So we have this fully working PCB Fabrication setup at the hackerspace now. If you're interested in getting started we recommend having something to fabricate. Designing a circuit could be done in Microsoft Paint, but for good results we suggest something a bit more... powerful to help you get component footprints on right among other things. Electronic Design Automation tools such as KiCAD fill that spot well.
If you are interested in putting together a design, check out this tutorial to give you a great kick start on using KiCAD to design your circuit board. You'll probably want to stick to a single side board for your first round. Lining up layers can be a bit tricky with our current system. We're working on getting a system in place to make this more predictable.
If you have problems, please feel free to drop a question on the mailing list or come by when the space is open some time.
Make Lehigh Valley is hoping to raise $250 in donations to match another $250 to build a Reprap Prusa Mendel i2 3D Printer! We're hoping to be resourceful and keep the necessary cash around that $500 mark. Need for printed parts around the space abounds, and this will fill a huge gap in our ability to enable our minds. If you were at our first Town Meeting tonight, you probably heard about the 3D scanner - and the statue we scanned, and how it worked. Go donate!
Classes will be held from 7 to 9 PM on Tuesday evenings.
There will be two classes running concurently:
A 9 week course for the entry-level TECHNICIAN CLASS license, this is for those who currently do not have an Amateur Radio License.
A 9 week course for the UPGRADE to the GENERAL CLASS license, for those who currently hold a TECHNICIAN Amateur Radio License.
The course is FREE, but pre-registration is required.
For details on the classes, or if you have an interest or questions about amateur radio, please call (610) 432-8286, or email KE3AW@ARRL.NET
For more information about Amateur Radio in General visit: http://www.arrl.org/new-to-ham-radio
I just sent this email out to registered attendees of the workshop. If you haven't registered yet, you will also want to see this.
We're excited to have you all in for tonight's workshop. At the moment, we have 14 registrations, and expect a few more throughout today and at the door.
Make Lehigh Valley and Hive 4A have a selection of soldering irons, solder, lamps, wire cutters and other supplies needed to get this class going. However, we will need to share between participants in the workshop given our current supply. If you have some of your own supplies for this that you can bring, that would help alleviate this hassle and help you focus on the work rather than where to get tools for the next step. If not, we've got you covered!
You may also want to consider bringing a laptop to program your new BoArduino and a USB-ttl cable. If you don't already have the Arduino IDE loaded (http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software), we will have it available on a USB key and can help you get setup.
Also, if you can come earlier or stay later to help setup and tear down, that is most welcome.
Hope to see you tonight!
Our next event is a must attend for anyone that enjoyed our booths at the Science Festival of the Lehigh Valley. We know many missed out on some of what we had to offer simply because of the overwhelming crowds. We have good news!
"Hackers on a Train 2012" is a tour of the makerspaces of the north east US and Canada during July by train. Mitch Altman, Jimmie Rodgers and crew will be doing workshops, classes and speaking as they go. Make Lehigh Valley is excited to be hosting these folks at Hive 4A for the Arduino For Total Newbies workshop, 6:30-9:30pm. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in hobby electronics, arduino, hardware hacking or just how the devices around your home work.
These three hours pack in just about everything you need to explore hobby electronics. As a workshop participant, you will learn the basics of Arduino, electronic components and how they interact. Then you will be instructed in soldering up Adafruit's BoArduino kit. Your boarduino will be used to build a TV-B-Gone which will include learning to use a USB-to-serial ttl cable, the Arduino IDE, solderless breadboards and reading schematics to get their.
The workshop includes the kit, tools and everything needed to complete the tv-b-gone project. Children are encouraged to attend and bring a parent. The fee is $35/attendee to cover expenses of materials.
Mitch's more exhaustive explanation of the workshop can be found on his web page, Arduino For Total Newbies. You can also check out the rest of the tour schedule or our wiki for details as we assemble them.
We're really excited to share this event with Allentown, Bethlehem and all of the Lehigh Valley.
At the Science Festival one of the things we talked about in the Arduino area was how easy it is to make a robot out of an RC car. This guy's arduino robot is pretty basic, but has lots of room to expand.
Here is a short video and associated intractable on doing exactly that.
Make Lehigh Valley is looking forward to being a part of the Science Festival of the Lehigh Valley. We're also looking for members to be involved at the booth. We have a few that will be around for the day, but there is room for more.
The event is happening Saturday, April 14th 2012 and will include a ton of other local organisation participating. It should be a good time for people of all ages.
This is a great activity to bring kids of all ages.
Bring something broken or find something in our pile. We'll be taking things apart, exploring how they work and generally exposing the magic behind the curtain of that "Warranty Void if Removed" sticker.
Exact times have yet to be determined. The Hive4a Hackerspace will be open for most of the day so you're really welcome any time. We'll just be trying to make sure resources are available at some exact times.
Let us know you are coming on the Facebook Event page.
There has been some discussions at the hackerspace of doing a guitar effects pedal workshops.
If you are interested in that sort of thing, you may like the article from Hack-A-Day today on building a tremolo pedal which was originally posted on Hack A Week.
If you'd like to see us do some of this with experts around, keep your ear turned in our direction. We're also discussing some classes like soldering to help build skills required in building these sorts of pedals. Also, let us know if you think this would be an interesting workshop.
Tom's been working on a dc power supply using parts from his junk box. I really enjoyed the aesthetic of this project. He had a few that he was finishing up at the last open hack. He cut up a can of root beer to create a heat sink, used a board and nails to wire up the connections between the components and wing nuts for good solid connections for both power in and power out.
This project reminded me of an episode of Collin's Lab which looked back to the history of the breadboard a bit. Collin used a real wooden breadboard and nails much like Tom did. The method is basically the same and results in a simple, but custom prototyping space that has a lot of character and can be more permanent than a typical breadboard.
In any case, it is a nice little idea to stick in your back pocket. We played around with the idea of using this project as a workshop project to help teach a few things about electronics. If there is some interest we'll explore that more fully.