couldn’t, and only one looked to be enjoying it.
Then we dug up some scrap metal from previous projects, and got to cutting and welding.
More to come as we make progress.
Of course I’m talking about gerbv! For those of you who don’t know, gerbv is a free Gerber or RS-274X viewer that comes from the gEDA Project. It’s free, it’s open source, it’s cross platform… (quick link to windows version download here) and that’s awesome.
So, why do you care? Well, if you are building your own circuits and want to get a PCB made then usually the format you’ll need to export your design into is a gerber. The reason you should grab gerbv is to double check for errors. When you design a PCB in your favorite circuit layout tool, whether it be Eagle, Altium, or my favorite DipTrace, you should double check for errors.
We’ve been having some fun decorating, painting and building new workbenches for the hackerspace. We also realized we have a lot of junk to sort through! Whew!
Anyway, if you haven’t stopped by yet, we wanted to show the progress of how things are coming a long. Here are some updated pictures:
So we’re still busy decking out the new facility and one of the things we wanted to get up and running is some cheap surplus ethernet cameras to … keep an eye on things and check out whats going on remotely. So I thought I’d go ahead and set these guys up.
First thing up was to make some cat5 cables. I got a cheapo crimper, cable tester, and connectors off eBay. While trying to figure out how much cable I need to run I was thinking about how I’m going to plug the cameras in to supply power. They have wall warts with barrel jacks running 12 volts. I started thinking about how power over ethernet works and thought I’d try to see how I can do the same thing to run the power to the camera. These aren’t POE cameras so the idea was to only half crimp the connectors, and use the unused pairs to run the 12 volts.
Here is the layout of how cat 5 cables should be done. Credits to wikipedia.
So there are 2 color coded standards for crimping cables, but oddly enough, the ones we care about are blue, blue/white, white/brown, and brown. Pins 4, 5, 7, 8. These pins aren’t used in 10/100 connections, however if it was gigabit then they would be used. So the unused pins are the same on both standards, so I just chose the first one.
The Roly Kit storage box. I vaguely remember seeing these things from my childhood, sometime in the 80′s, but that was a long time ago. I think I had totally abolished these things from memory…until a year or two ago, when one of our members brought one to hack night filled with lots and lots of electronic components. We’ve all used the tiny drawers for parts storage, like the ones on our workbenches. I even have a more modular one that has a handle to carry it around, but nothing compares to the storage capacity of the Roly Kit.
After admiring the sleek rolling storage for so long, I finally decided that I had to have one. Doing a little research, it appears these things were invented sometime in the 70s, and made by a company in the Netherlands. Sadly, the only reliable place I’ve seen them for sale is eBay, and occasionally a thrift shop. They appear to come in a few colors and 2 different sizes (‘big’ and ‘medium’). If you’re a maker and need a nice travel friendly holder for all your resistors / caps / knobs / switches / 555 timers, I recommend you snag one up too.
We recently moved into a 1250 square foot facility and are in the process of renovating it to suit our needs. The space is located at:
6410 Landay Ave
Baltimore, MD 21237
The floors were looking pretty bad when we moved in, so we gave them a vigorous cleansing using a floor buffer and a power washer. The floors still were not up to par, so we painted the floors using acrylic floor paint and then added paint flakes to really kick it up a notch.
We need a place to work, so we built a few work benches. 40 2×4′s, 2 sheets of plywood and 2 sheets of laminate was just the right amount of wood to build 6 benches which are 32″ high x 30″ deep x 48″ long.
As you can see in the background, we have also moved much of our stuff into the space. That’s not all…We have really been hard at work in making this space feel like a warm and welcoming place to hang out and learn new skills. Paul King gave the place a slightly more social feel by adding a little graffiti to the newly renovated office wall.
Maybe that should be E=I*R but does it really matter? Google ‘Ohms Law Chart’ and you mostly find V=I*R as examples. Besides, it’s only paint so we can fix that! We plan to add a lot more electronics-related graffiti to the wall. I bet that Ohms law triangle will get used more often that people think…
So it appears the BullDuino has another hidden morse code message on it. We smell something wargamesish.
— UPDATE —
Looks like the decoded message is ‘Wouldn’t lou prefer a good game of chess?’ …. is LOU a typo instead of YOU ? L is inverted Y in morse code… could be. Or could be a clue.
This is obviously a quote from (or a play on a quote from if Lou is real) from WarGames. Hmm.. 1983… Global Thermonuclear War. Joshua/WOPR WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Hooray for Redbull Creation 2012! So it all starts with this Bullduino provided by RedBull. Here are the initial unboxing pics. So far it appears to be an Ardunio Uno layed out on a cool RedBull logo pcb. I’m going to investigate deeper…
Well another Baltimore RobotFest has come and gone. If you missed it, well… there’s always next year. Here’s some pics you missed courtesy of our hackerspace members.
Thanks again to our member Mike for taking a bunch of pictures, and to everyone who contributed to RobotFest this year.
Mark who is a member of Baltimore Hackerspace has been working on this full sized biped robot made of mostly spare parts for over 2 years. These are the first movements after adding the Axon II controller and getting all the servos wired up. The goal is to start teaching it to walk over the next couple months.
More videos are on Mark’s YouTube channel