Another makerspace serving the Chicago suburbs!

Our friends over at SpaceLab are running a KickStarter this month to raise funds to move into a more functional location.

SpaceLab started out as a co-working space, but they realize their members and the the south suburban community will benefit by adding the resources of a makerspace to their offerings.

Workshop 88 is thrilled to support SpaceLab’s kickstarter! We were an early backer:


At Workshop 88 we believe that makerspaces and hackerspaces grow smartly by working with other like-minded people in our area. Please consider supporting SpaceLab and sharing their campaign with anyone you know! They are about 2/3 of the way to their goal as of this post. Help them get all the way there!

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Introduction to C programming

What will I cover (for sure)?

C – Kernighan & Ritchie style.  Starting with variables (ch 1 K & R) and ending with functions (ch 4 K & R).  We will also cover “printf” formatting (ch 7 K & R) ’cause you’ll need that.

What should you bring?

Good: You don’t need noth’n but paper and pen to take notes.
Better: You could bring a PC w/enough installed to create / run Arduino programs.
Best: You could bring a Linux PC with “vim”&”gcc” installed ready to write, compile and run example programs.

What might be covered (extra stuff)?

Depends on you.  We could spend a few minutes to talk about basic computer hardware – before talking about C programming.  We could spend a few minutes to talk about C++ – after talking about C programming.

Where will you use this?

Probably when you write stuff for your Arduino.  But keep in mind C programming is found all over the place.  Especially in Unix machines. That covers everything from an Apple/Mac computer to a Sony TIVO PVR. And learning C is a great way to get acquainted with other programming languages like C++ or Java.  And, if you are going off to college, it’s probably the programming language of choice in that CS101 course you’ll need to take.

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Arduino 301 – Controlling the outside world – March 2014

Workshop 88 is offering a continuation of the Arduino classes featuring a concentration on interfacing the arduino with external devices.  solid state relays, H-bridges and other ways of controlling high voltages sources and motors.

If you already have an arduino, you have all the materials you’ll need for this class.  Otherwise, you can order a kit and we’ll have it for you when you come to the class.

What you need to bring to the class: a laptop with the arduino environment already installed, your arduino, and your breadboard. What you’ll get from the class: an understanding of how to work with the arduino to control higher current and higher voltage DC devices, 110-volt AC devices, and various servos, steppers and motors.

The class was originally scheduled for 2/15/14, but is being rescheduled.  Watch this space!

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Using Eagle CAD PCB design Software – March 2014

This class will cover Schematic capture, PCB design, and CAD File generation.

What you should know before coming to this class: You should be somewhat familiar with electronic circuits.

What you should bring with you to the class: You should bring a laptop with the free version of CadSoft Eagle PCB installed and running on it.

What you will leave the class with: After the class you should have the ability to capture a electronic circuit into a schematic, build new components, layout the physical printer circuit board and generate the files needed to have a PCB manufacture make your board.

(This is the first in a series of 4 classes on printed circuit board design and prototyping.)

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More on Using Eagle CAD PCB design Software – March 2014

This class will cover topics in Eagle related multi-page schematic design:

  • Learn pcb layout, completing the layout in preparation for generating gerber files.
  • Using the PCB auto router
  • Using various scripts

What you should know before coming to this class: You should be somewhat familiar with electronic circuits. You should be familiar with all the material covered in the first class on using Eagle.

What you should bring with you to the class: You should bring a laptop with the free version of CadSoft Eagle PCB installed and running on it.

What you will leave the class with: After the class you should be familiar with creating multi-page schematics and using the auto-router tool. You will be prepared for the third class in the Eagle series.

(This is the 2nd class in a series of 4 classes on printed circuit board design and prototyping.)

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Using Eagle CAD Software to prepare files for PCB fabrication – April 2014

This class will start with a review of pcb layers Gerber file generation then cover:

  • Sending the packages out for fabrication
  • DIY, and Professional Service
  • Bill of material and parts ordering

What you should know before coming to this class: You should be somewhat familiar with electronic circuits. You should be familiar with all the material covered in the first class on using Eagle.

What you should bring with you to the class: You should bring a laptop with the free version of CadSoft Eagle PCB installed and running on it.

What you will leave the class with: After the class you should be familiar with creating multi-page schematics and using the auto-router tool. You will be prepared for the final class in the Eagle series.

(This is the 3rd in a series of 4 classes on printed circuit board design and prototyping.)

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Introduction to DIY surface mount – April 2014

This class will cover: 

  • How to apply solder paste and place parts in PCB assembly 
  • How to reflow your pcb to solder your components 
  • How to test your board. 

What you should know before coming to this class: You should be somewhat familiar with electronic circuits. You should be familiar with all the material covered in the first three classes on using Eagle.

What you should bring with you to the class: You do not have to bring anything with you. 

What you will leave the class with: After the class you should be familiar with preparing circuit boards for surface mount soldering.

(This is the 4th in a series of 4 classes for learning how to design and prototype printed circuit boards.)

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Arduino 301 – Controlling the outside world – March 2014

Workshop 88 is offering a continuation of the Arduino classes featuring a concentration on interfacing the arduino with external devices.  solid state relays, H-bridges and other ways of controlling high voltages sources and motors.

If you already have an arduino, you have all the materials you’ll need for this class.  Otherwise, you can order a kit and we’ll have it for you when you come to the class.

What you need to bring to the class: a laptop with the arduino environment already installed, your arduino, and your breadboard. What you’ll get from the class: an understanding of how to work with the arduino to control higher current and higher voltage DC devices, 110-volt AC devices, and various servos, steppers and motors.

The class was originally scheduled for 2/15/14, but has been rescheduled to March 1.

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New online discussion group – linux device drivers

So that we can all learn about Linux Device Drivers, we have set up a Workshop 88 Google Group here:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/workshop88linuxdrivers

…to discuss this book:

http://lwn.net/Kernel/LDD3/

The 1st post is a bullet list of chapter 1′s main points.  Feel free to join in and comment about such things as “mechanism” and “policy”.

In chapter 2, there will be some code examples to try.

It would also be fun to speculate where we can go with this.  One thought is to create a WS88 project (maybe even a PCB) that provides a new physical computer interface. Like a capacitive-touch-slider to control features such as volume.

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