T-Shirt wall art


Like a lot of guys my age, I’m a T-shirt guy. Funny ones, clever ones, geeky ones, and just plain cool ones. And I’m not the type to buy them at a normal brick an mortar shop. I prefer to find quirky and orignial designs on the web at places like Woot and Owl Movement.

Most of the shirts I get end up being limited runs, so when they reach the end of their life a little early, via stains or tears, there just isn’t any way to replace them. I’m also the kind of guy who hates to throw things out, and I just can’t bring myself to throw out art, which is what these shirts really are. So, it hit me, as long as the print on the shirt was in good condition, I can turn my shirts into wall art. Continue reading

02/14 Meeting canceled

Steampunk Heart by chibilady17 via deviantart.com
For obvious reasons our Public Meeting, scheduled to occur on Monday, February 14, 2011 6:30 PM has been cancelled. We may be rescheduling this meeting for a later day in the week or the following week.

Keep your eyes peeled, and enjoy your Valentines Day!

UPDATE: We’ve shifted the meeting schedule by one week to accommodate. Our meetings will resume our normal every other week schedule starting on the 21st of Febuary. Our Meetup and Eventbrite calendars have been adjusted to reflect this change.

Changes to the site…

If you received an email about this post please hit reply and send so we know it worked. Seeing this blog post in your email means we’ve worked out the kinks in our new mailing list plugin.  Currently all users are notified when we make  a blog post about an event, class, or major announcement.  We’ve set up the plugin this way because the survey we sent out to our current mailing list showed overwhelmingly that you all prefer email communication.

If you’d like to unsubscribe just do so in the sidebar of the blog.  You may also register and edit the categories you would like to be subscribed to.  Hopefully in the future we’ll be making so many posts about classes and events, that we’ll move to a digest model for the mailing list, but for now it’s setup to work post by post.

In other news, we’ve successfully transitioned from our Google Calendar setup to a nice WordPress plugin with Eventbrite integration.  Have no fear though, we still have an iCal link available for those of you who use Google Calendar.  The events page of the site now shows a list or calendar view of all the upcoming events we’ve posted about.  The fancy Eventbrite integration now creates an event and embeds a registration box at the bottom of posts so we can keep track of planned attendance at events and classes, and also allows us to sell tickets.

LaunchPad un-boxing!

The boxes

I’ve been keeping this to myself until they finally came in, but I have a little surprise. I’ve ordered 3 MSP430s from Texas Instruments, 1 for personal use and 2 to be donated to Workshop 88. I ordered them July 17th, and they shipped October 29th and arrived today. What a fast turnaround, har har. Anyway, I thought I’d share my joy of un-boxing with everyone.

Wiki URL on the side

Meet the LaunchPad

A message from the MSP430 team

MSP430 LaunchPad

As you can see, the board ships without the headers soldered on. Other than that, the board is complete and even has an MSP430 pre-installed.

The Contents

The other contents include: A mini usb cable marked ROHS compliant, yay? The headers, and pins for the sides of the boards 2 sets of 10. A 32kz external crystal, to supplement the 16mhz internal clock. 2 LaunchPad Stickers. And last but not least, a second MSP430!

I suggest taking a look at Texas Instruments’ own un-boxing video, it’s pretty informative. Ok, ok, his is much more energetic, and he did it first.

Ride of the Valkyries

So, sometimes, I just have to stop and admit that I have a pretty awesome job. I work for a big box hardware store, as a technician in our Tool Rental department. I get all the general handy man projects around the store, and I was asked to build a tank for a competition between stores that is held every year. This thing is my baby, I’ve spent the last week and a half building this in between my normal work.

The cannon, which actually fires, is two inch PVC and has three and four inch PVC around it stepped down to the end of the barrel. The gun itself is a modified PVC t-shirt cannon, many of you have probably seen one on Make’s website. The valve is triggered with two 6v lantern batteries in series. The tank had to be parallel with the rest of the cannon so there’s room in the cockpit for a driver. I just added a 90 degree fitting after the solenoid valve.

The cockpit actually swivels, it sits on top of four casters and is guided by two galvanized pipes that sit in a circle cut on the top of the main body. The barrel tilts up and down hinged on two more pieces of pipe. The cockpit is made from two octagons, the one on the bottom is slightly elongated in the front in order to add a curvature. The curvature is achieved using 1/8″ Masonite, I attached it to the bottom and bent it onto the top. All the seams were filled with caulk give the illusion of welds.

The powerhouse behind it is a 3000 watt Honda generator fitted into the back. I added a long tail pipe to the end of the muffler to vent the exhaust out the back for the driver. Hooked up to the generator are the two front lamps, which are 250w halogen work lights painted black with high temp paint. It also powers the small air compressor in the front which is used to fill the PVC tank before the gun is fired. The filling system includes a modified tire filler with built in gauge so the driver can see and adjust the pressure as needed.

The main body was built around a lumber cart intended for flat goods like plywood and drywall. The frame is secured to it using metal strapping. The wheels are buckets spray painted black and the track is made from cedar edging painted black and silver. While I built almost the entire thing myself, I did have helping hands and helping minds for some of the creative pieces, but the awesome paint job was done by a fellow rental associate who’s an ex marine. He used camo paint and a faux brown stone paint to add the illusion of mud spray on the tracks and underside.

It’s really a testament to how great things can turn out when people put their heads and skills together. It’s was an extraordinary opportunity, and I’m extremely proud of how it turned out. I hope you guys enjoy the gallery below half as much as I enjoyed making this.

Practical Photography Class

Photographer

ƅethan @flickr - My Konica & Me

Tuesday the 12th of October, William will teach our first Practical photography class. It will cost $10 and you’ll need to bring your own camera. The class will start at Workshop 88 at 6:30pm. We’re trying something new, if you’re not already a member and want to join the Workshop after the class we’ll discount your first month’s dues the cost of the class!

Build-Out Tuesdays

Russ putting some tools on the pegboard
Tonight we decided that to better represent Tuesday’s weekly activities, we’re re-naming it to “Build-out Tuesdays.” Mini-hackathons should be taking place 24/7 at the space, and we really want everyone to be encouraged to bring their projects and work on them every day.

Tuesdays will be a regular time for people to come to the space and get work done on the facilities.

Our Calendar

Our calendar system is currently powered by Google. Their service affords us quite a few ways to share it with you. We’ve got the feed on the right side of the page, as well as multiple feeds that you can import into your own calendar software. Below are links to each type of feed.

XMLICALHTML

Hack-A-Thon II 02/06/2010

We’ll be holding a second hackathon 2:00pm-9:00pm Saturday February 6th. A couple projects we’ll be working on are our big near space balloon event and some beer brewing and bottling. As always bring your projects, bring your Arduinos, and bring your excitement!

We’ll be holding it at Jay’s house again, if you’re interested in attending and did not come last time, please contact info@workshop88.com for the address.

Let us know if you’re coming and discuss potential projects on the forum post.